National University standout Martin Jacob Pupos led the gold medalists in the opening day of the Philippine Swimming League (PSL)-Philippine Inter-schools, Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (PISCUAA) 2016 University Games FESSAP Swimming Championship on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
Pupos, a veteran of international tournaments, submitted two minutes and 5.09 seconds to claim the top spot in the men’s 200m freestyle.
Michael Bunag of Coach King Swimming School settled for silver in 2:12.68 while Jeffrey Hirao of College of Saint Benilde took the bronze in 2:13.88.
Gwanju World University Games veteran Jux Keaton Solita of University of Santo Tomas (UST) also stole some spotlight by bagging the men’s 400m freestyle in 4:26.47, beating silver medalist Alfred Maglabe of Mapua Institute of Technology (4:50.94) and bronze winner Hirao (5:11.28).
Moments later, Solita earned his second gold as he ruled the 800m freestyle in 9:17.97.
Also winning gold medals were Bunag, Lans Rawlin Donato of University of the Philippines, Samuel Gregory Ongjoco of Benilde, Sean Martin Ortega of Adamson University at Sean Elijah Enero of Mapua.
Bunag topped the men’s 200m Individual Medley (2:37.22); Donato wound up first in the men’s 50m butterfly (26.91); Ongjoco dominated the men’s 200m butterfly (2:25.34); Ortega reigned supreme in the men’s 100m backstroke (1:07.97); and Enero pocketed the gold in the men’s 50m backstroke (29.31).
In the women’s division, Leichelle Buenaventura of University of the East got two gold medals – 50m backstroke with a time of 40.75 seconds and 100m backstroke in 1:29.13.
Earning gold medals in their respective events were Technological University of the Philippines-Manila tankers Alliah Saliendra (400m freestyle, 5:55.25) and Angelica Mae Medrano (50m butterfly, 33.72), and Gianna Data of Benilde (200m IM, 2:48.94).
The other medalists were Julian Ingrid Pupos and Aubrey Ybanez.
The tournament serves as qualifying tournament for the 29th Summer World University Games scheduled next year in New Taipei City in Taiwan.
There are 52 slots allotted in the men’s division and another 52 seats in the women’s side.
“We will be reviewing all the results from our first qualifying up to the last meet to determine the athletes who will be representing our country in the swimming competitions of the Taiwan Universiade. It’s a great opportunity for our young athletes to be in a world-level, once in a lifetime experience,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
PSL is a national sports swimming association for Universities and Colleges accredited by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (Fessap), internationally affiliated member of Federation of International Sports University (FISU).