Filipino-British Heather White and Filipino-Iranian Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh led the Philippine Swimming League’s (PSL) to a four-medal haul in the opening day of the 2018 Middle East Open Swimming Championship being held at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
White, a Kampala International School tanker, won two gold and one silver medals in the girls’ 11-year juniors category while Mojdeh, an Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Parañaque bet, snatched one gold in the girls’ 12-year open division.
White previously won a silver medal in the 100m freestyle (1:09.34), an event dominated by Tiffany Murillo (1:08.85) of Dharan Youth Swim League.
She then won the 50m butterfly in 33.64 seconds, exacting revenge against Murillo, who finished second with a time record of 34.33 seconds.
White blasted Murillo anew in the 100m backstroke event by finishing the race in one minute and 18.76 seconds.
Murillo posted 1:19.70 to take the runner-up honors in the event that drew some 600 tankers including European Championships gold medalist and Gwangju Summer Universiade silver medalist Simona Baumrtova from the Czech Republic.
Mojdeh dominated the 50m butterfly in 30.69 seconds beating older and taller foes from Europe.
“It was a great start for these two young swimmers both products of the Susan Papa Swim Academy. They competed against taller foes but they didn’t back down, truly a world-class athletes. I was really impressed and shocked with their performance and we’re optimistic that there’s more to come,” said PSL president Susan Papa.
Mojdeh (400m IM, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly and 400m IM) and White (50m backstroke, 200m IM, 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle) will be on a hunt for more medals today.
Ruben William White will test his mettle in the boys’ 14-year open division 50m backstroke, 200 freestyle, 50m breaststroke, 100m butterfly, 200m IM and 50m freestyle.
Besides the Philippines and the Czech Republic, participants from Hungary, Iran, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bahrain, India, United Arab Emirates and Qatar also competed in the three-day meet.
“We would like to thank our kababayan Mr. Francis Segui for supporting us in this competition. He’s been a great help to us since the day we arrived here in Dubai,” added Papa.
The PSL is recognized by the Philippine Sports Commission as an official swimming association in the country following its impressive grassroots development program that aims to train talented swimmers for future international competitions.