Palarong Pambansa stand–outs Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas and Christen Mercado of University of the Philippines spearhead the country’s campaign in the 2014 Hong Kong Stingrays Swimming Championships scheduled on May 9 to 11 at the Hong Kong International School.
The Philippine Swimming League is sending a total of 12 swimmers in the three-day meet with Zamora and Mercado heading the cast following their impressive campaigns recently.
Zamora is fresh from winning 11 gold medals in the 2014 Australia Swimming Championships-All Stars Challenge in Perth. He also grabbed eight golds in the 2013 Royal Bangkok Swim Meet in Thailand in December.
“Zamora has surpassed the age-group records of Olympian Joseph Schooling of Singapore when he was the same age of Zamora. It only means that, with proper training and exposure, we could also produce an Olympian,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
For his part, Mercado was the Rookie of the Year in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 76 after winning gold medal in the 50-meter breaststroke and was part of the 4x50m freestyle relay champion team. He is one of the top candidates for the prestigious 2015 Summer World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.
Soguilon siblings Kyla and Kobe of Aklan Swimming Club are also aiming to made impact in the tournament as well as Mark Lawrence Sevilla, Raymund Joshua Sevilla, Grayel Guerrero, Gabriel Guerrero, Gabriel Bucad, Gaddiel Vicente San Pedro, Frances Mendoza and Philip Miguel Mendoza.
The nine-year old Kyla was part of the eight-member team that won 18 gold medals in the 2014 Western Cape Swimming Gala in Cape Town, South Africa in February then copped numerous Most Outstanding Swimmer awards including the recently-concluded 56th PSL Leg Series dubbed as the 1st Ted Haresco Swimming Cup/Open Water Swim in Kalibo and Boracay in Aklan.
Besides Papa, PSL secretary general Maria Susan Benasa, and coaches Alex Papa and Marlon Dula are also in the delegation.
“This early, we want to give them proper exposure so that they’ll be ready for future big tournaments including the World Universiade which is way prestigious than any other regional competitions,” added Papa.
PSL having the longest grassroots program in sport is accredited by the Federation of School Sports of the Philippines—an affiliate to Federation International Sports University.