NICOLA Queen Diamante and Paulene Beatriz Obebe fortified their status as the face of Congress of Philippine Aquatics, Inc. (COPA) grassroots program with another sterling performances on Saturday at the start of the Reunion Challenge National Finals at the newly renovated Teofilo Ildefonso swimming pool inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC).
Diamante, the pride of RSS Dolphins Swimming Team of coach Anthony Reyes, struck hard anew in the girls 11-yrs class while Obebe of ASCC dominated the field in 12-yrs old category of the competition organized by COPA in collaboration with Samahang Manlalangoy ng Pilipinas and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) under Chairman Noli Eala, MILO and Speedo.
Both swimmers also claimed multi gold medals in the final series of the three-leg meet last month with Diamante already amassed a total of 16 mint in all tournaments of COPA so far this year. Diamante won the Class A 200-m freestyle clocking 2:37:00, the 200-m backstroke (3:04:54) and 50-m butterfly in 58 seconds, while Obebe dominated her Class A group with victory in the 100-m breast (1:39:95), 200m back (3:00.69) and 200-m free (2:30.58).
“Nakakatuwa po na maganda po lagi ang performance ko sa tournaments. Hindi naman po kami tumitigil ni coach para mas Maitama yung mali ko sa tuwing ensayo,” said Diamante who expected to dominate the forthcoming Batang Pinoy National Finals next month in Vigan, Ilocos Norte.
Chief Organizer and COPA Board member Chito Rivera expressed his optimism with the consistency of the performance of Diamante and Obebe while so thankful with partners and sponsors in the meet which also show the rising of numbers of underprivileged students in public schools and athletes with disabilities who join the tournament.
Parehong consistent itong dalawa sa kanilang age group category. Pinapacheck ko lang sa kanyang coach kung gaano kalaki ang improvement every tournament. Malaking bagay ito dahil patunay kung gaano effective ang magkaroon ng regular tournament bukod sa ensayo,” said Rivera, also the head coach of JRU swimming team.
“Maging ang mga swimmers natin at mga magulang nila ay natutuwa na makitang nakakalaro sa mataas na antas ng kompetisyon ang mga batang kulang sa kakayahan sa pinansiya at pisikal. Ito talaga ang plano ni Batangas Cong. Eric Buhain nang mabuo naming ang COPA,” said Rivera.
In the first leg, Diamante ruled the Class A 50-m butterfly (34.47), 50-m backstroke (35.72), Class B 200-m Individual Medley (3:14.79), Class C 100-m butterfly (1:41.47) and the 12 years and under 200-m Medley Relay (2:25.06) and 200-m Freestyle Relay with Jhamina Mundir, Annika Quinto and Angel Kirsten Escala (2:49.93). She also got the silver medal in the Class A 100-m backstroke (1:26.04) and Class B 200-m freestyle (2:50.40) and the bronze in Class A 50-m freestyle (33.43).
In the second leg, she garnered gold medals from the Class A 50-m freestyle (32.20), 100-m freestyle (1:11.00), 100-m butterfly (1:21.30), 100-m backstroke (1:24.70), 200-m backstroke (3:04.90), In the third leg, she topped the 50-m butterfly (34.72), 50-m freestyle (31.69) and 50-m backstroke (34.41).