FILIPINO-German Alexander Georg Eichler delivered for the country’s final gold medal on Monday at the closed of the 44th Southeast Asian Age Group Championships dominated by Thailand for the first time in 10 years at the at the National Aquatic Center in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Eichler topped the field in the boys 14-15 boys 200m butterfly clocking 2:07.04 beating Vietnam’s Ngoc Minh Hoang Tan (2:09.37) and Wongsakorn Patsamarn of Thailand (2:09.47) as the Philippine junior swimming team avoided a gold medal shutout in the final day of competition among the region’s best young swimmers.
It was Eichler third gold medals and six overall along with 10 silver and nine bronze medals for the 94-man Philippine Team.
Eichler also won the gold in the boys 14-15 50m butterfly clocking 26.09 seconds and 100m butterfly which was recorded as meet new record (56.52.) during the opening day.
Ava Samantha Bautista and National Junior record holder Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh and Heather White closed their respective campaign with silver and bronze medals hauled in their respective age group class.
Bautista clinched the team’s sixth silver clocking 2:23.85 in the girls 14-15 class 200m butterfly behind gold winner Vietnam’s Nguyen Nhu Y Pham (2:21.30), while Mojdeh notched the bronze in 16-17 class 200m fly in timed of 2:20.50 and White finishing third in the 14-15 100m free for the country’s ninth bronze medals.
The 14-year-old White, a Vietnam-based Filipino-British tanker, broke the National junior mark of Miranda Renner (26.88) established in 2016 edition after a sizzling performance in the 50-m freestyle clocking 26.83 seconds.
The only other Pinoy gold medalist in the tournament considered as the training ground for the region’s high-level swimmer was Ajido, who set the tone for PH campaign winning the team’s first gold medal after ruling the boys 13-year-old class 100m backstroke in timed of one minute and 02.42 seconds.
Ajido, the country’s multiple National Juniors Record holder and FINIS brand ambassador, also claimed silver medal in the 100m fly setting another Junior National Record in timed of 57.96 erasing his previous 13 & Under record of 58.20.
Dubbed ‘The Water Beast’, Mojdeh, the first Filipina who made it to semifinals of the World Junior Championship last August in Lima, Peru, claiming her third bronze in the 16-18 Girls 200m Butterfly (2:20.50) against two Thai veteran Kamonchanok Kwanmuang (2:13.69) and Jinjutha Pholjamjumrus (2:16.20) both medalist in last year’s Hanoi SEA Games
This is Jasmine’s 3rd medal in the championships long with her silver in the 100m fly (1:04.36) and bronze in 400m IM (5.11.96).
Eichler then joining forces with Marco Daos, Gian Santos and multiple medalist Jamesray Ajido to claim the bronze in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay with a time of 3:35.66. Team Thailand took the Gold with 3:31.57, followed by Team Malaysia for Silver with 3:35.65
The Thai shark army was adjudged overall team champion for the first time in 10 years with a total of 58 gold ,43 silver, and 28 bronze medals, followed by Indonesia (17-25-69) and host Malaysia (12-12-16).