THE Swim League Philippines-BEST elite swimmers made their presence felt winning one gold, three silver and three bronze medals in the opening day of the 2021 Philippine Swimming Inc. National Selection Bubble on Friday at the world-class New Clark City Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac.
Joining for the first time in the most competitive tournament in local swimming, John Niel Paderes captured the gold in the men’s 100-meter backstroke in timed of 59.60 seconds beating Bernard Abril of Tarlac (1:04.17). His teammate in BEST Yohan Mikhail Cabana settled for bronze (1:04.12).
BEST top bet in women’s class National junior and Palarong Pambansa record holder Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh topped the 1500-meter freestyle in timed of 18:58.71 but settled for silver due to technical glitch in the timing devices as announced by the assigned technical officials.
The 15-year old Mojdeh returned to action in the 100-meter butterfly and captured her second silver medal finishing in a strong second with a timed of 1:03.90 to Camille Buico (1:03.11). Sharaine Floriano of Antipolo finished third at 1:07.00.
The multi-titled international junior campaigner claimed her third medal (bronze) after finishing third in the 4000-meter freestyle.
‘Sobrang na-excite. Matagal tagal na kasing walang langoy. First time niyang lumangoy sa 1500-meter, nagulat din siya sa resulta,” said Joan, mother of Mojdeh and SLP founder.
Marcus Johannes De Kam added a silver medal in SLP-BEST campaign after finishing second (4:18.11) to eventual winner and national mainstay Miguel Barreto (4:07.37) in the men’s 400-meter freestyle.
Jordan Ken Lobos and Yohan Mikhail Cabana claimed bronze in the men’s 50-meter breaststroke (30.95) and the men’s 100-meter backstroke (1:03.15), respectively.
“Magandang simula sa team namin. Despite, the fact na limitado yung training sa langoy dahil sa pandemic, nakita natin yung determination sa mga bata. We’re happy, hoping masundan ito sa second day ng tournament,” said SLP-BEST coach Virgilio De Luna.
Thanya Dela Cruz, 18, registered a new pre-pandemic national record in the women’s 50-meter breaststroke with a timed of 32.89 seconds, erasing the previous mark of 32.93 set by Joy Rodgers during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games on the very same swimming pool.
Dela Cruz claimed her second gold, winning the women’s 50-meter freestyle (27.92) against Trixie Ortiguera of Tarlac Mako Sharks SC (29.31).
Other first day winners are SEA Games campaigner Sacho Ilustre in the men’s 100-meter butterfly (57.13); Chloe Daos in the women’s 400-m breast (4:39.21); Ryan Marco Tirol in the men’s 50-meter breaststroke (30.05) and Shayne Lugay in the women’s 100-meter backstroke (1:10.38).
The second day of the selection meet that is backed by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) is set Saturday,Oct. 23.
A total of 71 swimmers are set to compete in the three-day event sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), were they can gain FINA points and a crack at the time standards to qualify for the 2021 World Swimming (25m) Championships this December and next year’s World Aquatics Championships.
All participants and officials are billeted at the Hotel Stotsenberg in Clark Freeport Zone.