Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa has lauded the efforts of 36 blessed swimmers competed in the prestigious 2017 Summer World University Games held in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
“It was a great opportunity for them to swim against the world’s best. We did not expect to win medals but the experience that they gained here is incomparable. They are so blessed to be here and I’m hoping that they’ll share this to their teammates back home,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
The swimmers were selected during the PSL’s National Series held in different venues in the country.
“It can be remember that PSL started its open tryouts for one and a half years and these are the swimmers who abide by the eligibility and requirements. The best swimmers perhaps did not join the tryout because of fear in losing their scholarship, threat of suspension from their respective schools or respective national sports associations under the Philippine Olympic Committee, which is not an International Sports University Federation member,” added Papa.
The Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) is the internationally affiliated member of FISU – the organizer of the World University Games.
“The PSL is the national association for swimming in universities and colleges under FESSAP and the one recommending swimmers to be in the line up. Being here in Universiade is already an achievement since all athletes that will be competing here are world-class and well-disciplined. These kids are blessed and we want to share this blessings to everyone especially in the swimming community,” ended Papa.
The members of the team were Joy Rodgers, Trisha Anne Oliveros, Pauline Celine Cusing, Carmenrose Matabuena, Leichelle Buenaventura, Alic Deniel Dela Cruz, Annyka Frances Dela Cruz, Princess Bernadette Estal, Jazmine Franchesca Mirasol, Isabella Olivares, Julian Ingrid Pupos, Macy Reyes, Stephanie Sablan, Julianne Khryztelle Torres, Martina Villanueva and Aubrey Ybanez in the women’s division; and Namahig Asa Mahiwo, Christen Mercado, Martin Jacob Pupos, Jux Keaton Solita, Mhikcoloe Dominique Abina, Ernest Raphael Arceo, Paul Jerome Carpio, Louie Martin Cesdorio, Nathan Anthony Cheng, David De Layola, Emmanuel Rome Dela Cruz, Ryan Dimayuga, Roger Dante Giron, Drew Benett Magbag, Jason Mirabueno, Arian Neil Puyo, Raymund Joshua Sevilla and Kobe Soguilon in the men’s side.
There are 170 countries participated in this year’s edition with more than 12,000 student-athletes seeing action in more than 20 sports.
The World University Games also known as the Universiade is the second largest multi-sporting event in the world – next to the Olympic Games.
Olympic champion Michael Phelps and Matt Biondi competed in the previous editions of the Universiade along with American basketball stars Larry Bird and Charles Barkley and trackster Michael Johnson.
Meanwhile, Papa celebrated her birthday at the Dining Hall of the Athetes’ Village with swimmers, officials and coaches including Alex Papa, Sonia Baltazar, Fessap MOnitoring and Preparation Committee Chairman Robert Calo and PSL Chairman and former Sen. Nikki Coseteng.
“Every swimmer in the Phiippines today and in the future owes you (Susan Papa) a debt of gratitude for your advocacy, commitment and actual work. To democratize swimming, expose the rotten eggs, produce excellent swimmers and make dreams come true. You deserve to live a hundred more years. For someone who is only one of a kind. Keep it up,” said Coseteng.