After qualifying legs in Capiz and Aklan, the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) has selected eight tankers who will represent the country in the 2015 Hong Kong Stingrays Swimming Championships scheduled in May at the Hong Kong International School swimming pool.
Swimmers of the Year Sean Terence Zamora of University of Santo Tomas (boys’ 14 years) and Kyla Soguilon of Sun Yat Sen-Kalibo (girls’ 10 years) will be leading the squad following their sterling performances in the national qualifying meet held last week in Western Visayas Region.
Zamora and Soguilon, who both claimed the Most Outstanding Swimmer awards in the prestigious Indian Ocean All Stars Challenge in Australia recently, are aiming to continue their impressive showing in international scene.
“We are now on the next step of our grassroots development program which is by sending these kids abroad for exposure. We want to see them grow and bring their standards to the next level,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
Joining the team are fellow MOS winners in Australia Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh (girls’ 8 years) and Stephen Guzman (boys’ 10 years) along with Palarong Pambansa standout Charize Juliana Esmero of University of the Philippines Integrated School (girls’ 12 years), Royal Bangkok Swim Meet veteran Roger Giron (boys’ 15 years), and Singapore Swimming Championships medalists Marie Joe Borres (girls’ 10 years) and Alic Deniel Dela Cruz (girls’ 15 years).
“These kids are no pushovers. They’ll be vying for gold medals in their respective events. We always remind them that when competing abroad, it’s not about their school or team anymore, they are representing our country. And I can see in their eyes that the fire is there. The fighting spirit, the motivation to bring honors to our country,” stressed Papa.
The team wants to duplicate or surpass its eight-gold, five-silver, three-bronze medal haul in the 2014 edition with Zamora winning six gold medals – 200m Individual Medley, 200m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 200m butterfly and 200m breaststroke.
“We continue sending them abroad to further hone their skills. They need this kind of exposure to know if they’re improving or not. We’re not just aiming to become the best in Southeast Asia but we want to be the best in Asia and, hopefully, the best in the world,” added Papa.
Last March, the two-member PSL team of Soguilon and Aubrey Tom bagged 14 golds in the 2015 Phuket Swimming Championship in Thailand before the 10-tanker squad led by Zamora and Guzman scooped 41 golds, 12 silvers and nine bronzes in the Indian Ocean All Stars Challenge in Perth.
The PSL is a national sports swimming association for Universities and Colleges accredited by the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (Fessap) – an internationally affiliated member of Federation of International Sports University (FISU).