Swimming chief looks outside for Molina subBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A FILIPINO-American swimmer based in Wisconsin broke Miguel Molina’s Philippine record Thursday in the ongoing Fina World Swimming Championship in Istanbul, Turkey.
Josh Hall, a mainstay of NCAA division I University of Minnesota, registered 1:02.55 in the 100m breaststroke to erase Molina’s 1:03.44 set in the 2008 world championship held in Manchester, England.
Hall, 20, finished sixth out of nine swimmers in Heat 1 and ranked 55th out of 95 participants in the event.
Swimming chief Mark Joseph predicted that Hall could easily reset the Southeast Asian Games record of Vietnam’s Nguyen Huu Viet, who swam 1:01.60 in a gold-winning effort during the 2009 staging of the biennial meet in Laos.
Hall, a neuroscience major, is projected to fill in Molina’s shoes. The national team failed to deliver a gold medal in the 2011 SEA Games after Molina had his swan song in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
Joseph said Hall, whose mother hails from Zambales, also beat the qualifying time for the London Olympics along with an Australia-based Filipino swimmer, whom Joseph refused to identify.
“There are quite a lot of [foreign-based Filipino] swimmers whose names we can only release after they completed the Fina change of jurisdiction requirements from their present federations to PhilSwim,” said Joseph. “It’s merely administrative but there’s a privacy matter we have to respect.”