Lacuna, PH swimmers hope to get out of SEA Games slump
KUALA LUMPUR — Swimming, the Philippines’ biggest frustration the past Southeast Asian Games, hopes to get out of the doldrums this time when competition starts Monday at KL Sports City.
One of the sports with the biggest number of gold medals at stake at 38, the country went home with nothing two years ago in Singapore.
But two-time Olympian Jhessie Lacuna hopes to break that slump when he competes in the men’s 400-meter heats in the morning. He won silver two years ago in this event in Singapore.
Lacuna has trained in Italy along with fellow Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi.
Also buckling down to work are Nanjing Youth Olympic Games veteran Roxanne Yu and Fil-American Nicole Oliva who will vie for 100m backstroke heats.
Six gold medals are at stake in one of the two centrepiece events of the SEA Games which will have heats in the morning and finals in the evening starting at 7 p.m.
Also swimming for the Philippines is Fil-Am newcomer James Deiparine, who owns the national record of 28.13 seconds in men’s 50-meter and 1:02.00 in 100-meter breaststroke.
Deiparine, whose mom hails from Angeles City, Pampanga, is making his first SEA Games appearance. He first donned the tricolours in the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary last month.
The country bagged two silvers and 11 bronze medals in the Singapore edition.