Chua starts off strong for PH in SEA age-group swimfest
LOS BANOS—Xiandi Chua kicked off the Philippine campaign in the 42nd Southeast Asia Age Group Swimming Championships with a victory in the girls 200-meter individual relay in the nine-nation swimfest.
Chua breezed through the breast stroke leg of the girls’ 16-18-year old 200 IM race, submitting a total clocking of two minutes and 18.60 seconds to capture the country’s first gold medal at the Trace Aquatic Sports Complex here.
Compensating for a forgettable stint at the Singapore Open last week, Chua touched the wall more than five meters ahead of Indonesian silver medalist Azzahra Permatahani (2:20.74) followed by Vietnam’s Lin Mai Thi Linh, who checked in third (2:21.57). Permatahani ruled the same event during the Singapore Open.
“We are glad for Xiandi’s achievement, but we believe there is more where that came from because this team really worked hard to be worthy of competing in this event, ‘’ said Philippine Swimming Inc. president Lani Velasco.
It was actually a fantastic start for the Filipino tankers after pocketing three silver and five bronze medals in the three-day meet organized by the PSI, the local aquatics body recognized by the International Swimming Federation (Fina) and the Asia Swimming Federation.
Chua nearly broke the national record of Filipino-American Chloe Isleta, who intently watched from the bleachers as Chua targeted to erase her 2:18.39 mark set two years ago.
Palarong Pambansa swim heroes Jalil Sephraim Taguinod (50m breaststroke), Jerard Dominic Jacinto (100m breaststroke) and Filipino-American Jonathan Cook (200m IM) accounted for the three silvers that the country netted in the tournament supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and backed by Arena Philippines that drew over 300 top age-groupers.
Settling for bronze medals were Regina Marie Castrillo (girls’ 16-18 100m butterfly), Camille Buico (girls’ 14-15 100m fly) Miranda Renner (16-18 50m freestyle), the boys’ and girls’ 18-under 4x200m freestyle relay teams.
Fina board member and ASF secretary general Taha Al Kishry of Oman graced the opening ceremonies along with PSC commissioners Ramon Fernandez, Celia Kiram and Charles Maxey.