Huge Tokyo splash: PSL tankers triumph
Call it the great Tokyo splash as youthful swimmers from the grassroots-based Philippine Swimming League overshadowed two teams from China and bagged the much-coveted overall title in the 2018 Tokyo Invitational Swimming Championship at the St. Mary’s International swimming pool.
Backed up by the Fil-Japanese community in the bustling, cosmopolitan city, the PSL bets also known as Susan Papa’s tankers, got overpowering performances from prodigy Jasmine Mojdeh ( girls 11-12) of the Immaculate Heart of Mary College-Paranaque and Tondo-pride Aishel Cid Evangelista (boys’ 8-under) to steal the thunder from two Chinese teams– Shanghai International-China and International Beijing Dragons-China–in the battle for overall honors.
After three days of the action at the exclusive St.Mary’s located at Setagaya ward, PSL totalled 905 points followed by Shanghai with 460 points and Beijing with 389 points.
PSL swam its way to 33 golds, 26 silvers and 10 bronzes.
Teams from Tokyo bannered by the highly-popular host St. Mary’s Buccaneers, Britain, Germany and other countries also saw action. The Buccaneers, actually, had 1,068 points but tournament rules stressed that overall champion would come from foreign delegations.
Mojdeh, also a Palarong Pambansa most bemedalled athlete, and Evangelista, whose father Elcid played for the national water polo team, emerged as Most Outstanding Swimmers in their respective age groups.
Not to be outdone, Richelle Ann Raine Callera of St John of Beverley School of Novaliches also copped the MOS after overpowering shows in the girls’ 8-under including record-breaking shows in the 50m butterfly with a time of 37.43, better than the 38.22 mark of Japanese Natsuki Uchino.
Mojdeh shattered the old mark of Michelle Peterson in winning the girls’ 11-12 200m Individual Medley with a time of two-minute, 28.93-seconds, while Evangelista rewrote the 25-year-old age-group mark of Filipino Olympian Miguel Molina in winning the boys’ 8-under 25m freestyle with a time of 15.79 seconds. He also eclipsed the 30-year-old mark of Japanese Kei Karamaki in the boys’8-under 100m freestyle.
Mojdeh also broke Peterson’s mark in the 100m breaststroke.
Mojdeh, who aims to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics actually collected eight gold medals. She was part of the PSL relay teams in the 200m medley relay and 200m freestyle.
Evangelista registered four new marks in the 25m freestyle (15.79), 100m freestyle (1:12.17), 50m freestyle (33.48) and 25m backstroke (18.57) apart from his gold medals in the 50m breaststroke and 100m IM.
Swimmers from General Santos City also excelled as Francisco Cordero (boys’ 11-12), Nova Rea Estrada (girls’ 9-10), Izyndro Warain (boys’ 9-10), Ellaiza Nicole Rojo (girls’ 13-14) and sisters Phency Joyce Bose and Phelicity Joi Bose (girls’ 15-18) triumphed. Cordero erased the record of Japanese Go Nagaoka in topping the boys’ 11-12 50m breaststroke in 32.39 seconds.
Marc Bryan Dula of Masville Elementary School-Parañaque’s Marc Bryan Dula also made heads turn when he stunned a 6-foot-2 German rival to win the gold in the boys’ 11-12 100m-butterfly. The 11-year-old, 5-foot-2 Dula timed an impressive 1:06.75.
‘‘Hard work pays off,’’ said Papa, an Asian Gamer. The founder of the Susan Papa Swim Academy in Parañaque City, also thanked leaders of the Fil-Japanese community namely Marilyn Mabansag Yokokoji, Myles Beltran, Arnel Pineda, Hiroshi Katsumata and other civic leaders for supporting the PSL.
As part of their bonuses, the PSL team visited Tokyo landmarks, including a must-trip to the sacred Mt.Fuji, which is Japan’s tallest peak at 3,776 meters.
The PSL delegation was headed by coach Alexandre Papa and PSL Regional Directors Bob Palacios (Mindanao) and Joan Mojdeh (National Capital Region).
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