NEW CLARK CITY—James Deiparine almost decided on ending his stint with the Philippine team after bringing home just two silver medals in 2017.
Fortunately, he changed his mind.
“When I found out that the Philippines was hosting this one, it just really motivated me to just do my best and bring home the gold,” said the 26-year-old Filipino-American Wednesday night after he reset the Southeast Asian Games record in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke to put an end to the Philippines’ 10-year wait for a gold medal before a boisterous Aquatics Center crowd here.
“I feel really great, after gaining two silvers last time, it was always my goal to bring home the gold for the Philippines,” said Deiparine, who clocked one minute and 1.46 seconds to erase the 10-year standard of 1:01.60 set by Nguyen Huu of Vietnam.
It has also been that long since the Philippines tasted a victory in the pool, and Deiparine has a chance to extend the celebration as he is also set to see action in the 50m breast and the 4X100m medley relay.
And in all likelihood, it would be the last time he’ll don the national colors as he chases a law degree.
He could be local swimming’s next poster boy, but will answer a greater calling.
The son of a lawyer, Deiparine is now working at the personal injury department of a law firm while preparing for the bar exam.
With his family from the United States and the Philippines in the crowd rooting for him, Deiparine finally put an end to the country’s spiral in the sport.
Remedy Rule engaged five-time SEA Games champ Quah Jing Wen of Singapore in a neck-and-neck race but settled for silver in the women’s 200m butterfly, losing by just .02 seconds.
Rule timed 2:10.99 while the 18-year-old Quah finished in 2:10.97.
Rule, another Fil-American, was actually first to see action and narrowly missed being the one to snap the Philippine drought, losing in the tap to the bemedalled Singaporean.
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