PH eyes national records in world championships
Shattering more national records will be the principal motive of the PH swimming team in the 19th Fina (International Swimming Federation) World Championships.
Two-time Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi left for Budapest, Hungary, late on Tuesday and will hook up with US-based Miranda Renner and Jonathan Cook at the meet featuring the globe’s finest swimmers starting on Saturday.
The trio are multiple medalists in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games with Alkhaldi the nation’s prime bet in the women’s 50-meter freestyle, Renner in the women’s 50m butterfly and Cook in the men’s 200m breaststroke.
Joining them are Philippine Swimming Inc. president Lailani Velasco and national team coach Sherwyn John Santiago.
“The Fina world championships is the Olympics of swimming. Most of the world’s top talents will be there. Thus, we have modest goals for this meet,” said Velasco, who met President Duterte just a few hours prior to departure during the final inspection of the National Academy of Sports at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.
According to Velasco, the objective is to ride on the momentum gained by the country in the recent 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the Philippines won a gold medal courtesy of Chloe Isleta in the women’s 200m backstroke, with three silvers and the same number of bronze medals.
“I’m also optimistic that the three swimmers competing in the worlds could produce a few more national records, if not personal bests,” said Velasco.
Velasco pointed out the initial goal is for Alkhaldi, Renner and Cook to crack the top 16 in their respective events.
“We can hopefully qualify for the semifinals (top 16). From there, we will see how our swimmers will do,” said Velasco.