5 Filipino swimmers qualify for world aquatics junior tilt

5 Filipino swimmers qualify for world aquatics junior tilt
Heather White (left) and Jasmine Mojdeh

MANILA, Philippines – Five national junior record holders, led by Cambodia Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Teia Salvino, have secured berths to the 9th World Aquatics (WA) Junior Championships slated September 4-9 in Netanya, Israel.

In a memorandum dated July 23, 2023 and signed by World Aquatic-backed Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI) Secretary-General and Batangas Rep. Eric Buhain, the five Filipino swimmers achieved the minimum standard of 680 World Aquatics points throughout the qualifying period fromMay 1, 2022, to July 30, 2023.

"Congratulations to all the qualifiers, their coaches and parents," said Buhain, a two-time Olympian and Philippine sports Hall-of-Famer.

Salvino, who qualified in six events (50m and 100m backstroke, 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, and 100m butterfly) reportedly opted to join the team as she focuses on training for the Asian Games slated September 28 to October 8 in Hangzhou, China.

The 15-year-old is a shoo-in for the Philippine Asian Games team after winning the women's 100m backstroke event, resetting the national record at 1:01.64 in Cambodia last May. Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino has already announced that Cambodia's gold and silver medalists are automatically included in the Asiad Team.

“Right after the memorandum was sent to the Philippine aquatics family, we received a report that Thea (Salvino) could not make it to Israel World Junior as she is currently in training for the Asian Games,” said PSI Executive Committee member Chito Rivera.

With Salvino out of the picture, the chance for the National Team is now on the shoulders of other qualifiers Jasmine Mojdeh (100m butterfly), Heather White (50m, 100m, and 200m freestyle), Gian Santos (100m, 200m and 400m freestyle), and Filipino-German Alexander Eichler (100m and 200m butterfly).

Mojdeh, 17, holder of junior records in 13-under, and the 16-year-old White, holder of the national record in 15-under 50-m freestyle (26.83) are part of the Philippine Team at last year’s Worlds in Lima, Peru, with the Filipino-Iranian etching history after making it to the semifinal of the 400m backstroke. The two are in intensive training at Aquatics Academy in Seattle in the United States.

Buhain said the PSI will shoulder the airfare (Manila-Israel-Manila), board and lodging in Israel, and team uniforms of the athletes.

"We would like to thank the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee and World Aquatics for their equivocal support to Philippine Aquatics," said Buhain.

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