Philippine tryouts for Asian swim tilt slated at Rizal Memorial

Philippine tryouts for Asian swim tilt slated at Rizal Memorial
Philippine Aquatics Secretary-General and Batangas 1st District Rep. Eric Buhain.

MANILA, Philippines – Putting premium on quality over quantity, the Philippine Aquatics is looking for a lean number of 44 swimmers to comprise the National Junior Team that will compete against the best of Asia as the country plays host to the 11th Asian Age Group Swimming Championship slated December 3-6 at the New Clark Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac.

Only eight boys and eight girls will be selected in both 12-14 and 15-17 age group categories, while six boys and six girls will comprise the 18-over class, according to tournament director Chito Rivera.

The swimmers will be selected from the two national tryouts — the recently concluded Dahunog Swim Fest (for the Visayas and Mindanao qualification) in Dipolog City and the Manila leg slated October 13-15 at the Teofilo Ildefonso Swimming Pool inside the fable Rizal Memorial Sports Complex — organized by the Philippine Aquatics headed by President Miko Vargas and Secretary-General and Batangas 1st District Rep. Eric Buhain.

The top two swimmers after the consolidation of their registered time after the two tryouts will be considered to the Philippine team.

“The best way to select the best swimmers for the Philippine Team is through a national tryout. We did this during the SEA Age Group selection last August and the results are very satisfying. Our 18-man team won a total of 16 medals, including two golds, in that regional tournament,” said Buhain, a swimming icon and Philippine Sports Hall-of-Famer.

In the Mindanao leg that concluded over the weekend, “provisionary status” is already secured by the winning swimmers, which include SEA Age Group campaigners Jennuel Booh De Leon from Aklan, and Jie Angela Mikaela Talosig from Midsayap, North Cotabato.

The 17-year-old De Leon, gold medalist in the boys 50m butterfly (25.40) during the SEA Age Jakarta edition, topped the boys 18 class 100m free (54.90), 50m back (26.94) while resetting his personal best in the 50m free (24.35) in winning a bronze medal in Jakarta with a vastly improved 23.66 seconds.

Talosig, 14, on the other hand, dominated the girls 15-17 class 50m freestyle (28.45), 800m freestyle (10:00.00), 200m free (2:16.14), 100m free (1:02.34), 1500-m free (19:04.97), 400-m free (4:48.09), and 200m back (2:20.66).

The country’s top junior swimmers Micaela Mojdeh and Jamesray Ajido, both holders of the national junior mark, are expected to lead the starry cast of participants in the three-day Manila leg tryouts starting on Friday.

Also expected to vie for slots for the National Team were SEA Age group gold winner Arabella Taguinota (100m breast, 1:13.40), and fellow SEA Age medalists Estifano Ramos, Clark Ken Apuada, Jalil Taguinod, Ivo Enot, Mishka Sy and Aishel Evangelista.

Rivera also reiterated that Filipinos based abroad need to join the tryouts, while students from public schools can participate free of charge.

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