40 Filipino swimmers to compete in SEA Age Group Championships

MANILA — The Philippines is sending 40 swimmers to the 40th edition of the Southeast Asian Age Group Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

Rafael Baretto and Kirsten Chloe Daos, who delivered the country’s two golds in the 39th edition of the tournament hosted by Danang City in Vietnam, will banner the team which is scheduled to leave on Wednesday.

Also going to Thailand are Xiandi Chua, a silver medalist in Vietnam; Yakutsk Children of Asia bronze winner Camille Buico; UAAP and Palarong Pambansa standouts Maurice Sacho Ilustre, and Nicole Pamintuan; Batang Pinoy and national record-holders Sam Coronel and Thanya dela Cruz, and other promising swimmers.

Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) secretary general Lani Velasco is optimistic that the inclusion of outstanding talents from the Batang Pinoy and PSI Nationals tournaments will boost the country’s performance in Bangkok.

This year’s team was formed early last month following the nominations by club coaches and strict screening of national coaches.

The Bangkok-bound athletes will be accompanied by their club coaches and national mentors Rey Galang, Marichi Gandionco, Jenny Rose Guerero, and Sherwin Santiago.

The Philippine, represented by 29 swimmers, managed to win 11 medals, including two silvers and seven bronzes, and finished last among six countries in the regional tournament last year.

Singapore topped the medal standings with 41 golds, 41 silvers and 28 bronzes followed by host Vietnam (29-24-21), Indonesia (15-23-18), Malaysia (13-3-11) and Thailand (8-9-20). Jean Malanum/PNA-northboundasia.com