PALARONG Pambansa triple gold medalist Matthieu Adrien Tao has no regrets, saying that he did his best in trying achieve his target of seven gold medals in the recently-concluded Palarong Pambansa in Antique Province.
Tao, 12, said: "I feel sad pero okay lang kasi I did my best. Mas malalakas at mabibilis parin ang mga swimmers ng Calabarzon. I still need to train harder."
The Stella Maris Academy of Davao (Smad) swimmer Tao, who is coached by Haroon Cali of Holiday Gym & Spa along with National Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) quintuple gold medalist Kyle Pajarito of the University of Mindanao (UM), accounted for three gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes in his last Palaro stint in the elementary division.
But League of Swimmers and Coaches (LSC) chairperson Antoinette Adle Mendoza, who accompanied Tao and Pajarito during Thursday's Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at the NCCC Mall Davao B3 Center Family Room, said Tao "has a bright future" ahead of him considering that his time in all his events still rank him second in the region among boys 13 to 15 swimmers.
Tao is set to compete in the Philswim Long Course Series Mindanao Leg 2017 slated Saturday and Sunday at the Davao del Norte Sports and Toursism Complex (DDNSTC) in Tagum City.
Mendoza said, "This event will serve as a qualifying for the nationals and if ma break mo ang record you will qualify naman for the international event."
Tao, who copped the Palaro 200-meter freestyle, 100m backstroke and 400x100 medley relay golds, will compete in the event that will be graced by Olympians Jessie Khing Lacuña and Jasmine Alkhaldi.
Pajarito, for his part, said the five golds he achieved are all fruits of his labor.
"Disiplina and hardwork po. Apil na didto ang sayo matulog, no internet, proper diet and regular training na upat ka oras matag adlaw (Discipline and hardwork, sleeping early, eating properly, no internet and regular training of four hours a day)," he said.
In past National Prisaa, Pajarito settled with a silver and bronze.
His scholarship with UM motivated him to excel. The Social Work student hails from the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos).
"If dili ko mulangoy, dili man ko maka skwela. Inspiration pud nako si God, family, friends teammates ug coaches nako (If I don't swim, I can't go to school. God is my inspiration as well as my family, friends and coaches)," he said.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 05, 2017.
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