BRINGING home two bronze medals for the Philippines from the just-concluded 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games wakeboarding competition in Singapore, Davao City's Maiquel Jawn "Mikee" Teh Selga hopes for more exposures in international competitions.
The 15-year-old Selga, a Grade 9 student of Stella Maris Academy of Davao, bared this during Thursday's edition of the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum at The Annex event center of SM City Davao, although she admitted that the national team only trains at Taal Lake.
As Selga is based in Davao City, she and father Michael Anthony are looking for a training venue in Davao Region, so she can train in boat wakeboarding further. Selga's father said a wake boat costs P4 million and his daughter's sponsor Stoked Inc. provides one for training of the national riders at Taal Lake.
"I only trained in boat-pulled wakeboard for six days before the SEA Games. In competitions like the SEA Games or in the Olympics, it has always been boat-pulled. But we do not have any good quality speed boats here in the Philippines while they have good speed boats there in Singapore. My rivals were all seasoned wake boat riders while I competed in it for the first time," Selga said.
The cable wakeboard at Deca Wakeboard Park Davao at Deca Homes Resort Residences (DHRR) in Barangay Tacunan in Tugbok District, where Selga learned the ropes of the sport, runs at a speed 20 kilometers per hour (kph) while the boat-pulled wakeboard event in the SEA Games ran at 36 knots, estimated at 64.8 kph. Thus, she needed to train more with wake boat to boost her chances in future competitions.
Selga's dad said he heard of a resort in Mati City that may buy a wake boat so that is where they plan to bring Mikee for training.
Despite the speed difference, Mikee said she underwent cross-fit trainings to improve the endurance of her arms so she could hold on to a much stronger pull from the speed boat.
But Selga admitted that she has to develop more tricks and she needs to be more consistent in competitions especially that she was matched against seasoned wake boat riders in the biennial Games. (With Ruji Peter S. Abat)