Young yet competitive

NOT EMPTY. Davao City tankers-bannered Mindanao-Philippines swimming team head coach Haroon Cali, among the guests during the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum on Thursday, November 8, at The Annex of SM City Davao, assures that they will not come home empty-handed from the 10th BIMPNT-Eaga Friendship Games set in Brunei Darrusalam next month. (Marianne Saberon-Abalayan)

DAVAO City's 20-member swimming team that will represent Mindanao-Philippines to the 10th BIMPNT-Eaga Friendship Games set in Brunei Darrusalam next month are mostly young but competitive.

Holiday Gym Swimming Club coach Haroon Cali, who will mentor the city's tankers, said he used to also compete in the biennial meet but it would be his first time to coach a city team in the BIMPNT-Eaga Games designed for 21-under athletes.

"Mga elementary and High School students mostly ang mga swimmers. Pero may chances naman na mag-medal kasi kung basehan ang mga time nila, okay man, may laban din," Cali told members of the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) during their weekly forum at The Annex of SM City Davao.

He said that it would be unlikely for the swimming team to return home empty-handed. "Dili man pud siguro ta ma-zero sa gold (I don't think we would be zero in gold)," he said, adding that the swimmers were selected based on their impressive performances in national and international competitions like the Palarong Pambansa, National Prisaa Games, Batang Pinoy and Scuaa Meet, among others.

Ten male and 10 female tankers will comprise the swimming contingent.

HGSC's Ivo Nikolai Enot, Matthieu Tao, Philip Sahagun, Erika Suelan, Rissa Sahagun and sisters Lora Micah Amoguis and Liaa Margarette Amoguis will be joined by Coastland Davao City Swim Team's Fritz Jun Rodriguez, Jake Elson Rodriguez and Alyssa Raut; Ateneo Blue Knights Swim Team's Joshua Raphael del Rio, Alissa Lazarraga, Joanna Gonzales and Maiki Gonzaga; Edward Alfaro of Jerry Aquatics; Kierl Suazo and Juan Antonio Mendoza of Barracudas Swim Team and Rasa's Palarong Pambansa record holder Julianna Rodriguez and Eirron Seth Vibar. Janika Beciera is also part of the team.

Cali, however, said that due to the lack of an Olympic-sized swimming pool in Davao City, most of the swimmers usually train at the Davao del Norte Sports Tourism Complex in Tagum City.

He also said, "After the Grand Prix Mindanao leg last weekend, the swimmers had a cool down for a few days. We will resume training and will train six times a week in preparation for the BIMPNT-Eaga Games."

Athletics, sepak takraw, wushu, taekwondo and karate are also featured in the Games that will be participated in by Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Northern Territory, Australia.


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