CEBU swimmers may have taken advantage of swimming in their own pool as they dominated most of the events of the Osky Mabilog Memorial Cup and National Youth Team Selection Trials swimming meet, which wraps up today at the Cebu City Sports Center aquatic center, but the chances of having a Cebuano in the national training pool remains unsure.
The tournament serves as one of two qualifying events for the RP junior team, which is set to take part in two international events this year.
“Hopefully, we will have Cebuanos in the national junior team. As of now, we can pinpoint two players, who did well, but we cannot say because there are many strong swimmers in Manila as well,” said organizer Rolando Alvarez.
From the top swimmers in the Cebu qualifying, the times will be compared with those from Manila and the best swimmers will be chosen to make up the national team that will take part in the Southeast Asian Age Group swimming championship in Manila and the 16th Asian Games in China. The list of swimmers making the RP team will be known 15 days after the trial
Meanwhile, yesterday, the CBM swimmers reaped 17 gold medals, led by Noel Caneda and Aimee Sanchez, who reaped three gold medals each. Cañeda won the 200-meter freestyle, the 100m backstroke and the 50m butterfly.
Sanchez won the 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 50m butterfly. Both competed in the 18-Under division.
Paula Abigail Vega, another prospect for the national team, won two gold medals along with Lyh Ann Navarro and Renan Tapang. Vega, competing in the 15-17 age division, won in the 200m freestyle and 100m breaststroke.
Tapang, who competed in the 7-8 division, topped the 50m butterfly and 100m breasstroke events. Navarro won the 100m 100m breaststroke and 50m butterfly of the 9-10 age group.
CBM’s top player, Anthony Linn Navarro of Cebu Eastern College had a silent day winning just one gold medal in the individual events, topping the 200m backstroke.
Alvarez said they are not expecting Navarro to get into the national team this year. “Our target is for him to get into the team next year. He is still young and he is competing against players who are a lot older. But we don’t know yet. Maybe he can pull a surprise on the last day,” said Alvarez.
The other Cebuanos fishing gold medals in their respective age groups were Paolo Zosa (50m butterfly), Beth MAe Arellano (50m butterfly), Rhys Tapang (100m breastroke), Danielle Mae Ballesteros (100m breastroke) and Michael Kong (50m butterfly).