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Swimmer excited for KL stint

By: Jerome Lagunzad

Fast-rising local tanker Nicole Meah Pamintuan is having sleepless nights and that is easy to understand why.

One of the youngest among the current national team swimmers, Pamintuan, 17, is set to fulfill her childhood dream as she gets a much-awaited debut in the 29th Southeast Asian Games set from August 19 to 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A three-time Most Outstanding Athlete in the Palarong Pambansa, the De La Salle-Zobel star will get a better idea of her true potential and she couldn’t wait any longer to find it out.

“Sobrang excited na po talaga ako,” she said in a phone interview yesterday. “Bata pa lang po ako, ito na po ang goal ko – makarating sa SEA Games. Kahit nga po hindi ako makapunta ng Olympics, kahit dito sa SEA Games lang, okay na po ako du’n.

“Sa totoo lang po, hindi ako makapaniwala na next week, aalis na po ako to compete in SEA Games. Double effort na rin po ako sa training ko kasi ibang level na po ang SEA Games. First time ko rin po (sasali) kaya kailangan ko po talaga na pagbutihan.”

And she has no other choice but to do so since Pamintuan will try to help the national swimming team avert a gold medal shutout for the second straight edition of the biennial meet after the Philippines could only come up with a pair of silver and 11 bronze medals in the 2015 Singapore Games.

Pamintuan will have four chances to do so as she’s set to see action in the 50m backstroke competitions, 200m individual medley, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x200m free relay at the National Aquatic Centre located inside the sprawling Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

While she has less to worry about regarding her regular training supervised by national team coaches Bong Ilustre and Gary Domingo, Pamintuan admitted she will be forced to miss the final examinations of their academic term next week and will have to settle with a make-up test once she returns back to the country late this month.

But that won’t be enough to keep Pamintuan out of focus.