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71 Pinoys vie in SEA age group swimfest

by Kristel Satumbaga

Seventy-one junior tankers are out to better the Philippine team’s previous finish when they see action in the 43rd Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championships beginning today at the Morodok Techo National Sports Complex in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The swimmers, who were selected based from their qualifying times, left Manila on Tuesday as they brace for tough competition against swimmers from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Timor-Leste and host Cambodia.

Last year, the PH team collected four gold, 10 silver and 16 bronze medals when the country hosted at the Trace Aquatic Center in Los Baños, Laguna.

“Baby steps… Our goal is to make it to fourth (place), hopefully third,” said Philippine Swimming Inc. President Lani Velasco.

Among those selected to compete in the three-day competition are 2019 Palarong Pambansa record-breakers Miguel Barreto, Xiandi Chua, Samantha Coronel, Rian Marco Tirol, Hannah Sanchez, Franchesca Nicole Sarmiento, and Trixie Ortiguerra, to name a few.

Barreto, 15, was also the most bemedalled athlete in the said Palaro edition held in Davao City last year after sweeping all his seven events in the secondary boys while Chua shattered five new records.