A six-man Philippine swimming team, led by two-time Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi, left on Thursday, July 20, for the 17th World Aquatics Championships in Fukouka, Japan.
Apart from the 30-year-old US-educated Alkhaldi, other members of the team are Southeast Asian Games record-holder Xiandi Chua, Thanya Dela Cruz, Jerard Jacinto, and US-based Jarod Hatch.
The event is slated on July 23-30.
Olympian Ryan Arabejo is the coach of the PH team that was sent by World Aquatic-backed Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI) headed by its president Miko Vargas and secretary-general Batangas Rep. Eric Buhain.
“The presence of the world’s top swimmers makes this tournament more challenging for our athletes who will try to improve their personal best times, and sharpen their skills,” said Buhain.
The Filipinos qualified to the annual event based on their FINA points collated in all WA-sanctioned events they participated in.
Alkhaldi will see action in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly where she holds person al best times of 25.50 and 1:00.45.
The 21-year-old Chua competes in the 400m individual medley and 200m backstroke.
The Ateneo student won the 200m back gold medal in the Cambodia Games after clocking 2:13.20 that shattered the SEA Games record of 2:13.64 set by Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Anh Vien.
Dela Cruz, on the other hand, will see action in the 50m and 100m breast, while the 23-year of Hatch will be trying to improve his SEAG bronze medal in 50m butterfly (23.89) and 100m fly (52.91) as well as fellow SEAG bronze winner Jacinto in the 50m backstroke (25.56) and 100m back (55.99).