MANILA — Nicola Queen Diamante emerged as the most bemedalled swimmer with a near-perfect campaign at the close Sunday of the Congress of Philippine Aquatics, Inc. (COPA)’s 1st Novice Swim Championship at the Teofilo Ildefonso swimming pool inside the historic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) here.
Diamante, a member of the RSS Dolphins Swim Team, almost executed a sweep as she shone brightest in her class (11-year-old), winning the girls’ class A 25-meter freestyle with a time of 14.30 seconds, butterfly (14.80), backstroke (16.30), breaststroke (21.40), 50-meter freestyle (30.40), and 100-m Individual medley (1:29.40).
Diamante missed completing a sweep in this grassroots development program of the Congress of Philippine Aquatics, Inc. (COPA) headed by Batangas 1st District Congressman Eric Buhain and supported by Speedo, as she fell short in the duel against Alex Pasia of Sharknado Swimming Team in the 100-m freestyle (45.80) as she only registered with a time of 1:09.10.
Last month during the COPA’s Reunion swimfest, Diamante was also adjudged the most prolific swimmer with a four-gold medal haul in Class A 100-m butterfly (1:21.30); 100-m backstroke (1:24.70); 100-m freestyle (1:11.00) and the 200-m back (3:04.90).
“Masayang masaya po ako at nagpapasalamat sa COPA dahil tuloy-tuloy ang tournament nila sa mga kabataang tulad ko. Mas gagalingan ko pa po sa susunod. Medyo maginaw na kanina kaya hindi ko na masyadong nakahirit,” said Diamante, referring to gutsy wind and falling rain as Manila felt the effect of typhoon ‘Karding.
The weather bureau declared signal No.3 in Manila late in the afternoon but the organizers are lucky to finish the event after the lunch break.
“Inagad nga namin after we receive the info about the signal warning. Pasalamat naman kami at natapos ng maaga at napauwi natin ang lahat bago pa bumuhos ang ulan. Hindi na kami nag-awarding, abot na lang yung mga medals,” said technical director head Richard Luna.
COPA Board member Chito Rivera said he expected huge participation from public school students as the organization announced a plan to double the number of participants in the next tournament — the Reunion 3rd leg swim challenge on Oktubre 22-23. Also lined up is the Sprint meet with the introduction of SKINS Swim event (Nov. 12-13); and Short Course Yuletide Swimming Championship (Dec. 10-11).
“Masayang –masaya yung mga estudyante natin mula sa public school. Yung isa ngang coach, pasalamat ng todo dahil ngayon lang daw sila nakalaro bukod sa mga division meet ng Deped para sa Palarong Pambasa. Sabi ko, sagot ng COPA ang participation fee ninyo kaya wag na kayong mag-alala, basta may event ang COPA kasali kayo,” said Rivera, also the head coach of the Jose Rizal University varsity squad.
Other winners were Chloe Phoemela Constantino in the 14-yrs 25-m freestyle (class C, 15.70), Alexandra Pascua (class N, 18.10), 15-over 25m freestyle, Mary Christine Llorente (class A, 13.95); Katreena Via Duque (class C, 14.50); Faith Real (class N, 17.20); 8-yrs 50-m free. Isabelle Ramirez (class A, 44.90); Eunice Jacinto (class N, 55.60); 9-yrs 50-m free, Alandria Delantar (class A, 36.20); Alexandra Cai (class C, 47.40); Rafaella Decano at Shane Salvador (class N, 49.50); 10-yrs 50-m free, Allianah Soriano (class A, 35.80), Ianne Zafra (class C, 45.50); Kate Lopez (class N. 48.70); 11-yrs 50-m free, Alex Pacia (class C, 42.30); Simone Llanto (class N, 45.05).