MANILA — National junior division record holder Jamesray Ajido and swimming protegee Trixie Ortiguera swept all nine events in their respective age divisions to be adjudged as the Most Outstanding Swimmers in the Luzon leg of the 2022 FINIS Long Course Swimming Championships over the weekend at the Olympic-sized New Clark Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac.
Ajido, the country’s top bet in the country’s participation in the SEA Age Group Championship on December 17-19 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, did it in style by lording it over in the boys’ 13-14 class 50m butterfly (26.52), 100-m fly (58.13), 50-m backstroke (29.20) and 100m-back (1:03.48) in record-breaking fashion.
The 13-year-old newest FINIS Brand Ambassador broke his own national junior record in 50-m fly (26.95), 100-m Fly (58.82), 50m back (29.60), and a new record in the 100-m back (1:03.28).
“Every tournament po yung focus ko maimproved ko yung personal best at record ko. Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga tumutulong sa akin, sa aking parents na lagging nakasubaybay sa aking training. Sa Kuala Lumpur pilitin kong mas makakuha ng mababang time,” said Ajido, the pride of Golden Zoomers Swim Club.
FINIS Philippines Managing Director Vince Garcia said Ajido’s triumph is the result of discipline, time management, and patience in training.
“We expect him to become the country’s future in swimming. Noong kinuha namin siyang brand ambassador nakita na naming kung gaano kaseryoso ang bata sa training and to excel sa sports na talagang mahal na mahal niya. Kami sa FINIS ay tutulong 100 percent sa kanyang hangaring maging Olympian,” said Garcia.
Ajido continued his dominance in winning five more gold medals, particularly the 50m breaststroke (33.62), 100m Freestyle (57.82), 50m free (26.23), 200m Individual Medley (2:17.81), 100m breaststroke (1:13.22).
On the other hand, the 15-year-old Ortiguera, the pride of Tarlac Aquatics Swim Club, emerged champion in the Girls 15-16 class 100m Freestyle (1:02.71), 100m Back (1:10.36), 50m Free (28.74), 50m breast (39.75), 50m fly (30.71), 200m Individual Medley (2:39.71), 100m fly (1:12.54), 50m back (31.97), 100m breast (1:29.48).
Ajido’s teammates in Golden Zoomers and fellow FINIS Ambassadors National mainstay Kyla Soguilon and Marcus DeKam also shone collecting multiple medals to claim the MOS award in their respective age group class.
The pride of Malay, Aklan, the 18-yrs-old Soguilon grabbed the gold in the Girls 17-18 100m Back (1:12.37), 50m fly (31.40), 50m free (29.18), 200m IM (2:44.01), 100m fly (1:12.18), 50m breast (37.58), and 100m free (1:04.58). She finished second to Jan Sarmiento of Joey Andaya Swim Team (32.86) with a timed of 33.31 and claimed the bronze in the 100m breast (1:28.52).
The 17-yrs old DeKam, a product of Swim League Philippines (SLP), dominated the Boys 17-18 50m fly (26.23), 200m IM (2:15.47), 50m back (28.48), ND 50m free (24.75),
In the 19-over class, Jarrett Dean Henthorne become the first special child to win a medal in a FINIS-organized event as the 19-yrs old who has Moderate Autism with Severe mental/intellectual Disability won four silver medals in the 200m IM (4:52.98), 100m fly (1:16.43), 50m back (36.01), 100m breast (1:30.15), 50m free (28.88), 50m fly (30.97), 100m back (1:22.61), 50m breast (39.02).
Garcia said all top swimmers in the Luzon leg are qualified for the National Finals on Dec. 17-18 also in Clark. They swim off with the best from the Visayas and Mindanao leg of the series. (ai/mtvn)