MANILA – Swimming prodigy Pia Severina Magat made an impressive showing at the recent Asian Open Schools Invitational Aquatics Championships held March 3-5 in Bangkok, Thailand by winning seven gold medals in the girls’ 7 years old and under category.
The five-year-old athlete from St. Joseph’s School of Novaliches, Quezon City received the Most Outstanding Swimmer (MOS) trophy for her victories in the 50m freestyle (59.56 seconds), 50m backstroke (57.91), 50m butterfly (1:19.34), 50m breaststroke (1:29.45), 100m freestyle (2:12.45), 100m backstroke (2:09.12), and 100m breaststroke (3:15.23) events.
She beat Maitreyi Yenneti of India (silver) and Shami Sharma of Maldives (bronze) in all seven events.
“The future looks bright for Pia. She is a Jasmine Mojdeh in the making,” said Swim League Philippines (SLP) president Fred Galang Ancheta in an interview on Friday.
Galang was referring to Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh of Behrouz Elite Swimming Team (BEST), who reached the semifinals of the 100m butterfly event at the 8th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Peru last year.
Sharing the limelight with Magat was Galvin Cayanan, who earned the MOS title in the boys’ 7 years old and under category for bagging three gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
Kyla Louise Bulaga was the best performer in the girls’ 12- and 13-years old category following her triumph in the 200m and 400m Individual Medley, and freestyle events.
She also got three silver medals (200m butterfly, 200m breaststroke and 4x50m medley relay), and three bronze medals (50m and 100m butterfly, and 4x100m freestyle relay).
Ryiah Zach Belen copped two gold medals (50m and 100m backstroke), one silver medal (200m backstroke) and one bronze medal (100m freestyle); Gerice Oyaman had one silver medal (4x50m medley relay) and two bronze medals (50m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle relay); Ryzie Danielle Belen won one silver medal (4x50m medley relay) and two bronze medals (400m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle relay); and Paul Vincent Ocampo got two bronze medals (4x50m medley relay and 4x100m freestyle relay).
The other Filipino medalists were Riannah Coleman (1 gold, 2 silvers, 5 bronzes), Fritz Gabriele Espero (1 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronzes), Samantha Gabuni (1 gold, 2 bronzes), Sara Santiago (2 bronzes), Angel Magdalene Gabuni (2 bronzes), Gerald Cayanan (1 bronze), and Dwayne Angelo Gabuni (1 bronze).
The Philippines finished third among 57 teams from 14 countries in the three-day competition participated by 989 swimmers.
Ancheta, Philbert Papa and Rolando Sarmiento Dela Cruz served as team managers of the national contingent which included coaches Dax Timbol Halili, Joel Cabrera, Alfritzh Carlo Espero, Alfred Galano, Joy Galano, Isagani Corpuz, Bryan Estipona, Elaine Babiera and Rossbenor Antay.
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region leg of the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) Swim Series featuring Class A, B, C and D categories is slated on Sunday (March 11) at the Muntinlupa Aquatic Center. The Visayas leg is scheduled from March 18-19 in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
The series kicked off with the Mindanao leg in Digos City, Davao del Sur (January 14-15) followed by the Luzon leg in New Clark City, Pampanga (February 11-12). (PNA)