CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Young McTracy Alindogan, son of a former swimmer and a veteran triathlete, provided the sparkle as the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) closed out its campaign with 18 gold medals in the 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala at the University of Western Cape (UWC) Aquatics Center.
Alindogan, the 2013 Swimmer of the Year, swept all his remaining four events – 200m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 50m backstroke and 100m breaststroke – in the boys’ 13 years on the final day of the competition to become the most decorated swimmer in the tournament.
He won a total of eight golds and two silvers. The 13-year-old Angeles University Foundation Grade 7 student earlier ruled the 50m butterfly, 200m backstroke, 400m individual medley and 50m freestyle, and placed second in the 100m backstroke and 50m breaststroke.
The last gold medal was delivered by University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 76 Most Valuable Player Denjylie Cordero of University of the Philippines after topping the girls’ 17-over 100m breaststroke.
Cordero has four golds including her 50m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley titles on top of one silver (400m individual medley) and one bronze (200m freestyle).
“It’s the fighting spirit, hard core determination and strength of the heart. Lack of government funding is never a setback for our young swimmers with right motivation, attitude and fighting spirit,” said former Sen. Nikki Coseteng, Diliman Preparatory School president and Philippine delegation head.
Overall, the Philippines also collected 11 silvers and six bronzes in the tournament participated by more than 400 swimmers from 31 teams in the region.
“Everybody was just surprised as to how fast our young Filipino swimmers are. It was really a strong finish for us here having the final count of 35 medals. I am satisfied and I’m so proud of our swimmers. These are the future of Philippine swimming,” PSL president Susan Papa said.
Diliman Preparatory School’s (DPS) Portia Kate Doragos had four golds (girls’ 13 years 1,500m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 200m breaststroke and 100m breaststroke), four silvers (200m individual medley, 400m IM, 50m breaststroke and 100m butterfly) and two bronzes (200m freestyle and 50m freestyle).
Another DPS talent, John Carlo Doragos, contributed one gold (boys’ 15 years 400m freestyle) two silvers (800m freestyle and 1,500m freestyle) and one bronze (400m individual medley) along with Kyla Soguilon of Aklan, who chipped in one gold (girls’ 10-under 100m freestyle) and two silvers (200m individual medley and 50m freestyle).
Emanuel Joshua Lorbes of Montessori de Manila (boys’ 16 years 50m butterfly) and Jifrey Azor of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges (boys’ 17-over 50m backstroke) bagged one bronze each .
Seven-year-old Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh, the youngest swimmer in the tournament, was adjudged as the “Darling of the Crowd”.
The team is supported by Diliman Preparatory School headed by former Sen. Coseteng, Unlitravel Online, Qatar Airways and Aqua Sphere.
The PSL is the national sports association for swimming of the Federation of School Sports Associations of the Philippines and the longest running swimming grassroots program in the country.