Ariana Drake makes SEA Games debut, as lone Filipina diver in Vietnam


Posted at May 08 2022 02:57 AM

A woman rides bicycle  EPA-EFE
A woman rides bicycle past a banner advertising the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, April 25, 2022. Luong Thai Linh, EPA-EFE

Filipino-American Ariana Drake takes the plunge on Sunday at the start of the diving events of aquatics in the Hanoi 31st Southeast Asian Games at My Dinh Aquatics Center in Vietnam.

According to Philippine Swimming Inc. president Lailani Velasco, Los Angeles-based Drake, 17, will be competing in the women’s 1-meter springboard starting at 9 a.m. Her other event is in two days in the 3-meter springboard.

“Ariana Drake is a young, up-and-coming diver. It’s her first SEA Games and we hope she can adjust seamlessly. Of course, our goal is to land on the podium, but we also want to manage our expectations. It’s hard to win a medal with only one diver. Too bad we don’t have divers for synchro events,” Velasco said.

“The same is true with our swimming team. We have a good mix of veterans and first timers who we hope will figure in the mix for podium finishes," she added.

The swimming team lost one gold potential after Luke Gebbie failed a virus test.

Over at the 20,000 seating-capacity Viet Tri Stadium in Phu Tho, the men’s football squad shoots for back-to-back wins when it faces defending champion Vietnam on Sunday at 8 p.m.

The Azkals under-23 team routed Timor Leste, 4-0, on Friday for a rousing start in the campaign supported by the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission.

The kickboxing team, meanwhkle, will open its quest in Bac Ninh province.