NEW CLARK CITY—The drought is over for the Philippines in Southeast Asian Games swimming.
James Deiparine ruled the men's 100-meter breaststroke at the Aquatics Center here in Capas town, Tarlac, to capture country's first gold medal in the pool since 2009.
Deiparine clocked 1 minute and 1.46 seconds to erase the 10-year SEA Games record set by Vietnam's Nguyen Huu Viet (1:01.60).
"I really wanted to get the gold after 2 silvers in the last SEA Games. This was the ultimate goal and doing it at home, here in the Philippines," Deiparine said. "I'm just trying to give my best for the Philippines and just to bring home the gold."
He ranked second in the preliminaries in the morning after registering 1:02.70.
Thanh Bao Pham (1:01.92) of Vietnam settled for silver while Chien Yin Lionel Khoo of Singapore took the bronze.
In women's 200 butterfly, Remedy Rule lost by two-hundredths of a second to Jing Wen Quah of Singapore to claim silver.
"I saw she's a little bit ahead. I just gave it my all in the last 50 meters. That's all I can do. Jing was a great racer," Rule said.
Quah clocked 2:10.97 to get the gold by a whisker. The two swimmers both eclipsed the old SEA Games record set in 2015.
"It feels great," Rule said. "The Philippines is giving me so much when I represent them. I met amazing people and I'm glad I gave back by winning silver."
Two-time Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi capped the Day 1 campaign of the Philippines with a bronze in the women's 100 freestyle (55.76) behind the new record holder Ting Wen Quah (54.74) and Cherlyn Yeoh (55.55) of Singapore.
"I was really surprised kasi 'yung competition is sobrang tough. I was really nervous, because this is my favorite event. I was shocked because I got a best time and got third place," Alkhaldi said.
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