MANILA, Philippines—The national team tries to end a 10-year gold drought when the swimming competitions of the 30th Southeast Asian Games begin at New Clark City Aquatic Center in Capas town, Tarlac on Wednesday.
The last time Filipino swimmers won in the SEA Games was in 2009 when Miguel Molina won a pair of titles in the men’s 200 and 400-meter individual medley while Daniel Coakley and Ryan Arabejo had one each in the men’s 50 freestyle and men’s 1,500 freestyle, respectively.
Seven gold medals will be at stake in Day 1 of action at NCC, with US-raised Filipinos James Deiparine and Remedy Rule among the favorites in their respective events. Heats begin at 9 a.m. with the finals set to start at 6 p.m.
Rule gets first crack as she competes in the women’s 200-meter butterfly heats at 9:35 a.m. while Deiparine takes to the pool at 10:10 a.m. in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke heats.
A University of Texas varsity mainstay, Rule holds the Philippine record in the 200 butterfly (2:11.38) set in July at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. That is faster than the gold-medal time of 2:12.03 set by Singapore’s Quah Jing Wen in the 2017 Malaysia Games.
Deiparine, who bagged two silvers in Kuala Lumpur two years ago, also holds the national mark in the breaststroke (1:02.00), slightly off the winning time of 1:01.76 booked by Indonesia’s Nathaniel Gagagarin two years ago.
The former California Polytechnic University swimming ace lost by a touch to the Nathaniel in his SEA Games debut, settling for silver in 1:02.76.
Rule will also see action in the women’s 100 freestyle, joining two-time Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi in the heats at 10:20 a.m.
Olympic veteran Jessie Khing Lacuna and US-trained Miguel Barreto open the local bid in the men’s 400 freestyle at 9 a.m. Barreto will also compete in the men’s 1,500 freestyle.
Others seeing action for the Philippines are Jonathan Cook (men’s 100 breaststroke); Jerard Jacinto and Jaden Olson (men’s 100 backstroke); Jean Pierre Khouzam, Barreto, Lacuna, Maurice Sacho Illustre (men’s 4 x 200 relay); Rosalee Santa Ana (women’s 200 fly) and Chloe Isleta and Xiandi Chua (women’s 200 individual medley).
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