NEW CLARK CITY -- The Filipino swimmers opened their gold medal bid in swimming as they flexed muscles early in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games after all 11 tankers qualifed for the final round in different events here on Wednesday.
The Philippines is hoping to win its first SEA Games gold medal in swimming after 10 years after Miguel Molina won back in 2009 in Laos.
Leading the way for the Philippines was Remedy Alexis Rule who topped the women's 200-meter butterfly, clocking in 2:11.91 in the preliminaries. Another Filipina Rosalee Santa Ana managed to book the last seat in the event as she placed 8th of the 9 competitors (2:19.65).
Rule returned to the pool several minutes after for the 100-meter freestyle where she ranked second (56.19) behind Singaporean Ting Wen Quah. Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi is also moving to the finals of freestyle (56.39).
Jonathan Sebastian Cook and James Deiparine, on the other hand, will advance to the finals as the top two swimmers in the men's 100-meter breaststroke. Cook led two heats after a 1:02.29 time while Deiparine placed second with 1:02.70.
The Philippines duplicated the same feat in the men's 100-meter backstroke after impressive swims of Jaden Christian Olson and Jerard Jacinto who timed at 56.86 and 56.87, respectively.
Palarong Pambansa standout Xiandi Chua was a force to reckon with in the women's 200-meter individual medley as she registered 2:19.61 during the heats. Ranking behind her was fellow Pinay swimmer Chloe Kennedy Anne Isleta, who finished the prelims with 2:21.64.
Meanwhile, another Olympian Jessie King Lacuna will have the chance to win another SEA Games medal after qualifying in the men's 400-meter freestyle (4:01.31) along with Miguel Barreto who had 4:04.53 in the clock.
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