Monday, May 02, 2011

Open-water swim winners may get PHL slots for SEA Games

Open-water swim winners may get PHL slots for SEA Games
By Caecent No-ot Magsumbol
The Freeman
May 02, 2011

CEBU, Philippines - There's something else to look forward to for the top performers of the competitive side of the 4th Olango Challenge Open-Water Swimming Competition last Saturday in Tambuli Beach Club - a possible slot in the Philippine team for the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia late this year.

The results will be evaluated by the database of the country’s governing body in swimming, the Philippine Aquatic Sports Association, according to PASA president Mark Joseph.

Another thing to consider for the athletes' inclusion to the national training pool for SEAG is their willingness to train under PASA’s center for excellence.

“Training at our center for excellence may mean taking a one semester leave of absence before the SEA Games,” Joseph said.

Since it's the first time that marathon swimming will be included in the SEA Games, PASA will have to determine the abilities of the athletes and meet the basic requirements like commitment to training, availability of government funds and look at the competitiveness of the local athletes’ times in the actual race against the top contenders from other countries.

With that, results of the evaluation will be made available in two to four weeks' time.

The fourth edition of the country’s premiere open-water swimming competition saw Loren Dale Echavez dominating the women’s 6K category and Noel Cañeda of the Cebu Blue Marlins in the men’s side.

Echavez clocked in one hour, 23 minutes and 87 seconds followed by Paula Abigail Vega.

Cañeda finished the race in 1:20.36 followed by Michael David Vega in 1:32.26 and Chandell Canizares in 1:32.32.

In the women's 2K division, CBM bets scored a clean sweep with Cañeda’s sister Trina on top in 31:36.02 followed by Joyce Huguete (32:11) and Romylin Niña Ignacio (32:34.17).

Although not young anymore, former PHL team member Loi Rafols, who represented the Polo Duck Pirate, showed he still has the skills as he topped the men's 2K with the time of 27:57.87. Former top junior swimmer Rey Suerte placed second, while another CBM mainstay Joshua Rosada came in third.