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44 swimmers vie in Asian Age Group tilt

MADDIE MEYER/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE CHLOE Isleta banners a 44-man national team in the Asian Age Group Aquatics Championships.

The Philippine Aquatics Inc. formally released the names of 44 young swimmers — 22 boys and 22 girls — who qualified in the national team that will compete in the 11th Asian Age Group Aquatics Championships from 26 February to 9 March at the New Clark Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac.

In an official memorandum dated 19 December signed by PSI secretary general Eric Buhain, 44 swimmers cut FINA qualifying points during the national tryouts held last October at the Teofilo Yldefonso swimming pool in Manila.

Around 2,000 young swimmers from 45 countries across Asia are expected to participate in the tournament originally scheduled in December this year. Each participating country can only field a maximum of 44 swimmers.

“In addition, in line with our formal request to the World Aquatics for the recognition of this championship as an official qualifying competition for the 2024 Paris Olympics, we anticipate a fierce and spirited competition among the 45 participating countries of Asia Aquatics,” added Buhain, a two-time Olympian and Philippine Sports Hall of Fame awardee.

The women’s 18-over squad is made up of World Championships veteran and Southeast Asian Games medalists Chloe Isleta of One Ilocos Sur and Xiandi Chua of TopSwim Club, who are both qualified to see action in the 200m individual medley and 50m freestyle after garnering 762 and 749 points, respectively.

Joining them are Thanya dela Cruz of Ayala Harpoons, Erin Castrillo of Rising Atlantis, Alyssa Ng of Waver Runners and 2023 Philippine National Games star Quendy Fernandez of Palawan Swim Club.

Meanwhile, the men’s 18-above squad is composed of Joshua Gabriel Ang of Golden Sea Eagles, Jemmuel Booh De Leon of Aklan Swimming Club, Raymund Vera Paloma of Nautilus, Rian Marco Tirol and brothers Miguel and Rafael Barreto of Ayala Harpoons.

Qualified for the Boys 15-17 class are Albert Jose Amaro of San Beda, Evo Nicolai Enot of Ayala Harpoons, Peter Cyrus Dean of Killerwhale Elite, Paulo Miguel Labanon of Rasa Wavemaker, Aaron Gordoncillo of NOBD Swimmers, Zayden Ramos of Behrouz Elite, Huge Antonio Parto of Behrouz Elite, and Jaime Uandorr Maniago of Waverunners.

World Junior Championships campaigner Heather White and Jasmine Mojdeh, teammates from Behrouz Elite, lead the Girls 15-17 group. They will compete in the 50m free and 200m butterfly, respectively.

Also making the squad are Qatar-based Arabella Taguinota, Trixie Ortiguerra of Tarlac Mako Shark, Cyd Delos Santos of Marikina Poseidon, Patricia Mae Cantor of Ilustre East Aquatics, FJ Catherine Cruz of Mabalacat City Race, and Kacie Gabrielle Tionko of Salabides Swim Sting.


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