PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The Philippines surpassed its previous feat in the 43rd Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championships on Sunday by hauling eight gold medals at the Morodok Techo National Sports Complex here.
Desirae Mangaoang spearheaded the Nationals by capturing the girls 16-18 200-meter breaststroke gold in 2 minutes and 34.38sec before teaming up with Mishka Sy, Samantha Baños and Jeremiah Tandingan in ruling the girls 18-under 4x100m medley relay in 4:19.25 on last day of the three-day event.
It was the first time in tournament history that the country won in a relay event.
Mangaoang ended her campaign with three golds and one silver to become the most bemedalled athlete in the PH team.
Jerard Jacinto also collected his second gold with a 26.40-second performance at the boys 16-18 50-meter backstroke, edging Thai rivals Pronsiriporn Narang (27.37sec) and Obcheoy Preediyathon (27.38sec).
“It’s kinda mixed emotions for me because I was aiming for my personal best, but I’m still very grateful for this opportunity,” said the 18-year-old Jacinto, who studies in De La Salle Zobel.
Apart from the eight golds, the Nationals also pocketed 13 silver and nine bronze medals, eclipsing last year’s haul of four golds, 10 silvers and 16 bronzes at the Trace Aquatics Center in Los Baños, Laguna.
Highlighting their campaign were three new national junior records courtesy of Ivo Enot, Liaa Amoguis and Jeremiah Tandingan.
It was the country’s best finish since reaping 13 golds in 2010 in a team composed Jessie Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi.
Collecting silver medals for the PH team on the final day were Ivo Enot in the boys 13-under 50m back (29.86sec) and Liaa Amoguis in the girls 13-under 200m butterfly (2:29.81), while claiming bronzes were Tandingan in the girls 14-15 100m freestyle (58.90sec) and Samantha Baños in the girls 14-15 200m butterfly (2:20.15).
Tandingan also highlighted her bronze-medal feat by resetting her own national girls 14-15 junior record of 59.05sec made at the Santa Clara International Meet in the United States last month.
Vietnam dominated the tournament with a 43-gold, 41-silver, 25-bronze medal harvest, followed by Thailand with 28 golds, 18 silvers and 30 bronzes.
Singapore finished third overall with 11-16-16 (gold-silver-bronze), then Indonesia with 10-3-7.
The PH team came in fifth, followed by Malaysia with 7-13-17.
Other nations which participated but didn’t win medals were Brunei, Laos, Myanmar and host Cambodia.