Chloe Isleta rules 200m backstroke, wins 1st gold for PH swimming team

Published May 16, 2022, 8:51 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Isleta ends PH’s 29-year gold medal drought in women’s division

Chloe Isleta won the first gold medal for the national swimming team after ruling the 200-meter backstroke event in the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the My Dinh Water Sports Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam Monday night, May 16.

Gold medalist Chloe Isleta, who ruled the 200m backstroke, shakes hands with Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino (POC-PSC Media Bureau)

Isleta finished by a hairline and clocked 2:18.6 to cruise past Nurul Fajar Fitriyati of Indonesia and Mia Millar of Thailand and end the country’s 29-year gold medal drought at least in women’s play.

Isleta’s win marks the first gold medal in 29 years for the Filipina swimmers since Akiko Thomson-Guevara both conquered the 100m and 200m backstroke events in the 1993 edition in Singapore.

Fitriyati timed 2:19.79 while Millar registered 2:19.9 for the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Isleta also improved two podiums up since settling for bronze in the 2019 SEA Games held here in the Philippines.

She also held off Fitriyati for yet another first runner-up finish sans the participation of Vietnamese Olympian Nguyen Thi Anh Vien, who was the SEAG queen of 200m and 400m freestyle; 100m and 200m backstroke; and 200m and 400m individual medley more than two years ago.