Fil-Australian Luke Gebbie broke the decade old Philippine swimming national record of the Men’s 100m Freestyle event at the NSW State Open Championships held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre in New South Wales, Australia, Friday evening.
Twenty two year-old Gebbie, who clocked 51.36 in the 100m Free morning prelims, stormed his way to a new Philippine national record time of 50.84 in the evening finals, breaking Charlie Walker’s 50.96 record that was clocked at the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Vientaine, Laos last in 2009.
The Men’s 100m Freestyle record was previously held by Ryan Papa from August 1997 to August 2007 with his record time of 52.07 clocked at the 1997 SEA Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
It was then broken by Miguel Molina (51.11) a the Japan International Open in Tokyo in 2007, and again broken by Charlie Walker (50.96) at the 2009 SEA Games, and again broken by Gebbie yesterday.
Born to a Filipino mother and Australian father, Gebbie has been a member of Philippine Swimming Incorporated since last year, hoping to represent the country at this year’s Southeast Asian Games that we are hosting, and eventually qualify for Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
Amid breaking the PH National record, his time is not yet enough to get an automatic slot at this year’s SEA Games team, since the 2017 SEA Games bronze medal time was 50.56 clocked by Darren Lim Fang Yue of Singapore; with Vietnam’s Hoang Quy Phuoc winning the silver (49.31), and Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling winning the gold (48.93).
His new record though is inching closer to a SEA Games appearance, and is also quite close to the 50.03 Tokyo Olympics OST/QTB.
But before SEA Games and Tokyo Olympic Games, Gebbie could possibly make his debut for Team Philippines at this year’s 18th FINA World Swimming Championships in Gwanju, South Korea.
With his 50.84 new Philippine national record, he is close to hitting the 50.51 QTB of this year’s World Championships.
He has a strong chance of beating the World Championships’ QTB at the 2019 Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide, Australia this April 7-12 or at the 2019 GHF Australian Age Championships this April 15-20; both FINA World Championships qualifying events.
Meanwhile, seeing action at the on-going NSW State Open Championships are siblings Thomas and Georgia Peregrina who are now PSI members, and Samuel Loria, another Fil-Australian who is still to apply for PSI membership.
Thomas Peregrina clocked 4:07.88 in the 400m Free and 28.64 in 50m Back, while Georgia Peregrina finished the 400m IM finals with 4:58.57.
Georgia was also part of the 4x100m Medley Relay Team of Knox Pymble Swimming Club, along with Olympic Medalist Cate Campbell, where she swam the 100m Breast leg (1:14.99), and Campbell with 52.40 in the last 100m Free leg.
Konx Pymble’s female quartet won the 4x100m Medley Relay gold with 4:16.90 time.
Seventeen year-old Loria on the other hand did not see action in any individual event on day 1, but was part of the 4x100m Medley relay team of Galston Swim Club, where he swam the last 100m Free leg with a time of 56.16
All four Australian based swimmers are still seeing action today at the NSW State Open Championships, which ends on Sunday.