Philippines’ top backstroker, Jerard Dominic Jacinto, won a gold medal in the Men’s 100m Backstroke event at the Liberty Insurance 50th Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships Thursday evening.
Seeded fist going to the 100m Back Superfinals, Jacinto lived up to his seeding as he propelled his way to snatch the gold with a new 16-18 Junior Philippine national record time of 56.72 seconds; way ahead Anugrah Dwiki of Indonesia who took the silver (58.44) and bronze medalist Tar Thongchumsin of Thailand (58.78).
It was a dominant swim for the 18-year-old swimmer, who is inching closer to erasing Ryan Papa’s 56.48 Philippine Swimming national record set 22 years ago.
Earlier in the morning prelims, Jacinto has already broken Charlie Walkers’ 16-18 Age Group Junior national record of 57.43 with his time of 57.15, and he again reset his new record to 56.72 in the evening finals.
His new best time has surpassed the 58.34 QTA of the 2019 SEA Age Group Championships in Cambodia this June, making him the first male QTA swimmer this year.
It is also equivalent to 763 FINA Points, which makes him the top candidate for the national team to this year’s 7th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary this August.
He fell short of though of hitting the 18th FINA World Championships’ QTB of 55.95 and 2019 SEA Games’ QTA of 55.92.
Also delivering a spectacular performance on day three of the championships was twelve year-old Athena Shannessa Chang who clinched her second 13 & Under Junior Philippine swimming national record in the morning prelims of the Women’s 400m Freestyle event.
Chang broke Nhemia Velasco’s 18-year-old record time of 4:42.28, after clocking 4:40.43 in the morning prelims.
Swimming in the evening Superfinals of the said event, she again reset her record to 4:40.06, enough to land a 4th place finish in the Girls 13-14 Division.
Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi on the other hand delivered another bronze medal finish in the Women’s 100m Backstroke event, 18 & Over Division, clocking 1:04.99
Filipino swimmers who finished among the Top 10 of their respective Age-Group after the evening finals were 13 year old Ivo Nikolai Enot (4th place in 100m Back / 1:04.86) and Athena Chang (4th place in 400m Free / 4:40.06), 14 year-old Jalil Sephraim Taguinod (4th place in 100m Breast / 1:10.50), 16-year old Armand Pierre Chan (4th place in 100m Back / 1:00.53), 23 year old Joy Rodgers (5th place in 100m Breast / 1:16.21), 20 year old Kirsten Chloe Daos (5th place in 400m Free / 4:36.45), 16 year old Miguel Barreto (5th place in 400m Free / 4:07.90), 14 year old Marco Daos (6th place in 400m Free / 4:27.89), 20 year old Nicole Meah Pamintuan (6th place in 100m Back / 1:07.44), 26-year old Jessie Khing Lacuna (6th place in 400m Free / 4:06.98), 18 year-old Rian Marco Tirol (7th place in 100m Breast /1:05.93), 17-year-old Samantha Therese Coronel (8th place in 100m Back / 1:07.31), and 14 year old Rafael Lance Cruz (10th place in 100m Back / 1:07.69).
Other Filipino swimmers who have qualified in the evening finals on day two of the championships were Thanya Dela Cruz (100m Breast / 1:19.4), Monique Ramas-Uypitching (100m Breast / 1:23.62), and Marc Lester De Guzman (100m Back / 1:09.70).
After day three of the Singapore Age Group Nationals, Team Philippines has so far won 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 Bronze medals; and three Philippine Junior National records.
Jacinto is the lone gold medalist, topping the 18 & Over 100m Back event.
Athena Chang took home the 13-14 Division silver medal of the 800m Free event, Chloe Daos won the 18 & Over Division bronze medal of the 800m Free, and Jasmine Alkhaldi winning the 18 & Over Division bronze medals of the 100m Free and 100m Back events.
Chang tops the most number of junior national record set, with two (400m and 800m Free 13 & Under Junior Records), and Jacinto with one, the 16-18 junior record of 100m Backstroke event.