While older swimmers were busy trying to hit times that would qualify them to the SEA Games national team, four of Philippines’ promising 13-year-old junior tankers worked silently in the background, unnoticed, and broke six Philippine junior national records at the 1st Philippine National Open Swimming Championships in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac from August 31 to September 3, 2019.
The four promising swimmers who “shined like a diamond” at the PNO 2019 were Swimming Pinas’ Hugh Antonio Parto and Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh from Luzon, Holiday Gym’s Ivo Nikolai Enot from Mindanao, and Nogcc Swim Club’s Alexi Kouzenye Cabayaran from Visayas.
Parto delivered the first 13 & Under junior national record last Sunday where he erased the 22-year-old record of 2:18.79 in the 200m Butterfly event set by Jonathan Villagracia in Kaoshiung, Tawan in 1997.
At the morning prelims of the said event, Parto set the new record of 2:18.76 which landed him an “A” Finals appearance in the said event. He then finished 7th in the afternoon finals with a time of 2:20.39
The following day, Parto clinched his second junior national record in the 100m Butterfly event where he set a new record time of 1:00.80 in the morning prelims, erasing Gabriel Castelo’s 12-year-old record of 1:01.50 set at the Philippine Olympic Festival National Championships in 2007.
He advanced to the “B” Finals in the 100m Fly where he finished third with 1:01.10.
In the Women’s 100m Fly event, fellow Swimming Pinas swimmer Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh, reset her own 1:04.08 record to 1:03.90 on the same day, where she won the Bronze of the said event, behind gold medalist Camille Lauren Buico (1:03.11) and silver medalist Regina Maria Paz Castrillo (1:03.82).
Mojdeh is the only swimmer among the rest of the junior nation record breakers who delivered a podium finish at PNO 2019.
Apart from her third place finish in the Women’s 100m Fly event, she also took the bronze of the 200m Fly (2:23.25), 100m Breaststroke (1:20.54) and 400m IM (5:16.76) events; plus several other Finals appearances.
Meanwhile, fresh from their Batang Pinoy National Championships stint days before the PNO, Siklab Awardee Ivo Nikolai Enot and Visayas’ rising junior swim superstar Alexi Kouzenye Cabayaran delivered sterling performances at the NCC Aquatic Center.
Last Monday, Holiday Gym’s Enot set a new Boys 13 & Under 100m Backstroke Philippine junior national record of 1:03.75, erasing Seth Isaak Martin’s 1:03.85 record clocked in 2015.
He again delivered another record breaking performance the following day, this time breaking the 50m Backstroke Philippine Junior National Record of 29.57 with his new record time of 29.48
Enot now holds all three (50m, 100m & 200m) Backstroke records in the Boys 13 & Under Division.
His first 13 & Under record was in the 200m Backstroke event, where he clocked 2:20.61 at the
43rd SEA Age Group Championships in Cambodia last June, breaking the 15-year-old record of 2:20.75 by Michaelmars Danila, set at the 4th PASA National Age Group Championships in Bacolod in 2001.
He made a PNO 2019 “A” Finals appearance in the 200m Back event, while B Finals appearance in the 50m Back event.
Cabayaran, the pride of Silay City, Negros Occidental, bagged her second Philippine junior national record on the last day of the National Open.
Qualifying in the “A” Finals of the Women’s 50m Backstroke event along with the top and well-known backstrokers in the country, Cabayaran held her ground and finished 5th with a new 13 & Under Philippine national record time of 31.43
She had successfully erased Bhay Maitland Newberry’s record of 31.62 clocked in 2016; at the same time beat Newberry in the said finals, where the latter finished 6th with 31.47 clocking.
Early this year, Cabayaran broke Jasmine Alkhaldi’s 100m Free junior national record of 1:01.53 in the 13 & Under division, with her new record time of 1:00.79 at the Visayas qualifying leg of the Grand Prix LC Series.