Philippine Swimming’s 30th Southeast Asian Games campaign ended with two more bronze medals courtesy of Luke Gebbie and Jasmine Alkhaldi at the NCC Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac Monday evening.
Narrowly missing a podium finish in the Men’s 100m Freestyle event, Gebbie made sure that he will end his first SEA Games with an individual medal, and propelled his way to a third place finish in the Men’s 50m Freestyle event where he clocked a bronze medal time of 22.62 seconds that equals the current Philippine national record of Daniel Coakley clocked at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.
Gebbie’s new best time has also breached the Tokyo Olympic Games QTB of 22.67, his second Olympics QTB.
Alkhaldi on the other hand continued her winning form, and delivered another sterling performance in the Women’s 100m Butterfly event where she clocked a new Philippine national record time of 1:00.39 to take the bronze medal.
She has successfully erased the 1:00.42 national record of Remedy Rule, who settled for fourth place with a time of 1:00.49
Seventeen-year-old Jean Pierre Khouzam and Olympian Jessie Lacuna finished 4th and 5th in the Men’s 200m Butterfly finals, clocking times of 2:01.01 and 2:01.58; while another seventeen-year-old swimmer, Desirae Mangaoang also finished in 4th place in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke finals with a time of 1:11.68
Youth Olympian Nicole Oliva and SEA Games veteran Rosalee Santa Ana clocked 9:02.93 and 9:05.15 to finish 6th and 7th in the women’s 800m Freestyle finals.
The last day of swimming event at this year’s SEA Games ended in a heartbreaking disqualification of our Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay team composed of Jerald Jacinto for the Back, James Deiparine for the Breast, Jarod Hatch for the Fly and Luke Gebbie for the Free.
Lady luck was not on the side of our men’s team, who amid placing second after the back and breast events, faced a water malfunction when Hatch’ goggles went off which prompted him to stop the race.
Although stopping in the middle of the race is a mortal sin in swimming, things happen beyond our control especially when we are so into winning the last medal for the country, leaving a swimmer an iota of time to think and make a decision on what to do next.
Anyhow, heartbreaking it maybe, the disqualification does not change the fact that the Philippine Swimming Team at this year’s SEA Games has delivered for the country, and has brought home one gold, six silvers and nine bronze medals; the best performance ever since 2009 SEA Games.
Singapore again collected most of the gold medals in SEA Games, winning 23 golds, 10 silvers and 4 bronze medals.
Vietnam has equaled their 10 gold medal output in 2017, plus six silvers and nine bronze medals.
Malaysia managed to sneak in another gold on the last day of the swim events, finishing their campaign this year with 2-2-3 tally.
In fourth place of the swimming medal table is Thailand with 1-8-6, followed by Philippines (1-6-9) and Indonesia with 1-6-7.
Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Timor Leste again failed to win a single medal at this year’s edition, but has shown great improvement compared to the previous editions of the games.