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SEA AGE: Eichler, Ajido continue to shine for Team PH

Team Pilipinas continued to make some noise at the second day of the 44th Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championships (SEA AGE) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia adding two golds, two silvers and three bronze medals to their haul.

At the forefront of the team’s campaign are swimming prodigies Alexander Eichler and Jamesray Ajido who held the banner high for Team Pilipinas as they each delivered stellar performances in their respective age groups.

Eichler won his second gold medal at the Championships when he edged out his competitors in the boys 14-15 50m butterfly with his 26.09 second mark.

Ajido, on the other hand, dominated in the boys 13 & under 50m butterfly by finishing at least half a body length ahead of all other competitors en route to his 26.83 second finish.

The Philippines’ mastery of the butterfly event was further demonstrated by the team’s other entries like Joshua Ang who bagged himself another silver medal, this time in the boys 16-18 50m butterfly with his final time of 25.26.

Likewise, Ava Bautista grabbed another bronze medal after clocking 28.71 seconds in the girls 14-15 50-meter butterfly.

A couple more medals came from the 400-meter individual medley event where Gian Santos and Jasmine Mojdeh brought home a silver and a bronze medal, respectively.

Santos clocked 4:40.01 in the boys 16-18 group, closely edging out Indonesia’s Alvino Dika Wijaya who finished in 4:43.80. Khai Xin Tan of Thailand earned a well-deserved first place finish as he was miles ahead of the pack in said event, registering a time of 4:30.95.

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For the girls 16-18 group, Mojdeh bagged her second medal of the meet when she placed 3rd with her 5:11.96 mark. Thailand’s Kamonchanok Kwanmuang and Jinjuntha Pholjamjumrus impressively completed a 1-2 finish in the event by clocking 4:47.66 and 4:51.99, respectively with the former establishing a new meet record as well.

The 200-meter backstroke didn’t bear much fruit for the Philippines as only Ivo Enot and Mishka Sy were close to a podium finish, both ending fourth. For Sy, it was a narrow miss as the third place position eluded her 2:28.56 time by a mere 0.18 of a second.

There wasn’t much luck in the 100-meter breaststroke either. Rafael Isip was the closest to making it into the top 5, placing sixth in his category, the boys 16-18 group, setting a new personal best after clocking 1:06.54.

Santos also vied for a medal in the 200-meter freestyle but failed amidst tough competition. Nevertheless, the young rising star managed to end fourth with a personal best time of 1:54.83, merely split seconds away from the second and third spots.

Team Pilipinas still ended the second day on a good note as team captain Marco Daos along with Ajido, Eichler, and Santos won the bronze medal in the boys 18 & Under 4×100-meter freestyle relay with a nail-biting, come-from-behind performance as they went toe-to-toe with Malaysia for the silver.

In the end, Malaysia edged out the Philippines by the slimmest of margins with their time of 3:35.65 topping the Philippines by a mere 0.01 of a second. Meanwhile, Heather White, Alexi Cabayaran, Maria Barretto, and Amina Bungubung placed fourth in the girls 18 & Under 4×100-meter freestyle relay.

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The final day of the 44th Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championships will take place on December 19 at the National Aquatic Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Events lined up for the final day are the mixed 4×200-meter freestyle relay, 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter breaststroke, 200-meter butterfly, 4×100-meter medley relay, boys’ 1500-meter freestyle, and the girls’ 800-meter freestyle.

Written By

Kristine graduated from ADMU and was a former member of the FAST Ateneo Swimming team. She considers playing for Ateneo the highlight of her college years. Aside from following all things swimming, she is an avid football fan and hopes to one day watch an international football game like the LaLiga, Premier League, or the FIFA World Cup.

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