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Ajido, Sy share limelight in PAI National Age Group Championship Day 1

Ajido, Sy share limelight in PAI National Age Group Championship Day 1

Asian junior record holder Jamesrey Mishael Ajido and multi-title internationalist Mishka Sy topped their respective age class to lead early winners on Friday at the start of the Philippine Aquatics, inc. (PAI) National Age Group Championships at the Teofilo Yldefonso Swimming Pool in Malate, Manila.

Coming off from a shoulder injury he sustained during the ASEAN School Games tryouts last month, the 15-year-old Ajido claimed the gold in boys’ 15-class A 200-meter freestyle, clocking two minutes and 00.42 seconds beating Ashton Clyde Jose of Leviathan Swim Club (2:07.63) and Zoilo Larrazabal of Rising Atlantis (2:08.00).

“Iniinda pa rin niya yung injury sa kaliwang balikat, kahit medyo mahaba na rin ang ipinahinga niya after the ASEAN School tryouts. Minabuti na niyang lumangoy para makita na rin yun extent ng progress ng kanyang therapy and preparation na rin for the National tryouts sa August,” said Love Ajido, mother of Jamesrey.

Ajido gave the country the first-ever gold medal at the Asian level after ruling the boys’ 12-14 100m butterfly at the 11th Asian Age Group Championships last February at the New Clark City Aquatics Center. His winning time of 55.98 seconds was a new meet record, erasing the 56.36 set by Chinese Wang Yu Xiang in 2019.

Likewise, Sy, Ajido’s teammate at FTW Royals Swim club, became the meet's first double winner, claiming the gold in the girls 17-over Class A 400-m Individual Medley (5:17.43) and 200-m freestyle (2:13.14). The 19-year-old Sy, a consistent member of the National junior team, demolished her rivals Aubrey Tom (5:37.51) and Dianna Cruz (5:37.58) and then beat fellow junior standout Camille Buico of Rising Atlantis (2:16.61) and Atasha Dela Torre (2:20.63) in freestyle.

PAI Secretary-General Batangas 1st District Congressman Eric Buhain led officials and guests in a moment of silence as the swimming community paid tribute to the late PAI Executive Director Coach Francisco “Chito’ Rivera before the opening dive in the championships sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, and Speedo.

“We’re very thankful to all the support and prayers.,” said Rivera’s wife Evangeline.

Buhain and fellow Olympian Akiko Guevara, the current president of the Philippine Olympian Association (POA), hand over a framed white t-shirt to Rivera’s family as a gesture of pride and respect.
“Truly, a great loss for Philippine swimming. But his legacy lives on as we continued to put our best foot forward in our target to further enhance the development not just for swimming but for other discipline in aquatics such open water, water polo, diving and artistic swimming, from regional up to the national level,” said Buhain.

Other winners included Asian campaigner Kyla Louise Bulaga in girls 14 class A 200m freestyle (2:18.02), siblings Mikhael Jaspe Mojdeh and Behrouz Mohammad Mojdeh of Behrouz Elite team in the boys 9 class A 200m freestyle (2:45.76) and boys  13 class A 400m IM (5:12.65), respectively. Yzac Valencia in the boys 10 Class A 200m freestyle (2;43.07) and Graziella Sophia Ato of One Ilocos Sur in the girls 14 Class B 400, IM (6:02.10).


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