The Megakraken Swim Team scored 591.5 points to clinch the overall team championship in the Visayas leg of the FINIS 2022 Short Course Swim Competition Series recently at the University of Saint La Salle swimming pool in Bacolod City.
The Iloilo Tiger Shark Swim Team placed second (395 points), while the La Herencia Swim Club took third place (387.5 points) in the two-day event, which attracted 280 swimmers, including up-and-coming junior tankers and FINIS brand ambassadors Alexi Kouzenye Cabayaran of the Santa Fe Crocs Swimming Team in the girls’ 15-16 age group and Kyla Soguilon of the Aklan Swimming Club in girls’ 16-17 class.
“It was successful in a way, as per interviews with the parents and coaches. They considered it a well-organized event, with lots of swag for the swimmers and coaches never seen in other tournaments,” said FINIS Philippines Managing Director Vince Garcia.
“The environment was festive, but with serious competitiveness, a far cry from the negativity of the lockdowns. The people were shouting non-stop, especially on the relays,” he added.
Garcia, a veteran triathlete, said that FINIS is feeding two birds with one seed in organizing the event, officially launched last April with the Manila leg as it boosted the country’s swimming grassroots program. It also intends to elevate the competition level in terms of the fun environment and innovative processes.
He stressed that FINIS Philippines introduced online registration via RaceYaya to the swimming community, even as they are in the process of establishing a database for FINIS events record-holders and gold medalists for each (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) leg before the Mindanao leg.
“That would be a guide for the fast swimmers of Mindanao to see who’s the fastest in Luzon and the Visayas, and they want to make sure they can beat those times,” Garcia said.
Aside from bagging FINIS-designed crafty medals, the top 16 finishers in the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao leg (tentatively on July 30-31) will earn slots in the National Finals, tentatively scheduled in September this year at the New Clark City in Tarlac.
Garcia said that aside from organizing tourneys, FINIS Philippines is also holding the Open Water Swim Camp on July 9 and 10 at the Paya Papagayo Beach Inn in Olongapo City. It is a comprehensive swim camp handled by American Swimming Coaches Association-certified coaches including Garcia, Frank Lacson, Maritess Escobar, and Patrick Joson.
Also, FINIS is the official swim partner of the 83rd Central Northern Luzon – CAR Swimming Coaches Invitational Swim Series and the 5150 Triathlon series in Panglao Island on July 10, Tagum City; Davao on September 4; and Subic Bay on October 23.