Nicola Queen Diamante emerged as the most bemedalled swimmer with a near-perfect campaign at the close of the 1st Novice Swim Championship on a rainy Sunday at the Teofilo Ildefonso swimming pool inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.
Diamante, a member of the RSS Dolphins Swim Team, nearly made a sweep as she shone brightest in the 11-year-old division, winning the girls’ class A 25-meter free style with a time of 14.30 seconds, butterfly (14.80), backstroke (16.30), breaststroke (21.40), 50-meter freestyle (30.40) and 100-m Individual medley (1:29.40).
Diamante missed completing a sweep as she fell short in her duel against Alex Pasia of Sharknado Swimming Team in the 100-m freestyle (45.80) as she clocked 1:09.10.
The tournament is a grassroots development program of the Congress of Philippine Aquatics, Inc., headed by Batangas 1st District Rep. Eric Buhain and supported by Speedo.
Last month during the COPA’s Reunion swimfest, Diamante also emerged as the most prolific swimmer with a four-gold medal haul in the Class A 100-m butterfly (1:21.30); 100-m backstroke (1:24.70); 100-m freestyle (1:11.00) and the 200-m back (3:04.90).
“Masayang masaya po ako at nagpapasalamat sa COPA dahil tuluy-tuloy ang tournament nila sa mga kabataang tulad ko. Mas gagalingan ko pa po sa susunod. Medyo maginaw na kanina kaya hindi na ako masyadong nakahirit,” said Diamante as Manila started feeling the effects of typhoon ‘Karding’.
A storm signal no. 4 was declared in Metro Manila late afternoon, just after the event was concluded at noon.
“Inagad nga namin after we received the info about the signal warning. Pasalamat naman kami at natapos ng maaga at napauwi natin ang lahat bago pa bumuhos ang ulan. Hindi na kami nag-awarding, inabot na lang ‘yung mga medals,” said technical director head Richard Luna.
COPA Board member Chito Rivera said he expected a huge participation from public school students as the organization announced a plan to double the number of participants in the next tournament—the Reunion 3rd leg Swim Challenge on Oct. 22 and 23. Also lined up is the Sprint meet with the introduction of SKINS Swim event (Nov. 12 and 13) and the Short Course Yuletide Swimming Championship (Dec. 10 and 11).
“Masayang –masaya ‘yung mga estudyante natin mula sa public schools. ‘Yung isa ngang coach, pasalamat ng todo dahil ngayon lang daw sila nakalaro bukod sa mga division meet ng DepEd para sa Palarong Pambasa.
Sabi ko, sagot ng COPA ang participation fee ninyo kaya huwag na kayong mag-alala, basta may event ang COPA kasali kayo,” said Rivera, also the head coach of the Jose Rizal University varsity squad.