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Japan unstoppable in Asian tourney, PH wins 1st gold

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Capas, Tarlac—Japan grabbed nine more gold medals on Thursday night to keep the lead in the 11th Age Group Championships at the New Clark City Aquatics Center here.

The Japanese swimmers, who broke 19 meet records, now has 29 golds,17 silvers and four bronzes in the tournament organized by Philippine Aquatics, Inc. headed by Miko Vargas.

Hong Kong is in second place with 14 golds, 10 silvers and 11 bronzes followed by Kazakhstan (14-10-3) and Thailand (14-8-20).

Host Philippines also had a reason to celebrate after winning its first gold medal courtesy of Jamesray Mishael Ajido in the boys 12-14 category.

The Grade 8 student from La Salle Greenhills ruled his favorite 100m butterfly event in 55.98s, breaking the meet record of 56.36 set by Chinese Yu Xiang Wang in 2019.

Japan’s Yusei Nishiono took the silver medal with a record-breaking 56.05s while Chinese Taipei’s Yung-Cheng Kan settled for the bronze medal in 56.79.

“I was expecting to win a medal, but I’m not sure what color. I’m happy that I won the gold,” Ajido, who also secured the bronze medal in the 50m freestyle, with a time of 24.34 – a personal best and a national record – last Tuesday.

Japan’s Toya Hirata captured the gold medal in 23.21, a new meet record that broke the 24.03 time set by compatriot Yuga Takashima in 2019.

“This is special for me. I am proud to win medals for the Philippines. I dedicate my victory to the Lord and my family,” said Ajido, a double-gold medalist (100m butterfly and 100m backstroke) in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99.

Last year, he won five gold and one bronze medals at the Batang Pinoy National Championships and pocketed two silvers at the SEA Age Group Championships in Indonesia.


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