Swimmer Chloe Isleta is ecstatic before she went to Malacanang to be among the many Filipino athletes, who won medals in the 30th Southeast Asian Games and were honored on Tuesday by President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang.
The 29-year-old Isleta, who ended the country’s 29-year-old gold medal swimming drought for a female swimmer the biennial meet, got inspiration from Olympian Akiko Thomson-Guevarra when she had her pre-event RT-PCR test.
“She just told me to enjoy the moment and enjoy swimming. Sometimes, it gets very hard at times and that’s how you keep interested in the competitions,” said Isleta, a communications media graduate at the Arizona State University.
Isleta took the gold medal the women’s 200-meter backstroke event at the My Dinh Water Sports Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam.
She went on to claim the silver medal in the women’s 100-meter backstroke.
Last year in the World Swimming 25-meter Short Course Championships , Isleta topped the preliminaries with a time of 2:25.14.
Thomson-Guevarra, who is considered as the most accomplished Filipina swimmer in the Southeast Asian Games, inspired Isleta by touching her medals and sharing her life and accomplishments.
The 47-year-old Thompson won eight gold medals in the biennial multi-sport meet between 1987 and 1993.
“We took pictures and she touched my medals,” beamed Isleta.
Thomson-Guevarra was also in three editions of the Summer Olympic Games in 1988, 1992 and 1996.