TAIPEI—Filipino swimmers fell by the wayside one after the other in the face of world-class opposition at the start of competitions in the 29th Summer Universiade at the National Taiwan Sport University Arena here.
Roger Giron (50m butterfly), Drew Bennett Magbag (100m breaststroke), Alliah Saliendra (50m butterfly), Isabella Olivares (200m backstroke) and Ryan Anthony Dimayuga (100m backstroke) all caved in against the elite field and failed to advance.
Dimayuga, who timed 1:10.68, was 2.01 seconds behind heat winner Daniil Latt from Estonia, while Olivares (2:30.11) was 3.48 behind top heat performer Erica Wing Sze Lau of Hong Kong.
Salendra, on the other hand, was 6.5 seconds behind 50m butterfly winner Jannat Firdosse Bique of Mozambique with her 38.05.
“The swimmers we are bringing here in the Universiade are PASA swimmers that went out of the association, hoping to experience this world-class event,” said Philippine Swimming League president Susan Papa, who lamented that some swimmers were not allowed by their mother schools to join the Taipei Universiade.
“They are not blessed to experience this beautiful Universiade event. But at any rate, even the best of our best swimmers sa Pilipinas hindi rin talaga mananalo. There are so many Olympians, here, too,” Papa said.
Other Filipino bets from archery, judo, taekwondo were still playing as off presstime.
Federation of School Sports Asdociation of the Philippines (FESSAP) president David Ong, FESSAP chairman and delegation head Alvin Tai Lian, Filipino Chinese Chsmber of Commerce and Industries (FCCCI) honorary president and flag-bearer Angel Ngu and San Miguel Corp. executive Col. Ariel Querubin were on hand to cheer the athletes, though.