After months of waiting, the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Task Force has finally finalized the Philippine swimming line-up for the 27th Southeast Asian Games slated in December 11 to 22 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
Four tankers have been officially named in the Philippine team, namely Jasmine Alkhaldi, Jessie Khing Lacuna, Joshua Hall and Matt Navatta.
Olympians Alkhaldi and Lacuna are veteran campaigners in the prestigious regional biennial meet.
Nineteen year-old Lacuna copped one silver and two bronzes in the 2011 SEA Games. He placed second in the men’s 200-meter freestyle and was part of the bronze medal team in the 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x200m freestyle relay.
Alkhaldi, the only woman swimmer in the team, has yet to win a medal in SEA Games. She was always close to a podium finish in her previous SEA Games campaign, placing 4th in various events.
This year, the Hawaii University student, is anticipated to finally win her first SEAG medal after she has shown great improvement this year by clocking new Philippine records in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly events.
New recruits, Joshua Hall and Matt Navata, will beef-up Philippine swimming’s campaign.
A podium finish is expected from Hall in the breaststroke events, after he broke two new Philippine records in July this year during his campaign at the 15th FINA World Championship in Barcelona, Spain. He is now the Philippine record holder of the 50m and 100m Breaststroke events.
Navatta meanwhile is eyed to figure in the 200m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley and 400m Individual Medley events.
The swimming team is aiming to improve its two-silver, five-bronze showing in Indonesia, far from its eight-gold, three-silver, seven-bronze in 2007 Thailand Games and four-gold, six-silver, one-bronze in 2009 Laos Games.