In a prestigious meet where not all swimmers deliver their personal best times, Filipino swimmer Roxanne Ashley Yu showed what champions are made of and achieved her personal best times in all her events at the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
Being one of the two Filipino athletes seeing action on day 1 of the Olympic games last Sunday, 17-year-old Yu withstood the pressure of opening Philippine’s YOG campaign and went on to swim her personal best time of 1:05.16 in the Women’s 100m Backstroke event.
Yu’s new best time has improved her 31st overall ranking at the start of the game, moving up to the 26th place after the morning preliminaries.
Yesterday, the entire nation’s eyes were on her, being the only Filipino athlete in action on day 3 of the games.
Swimming on lane 3 of heat 1 in the Women’s 200m Backstroke event, Yu immediately led the pack of swimmers in the first 50 meters of the race, and then broke away from the rest of the pack heading to the 100 meters.
She continued to build her lead going to the 150 meters of the race, and then solidly finish on top of heat 1 with another personal best time of 2:18.96
Yu, who was all over the TV and computer screens right after winning heat 1, went on to improve her overall ranking to 19th place, from 27th at the start of the game.
“Overall, I am very happy with both the 100 and 200 backstroke events I participated in. It’s overwhelming to not only drop times in one but two events,” said Yu after successfully achieving her best times at the Olympic stage.
“I do believe that it was a perfect mix of everything that enabled me to swim my best during the YOG. It wasn’t only because of the preparation my coach and I went through prior YOG that helped me establish my personal bests. The entire natatorium was buzzing with excitement and I knew that my family and friends who were watching it live as well as on their own screens back home were cheering their hearts out for me,” she added.
Simon Jones, Yu’s coach at the British International School of Phuket, lauded Yu’s feat in Nanjing.
“Congratulations Roxanne! Its been a great meet and as we hoped, an invaluable learning experience. Professional throughout, and many positives to take forth into next season,” said Jones on his FB status.
After YOG, Yu is eyeing to compete at the SEA Games 2015 as well as the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
Although she has already most likely made it to the Philippine team seeing action at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, she still has a lot of training to do to qualify for the world championship next year.
But with determination and the will to excel in the sport that she truly loves, everything is possible for this young swimmer who has been a great and humble Backstroke Queen of Philippine swimming.
As her parting words, Yu said:
“It has most definitely been a great and wholesome experience representing the country at the YOG. I feel extremely blessed to have been able to compete at such a prestigious event against the strongest youth swimmers across the globe. Given this opportunity I would like to give a big thank you to everyone who has been a huge part in building my career path as an athlete. To the coaches I’ve worked with, The British International School Phuket for really supporting me in all my endeavors and most especially the family and friends whose faith in my capabilities never wavered.”
Pinoy Headline dot com salutes Philippine Swimming’s Backstroke Queen, Roxanne Ashley Yu!