MANILA – Aqua Sprint Club bets Paulene Beatrice Obebe, Anya dela Cruz and Arbeen Miguel Thruelan were crowned Most Outstanding Swimmers (MOS) in the Samahang Manlalangoy ng Pilipinas (SMP)-Congress of Philippine Aquatics Inc. (COPA) Grand Reunion Swim Challenge Championships at the Teofilo Ildefonso pool inside the historic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Sunday.
Obebe amassed nine gold medals in the girls 12 years old category while dela Cruz and Thruelan collected eight gold medals each in the girls 9 years old and boys 15 years old and above categories, respectively.
Nicola Queen Diamante of RSS Dolphins also earned the MOS award in the girls 11 years old category of the tournament supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Speedo and Milo.
Obebe, dela Cruz and Diamante will compete in the PSC-organized Batang Pinoy National Finals scheduled from Dec. 17 to 22 in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
Aqua Sprint Swim Club (ASSC) head coach Manny Thruelen was satisfied with the performances of his athletes.
"I am happy that seven of my 12 athletes were named Most Outstanding Swimmer (MOS). All of my swimmers got to go home with medals and a sense of achievement in their life. Not only were the swimmers happy, we can also include the parents. Ever since they saw their child compete and win medals, they are now willing to give their full support and admiration to their children," said 53-year-old Thruelan, who formed the ASSC in 1993, the same year he became coach of Fatima University in Lagro, Quezon City.
"With regards to their training, I'm also glad that they were able to balance their training and academics. Balancing academics and sports is a serious and challenging matter. Therefore, I would give my full respect to my dear swimmers as well as the parents. I'm giving my full heart and thanks to them since everyone was able to support me in building this team together," he added.
Thruelan's children –Benjo, Miguel and Camille– are in the ASSC coaching staff together with Louie Martin, Arnel Quejada and Jeoffrey Pangilinan.
COPA secretary general and tournament director Chito Rivera and technical head Richard Luna awarded the medals and trophies to the winners.
"We would like to thank all the swimmers and the clubs that participated. We assured everyone, even the non-COPA teams, they can join our tournament next month,” Rivera said. (PNA)