By Jean Malanum

SEAG GOLD MEDALIST. File photo of 2023 Cambodia Southeast Asian Games women’s 100-meter backstroke champion Teia Salvina. She will banner the Philippine team to the 9th World Aquatics Junior Championships in Israel on Sept. 4 to 9, 2023. (Contributed photo)

MANILA – Cambodia Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Teia Salvino will lead the Philippine campaign at the 9th World Aquatics Junior Championships scheduled on Sept. 4 to 9 in Netanya, Israel.

The announcement was made Sunday by the Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI) in a letter signed by its secretary general, Batangas 1st Dustrict Rep. Eric Buhain, and sent to the “Philippine Aquatics Family”.

He said “the qualifiers achieved the minimum 680 World Aquatics points standard set by the Executive Committee. The qualifying period is from May 1, 2022 until July 30, 2023.”

Salvina qualified in the 50m and 100m backstroke, 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, and 100m butterfly.

The other qualifiers are Jasmine Mojdeh (100m butterfly), Heather White (50m, 100m and 200m freestyle), Gian Santos (100m, 200m and 400m freestyle), and Filipino-German Alexander Eichler (100m and 200m butterfly).

The PSI will shoulder the airfare (Manila-Israel-Manila), board and lodging in Israel, and team uniforms of the athletes.

“Congratulations to all the qualifiers, their coaches and parents,” said Buhain, who is best known for winning Best Male Athlete of the 1991 Manila SEA Games after a five-gold haul.

“We also would like to thank the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee and the World Aquatics for their equivocal support to Philippine Aquatics,” added Buhain.

Salvina ruled the women’s 100m backstroke event with a national record of 1:01.64 in Cambodia last May.

She also bagged two silver medals coming from the 4x100m medley relay (with Jasmine Alkhaldi, Thanya dela Cruz and Miranda Renner) and the 4x100m freestyle (with Alkhaldi, Renner and Xandi Chua), and a bronze from the 4x200m freestyle relay (with Alkhaldi, Chua and Chloe Isleta).

Mojdeh saw action in the 400m individual medley at the 8th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Lima, Peru last year, while Eichler won three gold medals at the 2022 SEA Age-Group in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (PNA)