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Deiparine falls short



CAPAS CITY — After ending the country’s swimming medal drought with his record-breaking victory in the 100-meter breaststroke event earlier this week, Filipino-American James Deiparine faded against a stronger Singaporean rival.

The 26-year-old Deiparine settled for the silver medal after Lionel Khoo edged him by a mere .17 seconds in the men’s 50-meter backstroke event of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Sunday at the New Clark City Aquatics Center here.

Deiparine tallied 28.32 seconds, which was slightly inferior than the record-breaking 28.25-second clocking registered by Khoo in a heated neck and neck battle.

Khoo also broke the 28.25 seconds record set by Indonesia’s Indra Gunawan in 2011 in Palembang.

Clinching the bronze medal was Gagarin Nathaniel of Indonesia, who came in at 28.52 seconds.

Deiparine, who ended the country’s 10-year gold medal drought of Philippine swimming by topping the men’s 100-meter breaststroke with one minute and 01.4 seconds that now stands as the new meet and national marks, was neck-and-neck with Khoo in the last 10 meters before the Singaporean won by a hairline.

Deiparine clinched silver medals in both the 50-meter and 100-meter breaststroke events in the 2017 staging of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur and while he snapped the country’s medal drought in swimming, he failed to sustain the momentum.

Meanwhile, the squad of Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi, Remedy Rule, Desirae Mangaoang and Chloe Kennedy Anne Isleta settled for silver medal in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay.

The Nationals timed 4:11.10 to fall short to a quartet from Singapore, which came up with a record-breaking performance of 4:07.05.

Alkhaldi earlier settled for the bronze medal in the women’s 50-meter freestyle event with a time of 25.48 seconds as Xiang Amanda Lim of Singapore topped the event with 25.06 seconds followed by Jenjira Srisa-Ard of Thailand with 25.32 seconds for the gold and silver medals, respectively.

Lim also erased her previous record of 25.41 seconds she set in the 2017 staging of the SEA Games.

Alkhaldi, a two-time Olympic swimmer, now has a total of five bronze medals in this staging of this prestigious sports conclave.

“I’m just very happy to get a medal here since this one is a tough race and almost everybody submitted almost similar times,” said Alkhaldi after the awarding ceremony.

“I’m just really thankful.”

In the men’s 400-meter individual medley, Olympian Jessie Khing Lacuna settled for sixth place while Vietnam’s Hung Nguyen Tran broke the meet record set by his countryman Huu Kim Soon Nguyen in Kuala Lumpur for the gold medal.