Pinoys should set sights on open water swimming -- Brosas

January 13, 2019
Monsour del Rosario & Olympians Eric Buhain
SEA Games chef de mission Monsour del Rosario and Olympians Eric Buhain and Pinky Brosas pose with TOPS officers during the fifth “Usapang Sports” at the National Press Club recently.

AN  Olympic gold medal in open water swimming.

Why not?

If  former national swimming team coach Pinky Brosas could have  his  way,  the   country should set its sights on this Olympic sport and train more young and talented Filipino swimmers to get a chance to win the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal.

Brosas, who guested in the fifth Tabloid Organization  in Philippine Sports (TOPS)  “Usapang Sports” at the National Press Club in Intramuros last Thursday, said Filipino swimmers  are  talented enough to take a chance on open water swimming.

(Open water swimming is a swimming discipline which takes place in  outdoor bodies of water such as open oceans, lakes, and rivers. The  event was put to rest for an entire century during the 1908 Olympics but returned to the Olympics in 2000).

“If you ask me, open water swimming could be a rich source of medals for the Filipinos in international competitions, including the Olympics,” said Brosas in a  rare appearance during the weekly sports session supported by the NPC.

Brosas, an  Olympian himself and one of the country’s winningest coaches, claimed local swimmers  should  focus more on longer distance and endurance training, and not solely on short sprint races, like  the 50 and 100-meter events.

“We need to focus on longer distance and endurance training to raise  the  level of our swimmers’ performance. Most  young swimmers today have  to compete in longer distance  events  rather than sprints,” said Brosas, who noted that  the  Filipinos haven’t won a  single  gold medal since the 2009 SEA Games.

Asked further to explain his views,  Brosas said:  “We live in a country with more than 7,000 islands surrounded by waters. Mindanao has a lot of  good swimmers who can be trained to become world-beaters.”

“In  Basilan, we can even find swimmers as tall as six feet,:  added  Brosas, even narrating urban legends that Vikings once lived  the island province located in Northern Mindanao.

Two-time Olympan Eric Buhain, who was also present during the session, admitted that training for long-distance events entail more hard work  and more sessions per week.

“And if  I were a long-distance swimmer competing in the 400-meter  individual medley and 200-meter butterfly,  I would need to be training more,”  said Buhain.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI)  claimed that no entity can select the members of the Philippine swimming team to the SEAG other than the local swim body recognized by FINA.

In a memorandum, the PSI Board of Trustees reminded the PSI general membership “not to entertain a group that falsely announced an open tryouts for the national team.”

“It has come to our attention that a group led by Eric Buhain and Carlos Brosas have announced open tryouts for participation in the  swimming competitions,’’ said the memorandum.