Tarlac, Philippines, December 4, 2019: On a sensational opening night of swimming at New Clark City on Wednesday, James Deiparine won the first SEA Games swimming gold medal for the Philippines in 10 years with victory in the men’s 100m breaststroke.
Deiparine held his ground and propelled his way to an eye-popping new SEA Games record time of 1:01.46 minutes to take the gold.
“I am kind of speechless right now,” said the 26-year-old Fil-Am Deiparine.
“This means so much to my family. They gave me the energy,” added the soft-spoken swimmer.
The last Filipino swimmer to have broken a SEA Games record was Daniel Coakley, who set a new men’s 50m freestyle SEA Games record of 22.62 at the 2009 SEA Games.
Deiparine’s new SEA Games record has erased the 10-year-old record of 1:01.60 clocked by Vietnam’s Huu Viet Nguyen at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.
Vietnam’s Thanh Bao Pham took the silver with 1:01.92 and Lionel Khoo Chien Yin of Singapore won bronze in 1:01.96.
Singapore celebrated four gold medals in the pool on Wednesday night, including one for Rio 2016 Olympic butterfly champion Joseph Schooling in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.
Quah Jing Wen, 19, won the women’s 200m butterfly in a New Games Record of 2:10.97; Quah Zheng Wen, 23, won the men’s 100m backstroke in 53.79 seconds - a new national record and Games Record which met the Olympic “A” qualifying time; Quah Ting Wen, 27, took the women’s 100m freestyle with a New Games Record 54.74; and Quah Zheng Wen, Schooling, Jonathan Tan Eu Jin and Darren Chua Yi Shou won the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay in a New Games Record of 7:17.88 ahead of Vietnam and Malaysia.
*The Philippines continues to lead the medal rankings after Day 4 of the 30th SEA Games with 56 gold medals and 119 medals overall.
Vietnam is second with 27 golds while Malaysia is third with 21 followed by Singapore (18), Indonesia (17) and Thailand (11). The games, featuring 56 sports contested by 11 National Olympic Committees, close on December 11.