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Alkhaldi, Isleta take spotlight as PH tankers score more medals

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Swimmer Alkhaldi increases medal haul to five (1:43)

Filipino tankers snared four medals and set two national records Saturday at the Southeast Asian Games. (1:43)

CAPAS, Tarlac -- Filipino tankers snared four medals and reset two national records in the continuation of the swimming competition of the 30th Southeast Asian Games Saturday at the Aquatics Center in New Clark City.

Jasmine Alkhaldi led the haul for the Philippines by pulling in three medals of her own and setting a new Philippine record in her first swim at the women's 50m backstroke event, where she clocked 27.09 seconds in a bronze medal finish.

"I felt like dying, but I made it through. I'm just so happy and grateful that I was able to capture three," the Olympian swimmer remarked. "It's nice to keep improving ... especially since I've never really competed in backstroke before."

A second-place finish by the Filipinas in the 4x100m freestyle relay also yielded a new standard after Alkhaldi, Remedy Rule, Nicole Oliva and Xiandi Chua finished at 3:47:05 minutes in the event.

"It was a more inspired pressure because the guys did pretty well yesterday so I want to do good too," Alkhaldi said of the team's finish.

Chloe Isleta logged the country's best individual finish of the day with a silver medal in the women's 100m backstroke by tallying a 1:03:85 finish, just .23 seconds ahead of her teammate and eventual bronze medalist Alkhaldi.

"I've always looked up to her, so it was really amazing racing with her, especially in the last 50m," "Isleta said when asked about racing against her teammate. "She pushed me further in the race."

No tanker in the men's category was able to make it to the podium after falling short in their respective categories.

Jonathan Cook was not able to sustain a strong start and settled for fourth behind Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore in the 200m men's breaststroke. Fellow Filipino Albert Batungbacal came in at eighth and failed to build on a third-place finish during the heat stages.

Jerard Jacinto also came up short in the men's 50m backstroke, where he narrowly missed a bronze against third-placer Vietnam. Indonesia and Singapore went 1-2, while teammate Jaden Olson placed fifth there.

Maurice Ilustre and Jessie Lacuna crashed out of the 200m men's freestyle event with sixth and seventh-place results, while Rosalee Santa Ana (women's 400m backstroke), and Jazzlyn Pak (women's 50m butterfly) sat outside the podium as well.

Four new Games records were set Saturday, where Singapore took home the lion's share of the golds. Ting When Quah snatched double golds with a record-setting finishes in the women's 50m butterfly event and in the 4x100 meter freestyle, while Indonesia's Igede Sudartawa (men's 50m backstroke) and Thailand's Nuttapog Ketin (men's 200m backstroke) set new standards as well.

Vietnam's Thi Anh Vien Nguyen will also bring home twin golds after dominant showcases in the 400m women's freestyle and 100m women's backstroke events.

Meanwhile in the women's synchronized 3m springboard event, Monique Ann Demaisip and Rose Ann Ocmer came painfully close to a podium finish but missed it altogether after judges ruled their final maneuver a fail dive.

The duo, who were in the second spot before failing to complete their reverse 2 1/2 somersaults, finished with a total of 186.42 points. Malaysia's Yan Kee Ng and Dhabitah Sabri Nur ruled the event with 270.60 points, while Singapore (228.06) and Thailand (208.14) followed suit.

Francisco Deorelar also couldn't deliver a medal for the Philippines after placing sixth at 300.75 points in the men's 3m springboard category. Malaysia's Ooi Tze Liang topped the class with 454.6 points, while teammate Muhd Syafiq Puteh (402.50) and Mark Lee Han Ming of Singapore (325.50) bagged silver and bronze, respectively.