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COPA swim tilt slated this weekend

MANILA, Philippines -- More than 500 swimmers are expected to splash their way to glory in this weekend’s Congress of the Philippine Aquatics (COPA) National Capital Region "One For All-All For One Championships" at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.

The Philippine Aquatics Inc. (PAI)-sanctioned tournament, according to COPA cofounder Chito Rivera, will also be a fund-raising event whose proceeds will go to the family of the late swimming coach Elcid Evangelista.

The age-group competitions are for boys and girls 6-under, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18-year-old and over.

“This is part of a series of COPA competitions aimed at fostering camaraderie and boosting the swimmer’s development at the grassroots level. But of course, expect tough competition as some of our Palarong Pambansa qualifiers are confirmed to join the event,” COPA cofounder and PAI secretary general Eric Buhain said.

“Also, this will serve as part of our young swimmers’ preparation for the coming National tryouts on August 15-18 to select members of the team for the Southeast Asian Age Group Championship slated in Bangkok in December,” he added.

According to Rivera, teams and swimmers coming from public schools will be free of charge.

Among those who will be competing in the tournament are acclaimed swimmers Nicola Diamante, Patricia Mae Santor, Rio Balbuena, Jada Cruz, Amber Arano, Kristoffe David and Audrina Victor.