Long distance swimming in PH now possible through Swimjunkie

A finisher strikes a pose after the Swimjunkie race in Batangas.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--Open-water swimming has finally arrived in the Philippines.

Mainly a part of triathlons, standalone long distance swimming events have become well known in Europe.

"It's actually the fastest growing sport in Europe," said former national team swimmer Betsy Medalla.

Medalla, who made history by becoming the first Asian to finish an open-water swimming race from Robben Island to Cape Town, decided to bring the sport here.

"I did a swim in South Africa, and after that swim, I knew that instead of people going to South Africa, they should go to the Philippines," she further said.

Thus, Swimjunkie was formed.

On Wednesday, Medalla met with reporters in a pocket press conference over snacks Toby's Estate here to discuss the long-distance swimming series.

Now on its second year, Swimjunkie made a stop in Lobo, Batangas and is set to to go to El Nido for the second leg on Sunday.

The main event, however, will be the Caramoan race on Aug. 19. Registration is ongoing.

But right now, Medalla is already setting up Season 3.

"We're looking at Camiguin or Dumaguete. I was asked to do one in Balesin, also [in] Boracay," Medalla bared the potential locations of the Swimjunkie races next year.

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