Loud and proud home crowd helped Deiparine make SEA Games history

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 05, 2019 01:03 PM
Loud and proud home crowd helped Deiparine make history
(Photo courtesy of Joaqui Flores)

NEW CLARK CITY, TARLAC - The Philippines' dry spell in Southeast Asian Games swimming has been broken thanks to James Deiparine.

And after winning his country's first gold medal in the sport in a decade, words could not describe how the Filipino-American felt. "It feels really good. I'm just speechless right now," he told reporters last Wednesday at NCC Aquatics Center here.

And along with putting an end to the Philippines' decade-long golden drought, Deiparine also set the new bar for the event in the regional meet. Asked about it, all he could answer was, "I was just out there giving my all and doing my best for the Philippines."

For the 26-year-old, he wouldn't have been able to do what he had done if not for the loud and proud home crowd that trooped to the brand new venue. "I wasn't really looking around, but when I heard the crowd screaming, that helped me finish the race," he shared.

He then continued, "I relish all the support because when I could hear the crowd loud, I knew I was going fast."

In the end, Deiparine was nothing but overjoyed to have made Filipinos proud. "It feels really good to get gold after two silvers in the last SEA Games. This was the ultimate goal - competing and winning here at home," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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