NANJING, China – Young Filipino swimmer Roxanne Yu might have ended her Youth Olympic journey without a medal, but she said she has no regrets.
“My goal upon coming here wasn’t really to do anything more than to break my personal bests (PB). My main priority was to beat my PB and I did that. I’m really satisfied,” the 17-year-old said.
On Sunday, August 17, Yu competed in the Women’s 100-meter backstroke event in the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (YOG), breaking her personal record with a 1:05-second finish. On Tuesday, August 20, she topped her heat in the 200-meter women’s backstroke meet in 2:18 minutes.
“The goal last year was to qualify for the YOG. Now that I’m here, I’m really proud. Topping my heat is an added experience,” she added.
The young Olympian admitted that the YOG was “a different kind of competition” compared to all the other contests she’s been to.
“I was able to meet so many kinds of people and share the experience with the fastest swimmers across the globe. I’m really lucky to be able to have this opportunity,” Yu said.
She added: “I’m really grateful that I was able to come here, participate and represent the country. That itself is already an achievement.”
Yu started swimming as a hobby when she was 5 years old. Summer camps turned into regular trainings when her parents and coach saw her potential.
In 2013, she moved to Phuket, Thailand, under a scholarship, where she was able to improve her swimming skills.
Yu said she feels no pressure for not winning a gold medal.
“As long as I know that I tried my best, nothing or no one can say against that. I’m just contented with that,” she added.
Tips for young swimmers
Yu said being an athlete is not easy. Young athletes need to have determination if they want to succeed.
“It will not be an easy road to get where you want to be. But eventually, with hard work and strong will, you’ll achieve what you’re aiming for,” she said.
It would help, Yu added, if young athletes follow the example of other successful Olympians.
“You should strive hard to be the best. Like us 7 young Olympians, it wasn’t an easy path going here and having the honor of representing our country. But we made it,” Yu concluded.
After the YOG, the young swimmer plans to compete in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games and the Swimming World Championships 2015 in Russia.
Nanjing YOG will run until August 26. The Philippines has seven athletes competing in six sports events. – Rappler.com
See other YOG stories here:
Inside Nanjing, 4 days before the Olympics
PH Youth Olympics flag-bearer ‘hopeful’ for a gold medal
IN PHOTOS: The Nanjing Youth Olympics opening ceremony
All heart: PH triathlete finishes ‘strong’ in Nanjing YOG
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