Negros Occidental

Young Cadiz City swimming sensation inspires, impresses in Western Visayas meet

Erwin Delilan

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Young Cadiz City swimming sensation inspires, impresses in Western Visayas meet

YOUNG SENSATION. Swimmer Zach Lucas Obsioma from SPED Center in Cadiz City with his coach, Lyn Rabuya, after copping his third gold on Sunday, May 5, at the 2024 WVRAA Meet.


(1st UPDATE) Born with no legs, 10-year-old swimmer Zach Lucas Obsioma only picked up the sport last year, but the pride of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental already proved to be one of the region’s rising stars

BACOLOD, Philippines – A 10-year-old boy with a rare birth condition proved yet again that he’s a rising swimming star in the para games of the Western Visayas Regional Athletic (WVRAA) Meet 2024 in Negros Occidental.

Zach Lucas Obsioma, a Level 5 student at the Special Education (SPED) Training Center in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, captured three gold medals, replicating his feat last year. 

Born with phocomelia syndrome, a malformation of the limbs, Zach ruled the 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke, and 50-meter freestyle of the WVRAA para swimming event at Saint John’s Institute in Talisay City, 10 kilometers from the capital, Bacolod City.

Zach’s mom, Maria Evita, told Rappler she’s so happy with her son’s  performance, thanking his coaches, Max Fermales and Lyn Rabuya, for their patience and dedication in training.

Fermales and Rabuya, the mother shared, train Zach at Laura’s Beach Resort in Cadiz City almost every day.

Second in the brood of three, Zach was born on August 16, 2013 with no legs and just small feet attached to his torso. He grew up in Barangay Zone 3, Cadiz City, eventually learning to go around using a skateboard.

Zach only got interested in swimming last year after the late Cherill Ducay, SPED-Cadiz City coordinator, encouraged him to try the sport instead of football, his first choice.

With just two months of training, Zach surprisingly ruled the Palarong Panlalawigan in Negros Occidental all the way to the WVRAA in Aklan, and qualified for the Palarong Pambansa in Marikina City last year.

After shining in Palaro, Zach received a laptop from the local government of Cadiz as an incentive. 

“This time, I don’t know yet what to give him after raising anew SPED Cadiz’s flag in WVRAA in the field of swimming,” said Cadiz Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr. on Sunday, May 5.

 “Zach is truly beyond emulation,” he said.

3 gold medals

The 10-year-old swimmer is set to receive a hero’s welcome in Cadiz City for bagging three gold medals in the ongoing WVRAA meet.

He prevailed in the 50m backstroke on Friday, May 3; 50m breaststroke on Saturday, May 4; and 50m freestyle on Sunday, May 5.

“Amazing,” said Zach’s mother, Maria Evita, who served as chaperone for her son during the three-day swimming competition.

Escalante called the young Obsioma Cadiz’s “one and only” and a “symbol of persistency and resiliency worthy of emulation.”

Obsioma’s feat, Escalante said, necessitates Cadiz City to honor him next Monday, May 13. –

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