by Brian Yalung
The 2019 SEA Games is just around the corner and the debate rages on which sports deserves attention. Swimming is a sport that has the potential to haul in medals although this can only happen once the people behind it start to unite for the benefit of the country.
Regardless, that has not stopped local swimmers who still aim high in an effort to bring glory to the country. Two names come to mind when it comes to swimming – Jesse Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi.
Both have already proven in the past that they have the potential to reel in medals from international competition. Lacuna has amassed roughly a total of 33 gold medals in international competition while Alkhaldi has had her share of success by placing among the top international tankers in various events.
Success has not spoiled both Alkhaldi and Lacuna and the two have set their sights on the 2019 SEA Games. Aside from training hard to achieve success, they share some of their health secrets.
“I keep a balanced diet, keeping everything in moderation as much as I can. As to other workouts I do, my swimming program includes weights sessions in the gym (about 3 times a week), as well as some strength and conditioning sessions done 2 to 3 times a week,” shares Alkhaldi.
Alkhaldi, born to a Filipino mother from Cebu and a Saudi Arabian father, is a double degree holder in Business Marketing and Business Management from the University of Hawaii. Given the choice, she could opt for a professional career. However, she believes that there is still some fire left in her to bring glory to the Philippines.
“I just felt like I still have more to give. I still have the fire and the passion, so I’ll keep going,” she explains.
As for Lacuna, he admits that due to time constraints, training also sinks in once there is a competition to prepare for. He also adds that he goes on diets on his own.
“Honestly, I am normally out of shape since I have to stop training due to academic reasons. But when there is an upcoming competition, that is the time I start consistent and regular training,” Lacuna explains.
“I don’t really have a personal nutritionist so I rely on self-dieting. Example, no chips, soda or fast food. During weekends, I consume just one bottle of soft drink and a bag of chip – my cheat day. Other than that, I don’t really have a regular diet,” he ends.
Like Jasmine, Jesse also follows a training schedule. He usually hits the pool twice a day and the gym at least twice a week. He also does some land workouts in a week.
Alkhaldi and Lacuna are looking forward to their fourth and seventh SEA Games stints respectively. With the Philippines playing host, both are looking forward to representing the country once again but know that bagging medals will not come easy.
“Since we are the host for the 2019 SEA Games, I want to perform well in front of our countrymen. It will be my 7th SEA Games and I know that things will only get harder,” Lacuna said.