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It took a very small fraction, or .26 seconds, for 15-year-old Banjo Borja to carve his name in this year’s Palarong Pambansa in addition to the four gold medals and three silvers – including two in the relays — he won.

The Calabarzon swimmer broke the Palaro standards in 100m secondary boys’ backstroke set 10 years ago with his new meet mark – 1:02.26.

Banjo, a native of San Pablo City in Laguna, said he prepared hard for the Puerto Princesa games by religiously practicing everyday. Before going to school in the morning and after classes, while his classmates are elsewhere or relaxing, he was training in the pool.

Growing up in a family of swimmers, Banjo started his romance with the pool when he was 4 years old. “Mahilig talaga siya sa tubig simula pa nag maliit pa siya,” said his mother, Venus, who accompanied him in Puerto Princesa. His older brother Marvie, is a former Palarong Pambansa gold medalist and is now a collegiate varsity standout.

As a result of his self-discipline and rigid time management, he has produced medals in international age-group competitions, including a bronze medal in his first overseas stint in Brunei when he was 12 years old.

He is looking forward to the next Southeast Asian Age Group competition which will be held in Korat, Thailand in June.

Asked of his sporting dreams, the member of the Lake City Swim Club of San Pablo said he is looking forward “to become part of the national swimming team.

By: Ronces Paragoso


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