Cadiz’s para swimmer bags 3 golds, ‘swimming darling’ of  WVRAA meet  

Zach Lucas Obsioma and his swimming mentor, Max Fermales, after winning his third gold at the WVRRA 2024 in Talisay City on Sunday.*Maria Evita Obsiama photo

A 10-year-old boy from Cadiz City, who  was born with the rare phocomelia syndrome,    grabbed three golds in swimming at the  paragames of the ongoing Western Visayas Regional Athletic (VWRAA) Meet 2024 hosted by Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.  

Dubbed as the WVRAA “swimming sensation”, Zach Lucas Obsioma, a Level 5 student at the Special Education (SPED) Training Center in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, was a crowd favorite at the swimming venue at St. John’s Institute on May 3 to 5, a press release from Cadiz City said.

Phocomelia syndrome  is a rare congenital anomaly where the proximal aspect of an extremity is absent with the  feet attached directly to the trunk.  

 Obsioma, who has  tiny feet,  uses a skate board to get around. 

Mentored by  Max Fermales  and Lyn Rabuya, Obsioma won golds in the  50-meter back stroke on  May 3,  50-meter breast stroke on May 4 and  50-meter free style on May 5.  

Obsioma, a  second child,  was born on Aug. 16, 2013 and raised in Barangay Zone 3, Cadiz City. 

He developed  his interest in swimming last year. 

The late Cherill Ducay, SPED-Cadiz City coordinator,  got him interested in  swimming instead of football that was his first choice.  

With just over  two months of swimming training,  Obsioma  prevailed during the Palarong Panlalawigan in Negros Occidental all the way to  WVRRA in Aklan and Palarong Pambansa in Marikina City last year.  

Cadiz Mayor Salvador Escalante Jr.  said on Monday that he was elated with Obsioma’s fearlessness despite of his physical disability.  

Hauling again three golds in the  WVRAA Meet is an extra-ordinary feat, mayor said.  

Obsioma is Cadiz’s young sports icon because he symbolizes persistency and resiliency, Escalante said.  

The  Cadiz  local government gifted Obsioma  with a laptop after he also shone in  the Palarong Pambansa paragames.  

“This time, I don’t know yet what to give him after raising anew SPED Cadiz’s flag in the WVRAA 2024,” Escalante said, adding, “Zach’s is truly beyond emulation.”

Obsioma’s mother, Maria Evita, said that she is  so happy with her son’s  performance.  

She thanked Fermales and Rabuya for their patience and dedication in training and mentoring  her son  at Laura’s Beach Resort in Cadiz City almost every day.  

Maria Evita  said she is also  grateful for the  all-out support given by the local government of Cadiz for her son  and the rest of Cadiz athletes participating in the WVRAA 2024.* 

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