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Monday, June 24, 2024

Sanchez, 6 other PH swimmers seek Olympic slots

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KAYLA Sanchez, now eligible to compete internationally as a Filipino, will be part of a seven-member Philippine national team seeking qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympics this February.

Batangas Rep. Eric Buhain (first district), the secretary general of the Philippine Swimming Inc., said he has entered Sanchez’s name into the list of Filipino aspirants who will compete in the coming Doha World Aquatics meet in the first week of February.

“I have seven seven swimmers, who are qualified. We have entered their names (to the competition),” said Buhain.

Sanchez will be able to represent the country in two months’ time after Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino wrote the International Olympic Committee last November 8 to seek updates on her status.

The IOC gave the green light on the POC’s request to waive the three-year residency rule that covers athletes, who switch nationalities.

The 22-year-old Sanchez will join national team members Jarrod Hatch and Gerald Jacinto in the men’s division, along with Thea Salvino, Jasmine Alkhaldi, Xiandi Chua and Thanya de la Cruz in the women’s side.

Sanchez is a full-blooded Filipino, whose father was originally from Mabalacat, Pampanga. Her mother is from Baguio City.

She once was part of Canada’s silver medal-clinching 4×100 meters women’s relay team in Tokyo 2020, before Sanchez and her parents considered making a switch.

“Hopefully, we have good results in Doha, at may mag-qualify sa Paris,” said Buhain.

She was considered one of Canada’s top swimmers, before Sanchez decided to change her citizenship in June last year.

Sanchez made her first appearance  for the Philippines at the Hangzhou Asian Games last September.

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