Swimmers Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule are headed to the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan after the international governing body for swimming, FINA, awarded them universality places.
Because of this, there are now 19 Filipino qualifiers to the quadrennial meet as they joined pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, sprinter Kristina Knott, gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo, boxers Felix Eumir Marcial, Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio and Irish Magno, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, rower Cris Nievarez, skateboarder Margielyn Arda Didal, shooter Jayson Valdez, taekwondo jin Kurt Ryan Barbosa, weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ann Ando and golfers Juvic Pagunsan, Bianca Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso.
Philippine Swimming Inc. president Lailani Velasco said this after she got confirmation from FINA on the status of Gebbie and Rule.
A letter sent by FINA coordinator Pedro Adrega on Friday to Velasco affirmed that Gebbie and Rule will be able to swim in two events each in Tokyo. Gebbie will take part in the men’s 50 and 100-meter freestyle events, while Rule will join the women’s 100 and 200-meter butterfly races in the Olympic swimming championships scheduled July 24 to August 1 at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.
“The two individuals emerged as the top-ranked male and female swimmers from the Philippines following their performances during the qualifying window,” said Velasco in a message to the Manila Standard.
Last March, the 24-year-old Gebbie, a Fil-Australian, who holds four national records, tried his best to make the qualifying times in the Australian swimming scene.
Gebbie managed to log clockings that were close to the qualifying B times in the Tokyo Olympics when he claimed the silver in the men’s 50-meter freestyle event and in snatching a bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle during the Victorian Open Swimming Championships.
Rule, a Fil-American, already hit the OST-B times in the 200-meter butterfly and in the 100-meter freestyle when she saw action for the Philippines in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
As for, Gebbie, he already hit the qualifying times in the 50m and 100m freestyle events. He made it as far back in July 2019, during the Gwangju World Championships, when he became the first Filipino to have breached the 50-second barrier in the Men’s 100m Freestyle event.
Gebbie’s time back then surpassed the 50.03-second OST-B, with his time of 49.94 seconds. The OQT-A of this event is 48.57.
Rule is a double silver medalist at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, earning 830 FINA points to make qualification.
Last March, Rule claimed a bronze medal in the women’s 200m butterfly event for a new national mark of 2 minutes, 9.58 seconds at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, Iowa.
Last May, the former University of Texas bet made qualification the women’s 100 butterfly after collecting 808 FINA points with a time of 59.55 seconds during the heats of the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite & Time Trials.
Her times at both events are within the Olympic Selection Time or “B-cut” times of 2:12.28 and 59.66 seconds, for each event.