Rule gets free semis berth in 200m Olympic butterfly

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Rule gets free semis berth in 200m Olympic butterfly
Remedy Rule in action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila.
STAR / Jun Mendoza

MANILA, Philippines – By a stroke of luck, swimmer Remedy Rule has essentially earned a free pass to the semifinals after her event — the 200-meter butterfly — drew only 17 participants in the pool competition of the Tokyo Olympics slated July 24 to August 1.

Rule is guaranteed a place in the 16-seat semis since one of the Universality entries has a personal-best clocking, which is nine seconds slower than the rest, including the Fil-Am bet.

“This is good news for us,” Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI) president Lailani Velasco told The STAR on Friday.

The women’s 200m fly drew the smallest number of participants in the individual events because developing swim nations that rely on universality place allocations tend to focus more on shorter and more manageable races.

It didn’t also help that the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic made it hard to gain access to training that hit harder on longer events like the 200m fly.

Interestingly, defending Olympic 200m fly champion Mireia Belmonte of Spain did not meet the qualifying standard and failed to qualify in the event.

Rule though will have to earn her semis spot in her other event, the 200m freestyle, which will have 30 entrants.

Like Rule, Fil-Kiwi Luke Gebbie also gained a university place spot and will swim in two events — 50m and 100m free.

Rule and Gebbie are hoping they could deliver the country’s first Olympic medal in the sport since Teofilo Yldefonso snared back-to-back bronze medals in the 1928 Amsterdam and 1932 Los Angeles Games.

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