Swimmers not wildcard entries

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

Philippine swimmers Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule arent in the Tokyo Olympics as universality or Tripartite Commission Invitation “wildcardentries. They booked tickets by clocking within the Olympic Selection Time (OST) or what is known as the B-grade in the qualifying process. A swimmer who is within the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT), or A-grade, is automatically in the competition.

A country may enter up to two athletes under OQT. If the quota of 878 swimmers is not filled by OQT qualifiers, then OST swimmers are included in the roster but only one per country.  A B-grade swimmer is allowed to compete in a maximum of two events. The distribution of OST places is determined by FINA world rankings. The period of reckoning for Tokyo was from March 1, 2019 to June 27, 2021. Beyond the OQT and OST qualifiers, there are also slots allocated for a universality place in one event which is reserved for “smaller nations with developing athletesunable to enter swimmers under the A or B-grade category. However, a universality entry must have participated in the latest FINA World Championships, no matter the finish. Because of the pandemic, the requirement of participation in the previous World Championships was scrapped and organizers assigned the universality places arbitrarily. If there is still room within the quota, a Tripartite Invitation Place is awarded to a country with little or no representation in the Olympics.

Gebbie, 24, will compete in mens 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle. The OQT minimum time for 50-meter freestyle is 22.01 and OST is 22.67. Gebbie holds the Philippine record of 22.57 so hes within OST. The OST minimum time for 100-meter freestyle is 48.57 and OST is 50.03. Gebbie also holds the Philippine record of 49.94 in this event. In 50-meter freestyle, there are 70 entries consisting of 31 OQT, 10 OST, 28 universality and an invitation place for Alaa Maso, a Syrian refugee in Germany. In 100-meter freestyle, there are 72 entries consisting of 30 OQT, 14 OST and 28 universality. The heats for 50-meter freestyle will be on July 30 and for 100-meter freestyle on July 27.

Rule, 24, will swim in womens 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly. The OQT minimum time for 100-meter butterfly is 57.92 and OST is 59.66. Rule holds the Philippine record of 59.55 so shes within OST. The OST minimum time for 200-meter butterfly is 2:08:43 and OST is 2:12:28. Rule also holds the Philippine record of 2:09:58 in this event. There are 32 entries in 100-meter butterfly, including five OST and 17 in 200-meter butterfly, including three OST. Another Syrian refugee in Germany Yussa Mardini was added to 100-meter butterfly as a wildcard. The 100-meter butterfly heats begin on July 24 and the 200-meter butterfly heats on July 27.

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