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Olympic medalist swimmer Sanchez to accomplish 12-month residency before representing PH in competition

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Olympic medalist swimmer Sanchez to accomplish 12-month residency before representing PH in competition
Kayla Sanchez
Courtesy of PSI

MANILA, Philippines — Two-time Tokyo Olympics medalist Kayla Sanchez will be living in the Philippines for a year before she can officially compete under the banner of the Philippine flag in international competitions.

This was what Philippine Swimming Inc. President Lani Velasco cleared on Saturday, just days after the former Canadian swimmer announced her change in sports nationality.

"What's going to happen is Kayla will need to establish 12 months residency," Velasco said during Sanchez's visit to New Clark City Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac.

"And during that time, she cannot compete internationally, representing the Philippines or Canada. But she may compete in a club meet, whether its abroad or here. She may compete, but cannot represent a country for 12 months," she added.

Sanchez is looking to use the time to acclimate to the Philippines, as well as train and build on the grassroots program of swimming in the country.

The long term goal is to have Sanchez represent the Philippines in top-level competitions like the FINA World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Sanchez is already a two-time medal winner in the Summer Games after winning one silver and one bronze in the 2020 Tokyo Games under the banner of Canada.

Per Velasco, everything is being done smoothly to ensure Sanchez's transition to the Philippines is seamless while working closely together with the International Swimming Federation.

"The first thing that we did was we informed FINA that there was intent to change sports nationality and Kayla, on her part, she informed Swim Canada. Everything was done before we announced it. So, we're all good," said Velasco.

"FINA is aware, Swim Canada did release a very nice writeup. In fact, I got an email from Swim Canada last night and the message was please take care of Kayla, she is a gem," she added.

Sanchez has been touted as the Philippines' best bet to end a 90-year medal drought in Olympic swimming.

PHILIPPINE SWIMMING INC

SWIMMING

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