Swimmers hard-pressed to nail London slotsBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THERE’S a gloomy possibility that Filipino swimmers may not make it to the London Olympics.
Swimming chief Mark Joseph said Pinoy swimmers have been vying in several qualifying tournaments to meet the criteria of the Fina, the sport’s governing body, for the Summer Games.
Unlike in previous Olympiads where each country’s participation in the sport was mandatory, Joseph said not all countries would be given outright slots this time in London.
“We cannot just submit names like athletics can,” Joseph told the Inquirer. “Our swimmers must qualify first, then be approved by Fina.”
The deputy secretary general of the Philippine Olympic Committee said the Filipino swimmers are hard-pressed to barge into the top rankings set by Fina that could earn them tickets to the July 27 to Aug. 12 Games.
Jessie Khing Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi are scheduled to compete in the Southeast Asia championships in Singapore in June—their final chance to clinch Olympic spots.
Four athletes—boxing’s Mark Anthony Barriga, athletics’ Marestella Torres and Rene Herrera and either of shooting’s Brian Del Rosario (skeet) and Hagen Topacio (trap)—comprise what is being described as the tiniest Philippine delegation ever to the Olympics.
Filipinos, though, are still fighting for berths in swimming, judo, weightlifting, women’s boxing and BMX cycling.