Fina lauds PSI efforts in uplifting athletes
The Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) strengthened its ties with the international swimming federation (Fina) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a recent meeting with the organizations’ top brass in Lausanne, Switzerland.
PSI president Lani Velasco was personally invited by Fina executive director Cornel Marculescu during the 110th anniversary of the world governing body for aquatics and the inauguration of the Fina headquarters last week.
IOC president Thomas Bach was also present during the twin event and discussed the future of Philippine swimming with Velasco, a member of Fina’s disciplinary committee.
“He (Bach) congratulated me and said that he has heard a lot of good things about what I have been doing,” said Velasco. “His advice is to continue working with the athletes.”
The Philippine Olympic Committee has suspended the PSI despite the full backing of Fina president Dr. Julio Maglione and the Asian Swimming Federation (AASF).
In a recent meeting with AASF secretary general Taha Al Kishry, POC president Ricky Vargas said he would find a solution to resolve the conflict in aquatics, one of the biggest sport in terms of the number of gold medals at stake in the Olympics.
Aquatics have at least five disciplines—swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo and marathon swimming—for a total of 60 gold medals during last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
The POC held back in recognizing Velasco’s election last February in an effort to include other stakeholders in swimming. The rules of the Fina, however, are clear that swim groups not affiliated with the local swim body should sign up as members of the PSI.
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