Sanchez times offer glimpse of Asian Games golds
Kayla Sanchez’s arrival has brought much enthusiasm on how Team Philippines will fare in the coming 19th Asian Games (Asiad) in Hangzhou, China.
The numbers don’t lie and based on the most previous clockings in the Asiad, the Filipino-Canadian swimmer could possibly climb the medal podium five times during the Games, two of them with the Philippine national anthem being played.
Sanchez, born to Filipino parents Susana from Baguio and Noel from Pampanga, who both migrated to Canada, can obliterate the Asian field in the women’s 100-meter (m) and 200m freestyle.
A silver or bronze in the 50m freestyle as well as in the 50m and 100m backstroke wouldn’t be a stretch too.
“She’s favored to medal in these events. The country now has a very strong anchor in its national swimming team. We will be counting on her,’’ said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino.
The 22-year-old who won a silver (4x100m free) and bronze (4x100m medley) for the Canadian relay teams in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics will suit up for the Philippines for the first time during the Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 Asiad where a total of 395 Filipino athletes from 37 out of 40 sports see action.
Sanchez’s personal best of 1:52.72 in the 200m free is far better than defending Asian Games champion Li Bingie of China (1:56.74) while her 53.12-second clocking in the 100m free is faster than gold medalist Rikako Ikee of Japan (53.27).