Kayla down to last three shots at swim medal
HANGZHOU, China—So far, swimmer Kayla Noelle Sanchez hasn’t delivered with her first four events as a National in the 19th Asian Games resulting in two individual national records and helping the women’s 4X100meter (m) freestyle relay team to a new Philippine standard.
A medal in the regional meet remains conspicuously missing with the two-time Olympic medalist left with shots in one more individual race and two relay races.
Sanchez simply hasn’t lived up to the hype surrounding her acquisition of Philippine citizenship last year.
“This is my first international competition since my residency,’’ said Sanchez, who missed the finals of the women’s 100m backstroke on Wednesday.
“I came in here to get back to the environment and atmosphere, so I’m slowly getting more comfortable and I’m really happy with my races so far,’’ she added after her fourth straight day of action at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Aquatic Arena here.
Sanchez reset the national individual marks in the women’s 50m backstroke and 100m freestyle twice during the qualifying heats and in the finals, but wasn’t able to make it all the way.
Since serving her one-year residency beginning last year, Sanchez hasn’t played in any top-level races and only began working out competitively only in July.
She gained Filipino citizenship two months ago after taking the Canadian relay team to the medal stands—a silver in the 4x100m freestyle and a bronze in the 4x100m medley relays of the Tokyo Olympics.
Sanchez finished third in her heat in the 100m backstroke with a time of 1:01.94 behind Japan’s Miki Takahashi (1:01.29) and China’s Wan Letian (1:01.43).
It wasn’t enough though to carry the multiple medalist in the Fina (International Swimming Federation) world championships to the finale.
“I’m still adjusting. I’ve been working really hard and It’s been a tough two months,’’ said Sanchez.
She still has the 50m freestyle and women’s 4x200m freestyle relay on Thursday and will wrap her maiden Asiad stint on Friday in the 4x100m medley relay.