Bambol Tolentino confident of Kayla Sanchez ‘okay’ | Inquirer Sports

Bambol Tolentino confident of Kayla Sanchez ‘okay’

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:25 AM November 26, 2023

Philippines' Kayla Noelle Sanchez competes during the women's 100m freestyle swimming heat at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Philippines’ Kayla Noelle Sanchez competes during the women’s 100m freestyle swimming heat at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino is confident that Kayla Sanchez will be able to represent the country in the 2024 Paris Olympics, saying history favors the star swimmer’s request for a waiver of the three-year residency imposed on athletes switching federations.

“[Such a request] gets granted ninety-nine percent by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) in the spirit of Olympism. I have yet to hear an athlete who appealed to compete [immediately] for another country get turned down,’’ said Tolentino, the comebacking Tagaytay City mayor who previously served as Cavite’s representative in Congress thrice.


“I’m confident that Kayla can compete for us in the Olympics. The IOC doesn’t want to deprive an athlete just because of a three-year residency,’’ Tolentino said.


The 22-year-old Sanchez, an Olympic silver and bronze medalist while representing Canada in the women’s relays of the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games, decided to continue her flourishing career in the Philippines last year.

That move subjected the three-time short course relay world champion to a three-year residency in the Philippines while clearing up her transfer with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the IOC, the chief organizer of the Olympics.

According to Tolentino, the process of changing one’s representation in the Olympics itself is quite stringent.

After securing a release from Team Canada, where Sanchez delivered a combined 12 relay medals from the world championships and Olympics, her appeal will be forwarded to the IOC before the body’s executive board committee calendars the issue.

Tolentino is expecting that Sanchez’s bid will be tackled by the IOC executive board any time soon.

With the blessings of World Aquatics, Sanchez was allowed to suit up for the first time as a FIlipino in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, two months ago.


Out of seven events, including three relays, she qualified in the finals of the women’s individual 50m backstroke and 100m freestyle as well as in the 4x200m and 4x100m freestyle relays.

Sanchez didn’t podium in all of them, still feeling her way in the pool after she was barred from competing for over a year since the residency began.

“She’s one of our medal prospects in the Olympics. We’re really hoping she can represent us in Paris,’’ said Tolentino.

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Sanchez won a silver with the Canadian relay squad in the women’s 4x100m freestyle and a bronze in the 4x100m medley during the Tokyo Olympics by anchoring the country in the heats.

TAGS: 2024 Paris Olympics, Kayla Sanchez, Swimming

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