MANILA, Philippines – Southeast Asian (SEA) swimming stars can now continue their Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid in their own region as Fédération internationale de natation (FINA) approved the 2019 SEA Games as an Olympic qualifer.
This is the first time Philippine Swimming Inc (PSI) will host an Olympic qualifying event through the regional biennial meet.
“I would like to thank FINA for approving the 30th SEA Games as a qualifying Olympic meet. This is truly a first in the history of Philippine swimming,” said PSI president Lani Velasco.
“I am also thankful to the swimmers who have been our inspiration. You have been the driving force in all that we’re doing to elevate Philippine swimming to an international level.”
Swimmers participating in the SEA Games can shoot for the Qualifying Time A and Qualifying Time B standards of each Olympic event.
Singapore’s Joseph Schooling leads the bets from Southeast Asia after he bested Michael Phelps, the world’s most decorated Olympian, in the men’s 100m butterfly event for the Lion City’s first Olympic gold.
Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên of Vietnam looks to go for a third Olympic appearance after dominating the recent editions of the SEA Games.
Filipino swimmers Jessie Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi – who both saw action in the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics – will again be the country’s top bets in the world’s biggest sporting event.
The final FINA calendar of approved meets is set to be released on February 28. – Rappler.com