MANILA, Philippines — Two-time Tokyo Olympics medalist Kayla Sanchez will live in the Philippines for a year before she can officially compete under the banner of the Philippine flag in international competitions.
That’s what Philippine Swimming Inc. president Lani Velasco cleared on Saturday, just days after the former Canadian swimmer announced her change of sporting nationality.
“What’s going to happen is that Kayla will have to establish a 12-month residency,” Velasco said during Sanchez’s visit to the New Clark City Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac.
WATCH: Two-time Tokyo Olympics medalist Kayla Sanchez, who recently chose to represent the Philippines, is welcomed here at the New Clark City Aquatic Center
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“And meanwhile, she can’t compete internationally, representing the Philippines or Canada. But she can compete in club competition, whether it’s overseas or here. She can compete, but she can’t. represent a country for 12 months,” she added.
Sanchez is looking to use the time to acclimatize to the Philippines, as well as train and develop the basic swimming program in the country.
The long-term goal is for Sanchez to represent the Philippines in high-level competitions like the FINA World Championships and the Olympics.
Sanchez is already a two-time Summer Games medalist after winning a silver and a bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Games for Canada.
According to Velasco, everything is being done smoothly to ensure Sanchez’s transition to the Philippines smoothly while working closely with the International Swimming Federation.
“The first thing we did was inform FINA that there was an intention to change sport nationality and Kayla, on the other hand, informed Swim Canada. Everything was done before we announced it. . So it’s all good,” Velasco said. .
“FINA is aware, Swim Canada has put out a great article. In fact, I got an email from Swim Canada last night and the message was take care of Kayla, she’s a gem,” he said. -she adds.
Sanchez has been touted as the Philippines’ best bet to end a 90-year medal drought in Olympic swimming.