Foreign-based tankers press Olympic bids

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    SWIMMERS Remedy Rule and Luke Gebbie pressed their bids to represent the Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics in July by coming up with outstanding performances in separate competitions in the United States and Australia, according to swimming chief Lani Velasco.

    Fil-Am Rule, a silver medalist in the 30th Southeast Games, clocked two minutes and 0.9.58 seconds in the women’s 200-meter butterfly TYR Pro Series swimming championships in Des Moines, Iowa, inching closer to the Olympic qualifying time of 2:08.43.

    Her clocking was way above the Olympic “B” time of 2:12.28 for the event.

    “Remedy will continue to compete in FINA-sanctioned meets in the US and is confident that she will meet the qualifying standard in the 200 fly before the Olympic cut-off date of July 6,” said Velasco, who heads the Philippine Swimming, Inc.

    Fil-Kiwi Gebbie came within striking distance of the men’s 50-meter freestyle Olympic qualifying standard of 22.01 seconds, clocking 22.43 seconds in the 4×50-meter freestyle relay as the second tanker of the Melbourne Vicentre’s relay squad in the recent Victoria Open swimming meet.

    “Luke will also be competing in future competitions and is just as keen of representing the Philippines in Tokyo,” Velasco said.

    Another Olympic hopeful is Fil-Am breaststroke specialist James Deiparine, who has yet to swing back into action since ruling the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in a new SEA Games and national mark of 1:01.46 at the New Clark City Aquatic Center in Capas, Tarlac last December.

    Deiparine’s time is an eye-blink off the Olympic qualifying time of 59.93 seconds, and he is set to begin his bid to earn his ticket to Tokyo in the succeeding weeks, Velasco said.

    The PSI chief said veteran swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi also has not given up on her dream to return to the Olympics for a third straight time and has quietly been competing overseas to qualify for Tokyo.

    “We’re just hoping that Jasmine can improve on her times in the last SEA Games so she can make the cut in her pet freestyle events,” Velasco said.