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2022 Asian Games

World Aquatics approves Kayla Sanchez’s switch to PH

In a groundbreaking development for Philippine swimming, Kayla Sanchez, a seasoned swimmer with an impressive track record, has received approval from the international governing body, World Aquatics, to change her nationality from Canada to the Philippines.

This significant decision will enable Sanchez to represent her newly adopted country in international competitions starting July 6, 2023.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) under the leadership of President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino — along with the initial push of Lani Velasco, tirelessly pursued Sanchez’s change of nationality over the past year, ensuring that all requirements, including a year-long residency, were met.

Tolentino expressed his elation at the news, stating, “Finally, the good news! The country now has a very strong anchor in its national swimming team.”

Sanchez, born on April 7, 2001, was a key member of Canada’s 4×100 meters freestyle relay team that secured a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. She also boasts an impressive collection of three gold medals from world championships while representing Canada.

With her switch to the Philippine team, Sanchez brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the national swimming program.POC-Deputy-Secretary-General-Bones-Floro-Kayla-Sanchez-PSI-President-Lailani-Velasco-1-scaled World Aquatics approves Kayla Sanchez's switch to PH 2022 Asian Games News POC/PSC Swimming  - philippine sports news

Looking ahead, Sanchez has set her sights on the upcoming Hangzhou 19th Asian Games, scheduled to take place from September 23 to October 8. However, upon the advice of her coach, she will not be competing in the world aquatics championships commencing on July 14 in Fukuoka, Japan.

The decision to skip the championships in Japan allows Sanchez to focus entirely on her training and preparation for the Asian Games.

Aware of the intense competition awaiting her after the Asian Games, including another world championships and the Olympics, Sanchez believes that dedicating herself fully to Hangzhou will enhance her chances of winning a medal.

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President Tolentino expressed his confidence in Sanchez and her coach, emphasizing that their decision not to compete in Fukuoka was based on careful consideration.

He stated, “Kayla is a veteran swimmer, even at only 22, and she and her coach know what’s best.”

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