POC chief Vargas affirms PSI authority on SEA Games tryouts

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The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has reiterated an inclusive approach in selecting members of the national swimming team provided that the tryouts be done under the auspices of the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI).

PSI president Lani Velasco and POC president Ricky Vargas recently threshed out issues, specifically the tryouts for the national swimming squad, for the coming Philippines SEA Games set to start Nov. 30

“Obviously, we should have the best athletes available to us for the Southeast Asian Games,” said Vargas.

Both officials agreed that the trials must be open to all swim clubs and should be conducted under the rules of the International Swimming Federation (Fina), the world governing body which, along with the Asia Swimming Federation, recognized the leadership of Velasco.

“We all need to put our misunderstandings and heartaches aside and come together to get the best Filipino swimmers in the SEA Games,” said Vargas.

“There is no need for acrimony and divisiveness. We can work this out. Lani (Velasco) has announced she is willing to do this. I call on other groups to cooperate and work as one for the country’s interest,” added Vargas.

A group of former national swimmers led by Eric Buhain and Ral Rosario earlier announced they will hold separate tryouts for the SEA Games.

Velasco said they will definitely entertain the registration of swimmers and clubs.

“I will even personally assist non-PSI members with their membership applications,” said Velasco.

In 2017, swimmers Kayla Soguilon and Arbeen Miguel Thruelen from the Philippine Swimming League registered with PSI and joined the national tryouts for the 2018 Southeast Asian Age Group Championships.

By June Navarro, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Read more: https://sports.inquirer.net/336686/poc-chief-affirms-psi-authority-on-seag-tryouts
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