A sixteen-year-old Filipino swimmers has qualified to this year’s World Championships, but could possibly miss the chance of representing our country.
Since FINA started to introduce the qualifying times at the Long Course World Championships in its 16th edition in Kazan, Russia last 2015, qualifying to the FINA World Championships has been a very tough task to achieve for Filipino swimmers.
In 2015, only three Filipino swimmers had hit the qualifying times. They were Jasmine Alkhaldi, Jessie Lacuna and Josh Hall, while Roxanne Yu made it to Kazan via the last remaining allocated slot for an NSA.
In 2017, Philippines produced four qualifiers; Alkhaldi, Lacuna, Nicole Oliva and James Deiparine.
This year, barely two months to the World Championships, Philippines has so far have three qualifiers namely Luke Gebbie, Nicole Oliva and Remedy Rule. It’s not clear though if Jasmine Alkhaldi’s time at the Asian Games last year could serve as a qualifying time for the Worlds this year since it is not on the list of qualifying meets for the Worlds.
Early morning today, a young 16-year-old Filipino swimmer, who is yet to turn 17 years-old later this year, has hit the qualifying time (QTB) of this year’s World Championships after a sterling performance at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
Jean-Pierre Khouzam has qualified to the 18th FINA World Swimming Championships in Gwanju, South Korea this July in the Men’s 200m Butterfly event.
Clocking 2:01.71 in the morning prelims, Khouzam made it to the A Finals of the Men’s 200m Butterfly event where he narrowly missed the podium, and finished in 4th place with a time of 2:00.72, a World Championship QTB.
He has surpassed this year’s World Championships QTB time of 2:00.80, and could be the fourth member of the Philippine Swimming Team bound to South Korea.
Yes. Could be!
Because Khouzam has just recently submitted his PSI membership application, and he is still yet to have his Oath of Allegiance (to the country) at the PH Consulate in Chicago this July (sobrang busy raw ang consulate, kaya July pa oath taking nya).
Meaning, only in July that he gets to process his PH Passport, and could possibly miss the World Championships since a swimmer has to have the passport of the country that he/she will be representing.
With this, Khouzam will most likely be able to represent our country at this year’s SEA Games, but could also possibly miss the FINA Junior World Championships as well in August, where he is Philippine Swimming’s brightest hope of seeing a Filipino swimmer qualify to the Finals at this prestigious world meet, not to mention Jerard Jacinto.
In the history of Philippine Swimming in the Junior World Championships, no Filipino swimmer has ever qualified in the Finals.
The furthest that we have achieved was making it to the Semifinals.
Sprint King and Men’s 50m Free national record holder, Daniel Coakley, has advanced to the Semifinals of the Men’s 50m Free at the 1st edition of the Junior Worlds Championships in Brazil.
Coakley finished in 10th place with 23.99 clocking.
This year, with Jerard Jacinto plus Jean-Pierre Khouzam around, we might be seeing another two Filipino swimmers making it to the semifinal round.
This year, with Jacinto and Khouzam in our team, we have a strong chance of seeing Filipino swimmers in the Finals at the Junior Worlds.
Will Philippine Swimming miss this chance?
Let’s see what PSI can do.
xoxo, Kots Isko