Six months to go before the June 29, 2020 last day of qualifying period, Philippine Swimming now has four swimmers who have hit the Olympic Selection Time (OST-B) for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on July 25-30 next year.
They are Remedy Alexis Rule, Jasmine Alkhaldi, Luke Michael Gebbie and James Christian Deiparine.
Rule clocked an OST-B in the 200m Fly and 100m Free events; Alkhaldi in the 50m and 100m Free events; Gebbie in the 50m and 100m Free events; and Deiparine in the 100m Breast events.
Rule was the first Pinoy tanker who have hit the Olympics “B” cut, clocking 2:11.56 in the 200m Fly event at the TYR Pro Clovis Swim Series in USA last June.
She trimmed down her time to 2:11.28 at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju last July, and again trimmed it down to 2:10.99 at the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games, making her the first Filipina tanker to have breached the 2:11 mark in this event.
Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT-A) of the Women’s 200m Fly event is 2:08.43
At the 30th SEA Games in New Clark City, Rule clocked her second OST-B, this time in the Women’s 100m Freestyle event with a time of 55.80, breaching the 56.01 OST-B and inching closer to the 54.38 OQT-A.
Gebbie on the other hand was the second Pinoy tanker to have hit an Olympics “B” Cut.
At last July’s Gwangju World Championships, he became the first Filipino to have breached the 50-second barrier in the Men’s 100m Freestyle event, surpassing the 50.03 OST-B with his time of 49.94. OQT-A of this event is 48.57
He bagged his second Olympics “B” Cut at this year’s SEA Games after clocking 22.62 seconds in the Men’s 50m Freestyle event which breached the 22.67 OST-B and inching closer to the 22.01 OQT-A.
Alkhaldi and Deiparine on the other hand clocked their Olympics “B” Cut at this year’s SEA Games.
Two time Olympian Alkhaldi timed 25.48 in the 50m Free to breach the 25.51 OST-B (OQT-A is 24.77); and 55.76 in the 100m Free event.
Deiparine on the other hand claimed the SEA Games gold medal of the Men’s 100m Breast event with his OST-B of 1:01.46, surpassing the 1:01.73 “B” cut, and inching closer to the 59.93 “A” cut.
Achieving an OST-B though does not automatically qualify a swimmer to the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Swimmers have to hit the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT-A) to make it to the Olympics, and have to be ranked 1st and 2nd in the national ranking in their respectively countries.
Only 878 swimmers will make it to next year’s Summer Olympic Games, and when slots are not fully filled from the OQT-A and Universality swimmers; then FINA will invite OST-B swimmers to fill the remaining slots.
Since FINA changed the qualifying guidelines in 2012 London Olympics, Philippine Swimming has yet to produce an automatic qualifier (OQT-A) to the Olympic Games.
In both 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie Khing Lacuna made it to the Olympics via Universality slots.
Philippine Swimming though has shown improvement in terms of number of swimmers who have hit the Olympic Selection Time (OST-B).
In 2012 London Olympics, only Alkhaldi and Lacuna have hit Olympic “B” cuts.
In 2016 Rio Olympics, apart from Alkhaldi and Lacuna, Joshua Hall also hit the “B” cut.
Now, with six months to go before the last day of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying period, we already have four swimmers who have breached several OST-B’s, and more swimmers are still eyeing to hit the “B” cuts.
Below are the scheduled Tokyo Olympic Games qualifying meets in the SEA region next year :
12-15 Mar 20 – 56th Malaysia Invitational Age Group Swimming Championships, KL
17-22 Mar 20 – 51st Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships Singapore
7-12 Apr 20- Thailand Age Group Swimming Championships 2020, Bangkok
16-19 Apr 20 – 63rd Malaysia Open Swimming Championships, KL
24-27 Jun 20 – 16th Singapore National Swimming Championships
Surprisingly, amid already having a state of the art NCC Aquatic Center which is a FINA certified pool, Philippine Swimming Incorporated has not scheduled any Tokyo Olympics Qualifying Meet at home soil next year.
In USA, no scheduled Tokyo Olympics qualifying meet so far; but most likely, the TYR Pro Swim Series next year will again serve as Olympic qualifying meets.
In Oceania region, there is only one schedule qualifying meet so far; the 2020 New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland this March 31 to April 4, 2020.
This meet should be good for Pinoy swimmers who are based locally and in Australia. Good times were registered at last year’s Nationals in New Zealand, but tough enough for Pinoy swimmers to qualify in the finals.
Good thing with the New Zealand nationals, they don’t limit the number of foreigners who will qualify in the finals, unlike the Singapore and Malaysia meets which limit the foreign swimmers in the finals to three swimmers.
Would love to see our Women’s Relay Teams see action in this meet, and gun for the Olympics relay slots.
With four remaining relay slots for Tokyo Olympic Games, seems like Singapore is now ranked 1st to take the remaining slots after their performance at the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
CLICK HERE for the full calendar of Tokyo Olympic Games Qualifying Meets.
CLICK HERE for Philippine Swimming’s Tokyo Olympic Games Qualifiers List.