SWIMMERS Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule will be making their Olympic debut this year which has their federation excited.
The two will be adding their name in the steady list of Philippine swimmers who have carried the country’s banner in the Summer Games, happening this time around in Tokyo, Japan.
Both Mr. Gebbie and Ms. Rule earned qualification after being awarded universality places by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) based on the points they garnered from taking part in Olympic qualifying competitions.
Mr. Gebbie earned 828 FINA points in 100m freestyle while Ms. Rule had 830 points in 200m butterfly.
Unlike in previous Olympics though, where universality qualifiers were only allowed to compete in one event, in Tokyo they are allowed to see action in two, hence, Mr. Gebbie will also compete in the 50m freestyle and Ms. Rule in the 200m freestyle.
The Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI) said it is proud of what its swimmers have achieved, more so during this time of the pandemic where they had to grapple with various limitations.
“We congratulate the two swimmers for making it to the Philippine Olympic team! We thank them for their continuing dedication and sacrifice to serve our country well,” said the PSI, through President Lani Velasco, in a statement.
“We also wish to commend all our other swimmers who gave their best to qualify for the Games, despite the recent circumstances. We hope you can all continue working towards achieving that Olympic dream in the coming years,” it added.
Australia-based Gebbie was a silver and bronze medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games while Ms. Rule won two silver and two bronze medals.
The addition of the two takes the number of Filipino athletes who have qualified for the Olympics to 19.
The other athletes are pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo, boxers Eumir Felix Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, weightlifters Hidlyn Diaz and Erleen Ann Ando, rower Cris Nievarez, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, shooter Jayson Valdez, golfers Juvic Pagunsan, Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe and trackster Kristina Knott.
The Olympic swimming competition is scheduled from July 24 to Aug. 1 at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo