Tokyo Olympics medalist Kayla Sanchez debuted for the Philippines in the women’s 4x100m freestyle but the country will still have to wait for its first Asiad swimming medal in 25 years, as the Pinay tankers missed the podium of the 19th Asian Games.
Sanchez, with Xiandi Chua, Tiea Salvino and Jasmine Alkhaldi couldn’t keep up with their faster rivals and placed fifth overall in the finals, clocking 3:44.31, Sunday, September 24.
However, the quartet still managed to post a new Philippine record, smashing the previous national mark of 3:47.05, with Sanchez also setting a new national record in the women’s 100m freestyle of 54.71 seconds during her split.
“I’m incredibly proud. I would like to say this is the new era of my career and to start it a new national record is very exciting. I can’t wait to improve more in the future.”
The Philippine quartet is just 0.15 seconds behind their Southeast Asian rival Singapore who clocked 3:44.16 good for fourth, in a race dominated by China which posted a games record time of 3:33.96.
Sanchez, who won Olympic medals for Canada but changed her affiliation under the Philippines last year, then swam her first individual race in the Asiad Monday night, finishing sixth in the finals of the women’s 50m backstroke in 28.66 seconds, faster than her qualifying time of 28.86.
Also making the finals of the women’s 50m backstroke is Tiea Isabella Salvino, who placed eight with a time of 28.79 seconds.
Joining Sanchez and Salvino in Monday evening’s finals is Xiandi Chua, who advanced into the finals clocking 2:16.43 in the morning heat and will race in the women’s 200m IM as of press time.
Meantime, Jerard Dominic Jacinto and Jarold Jason Hatch both failed to advance into the finals of their respective events.
Jacinto placing 5th in heat 4 of the men’s 50m backstroke in 26.14 seconds while Hatch was the slowest in heat 5 of the men’s 50m freestyle with a clicking of 23.77 seconds.
Isleta likewise failed to make the finals of the women’s 200m IM, after finishing fourth in her heat in 2:20.54.