IOC certifies Kayla Sanchez as Filipino

Kayla Sanchez is now eligible to compete as a Filipino in the Paris 2024 Olympics per Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino on Friday, December 1.

“This is good news for Philippine swimming as Kayla and we won’t have to wait two more years for her to be able to represent our country in the Olympics,” Tolentino said.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino [contributed photo]
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino [contributed photo]

Tolentino wrote the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last November 8 requesting the IOC to waive the three-year residency rule that covers athletes who switch nationalities.

Sanchez—a full-blooded Filipino whose father was originally from Mabalacat (Pampanga) and mother from Baguio City—was part of Canada’s silver medal-clinching women’s 4×100 meters women’s relay team in Tokyo 2020.

Considered one of Canada’s top swimmers, she switched citizenship in June last year and was able to swim for the Philippines at the Hangzhou Asian Games last September.

Kayla Sanchez [PSC photo release]
Kayla Sanchez [PSC photo release]

“The IOC Executive Board decided to consent to your request for exemption from the three-year waiting period and thus confirm the eligibility [from a nationality perspective] of Ms. Kayla Sanchez to represent the Philippines at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, subject to qualification,” the IOC informed Tolentino in a letter dated Wednesday (November 29) and signed by Director of NOC Relations and Olympic Solidarity James MacLeod.

The IOC sent copies of the letter to World Aquatics and the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Sanzhes could qualify for Paris through individual qualification, relay qualification or universality.

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