Sanchez on track to end swimming dry spell


When Kayla Sanchez announced her decision to switch nationalities and represent the Philippines there was excitement over the promise of medals in major competitions.

In the Asian Games (Asiad), that promise will be on full display, ready to deliver.

Sanchez will compete in the women’s 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle as well as in the 100-m backstroke, events where the 22-year-old former Olympian for Canada could end the national swimming team’s medal drought in the Asiad.

“She’s (Sanchez) solid in the freestyle events. We are looking for a possible medal from Kayla,’’ said Batangas 1st District Rep. Eric Buhain, a former star of the national swimming team.

No Filipino tanker has gone onto the medal platform of the Asiad since Raymond Papa’s pair of bronzes in the men’s 100-m and 200-m backstroke during the 1998 edition in Bangkok, Thailand.

The gold drought is even longer. The Philippines’ last Asiad swimming champ was William Wilson, who ruled the 200 free in 1982 in New Delhi, India.

Sanchez, who helped Team Canada claim a silver (4x100m freestyle relay) and a bronze (4x100m medley relay) in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, owns times in her events that could end that nearly four-decade wait.

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