Two Filipino swimmers are sure to make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics through a universality slot rule.
In swimming, meeting the required Olympic qualifying time is the fastest way to conquer the quadrennial meet.
In case a country’s swimmers fail to reach the qualifying time, the International Federation will grant it the authority to choose its top two swimmers to compete at the Olympics.
One of the swimmers who can make the cut for the Tokyo Games is 24-year-old Luke Gebbie. If he makes it, this will be the very first time for him to conquer the Olympics.
“How to get to the Olympics is hard, unless you make an A-cut, which is an automatic entrance, or go through Universality. Universality, traditionally, is awarded to one male and one female per country. So if you don’t have an A-qualifying swimmer, which is actually most swimmers don’t have because it’s really, really hard to hit and only big swimming countries could hit. So 98 percent of the countries will send their highest ranked male and female swimmers through the universality rule,” Gebbie explained.
While there is a big possibility for him to get in, the Filipino-Kiwi swimmer still wants to qualify for the Olympiad by meeting the elusive Olympic qualifying time.
“It’s good Philippine swimming is pushing forward with this kind of rule but you know what? I’ll definitely try and go anywhere that I can. The dream, my dream is to get the Olympic qualifying time and I am close to it. I’m training really hard at the moment. I’m training nine times a week. I really think I could do it,” Gebbie shared.
Aside from Gebbie, the other three swimmers who could make it to the Olympics are Filipina Olympian Jasmine Alkhaldi, 2019 Southeast Asian Games Bronze Medalist Remedy Rule, and 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist James Deiparine. – Report by Mae Ann Fajardo/ JBB