Swimming chief says there is ‘no treatment of choice’ for Chloe Isletta’s non-inclusion

Chloe Isletta wins gold medal in swimming in the Philippines.  Lani Velasco / PH Swimming Inc.

File – Philippine Swimming Gold Medalist Chloe Isletta. Lani Velasco / PH Swimming Inc.

Manila, Philippine-swimming head Lailani “Lani” Velasco has clarified that the decision to exclude Chloe Isletta from the squad for the 19th FINA World Championships of the Philippine Swimming Inc. is based on a process guided by the International Swimming Federation or FINA.

“No athlete has been given any priority treatment and, to the best of his ability, PSI has given all its athletes the opportunity to qualify for FINA as much as possible,” Velasco said.

“PSI insisted that it wanted to send Cloak to the World Championships, but Luke (Gabby) was forced to pull him out due to an unfortunate injury,” Velasco added.

According to Velasco, on February 1, FINA announced the postponement of the 19th FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. Six days later, the swimming company announced that it would host the meet instead of Budapest, Hungary.

Last March, FINA finally issued a “summons” for the aforementioned event, which included eligibility criteria, indicating that the eligibility period was between March 1, 2020 and May 15, 2022. PSI has published its own selection criteria for the latest championship.

At the time, Velasco said the SEA Games swimming event was not included as a qualifying event by FINA set for May 14-19, although the summons indicated that exceptions could be made. PSI did not receive any communication or information regarding such exceptions from FINA or the organizing committee of the 31st SEA Games.

The May 3 nomination deadline was set because there are no more FINA qualifying events where PSI swimmers are likely to participate between May 4-15 as they are all ready for the biennial meeting.

Depending on the selection criteria, to be nominated, a swimmer must meet the “A” or “B” standard entry time set by Fina. In addition, if an athlete does not meet the specified criteria (i.e., the universality slot), the athlete must earn at least 750 FINA points.

The only athletes to qualify for the nominations were Gabby (22.57 M 50m Freestyle and 49.64 M 100m Freestyle both at “B” standard entry time), Jonathan Cook (793 fin points with 2: 16.24 M 200m breaststroke) and Isleta (1): 03.21 W 100m backstroke with 755 FINA points).

With this, the Philippines can enter the top four athletes in the world.

However, during the team manager’s meeting of the 31st SEA Games on 12 May, it was announced that FINA had given the games an exception as a qualifying event for the World Championships.

That same evening, during an official team meeting, the PSI team announced that they had another chance to meet the world since the Vietnam SEA Games were given an exception.

“PSI has decided to extend the May 3, 2022 nomination deadline to include the 31st SEA Games, an exception consistent with Finer’s decision, as it allows all athletes, including Jonathan and Chloe, to meet any one of the standard entry times,” Velasco said. This information was given in a statement.

“PSI feels that it did not provide any unfair advantage among the competing candidates for a place in the championship roster as they all had the same chance of qualifying for the last time,” he added.

At the end of the 31st SEA Games, three more athletes met FINA’s Standard Entry Times, namely Jasmine Alkhaldi (25.62 W 50m Freestyle for standard entry time), Jerard Jacinto (26.04 M for standard entry time) ) And Miranda Rainer (26.99 W 50m butterfly for “B” standard entry time).

On May 26, PSI announced the official roster for the 19th FINA World Championships, which includes Alkhaldi, Gabby, Rainer and Isletta. Jacinto, despite his qualifications, begged and his name was not on the list due to medical treatment.

Under FINA BY LODGE 9.6.3.2b, it allows three female athletes and one male athlete to participate, provided that three out of four athletes achieve a standard entry time. This is why Isletta was named in the roster.

On June 6, PSI received news that Gabby had received an injury during training which caused him to withdraw from the championship. This puts PSI in a quandary because the same Fina BL 9.6.3.2b indicates that if only two (2) athletes achieve a standard entry time, the four athletes sent to the championship must be broken down into two men and two women. .

Two women achieved a “B” standard entry time, failing to submit an entry to PSI Isleta. Despite PSI’s efforts to seek an exception from FINA, the request was denied. PSI was only allowed to replace Gabby with Cook.

“Chloe is really upset. She was about to return to the United States to train for the World Championships. She called me and cried when she described that she was out of the national team for the Budapest meet,” said Isletter’s mother Cecil Doromal-Waller.

“The lineup was already complete and the nomination deadline has passed. I was surprised. What happened? “Added Doromal-Waller, who insisted he would bring the matter to the Philippine Olympic Committee.

On June 9, PSI announced an updated list for the 19th FINA World Championships, including Alkhaldi, Renner and Cook.

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