|After giving Canada two Olympic medals last year in Tokyo, Kayla Sanchez will represent the Philippines in future events.|
PASIG--Olympic medalist and Filipino-Canadian swimmer Kayla Sanchez has decided to represent and compete for the Philippines.
The Philippine Swimming Incorporated made the announcement in a press conference held at the Philippine Olympic Committee Office on Thursday at the PhilSports Complex.
"The Philippine Swimming, Inc. welcomes Sanchez with open arms and is committed to helping her achieve her goals in the next few years, including a possible stint at the Paris Olympics in 2024," said PSI president Lani Velasco, who was with POC deputy secretary-general Bones Floro during the welcoming of the new national team member.
Sanchez already made a name for herself, representing Canada since 2016.
The reigning world junior record holder in 50-meter freestyle also claimed multiple medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, winning silver in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay and bronze in the 4x100-meter medley relay.
Just recently, she took two silvers and two bronzes in the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
She also bagged three golds in the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The University of British Columbia commit, who is a daughter of a Pampanga-born father and Baguio-born mother, arrived on Wednesday and is now in the process of making her transition to competing for the Philippines.
And Sanchez can't wait to represent her country.
"It was a matter of timing and a question of timing and now is a good time to bring what I do and what I love here in the Philippines," the 21-year-old Sanchez said of her decision.
"I think it's a bigger picture of and a bigger meaning of using what I do and what I love to inspire Filipinos like me to commit to sports and show what they are capable of."