MANILA, Philippines — Heeding the call of Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas, the Philippine Swimming Inc. welcomed swimmers from the Philippine Swimming League when it staged the PSI Grand Prix Long Course NCR leg at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
For a long time, the PSI headed by Lani Velasco and the PSL led by Susan Papa have been at odds and questioned each other’s legality as the rightful swimming association in the country.
Vargas called on both groups to set their differences aside as the Philippines prepares for the hosting of the 30th SEA Games in November. The POC wants the best swimmers to represent the country, regardless of affiliation.
Velasco opened the doors to the PSI Grand Prix and attracted close to 600 swimmers, who competed for slots to the Grand Prix Finals, which will be used to determine the SEA Games lineup.
Jasmine Mojdeh led 10 other swimmers from the PSL side, who qualified to the Grand Prix Finals.
“We welcomed PSL/Swimming Pinas swimmers with open arms. This momentous occasion was made possible because everyone has committed to making our common goal a reality,’’ said Velasco.
“It would actually be ideal if these efforts are successful and other NSAs (national sports associations) with similar concerns (disputes) could follow suit,” Vargas said.
“We all need to put our misunderstandings and heartaches aside and come together to get the best Filipino swimmers in the SEA Games,” Vargas added.
“With our dedication to the sport and our spirit of cooperation within the PSI, we have been able to open doors and provide opportunities of growth for our athletes,’’ Velasco said.
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