Previously representing Canada in her competitions, Kayla Sanchez has come far in her journey as a swimmer. The 22-year-old has bagged several accolades throughout her career, most notably the silver and bronze medals she won in a team effort at the Tokyo Olympics.

However, as Sanchez felt that it was time for her to recognize her roots as pure-blood Filipino, the Swimmer requested a change of nationality last year. 

In a statement, Sanchez said that she’s always been proud of her Filipino heritage.

She added that she had to make this difficult decision not just for herself and her family but also in order to accept the opportunity to represent the Philippines and encourage other people who are similar to her to take up swimming.

Sanchez already represented the country in the recently-held Hangzhou Asian Games, and now, following IOC’s grant, she’s now formally eligible to compete in the upcoming Olympics as well.

How POC helped the switch

In a letter to the IOC earlier this year, President Abraham Tolentino of the Philippine Olympic Committee requested that the organization waive the three-year residency rule that athletes must complete in order to switch nationalities. Because at the time, Sanchez had only completed one year of that requirement.

The IOC Executive Board’s decision to grant Tolentino’s request came earlier this week, and the development was greeted with enthusiasm by her country.  

Equally delighted by the good news, the POC president expressed his excitement for Sanchez to wear the country’s colors at the next year’s Olympics.“She is one of our medal prospects,” said Tolentino.

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With the addition of Filipino-Canadian swimmer Kayla Sanchez to Philippines’ Olympic roster, the country has just increased its odds of bagging multiple medals in the prestigious event.

Sanchez’s previous Olympic triumphs

In the previous edition of the Summer Olympics, the then-20-year-old Sanchez helped Canada take bronze in the 400 medley relay

She also swam the first leg of the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay, which Canada won silver in.

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