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Swimming meet

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Efforts are underway in the pursuit of finding somebody who will save Philippine swimming from sinking into the abyss as aquatics stakeholders meet next week, the Bulletin has learned.

As the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) struggles to chart its course with the alleged inability of president Mark Joseph to actively perform his duties, members of the PSI, made up of standouts from yesteryears, have actually met with Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) officials to remedy the leadership crisis as the country puts in motions its buildup for the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia this August.

Expected to sit down on Monday include Akiko Thomson, Pinky Brosas and Ral Rosario, all accomplished athletes during their respective primes.

A POC official reveals that foremost in the agenda is the holding of an election so the PSI can begin earnest preparations for the Aug. 19-31 sportsfest in Kuala Lumpur.

Swimming, though represented in the Olympics, has been unable to deliver medals in numbers following the retirement of Mark Molina after the 2009 SEAG in Laos.

Not even the recruitment of overseas-based swimmers with Filipino lineage could help check swimming’s dive into the deep as evidenced by the failure to win golds in the last three stagings of the SEAG.

Honolulu-based Jasmine Alkhaldi took a bronze in the 2015 edition in Singapore.

Aside from that, it hasn’t been that calm for Filipino swimmers as of late.

In this year’s SEAG, a total of 60 golds are up for grabs and the SEAG Task Force doubts even if one gold can be brought home.

With Joseph unable to perform his duties, running the affairs of the PSI has been left to the care of secretary general Lani Velasco, who has informed the Task Force that new recruits from abroad are on their way to Manila to help beef up the national pool.

SEAG chief of mission Cynthia Carrion, however, isn’t rejoicing just yet, knowing that she doesn’t have any information about the reinforcements being imported from the US, Canada and even Europe. (NICK GIONGCO)