Rio dream still alive for Alkhaldi, Lacuna

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Swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi, Jessie Khing Lacuna and Joshua Hall have until the end of June to meet the standard qualifying clockings for another tour of duty in the Olympics.

Alkhaldi and Lacuna, who both competed in the 2012 London Games, and the US-based Hall must meet the requirements before the International Swimming Federation (Fina) confirms the list of Rio de Janeiro Olympic qualifiers on July 3.

“There are still a number of qualifying meets where they could compete to achieve the standard,” said Philippine Swimming Inc. executive director Reyna Rose Suarez. “So far, we’re happy with their performances.”

Lacuna, 22, is a freestyle and butterfly specialist from Pulilan, Bulacan, who swam in the men’s 200m free in London while the Hawaii-based Alkhaldi raced in the women’s 100m free.

Lacuna, the country’s fastest swimmer from Ateneo, should at least meet the Olympic Selection Time (OST) of 1:51.75 seconds in the men’s 200m free.

He registered a personal-best of 1:50.73 during the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.

Alkhaldi, who turns 23 next month, owns the Philippine record of 56.10 seconds in the women’s 100m free, a fraction of a second faster than the 56.34 OST.

Hall holds the national mark in the men’s 100m breaststroke (1:02.40) and is trying to surpass the 1:02.69 OST before deadline.

Fina has set two qualifying standards - the faster Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT) and the OST.

Swimmers who meet the OQT qualify outright while the world swim body determines the number of “universality” places based on the OQT.

By the end of the qualification period, Fina will assess the number of athletes who achieved the OQT before inviting athletes with OST to fulfill the total quota of 900 swimmers in Rio.