PHILIPPINE Swimming, Inc. (PSI) president Lani Velasco has high hopes the national team will continue to improve and recover its form in time for several international competitions including the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games slated for May 12 to 23.

The PSI staged two national team selection competitions, one in at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac in October last year and the other at the Teofilo Yldefonso Swimming Pool, formerly Rizal Swimming Center, in Manila last month with hopes of giving local tankers a venue to shrug off some of the pandemic jitters.

“A lot of them struggled for form in light of the Omicron surge early this year,” said Ms. Velasco. “But there are a few up-and-coming swimmers who made mark.

“Slowly but surely, we will get back in form as we host more local competitions and as the health restrictions ease up,” she added.

One of the tankers Ms. Velasco was referring to was Thanya dela Cruz, who set a new national women’s 50-meter breaststroke record.

“And she (dela Cruz) did so by shaving off almost half a second off her previous time,” she said.

Apart from the Hanoi Games, Ms. Velasco said the national team is looking forward to seeing action in the FINA World Championships set on July 14 to 30 in Fukuoka, Japan and the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled Sept. 10 to 25.

“It will still be a mix of those based abroad and our grassroots swimmers. We cannot say for sure yet what the final lineup will look like but we do intend to send a competitive team as always,” said Ms. Velasco. — Joey Villar