Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa called the 50 swimmers the PSL picked to compete in the prestigious 2015 World University Games scheduled on July 3 to 14 in Gwangju, South Korea “blessed.”
“They are not the best but they are the blessed. It can be remember that PSL started its open tryouts for one and a half years and these are the swimmers who abide by the eligibility and requirements,” said Papa.
The swimmers were selected during the PSL’s National Series held in different venues in the country.
“The best swimmers perhaps did not join the tryout because of fear of losing their scholarship, threat of suspension from their respective schools or respective national sports associations under the Philippine Olympic Committee, which is not an International Sports University Federation member,” she added.
The Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) is the internationally affiliated member of FISU – the organizer of the World University Games.
“The PSL is the national association for swimming in universities and colleges under FESSAP and the one recommending swimmers to be in the line up. It is an experience they will never forget in their entire life,” stressed PSL Secretary General Maria Susan Benasa.
There are 170 countries participating in this year’s edition with more than 12,000 student-athletes seeing action in 21 sports.
“This is a once in a lifetime experience. An exposure that they will learn to be a better person since all athletes that will be competing here are world-class and well disciplined. We are opening the door to our young swimmers to experience competing in a world-level tournaments,” Papa ended.
The World University Games also known as the Universiade is the second largest multi-sporting event in the world—next to the Olympic Games.
Olympic champion Michael Phelps and Matt Biondi competed in the previous editions of the Universiade along with American basketball stars Larry Bird and Charles Barkley and trackster Michael Johnson.
After the Gwangju Universiade, the PSL will begin selecting swimmers for the 2017 edition to be held in Taipei, Taiwan.