Buhain lauds POC, PSC on FINA’s decision to help mend organizational issues hounding PH swimming sports

Buhain lauds POC, PSC on FINA’s decision to help mend organizational issues hounding PH swimming sports

MANILA — “Finally, a bridge over troubled waters.”

So said swimming legend and now Batangas 1st District Rep. Eric Buhain on Monday as he welcomed the FINA or the world governing body for swimming for its decision to step into organizational issues hounding the local Philippine swimming sports association.

“And I believe our young and talented Filipino swimmers will soon see calm and crystal-clear waters at the end of the bridge, and get back into hauling golds out of the pool for our country,” said Buhain who can’t help getting a little emotional in hoping to finally see a positive end to the woes plaguing the sport where he literally spent the first two and a half decades of his life as a multi-titled national tanker.

Buhain, a first-termer and Vice Chairman of the Youth and Sports Development Committee in the House of Representatives, was sought for his reaction to the FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation) withdrawal of its recognition of the members of the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) board headed by Lani Velasco while establishing a Stabilization Committee to run the PSI’s day-to-day operations.

The FINA stabilization committee is to “conduct the proper and necessary amendments of the [PSI] Constitution and organize and conduct a new election.”

The FINA directive dated December 3 was signed by the international federation’s executive director Brent Nowicki and communicated via email to Velasco with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission furnished with emailed copies. The FINA directive is effective immediately.

“I wholeheartedly welcome the FINA action on this matter, and my over-enthusiasm should be forgiven as I still see myself as a Filipino athlete who competes foremost for God and our country,” added Buhain, who won a total of 15 gold medals for the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games including an unparallel dominance in five events — 100-meter breaststroke, 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley, and the 400-meter individual medley — of the 1991 edition.

“My hopes are very much afloat, and I thanked the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission for supporting this FINA initiative to save swimming, the sport that is very much dear to me,” added Buhain, who co-founded the Congress of Philippines Aquatics. Inc. (COPA) with Olympians Pinky Brosas, Chito Rivera, Richard Luna, Darren Evangelista, and Joel Esquivel.

(ai/mtvn)

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