Filipino-Australian swimmer Luke Gebbie is taking a step back to soak in the reality of making it to the Tokyo Olympics.
“It's a lifelong dream that so many people have,” he quipped in an interview with OneSports after he bagged an Olympic berth through universality places, alongside Remedy Rule.
Gebbie, a two-time medalist at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, racked up a total of 795 FINA points in the men’s 50-meter freestyle -- thanks to the special exemption given to him to take part in the Swimming Australia Olympic trials last July 17.
He will also be fielded in the men’s 100-meter freestyle event where he tallied 828 FINA points, highlighted by his national standard of 49.94 seconds set at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea two years ago.
The swimmer’s times are also faster than the Olympic “B-cut” times of 22.67 seconds and 50.03 seconds in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events, respectively.
“The dream for me was to walk in the opening ceremony behind your flag and then that's what I've been able to achieve now. And it's just a dream come true and, obviously, grateful. I feel lucky,” he said in the interview.
Going into the Games, Gebbie hopes to break his personal bests and national records.
“I think the goal would be, you know, other than make myself proud, do new PBs, which would be national records. I have an opportunity to reset, too, my own national records in Tokyo, you know. That's all great,” the Pinoy swimmer added in the same inteview.
But aside from setting records, Gebbie is most excited to showcase the level of competitiveness of Philippine swimming in the international stage which they have been working on through the years.
According to the swimmer, their last showing in the SEA Games was a glimpse of the bright future for Filipino tankers.
The Philippines amassed 16 medals in the regional meet, highlighted by the lone gold of James Deiparine, who ended the decade-long drought of the country in the pool events.
“You saw what we did at the SEA Games, you compare that to past, previous SEA Games. And so the goal for me is to just take the opportunity given me and take it to the big, world stage and show everyone that Philippines swimming is something that they should be watching out for,” he said.
Gebbie and Rule joined 17 other Filipino athletes who are all eyeing to clinch the elusive gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
For breaking news and latest developments on the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, visit https://news.abs-cbn.com/tokyo-olympics