USA Swimming, as the new season turns over, has posted the selection criteria for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
Just like in 2010, at the first edition of this meet, USA Swimming won’t place a big emphasis on this meet, though they’ve changed the wording of the rule a bit to emphasize that the athlete has the option. Whereas in 2010, the rules said that if an athlete decided to participate at Jr. Pan Pacs or Pan Pacs, they couldn’t swim at the Youth Olympics, in 2014 the wording has been tweaked that if an athlete chooses to participate in the 2014 Youth Olympics, they can’t participate in the other two meets.
The trick is that based on the timing, athletes will have to accept or decline an invitation to the Youth Olympics before knowing if they have qualified for Pan Pacs or Jr. Pan Pacs.
In reality, those are the same two rules, but the change shows perhaps a slight change in attitude toward this meet after a lot of global skepticism in the first edition.
It’s unlikely that anyone would choose the Youth Olympics over Pan Pacs, but it is possible that an athlete would choose a trip to China for the Youth Olympics over a trip to Hawaii for Jr. Pan Pacs, especially given the timing: Jr. Pan Pacs run more than a week later than the Youth Olympics, so the Youth Olympics could provide less of an interruption to the scholastic schedule.
In 2010, the Americans sent a roster of 8: Erich Peske, Thomas Stephens, Steve Schmuhl, Austin Ringquist, Kiera Janzen, Jordan Mattern, Allison Roberts, and Kaitlyn Jones. In perhaps a sign that this meet can truly be a stepping-stone for greater success, Mattern, Janzen, and Schmuhl were announced to the National Team today, and Jones has broken a National High School Record.
At the 2010 Youth Olympics, the Americans won just three medals: a gold from Jones in the 200 IM, and silvers from Janzen in the 400 free and Jones in the 200 back. That means no relay medals. Australia, meanwhile, who also would participate at Pan Pacs and Jr. Pan Pacs mustered 16 medals in similar circumstances to the Americans. Even Canada, another Pan Pac country, won 7 medals.
On to the criteria:
First, familiarize yourself with the FINA rules. Generally, there’s qualifying standards for the meet, but the A standards shouldn’t be much of a problem for the Americans.
Basically, the Americans can enter up to four boys and four girls in the meet, a boys and girls 400 medley, a boys and girls 400 free relay, and coed 400 medley and 400 free relays.
|Boys’ Standards||Girls’ Standards|
|A – 2 Entries||B – 1 Entry||A – 2 Entries||B – 1 Entry|
Swimmers born between January 1st, 1996 and December 31st, 1999 are eligible for the meet. That means athletes will range from 13 to 18 years old.
2013 U.S. Open
2013 Speedo Junior Nationals
2014 Austin Grand Prix
2014 Orlando Grand Prix
2014 Charlotte Grand Prix
2014 Santa Clara Grand Prix (Note – this meet is after the qualifying period, meaning that an athlete would have already had to have hit a qualifying time in a prior meet).
Athletes will be ranked with their times from the events listed under “Tryout Events” according to how they sit in the FINA rankings as of June 23, 2014 at 8AM Mountain Daylight Time. The four eligible boys and 4 eligible girls, who accept invitations, with the highest world ranking in an Olympic event will be selected.