USA Swimming has unveiled the schedule for the 5-day World Championship Trials meet that will be held next from June 25th until June 29th in Indianapolis. The day-by-day breakdown of races is as below:
Day 1: 200 fly, 100 free, w800, m1500
Day 2: 200 free, 200 breast, 200 back, 50 fly
Day 3: 400 IM, 100 fly, 50 breast, 50 back
Day 4: 400 free, 100 breast, 100 back
Day 5: w1500, 200 IM, m800, 50 free
The inclusion of the non-Olympic distance events, the men’s 800 and women’s 1500, plus the 50 meter races of each stroke hints at a bit of a philosophy change for these races from USA Swimming. With reports abound that the IOC and FINA are considering adding 50 meter races to the Olympic schedule, as well as swapping the women’s 800 for a 1500, we might see selection for these events for the World Championships (where they are already a part of the schedule) done on the basis of those actual events.
USA Swimming has not released the selection procedure for Worlds yet, but this is a strong sign indicating that the 50 back, 50 breast, 50 fly, and the non-Olympic distance events could be awarded to the winners of those events. In the past, tradition has held that they be given to the winners of the closest event from Trials, but with the swimmers who win those races often declining their spots, this procedure has ended up a bit dicey. Cullen Jones was the figurehead for the problem when, in 2011, he earned a bid to swim the 50 fly after Michael Phelps and Tyler McGill both declined, and then said after his prelim that he didn’t care about the race and was focused on the 50 free anyway. If there are athletes who don’t want to swim the 50 meter races, then we should find the best who do want to swim them.
Outside of that, this meet schedule should work out fairly well for most of the big names. There will be a few conflicts, for example with Missy Franklin likely trialing both the 200 free and the 200 backstroke, but overall the events will be pretty well spread out: easier to do in a meet without semi-final heats.
Those selected from this meet will qualify for the American squad that travels to Barcelona for the World Championships.