The 2013 FINA World Aquatics Championships will take place in late July and early August in Barcelona, Spain. As they are always doing in an effort to try and find the right balance, FINA has tweaked the schedule for this summer’s World Championships as compared to the 2011 meet in Shanghai. The most noticeable move is putting the women’s 400 medley relay on the meet’s final day instead of the second-to-last day, but other, more subtle moves, could cause notable help or hinderance to different World Championship qualifiers.
- On day 2 Prelims, the men’s 200 free was moved from the second event to the 4th event, just before the 1500 meter heats began.
- On day 2 Finals, the women’s 100 breaststroke semi-final was moved from the night’s third event to the night’s first event.
- On day 2 Finals, the men’s 100 breast semifinal was moved from the end of the session to the middle.
- On day 3 Prelims, the men’s 200 fly was swapped positions with the women’s 200 free.
- On day 4 Finals, the men’s 800 free final and the men’s 50 breaststroke final were swapped; that men’s 800 free now comes at the end of the session.
- On day 6 Finals, the schedule has been twisted in a few different ways. The women’s 50 fly semis were moved later in the session; and the women’s 200 back semifinal was moved earlier in the session.
- On day 7 Prelims and Finals, the women’s 400 medley relay was moved to the meet’s final day. This was the only event to actually change days.
- On day 7 Finals, the women’s 50 breast semi-final was moved after the women’s 200 back semi-final, which gives a bigger break.
- On day 8 Finals, the men’s 50 back final was moved later in the session, after the men’s 400 IM. That gives a slightly larger gap between the women’s 50 breast and women’s 50 free finals.
The biggest, and most obvious, beneficiaries are the women’s sprinters. Three of the four women’s 50 meter races come in the meet’s last two days, and in 2011 we saw several swimmers struggle on a quick turnaround. Now, the women’s 50 fly final and the women’s 50 breast semi final are further apart, as are the women’s 50 fly final and women’s 50 free semi-final.
Most of the swimmers who do those doubles are of the fly/free variety, so they’ll get a little more rest on the meet’s 7th day. Out of the 16 semi-finalists in the 50 free, in 2011 5 of them also entered the 50 fly (Yolane Kukla, Triin Aljand, Jeanette Ottesen, Marleen Veldhuis, and Therese Alshammar). Only one was in the 50 breaststroke (Jessica Hardy) and another entered by scratched (Dorothea Brandt).
Moving the women’s 50 fly semi-final closer to after the 100 free final on Day 6 could have an impact in the opposite direction, as a lot of swimmers have, or have the potential, to swim that double.
There’s no obvious benefit to moving the men’s 100 breaststroke to the beginning of the session on day 2, other than perhaps a production reason to get more finals to the beginning of the session. The 100 breaststroke moves further away from the 200 free semi-final and the 50 fly final, but there’s not really much of an overlap there. The 100 breaststroke, with Cameron van der Burgh breaking a World Record at the Olympics, could also be seen as a slightly higher-profile event than it’s been, hence its new location. There’s a hundred ways to argue it, but the moral of the story is that there’s no obvious competitive advantage.
Moving the women’s 200 free prelims earlier on the day 3 schedule mostly gives those women a little more time to recover between sessions, though with semi-finals later in the evening, it probably wasn’t a huge concern for most of the women.
The men’s 800 free move on day 4 could be for one of two reasons. One might be moving an event that’s not always a spectator-favorite at the end of the session, rather than the middle. This will hurt the 200 fly/200 IM doublers, as they’ll get less rest from the 200 fly final to the 200 IM semifinal. With Phelps’ retirement, the biggest remaining swimmer who that will hurt is Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh. In Shanghai, he made the semi-finals in both races (though he never made it to the final – which would be most impacted by this change). South African Chad le Clos and American Tyler Clary could also be hit by this double, though Clary has yet to qualify for Worlds in either event.
There’s no obvious effect to moving the women’s 200 back semifinal on day 6.
And finally, moving the women’s 400 medley relay to the end of the meet, for starters will give the women their marquee moment to finish the championships. Besides that, it should give everyone involved a little more of a gap for rest from the 50 meter sprints to the 400 medley relay, because now the men’s 1500 free and women’s 400 IM finals will both be in between this medley and anything else. A lot of swimmers will now have triples, but at least the first two for the most part will be 50 meter races.
The full 2013 schedule is below. An archive of the old 2011 schedule can be seen here.
Sun. 28 July
Mon. 29 July
Tue. 30 July
Wed. 31 July
|H 10.00-13.45||H 10.00-12.45||H 10.00-12.45||H 10.00-12.10|
|100m Butterfly W||100m Back W||50m Breast M||50m Back W|
|400m Free M||100m Back M||200m Free W||100m Free M|
|200m IM W||100m Breast W||200m Butterfly M||200m Butterfly W|
|50m Butterfly M||200m Free M||800m Free M||200m IM M|
|400m Free W||1500m Free W|
|100m Breast M|
|4x100m Free W|
|4x100m Free M|
|F 18.00-20.05||F 18.00-19.50||F 18.00-20.10||F 18.00-20.00|
|100m Butterfly W SF||100m Breast M||200m Free M||100m Free M SF|
|400m Free M||100m Butterfly W||100m Back W||50m Back W SF|
|200m IM W SF||100m Back M SF||50m Breast M SF||200m Butterfly M|
|50m Butterfly M SF||100m Breast W SF||1500m Free W||200m Free W|
|400m Free W||50m Butterfly M||100m Back M||50m Breast M|
|100m Breast M SF||100m Back W SF||200m Free W SF||200m Butterfly W SF|
|4x100m Free W||200m Free M SF||200m Butterfly M SF||200m IM M SF|
|4x100m Free M||200m IM W||100m Breast W||800m Free M|
Thu. 1 August
Fri. 2 August
Sat. 3 August
Sun. 4 August
|H 10.00-12.45||H 10.00-12.45||H 10.00-13.00||H 10.00-12.30|
|100m Free W||50m Free M||50m Free W||400m IM M|
|200m Back M||50m Butterfly W||50m Back M||400m IM W|
|200m Breast W||100m Butterfly M||50m Breast W||4x100m Medley M|
|200m Breast M||200m Back W||1500m Free M||4x100m Medley W|
|4x200m Free W||4x200m Free M|
|800m Free W|
|F 18.00-20.10||F 18.00-20.30||F 18.00-20.10||F 18.00-20.25|
|100m Free W SF||100m Free W||50m Butterfly W||50m Back M|
|200m IM M||200m Back M||50m Free M||50m Breast W|
|200m Breast W SF||200m Back W SF||200m Back W||400m IM M|
|100m Free M||50m Free M SF||50m Breast W SF||50m Free W|
|200m Butterfly W||200m Breast W||100m Butterfly M||1500m Free M|
|200m Breast M SF||100m Butterfly M SF||50m Free W SF||400m IM W|
|50m Back W||50m Butterfly W SF||50m Back M SF||4x100m Medley M|
|200m Back M SF||200m Breast M||800m Free W||4x100m Medley W|
|4x200m Free W||4x200m Free M|