The 2020 US Olympic Trials schedule will match that of the 2020 Toyko Olympics, as has been the case in years past, USA Swimming Chief Operating Officer Mike Unger confirmed to SwimSwam Wednesday.
However, due to the addition of the men’s 800 free, women’s 1500 free, and mixed-gender 400 medley relay, Olympic organizers could add a day to the Tokyo meet schedule, thus extending US Trials as well.
Unger added that USA Swimming is currently working with both FINA and NBC, and expects the Olympic schedule to be finalized within the “next couple of months.”
It was announced in May 2017 that Trials would return to Omaha for the fourth-straight Olympic cycle.
Regardless of the schedule, we already know that fewer athletes are expected to make 2020 Trials than in 2016. USA Swimming committed in March to reducing the number of qualifiers for the meet after what they called “overcrowding” in the previous two editions. After 1,700+ swimmers competed at the 2012 and 2016 trials, their target is set at 1200-1400 participants for 2020.
As a means to meet this goal, the organization announced that times swum at 2018 Summer Nationals will\ not count towards Trials cuts, giving swimmers only one long course cycle to qualify, rather than the two they had to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. In 2012, swimmers had three long course cycles to qualify.
The bottom line: it is up to FINA and the Olympic Committee to figure out when the new races will be swum, and once that happens, USA Swimming can finalize the Trials schedule.