Swimming Australia has announced the addition of 3 swimmers to their 2016 Olympic roster, with Matthew Abood, James Magnussen, and James Roberts joining the 34 swimmers previously named to the lineup.
The decision is the result of Australia’s men’s 400 free relay officially being confirmed by FINA as one of the four wildcard teams to earn a berth in that event for the Olympic Games.
The top 12 relays from prelims of last year’s World Championships in Kazan, Russia automatically qualified for the Olympics, and then the next 4 best teams from March 1st, 2015 through May 31st, 2016 are eligible.
FINA has not officially announced the teams that have received the 4 invites, but that announcement is expected after June 10th, which is the deadline for national federations to confirm their intent to participate in relays.
The three new Australians will join Cameron McEvoy and Kyle Chalmers on Australia’s 400 free relay according to the organization, for which the Aussies will take just 5 swimmers.
In any event, the prelims 400 free relay will be almost entirely refreshed from the one that placed 13th at last year’s World Championships and created the uncertainty. Of that prelims foursome, only Chalmers qualified for this year’s Olympic team.
In McEvoy, the Australians have the world’s fastest 100 freestyler this year (and the fastest ever in textile), but even if they leave him out of the prelims round, the next four fastest swimmers’ times from Australia’s Olympic Trials aggregate to a 3:13.92. That would’ve been the second-fastest time in prelims at the World Championships last year, and would still leave them plenty of room to improve in finals as they chase the defending World Champions from France.