Another error in the Olympic entries has been acknowledged and corrected by FINA, the international governing body for aquatic sports.
As pointed out by SwimSwam readers, the initial entry lists to the Olympics (which are still listed as the final lists on the FINA website) included 2 Belarusian relay-only swimmers. While Belarus, as an invited relay, is allowed to bring relay-only swimmers to the Olympics, by FINA’s own rules (which have been loosely adhered to in the past), those relay only swimmers must have at least a FINA Olympic Selection Standard (“B cut”) in the stroke and distance in which they’ll participate in the relay. From FINA’s qualification procedures:
Each NOC may enter additional swimmers for relays only (Relay-Only Swimmers), provided that they have achieved at least the OST / “B” Time for the corresponding stroke and distance of the relay in which they are entered.
Only one of Belarus’ Relay Only Swimmers listed on the selection document for the 400 free relay has swum the B standard in the 100 free during the current Olympic qualifying period that began on March 1st, 2015. Oksana Dziamidava was under the “B” standard at the Belarus Open Championships earlier this year in 56.43, but Natassia Karakouskaya has a lifetime best of 56.42 from the Lithuanian Open Championships this year.
According to the Times of Israel, however, the Israeli Olympic Committee has been notified of an error by FINA that allows them, instead of Belarus, to swim the 400 free relay in Rio. That means that Keren Siebner becomes the 48th member of the Rio Olympic team to join Andrea Murez, Zohar Shikler and Amit Ivri on the Israel relay. The other three are already qualified in other events, while Siebner has been under the “B” time in the 100 free several times, including a best of 55.42 in the 100 free from the Israel Swimming Cup earlier this year.
Siebner had missed a spot on the Israel team in the 200 fly by .01 seconds otherwise. Siebner won 8 gold medals at the Israel National Championships last week.
Several matters of FINA’s qualification rules remain unresolved and without comment by FINA:
- FINA initially invited Greek swimmer Kristel Vourna to the Olympic Games, then called to tell her that she was uninvited because of an error. Vourna was not listed on the FINA entry lists, however the Greek federation says that FINA called to reinstate Vourna last week. That could be the end of the matter, except that Vourna has not met the FINA “A” standard in the 100 fly in the qualifying period – she’s been 58.92, and the standard is 58.74. Greece has already entered Anna Doudounaki in the 100 fly with an “A” standard time of 58.32, and by FINA rules, a country can only enter two swimmers in the same event if both have met the “A” standard.
- FINA has submitted several entries for swimmers under their Universality program who did not compete at last year’s World Championships – which according to FINA selection standards is a requirement to participate in the Universality program.