The Brazilian Confederation of Water Sports (CBDA) has announced the cancellation of the Brazilian Olympic Swimming Trials, which were previously rescheduled from their April start date until late June at the Maria Lenk Water Park in Rio de Janeiro.
“We know how important sport (especially water sports) is in everyone’s life,” the letter reads. “But there is one more important thing: health. It’s time to take care of it and fight the spread of the virus that plagues humanity.”
With the confirmation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday that the Olympics would not move forward as scheduled on July 24th, with organizers instead looking for a 2021 start date, many countries have begun to cancel Olympic Trials events. Previously, countries were scrambling to find a window between the peak of the global coronavirus pandemic and the end of the original qualifying period in early July with which to choose their Olympic teams.
The rescheduling of the Olympic Games removes the direct need for Olympic Trials events, but in addition gives countries more flexibility for holding national championship events in 2020, which can still be important for awarding funding, among other things. FINA still has a World Short Course Championship meet on the table for December, for example.
In a letter to the membership on Tuesday, CBDA president Luiz Fernando Coelho and other leadership said that they are working to find a date towards the end of the year to host the Brazil Trophy in 2020. Brazil Trophy is the name for the country’s long course national championship events, recently renamed from the Maria Lenk Trophy. The CBDA says the goal is to give athletes and clubs a long course competition to focus on as they enter the new Olympic year.
The CBDA says that they will work on a new Olympic Trials qualifying date for 2021 when the new Olympic schedule is set.
Brazil’s aquatics federation was originally resistant to acceptance of the pandemic. They were among the last nations to reschedule their trials, and in mid-March posted a letter from their sports physician downplaying the severity of the outbreak.
Brazil has so far reported 2,271 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 47 deaths. As of this report, Johns Hopkins University reports over 436,000 confirmed cases and almost 20,000 deaths globally.