The Brazilian Confederation of Aquatic Sports (CBDA) has revealed its selection criteria for this summer’s FINA World Championships, which includes one head-scratching restriction. The Brazilian Swimming Championships, which doubles as the 2019 Maria Lenk Trophy, will serve as the qualifying competition, with swimmers needing to nail minimum time standards in the A finals of the event. The championship is set for April 16th to the 21st with a maximum of 24 roster spots up for grabs.
Per the procedures, swimmers must meet the minimum time standards listed below:
Of particular note within the selection criteria document is the fact that the CBDA specifies that ‘four coaches of Brazilian nationality and who work within the market of Brazil‘ will be traveling to the World Championships. Inferred is the fact that any non-Brazilian coach who works with Brazilian swimmers will not be invited as part of the official coaching staff.
This is an about-face from the stance the CBDA took just last summer, where long-time Brazilian coaching influence Brett Hawke officially accompanied the squad to the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. While in his former role as Auburn University Head Coach and beyond, the Olympian has trained several Brazilian swimmers including Marcelo Chierighini and Bruno Fratus, the latter of which was a two-time silver medalist at the last edition of the World Championships.
Hawke has also been involved in the training of world record holder Cesar Cielo, two-time 2018 Short Course World Championships bronze medalist Felipe Lima, Short Course World Champion Nicholas Santos and Pan American Games medalist Henrique Barbosa.
Hawke took to Instagram to voice his opinion on the new restriction in the form of narrating Fratus’ deadlifts, “His reaction to the news that the Brazilian swimming federation has just put a rule in place that bans all foreign coaches from traveling with the national team to major competitions…Effectively banning the most successful coach in Brazilian history.”
Notable athletes from around the world have since reacted to the news, with Australian icon Grant Hackett saying, “What a silly decision,” while NCAA athlete and Brazilian national Vini Lanza commented, “Unfortunately most people still can’t differ sports and politics.”