A day after Michael Klueh replaced the injured Matt McLean on the U.S. roster for this summer’s World Championships, we’ve got another event shakeup.
Tyler Clary will give up his spot in the 200 IM for Conor Dwyer.
That 200 IM entry spot has already seen its fair share of moving and shaking this year. The spot, of course, originally went to Michael Phelps after last summer’s U.S. Nationals, but when Phelps was kicked off the Worlds team after his DUI, Clary inherited the post.
But as momentum started to grow in early 2015 to reinstate Phelps to the team, Clary went on the record saying he’d give the spot back willingly.
“He’s vital,” Clary told ESPN at the time. “I don’t see myself as being a competitor at his level in the 200 IM, and I don’t have the same chance of getting a medal.”
Those comments help explain why Clary was willing to pass the spot along to Dwyer as well. Clary was looking at the busiest schedule of any U.S. man in 2015, with entries in the 200 back, 200 fly, 200 IM and 400 IM.
Dwyer, meanwhile, was set to compete in the 200 free individually, and was a relay qualifier on the 4×100 free relay, giving him ample room to add the 200 IM to his slate. Though Dwyer has mostly made his mark internationally as a freestyler, he’s an extremely versatile talent who can compete in both IM distances.
Phelps has yet to be reinstated to the team, and the closer we get to the summer, the less likely it is that USA Swimming would make such a major roster change. But on the other hand, Phelps did get one major boost last month from FINA, the international governing body for swimming.
Perhaps the biggest difficulty in reinstating Phelps to the Worlds team would be the athletes he would displace. Tim Phillips was already added to the team to take Phelps’ 100 fly spot, and it would be a difficult situation for a Phelps return to bump Phillips off of the team entirely.
But FINA publicly floated the idea earlier this month of extending a special invitation to Phelps, where he could compete as an extra entry in what would be a brand-new loophole.
The updated roster from USA Swimming can be seen here.