FINA Doesn’t Have Mixed Relays on 2015 World Championships Schedule Yet

FINA has posted the official day-by-day schedule for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia, and pool swimming will run from Sunday, August 2nd through Sunday, August 9th at the Kazan Arena. Open water races will be held on Saturday, July 25th (men’s and women’s 5k), Monday, July 27th (men’s 10k), Tuesday, July 28th (women’s 10k), Thursday, July 30th (team 5ks), and Saturday, August 1st (men’s and women’s 25k).

View the full schedule here.

There are a few things that jump out immediately about the schedule.

No Decision on Where Mixed Relays Will be Scheduled Yet

When FINA released the qualifying standards for the 2015 World Championships, there was a mixed 400 free and 400 medley relay on the schedule. That went along with an overall trend toward including these mixed relays that saw FINA begin recognizing World Records in those events.

But when FINA published the schedule for Worlds in 2015, they didn’t include any mixed relays, yet. FINA has not yet decided where they will put the mixed relays, and when they do decide that, it will go a long way toward seeing how high the participation rates will be. In general, the major powers like the United States and Australia are hesitant to put their full enthusiasm behind big new changes like this one, and so FINA will have to be very careful about how they decide to place those relays.

To us, the most logical places based on the schedule could be August 5th, the 4th day of pool swimming. It would be matched with semi’s of the men’s 100 free, women’s 50 breast, women’s 200 fly, men’s 200 IM, and finals of the men’s 200 fly, women’s 200 free, men’s 50 breast, and men’s 800 free. The problem is that while that would minimize conflicts, it’s already a very, very long finals session. August 9th could make some sense as well, but the reality that most nations are going to face is that they’re going to have to start making choices between chances at individual medals and chances at mixed relay medals by using or not using their top swimmers on those relays.

No Pool Swimming Schedule Changes from 2013

The pool swimming schedule in 2015 will be exactly the same as it was in 2013. Until the mixed medley relays are installed, not a single event or event order has been changed in the pool. That’s as compared to 2013, where there was some minor, but significant, shuffling.

I think most coaches and athletes prefer that stability within an Olympic cycle, so this will be a positive for most.

But the Finals Sessions Are Longer

The prelims sessions have all been ascribed to the same length, but most of the finals’ sessions have been stretched out just a bit. To be precise:

  • on days 1-4 finals sessions will be 10 minutes longer;
  • on day 5 finals will be 20 minutes longer;
  • on day 6 finals will be 10 minutes shorter;
  • on day 7 finals will be 15 minutes longer; and
  • On day 8 finals will be the same length.

What does this mean? Who knows. Perhaps greater sponsorship demand has created a need for an extra commercial break. Perhaps in Barcelona, fans were worried that the length of the lull between exciting races wasn’t enough (unlikely). Perhaps it will be used to give swimmers on doubles and triples a few extra minutes to warmup and cool down.

It is a change though. The local start times are the same, though, at 10AM for prelims and 6PM for finals. When the meet gets closer, we’ll have plenty of time to lay out all of the time zones, but for those counting, that’s 2AM for prelims and 10AM for finals U.S. eastern time; 7AM and 3PM in London; and 4PM/midnight in Sydney.

Open Water Swimming is on the same timing

The 25k’s will be run the day before pool swimming begins in open water, meaning life won’t get any easier for those swimmers attempting to compete in both the pool and open water won’t

9
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

9 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
NewEnglander
8 years ago

The stroke 50s are already too much.

Danjohnrob
Reply to  NewEnglander
8 years ago

I wholeheartedly agree! I’m sick of athletes winning the 50 free, 50 fly double who can’t do a world-class 100 fly! That’s not fly, that’s moving your arms as quick as you can!

Reply to  Danjohnrob
8 years ago

But what you say implies that 50 and 100 meter events are every different. Then it makes sense to contest them both, in my opinion. 50 meters is a pure sprint, many swimmers don’t even breathe in the 50 free or fly. Compare to track, where there are no less than two (!) events that take less than 21 (men) or 23 (women) seconds, not just at their world championships but even at the Olympics.

That doesn’t mean that I want the stroke 50’s added to the Olympics. The Olympics schedule absolutely shouldn’t become any bigger than it already is. But I wouldn’t mind redesigning the Olympic schedule while reducing the total number of events by a few.

hswimmer
8 years ago

Instead of people worrying about that, they should add the 1500 for women and 800 for men in Olympics!

Reply to  hswimmer
8 years ago

The 1500 should replace the 800 in the Olympic women’s schedule, but I’m against having both 800 and 1500. Those distances are too similar. Very often the 800 winner will also win the 400 or the 1500 (or even all three). It will also lead to distance swimmers pull out of the 200 free (for example Sun, who competed in the 200 free at the London Olympics but not at the 2013 Worlds where he swam the 800).

If it were up to me, I’d remove the 800 men and women events from the world championships.

bobo gigi
8 years ago

Please keep these mixed relays out of the world championships and especially out of the olympic games !
It’s absolutely useless!

Philip Johnson
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

I agree Bobo, no reason to dilute the medals any more. I was not a fan of them at the Junior Championships, the races were all over the place … very hard to keep track of what’s going on.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
8 years ago

You can avoid diluting the medals by replacing a men’s and women’s relay by a single mixed relay. That reduces the overall program by one event.

I’m not a huge fan of mixed relays, but I have to admit that it’s pretty unique to have men and women compete in the same event (in most team sports that’s impossible).

Another benefit is that small nations have a better chance to do compete with the usual powerhouses because it’s easier to produce 4 world class swimmers of any gender than it is to produce 4 world class swimmers of the same gender.

Lane Four
Reply to  bobo gigi
8 years ago

Yes! I agree with both Bobo and Philip. Mixed relays are fine for intra-squad competitions. But not at the Worlds or Olympics. If they add the mixed relays with all of the 50 sprints along with the other events, then you end up with a 3-ring circus and this does not work in the favor of the sport in the eyes of the rest of the sporting community. Swimming already has enough detractors proclaiming that there are too many events on the schedule already. And the last thing we need is to have events removed as was done at the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. Keep the Olympic schedule as is and please do not add those relays to the Worlds.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »