The FINA website has been updated to reflect a new set of dates for the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in order to try and avoid a conflict with the Pan American Games, a multi-sport Olympic event that is competed in by teams of the western hemisphere.
Largely in individual sports, like swimming or track & field, the Pan Am Games are not an Olympic qualifier for the biggest participating nations (Brazil, Canada, United States). The originally intended dates had the swimming portion running from July 11th, 2015 until July 18th, 2015.
Those dates initially ran head-on into the FINA World Aquatics Championships, which were set to begin on July 17th in Kazaan, Russia. Athletics runs into a similar conflict, with their championships beginning on August 22nd, a world away in Beijing, China.
FINA, hwoever, has updated the dates of the 2015 World Championships to move them back a week, with their scheduled run-time now from July 24th-August 9th, and according to the Toronto Star, that was specifically to encourage more elite swimmers to compete in Toronto.
Swimming takes place on the back-half of the standard World Aquatics Championships schedule, so this new timetable would give athletes about two weeks to take care of travel from Toronto to Kazaan. While this may impact the home team Canadians’ plans, history dictates that USA Swimming will continue to focus their “A” team on the World Championships, and use this meet for their “second squad” made up of the best swimmers who didn’t qualify for Worlds, much as we saw in 2011.
Of the team that went to the Pan Am Games in 2011, there are several success stories of athletes who in the next two years made huge leaps forward. That includes names like Charlie Houchin, Conor Dwyer, Eugene Godsoe, Clark Burckle, Rachel Bootsma, and Claire Donahue: all Worlds or Olympic medalists who didn’t make the World Championship team in 2011.
Update: A USA Swimming spokesperson told us on Friday morning that this will not change USA Swimming’s selection procedures.