FINA has recently announced a proposal that could bring big changes to swimming in the future on the international stage.
According to NBC Sports, FINA has reportedly proposed adding a men’s 800 meter freestyle race as well as a women’s 1500 meter race to the Olympic program. The full list of events that would be added would be added for Tokyo in 2020:
- Men’s 800m Freestyle
- Women’s 1500m Freestyle
- Mixed 400 Medley Relay
- Mixed 400 Freestyle Relay
- 50s in each stroke for both men and women
These proposed changes would create substantially more opportunities for swimmers like Katie Ledecky and Ryan Murphy to cement their legacies in the realm of swimming. For Ledecky, adding the women’s 1500, an event where she would be a virtual lock, would allow her to climb ever closer to Phelps’ record of 28 Olympic Medals. Adding 50 meter stroke events would allow a more specialized swimmer like Murphy, to excel in three individuals rather than just two.
Along with American swimmers, international swimmers like Cesar Cielo could benefit greatly from these changes. Cielo, who didn’t make the Brazilian Olympic Team in 2016 would have been a likely favorite in the 50 meter butterfly. Adam Peaty, the world record holder in the 50 and 100 breaststroke events is also known for his incredible speed. The addition of the 50 breaststroke event would create an immediate opportunity for Peaty to rack up addition international medals.
In addition to the addition of races in the swimming event in Tokyo, FINA has proposed additions to a number of other aquatic events. The full list of changes can be found below:
- Adjust the number of divers competing from 136 to 160 and go from 8 teams competing in finals of synchronized diving to 12
- Include High diving in the 2020 Olympics: Men jump from 27 meters and women from 20 meters
- Allow four additional teams to qualify for women’s water polo, but in doing so each team, both men and women, must decrease their team size from 13 to 11
- Add 10 swimmers to the open water events to go from 25 to 35 for both men and women
- Increase the number of synchronized swim teams to 12 from 8