FINA Releases Full Olympic Relay Entries

(Thanks to coach Alex Pussieldi, the leading voice in Brazilian swimming, for contributing to this report).

FINA has released the full list of relays that have been invited and accepted for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, which is listed below. These relays were selected from the top 12 relays at last year’s World Championships (finals DQ’s eliminated an automatic berth), plus the next four best in each event from March of 2011 through the June 1, 2012 deadline.

The Canadian men, despite having not hit their self-imposed entry times at their own Olympic Trials, will send a full contingent of three relays to the event; as will the South African men. Iceland has their first ever Olympic relay qualifier thanks to the 400 medley that crushed the National Record at this year’s European Championships.

Also of note, the Polish women snuck their 800 free relay into the meet, thanks to declines by both the Netherlands (who would’ve been one of the last four in) and Sweden (who would have earned an automatic berth from their finish at the World Championships, but declined). That means the Polish women will have more than one swimmer at the Olympics.

There was some confusion in the Men’s 400 Medley as Kazakhistan and Brazil were thought to be tied for the 16th spot, but the Brazilians winning time from Pan Ams, 3:34.58 clearly makes them the 16th team in. (Kazkhstan’s 3:36.99 would have tied the Brazilians’ best time outside of the Pan American Games). We’ll now await word on what FINA will do about this unfortunate error.

The following countries will each take a full contingent of 6 relays to the Olympics:

Great Britain

Men   Women
  4×100 Free 4×200 Free 4×100 Medley     4×100 Free 4×200 Free 4×100 Medley
1 Australia United States United States   1 Netherlands United States United States
2 France France Australia   2 United States Australia China
3 United States China Germany   3 Germany China Australia
4 Italy Germany Italy   4 China Canada Russia
5 Russia Australia Japan   5 Australia Hungary Japan
6 South Africa Japan Netherlands   6 Sweden France Germany
7 Germany Great Britain Hungary   7 Canada Italy Great Britain
8 Great Britain Italy New Zealand   8 Japan Great Britain Canada
9 Belgium Austria Canada   9 Denmark New Zealand Denmark
10 Brazil Hungary France   10 Great Britain Japan Italy
11 Japan Canada Russia   11 Italy Germany Sweden
12 Hungary New Zealand Poland   12 Russia Russia Netherlands
13 Canada Russia Great Britain   13 New Zealand Slovenia Spain
14 China Denmark South Africa   14 Hungary Spain France
15 Venezuela Belgium China   15 Greece Poland Iceland
16 Serbia South Africa Kazkahstan   16 Belarus Ukraine Hungary


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PAC 12 Fan

Canada’s 4 x 200 will be made from the existing team members. That means that the guys who came 2nd, Chad Bobrosky(USC)) and 3rd Hassaan Abdel-Khalik(Michigan and who I believe is pictured above) in the 200 free at Canadian Trials don’t get to go. After their race at Trials they were told that Canada would not be sending a 4 x 200. Must be infuriating for those 2 swimmers.


Yah it would be incredibly frustrating. But Swimming Canada set out relay selection criteria that basically says if the potential relay swimmers at Trials don’t swim a time that would make the relay competitive (Top 8), then the 2, 3, 4th place swimmers don’t get selected to the team. It sucks, and it looks a bit ridiculous now that they have to pull together a relay from the existing team, but it sends the message that they don’t want to send a team just to send a team, they want to be able to compete.

Canada Swim Fan

That’s exactly what Canada wants to do: send a competitive team. Now it is just putting together an improvised 4 x 200 Free Relay team hoping it’ll do better than the top 4 200 Freestyler’s in the country. Sense any contradiction?

Logical Canadian

Maybe Canada thinks it’s not fair to divert resources away from swimmers who qualified under the criteria for those that didn’t?

The real shame is that these swimmers were definitely capable of putting up times that would have qualified them, but they didn’t when it mattered most. I have the same solution as I Am Also Canadian, next time swim faster.

Swim Fan

@Logical Canadian Even if you want to argue that theses swimmers don’t deserve to go because they didn’t meet the SNC criteria, the fact is that they ARE sending a relay now they aren’t going to be using their best swimmers. they are deliberately shooting them self’s in the foot and unethically taking up a lane at the Olympics. Either choose to only send a “competitive” relay or don’t send one at all. To simply say that they should have swam faster is nearsighted, they did swim fast where it counted which was at the 2011 worlds where they qualified a lane. I agree they could have swam faster but the truth is that the trials have always been about… Read more »

Red & White

I think most of you are missing the point. The relay qualifying has nothing to do with individual swimmers, just actual relay performances from WC last year and the best of the rest from this year. Canada’s selection process outlined time standards that the top 4/5 finishers had to meet at trials. The men’s 4×200 was no different than selection for the men’s 4×100 or the women’s teams which each had 4 swimmers make the cuts. Is it a bad thing that we are not taking 1:49’s to the Olympics? Of course not. As for bringing “developing swimmers”, it is the Olympics, not the Youth Olympics – for years Canada has taken Olympic tourists and we finally are holding the… Read more »

Canada Swim Fan

Totally agree with @Red & White. What should Canada do about the individual swimmers well out of the top 100 in the world that are going to Olympics…


You are contradicting yourself. If the bar is to stay high then why are we using the relay to make sure that swimmers placed far down the FINA rankings have a better chance of making the cut?


Many countries bring “developing swimmers” as you call them to the Olympics for the experience so that they are better prepared for the next one when they are at a higher level. I would think that past Olympians would also find your comment about being an Olympic tourist insulting. I know I do.

Red & White

I don’t think there is a contradiction here. SNC set the criteria for the relays so we would be competitive at the meet. Whether or not our fastest 4×200 will suit up is a mute point, they did not meet the standard deemed as competitive.
As for other countries bringing developing swimmers, I am curious who you would use as an example of this practice.


Great Britain – read their criteria


@ Red & White Canada has prequalified for a lane for the 4 x 200 freestyle relay. It owes it to itself and the world to make maximum use of this precious lane. This is the crux of this unique situation. It can not be compared to individual events. The internal criteria apply to relays only and not individual events, even though a number of Canadian individual swimmers rank far lower than if Chad and Hassan joined the relay team. “Olympic tourists”! May be that was the case in Sydney and now the Pendulum is on the opposite side; swimmers who should be on the team are not on it due to internally-imposed criteria. Which extreme is worse for Canadian… Read more »


@ Red & White

Not sure if we can call no. 2 (Chad) and no 3 (Hassan) in the nation “developing swimmers”!

What people ‘cry for’ is Canada’s name and performance at the Olympics.

Red & White

I did not refer to the two freestylers developing swimmers, that was reference to the post calling for inclusion of the #2 swimmers (Funk, Swanston, Ahani) in the stroke 100’s. Nonetheless, we did not leave anybody off the team. All those that met the criteria are going to London. Perhaps the appeals that have been launched should have been submitted before Trials if people think the criteria is unfair.

PAC 12 Fan

Appeals have been launched??


The main point here is a prequalified for lane that will not be swum by the best in the country. It is objective vs. subjective analysis here in light of facts on the ground. It’s accountability to the nation and the world.


Appealing has no bearing upon the current situation. If the criteria is not condusive to the best team, what should take precedence, following the criteria or sending the best relay team to swim in the prequalified lane?

Still, and in accordance with the criteri, has the option of giving up Canada’s 4 x 200 relay lane been considered, since at Trials, the top 4 Canadian swimmers did not meet the criteria?



There were appeals? Can you tell us more? This is some valuable information!!!


How can you say that whether or not we are bringing our fastest four swimmers is a mute point? Give me an example of a country who enters a relay with swimmers who don’t even swim the event! If Canada doesn’t want to bring the fastest four swimmers then don’t enter a relay. Are we going to field the relay with swimmers who didn’t even swim the event at trials with times that are much slower in 200 free? How embarrasing for Canada.


My guess for Canada’s 4X200 is Blake Worsley, Colin Russell, Tobias Oriwol, Brent Hayden, and maybe Ryan Cochrane, if Hayden doesn’t swim it. Another possibility is Tommy Gossland.

PAC 12 Fan

Neither Hayden or Russell train for the 200 anymore, so it is doubtful that they will be on the relay.


And I highly doubt Ryan will swim the 4 x 200. More likely is Tommy, even though he’s a much better 50/100 swimmer.

You up for a 200 Free @Tommy Gossland?

Canada Swim Fan

I don’t think it serves Hayden’s, Cochrane’s or Swim Canada’s best interest to have those two swimmers on the 4 x 200 Free Relay Team. Hayden and Cochrane are Canada’s best chance at Olympic hardware. Why would they get out of their way to help a lack luster 4 x 200 Freestyle Relay Team barely squeak into the final. Hayden hasn’t swam a 200 Free at a major meet since 2010 Pan Pacs. And Cochrane has not broken the 1:50.00 barrier in the non-textile suits, but he doesn’t need to since his focuses are the 400 and 1500 Free. Ultimately, if Canada is not serious about the 4 x 200 Free Relay they should forfeit their spot rather than eat… Read more »




hey, there are rules about making the olympic team. if youre not happy you didnt make them then.. swim faster?


As long as the criteria is followed in full then fine but if you read it in it’s entirety then five men have not made the team yet as they have not been invited by FINA. If SNC is using the 4X200 relay to get these swimmers in the meet because they are worried they won’t get an invite over sending the top four swimmers in the 200 is this in the best interest of Canada? Either send the best team or follow the criteria in full.

Canada Swim Fan

It’s not about those 2 swimmers making it or not, it is Canada manipulating FINA’s quota to allow its own swimmers to make it the Games. Is this fair for the countries with an 800 Free relay out of the top 16 that would actually take full advantage of the lane.

There is also an unwritten code of honor in sport, and this move by Swim Canada transgresses it.


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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, …

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