FINA Says They Will Recognize World Records from 5 of 7 ISL Meets

FINA, the international governing body for swimming that regulates most of the world’s swimming competition says that it will accept World Record swims from some of the meets of the International Swimming League calendar.

Specifically, FINA will recognize results and records set in the series’ last 5 meets, starting in Lewisville, Texas from October 18th to 19th, presuming all other FINA guidelines are followed.

This means that the American Record, and near-World Record, set by Katie Ledecky of the DC Trident last week in Indianapolis, won’t be recognized by FINA. USA Swimming says that it will recognize Ledecky’s swim as an “American Record” if all paperwork is properly filed, in addition to another American Record set by Melanie Margalis, referring to the “United States Records.” FINA keeps a separate list of “Americas Records,” which refers to the totality of North, Central, and South America, plus the Caribbean islands. Ledecky’s time is faster than the FINA-recognized “Americas Record,” which generally have a lower threshold for recognition. We have asked FINA if Ledecky’s swim will be recognized as a continental record.

If Ledecky were to drop another .15 seconds to break the World Record in Naples this coming weekend, FINA would not recognize that swim either.

To help bring greater clarity to meets that FINA will and will not recognize World Records at, the organization has set up a calendar that includes FINA and non-FINA events that it will acknowledge and accept times from. In addition to the last 5 ISL meets, other non-FINA events listed as approved include, for example, the European Short Course Championships in early December. You can see that calendar here.

Ledecky swam a 3:54.06 in the 400 free on Sunday in Indianapolis, her first short course meters meet in 6 years, which just missed the World Record of 3:53.92 held by Ariarne Titmus. While rumors have circulated that FINA has refused to recognize World Records set in ISL meets, what FINA actually said this summer is that it would not recognize World Records unless the meets were held in compliance with FINA rules. Those rules include seeking approval 6 months prior to competition and the presence of drug testers to collect samples from any record breakers.

ISL is employing an anti-doping protocol at their meets, though it’s being managed by the national anti-doping organization of the host nation rather than the league itself. We have asked a follow-up to FINA about where the difference lies between the series’ first 2 meets and the last 5, and will update if they provide a response. The 6 month approval period was an early point of emphasis by FINA in the records conversation, and may be to blame for non-recognition of the first 2 meets.

Ledecky, in post-meet interviews, said that she thinks “all times should count.” ISL wouldn’t be the first time that World Record swims have gone unrecognized: several swims that seemed to have broken World Junior Records have not been acknowledged by FINA, including times done in Hungary and China. There hasn’t been an explanation given for why some of those swims weren’t recognized. World Junior Records and World Records generally follow the same approval process.

ISL meets where FINA won’t recognize World Records:

  • Indianapolis, IN, USA  – October 5-6
  • Naples, Italy, Europe – October 12-13

ISL meets where FINA will recognize World Records, if rules are followed:

  • Lewisville, TX, USA – October 19-20
  • Budapest, Hungary, Europe – October 26-27
  • College Park, MD, USA – November 16-17
  • London, England, Europe – November 23-24
  • Las Vegas, NV, USA – December 20-21

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Yozhik
3 years ago

I know what makes meets in Indianapolis and Naples so special in eyes of FINA. These meets are the only one where world record would possibly happen. 😀
I indicated it as a joke. But look, are these meets the only two where we can see Ledecky racing?

Coach John
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

That’s the fun part of ISL…. waiting for that roster list to come out. seems to me Ledecky will be at hopefully 50% of the ISL meets as there is good money to be made and adequate racing to be had. just balancing out travel and training will be her and her coaches challenge.

Yozhik
Reply to  Coach John
3 years ago

DC Trident won’t be in Las Vegas. Right? But I missed one All American meet in November where we may see one more attempt for world record by Miss Ledecky. Who else but Ledecky will push herself for the record since the format of these meets doesn’t reward swimmers for such effort. Since the swimmer got an advantage to be the first at the wall there is no reason to go all out. Who else but Ledecky may keep in mind a world record during ISL meets?

Coach John
3 years ago

to all the people questioning WHY there was uproar about a record that wasn’t broken…. this is the partial reaction that the uproar instigated. good start but FINA is bleeding itself dry. I give it one more quad at most before it folds/reinvents

IM FAN
3 years ago

So ISL drug testing is being handled by anti doping agency of the host country, of which so far all are complaint with WADA. The meets are being run to FINAs standards. So then what is so special about Indianapolis, it’s in the USA so I doubt it’s a drug testing issues and I assume it’s being held in the same pool as the Pro Series meet so I doubt it’s an issue with the pools certification. The same is basically true for Naples as well. So what is different about those 2 meets that disqualifies their times and why is FINA choosing to withhold that information?

From what I have seen swimmers are loving the ISL. The fact that… Read more »

PAC SWIM FAN
Reply to  IM FAN
3 years ago

Not sure about Naples, but maybe they don’t trust anyone in the USA to measure out 25 meters properly? It is astonishing we have so many 50 meter pools!

Troyy
Reply to  PAC SWIM FAN
3 years ago

Why wouldn’t you have so many 50 meter pools? It’s what the most important international competitions are in. What is astonishing is the number of 25 yard pools.

BGNole97
3 years ago

It’s like FINA is run by a bunch of drunk (and corrupt) monkeys. No rhyme or reason for the wacky decisions they make.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  BGNole97
3 years ago

Follow the money (& power). Then it will make sense. The athletes are just pawns in the game.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  BGNole97
3 years ago

when u watch the FINA representatives who came last summer for world champs , yes indeed , they did not look very smart

Sir Swimsalot
3 years ago

This seems almost petty. If recognizing records really does just take paperwork, what’s stopping FINA from filing the paperwork for a past (although very recent) time? Am I missing something here?

Jack
Reply to  Sir Swimsalot
3 years ago

You can’t file the paperwork retroactively if the swimmer didn’t get the appropriate drug testing to ratify a world record, which didn’t happen at the first ISL meet. My guess is that FINA has agreed to ratify world records, but the ISL couldn’t commit to getting the right doping control in place before the second meet happens next weekend.

Jeff
3 years ago

I’m confused. You say in the title they’d will be recognised at 5 meets. Then, you go on to list 5 meets where they won’t be recognised??

gator
3 years ago

SCM WR will fall !!!

Swimmer
Reply to  gator
3 years ago

I think I’d be surprised if it went this weekend with all the travel. Definitely soon though!

gator
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

WR not recognized for Naples swims.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Swimmer
3 years ago

yep

Brock the Breastroker
3 years ago

Yes because that makes perfect sense. Love it

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, …

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