FINA Still Pushing To Add Stroke 50’s To Olympic Lineup

FINA has released a ‘mid-way status’ of their Strategic Plan for 2018-2021 which was originally released in April 2017. The updated document was released last month and addresses three main areas:

  1. Their main achievements in 2018+2019
  2. The key actions planned for 2020/2021
  3. Adjustments made due to the coronavirus pandemic

As we reported at the time of its original release, FINA proposed the inclusion of a further 5 events to the Olympic programme. They were:

  • 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

Shortly after their proposal, it was confirmed that the first three events on that list would be added to the Olympic roster for Tokyo 2020, however, FINA have reiterated in this new document that they remain committed to “further develop and present arguments for the inclusion of additional Swimming events (e.g. mixed relay and 50m events in the program of future Olympic Games).

  • You can read the full FINA Strategic Plan ‘Mid-way Status’ 2018-2021 document here.

The document also highlighted how swimming now has an extra day in its Olympic program due to the inclusion of these three events. The addition of the distance and medley relay events will create more opportunities for specialists in these areas such as Katie LedeckySimona Quadarella, Gregorio Paltrinieri, Henrik Christiansen and David Aubry.

Among other changes that FINA is pushing for by the Paris 2024 Olympic Games:

  • FINA also states that they are actively working towards the inclusion of high diving events at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games
  • FINA is trying to increase the number of participants in the open water 10km marathon swimming events at the Olympics from 25 to 30 for both men and women

This is part of a broader effort by FINA to expand Olympic fields in aquatic sports, which includes more participants in water polo and artistic swimming at the Tokyo Games. That runs counter to the International Olympic Committee’s overall goal of reducing the athlete quota by 500 for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Projected Deficit For 2020

Olympic-themed publication Inside The Games says that they have been privy to an internal FINA communication that has projected the deficit for this year to be between $10.40 million and $20.8 million.

The worldwide pandemic has caused the rescheduling of many events including the FINA World Championships, World Short Course Championships and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. If this year has happened as planned, FINA would have stood to earn around $40 million at the end of it.


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10 months ago

Drop the mixed relays and add in stroke 50s. The fastest person in each stroke should be recognized. 100 meters does not always measure who the absolute fastest is in a stroke (Waddell, Santos, Govorov, etc…)

Reply to  JCO
10 months ago

Absolutely right. I don’t have any interest in the mixed relays, and I don’t think some of the flat-out fastest swimmers in the world should be stuck at home just because their best 50 isn’t freestyle.

Jason Zajonc
Reply to  JCO
10 months ago

Agree…or just add the 50s….please…so fun to watch…add the 400s as well…800 IM….why not. Track and field has so many cool races for everyone…imagine watching a 400 meter fly???

Reply to  Jason Zajonc
10 months ago

Lol, I’m going to take a pass on the 400s and an 800 IM.

By the end of an 8 day Olympics or World Championships, even I’m sick of swimming. Last thing we need is to turn it into a two week meet.

Reply to  JCO
10 months ago

Is “JCO” an abbreviation for “Michael Andrew?”

10 months ago

Adding 50s of stroke for men and women would be six more events, which may be too many.

The 200 Free Relay and 200 Medley Relay would be team-oriented, very exciting and competitive races. If qualification standards were tight, they would not add too much to headcount.

Reply to  Nick
10 months ago

This so much

Add in the 50s as well as these two relays, scrap the mix relays and then add a day to the schedule

Reply to  Nick
10 months ago

I’m not sure I like the idea of a 4×50 relay but this might just be me.

Personally I think it might be too dependent on relay takeovers, which is not something that necessarily appeals to me.

Reply to  Joe
10 months ago

The most dramatic four words in swimming: “results are not official.”

10 months ago

I think you’d have to scrap mixed relays then, I personally think the mixed medley is super fun to watch but adding the 50s would just be so many events