Greek Officials Say They’re Unsure Why Olympic-Caliber Relays Weren’t Invited

The Hellenic Swimming Federation says they aren’t sure why a pair of relays that would have qualified for the Olympic Games were not included in FINA’s invitation list, and haven’t heard back from the international federation to explain the absence.

At last weekend’s Acropolis Meet, just before the May 31st relay entry deadline for the Tokyo 2020 Games, the Greeks swam a 3:34.61 in the men’s 400 medley relay, to move ahead of Ireland by .01 seconds into the last Wildcard position. Likewise, their mixed 400 medley relay swam a Greek record time of 3:45.38 to move into the third Wildcard position.

Under FINA qualification rules, the top 12 finishing teams in each Olympic relay event from the most recent World Aquatics Championships in 2019 automatically qualify to swim in Tokyo, plus the next 4 best relays from within the qualifying period earn “Wildcard” spots. If one of the top 12 teams from the World Championships declines to swim, then the next-best Wildcard team is invited.

The swimming managers of the Hellenic Swimming Federation Nikolaos Xylouris and Ioannis Natsios told SwimSwam in an email on Sunday that they didn’t know why their relays were excluded.

They say that they sent an updated competition program for the meet to FINA on April 8 and received confirmation on April 13. They say they then received a reminder of the entry deadline from FINA on May 25, specifically reminding them to send results from the Acropolis Meet “as soon as possible after the end of competition,” which was May 30.

The federation says that the necessary files were sent on May 31 and that on June 1, FINA confirmed that they received those files and that they would update the results and rankings.

“We are awaiting official answer from FINA to see what is the next step we must take in order to have our relay in the list of qualified teams,” the Greek federation says. “We expect that FINA will correct this mistake as soon as possible.”

If they do correct that mistake, the Swiss mixed 400 medley relay and Irish men’s 400 medley relay would be bumped out of their Olympic invitations.

FINA has not responded to SwimSwam’s requests for an explanation of the Greek absence either, which continues years of silence from the international organization for aquatic sports.

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3 months ago

FINA once again demonstrates why it needs to be totally overhauled with new management and an “athletes first” attitude – which is clearly lacking!

3 months ago

Maybe just waiting for the check to clear

Adrien Downey
Reply to  PhillyMark
3 months ago


3 months ago

It better get sorted. The Greek team earned their spot. It is only fair they be allowed to race.

3 months ago

I’m quite sure that both Ireland and Switzerland are ready to go all the way to the court, if FINA decides to take back their invitations. I’ll be surprised, if these relays don’t end up with 17 teams swimming.

3 months ago

Could be waiting for doping tests from that meet to completed maybe?

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

Braden what do you think is the most likely outcome of all this?

Reply to  EasySpeed
3 months ago

Obviously not Braden but, if they messed up but take Ireland and Italy then Greek goes to court, if Greek gets taken Italy and Ireland will go to court soooo I’d imagine they’ll let 17 go and put 9 in a heat or they find a proper reason for excluding Greece

3 months ago

FINA has a history of strange decicions concerning the greek team (and more….).
For the Rio Olympics, one greek woman qualified with an A-cut for the olympics, yet, FINA still invited the second Greek girl to take part, even though she only had a B-Cut. Switzerland meanwhile send the question to FINA why their butterflier was not invited, when she was clearly the first girl eligible to be invited according to Fina rules and Fina claimed that in every event one swimmer was invited.
After some time and several more inquieries, FINA finally acted and the greek swimmer (who had started training again after already having finished her career as she thought she did not qualify) got bumped… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by coachdaggi
3 months ago

Swiss invite been taken back along with a poor apology i am being informed but cannot confirm

Reply to  Anon
3 months ago

I can confirm… exactly this happened…

Tea rex
3 months ago

“FINA has not responded to SwimSwam’s requests for an explanation of the Greek absence either, which continues years of silence from the international organization for aquatic sports.“

Grade A shade, swimswam. Chef’s kiss.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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