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.