Acropolis Grand Prix
The Greek men’s 400 medley relay swam a time trial tonight at the Acropolis Grand Prix in Athens, bumping Ireland out of the fourth and final Olympic Wildcard position by .01 seconds.
The qualification period for relays runs through May 31, giving countries only a few days to claim a Wildcard spot or to improve their qualification time.
Prior to today, the Greek’s best time was a 3:37.06 swum at last week’s European Championships. Apostolos Christou, Konstadinos Meretsolias, Andreas Vazaios, and Kristian Gkolomeev teamed up today to swim 3:34.61. Last week’s relay featured the same backstroke and breaststroke legs; Stefanos Dimitriadis swam the butterfly leg with Vazaios pulling anchor duty on freestyle. Another week of rest along with the switch of Vazaios to fly and Gkolomeev to free made the difference for the Greeks.
The relay also came within .20 seconds of the Greek record of 3:34.41 set four years ago at the European Championships.
In the competition for the four Olympic Wildcard spots, the success of the Greeks today means that the Irish, who were eyeing a birth in Tokyo only a few days ago, are now on the outside looking in.
Nikos Xylouris, the head of Greek Swimming understands that things can change quickly, “Let us be patient for a few more days. Let’s keep the tones low. Until Sunday, other countries will try to exhaust the margins to be at the Olympics. Until then we will hope and wait.”
After today’s results, the standings for the men’s 400 medley relay are as follows:
|Worlds #1||Great Britain||3:28.10|
|Worlds #2||United States||3:28.45|
|Out #3||South Korea||3:36.53|