USA Swimming has announced a 6-member roster for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China that will run from August 17th-22nd. This is two fewer than the 8 that they were allocated by FINA for the second edition of these Youth Olympic Games based on the country’s finish at the 2013 World Championships. The announcement left a caveat that they “could potentially” add two additional team members at a later date depending on final qualifications of all sports.
The difference is accounted for by the fact that there is a limit to the number of athletes that Team USA can send across all sports, resulting in 6 spots at this point instead of 8, but a USA Swimming spokesperson didn’t immediately have details on how those were allocated.
- Hannah Moore (Unattached – North Carolina)
- Courtney Mykkanen (Irvine Novaquatics)
- Clara Smiddy (AquaKids Sharks)
- Patrick Conaton (Badger Swim Club)
- Patrick Mulcare (Tulatin Hills Swim Club)
- Justin Wright (Fresno Dolphins Swim Team)
If those two other spots are not filled, then the United States would be limited to only co-ed relays in Nanjing, though they didn’t wind up winning any relay medals in single gender or co-ed races at the meet’s first edition in 2010.
This year, the Americans will be trying to out-do the 10th-place medal count (1 gold, 2 silvers) from Singapore, where USA Swimming was still skeptical about the meet. This year, however, qualified athletes were given a choice to pick the Youth Olympic Games over Jr. Pan Pacs, which has resulted in a roster that should be much more competitive. Then again, the field will be much more competitive as well.
A breakdown of where each swimmer’s best time would’ve wound up in 2010, representing a good target for the medal count:
- Hannah Moore (200 back – silver, 400 free – silver)
- Courtney Mykkanen (100 back – silver, 200 back – silver)
- Clara Smiddy (100 back – gold, 200 back – gold
- Patrick Conaton (N/A)
- Patrick Mulcare (N/A)
- Justin Wright (N/A)
The women’s roster is very heavy on backstrokers, which will create some internal competition for podium spots. In the men’s side, Wright has a good chance of medaling in the fly events, but the comparison is a little skewed by an unusually deep butterfly group at the 2010 meet (Bence Biczo, Chad le Clos, Marcin Cieslak, Dylan Bosch, Velimir Stjepanovic).
These rosters were chosen based on a ranking of best times from the 2013 U.S. Open, 2013 Junior Nationals, and the long course Grand Prix meets so far. They were then ranked in the FINA rankings, and those with the highest rankings in an Olympic event were chosen (among those who didn’t decline to focus on Pan Pacs or Jr. Pan Pacs).