This week, the Hong Kong swimming community is attempting to emerge from it mourning of the death of star swimmer Kenneth To at the 62nd Festival of Sport. The meet is the first of 5 declared Local Qualifying Events in 2019 where swimmers have the opportunity to chase qualifying times for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association announced its Olympic selection criteria earlier this month. The country will abide by the FINA selection standards, which allows the country to send 2 entries in an event if they both hit “A” standards, or 1 entry in an event if only 1 hits at least a “B” standard (and is ranked highly enough among “B” standards for an invitation).
While Hong Kong is offering 5 local qualifying opportunities this year, plus a still-undeclared number in 2020, they will allow swimmers to hit their Olympic qualifying times at any FINA-sanctioned meet. They still require eligible athletes to compete in at least 1 of the 3 major local competitions – either the Open Swimming Championships, the Age Group Long Course Championships, or the Festival of Sports (which is happening this weekend).
Hog Kong sent 7 swimmers to the 2016 Olympic Games. That included 1 male swimmer and 6 female swimmers, who swam to 14th place in the 400 medley relay. The country’s highest finish was 13th in the 200 free, earned by American-trained Siobhan Haughey with a 1:57.56. Haughey was 3rd at the 2019 NCAA Championships in the yards version of that same event.
Olympic Qualifying Standards Below: