As swimmers are reentering pools around the world with the careful easing of coronavirus pandemic-related, national swimming federations are taking a look at their racing schedules for the remainder of 2020. We’ve reported on the new meet timelines for nations such as Hungary and Russia, and more countries are joining the ‘here’s our new schedule’ fold almost daily.
Along with Hungary’s national championships being pushed to December, the Hungarian Swimming Association (Magyar Úszó Szövetség) has established a brand new competition for the season.
Entitled ‘The 4 Nations Meet’, the 3-day affair has invited swimmers from Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic to join Hungary at the Széchy swimming arena on Margaret Island in Budapest. The competition is set to span July 24th-26th.
The Austrian athletes have been training at the Linz Olympic Center and the BSFZ Südstadt for several weeks after the corona-related restriction loosening so this meet will serve as their first competitive test.
“That is exactly what was missing for the motivation”, said OSV sports director Walter Bär. “There are goals again and we are very happy for our swimmers that we can finally start again. International meetings to train for.”
The aforementioned Austrians were each on a roll as of last fall, knocking down national records and gearing up for possible Olympic appearances. 17-year-old Grabowski logged a new Austrian national standard of 2:10.06 in the 200m back while competing at the FINA World Cup in Berlin.
Entering 2020, both Rothbauer and Kahler made their marks known while competing at the Berlin Open in February. The former notched times of 1:00.53 and 2:09.88, respectively in the men’s 100m and 200m breaststroke events to write his name onto the Austrian record books.
Kahler’s big swim came in the 800m free at the same meet, where the 19-year-old’s 8:32.51 performance established a new national record as well.
For Auböck’s part, the man earned the 1650y freestyle NCAA title while representing the University of Michigan at last year’s NCAA Championships.
We are waiting to hear the selected athletes from the other 3 nations participating in the ‘4 Nations Meet’ and will update upon learning that information.
In the meantime, meet organizers also say that they are still closely monitoring coronavirus impacts and will request a test from each participant, including athlete, coach, official, etc. starting a week out from the 4 Nations Meet.
Temperatures will also be taken upon entry to the racing facility, social distancing will be in practice, although wearing a mask will not be mandatory for participants.