Ireland, Switzerland Qualify Relays For Tokyo; Greeks Out

FINA has produced an initial list of countries that have been invited to swim relays at the Tokyo Olympics as first reported by Alex Pussieldi at BestSwimming

The biggest and only change to the lists SwimSwam reported on Friday is the absence of Greece in both the men’s 400 medley relay and the 400 mixed medley relay. A week ago at the Acropolis Grand Prix, 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

This means that Ireland, who a week ago were on the outside of the rankings, have qualified their first Olympic relays since 1972 as both their men’s 800 freestyle and 400 medley relays will be swimming in Tokyo. 

Jon Rudd, the National Performance Director of Swim Ireland spoke about the significance of qualifying relays for Tokyo:

 “This is a truly a historic moment for Irish swimming and for us all to be part of that, and for the Irish swimming community to have something huge to celebrate after such challenging times of late for our sport is so inspiring and uplifting. The athletes have done a remarkable job here in not getting one but two relays over the line, something we haven’t achieved for 49 years. The coaches and practitioners who work day in, day out, with these athletes must also receive our praise and our thanks. Now we prepare to do our nation proud in Tokyo – and give everyone a summer of excitement to look forward to.”

There has been no report from KOE, the Greek swimming federation, as to why the Greeks are not included in either the relays mentioned above. SwimSwam has reached out to both FINA and the KOE to ask about the relays, but haven’t heard a response.

Aside from Ireland, Switzerland is the other country that has benefited from Greece not being on the list. Switzerland was the first team “out” in the  mixed 400 medley relay. They have now moved up to the fourth Wildcard position and will have a chance to race in Tokyo. 

These lists are not final as teams have until June 11th to confirm participation in Tokyo. 

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MIKE IN DALLAS
3 months ago

THIS ROLLERCOASTER HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR WEEKS!
IS THERE NO BETTER WAY TO DETERMINE THE ‘WILDCARD’ TEAMS?
ONCE AGAIN, FINA DOES A LESS THAN STELLAR JOB?!

Admin
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
3 months ago

I dunno, I kind of like the engagement in these late-spring meets, though I get that it can mess with training cycles.

Dan
3 months ago

I find it interesting that FINA, when publishing the list of qualifiers, cannot list the qualifying teams according to their own qualification procedures:

FINA World Championships

The twelve (12) highest placed NOCs per relay event at the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 in Gwangju (KOR) shall be qualified for the corresponding relay event at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 based upon the results achieved in the heats.

Last edited 3 months ago by Dan
Swimmer
3 months ago

Smells fishy

Nick
3 months ago

That’s unfair to the Greeks, they had a quicker time – they should get the spot.

iceman
3 months ago

Reaction times for the takeovers are not included in the official results file for greek relays. Also, the race was neither a time trial nor a race between national teams, it was a race between the national team and some local clubs. Could any of these be the reason why the time can not count?

Admin
Reply to  iceman
3 months ago

It’s hard to say – the Greek Federation tells us they don’t know why, and FINA hasn’t responded to anything we’ve sent them in about 4 years. But, neither of those things seem like things that would disqualify a swim.

Stormi
Reply to  iceman
3 months ago

Romania qualified their 4x100m freestyle relay for Rio at the Romanian International Meet in 2016, swimming against club teams. Not sure if they actually achieved the time or a wildcard spot but they qualified and swam it Rio so I don’t see why that would not be allowed now.

Boknows34
Reply to  iceman
3 months ago

The most plausible explanation is just FINA incompetence