Last December the Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) confirmed the new dates for the nation’s Olympic Trials and then last month floated the idea that the elite affair may be held without fans.
Set for Saturday, April 3rd – Saturday, April 10th at the newly-constructed Tokyo Aquatic Centre, the Japan Swim meet represents the sole Olympic-qualifying opportunity for Japanese swimmers. The competition will also serve as a selection for the 31st Summer Universiade.
However, the best of the best will be competing sans spectators, as the JASF just confirmed that the Japan Swim will indeed be held behind closed doors. This new restriction is already in addition to a limited number of swimmers being accepted to the competition, with approximately 40 per event being allowed to enter.
As an extra incentive in addition to making the Olympic team for a home-based Games, however, athletes will be eligible for significant prize money for placing in the top 3 at the Japan Swim. A new world record nets a swimmer 3 million yen (~$28,000 USD), while a Japanese national record puts 1 million yen (~$9,300 USD) in the swimmer’s pocket.
For the top 3 finishes in both Olympic and non-Olympic events, the prize amounts are as follows: 300,000 yen ($2800 USD), 100,000 yen ($935 USD) and 50,000 yen (~$467 USD) for first, second and third place, respectively.