The first of four days at the Polish National Championships featured 8 different Olympic qualifying times, including a 21.96 in the 50 free from Konrad Czerniak and a 1:58.20 in the 200 back from Radoslaw Kawecki.
Czerniak had one of the day’s highlight swims in perhaps day 1’s banner event. Three different men hit FINA “A” cuts in the 50 freestyle, including a tie for second place that could add some drama to Poland’s Olympic roster selection.
Czerniak was 21.96 for the win, about two tenths of a second off his national record and a solid three tenths under the “A” cut, required by FINA to qualify for this summer’s Rio Olympics. That’s also a hundredth off his 2016 season best from the Spanish Open in March.
Behind him, Pawel Juraszek and Filip Wypych tied for runner-up honors at 22.13 – both were a tenth under the FINA “A” standard, but as Poland can only enter two swimmers per event into the Olympics, only one of the two will make the Rio roster in the 50 (though both could secure an Olympic berth in a different event as well).
The women’s 50 free was also a strong event for Poland, with two swimmers earning “A” cuts. Aleksandra Urbanczyk was 25.03 for the win, with Anna Dowgiert going 25.23 to take second and sneak under the cut by .05.
That time for Urbanczyk was just two hundredths of a second off her national record, as she closes in on Poland’s first 24-second swim. She actually dropped almost a tenth of a second from her swim at the European Championships earlier this month.
Former European champ Kawecki easily paced the men’s 200 back. He was 1:58.20, well off his Polish record of 1:54.24, but just barely under the FINA “A” cut. Kawecki had already all but clinched his Olympic berth, though, after going 1:55 at the European Championships.
Other FINA “A” cuts from day 1:
- Jan Switkowski won the 200 fly in 1:56.93. He’d already hit the “A” cut at Canadian Olympic Trials, but still won the Polish National title this week.
- Alicia Tchorz picked up a new FINA “A” cut in the women’s 200 back, going 2:10.40, about seven tenths off her national record from 2009.