Kristel Kobrich Headed to Sixth Olympics for Chile, Joining Exclusive Quintet of Swimmers

Nine more countries — Bulgaria, Slovenia, Argentina, Chile, Gambia, Aruba, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Nigeria — announced their Olympic swimming rosters ahead of the Summer Games that start later this month in Paris, France.

Among the highlights is 38-year-old Chilean Kristel Kobrich qualifying for her sixth Olympics, joining an exclusive quintet of swimmers who have ever achieved the feat. Read up on the full roundup below:

Bulgarian Olympic Team

The quartet of Gabriela Georgieva, Petar Mitsin, Josif Miladinov, and Lyubomir Epitropov will represent Bulgaria in the pool in Paris.

The 27-year-old Georgieva is fresh off lifetime bests in the 100 back (1:01.42) and 200 back (2:10.11) at the 2024 World Championships in February, where she placed 13th and 6th, respectively.

Mitsin clocked a world junior record in the 400 free (3:44.31) last summer, but the 19-year-old hasn’t been under 3:49 this year.

Miladinov, 21, is a returning Olympic finalist, having placed 8th in the 100 fly (51.49) after qualifying 4th (51.06) in Tokyo.

Epitropov, a 25-year-old former Tennessee standout, is ranked 22nd in the world this season in the 200 breast (2:09.45). It will be his second Olympics as he also competed in both the 100 breast and 200 breast in Tokyo.

Mitsin was initially slated to be the flag bearer for Bulgaria, but the hours-long parade takes place only a day before his signature 400 free event, so Epitropov will assume those duties instead.

Slovenian Olympic Team

Neza Klancar and Saso Boskan will represent Slovenia in individual events in Paris, while Janja Segel, Katja Fain, and Tjasa Pintar are in line to join Klancar on the nation’s 4×100 freestyle relay.

The 24-year-old Klancar owns national records in both the 50 free (24.70 from December) and 100 free (53.96 from April).

Boskan, 21, boasts the national record in the 200 free (1:47.62 from November). He placed 14th at last month’s European Championships.

Argentine Olympic Team

Teenage distance specialist Agostina Hein leads a trio of Argentine swimmers into Paris later this month along with 28-year-old Macarena Ceballos and 18-year-old Ulises Saravia.

The 16-year-old Hein was a two-time finalist at the 2024 World Championships in February, placing 8th in the 400 free (4:10.33) and 5th in the 800 free (8:29.19).

Ceballos finished 15th in the women’s 100 breast (1:07.49) at February’s Worlds, while Saravia placed 20th in the men’s 100 back (54.60) at the same meet. Ceballos, who was voted by SwimSwam as the top female swimmer in South America last year, spoke about the challenges of training in Argentina following recent budget cuts to the high-performance training system. Aside from the minimal monthly stipend, the pump that heats her pool just outside Buenos Aires has been broken this winter.

“I’m missing out on three and a half hours this week,” Ceballos said. “The pump broke. It’s the same every winter. Things have never been easy. Yet there have always been medals, Olympic finalists.”

Chilean Olympic Team

Chilean distance specialist Kristel Kobrich made history by qualifying for her sixth Olympics, making her one of just five swimmers to achieve the feat along with Turkey’s Derya Buyukuncu, Sweden’s Lars Frolander, Sweden’s Therese Alshammar, and Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli .

The 38-year-old Kobrich made her eighth 1500 free final at February’s World Championships, tying Federica Pellegrini’s all-time record. She placed 8th in 1500 free (16:18.90) and 14th in 800 free (8:38.81) at Worlds in February.

Rising Penn State junior Eduardo Cisternas will accompany Kobrich to Paris at what will be his second Olympics after Tokyo in 2021. He owns the Chilean record in the 400 free at 3:53.80 from last year’s World Championships.

Gambian Olympic Team

  • Ousman Jobe (men’s 50 free)
  • Aminata Nia-Maria Barrow (women’s 100 breast)

Gambian swimmers Ousman Jobe and Aminata Nia-Maria Barrow earned universality slots at the Paris Olympics later this month.

Jobe, 18, will compete in the men’s 50 free with an entry time of 26.90 from May while the 20-year-old Barrow is signed up for the women’s 100 breast at 1:14.32. At last year’s World Championships, Barrow became the first Gambian woman at the meet, placing 51st in the 100 breast (1:14.32) and 28th in the 200 breast (2:37.01). Both swimmers will be making their Olympic debuts.

Aruban Olympic Team

Former Missouri standout Mikel Schreuders and rising Indiana State senior Chloe Farro will represent Aruba in the pool.

Schreuders is on his way to his third Olympics at just 25 years old while Farro will be making her debut at age 21. Schreuders owns the national record in the 50 free at 21.93 from November. Farro placed 4th in the 50 free (26.67) at last month’s CCCAN Championships in Mexico and 42nd at 2022 Worlds (26.98) a couple summers ago.

Ugandan Olympic Team

Jesse Ssengonzi and Gloria Muzito make up the Ugandan contingent swimming at the Paris Olympcis later this month after both competed at the 2024 World Championships this past February.

Muzito, a 21-year-old rising Florida State senior, placed 27th in the 100 free (56.55) in Doha while Ssengonzi, a 21-year-old recent graduate of UChicago, placed 39th in the 100 fly (54.48).

UAE Olympic Team

  • Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (men’s 100 free)
  • Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (women’s 200 free)

Rising Michigan junior Yousuf Al-Matrooshi is headed to Paris in the men’s 100 free along with Maha Abdullah Al Shehi, who will take on the women’s 200 free.

Nigerian Olympic Team

  • Tobi Sijuade (men’s 50 free)

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Kristiina Allekõrs
13 days ago

Wow Kristel. Yes. it is possible. 38 years old distance swimmer is still TOP8.. Older than me..

14 days ago

I do not know if it has been officially submitted, but this is from another swim site:

Swedish Olympic swim team for Paris:

Sarah Sjöström Södertörns Sim, 50 m free
Michelle Coleman Spårvägens Sim, 50 m och 100 m free
Sophie Hansson Helsingborgs Sim, 100 m breaststroke
Louise Hansson Helsingborgs Sim, 100 m fly
Erik Persson Kungsbacka, 200 m breaststroke
Björn Seeliger Neptun, 50 m free
Victor Johansson Jönköping, 400/800/1 500 m free/open water
Robin Hanson Spårvägens Sim, , relay
Isak Eliasson Spårvägens Sim, , relay
Elias Persson Malmö KK, relay
Hanna Rosvall Helsingborgs Sim, relay
Sara Junevik Falu SS, relay
Sofia Åstedt SK Elfsborg, relay
4×100… Read more »

14 days ago

the start list for 10km in Paris has been announced. the men’s field is really interesting, with kim woomin, kuzey tuncelli, ahmed jaouadi, felix auboeck, henrik christiansen, and guilherme costa being swimmers qualifying based on 800m/1500m time standards, on top of victor johansson, david johnston, daniel wiffen, and carlos garach who have already been announced.

i’m really interested to see how these individuals with little to no open water experience square up against the 10km/25km folk such as betlehem, razovszky, olivier, pardoe, and the italians. also interested to see where the event is even held.

Last edited 14 days ago by Dylan
Reply to  Dylan
14 days ago

I think there should also be a requirement that you have competed at a Open Water World cup event or Worlds or Continental championships (ex. Euro, African, South American etc)>

Reply to  Dan
13 days ago

Agree. Qualifying for OW with 1500 Free time is irrelevant to OW, especially the 25K. WA and IOC have work to do to make it more transparent when qualifying for OG.

15 days ago

Kristel is certainly a dogged hanger-on, but her skills compared against the other 6-timers are a foothill versus Alps.

Frolander won individual Gold in the 100 Fly in his third Olympics, won two relay Silvers and 58 other International Medals, plus 5 individual NCAA titles for SMU.

Therese Alshammer – won two individual Olympic Silvers and a relay Bronze an across her career she won 37 international Golds among 71 medals and held the World Record in the 50 SCM Butterfly.

Mellouli has the distinction of winning Olympic Gold in both the pool (1500 in Bejing) and Open Water (lLondon; also won 1500 Bronze in London).

Derya was twice an Olympic finalist and once Semifinalist and was better… Read more »

Reply to  MDS
14 days ago

I’d put her more on par with Derya.

15 days ago

Great to see Kobrich heading to another Oly – times are solid at any age but at 38 they’re an inspiration.

I miss the ISL (go dawgs)
15 days ago

I wonder if Chilean swim fans are still mad at Rachel Stege

Reply to  I miss the ISL (go dawgs)
15 days ago

I do not know what this refers to, can you elaborate?

Reply to  Dan
15 days ago
Reply to  I miss the ISL (go dawgs)
14 days ago

Stege beat Kobrich in the 1500 at the 2023 Pan Am Games (which were held in Santiago, Chile)

15 days ago

I watched the Challenge Roth on Sunday and saw how 41-year-old Anne Haug completed a long distance triathlon faster than anyone ever before her. Including running a 2:38 marathon at the end.
We always talk about sprinters having a longer shelf life than other swimmers, but I think there is a lot of room between where we are and the ceiling (in terms of age) in distance swimming as well… at least for the swimmers who don’t mind the training you need to be good enough to qualify for the Olympic Games in the distance races. If Katie Ledecky only swam the 1500m, for how many more years could she go until she’s old enough to not be the… Read more »

River Seine
Reply to  FST
15 days ago

I expect Ledecky to swim in Brisbane 2032

Reply to  River Seine
15 days ago

I would agree if she swam for another country than the USA, but she has to be on during that 1 day when the Trials final takes place which makes it much harder.

Reply to  FST
15 days ago

Jeannie Longo, born 1958, competed in the 2008 Olympics in cycling and finished 4th in the road time trial (probably with a little help from sister EPO)

Reply to  FST
13 days ago

In Triathlon, Marathon Running/Swimming, Cycling, etc. athletes are their pick at older ages. You will never see a 20-year-old winning any of these events. The human’s biochemistry is different through the ages (for another topic). So, 38- or 41-year-old athletes performing best in long-distance events is not uncommon. What would be a surprise is if an Olympic Gold Medalist in 1500 Free wins the 25K.

Reply to  WhereIsBoboGigi
13 days ago

Ous was 28 in London and won a medal in both the 1500 and the 10k.
Same with Wellbrock (who was 23) in Tokyo.
I think the difference between 1500m and 10k or 25k isn’t the distance or training or age, it’s the open water element. If 25k was swum in the pool, the exact same people would excel that also lead the world in the 1500.

Last edited 13 days ago by FST

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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