Last 4 Olympic Trials Time Standard Comparison

After yesterday’s announcement of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying standards, we’ve looked back over the past decade to compare Olympic Trials cuts from 2008 to 2012 to 2016 to 2020.

You can check out the table below. Cuts went largely unchanged from 2008 to 2012, which led to what is believed to be the biggest Olympic Trials in U.S. history, with more than 1800 athletes competing. Cuts then dropped a pretty fair amount to 2016, though that didn’t stem the meet capacity much: 2016 Olympic Trials featured more than 1700 athletes.

With USA Swimming notably setting 1200-1400 as its goal for invited swimmers, the cuts went down fairly drastically for 2020.

MEN WOMEN
2008 2012 2016 2020 Event 2020 2016 2012 2008
23.49 23.49 23.29 23.19 50 Free 25.99 26.19 26.39 26.39
51.59 51.49 50.69 50.49 100 Free 56.29 56.49 57.19 57.19
1:52.89 1:52.89 1:51.89 1:50.79 200 Free 2:01.69 2:02.39 2:03.19 2:03.39
3:59.99 3:59.99 3:58.69 3:57.29 400 Free 4:16.89 4:17.99 4:19.39 4:19.39
8:12.99 800 Free 8:48.09 8:49.99 8:50.49 8:50.49
15:53.59 15:53.59 15:49.99 15:44.89 1500 Free 16:49.19
57.99 57.59 57.19 56.59 100 Back 1:02.69 1:03.39 1:03.99 1:04.59
2:04.99 2:04.99 2:03.79 2:02.99 200 Back 2:14.69 2:16.59 2:17.99 2:17.99
1:04.69 1:04.69 1:03.69 1:03.29 100 Breast 1:10.99 1:11.49 1:12.19 1:12.59
2:20.79 2:20.79 2:18.39 2:17.89 200 Breast 2:33.29 2:34.99 2:35.99 2:35.99
55.59 55.29 54.79 54.19 100 Fly 1:00.69 1:01.19 1:01.99 1:02.39
2:03.99 2:03.99 2:01.99 2:01.19 200 Fly 2:14.59 2:14.99 2:16.49 2:16.69
2:07.39 2:06.59 2:05.09 2:04.09 200 IM 2:17.39 2:18.69 2:19.49 2:20.49
4:30.49 4:30.49 4:27.49 4:25.99 400 IM 4:51.79 4:54.99 4:55.89 4:55.89

In our original coverage, we also tracked which events had the biggest time changes from their 2016 counterparts. Here’s a look at the events with the biggest and smallest changes in Olympic Trial cuts, both tracked by seconds and by percentage change:

Biggest Time Changes: 2016-2020

By Percentage:

Women:

  1. 200 back: 1.39%
  2. 200 breast: 1.10%
  3. 100 back: 1.10%

Men:

  1. 100 fly: 1.10%
  2. 100 back: 1.05%
  3. 200 free: 0.98%

In Seconds:

Women:

  1. 400 IM: 3.2 seconds
  2. 200 back: 1.9 seconds
  3. 800 free: 1.9 seconds

Men:

  1. 1500 free: 5.1 seconds
  2. 400 IM: 1.5 secondfs
  3. 400 free: 1.4 seconds

Smallest Time Changes: 2016-2020

By Percentage:

Women:

  1. 200 fly: 0.30%
  2. 100 free: 0.35%
  3. 800 free: 0.36%

Men:

  1. 200 breast: 0.36%
  2. 100 free: 0.39%
  3. 50 free: 0.43%

In Seconds:

Women:

  1. 100 free: 0.2 seconds
  2. 50 free: 0.2 seconds
  3. 200 fly: 0.4 seconds

Men:

  1. 50 free: 0.1 seconds
  2. 100 free: 0.2 seconds
  3. 100 breast: 0.4 seconds

2
Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
SwimmerOH

This is great! Thanks! I love seeing how the supersuit era didn’t stop our sport from getting faster.

JoeSwammer

Six seconds slower than the current world record in a 100 LCM event and you’re swimming at Olympic Trials? Why even have cuts at all?

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!