Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) has amended its criteria for nomination to their Olympic Team, adding the Canadian Olympic Trials as a nomination event.
Prior to this move, the only meet at which a swimmer could make the New Zealand Olympic Team was the SNZ Open Championships in New Zealand. These run from March 28 to April 1, and there has been speculation over the last year about how this meet would come into conflict with the NCAA Championships in the United States.
The NCAA Women’s Championships are set for March 16-19, while the Men’s Championships will take place March 23-26. While this would be a quick turnaround for Kiwi breaststroker Natasha Lloyd of Auburn, it would be almost insane for swimmers at the NCAA Men’s Champs, which occur a week later, to compete as late as the 26th in SCY and then fly across the globe for long course Olympic Trials with just one day in between.
The Canadian Trials run from April 5-10 in Toronto, and this would give NCAA Kiwis like Sam Perry of Stanford and Matt Hutchins of Wisconsin, or the aforementioned Lloyd, a lot more time to prepare for the meet after NCAAs. Toronto is also a much more feasible travel destination than New Zealand, so this move should give these young Olympic hopefuls a better shot at making the Olympic team.