In reviewing the New Zealand selection criteria for the 2017 World Championships, we came across a major change listed on the site regarding the World Junior Championships. Per Swimming New Zealand, the entire country will be withdrawing from the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships, opting instead to solely seek the Commonwealth Youth Games as its primary junior international meet.
“Jerry [Olszewski] would like to declutter the international calendar for youth,” reads the site. “In comparison to the FINA World Juniors, the Commonwealth Youth Games provides the opportunity for a large team to compete in a multi games competition thus giving experience in relays and complex games environments.”
Olszewski is the current head coach of Swimming New Zealand, having just entered the role last year. The former Arizona Gold Swimming Head Coach and CEO has previously identified his vision for Tokyo 2020 as follows:
- Working in partnership towards a common goal
- Competing out of one’s comfort zone
- Incorporating the correct training cycles for the best possible results.
The Commonwealth Youth Games are slated for the Bahamas in July.
At the 2015 World Junior Championships, teen backstrokers Bobbi Gichard and Gabrielle Fa’amausili packed a double punch in the women’s 100m and 50m distances. Gichard scored the bronze in the 100m backstroke, while Fa’amausili took gold in the 50m. Wilrich Coetzee also finaled for the men, finishing 8th in the 200m butterfly.