Poland Out Of The 800 Free Relay For Tokyo

The Polish women will not be competing in the 800 freestyle relay at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. 

The team had secured an automatic spot for Tokyo by virtue of their ninth place prelims finish (8:01.70) at the 2019 FINA World Championships. Automatic qualification was granted to the 12 fastest teams from prelims at Worlds. The next four fastest teams during the qualification period earned a “Wildcard” selection.

In an email to SwimSwam, Robert Brus, the Polish head coach stated that the team did not have all four swimmers achieve the FINA “B” standard of 2:00.80 in the 200 freestyle. Brus did confirm that Poland will be competing in the remaining relays for which they have qualified: the women’s 400 free, men’s 400 free, men’s 400 medley, men’s 800 free, and the 400 mixed medley relay.

A quick reminder on the qualification process:

  • If any of the top 12 teams from the World Championships, or any of the next 4 best teams during the selection period, decline their spot, then the next-fastest team during the selection period goes. So, if a top-12 team at the World Championships declines their spot, it’s not necessarily the 13th team from the World Championships that is selected.
  • Each NOC gets additional relay-only athletes, but those athletes must have hit the OST/”B” standard for the corresponding stroke and distance of the relay in which they are entered. So, if a swimmer is racing the breaststroke leg of the medley relay, that swimmer must have at least a “B” cut in the 100 breaststroke, if they are a relay only swimmer. If that breaststroker on the medley relay has no cut in the 100 breaststroke but is swimming, say, the 1500 free, they’re still eligible for the relay.
  • Countries must confirm their participation in a relay no later than June 11th, 2021 and must confirm their relay-only athletes by no later than June 27th, 2021.
  • No ‘aggregate relay times,’ the relay must actually be raced to be considered.

FINA has yet to release the final list of countries participating after the June 11th deadline. Poland‘s absence opens the door for another country to compete in the 800 free relay. Brazil would have the first opportunity to race as they rank as the first team out of the Wildcard standings with their time of 8:00.92. The full relay standings at the conclusion of qualifying:

WOMEN’S 800 FREE RELAY

RANK COUNTRY TIME
Worlds #1 Australia 7:41.50
Worlds #2 United States 7:41.87
Worlds #3 Canada 7:44.35
Worlds #4 China 7:46.22
Worlds #5 Russia 7:48.25
Worlds #6 Hungary 7:54.57
Worlds #7 Germany 7:55.63
Worlds #8 Japan 7:56.31
Worlds #9 Poland 8:01.70
Worlds #10 New Zealand 8:03.28
Worlds #11 Hong Kong 8:04.98
Worlds #12 South Korea 8:08.38
Wildcard #1 Great Britain 7:53.15
Wildcard #2 Italy 7:56.72
Wildcard #3 France 7:59.45
Wildcard #4 Israel 8:00.51
Out #1 Brazil 8:00.92
Out #2 Denmark 8:01.33
Out #3 Belgium 8:01.73
Out #4 Turkey 8:02.76

 

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Rafael
3 months ago

GBR declined also.. so Denmark was in, but based on Denmark announced team they also won´t swim right?

And some other teams might have the same issue (Hong Kong on both of their free relays, Israel and South Korea) so the list will go even down further

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

shame this isn’t the event with the invite fiasco. these withdrawals would solve it

Rafael
Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
3 months ago

Probably FINA did not expect.. but we might be in a situation where there is no 16 teams who could fill all requirements for this specific relay

Or some countries who did not even try might be in because of the Realy Onle rules (Spain, Netherlands for instance)

Dan
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

Sweden did not try as the NOC has said that relays need to have a reasonable chance for a Top 6 (or better) finish to be nominated.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

Well there might be 16 teams if countries like GB and Sweden didn’t consider anything less than third a waste of time. I think a team of upcoming swimmers having a crack at the Olympic final is a great learning opportunity. Having to have a B cut stops it from being a way to sneak swimmers in via a back route. Imagine no limits and countries selling rich masters swimmers a relay berth. It would be like F1.

Dan
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
3 months ago

I agree with you to 100%, just posting the information that I find.

Dan
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
3 months ago

I think if FINA did some things a little different it would be helpful for the swimming. Ex. a reward system or a penalty system. Not sure what a reward system would like for the relays, but a penalty system could be something like that a federation would lose one or more of the additional relay-only swimmer spots available to your federation for the other relays. There are probably many other and better ways of doing something that would entice the different federations to send the swimmers that would produce the overall best results.

Could do a mix of what they have right now and what is allowed at Worlds and Euro’s and say that each country could enter up… Read more »

Dan
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

I missed the GBR part, where was that posted?

AnEn
3 months ago

16 teams are too much. I went through all events and in my opinion in most events there are 12 competitive nations at best, so i would reduce the number of spots to 12.

John
Reply to  AnEn
3 months ago

Because we all want see a 2nd heat with only 4 teams? 16 fills out 2 heats of 8 teams. Leave them in as no one else will fill those lanes and they likely won’t slow the meet down

AnEn
Reply to  John
3 months ago

Just do 2 heats of 6 …
Personally i don’t want to see a bunch of relays that have ZERO chance of making the final, especially when handing out spots to them means that there are less spots for individual events. I don’t see how you can justify handing out spots to relays that aren’t even remotely competitive, when there are so few spots in other sports (like fencing) that world class teams/athletes have to stay home.

ZH
3 months ago

Israel might be in the same boat, they only have 3 qualified so far after they held their Nationals last week. Guess it all comes down to the Setti Colli next week. Nothing like more pressure even before the games begin.

maybe?
Reply to  ZH
3 months ago

Speaking about sette colli, anyone have a link to the entry list?

GrameziPT
3 months ago

Fina is so stupid. Why enforce a criteria of minimum 4 swimmers with B cut for a relay that is rightfully qualified. That’s just stupid. In London in the 4x100Fr men, only 15 teams participated because of that rule. And it’s going to continue to happen, because Fina has 90 years olds running the show and making stupid rules. What a shame. A disservice to the sport! #finaOut

jim
Reply to  GrameziPT
3 months ago

What if a country has three 1:53 swimmers and the next best swimmer is a 2:01 swimmer?

Olympic roster
Reply to  jim
3 months ago

But if they have another swimmer apart from those three 1:53 ones who have achieved the OQT ( A cut) or OST ( called B cut) and swim in at least the heats in the games in any individual event whatsoever, that swimmer will join the two 1:53.00 swimmers to complete the relay

GrameziPT
Reply to  jim
3 months ago

Whats the problem with that? If you qualified a relay, you should provide 4 swimmers period. Why do you have to meet relay qualifications procedure and individual swimming qualification standards? Does Fina understand that in most countries apart from EUA or AUS most of the relays are a combination of 2 or 3 strong swimmers and a 4 swimmer that is simply not on the same level. Lets just take this no another level, imagine you have 3 girls swimming 52 low or even 51, and then you have the fourth girl with a 57. This a combination that most probably makes a top8. So that team is not allowed to make a top8 in the olympics because you don’t… Read more »

Arjen
Reply to  GrameziPT
2 months ago

I think the B cut requirement doesn’t apply to all swimmers in the relay, just to the relay-only ones,

CoachB
3 months ago

no way south korea has enough athletes

ab88
3 months ago

there should be only 8-12 teams for this event. So many amazing athletes aren’t allowed to compete to limit the number of olympic athletes.. but still they allow 16 teams for the 4×200 women where the level of some teams is just too low to justify the olympic participation

Dan
3 months ago

This is a letter from the Polish coach, not from FINA. Does anyone know when we will hear what FINA has to say?

Dan
3 months ago

I continue to disagree with what most people consider relay-only swimmers for the Olympics when I read the FINA document for selection. My interpretation is that it refers to ADDITIONAL swimmers (alternates) and that those swimmers have to have B-cuts.