Poland Sends Six Swimmers Home From Tokyo Olympic Games


  • When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
    • Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
  • Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
  • Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
  • Full aquatics schedule

A debacle involving the Polish Swimming Federation’s submission process has resulted in six swimmers being sent home from the Tokyo Olympic Games after having just arrived at the Japanese city.

Alicja Tchórz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polańska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Hołub were all originally named to the Polish lineup for the postponed 2020 Olympic Games. They traveled to Tokyo as part of the 23-strong Polish contingent, whose entire initial roster can be reviewed at the bottom of this post.

However, almost as soon as they arrived, the swimmers can be seen hugging their teammates as they depart Japan and say goodbye to their Olympic dream due to an apparent error in the qualification submission process involving sending too many swimmers.

The dismissed swimmers were all carrying FINA ‘B’ standards, which rendered their participation at the Games dependent on FINA’s confirmation. After official invitations are granted to swimmers worldwide who have gained ‘A cuts and then the universality rule is applied, any slots left are then granted to ‘B’ swimmers.

In this case, Poland sent these 6 swimmers without having received official FINA confirmation and they wound up not being invited.

This video is from swimmer Chowaniec, posted by Polish media.

A post dated July 17th on Polish Swimming Federation website confirms that its revised Olympic roster will now consist of just 17 competitors, citing issues with ‘the completion of the approval process by FINA, the IOC Organizing Committee and the Polish Olympic Committee.’

The statement also reads, ‘Tomorrow, the President of the PZP will publish an official announcement containing all information relating to the situation, the Association’s activities related to the approval of the composition and decisions taken.’ You can read the statement here.

Per FINA, the nation of Poland has qualified the following relays for the Olympic Games: men’s and women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, men’s medley relay and mixed medley relay.

The FINA Olympic qualification standards read that each nation may enter relay-only athletes provided they have at least achieved the ‘B’ standard for the corresponding stroke/distance of the relay in which they are entered and can include up to 10 additional athletes for a nation qualifying 5 relays.

After adding up individual event qualifiers of both A and B cuts, these slots were filled beyond what Poland had included on its roster and the decision was made on who had to leave.

The ability of Poland to piece together relays for the Games is also now in question. The women’s 4x100m freestyle relay in particular looks to be eradicated, while the men’s 4x200m free relay may also be out of participating swimmers. We’ll continue to follow the fallout of this situation in that regard.

In the meantime, several Polish swimmers signed an open letter to Paweł Słomiński, the President of the Polish Swimming Federation, calling for the organization’s entire board to resign immediately over the situation.

‘The actions of the Association led to an unprecedented event in the history of Polish sport,’ reads the letter.

‘In addition, Polish swimming – both in the eyes of the public and potential sponsors – has been exposed as a laughing stock. and it will have a glaring effect on all competitors who compete in the white and red colors on a daily basis.

‘We appeal to the president and the entire board to resign immediately.’

22 swimmers signed the letter, with an exception by sprint ace Kasia Wasick, reportedly only because she physically was not in Tokyo yet. SwimSwam reached out to Wasick, as well as several other Polish swimmers, for comment.


Original Polish Olympic Roster:



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3 months ago

That’s terrible

Mean Dean
3 months ago

What? Interested to see where this goes

3 months ago

Making John Rudd look good

3 months ago

Poor swimmers….they must be be gutted being so close to competing at an Olympics, yet so far….

Gogo bibi
3 months ago


Bart Kizierowski
3 months ago

It’s hard to imagine the disappointment and frustration of not only those who were sent home, but the whole team. I just hope people understand that this sad situation is caused by the few in charge and doesn’t reflect the professionalism of Polish swimming community. I also hope that it will lead to some major changes in Polish Swimming Federation, because it’s not an isolated incidentes.

Reply to  Bart Kizierowski
3 months ago

The same happened is Rio, isnt it?
I think Hungary has done the some in 2016.

Brad Flood
Reply to  Bart Kizierowski
3 months ago

I agree 100% with Bartosz K.

Sadly, these types of administrative blunders are common throughout the history of this organization.

My best wishes, thoughts & hopes go out for the best outcome for all the swimmers affected by these situations.


Piotr Kasperek
3 months ago

Bernat will swim 200 back.

3 months ago

By my calculations they had 13 relay only swimmers, meaning they had to lose three not six. If they took one of the 4×1 girls home and two of 4×1 relay only men home, and then made the 50 specialists Wasick, Juraszek and Czerniak step up and swim the relay, they would’ve been able to keep all the relays and “crush less dreams.” It’s a HORRIFIC situation regardless, but if they looked at it this way, then more could stay… Unless however, more than 3 swimmers didn’t hit the FINA B time which is even more concerning that they missed this.

Reply to  Nick
3 months ago

All the relay swimmers had B cuts. On the entry list published a couple days ago 6 swimmers were there as relay only. FINA did not let them add any swimmers, they could only do 3 swaps between the 6 people that were on the list and 6 prople that weren’t. Also, one of the relays is most likely not going to compete (4×100 free W) so that shrinks the number of allowed relay-only swimmers to 8

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Nick
3 months ago

It looks like more than 3 swimmers didn’t hit the FINA B time.

Reply to  Texas Tap Water
3 months ago

All swimmers made the B time. The problem was born because the Polish Swimming Fed thought that since they made the B cut, they’ll sign them up for individual events (not relays). HOWEVER, they’d be able to compete individually with a B time only if FINA sent an invitation (they did only for Kacper Stokowski). Since Poland had 5 relays which qualified for Tokyo back in 2019, we were allowed 10 relay-only swimmers provided they made the B cut. And now the Polish Swimming Fed thought, “oh, we are sending these swimmers (with B cuts) as non-relay swimmers, so we can send more relay-only athletes!” Right? WRONG! This proved to be a disastrous mistake as swimmers ended up not being… Read more »

Reply to  Ama
3 months ago

Thank you for very clearly explaining this to us. I was still confused on how the mistake happened even after reading the entire article.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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