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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Swimming supporter
2 years ago

Hi – through all the comments – I cant see that anyone is questioning FINA’s policy for relay only swimmers. The fact that only two swimmers are permitted per relay is absolutely ridicules for smaller countries. Yes the polish and Irish authorities were totally remiss in not knowing the FINA rules and the impact it would have on their teams – and they deserve criticism – however as such it is the FINA rule that is the real problem. Like in athletics – if a relay team qualifies they should be allowed attend in full (fine discount the number of relay only swimmers allowed by the number of Fina A swimmers in the event) – so if you have a… Read more »

Corn Pop
2 years ago


Last edited 2 years ago by Corn Pop
2 years ago

Love you guys! We got this! I’m glad we’re showing that polish swimming is stronger than polish swimming federation. Keep your head up!

2 years ago

like this comment if you read the headline and immediately thought it was because of covid

NOT the frontman of Metallica
Reply to  swimfast
2 years ago

Indeed I did, but I’m not going to feed your ego with likes 😉

Reply to  NOT the frontman of Metallica
2 years ago

ok i’m not doing it for likes, but just know that you’re not alone in realizing this! *****propaganda****** *to confuse the masses and thus rile up the swimmers**** let’s not do this. let’s just have a clean olympics. we need it. they’re there to swim. they follow protocol. they seriously don’t deserve the pressure and ambiguity that comes with headlines. we’ve all dealt with enough, let this games be something that we can celebrate and use going forward as a beacon of hope instead of a disaster olympics. “mind over matter” has never been more true here. if we want a great olympics, we’ll get it. if we want a political olympics, we’ll get it. i, personally, want an olympics… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by swimfast
P Laughlin
2 years ago

This is horrible for the swimmers involved, sounds like very poor handling by the team and those in charge. It’s all spelled out clearly in the rules. I feel bad for those swimmers 😔

2 years ago

I’m a teammate and friend of one of the swimmers that came back. It’s terrible and insanely painful for the athletes.
(btw Laura Bernat swims backstroke not breaststroke)

2 years ago

I’m really confused as to what happened here, could anyone ELI5?

2 years ago

You know who they’ll blame

Reply to  ZH
2 years ago


About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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