With just 10 days remaining in the qualifying period, Italy and Hungary have improved their standings for Olympic berths in the men’s 4×200 free relay.
Both nations did so in championship final appearances at the European Championships Saturday, with Italy taking bronze and Hungary 7th.
As a refresher, here are the FINA qualification rules concerning relays:
- There shall be a maximum of sixteen (16) qualified teams in each relay event, for a total of 96 relay teams.
- Each NOC may enter only one (1) team in each relay event.
- The first 12 placed teams in each relay event at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan (RUS) in 2015 shall automatically qualify for the relay events at the 2016 Olympic Games.
- The remaining four (4) teams per relay event will be the teams with the fastest times in the FINA World Rankings as of 31 May 2016 achieved during the qualification period, in the qualifying events approved by FINA, from 1 March 2015 to 31 May 2016.
- All swimmers entered in individual events can be used in relays, even if they have not achieved the OST / “B” Time for the corresponding stroke and distance of the relay in which they are entered.
- RELAY ONLY SWIMMERS:
- Each NOC may enter additional swimmers for relays only (Relay-Only Swimmers), provided that they have achieved at least the OST / “B” Time for the corresponding stroke and distance of the relay in which they are entered.
- If an NOC enters relay-only swimmers for a specific event, these swimmers must swim either in the heat or final of that relay event. Should a relay-only swimmer not compete, this will lead to the disqualification of the respective team in the final.
*Note that there is an item up for FINA Bureau member vote that has to do with the penalty if a relay-only swimmer fails to compete, which you can read about here.
2016 European Championships
In a nutshell, the top 12 from last year’s World Championships are in. Then the next 4 fastest relays in the period between last March and this May will earn berths on May 31.
To the best of our knowledge in light of nations’ Olympic Trials, time trials and now the European Championships, here is where we stand with the men’s 800m freestyle relay:
Men’s 4×200 Free Relay
|1. Great Britain 7:04.33*||9. Spain 7:11.39*|
|2. USA 7:04.75*||10. Japan 7:11.59*|
|3. Australia 7:05.34*||11. France 7:12.68*|
|4. Russia 7:06.89*||12. Denmark 7:13.72*|
|5. Germany 7:09.01*||13. Italy 7:08.30|
|6. Belgium 7:09.64*||14. Brazil 7:11.15|
|7. Netherlands 7:09.75*||15. Hungary 7:12.46|
|8. Poland 7:10.20*||16. South Africa 7:12.96|
In the men’s 800 free relay, the four teams in line for extra invites are the same as they were before Euros, just in a different order. Italy vaulted from the third spot to the first spot with a 7:08.30 – the nation was just 7:13.77 before this meet.
Hungary looked to be the last team in at 7:16.56 before Euros, but dramatically improved its standing with a 7:12.46 in the heats in London. That bumps them up to the third spot, with South Africa now holding the final qualifying position.