Rio Roll Call: Slovenian Women Move Into Olympic Position In 800 Free

In continuing our look into how the relays are shaping up headed towards Rio, the women’s 800 free relay lineup looks to have finally solidified with the Slovenian women executing a last ditch effort to move into Olympic position.

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.
    • 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.

To the best of our knowledge in light of nations’ Olympic Trials, time trials and the European Championships, here is where we stand with the women’s 800m freestyle relay.

Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay


1. USA 7:45.37*

9. Russia 7:55.19*

2. Italy 7:48.41*

10. Brazil 7:57.15*

3. China 7:49.10*

11. Canada 7:57.31*

4. Sweden 7:50.24*

12. Germany 8:01.48*

5. GBR 7:50.60*

13. Hungary 7:51.63

6. Australia 7:51.02*

14. Netherlands 7:52.06

7. Japan 7:54.62*

15. Spain 7:53.38

8. France 7:55.08*

16. Slovenia 8:00.40

The women’s 800 free relay had some jostling for position at the European Championships, where both Spain and Belgium moved into Olympic position while knocking out Austria and Hong Kong. Belgium finished 7th in the European final in 8:02.67 to move past Austria (8:05.23) for the final Olympic spot, but the Slovenians had something to say about that on the final weekend before the deadline for qualifying expired. The Slovenians put up a time of 8:00.40, just off their national record, to move into the 16th and final qualifying spot leaving Belgium on the outside looking in.

This appears as though it will be Slovenia’s only Olympic relay, as it was four years ago in London where they finished 14th in 8:04.69. Their clocking of 8:00.40 just missed their own national record of 7:59.73 set at the 2012 European Championships in Debrecen. That team was led by 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the 200 freestyle Sara IsakovicAnja Klinar is the only swimmer to swim on both teams. All four from the 2012 Europeans swam at the 2012 Olympics.

Here’s a look at the splits from the foursome that qualified for the Olympics:

  1. Anja Klinar, 1:59.07
  2. Tjasa Pintar, 2:00.26
  3. Spela Bohinc, 2:01.89
  4. Janja Segel, 1:59.18

Final Time: 8:00.40

The current national record from the 2012 European Championships:

  1. Sara Isakovic, 1:59.06
  2. Anja Klinar, 1:59.23
  3. Ursa Bezan, 1:59.98
  4. Mojca Sagmeister, 2:01.46

Final Time: 7:59.73




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7 years ago

James, there was also a change on the Women Medley Relay.
Hong Kong swam the Malasya Open on may 8th and went 4:03:10, taking Spain out of the last spot.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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