Rio Roll Call: Spain, Belgium Move Into Olympic Positions In 800 Free

In continuing our look into how the relays are shaping up headed towards Rio, the women’s 800 free relay has had a few countries move into Olympic position with two getting bumped out.

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 now 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. Belgium 8:02.67

After solidifying a big win in the women’s 800 free relay to finish off the finals session of day four at the European Championships, Hungary moved up a position to take over the top spot of the four where non-qualified teams are eligible to qualify. Hungary won the title in 7:51.63 over Spain (7:53.38), the Netherlands (7:53.63), and Great Britain (7:53.97).

The Netherlands got bumped down a spot to 2nd with their 7:52.06 still holding up, but both Austria (8:05.23) and Hong Kong (8:06.51) were both bumped out of spots. Spain moved into the 3rd spot with their silver medal finish, and Belgium took over the 4th spot with their 7th place finish in 8:02.67.


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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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