With the addition of three new swimming events effective with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Swimming Australia (SAL) has released highlights of its revised competitive strategy. Calling the inclusion of the women’s 1500m freestyle and men’s 800m freestyle events a ‘welcome and positive step towards gender equality,’ the SAL has updated certain policies to reflect the impact moving forward.
For example, the new distance events mentioned above will be introduced within the Australian Selection Trials competition schedule as of 2018. Additionally, the Aussie selection policy for relay-specific swimmers and total roster counts will be updated due to the inclusion of an additional race, the mixed 4x100m medley.
With the expanded schedule, athletes will also now be eligible for the Georgina Hope Foundation Swimmers Support Scheme (GHFSSS), essentially additional athlete funding, and Australian Institute of Sport funding based on performances in the men’s 800 and women’s 1500.
SAL’s plan, documented here also lists out Flagstaff, Arizona as the official altitude distance camp to be held in September/October of 2018 for swimmers targeting races of at least 400m. Swimming Australia reiterates that it sees ‘endurance events’ as an integrated collective, rather than ‘a standalone Distance and Open Water Swim Program.’