Swimming Australia Publishes 2020 Olympic Games Qualifying Criteria

On the heels of British Swimming having released its official selection policy for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Swimming Australia has also published its qualifying standard document for next year’s competition.

Per the policy, Swimming Australia can select a maximum of 56 swimmers in all, represented by 28 males and 28 females, including a maximum of 12 relay only swimmers. The sole official qualifying competition for Australian swimmers is the 2020 Australian Swimming Trials slated for June 14th-June 19th in Adelaide, South Australia.

Swimming Australia 2020 Olympic Games Nomination Criteria

The procedures mimic those of 2016, whereby the first and second-placed athletes who meet or exceed the minimum qualifying time laid out in the table at the bottom of this post will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) in that particular individual Olympic event.

If only the first-placed swimmer meets or exceeds the time limit, then only that one swimmer will be nominated. Consequently, if no athletes meet the mark, then no athlete will be selected.

However, the policy stipulates that an athlete who is selected to the team may be chosen by the Swimming Australia National Head Coach, Jacco Verhaeren, to compete in an individual Olympic event for which he/she did not meet the qualifying time, subject to the athlete having met the FINA A cut. As such, there will be some flexibility in additional discretionary selections among those swimmers having made the team in at least one event.

Additionally, there is an extenuating circumstances clause to account for illness, injuries, etc.

As for the qualification times themselves, a sampling shows the Australian-dictated marks fall anywhere between .5%-2% over the FINA ‘A’ standards, rendering most all of them challenging, but attainable for the best of the best in Australian swimming.

In reviewing the past season’s rankings, which are a solid indicator since this was a World Championships year, the following women’s events were without a swimmer at least equalling the 2020 Olympic QT set forth by Swimming Australia:

  • Women’s 200m breast (fastest last season was Jenna Strauch at 2:24.88)
  • Women’s 400m IM (fastest last season was Kaylee McKeown at 4:40.25)

The following women’s events had just one swimmer at least equalling the 2020 QT:

The following men’s event was without a swimmer at least equalling the 2020 Olympic QT set forth by Swimming Australia:

For the men as well, there were several where it was indeed just one swimmer who made the grade:

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Our men’s 100 free depth is so tragic at the moment.

Old Man Chalmers

McEvoy was 48.29 leading off he 4×100 free in the prelims at worlds, but that’s barely under the QT


I think they will actually end up with a strong team. Kyle charmers is the obvious, Clyde Lewis seems to be focusing on 100/200 free now for personal and relay achievement and we now know he has got great ability there. Jack Cartwright has already proved himself as a world class sprint freestyler and I trust his shoulder rehab under his coach Dean Boxall. As for the last spot on the relay, there are multiple swimmers it could go to, and I’m sure someone will step up, there is always someone who picks it up majorly in an Olympic year. Australia will definitely be in a position for medal contention.


I don’t know what the FINA ‘A’ cuts are but I suspect these standards aren’t significantly faster, unlike the ridiculous British standards. Still, I wish they would do away with these arbitrary times and just adopt the FINA criteria.


Men’s 200 freestyle is a tough qualifying time whoah and men’s 100 back


M200free is tough but not unreasonable. You have more than 4 1.45 relays splitters over the past few years and its far from unreasonable to expect at least 2 sub 1.46s and the placegetters at least around 1.45middish …. which is where they’ve set the QT. As for M100BK, Larkin is the only one who’s broken 53.5 (or even looked like doing so) and the 53high FINA A is probably an ask for a 2nd qualifier. I think they’ve made the call that Larkin will be the only qualifier and set a mark well within his capacity …. but still (just) maybe in range for someone to come out of nowhere and grab a 2nd berth.

Corn Pop

William Yang was 53.59 at nationals . Hes got some speed eg winning the 50 fly at Wugs . Bobby Hurley should be able to trim his 100 back down .2 in one year . Injuries aside William has everything set up incl new training facilities . Its his chance to grab imo .


Totally agree. William will get there. Bobby is getting great results.


Yes, he swam well at Nationals but when it came to the selection event (where it really counted), he didnt perform. I seriously hope he DOES step up next year and he, or someone else, can grab the 2nd spot ….. and make it viable to rest Larkin from 4XMED heats; but until they do its just that ; hope

Old Man Chalmers

yang gained selection for WUGs at nationals, which ruled him out of worlds as per SAL’s qualifying criteria. It’s highly unlikely that he tapered for trials

bear drinks beer

200 free QT doesn’t matter at all anyway. As long as they decide to send a 4×200 relay to Olympics, Jacco will certainly allow the top 2 to swim the individual race as well.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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