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.
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:
- Men’s 50m free (fastest last season was Cameron McEvoy at 21.88)
For the men as well, there were several where it was indeed just one swimmer who made the grade:
- Men’s 100m free (Kyle Chalmers at 47.08)
- Men’s 800m free (Jack McLoughlin at 7:42.64)
- Men’s 1500m free (Jack McLoughlin at 14:52.83)
- Men’s 100m back (Mitch Larkin at 52.38)
- Men’s 100m breast (Matt Wilson at 59.17)
- Men’s 200m IM (Mitch Larkin at 1:55.72)