Following the suit of the Americans, Swimming Canada has released their qualifying standards for their upcoming season, including those that will qualify athletes for their World Championship Trials. Much like we saw when USA Swimming released their’s yesterday, Canada’s have gotten much faster to try to control the rapidly improving swimming base in the country.
Swimming Canada sets their standards on the basis of a 5-year rolling average of 24th place from the primary long course competition. Short Course standards are set by using a 5-year rolling average of 32nd-place in the National short course rankings.
There is one small change in qualifying this year, regarding bonus swims; specifically they are reduced by one. So a swimmer with one qualifying time gets 2 bonus swims, and everybody else gets a maximum of 1. High performance director Ken Radford says that they have “taken the position that it is in the best interest of athlete development to limit the number of bonus swims a swimmer may access at any given Swimming Canada designated meet” with a goal of continuing to reduce the number over the next four years.
See a podcast below where Mike Thompson discusses the changes with Radford (SEE EPISODE 28). See all of Mike’s podcasts here.
With how Canada calculates their times, when standards drop it’s as much an indication of them trying to force improvement as it is an indication hat the quality has simply improved because of fast actions – so that is encouraging to see.
For comparison, the 2011-2012 standards can be seen here. A few actually got a hair slower (the 15 & Under 200 free time for the Western region, for example), but all of the senior cuts got faster or stayed the same. The few exceptions include the non-Olympic distance freestyles (they weren’t swum at last year’s Trials so the rolling average couldn’t change) and the men’s IM’s.
Showing the maturation of Canadian swimming’s new generation, in the longer events the times saw huge drops from last year. The women’s 400 free, for example, dropped from a 4:28.0 to a 4:25.1.
The development of depth in Canadian Swimming seems to be on the right track in developing an overall depth of program that they haven’t had in the past.
Here are the FINA World Championship time standards as well, that will dictate times needing to be hit to qualify for Barcelona.