With under 550 days to go until the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Swimming New Zealand has released is qualification criteria for the next edition of the Summer Games.
In addition to the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea serving as an official nomination event, the Oceanic country will also host its annual Open Championships March 30th – April 3rd, 2020 as its Tokyo Trials. A 3rd meet will also serve as a qualification meet, represented by a as-of-now-unnamed meet in the USA in 2020, most likely a Pro Swim Series competition.
New Zealand came away medal-less in swimming events in Rio, with now-retired Lauren Boyle representing the highest finisher with a 14th place in the 400m free and 9th in the 800m free. Glen Snyders, Corey Main and Bradlee Ashby were also among the notable athletes who progressed past the heats in Rio.
This time around, the nation is specifying that, in addition to meeting NZ Swimming-dictated qualification times, additional ‘over-riding criteria’ will also be taken into account., This includes whether the athletes ‘is capable of achieving a top 16 placing at the Games’, as well as if the swimmer ‘has a track record of sufficient quality and depth that Swimming New Zealand believes the athlete will be competitive at the Games.’
Barring any extenuating circumstances also outlined in the selection criteria, swimmers must meet or exceed the following qualification times, which are equal to the FINA standards announced back in May of last year:
Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Lewis Clareburt has proven he’s capable of dipping under at least the 400m IM qualification time, having nailed a then-personal best of 4:14.42. He lowered that slightly to 4:14.27 en route to 5th place at last year’s Pan Pacific Championships.