SwimSwam Pulse: Overwhelming Majority Favor Held To Rebound & Make 2022 Worlds

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which 2016 U.S. Olympian had the best chance of rebounding and making 2022 Worlds after missing the 2021 Olympic team:


Question: Which 2016 US Olympian that missed the team in Tokyo do you think has the best chance of qualifying for the 2022 World Championships?

The poll was a follow-up to one we ran in December that asked the same question on the women’s side, where Kelsi Dahlia emerged as the leading vote-getter at 48 percent.

That came as no surprise, as Dahlia was coming off of breaking the world record in the SCM 100 butterfly, and the same goes for the result here.

Ryan Held, who initially appeared to be in a position to be named to the 2021 Olympic team but ended up losing his spot in the 400 free relay due to roster numbers, picked up a ton of momentum in December and lands at the top of the poll with over 86 percent of votes.

Held picked up six medals at the Short Course World Championships last month in Abu Dhabi, including two relay golds and a pair of individual silvers in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

The 26-year-old then had a video posted online of him clocking 29.6 in a push 75 free (SCY, without fins), further showing he’s on incredible form.

Though perhaps the poll might’ve been a bit closer had we distinguished it to be only for qualifying in an individual event, with Held the benefactor of having more spots available to qualify for Worlds in due to the 400 free relay, he’s got a great chance to make the team individually.

Held, now training at Arizona State University, is the second-fastest American in the 100 free since the beginning of 2019, having hit a best time of 47.39 in July 2019, and ranks third in the 50 free with his PB of 21.62 from April 2021.

The other options in the poll all picked up a small portion of votes, led by breaststroker Cody Miller, who won bronze in the 100 breast back at the 2016 Games in Rio.

Two 2016 Olympians that weren’t included in the poll were Nathan Adrian and Josh Prenot, who haven’t announced retirement, but also haven’t shown any indication they’re training for the 2022 World Trials, which are only a few months away.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Will having the 2023 World Championships in November diminish the quality of swimming?

Do you think having the 2023 World Championships in November will diminish the quality of swimming?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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10 months ago

Held is the obvious choice, considering his main event will usually take 6-deep, and he’s definitely in contention to get an individual spot in the 100 FR.

Cody Miller is cooked, and I’d be extremely surprised if he ever makes another major international team (WCs or OGs)–he looked bad at trials and even worse in the ISL, getting jackpotted in your main event should tell you that you’re over the hill. Cordes showed a surprising amount of life last year but I don’t think it’s enough to overcome MA and Fink.

Pebley has an outside shot to nab a 200 BK spot but there are too many younger guys with more upside also in contention for the second… Read more »

Alex Wilson
10 months ago

Might want to check out the 200 free and 200IM results of yesterdays ASU intersquad meet which was held in place of the Covid cancelled ASU v Utah meet. Ryan Held participated in both events to provide some competition. 200 free; 1st Marchand; 1.33.26 2nd House; 1.33.59 Held; 1.34.34 200IM; 1st Marchand; 1.42.67 2nd House 1.44.45 Held; 1.45.62. Not bad times for an intersquad meet!

Reply to  Alex Wilson
10 months ago

Nor for off events. He did swim the 200 free in college on NCSU 800 free relays and was always solid.

Definitely showing he’s in solid form.

katie's gator cap :)
10 months ago

the day Nathan and Josh announce their retirement is the day I lose apart of my soul

Reply to  katie's gator cap :)
10 months ago

Guess your soul isnt staying with you for too long..

katie's gator cap :)
Reply to  Mclovin
10 months ago

It really ain’t :’)

10 months ago

Held GOAT! Mark my words he will have a spot in the 4×100 relay in Paris!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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