We are officially in an Olympic year, with the 2020 Games kicking off in Tokyo, Japan just over 200 days from now. Elite swimmers everywhere are now entering crunch time in terms of qualification if they haven’t already made the grade.
Although the swimming world’s governing body, FINA, dictates the overall Olympic qualification process in terms of consideration times and the time frame window to make the cut, most individual nations also draft their own official selection criteria that stands as the ultimate say in whether or not a swimmer books his or her ticket to Tokyo.
For example, two-time World Champion Daiya Seto has qualified for his home nation-hosted Olympic Games by virtue of winning gold in the 200m IM and 400m IM in Gwangju, Korea this summer according to Japan’s selection policy.
Additionally, Henrik Christiansen of Norway has already officially clocked an Olympic-qualifying time in the 800m free en route to World Championships silver in the event. Per Norway’s policy, Christiansen has qualified for Tokyo.
The dominant swimming nations each typically host an Olympic Trials meet in the months leading up to an Olympic Games, with the competition oftentimes doubling as the national championships.
For many, such as Great Britain and the United States, the singular Trials meet represents the one and only opportunity to qualify for the Olympics. In fact, many swimmers have stated that the Trials are more intense and nerve-racking than the actual Games themselves. In other countries, there are multi-meet qualifying systems (Italy, for example, has already qualified a few athletes), but the Trials or National Championship meets are still usually the focus.
Below is a listing of the Olympic Trials/National Championships meets as we know them today, keeping in mind that some nations’ selection policies indicate that qualification times can indeed be obtained at other competitions either past or future.
- Australia 06/14 – 06/19: Australian Swimming Trials
- Belarus 05/22 – 05/24: Open Championships of Belarus
- Belgium 05/21 – 05/23: Open Belgian Swimming Championships
- Brazil 04/20 – 04/25: Brazilian Olympic Trials
- Canada 03/30 – 04/05: Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Trials
- China 03/28 – 04/05: National Swimming Championships
- Denmark 03/28 – 04/01: Danish Open
- France 04/14 – 04/19: Championnat de France Elite
- Germany 04/30 – 05/03: German Swimming Championships
- Great Britain 04/14 – 04/19: British Swimming Championships
- Greece 05/28 – 05/31: Greek Open Swimming Championships
- Hong Kong 04/11 – 04/12: 63rd Festival of Sport
- Hungary 03/24 – 03/28: Hungarian National Championships
- Ireland 04/01 – 04/05: Irish Open LC Championships
- Italy 03/17 – 03/21: National Spring Championships
- Japan 04/01 – 04/08: Japanese Swimming Championships
- Lithuania 03/19 – 03/21: Lithuanian Championships
- Netherlands 04/03 – 04/05 Swim Cup The Hague; 04/09 – 04/12 Swim Cup Eindhoven
- New Zealand 03/31 – 04/04: New Zealand Open Championships
- Poland 05/20 – 05/24: Polish Championships
- Russia 04/03 – 04/09: Russian National Swimming Championships
- Singapore 06/24 – 06/27: 16th Singapore National Swimming Championships
- South Africa 04/04 – 04/09: SA National Aquatic Championships
- Spain 04/04 – 04/08: Cto. de España “Open” de Primavera P50
- Sweden 06/26 – 06/30: Swedish Championships
- Switzerland 04/02 – 04/05; Swiss Championships
- The United States 06/21 – 06/28: United States Olympic Trials
- Ukraine 03/10 – 03/13: Open National Swimming Championships