They’re Here: Initial FINA Qualification Times For the 2020 Olympics

FINA has announced the initial qualifying standards for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan**, including the new men’s 800m and women’s 1500m freestyle cuts. A maximum of 28 men and 28 women can be selected from each nation, with 878 Universality Places designated for 2020 edition of the Games.

**The standards still need to be officially ratified by FINA in December of this year before they are distributed to all National Olympic Committees.

The qualification period is March 1st, 2019 through June 29th, 2020.

The priority order for qualification places will be as they have been in the past as follows:

1. All athletes with Olympic Qualifying Times (OQT / “A” Time)
2. Athletes in relays
3. Universality Places
4. Invited athletes who have achieved an Olympic Selection Time (OST / “B” time)

Swimmers will be able to achieve the time standards at a to-be-published FINA-approved qualification event. The calendar of approved meets is set to be published on February 28, 2019.

Additionally, a maximum of 16 teams in each relay event will qualify, with each NOC entering one team in each relay event. The top 12 teams from the 2019 World Championships will be selected, while the remaining 4 to be determined based on times produced between March 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020.

Look for a qualification time analysis post to follow. You can also see the entire FINA Olympic qualification explanation here.

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Has it ever happened that an Olympic trail winner didn’t hit the Olympic qualifing times ?




I would be interested in the smallest number of Americans to make an A cut has been. Usually we post a fair number in each event.


I can’t think of a time where the winner has not, but I think only 1 entrant in the U.S. women’s 200 fly went in 2012 or 2016 (with Cammile Adams being the only one to qualify)


Dear Swimswam,

In the future, please cut the fluff and only list the 100 fly qualifying times so that we readers don’t have to spend our precious time finding the real events among the noise when lists like this come out.




Sven , please , speak only for yourself – avoid using ” we the readers ” which sounds like u speak for others here – which is untrue . thank you for adjusting


I am speaking for every swim fan. The 100 fly is the only event in swimming that matters. Thank you for your time and consideration.


that is untrue, although the 100 fly is entertaining to watch it is most certainly not the “only” entertaining event . You are only commenting this to stir up trouble. Thanks for your time and consideration.


Pretty sure Sven was being sarcastic. Everybody knows that the 200 fly is the most difficult event. Perhaps Sven wasn’t up to the challenge of the 200 fly when he was competing.


I was surprised that so many people seemed to take my comment seriously, but I’m glad someone finally chimed in. Honestly, I like watching every event but it’s most impressive watching someone make something that I find hard look so easy, which means the breaststrokes, 400IM, and 200 free. I think because those are the events that I have found to be the most painful (200 free with the caveat of only being extremely painful when swum right.. a sandbagged 200 free is nothing). The 200 fly was actually one of my better events, just behind 100 fly and 100 free. When I’m in shape for it, I really enjoy it. There are few things that make me feel more… Read more »


Literally any freestyle event including the virus that is distance free is more interesting than butterfly


I think I get SVEN’s point. 100 fly IS a highlight in this list. take a look a the number in BEAR DRINKS BEER’s comment. my question is why FINA raised the bar for 100 fly A cut this high.

Bear Drinks Beer

Only 16 women swam under 57.92 in 100 fly last year, while 57 women were faster than 16:32.04 in 1500 free.?


Remember these are just the proposed QTs. They’ll undoubtedly use Euros and Pan Pacs this year and worlds next year to adjust the times.

Becky D

How many countries were represented by the 16 flyers? How many countries were represented by the 57 milers? Looking at those numbers may level things out a bit.


Why? Why 100 fly?

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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