While many countries have already decided their Olympic Teams, and those that haven’t are awaiting their own qualifications be met, for much of the world, Thursday, May 31st is the final judgement day for the Olympic Games. That’s because today is the final day for qualifying times to be posted for both the Universality entrants as well as relay entries.
Applications for both of these qualifications, which must be submitted no later than Friday, will determine the allocation of roughly 450 of the 900 allotted athletes for the Olympic Games.
Universality is the principal of the International Olympic Committee to ensure that the games are open to all countries of the world, even those with limited resources. In swimming, they are 150 spots (ideally 75 male and 75 female, unless either gender doesn’t fill up their quota) given out to federations that don’t have a swimmer meeting either the FINA “A” standard or “B” standard for Olympic qualification.
Each swim is then assigned “FINA points,” and the highest-ranked times, at a clip of one per-gender, per-country, will have their passports to London.
FINA is expected to send out these invites on June 4th.
Similarly for relays, when the clock strokes midnight around the world, those times will be locked in as well. We’ve got a pretty good idea of who those relays will be, but until the deadline we won’t know for sure. Thursday is the final day for the top 12 teams from the Shanghai World Championships (who automatically qualify) to confirm their participation, and again on June 4th the rest of the relay invites will be sent out.
After these lists come out, then anxious FINA “B” time holders would then be able to begin the arduous task of calculating the qualifiers until the 900 is hit, but that would be a tedious and time-consuming game to play.
The official FINA announcements of both groups will be June 11th, but we will try and keep an updated list of either as we can get confirmation from federations. Send an email to [email protected] to confirm your country’s entry in either category.