U.S. Open, PSS Meets Will Be FINA Sanctioned, Open For Olympic Qualification

In addition to the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, November’s U.S. Open and the upcoming Pro Swim Series meets will all be sanctioned by FINA, pending approval, meaning swimmers will be able to post Olympic qualifying times at these meets.

The U.S. Open, which was contested across nine sites last month, has been officially sanctioned, while the PSS and Olympic Trials meets are still awaiting approval (though there aren’t any anticipated hiccups).

This primarily affects international swimmers, who were able to use the U.S. Open (and potentially future PSS meets) as Olympic qualifiers. The January Pro Swim Series event, which will run from three different locations, is closed to all international athletes, though there’s potential future ones will be open.

Guatemala’s Luis Martinez and Egypt’s Marwan El Kamash are two examples of swimmers who hit Olympic ‘A’ cuts at the U.S. Open.

The U.S. Open and PSS meets being FINA sanctioned also means that, at the off-chance that two  swimmers at U.S. Trials don’t hit Olympic ‘A’ cuts, they could also be added to the American team by virtue of a swim at one of these other meets.

The qualifying period for the Games began on March 1, 2019, so USA Swimming could also opt to use any swims under the ‘A’ cut since then if need be. However, there is still only one American male swimmer, Zane Grothe, under the ‘A’ cut in the 400 free since the qualifying period opened.

So far in 2020, obviously with limited opportunity, zero American swimmers have gone under the FINA ‘A’ qualifying standard in the men’s 100 free, 400 free and 1500 free, while only one has done so in the men’s 200 free, 800 free, 200 back, 200 fly, and 400 IM, and the women’s 400 IM.

You can find the Olympic qualifying standards here.

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Xman
7 months ago

Has it ever happened in the last 40 years that nobody went under the A cut at trials?

With the last three Olympics it wasn’t a problem since swimmers like Phelps Coughlin Lochte and Hoff did multiple events

I think in 2019 it was a problem at World’s in the womens Backstroke when we only had 2 swimmers under the A cut.

Xman
Reply to  Xman
7 months ago

I’ve also wondered why the trials cuts aren’t the B cuts or at least around them.

DLswim
Reply to  Xman
7 months ago

I don’t think it’s ever happened that in a single even no one at trials has gone under the A cuts. And by the way, I think that having cutoff times is a relatively new addition. I’m not sure if there were FINA cutoff times before 1988. Does anyone know? Also of interest is that in athletics this issue of not having at least one of the top three finishers at US trials make the qualifying time happens often, and occasionally someone that had a qualifying time at a previous sanctioned meet gets to go.

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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