U.S. Open Water Nationals begin Friday: 3 major national teams to be selected with Olympic ramifications

USA Swimming will host its Open Water National Championships this Friday and Sunday, and the meet will have major impacts on the biggest international meets of the next two years.

This year’s Nationals, held in Miromar Lakes, Florida, will serve as the selection meet for three major international competitions in 2015:

  • 2015 Open Water World Championships
  • 2015 Pan American Games
  • 2015 World University Games

In addition, the meet will select USA Swimming’s Open Water National Team and Junior National Team.

Because this summer’s World Championships are the first qualifying meet for the 2016 Olympics in open water swimming, this week’s nationals serve as a first step to any swimmer with Olympic hopes.

Here’s a quick look at the selection procedures for all three major meets, plus the impact these team selections could have on the U.S. Olympic roster in 2016:

2015 World Championships

This summer’s World Championships will be held in Kazan, Russia, and will feature the Olympic-distance 10K, a shorter 5K and the 25K event. Each nation is allowed to enter up to two men and two women in each event, and can bring a grand total of 6 men and 6 women.

Selection Procedures:

  1. The 10K winner from U.S. Nationals will be added to the roster to swim the 10K at Worlds.
    • He/She can also elect to compete in the 5K and 25K at Worlds as well.
  2. The 5K winner from U.S. Nationals will be added to the roster to swim the 5K at Worlds.
  3. The second place finisher in the 10K will be added to the team to swim the 10K at Worlds.
    • He/She can also elect to compete in the 5K if one of the two entry spots is still open.
  4. The third place finisher in the 10K will be added to the team to swim the 25K at Worlds.
    • He/She also serves as the first alternate for the 10K.
    • He/She can also elect to swim the 5K if one of the two entry spots is still open.
  5. The second place finisher in the 10K now has a chance to enter the 25K as well if one of the two entry spots is still open.
  6. The fourth place finisher in the 10K will be added to the team if there is still a spot available in either the 5K or 25K at Worlds.
  7. If any spots remain, they will be offered to the next-best finisher in the 10K until the roster is filled.

Bird’s Eye View:

The top two finishers in the 10K are in. The winner of the 5K is in. After that, the roster will be filled based on the 10K results.

2015 Pan American Games

The Pan American Games will be held in Toronto, Canada, and will feature a 10K race. Each nation can enter up to 2 men and 2 women.

Selection Procedures:

  • Any athlete swimming the 10K at Worlds cannot compete at Pan Ams.
  • An athlete swimming only the 5K or 25K at Worlds can compete at Pan Ams.
  • The two highest eligible finishers at U.S. Nationals in the 10K will be added to the Pan Ams team.
  • The third-highest eligible finisher at U.S. Nationals in the 10K will be the alternate.

Bird’s Eye View:

Take out the 2 swimmers qualified to swim the 10K at Worlds. The next 2 highest finishers at Nationals will make the Pan Ams team.

World University Games

The World University Games will be held in Gwangju, South Korea, and will feature a 10K race. Each nation is allowed to enter 2 men and 2 women.

Selection Procedures:

  • To qualify for World University Games, an athlete must be:
    • Between 17 and 23 years old
    • Registered in a degree program at a college or university
  • Any athlete swimming the 10K at Worlds cannot compete at World University Games
  • An athlete swimming only the 5K or 25K at Worlds can compete at World University Games.
  • Any athlete swimming at Pan Ams cannot compete at World University Games as they happen at the same time.
  • The two highest eligible finishers in the 10K at U.S. Nationals will make the World University Games Team.

Bird’s Eye View:

Take out the 2 swimmers qualified to swim the 10K at Worlds. Take out anyone swimming at the Pan American Games. The next 2 highest eligible finishers will make the World University Games Team.

 

Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Selection Procedures

The first qualifying meet for the Rio Olympics is the 2015 World Open Water Championships.

If two U.S. men, women or both finish in the top 10 at this summer’s World Championships, those two swimmers will be nominated to the Olympic team.

If only one man or one woman finishes in the top 10 at Worlds, then only one swimmer will be nominated to the Olympic team.

If no swimmers finish in the top 10 at Worlds, FINA will host an Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier meet in 2016 that offers nations one more chance to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

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Danjohnrob

I didn’t realize that athletes can actually qualify for the US Olympic Team in the marathon swim at the Kazan World Championships. If they place top 10, they will know a full year in advance that they’re on the Team; that would be so much better than sweating it out until the pool Trialsin Omaha!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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