For a unique World Championships, USA Swimming has designed a unique set of qualifying criteria.
The organization has released the requirements to earn a spot on the U.S. team at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships, which will run from February 2-18, 2024, in Doha. The pool swimming competition will be held during the second week, Feb. 11-18.
This edition of the World Championships was originally scheduled for November 2023, but was pushed into early 2024 after the 2022 World Championships in Fukuoka were postponed until July 2023.
USA Swimming will not host a national trials meet for the event, which is no surprise given there’s not an adequate window of time to do so, and will instead select swimmers based on times swum between October 1, 2022, and November 1, 2023.
The team size will be smaller than usual, with 14 men and 14 women set to be selected for a maximum 28-swimmer roster. For comparison, USA Swimming sent 48 pool swimmers to the 2023 Worlds in Fukuoka and could’ve sent up to 52.
Only the fastest swimmer in each individual Olympic event will qualify to swim in Doha, with several athletes expected to opt out of the competition due to its strange timing. If the top 10 swimmers in a given event opt out, that event won’t have anyone selected.
There is usually a set of 5-6 priorities for selection to major international teams, but in this case, there’s only one:
Priority #1. The first priority will be comprised of the Available Swimmers who has the first fastest Time in each Individual Olympic Event. Limitation on Selection: USA Swimming will not Select Available Swimmers with Times slower than the 10th fastest Time among Available Swimmers in each Individual Olympic Event.
In order for the U.S. to field two swimmers in an event, there will need to be a second swimmer on the roster who has achieved the ‘A’ standard within World Aquatics’ qualifying window (Oct. 1, 2022 – Dec. 19, 2023). If there is only one swimmer on the roster with an ‘A’ cut in an event, the U.S. will only have one entrant in that event.
For the non-Olympic events, the three stroke 50s, the qualifier in the corresponding 100-meter event will earn an entry provided they’ve achieved the ‘A’ standard in the 50-meter race.
There will also be no relay-only swimmers selected to the team, as the coaching staff will put together relays among those already on the roster.
The U.S. was one of two countries to qualify all seven relays for the 2024 Olympic Games at the 2023 World Championships, which takes some of the pressure off relay performance in Doha.
The 2024 World Championships will take place just before the start of conference championship meets in the NCAA, and they’ll conclude just 118 days before the start of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.
The swimmers named to the U.S. team will travel to Doha on February 5 and train in Doha from the 6th until the 10th before racing commences on the 11th and concludes on the 18th
USA Swimming will announce the roster by November 15.