USA Swimming has posted selection procedures for the 2015 Billiton Aquatic Super Series Championships, to be held from January 30th-31st in Perth Australia, which is the first indication that the Americans will join the party at the high-stakes multi-sport aquatics event.
This event, held for two years, pits national teams from different countries against each other in pool swimming, open water swimming, and water polo. Last year, the pool swimming included China, Australia, South Africa and Japan competed for half-a-million dollars in prize money, with an additional $100,000 being awarded in the water polo tournament.
Swimmers were revved up for that event, which included for many swimmers season-best times, even after the national championships had concluded.
Now, the Americans will join the fun (though a full list of participating nations and prize money has yet to be announced for 2015).
The American selection procedures will send up to 12 men and 12 women to the event.
The first priority will be given to the highest ranked available swimmer in each Olympic event in World Rankings from January 1st, 2014 to September 1st, 2014 (the same time period used to select the Short Course Worlds team). The exception will be in the men’s 1500 free, where the top ranked available swimmer will not be chosen.
If there’s still room, all other spots on this truncated roster will be filled at the discretion of the National Team Director and the team’s head coaches; those swimmers will be chosen only from the 2014-2015 National Team.
The open-ended 2nd selection criteria could leave for some drama, considering the value of the available prize pool. In addition to individual race prizes, the winning team divides up $100,000. Depending on how a team decides to share that (if coaches get a portion), that could result in as much as $4,000 per athlete if USA Swimming were to win (of which there’s no guarantee).