USA Swimming To Send Athletes To 2023 LEN European U23 Championships In Dublin

USA Swimming announced Monday that it will send athletes to the inaugural LEN European U23 Championships this summer in Dublin.

The competition, first announced in December, will take place August 10-13, 2023, featuring athletes aged 19-23 (as of Dec. 31, 2023).

The championships serve the purpose of providing those on the cusp of making their country’s senior national ‘A’ team an international taper meet in the summer.

This competition will essentially serve as a replacement for some of the athletes that would’ve gone to the World University Games this summer, as USA Swimming announced it wouldn’t send a team to this year’s event in Chengdu, China back in January.

“International competition experience is vital to a developing swimmer’s progression,” USA Swimming National Team Managing Director Lindsay Mintenko said. “This meet fits really well in the quad as we prepare for Paris. We’re appreciative of the opportunity to compete at the inaugural U23 Championships.”

In early March, LEN announced that the championships would be open to athletes from non-European countries, separated by continent. Two teams from the PanAM continental association—one from North and one from South America—will be eligible to compete, along with one from Oceania, one from the Asia Swimming Federation (AASF), and one from the African Swimming Federation (CANA).

With USA Swimming declaring its intention to send swimmers to the meet, the American athletes would presumably team up with other athletes from North America, depending on which nations opt to send swimmers (it’s also possible the team will be exclusively Americans).

“(U.S. swimmers competing) is very important because this helps to validate the competition, by bringing one of the most powerful swimming teams in the world to Dublin,” LEN President Antonio Silva said. “This is the first edition of an innovative competition with different events and dynamics so I think it’s very good for aquatics, U23 swimmers, for the hosts in Dublin.”

Swimmers will qualify for the event at the National Championships in Indianapolis, which take place June 27-July 1 and serve as the qualifier for the World Championships. Presumably, eligible athletes who miss the Worlds team will qualify for Dublin.

The meet will feature a “semi-non-traditional” format related to its presentation, including some ISL-like elements.

The Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre, one of the world’s largest indoor aquatic centers, will host the event. It includes a 10-lane, 50-meter competition pool, a 25-meter diving and warmup pool, and seating for 2,500 spectators.

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Chas
11 months ago

I’m always amazed to discover the many people who don’t have much experience in the sport, and-or like predictability. They can change it because they’re not the NCAA, a state high school athletic association, YMCA, or a local summer league. They can change it because it’s just another senior meet if it’s not the Olympics.

Eugene
11 months ago

Any non-European country is welcome to Euro champs 🫶🏼

(unless it’s called russia)

swimfan
11 months ago

Is this the same “usa swimming” who doesn’t even send their athletes to the world university games lmao

Brad swim
11 months ago

Are us swimmers going to compete against European swimmers? Home come? The name is European championships. If they do, that’s just unreal since it’s a different continent. Maybe I’m missing the point. Help me understand

liemse
11 months ago

Why this over WUGs? For political reasons?

Admin
Reply to  liemse
11 months ago

Is Ireland a cheaper trip than China?

Maybe they think they can squeeze a few pre-collegiate juniors onto this team too?

Probably political reasons though. Can’t say for sure if that’s “geo-political” or “aqua-political” though. The new LEN is much more closely aligned with FINA, and therefore even more politically powerful than the old LEN.

We’ll never know for sure. USA Swimming not known for their transparency, so can’t expect a straight answer on anything, unless someone leaks an email or something.

Katie
Reply to  liemse
11 months ago

China has continued to back out of hosting major international sporting events across all sports using Covid as their reasoning. (In late October, they “postponed” the 2023 World Athletics Relays scheduled for May – an Olympic qualifying event! – to 2025, forcing World Athletics to redefine the Olympic qualifying criteria for relay teams.) There have been expectations that China would cancel or postpone WUGs as well, although usually they’ve been cancelling about six months in advance so maybe WUGs will actually happen? I don’t know if that’s why USA Swimming chose to not send a team and to seek an alternate opportunity, but if so, it was decent reasoning.

Awsi Dooger
11 months ago

Dublin is a great place to get drunk and probably to swim

Uncertain combo

Jess
11 months ago

I don’t get it. How can someone not from Europe nor do they possess a european citizenship be the European Champion? That’s like letting Emma McKeon race at USA Nationals and win finals?

Lab Counter
Reply to  Jess
11 months ago

That happens all the time!

Swimmerfromjapananduk
Reply to  Lab Counter
11 months ago

But it doesn’t happen all the time? I don’t really see the Australian team, or any French/any european Asian teams sending teams over to the us regularly

Loeb
Reply to  Swimmerfromjapananduk
11 months ago

I happens all the time lol.

College swimmer
Reply to  Swimmerfromjapananduk
11 months ago

I think at one of my last jrs France sent a bunch of their jr national swimmers to the meet. It’s a pretty common thing

Troyy
Reply to  Jess
11 months ago

That already happens at USA Nationals. See Winnington here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_USA_Swimming_Championships#Men's_events

Swimmerfromjapananduk
Reply to  Troyy
11 months ago

Still doesn’t really make sense. Might as well not call it European champs if they allow non-Europeans to compete lol.

Admin
Reply to  Swimmerfromjapananduk
11 months ago

They should call it the European U23 Open or something.

This is sort of an old-school thing in country club sports. Having the “British Championship” be “the Brits try and fend off the Yanks to defend their home title.”

Admin
Reply to  Jess
11 months ago

Well…

Most US National Championships do allow international champions.

MCH
Reply to  Jess
11 months ago

You mean like last summers nationals in Irvine when M Gough won the 1500?

Last edited 11 months ago by MCH
Loeb
Reply to  Jess
11 months ago

You must be new to swimming

PK Doesn’t Like His Long Name
11 months ago

You’re 19 days too early guys.

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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