The entire world has changed dramatically over the course of the last month, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to change their behavior for an indefinite period of time while we all wait for the storm to pass.
The sports world has been at the forefront of the headlines relating to cancellations caused by the coronavirus, with several dominoes falling before the inevitable postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021.
As we enter April, this would’ve been the time when the excitement for the 2020 Games started to ramp up. NCAAs would be in the rearview mirror, the long course season would fully commence, and the first full set of Olympic Trials meets would be underway.
The Italian Championships were slated for March 17-21, but the first week of multiple Olympic Trials meets was supposed to be this week.
The Canadian Trials were to run for a full week, starting on Monday, March 30 and running through to Sunday, April 5 in Toronto. The New Zealand Open would go off on Tuesday in Auckland, the Japan Swim, Spanish Trials and Irish Open would commence Wednesday in Tokyo, Malaga and Dublin, respectively, and then we’d also be treated to the Swiss Champs and the Netherlands “The Hague” meet running late-week until Sunday.
Additionally, Friday would be the first of seven days of a talent-stacked Russian Nationals, and on Saturday, the South African Championships would go off.
ORIGINAL INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
- Canadian Olympic Trials: March 30-April 5 (Toronto)
- New Zealand Open Championships: March 31-April 4 (Auckland)
- Irish Open Championships: April 1-5 (Dublin)
- Japan Swim (Olympic Trials): April 1-8 (Tokyo)
- Swiss Championships: April 2-5 (Geneva)
- Swim Cup The Hauge (NED): April 3-5 (The Hague)
- Russian Nationals: April 3-9 (Kazan)
- Spanish Olympic Trials: April 1-5 (Sabadell)
- South African Nationals: April 4-9 (Durban)
It was supposed to be the time when Olympic veterans and young upstarts alike would start to throw down some fast swims. Times that made the rest of the world take notice, fuelling their motivation for the months to come. It was supposed to be the time when the athletes were rounding into peak form, fans got extra excited, and the outside world took a small look into the sport we love.
But, it simply wasn’t meant to be. Something more important than sport has taken precedence for the time being. All we can do is ride it out together, stay safe, and prepare for the rollercoaster of excitement that will be 2021 in swimming.