The Morning Swim Show: Swimwear and Starting Block Controversy; Canadian Head Coach Tom Johnson Talks About Olympic Selection Process

PHOENIX, Arizona, April 11. THE Friday edition of The Morning Swim Show focuses on the new selection process Canada has enacted to pick its Olympic swimming team.

To view this show click here.

Host Brent Rutemiller opens the show by discussing the recent controversy surrounding FINA's approval of the Omega starting block that will be used starting in 2009. He also mentions the upcoming FINA meeting with major swimwear developers that could change the approval process for future releases.

Rutemiller interviews Tom Johnson, Canada's head swimming coach, to talk about the changes in Canada's Olympic selection process.

In past Olympic Trials meets, swimmers were bound by a time standard that they had to achieve in order to make the team, Johnson said. This time was usually the 12th fastest time in the world, and he said swimmers were "psychologically balking at the line that had been drawn in the sand." It had effectively diminished the impact of their Trials, he said, though the goal was to improve performance.

For the 2008 Olympic Trials, Canada changed its policy to use FINA's time standards, which Johnson said created "a sudden death" environment, where swimmers raced each other and weren't concerned about achieving a time. Under this policy, the top finisher was almost always guaranteed a spot on the team, and second-place finishers only had to swim faster than the "A" standard.

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