COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, May 7. RECENTLY, USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch let the USA Swimming membership know that all 10 lanes will be used during prelims of the U.S. Olympic Trials taking place in Omaha, Neb., later this summer. Additionally, Busch explained that fly-over starts would be used during prelims as well.
In a letter published this weekend on USASwimming.org, Busch explained the new setup and reasoning behind the change:
As you know, the number of Olympic Trial qualifiers continues to grow (approximately 1700 swimmers). I certainly commend all the coaches and athletes for their hard work and determination to achieve this goal. Being a part of the fastest meet in the world is a lifetime achievement for most swimmers.
If there is one constant theme in the history of American sports, it is that no matter how high the bar is set, our coaches and athletes will push themselves to surpass everyone's expectations. In order to be sure that the Trials are run in the most professional manner possible, giving each athlete their best opportunity to be successful, I am supporting the following modifications recommended by the meet referee:
* Using 10 lanes for all preliminary sessions
* Using fly-over starts for all preliminary sessions
These adjustments will substantially shorten the length of the preliminaries.
All semifinal and final competition will be held in eight lanes.
National Team Director
Swimming World first suggested this solution in our October 2011 issue of Swimming World Magazine when news first broke of how many Trials qualifiers were likely to make the field.