Canada’s Emma Finlin Gets Spot at Paris Olympics with Extra Quota Spot

Photo Courtesy: Michael P. Hall/Swimming Canada

Canada’s Emma Finlin Gets Spot at Paris Olympics with Extra Quota Spot

Three days after finishing 24th in the women’s 10-kilometer swim at the World Aquatics Championships, Canadian teen Emma Finlin found out Tuesday that she’s done enough to get to the Paris Olympics.

Canada was granted an unallocated Olympic quota spot to the 22-swimmer field Tuesday, which will go to Finlin after her performance in Doha.

“I think I was so exhausted after the 10-km I just broke down into my mom’s arms. It wasn’t even out of disappointment necessarily but I kind of felt defeated it was so close,” Finlin told Swimming Canada. “I knew I could do it but it was going to be a really hard thing to achieve. Then being that close hurt a bit. It’s been really emotional because I had accepted I hadn’t made the team. Then when (I sat down with team staff) and they said we had an opportunity, so I got really excited but tried to be really even in case it ended up not working out.”

Finlin’s finish was agonizingly close Saturday. She was well beyond the 13 automatic qualification spots reserved for top finishers at the race. But if there was one person she had to beat, it was Mexico’s Martha Sandoval to make sure she was first in line for the continental quota spot reserved for the top swimmer from the Americas who had not already qualified.

Sandoval finished 23rd, .07 seconds up on Finlin. Finlin did jump from 31st at the last time check, along the way passing Maria Bramont-Arias of Peru to put her in position for Tuesday’s announcement. Bramont-Arias finished 12.9 seconds back of Finlin.)

That left the 18-year-old from Edmonton Keyano Swim Club out in the cold … until the math shook out. We’ll let World Aquatics explain, from a press release:

The Continental Representation position for Oceania, however, which had no competing women athletes at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships outside of Australia – which had already qualified the maximum number of two women NOC quota positions for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Therefore, the Oceania Continental Representation position was allocated to the highest-placing woman competitor in the open water swimming 10km event in Doha whose country was not yet qualified for the Olympics (F.1). In this respect, Canada was reallocated this NOC quota spot.

In layman’s terms, Australia’s two swimmers had already qualified by other means, Moesha Johnson fourth in Doha and Chelsea Gubecka second in Fukuoka last summer. With no other non-Aussie Oceania competitors, the continental spot reserved for that region was reallocated to the next swimmer in line after other results.

Finlin, a University of Kentucky commit, makes four North American swimmers in the Olympics. Katie Grimes of the U.S. earned entry with her bronze medal at the Fukuoka Worlds, and Mariah Denigan qualified in Doha, along with Sandoval.

Brazilian Viviane Jungblut, who finished 14th in Doha, was granted a spot in the field thanks to France qualifying two swimmers – Caroline Jouisse in seventh and Oceane Cassignol in 10th – and thus not needing its allocated host quota.

Finlin is still in Doha to compete in Wednesday’s 5km swim.

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