Despite Finishing 11th, Zane Grothe In Line to Qualify for Olympics in 400 Freestyle; Others Still in Hunt

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Despite Finishing 11th, Zane Grothe In Line to Qualify for Olympics in 400 Free: Others Still in the Hunt

Zane Grothe, a World Championships finalist in the 400 free in both 2017 and 2019, could still qualify for his first Olympic team even after finishing 11th in the event at the United States Olympic Trials. In the final, only one swimmer, Kieran Smith, recorded a time faster than the FINA “A” cut of 3:46.78 (Smith dominated the field and won the event in 3:44.86). Second-place finisher Jake Mitchell’s time of 3:48.17 was not quick enough to earn the nod for Tokyo.

However, because Grothe has recorded a time under the “A” cut during the Olympics qualifying period (March 1, 2019 until June 27, 2021), he would be in line to claim the other American berth in the event as of right now. Grothe swam a 3:45.76 at the 2019 World Championships, well under the time. However, Grothe could still be knocked off the Olympic team should any other finisher from the race surpass the “A” cut between now and June 27. That could include a time trial at the Olympic Trials in Omaha.

To earn a trip to Tokyo, that swimmer would not have to beat the 3:45.76 of Grothe, only the 3:46.78 qualifying time. If multiple swimmers from places two through 10 at Trials end up recording “A” cuts within the next two weeks, the highest-finishing swimmer from Trials (so Mitchell, followed by Ross DantChris WeiserBrooks Fail and on down the line from there) would earn the spot.

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