Michael Andrew Shut Out of World Championships Despite 50 Butterfly Victory

Michael Andrew -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Michael Andrew Locked Out of World Championships Despite 50 Butterfly Victory

When the U.S. roster for the upcoming World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, was announced, one swimmer was missing despite finishing in a spot that might typically have qualified him for the meet. Michael Andrew was the winner of the 50 butterfly Wednesday night, seemingly wrapping up his spot on a third consecutive World Championships team, but a roster crunch kept him locked out.

A country can take up to 26 women and 26 men for pool competition at a World Championships or Olympics, and USA Swimming selects participants to the team based on the number of swimmers who secure roster doubles, with spots in more than one event. With 27 possible entrants, Andrew was the only swimmer cut since he only qualified by the fifth priority.

USA Swimming’s five priorities for selection at this meet included:

  1. Winners of all Olympic events and top-four finishers in the 100 and 200 free
  2. Second-place finishers in all other Olympic events
  3. Fifth-place finishers in the 100 and 200 free
  4. Sixth-place finishers in the 100 and 200 free
  5. Winners of non-Olympic events (the 50-meter races of butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke)

Andrew had qualified for the previous two World Championships as well as the Tokyo Olympics in other events, with the 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle staples on his program at all three meets. He also raced the 200 IM in Tokyo and the 100 fly last year. But Andrew’s results in events longer than one lap this week were disappointing compared to his personal standard. He missed the final in both the 100 breast, where he is the third-fastest performer ever, and 100 fly, in which he made the final at last year’s World Championships.

Andrew’s last chance at a roster spot came in the 50 free final, the last A-final of the meet. He was the silver medalist at last year’s World Championships, but he could not produce his best swim in the final. Ryan Held won in 21.50 while Jack Alexy was second in 21.63, one hundredth ahead of Andrew. After the race, Andrew stared downward, acknowledging both the disappointment of missing out on Fukuoka.

All other 50-meter winners were named to the team since they qualified in either another individual event (including Gretchen WalshLilly KingNic Fink and Katharine Berkoff) or as a relay swimmer (Justin Ress).

Entering the final night, five swimmers’ roster spots were pending additional doubles. There were four repeat qualifiers on the final night, with Carson Foster winning the 200 IM, Bobby Finke winning the 800 free and Held and Alexy going 1-2 in the 50 free. Those results placed all relay alternates onto the team, including 100 free sixth-place finisher Ress and 200 free sixth-place finisher Henry McFadden, but Andrew was eliminated from contention.

If Andrew hopes to qualify for his second consecutive Olympic team next year, he will need resurgent performances in events such as the 50 free, 100 breast, 100 fly and/or 200 IM since the 50-meter stroke races are not contested on the Olympic level.

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10 months ago

It seems the selectors for the U.S. teams have a history of distaste for the 50 meter events except in freestyle. This is possibly because these are non-olympic events and they could take away from the focus on Olympic events. But there is one big problem with that reasoning and it is that these are World Champ trials. The aim here should be to win or place high at the World events. So the selection priority should have been for the winners of all the races. Michael Andrew should be on the team.

Brian Hoffman
Brian Hoffman
10 months ago
Reply to  A.B.

Or he should actually start to do some real training

Marisa Miller
Marisa Miller
10 months ago
Reply to  Brian Hoffman

You should start doing some real training, so you can win national titles too! 😉

10 months ago
Reply to  Marisa Miller

So one guy gets a spot on the team to swim one lap for one event?

Anthony Feliciano
Anthony Feliciano
10 months ago

They only send swimmers who can display winning abilities in the Olympic-sanctioned events. 50 m events are not Olympic-sanctioned 😟

10 months ago

So what? The World Championship aren’t the Olympics and they actually have 50m events in which to compete. If you want to announce and maintain the selection the Olympic team now for next year great, but it’s a complete non-sequitur otherwise.

10 months ago

Last year I discussed that if Michael Andrew followed Phelps advice he would stop improving.
I received a lot of attacks:


Yes. Phelps is the greatest swimmer ever and I am nobody.

But my point stands and I stick to it.
Andrew has been training USRPT for 10 years then suddenly he changes his system.

Phelps only knows one training system and ignores how USRPT works (like 99% of people who love swimming sport).
They mistake Race Pace sets with a full Training System (hence the T in USRPT).
And No. USRPT is not a training system for sprinters. It works with long distance swimmers and runners too.

The problem with Andrew and his coach is that they only read 4 out of 90 documents that Dr. Rushall published and they don’t know how to fix the problem with his endurance in the last 25 meters.
Rushall explains throughly how to train for medleys and how to keep up with the last meters of a race.

The Andrews came up with an Academy and an App for teaching USRPT but they didn’t even take the time to read all the documents and understand it fully (I did).

Yes, I know. If no one has ever tried USRPT, how can I prove that it is useful?
Andrew did it for 10 years at age groups and junior. He went to World Championships and Olimpic Games, training 11 miles a week (Phelps used to swim 60).
Then he panicked when Phelps gave his one-track opinion and mixed USRPT with aerobic miles.

Now, haters attack me again and don’t bother reading. https://shorturl.at/nxCD9

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