Previews Of Upcoming Olympic Qualifying Meets From Around The World


With the 2016 Olympic Games on the horizon, swimmers across the globe are gearing up to compete against the rest of their country for limited spots on their respective national teams. Though every country uses a slightly different selection process, most countries hold an Olympic Trials in April to determine the makeup of their team.
TRITONWEAR posted this story on their blog outlining some of the top competitions around the world that are either going on now or about to start. Check out the different ways some of the greatest swimming powerhouses are selecting their Olympic teams to compete against the best in the world in Rio de Janeiro this August.


Australia’s selection process for the Olympics has recently faced some controversy as Swimming Australia introduced a clause that would allow it to replace athletes who qualify for the team under “extenuating circumstances.” These circumstances are meant to include injury or illness, equipment failure, travel delays, or the death of an immediate family member. Despite the fact that head coach Jacco Verhaeren stated the clause would be enacted only under “very rare” circumstances, the policy change provoked a flood of angry emails and calls from swimmers, and the selection criteria has been removed from Swimming Australia’s website at this time. All of this has controversy has occurred just weeks before the 2016 Australian Championships taking place April 7th – 14th in Adelaide.
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Brazil design over green background, vector illustration

While most countries on this list restrict their Olympic selection to a single competition, the host country Brazil will use two meets to determine the make-up of their team: the Brazilian Open Tournament that took place December 16th – 19th in Palhoca, and the Maria Lenk Trophy from April 15th – 20th in Rio de Janeiro. Swimmers can race under the FINA ‘A’ cut at either of these competitions to qualify for the games.
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Jul 9, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; General view of a Canadian flag in preparation for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports Images

The 2016 Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials will take place April 5th – 10th at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center. Many contenders for the Olympic team represented Canada in front of a home crowd at the Pan Am Games last summer. This year the excitement returns to Toronto as Canada’s best race head-to-head to swim under the FINA ‘A’ standard and claim spots on the team destined for Rio.
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The Chinese National Swimming Championships and Olympic Trials will be held in Fushan, Guangdong Province, at the Century Lotus Sports Center from April 3rd – 10th. While the selection criteria to qualify for the Chinese Olympic team is not entirely clear, it’s worth noting that China doesn’t always select event winners to join their squad; sometimes swimmers further down the results list are selected.
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The 2016 French Championships will serve as France’s selection meet for the Olympics, taking place in Montpellier from March 29th – April 4th. To represent France in Rio, those finishing in the top two at the trials will need to achieve time standards that are around 2 – 3% faster than the FINA ‘A’ standards, the idea being that all team members should be medal contenders at the Olympics.
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Photo Courtesy: Jza84

The 2016 British Championships will take place at theTollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow from April 12th – 17th. This is the same venue that hosted the Commonwealth Games two years ago, where up-and-coming Scottish breaststroker Ross Murdoch won gold in front of a home crowd, defeating fellow Scotsman and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Michael Jamieson.
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Japanese Flag

The Japanese Swimming Federation will host its national championships April 4th – 10th at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center in downtown Tokyo. Event winners at this selection competition will automatically be added to the Japanese team to compete in Rio.
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The Dutch Swim Cup will take place in Eindhoven from April 6th – 10th, and will determine the makeup of the team competing for the Netherlands in Rio. The meet will follow the same event format as the Olympics, including the later session times (finals in Rio will run from 10 pm until midnight local time, much later than usual to accommodate NBC’s night-time coverage).
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Russian flag

The Russian Championships and Olympic Trials will take place April 16th to 23rd in Moscow. Similar to France, Russian swimmers that place top two at their trials will need to race inside a standard that is slightly faster than the FINA ‘A’ cut to be added to their Olympic squad. The standards are based on the 16th place times from last year’s World Championships in Kazan.
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The 2016 South African National Aquatics Championships, which will also double as their Olympic Trials, will take place at the Kings Park Swimming Complex in Durban from April 11th – 16th. Selection to the Olympic team will be simple: first and second place finishers in any event will be added to the roster provided they swim under the FINA ‘A’ cut.
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Photo Courtesy: Donna Nelson

The United States typically holds Olympic Trials much later than most other countries. Its 2016 Trials won’t take place until June 26th – July 3rd in Omaha Nebraska, the same venue as in 2012. The American Olympic Trials is highly regarded as a lightning fast meet with huge spectator presence. There were over 164,000 fans in attendance at the 2012 Trials, and all eight days of competition were broadcast live on NBC every night, making it the most successful Trials in USA swimming history. The bar has been set high for this year!
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8 years ago

There seems to be an error concerning the Flag pictures for South Africa and Russia

Mikael Rosén
8 years ago

This is such a good summary Brent!

Swim Giggles LLC
8 years ago

April is an important month for international swimming! 🙂

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