OLYMPIC HISTORY                              COMMONWEALTH HISTORY

Olympic swimming is one of the most enduring and popular Olympic sports and has the most events (37) on the Olympics programme.

Pool events are held in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly or a medley of all four over distances that range from 50m to 1500m. There are also relay events featuring teams of four swimmers, and one open water event - the men's and women's 10km marathon.

OLYMPIC HISTORY

Qualifying - Tokyo 2020

Qualification for the New Zealand pool swimmers is dependent on the performances at Olympic qualification events – the 2019 FINA World Championships 12-28 July 2019 in Gwangju, 2020 Swimming NZ Open Championships 30 March- 3 April 2020 and another USA event to be determined in November 2019. New Zealand athletes will need to record times equal to or better to those outlined in the selection criteria.

Competition at Tokyo

The Tokyo Olympics swimming competition will take place from Saturday 25 July to Sunday 2 August, with the marathon swimming events taking place over 5-6 August 2020.

Venue: Tokyo Aquatics Centre (Pool), Odaiba Marine Park (Open Water)

Approximately 900 athletes will compete in 35 events in the pool, covering the four different strokes – freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke – the medley and relays.

Men's Events (17)
50m Freestyle
100m Freestyle
200m Freestyle
400m Freestyle
800m Freestyle
1500m Freestyle
100m Backstroke
200m Backstroke
100m Breaststroke
200m Breaststroke
100m Butterfly
200m Butterfly
200m Individual Medley
400m Individual Medley
4x100m Freestyle Relay
4x200m Freestyle Relay
4x100m Medley Relay
Women's Events (17)
50m Freestyle
100m Freestyle
200m Freestyle
400m Freestyle
800m Freestyle
1500m Freestyle
100m Backstroke
200m Backstroke
100m Breaststroke
200m Breaststroke
100m Butterfly
200m Butterfly
200m Individual Medley
400m Individual Medley
4x100m Freestyle Relay
4x200m Freestyle Relay
4x100m Medley Relay

 4 x 100m Mixed Medley Relay

In the pool at Tokyo, swimmers compete in heats of up to eight swimmers. In 50m (freestyle only), 100m and 200m events, the fastest 16 swimmers progress to two semi-finals, then the winner of each semi-final and the next six fastest swimmers join them in the final. The middle lanes in the semis and finals are assigned to the fastest qualifiers.

In events over longer distances, or in relay events, the eight fastest finishers in the heats move straight to the finals.

The open water events are a straight final.

Olympic Medals

3 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze

GOLD

1912 Stockholm - Malcolm Champion (4x200m Freestyle Relay – Men)
1996 Atlanta - Danyon Loader (200m Freestyle – Men)
1996 Atlanta - Danyon Loader (400m Freestyle – Men)

SILVER

1992 Barcelona - Danyon Loader (200m Butterfly – Men)

BRONZE

1952 Helsinki - Jean Hurring (100m Backstroke – Women)
1988 Seoul - Paul Kingsman (200m Backstroke – Men)
1988 Seoul - Anthony Mosse (200m Butterfly – Men)

Swimming Terminology

‘A’ standard/OQT - Also known as the Olympic Qualifying Time, the FINA A standard is the time of
the 16th fastest time in London 2012, and automatically qualifies a swimmer for Rio 2016 if achieved in the qualification period (up to a maximum of two competitors per event per country).

‘B’ standard/OST - Also known as the Olympic Selection Time, the FINA B standard is the equivalent ‘A’ standard time plus 3.5 percent.

Backstroke - One of the four major styles or ‘strokes’ in international swimming. Swimmers are on their back, using their arms alternately pulling themselves through the water, while the legs also kick up and down alternately.

Breaststroke - One of the four major styles or ‘strokes’ in international swimming, breaststroke is the slowest of the four. Swimmers sweep their arms out from in front of them and then back while using a ‘frog kick’ with their legs.

Butterfly - One of the four major styles or ‘strokes’ in international swimming and regarded as the most difficult. Butterfly, or ‘fly’, events feature swimmers moving both arms forward at the same time in a circular motion that comes over the shoulder while the legs kick together as one.

FINA - Fédération Internationale de Natation, or the International Swimming Federation, administers the sport of swimming (and also diving, water polo and synchronised swimming) across the world.

Freestyle - One of the four major styles or ‘strokes’ in international swimming. While in technical terms swimmers in freestyle events are free to choose what stroke they employ, the front crawl is universally used, making the terms freestyle and front crawl synonymous. Swimmers are face down, propelling themselves with alternate arm strokes through the water while their legs kick up and down alternately.

Medley - Combines the four different swimming styles into one race. It is swum by one competitor in the individual medley or by four swimmers in the medley relay. Each discipline accounts for a quarter of the total distance in an individual medley, eg, the 200m individual medley comprises 50m of each stroke. The order is butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.

Open water - Open water refers to an outside body of water (eg, ocean, lake or river). In the Olympics, the marathon is a 10km swim held in the ocean meaning swimmers must deal with factors like wind, surface currents and tides. The 10km marathon swim is usually swum in laps of 2.5km.

Relay - Teams of four swimmers from each nation take turns swimming a ‘leg’ of a race. A relay may be in the same discipline, eg, 4x100m freestyle, or a combination of the four disciplines, eg, 4x100m medley. In each race, subsequent swimmers may not start until the previous team-mate has completed their part.

Universality place - FINA reserves places for nations that do not have any swimmers who have met the two qualifying standards in any event. FINA may allocate one male and/or one female place.

Timeline

1896 - Swimming was included in the first modern Olympic Games and has featured in all editions of the Games since. The very first Olympic events were freestyle, and were only open to men.

1900 - Backstroke was introduced to the Olympic Games in Paris.

1912 - Women’s swimming was introduced at the Stockholm Games. Since then, it has been part of every edition of the Games.

1920 - Swimmer Violet Walrond, at age 15, became New Zealand’s first female Olympian at the Antwerp Games.

1956 - Butterfly was introduced to the Olympic Games in Melbourne.

1952 - Jean Hurring (nee Stewart) won bronze in 100m backstroke at the Helsinki Games.

1988 - Paul Kingsman (200 backstroke) and Anthony Mosse (200m butterfly) both won bronze at the Seoul Olympics.

1996 - Danyon Loader became the first New Zealand swimmer to win double gold medals, and at one Oympic Games, with his 200m and 400m freestyle wins at the Atlanta Games.

2015 - Lauren Boyle surpassed Danyon Loader as the New Zealand swimmer with the most world championship medals. Her two silver medals (800m and 1500m freestyle) at the 2015 FINA World Championships added to her three bronze medals won at the 2013 FINA World Championships.

 

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Swimming Games History