USA Swimming reschedules Olympic qualifying for June 2021

The trials will be staged in Omaha, Nebraska, at the same venue where they were intended to be contested in June, 2020.

The Tokyo Olympics will be Ryan Lochte’s fifth Olympic appearance, if he qualifies.   -  AP

American swimmers, their quest for Olympic gold delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, will book their trips to next year’s Tokyo Olympics from June 13-20, 2021, USA Swimming announced on Friday. The US Olympic trials will be staged in Omaha, Nebraska, at the same venue where they were intended to be contested this June before the Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to the global outbreak of the deadly virus.

Dates for the trials are about one week earlier than the original plan for this year.

The Tokyo Olympics are now scheduled for July 23-August 8, 2021, almost exactly one year after the original dates.

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel, coming off an eight-medal performance at the 2019 world championships, are among those qualified for the Olympic trials. The event schedule for the eight-day, 15-session U.S. swim meet will remain the same as was planned for this year. It will be the lone qualifying method for U.S. pool swimmers for Tokyo, with only the top two in each individual event advancing.

'Incredible level of competition'

“Fans can expect to witness the same incredible level of competition and entertainment throughout this highly anticipated event,” USA Swimming chief operating officer Mike Unger said.

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Ryan Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medallist, seeks a fifth Olympic appearance. He would turn 37 in Tokyo. So far, 1,213 athletes have qualified to compete at the Olympic trials. Pending health and regulatory approvals, those standards will be accepted for the 2021 meet. New trials qualifying standards will be released before U.S. swim competitions return.