USA Swimming Publishes Selection Procedures for Open Water at 2024 World Championships


By Braden Keith on SwimSwam

With the unusual timing for the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in February, large swimming nations with competitive selections are having to get creative about choosing their teams for the Doha championships.

USA Swimming has not yet released their criteria for pool swimming for the meet, but they have announced how they will choose the open water team.

Much like we saw from Canada, who also recently announced their procedure, USA Swimming will use a combination of results from the 2023 World Championships as well as a later international meet to make up their team. Unlike Canada, USA Swimming has layered a performance requirement onto the World Championships results.

USA Swimming will take up to 6 men and 6 women (though the criteria seem to have been written before World Aquatics eliminated the 25k from future World Championships, so realistically the maximum they will take is 4 men and 4 women).

The 2024 World Aquatics Championships will be held between February 2-18 in Doha, Qatar. The exact dates for open water swimming events have not yet been set.

Selection Priority:

  1. Any available swimmer who finishes in the top 8 of the 10k at the 2023 World Championships will be selected to the team for the 2024 World Championships. They can swim in the 5k at 2024 Worlds too, but must commit to swim at least the 10k (the Olympic distance). If they decline the 10k, they are no longer considered an available swimmer.
  2. If there is still room in either the 5k or the 10k, the best finishing available swimmer (one male, one female) from the Israel Open Water World Cup in December will be chosen to the team. If any spots are still available after the best finisher chooses their races, the second-best finisher from the Israel Open Water World Cup will get the chance to choose events. That process continues with the third, fourth, etc. best swimmers, until 2 men and 2 women are chosen for the 5k and 10k at the 2024 World Championships.
  3. This is a contingent priority that will be used if the Israel Open Water World Cup is canceled and USA Swimming cannot find a replacement race. In this instance, USA Swimming would fill available spots with the member of the USA Swimming Open Water National Team who has the fastest long course 1500 meter freestyle time between January 1, 2022 and December 2, 2023.

All swimmers who are on the team at 2024 Worlds are eligible for the relay event.

Priorities are to be applied on or before December 5, 2023.

As will be true for pool swimmers, the road to competing at these World Championships and the Olympic Games while trying to juggle the NCAA season will be very difficult given the timing of both events.

Katie Grimes, the US National Champion in the women’s 10k this year, isn’t scheduled to start her college career until Fall 2024, so that won’t impact her. The runner-up at US Nationals Mariah Denigan, the runner-up at US Nationals, is entering her junior year at Indiana, while 3rd-place finisher Claire Weinstein is just a sophomore in high school and so has no conflicts.

The top American finishers in the men’s 10k at US Nationals were brothers Brennan Gravley and Dylan Gravley. Brennan, at the University of Florida, has only his bonus 5th year of COVID eligibility remaining, if he chooses to use it, while Dylan just completed his sophomore season at Arizona State.

The US has won 26 medals in open water swimming at the World Aquatics Championships since events were first held in 1991, including 10 gold medals. That ranks them 4th all-time on that list behind Germany (15), Russia (12), and Italy (11). Recent years have been more sparse, though: USA Swimming earned no medals in open water swimming at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships.

SwimSwam: USA Swimming Publishes Selection Procedures for Open Water at 2024 World Championships

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