Swimmers could have the opportunity to win many more medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and beyond, making Michael Phelps‘ record 28 Olympic medals a little less untouchable.
FINA, the sport’s international governing body, proposed to add 10 more swimming medal events for the next Olympics, which would bring its program to 44 total. The International Olympic Committee has final say in the Olympic program.
The proposed added events:
• Women’s 1500m freestyle
• Men’s 800m freestyle
• Two mixed relays (4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley)
• Men’s and women’s 50m backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly
FINA’s proposal is to have all of its world championships events on the Olympic program.
It would instantly create at least one more medal opportunity for Katie Ledecky, who dominated the 1500m freestyle at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships. Her world record in that event is 13.4 seconds faster than the second-fastest woman in history.
Sprinters would stand to benefit the most. The U.S.’ top 100m freestylers — Nathan Adrian or Caeleb Dressel for the men and Simone Manuel for the women, currently — could add three more medal races to their Olympic schedules. Both mixed relays plus the 50m butterfly, which is commonly contested by the top sprint freestylers.
Mixed relays made their world championships debut in 2015. FINA has said for years that they could one day be part of the Olympic program.
It may be closer reality now, with mixed-gender events recently added to the Olympics in biathlon, luge and tennis.
More Olympic events in aquatic sports proposed by FINA:
Proposal: to increase the number of divers from one-hundred thirty-six (136) to one-hundred sixty (160) and to have twelve (12) Synchro Teams qualified for the finals.
Proposal: to increase the number of participating nations from eight (8) to twelve (12) in the Team Event and to add the Mixed Duet Event with twelve (12) duets, that is 24 athletes.
Proposal: to increase the number of swimmers from twenty-five (25) Men and twenty-five (25) Women to thirty-five (35) Men and thirty-five (35) Women.
Proposal: to increase from eight (8) to twelve (12) Women’s teams but by adding four (4) additional athletes only.
Existing – total two-hundred sixty (260) players – 12 Men’s Teams x 13 players and 8 Women’s Teams x 13 players)
New proposal – total two-hundred sixty-four (264) players for twenty-four (24) Teams (12 Women’s Teams x 11 Players and 12 Men’s Teams x 11 players).
Proposal: to include High Diving as an extreme sport, where Men dive from a 27m platform and Women from a 20m platform, with a total number of thirty (30) divers (15 Men and 15 Women).
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