Swimming New Zealand have decided that they will not nominate any open water swimmers to be considered for selection to the Rio Olympics – despite Kane Radford and Charlotte Webby earning places at the FINA Olympic Qualifier in Setúbal, Portugal, last weekend.
The top ten finishers in Setúbal qualified for the Olympics. Despite finishing 19th and 31st respectively, Radford and Webby earned their places in the continental selection, where FINA offered one place to the leading swimmer from each of the five regions not already qualified. Australia had already qualified, so the places went to New Zealand.
A statement on Swimming New Zealand’s website reads: “the selectors were not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence that either of the swimmers is capable of achieving the published nomination criteria which is that an individual swimmer must be capable of achieving a top 16 placing at the Games with the potential to win an Olympic Diploma (top eight placing).”
The top-16 criteria applies to New Zealand athletes across all sports.