Is it time to follow Europe's lead and have four entries per nation allowed at World Championships to take account of the phenomenal contribution to excellence made by the US? It will never happen at the Olympic Games, the numbers game too tight. But take a look at the list of the fallen (and those out by choice) at US Olympic trials below. All are ranked in the world top 10 in the event listed but will not get the solo swim in Beijing.
SwimNews salutes them and their coaches for a job that will go largely unnoticed this summer in the wider world. Two European seasons ago, Bill Sweetenham, then at the helm of Britain, proposed to the European Swimming League that entries for its showcase events be extended to four per nation, on a time standard basis, the quality of performance essential to the mix. LEN accepted and the European winter and summer s/c and l/c events are all the better for it at the elimination stage (only two per nation advance to finals) and provide opportunities for developing talent and veterans still in the hunt.
There is a case for following that at world level, to provide opportunity and incentive to some of the world's very best swimmers who never get a taste of the biggest of times. Meanwhile, here are the swimmers who entered the US arena and came up short but retain pride among the world's top 10 (also listed are those, such as Phelps, who are not in the Beijing race because they chose not to chase the target):