(First of two parts)
I realized the importance of understanding the distinction between swimmers making it to the Olympics and those making it to the World Universiade Games.
The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) is trying very hard to bring this truth not only to the entire swimming community but even to those who are not involved in the sport of swimming.
PSL endorses qualified swimmers to the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) as far as World University Games or Universiade is concerned while the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI) endorses swimmers to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) as far as Olympics is concerned.
All of the aforementioned are non-government organizations.
The Universiade is under the Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU) while the Olympics is under the authority of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Both organizations are based in Switzerland.
In the Olympics, it is a must for an athlete to meet their individual event’s Qualifying Time Standard, he or she need not be studying regardless of age. In comparison, in the Universiade, it is a must that an athlete is a college student with an age of 17 to 28 years old.
In the Universiade, even if you are the fastest swimmer on earth but if you are not a student-athlete, you can never compete in the Universiade.
Hence, in the Olympics, the following are the individual event qualifying based on the IOC/FINA rules:
1. For each individual event at the Olympic Games, there is an establish Standard Entry Times of two (2) types: an “Olympic Qualifying Time” (OQT/“A” Time) and an “Olympic Selection Time” (OST/“B” Time) of which the OST/“B” Time shall be easier to achieve.
2. For a nation to enter 2 swimmers in an individual event, both swimmers must meet the OQT/”A” time standard.
3. Universality allocation is a maximum of 1 male and/or 1 female per nation that does not yet have a swimmer qualified for the Olympics.
3. Universality-qualified swimmers must have swum at the 2015 16th FINA World Championship in Kazan, Russia in 2015 and who are approved.
4. Each Universality-qualified swimmer can swim 1 event.
5. OST/”B” time qualifiers can only swim the event(s) they are invited by FINA to swim.
6. Nations will be notified of their OST/”B” time qualified swimmers by July 5, 2016.
In other words, Universality Places (Unqualified Athletes) with no swimmers who have achieved an OQT/“A” Time or who have been selected by FINA for an OST/“B” Time may enter a maximum of one (1) man and one (1) woman (Universality Places), provided that those swimmers participated in the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan in 2015 and are approved by FINA to compete. These swimmers may be entered in one individual event each. With swimmers having achieved an OQT/“A” Time or selected by FINA for an OST/“B” Time only in one gender may also enter one universality swimmer in the other gender, who can participate in one event (formerly called Wild Card).
In the 2012 London Olympics, PSI was able to send two swimmers—one male and one female via Universality Places.
In the last 2015 Universiade held in Gwangju, South Korea, PSL was able to send a total of 50 swimmers. More than 10,000 student-athletes including world champions from some 200 countries participated in that event.