Swim SA: Qualifications for Rio 2016 are closed

Rumours have surfaced recently that some swimmers who failed to qualify were being given a 2nd chance.

Picture: Swimming SA official Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Swimming South Africa President Jace Naidoo has confirmed to EWN Sport , South African swimmers competing at Mare Nostrum cannot use the series of meets to qualify for the Olympics.

Rumours have surfaced recently that some swimmers who failed to qualify for Rio were being given a second chance at the European event.

Naidoo says it's not true.

"The criteria was finalised with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) some time ago and that criteria hasn't changed. Swimmers needed to qualify by swimming a times at the National Championships."

Naidoo has explained why the athletes, who have failed to qualify for the Olympics, are still working so hard.

"The next big event for them would be the World Championships next year. There is qualifying criteria in terms of a qualifying times they would need."

He says, "We're hoping that with these various racing opportunities they're getting now, and if they qualify for other competitions later this year, will see them reach peak form to meet criteria when they compete at Nationals next year."

Naidoo says part of their overall program about improving performances and creating opportunities.

"Mare Nostrum is one of the best opportunities for that. We've got the Senior African Championships in October and World Short Course Championships in December. We're hoping a number of the athletes that are racing at the Mare Nostrum and at camp in Italy will qualify for these events."

The Olympics get underway on 5 August.