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U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials Cut in Half Amid COVID-19 Concerns

The Olympic rings on display

USA Swimming announced on Tuesday it will cut its Olympic trials event in half and will hold two separate events in June amid COVID-19 concerns.

More than 1,700 swimmers took part in the trials at CHI Health Center Arena in Omaha in June 2016. This year's trials will reportedly feature a pair of events with a wild-card meet featuring 550–650 swimmers taking place in Omaha June 4–7. The main event will then be held June 13–20, with roughly 750 swimmers taking part in the trials. 

“We figured out this was the best option, and that it still allowed all athletes to have a crack at the Olympic trials, which, for many athletes is the pinnacle of their careers,” USA Swimming COO Mike Unger told the Wall Street Journal's Rachel Bachman. “But it also then allowed us to pick the best Olympic team.”

The top-two finishers in each event in the wild-card meet will advance to the main event one week later. The top 50 finishers in the second meet will then represent Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Per Bachman, the main event will be broadcast on NBC, though television details for the wild-card meet have yet to be announced.

The Tokyo Olympics are currently slated to begin on July 23. There has not been a delay or cancelation announced, even as the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.