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SwimRVA to host elite national event this weekend as Olympic trials loom

SwimRVA to host elite national event this weekend as Olympic trials loom

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SwimRVA, in collaboration with USA Swimming, will be one of two locations to host the TYR Pro Swim Series, an annual event drawing as many as 600 of the nation’s best swimmers as they prepare for the Olympic trials in June.

The Collegiate School Aquatics Center — SwimRVA’s headquarters in Chesterfield — will co-host the event, which is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday. The primary site in San Antonio will feature an invite-only field made up of the top ranked U.S. Swimmers, while the Richmond site will host up to 100 female and 100 male athletes based on current U.S. Olympic Trials time standards.

This will be the second time SwimRVA has hosted the TYR Pro Swim Series. The first was in April 2019.

“The great thing about this event is that, and it kind of coincides with what SwimRVA is, it’s an opportunity for access for these swimmers, access to a safe, competitive and fun environment to prepare them for bigger events,” said Scott Bennett, SwimRVA’s director of communications.

“And right now, what a year for that it is, having the Olympics. It’s really neat, and we’re really excited to host it.”

No spectators will be allowed, but competition will be livestreamed on usaswimming.org.

Thursday’s events will be limited to distance finals, while Friday, Saturday and Sunday will include preliminaries and finals for all events.

This will not be the first major event SwimRVA has hosted during the pandemic — it was home to the 2020 Toyota US Open Swimming Championships in November — so Bennett said they’ve had ample experience surrounding safety protocols.

Everyone involved gets tested for COVID-19 before the event. Competitors, coaches, officials and event staff remain socially distanced throughout, and facility flow is closely monitored to keep all present moving in regimented patterns in order to ensure safety.

Lindsay Mintenko, the managing director of USA Swimming, said in a press release that domestic competition will proceed with both caution and optimism.

“The racing across these TYR Pro Swim Series sites will set up some of the most explosive head-to-head competition to kick off the Olympic year,” Mintenko said. “We’re treading lightly but remaining optimistic and excited to map out a strong domestic competition schedule in 2021.”

The event was originally slated to also include Irvine, Calif., but regulations there led organizers to consolidate to just San Antonio and Richmond.

ZJoachim@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6555

Twitter: @ZachJoachim

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