Campbell takes aim at FINA over AM finals

Cate Campbell says she isn't surprised by FINA's lack of consultation over Olympic finals timeslots.
Cate Campbell says she isn't surprised by FINA's lack of consultation over Olympic finals timeslots.

Cate Campbell has taken aim at FINA after the world body's decision to support the return of morning swimming finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Ex-world champion Campbell said she wasn't surprised FINA had not consulted athletes or coaches before backing Tokyo morning medal races at the governing body's recent 110th anniversary celebrations.

However, she said that did not make their stance any easier to accept.

"It's not unexpected but I'm a little disappointed that the rights of the athletes are not being considered or there has not been athlete or coach consultation," former world record holder Campbell said.

American TV networks are also expected to throw their weight behind morning swimming finals in order to show them in US prime time.

But the 2020 swimming schedule is not yet set in stone with the Tokyo Olympic organising committee reportedly still hopeful of evening finals.

The entire Tokyo 2020 competitive schedule was released this week but notably dates and times for aquatic events were "to be determined".

Campbell will get a taste of what may come in 2020 at next month's Pan Pacs in Tokyo where morning finals also appear likely.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics was the last Games to host morning swimming finals.

"I have done this before (raced morning finals) in 2008 in Beijing at my first Olympic Games so it's nothing new," said Campbell.

"I think it will be a lot easier than swimming in a midnight final like we did in Rio so it's not something that's worrying or concerning.

"We have a no excuses policy on this team and it's just another challenge for us to take and as I said while it is disappointing it's not unexpected."

At Rio, swimming finals were held from 10pm local time.

It is not the first time Campbell, who has spent time on the AOC Athletes Commission, has spoken out against FINA.

Campbell, a prominent member of the new Global Association of Professional Swimmers, raised concerns about what she believed was FINA's lack of communication with athletes and coaches at last year's world titles in Budapest.

Dolphins coach Jacco Verhaeren said morning finals were not a concern.

"It is something we will be ready for. We can swim at any time of the day or night," he said.

The Dolphins have held a two-week Cairns camp as they prepare for the Pan Pacs where they face world No.1 United States.

The 33-strong Australian team will relocate to Nagaoka, Japan before contesting the Pan Pacs from August 9 to 14.

Australian Associated Press