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FINA To Tweak World Cup Country Codes

Oct 11, 2011  - Craig Lord

FINA is looking to ammend the way country codes appear on World Cup result sheets with a view to overcoming confusion over the national identity of swimmers who race for foreign clubs.

At the first round of the FINA/Arena World Cup in Dubai last weekend, Velimir Stjepanovic, the talented Serbian sprinter on his way from junior to senior ranks, was registered in official results as "UAE". 

In fact, Stjepanovic was racing for the club he is a member of in the UAE, just as several Brits and others in Europe have raced for French clubs at nationals and other events in Gaul and many an overseas swimmer races for US and Australian clubs where they train.

The World Cup is open to club and individual entries, though official results always show the relevant country code. 

FINA, aware of two problems raised, is seeking to make the status of swimmers clearer in light of the fact that racing at the World Cup does not necessarily mean that an athlete has been selected by his or her country as an official representative, whilesome racing for overseas clubs are mistakenly registered under a false national tag. 

A spokesman for FINA said: "We are looking to change this in the results sheet, so that we can avoid such misunderstandings."