Simma, the site devoted to swimming in Scandinavia, today tells a salient and sobering tale of the damage that can be done if clear lines of communication break down between swimmers and those who govern the sport.
Simon Sjödin, of Sweden, had swum inside the FINA A cut for the Olympic Games four times by the time his federation set a specific domestic cut for him to make. At the London Olympic test event in March, Sjödin clocked 2:00.11, inside FINA A cut, at a time of hefty training. He raced a 1:59.44 at European Championships in May, the Games just two months away and the swimmer still working to a standard of "a high level" of personal results.
The national record holder and a man who holds the 22 best times ever over 200m medley in Sweden thought he had done enough. It was only then that the federation set a new time target, one that Sjödin was asked to swim "within two weeks". So much for understanding training and taper phases, you might wonder. Read on.