Ledecky, Dressel vie for Paris spots

The 2024 Olympic Swimming Trials are coming full circle 100 years later.

Just as top swimmers competed at the 1924 trials in Indianapolis ahead of the 1924 Paris Olympics, today’s swimmers will return to the same city on Saturday ahead of the 2024 Games, also in Paris.

Olympic hopefuls, including members of the U.S. National Team, will compete for 52 spots over eight days. Notable athletes in the pool include seven-time gold medalist Katie Ledecky, four-time Olympic champion Ryan Murphy and two-time Olympian Gabrielle Rose.

Ledecky, who is aiming to compete in her fourth Olympics, is participating in the 200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyle events. Rose, swimming in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, is hoping to become the competition’s oldest qualifier at 46 years old. She previously competed in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Other swimmers to watch include Kate Douglass, who earned bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and has 11 gold medals in the world swimming championships.

The first marquee event takes place Saturday night with the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle final. This will be the first event that qualifies athletes for the Paris Olympics.

Although no American has reached the final in the 400 event at the last two world championships, one swimmer to keep an eye on is Florida’s Bobby Finke. He’s the defending champion in the 800 and 1500 freestyle. In the women’s event, Alabama’s Paige Madden along with Nevada’s Bella Sims and New York’s Claire Weinstein are notable participants aiming for Paris.

Looking ahead to Sunday, Virginia’s Torri Huske is a favorite in the women’s 100 butterfly. She recently beat her world record with the fastest time in two years. In the men’s event, New Jersey’s Nic Fink is a strong favorite. Fink, who balances his swimming career with being a full-time engineer at a utilities company, is hoping to win his first Olympic medal at age 31 if he qualifies.

The biggest star in men’s swimming, eight-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel, will compete next week in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.

The top two in each event are expected to make the Olympic team individually, should they also hit Olympic qualifying times. Up to the top six finishers in the 100 and 200 freestyle events are expected to make the Olympic relay teams.

Katie Ledecky competes in San Antonio in April.Sarah Stier / Getty Images

The trials will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. According to the Indy Star, the choice of venue represents the first time a pool was constructed inside an NFL stadium.

The U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials for the 2024 Paris Games will air live on NBC, NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock on June 15-23.

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