Today marks day 1 of the qualification period for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The Lithuanian Winter Championships is indeed a FINA-sanctioned Tokyo qualifying competition, therefore, the journey to the next Summer Olympics has officially begun for the athletes racing in Alytus.
Chasing his spot on the Lithuanian roster is national record holder Danas Rapsys. The versatile 23-year-old pounded out a winning 400m freestyle mark of 3:48.03 tonight, easily clearing the FINA B cut of 3:53.58. He’ll have a little more work to do to nab the A cut of 3:46.78, but, considering he owns the Lithuanian National Record in 3:46.73, Rapsys is capable of achieving the cut as this season unfolds.
The only other Olympic FINA B cut claimed tonight came in the form of Kacper Majchrzak‘s 100m freestyle effort. The Pole produced a time of 49.90 to represent the only swimmer of the field to go under 50 seconds. That means he was also the only swimmer to dip under the Olympic FINA B cut of 50.03.
Runner-up behind Majchrzak tonight was Lithuanian national record holder Simonas Bilis. Bilis kicked off his 2019 with a time of 50.73 in the 100m free for silver medal status. He holds his nation’s standard in the event from the 48.64 notched back in 2016.
Bilis was also in the water in the men’s 50m fly, where he settled for 4th place in 24.96. Winning the sprint was Deividas Margevicius, who topped the podium in 24.23.
Additional winners on night 1 of the Lithuanian Winter Championships includes Andrius Sidlauskas in the men’s 200m breast (2:14.33), Kotryna Teterevkova in the women’s 200m breast (1:09.81) and Alanas Tautkus in the women’s 100m back (57.78).