The President of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates says it’s time to accept late night swimming finals in Rio and get on with the job.


Coates was speaking to news media in Monaco on Saturday before the 127th Session of the International Olympic Committee.

“The Americans are happy to swim anytime so should we,” he said, “It is time to move on”.

The AOC had questioned the swimming finals starting at 10pm in Rio, but the IOC says the schedule will not be changed.

Swimming Australia also raised the issue with its international federation, FINA, but it is understood the Americans and the Canadians did not support the move.

To maximise recovery time for the athletes following the evening events in Rio the morning sessions will be moved into the early afternoon.

The IOC says the schedule strikes a balance which provides for the athletes and ensures that swimming is broadcast to a global audience.

The AOC says it will work with Swimming Australia to maximise a high performance environment for its swimmers and all of the team.

“We will have the appropriate mechanisms in place at Games’ time for the swimmers” Coates said.

“We need to be prepared to deal with the schedule. All athletes will compete under the same conditions, we need to work with Swimming Australia to enable our athletes to adapt”.

Earlier, before the AOC announcement, the swim team’s head coach Jacco Verhaeren described the late night sessions as “a lack of respect”.

Speaking to AFP at the FINA short-course championships in Doha, the Dutchman said the biggest problem would be with sleeping.

“I think the biggest concern is the life in the village because athletes will return to the village after swim down and maybe drug testing at 2am,” he said.

“They still need to have dinner because their whole time shifts. How to deal with that in an Olympic village where other sports (people) wake up in the morning and you are trying to go to bed, there is a disturbing factor for other sports as well.”