So upon this new journey of dedicating the next 3 years of my life exclusively to track and field I have had many individuals ask How to Qualify for the Olympics, or think I am already going. Well for those of you who are inquiring about how exactly the Olympic Process work this article is for you .

How To Qualify For the Olympics In 3 Steps:

  1. Choose your event: Pick an event you want to represent team USA in during the 2016 Track and Field Olympics.
  2. Hit the qualifying time in that event as early as 2015 or during the 2016 track and field season.
  3. Submit your qualifying time to USATF for review or acceptance into the Olympic Trials.

How to Qualify for the olympics

How the Olympic Trials Works

Once you make it to the trials it is your time to show the world what you have got. In the Olympic Trials you will need to compete in a prelim round, semi-final round, and a finals round. Dependent upon how many entrants are accepted. You will need to place top three in every round to advance to the next level for most sprints. The finals round determines who will represent USA in that given event in Rio 2016.

Quick FAQsHow To Qualify for the Olympics

  1. You must be a USATF member to be eligible to compete in both the Olympic Trials and The Olympics
  2. You must be a citizen of the USA
  3. You must meet a qualifying standard to compete in the Olympic Trials (There are two standards A & B)
  4. The IAAF writes all the rules for the Olympics
  5. USATF requires a minimum of 32 competitors for most sprint events


A Standard or B  Standard

So you hit the B standard.. Great ! In order to get automatically accepted to the trials it is in your best interest to hit the A Standard. This mark must be acquired at a “USATF or IAAF sanctioned meets/events which prescribe to or exceed USATF competition rules, or college meets/events which prescribe to or exceed USATF competition rules “.  More information regarding where qualifying marks can be made below.

Olympic Qualifying Standards for 2012

A & B Standards for 2012 Via UASTF

Men Women
Automatic (“A”) Provisional (“B”) Field Size & Rounds Event Automatic (“A”) Provisional (“B”) Field Size & Rounds
10.18 10.28 (32–3) 100m 11.29 11.40 (32-3)
20.55 20.75 (30–3) 200m 23.10 23.35 (30-3)
45.30* 46.00 (28–3) 400m 51.55* 52.65 (28-3)
1:46.50 1:48.30 (32–4) 800m 2:01.30 2:05.90 (32-4)
3:39.00 3:43.00 (30–3) 1,500m 4:12.93 4:17.00 (30-3)
13:33.00 13:50.00 (24–2) 5,000m 15:35.00 15:50.00 (24-2)
28:15.00 29:00.00 (24–1) 10,000m 32:45.00 34:00.00 (24-1)
1:36:00 none (15–1) 20k Race Walk 1:48.00 none (15-1)
4:45:00 none (15–1) 50k Race Walk
13.52 13.99 (32–3) 110m Hurdles
100m Hurdles 13.00 13.30 (32-3)
49.50 50.95 (28–3) 400m Hurdles 56.00 57.80 (28-3)
8:32.00 8:45.00 (24–2) 3000m SC 9:55.00 10:15.00 (24-2)
2.28 2.20 (24–2) High Jump 1.87m 1.83m (24-2)
5.70 5.50 (24–2) Pole Vault 4.50m 4.30m (24-2)
8.05 7.80 (24–2) Long Jump 6.65m 6.35m (24-2)
16.66 15.80 (24–2) Triple Jump 13.75m 13.05m (24-2)
20.00 18.60 (24–2) Shot Put 17.90m 16.40m (24-2)
63.75 58.80 (24–2) Discus Throw 60.00m 56.00m (24-2)
72.00 64.00 (24–2) Hammer Throw 68.00m 63.00m (24-2)
77.00 70.00 (24–2) Javelin Throw 55.00m 50.50m (24-2)
Heptathlon 5800 pts 5600 pts (18)
7900 pts 7600 pts (18) Decathlon



  1. All qualifying performances for the U.S. Olympic Trials must be attained on a standard outdoor track in the period Sunday, May 1, 2011 through Sunday, June 17, 2012, or on an indoor track, in the same event, in the period Sunday, January 1, 2012 through Sunday, June 17, 2012; except for the 10,000 meters, Decathlon & Heptathlon and 20km Race Walks, whose qualifying period is from Sunday, January 1, 2011 through Sunday, June 17, 2012. The qualifying performance for the men’s 50km Race Walk must be attained in the period Sunday January 1, 2010 through Sunday, January 7, 2012.

  2. Qualifying marks must be made in accordance with USATF Rule 149 and verifiable in one of the following:Hand times are acceptable only for those events in which the distance is equal to or greater than 800 meters. No timing allowance factor for qualifying shall be made for hand times. Hand times will be adjusted using USATF Rule 166-6 for the purposes of seeding.

      • USATF or IAAF sanctioned meets/events which prescribe to or exceed USATF competition rules, or
      • college meets/events which prescribe to or exceed USATF competition rules, or
      • high school meets but not dual or triangular meets.
      • meets or events which meet a minimum for competitiveness as set by the Chair of the Sport Committee and determined to be valid by the USATF staff member responsible for the verification and validity of marks.
  3. Wind-assisted performances will not be accepted for 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying.

  4. There will be no adjustment for marks made at altitude.

  5. Qualifying marks must be attained in a 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials event. No qualifying marks will be allowed using alternate events, except for the men’s Mile run as follows: An appeal to use a Mile qualifying mark for the 1500 will be accepted only if the mile mark was made during the 2012 season, from Sunday, January 1, 2012 through Sunday, June 17, 2012, and the mark is 3:54.00 or better.

  6. An Athlete must be U.S. citizen and eligible to represent the United States in international competition, as well as being a U.S. citizen on the date of Declaration for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in that event – this date being 48 hours prior to the first day of competition in the event.

  7. Athletes who have earned Automatic Qualification into the meet under USATF Rule 8 must follow all entry procedures and declarations procedures, and will be counted in that event’s field sizes by the seeding committee.

  8. At the U.S. Olympic Trials, the mark used for qualifying and the mark used for first round seeding might not be the same, as described per USATF Rule 166.1.(d).i. Each qualified entrant in each event should submit a 2012 season best (January 1, 2012 – June 17, 2012) performance, if one exists, whether it meets the qualifying standard or not. Seeding for the first round of competition is based, first, on all 2012 season performances in rank order, followed by any 2011 season performances, even if they do not meet the qualifying standard (Rule 166-1.(d) i ). Note that a 2011 season mark may qualify an individual into the competition, but will not be used for seeding purposes when a 2012 season mark exists.


Rio 2016 Olympic Games Entry Standards

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