Skip to content
Dec 14 19

Day 3: FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Champs in Kuwait

by ZwemZa

It is the third day of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships at the new Al-Nasar Sport Club Kuwait.

In Group A, Croatia  kept China scoreless in the first half before swinging away to a 24-5 outcome. Four of the Chinese goals came in the third period. Lovro Paparic and Jerko Panava scored five goals each. Serbia prepared itself for Sunday’s group-deciding clash with Croatia by shooting down South Africa 26-6.Marko Radovic was on target with five goals, gaining player-of-the-match honours.

In Group B, Hungary earned its first win, beating Egypt 19-7 with five goals from Marton Magyar. For Egypt, who led for two minutes in the second quarter, it was a third loss.

In Group C, Italy started the day with a 16-4 win over Iran for a second two-pointer. A trio of players scored three goals — Michele Mezzarobba, Matteo Spione and Andrea Tartaro.

In Group D, Australia came back from 7-4 down early in the final quarter to beat trans-Tasman rival New Zealand 8-7 with Hugh Anstey netting three for the victor. Greece made sure of its third victory with a 13-2 margin over Brazil where it kept the South Americans scoreless in the first, second and fourth periods.

Progress points:
Group A: Croatia 4, Serbia 4, Japan 2, China 2, South Africa 0.
Group B: Spain 4, Hungary 4, Canada 4, Russia 0, Egypt 0.
Group C: Italy 4, Montenegro 2, USA 2, Iran 2, Kuwait 0.
Group D: Greece 6, Brazil 2, Australia 2, New Zealand 2, Uzbekistan 0.

Saturday Schedule:
Match 17, 09:30, Group C, ITALY 16 IRAN 4
Match 23, 10:50, Group B, HUNGARY 19 EGYPT 7
Match 19, 12:10, Group D, AUSTRALIA 8 NEW ZEALAND 7
Match 20, 13:30, Group D, GREECE 13 BRAZIL 2
Match 21, 14:50, Group A, CROATIA 24 CHINA 5
Match 22 16:10, Group A, SOUTH AFRICA 6 SERBIA 26
Match 18, 17:30, Group C, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA MONTENEGRO
Match 24 18:50, Group B, SPAIN RUSSIA

Sunday Schedule:
Match 25, 09:30, Group D, BRAZIL AUSTRALIA
Match 26, 10:50, Group D, UZBEKISTAN GREECE
Match 30, 12:10, Group B, CANADA SPAIN
Match 28, 13:30, Group A, JAPAN SOUTH AFRICA
Match 32, 14:50, Group C, KUWAIT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Match 29, 16:10, Group B, RUSSIA HUNGARY
Match 27, 17:30, Group A, SERBIA CROATIA
Match 31, 18:50, Group C, MONTENEGRO ITALY

Match 22 16:10, Group A, SOUTH AFRICA 6 SERBIA 26

Quarters: 0-8, 2-7, 1-5, 3-6

Referees: Mikhail Dykman (CAN), Michael Brooks (NZL)

Extra man: RSA: 3/18. SRB: 6/13.

Penalties: RSA: 2/2. SRB: 1/2.

Teams:

SOUTH AFRICA: Keegan Clark, Mogamad Mayman, Christopher Beamish, Ethan Coryndon-Baker, Todd Howard (2), Ross Stone (1), Joshua Faber (3), Jonathan Swanepoel, David MacDonald, William Dowsett, Yaseen Margro, James Hablutzel, Barnard van Rooyen. Head Coach: Jason Sileno.

SERBIA: Pavle Gavrilovic, Stefan Brankovic, Andrej Barac (3), Aleksa Nesic (4), Nemanja Stanojevic, Petar Mitrovic (4), Dorde Vucinic (1), Aleksa Cvetkovic (2), Vasilije Martinovic (2), Kristian Sulc (4), Luka Pijevancic (1), Marko Radovic (5), Vladimir Misovic. Head Coach: Uros Stevanovic.

Match Report

Like Croatia in the previous match, Serbia came to play hard and South Africa was the brunt of its assault. The opening quarter was the full intention of Serbia to strike hard and make every shot count. Superior body strength and shooting power all around the arc proved too much for South Africa. With Marko Radovic netting three goals to start his tally. The match shifted to 10-0 before South Africa scored off an extra-man-attack cross pass to Todd Howard. The Serbian onslaught continued to what could have been 14-1 if Stefan Brankovic had not had his penalty attempt blocked by Keegan Clark. Joshua Faber converted his penalty attempt at the other end and Serbia turned at 15-2. The third and fourth quarters were still all about Serbia with intermittent South African goals. Three goals came in the last 20 seconds with two by South Africa’s Faber, including the last two seconds from time. Serbia looks very strong, proving that size does matter at this level and will head into Sunday’s clash with Croatia — the probable group decider — with confidence.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

Dec 14 19

Madibaz women take bronze at USSA water polo week

by ZwemZa

The Madibaz women’s team which claimed bronze at the University Sport South Africa water polo tournament in Stellenbosch is (from the left, back) Jono Watkins (coach), Aimee Cronje, Meghan Maartens, Kelsey Vaughn, Charne Keen, Hannah Werth, Casey Mcleavy, Melinda Goosen (manager), (front) Hannah Reid, Staci Edwards, Ashleigh Vaughn, Cassidy Holmes. Photo: Supplied

The Madibaz women’s water polo team claimed the bronze medal for the second successive year when they competed in the University Sport South Africa tournament in Stellenbosch late last month.

The Nelson Mandela University outfit defeated UP-Tuks in the third-place playoff and they showed they were not far off the top teams, UCT and Stellenbosch, in the pool matches.

While they were hoping to go one better this year, Madibaz Sport water polo manager Melinda Goosen said the competition was so intense at the week that winning a medal was “a huge achievement”.

UCT and Maties have dominated varsity water polo and they again contested the final, which was won by Maties.

Goosen said there had been pressure on all the teams during the week as there were no semifinal playoffs.

“It was a round-robin format in the pool matches and then you went straight to playoff matches to decide the final positions,” she said.

“With no semifinals, you really had to bring your ‘A’ game to the pool stages as you did not have a second chance in a semi to make the final.”

As water polo has slowly gained traction at Nelson Mandela University, she said they felt they were capable of producing good results.

“Unfortunately, we drew the tough UCT side in the first match of the tournament. We didn’t play our best game and lost by one goal.

“This made things a lot harder for us to reach the final as we had to win all our remaining matches, including against the always-strong Maties team.

“We dominated all our other matches and then faced the Maties first team in the last pool match.

“We have never beaten a Maties side and have had bad losses, but the girls went out flying and were leading after the second chukka.

“However, we could not finish off the game and they edged us in the last minutes of the match as we lost by two goals.”

While producing an all-round effort, Goosen said goalkeeper Meghan Maartens “was definitely a standout player from our team”.

“She won the Junior Sportswoman of the Year at the Madibaz Sport awards and recently travelled with the SA U21 team.

“Thanks to her superb efforts other teams found it a real battle to score goals against us.”

With the sport proving extremely popular at school level she felt it was important to show what Madibaz could achieve.

“There are some really good players but it’s tough to sign them as other varsities also have their scouts out,” added Goosen.

“Over the past two years our head coach Jono Watkins has done a phenomenal job with the ladies’ team. They have performed consistently well and have become a force to be reckoned with.

“We have a well-established programme now and I am looking forward to what this team can achieve in 2020.

“There is a great base and I am happy to say that we have some top players coming into our system next year. We want to maintain the momentum we have created.”

In an extremely tough men’s competition, Madibaz finished in sixth place and Goosen said they would continue to plan for the future.

“We are very much in a building phase for the men and the aim is to focus on the base we have created because we also have some really good men joining us.”

Full Stop Comunications

 

Dec 14 19

2019 Speedo USA Winter Junior Championships: Day 3 Recap

by ZwemZa

Claire Curzan (photo: Jack Spitser)

Claire Curzan of TAC Titans broke another national age group record Friday at the Speedo Junior Championships East, taking down the mark in the 15-16 Women’s 100-yard butterfly in 50.87. It was her second national age group record in as many days after breaking the record in the 50-yard free Thursday. It was the first of two wins for Curzan Friday. She also took the 100 back in 51.55.

Complete Results – East

Complete Results – West

Also in the East, Carson Foster of Mason Manta Rays set the short course Juniors meet record in the men’s 400y IM, turning a time of 3:38.65. Another highlight on the men’s side in the East was Wyatt Davis’s double win in the men’s 100y back and 200y free.

In the west, Justina Kozan won two individual events Friday – the 400y IM (4:05.67) and the 200y free (1:45.15)

Here’s a look at the first-place finishers from both the East and West meets:

East

  • Women’s 400y IM – Kathryn Ackerman, Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics, 4:09.62
  • Men’s 400y IM – Carson Foster, Mason Manta Rays, 3:38.65 (Meet Record)
  • Women’s 100y Fly – Claire Curzan, TAC Titans, 50.87 (NAG Record, Meet Record)
  • Men’s 100y Fly – Tim Connery, SwimMAC Carolina, 46.73
  • Women’s 200y Free – Micayla Cronk, Blue Dolphins, 1:44.67
  • Men’s 200y Free – Wyatt Davis, Carmel Swim Club, 1:34.58
  • Women’s 100y Breast – Abby Arens, Marlins of Raleigh, 59.82
  • Men’s 100y Breast – Josh Matheny, Team Pittsburgh, 53.21
  • Women’s 100y Back – Claire Curzan, TAC Titans, 51.55
  • Men’s 100y Back – Wyatt Davis, Carmel Swim Club, 45.80
  • Women’s 200y Free Relay – Aquatic Team of Mecklenburg, 1:31.45
  • Men’s  200y Free Relay – SwimAtlanta, 1:19.45

West

  • Women’s 400y IM – Justina Kozan, Brea Aquatics, 4:05.67.
  • Men’s 400y IM – Ethan Heasley, Hillsboro Swim Team, 3:45.20
  • Women’s 100y Fly – Lucy Bell, Fort Collins Area Swim Team, 52.24
  • Men’s 100y Fly – Ethan Hu, Peak Swimming, 45.61
  • Women’s 200y Free – Justina Kozan, Brea Aquatics, 1:45.15
  • Men’s 200y Free – Lukas Miller, Elevation, 1:33.96
  • Women’s 100y Breast – Kaitlyn Dobler, The Dolphins, 59.31
  • Men’s 100y Breast – Ben Dillard, Sierra Marlins, 52.97
  • Women’s 100y Back – Isabelle Stadden, Aquajets Swim Team, 51.34
  • Men’s 100y Back – Aiden Hayes, Sooner Swim Club, 46.31
  • Women’s 200y Free Relay – Lakeside Aquatic, 1:31.89
  • Men’s  200y Free Relay – Bellevue Club Swimming, 1:21.03

USA Swimming

Dec 14 19

Swimming World honors Daiya Seto for achievements this year

by ZwemZa

Daiya Seto is seen competing in the men’s 200-meter butterfly at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. | AP

Daiya Seto, one of Japan’s elite swimmers of the 21st century, was recently recognized for his top accomplishments this year.

Swimming World magazine this month named the 25-year-old Seto its Male Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year.

The magazine’s annual awards also include male and female World, American, European and African Swimmers of the Year.

At the 2019 FINA World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Seto won the men’s 400-meter individual medley for the third time after triumphs in 2013 and 2015.

In July’s victory, he led for the entire race en route to a winning time of 4 minutes, 8.95 seconds. (He placed third at the 2017 worlds.)

As a result, Seto became the first male swimmer to win the race three times at worlds.

Swimming World’s John Lohn described in vivid detail what it took for Seto to finish on top.

“With (Chase) Kalisz off form and stunningly locked out of the final after a 10th-place finish in the preliminaries, Seto was seemingly racing the clock in his final event of a draining week,” Lohn wrote. “Ultimately, Seto narrowly got the job done, his winning time of 4:08.95 just enough to fend off a frantic challenge by American Jay Litherland (4:09.22) down the final length of freestyle.”

Seto conceded that he was “lucky to win gold,” noted Swimming World, which pointed out that Seto led by more than 3 seconds at the 300-meter mark.

But that didn’t guarantee a victory.

Or as Seto put it: “I saw (Litherland). I tried to build up such a big lead that I could overcome any challenge. But not swimming well at the end (the freestyle leg) is an area of improvement for next year.”

Early in the premier showcase of the sport in a non-Olympic year, the Saitama Prefecture native took second in the 200-meter butterfly (1:53.86, setting a personal-best time). A day later — Day 5, to be precise — he captured gold in the men’s 200 IM, with another personal-record time, 1:56.14. By doing so, he dethroned reigning world champ Kalisz.

“I had a good meet,” Seto was quoted as saying by Swimming World in South Korea, “but I want to be the Olympic champion next year.”

In his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, Seto finished third in the 400 IM and fifth in the 200 butterfly.

Indeed, he has higher aspirations for the 2020 Games.

In Swimming World’s October cover story, “Daiya Seto: It’s Time For Some Respect,” Lohn underscored the point that Seto is one of the world’s unheralded swimming stars.

“His versatility is among the finest on the planet, not surprising given his status as the current Man to Beat in the individual medley disciplines,” Lohn wrote. “Beyond what he does in the medley events, he’s one of the best in the world in the butterfly and displays first-class talent in the breaststroke. Simply put, guys like him are not often found.

“So, how is it that Daiya Seto, a star by all measures, can be considered underappreciated while at the peak of his career? It is not to suggest Seto, a 25-year-old from Japan, is ignored when it comes to his achievements in the sport. It’s just that someone with his rich portfolio typically is celebrated on a grander scale.

“As the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo quickly approach, Seto will have the opportunity to shine in his homeland. More, if he manages to succeed at the level he is capable, gone will be the days in which Seto does not receive his proper due.”

by Ed Odeven | The Japan Times

Dec 13 19

2019 Speedo USA Winter Junior Championships: Day 2 Recaps

by ZwemZa

Claire Curzan (USA Swimming)

The Speedo USA Winter Junior Championships continued Thursday with Day 2 of hypersonic swims in distance and sprint events in Washington and Atlanta, including new meet records and a national age group record from the East.

Complete Results – East

Complete Results – West

Claire Curzan, 15, of TAC Titans set the 15-16 national age group record in the 50-yard freestyle, taking the top spot in that event in the East in 21.77.

Swim Atlanta’s Jake Magahey and Mason Manta Ray’s Carson Foster both broke meet records in their events, setting a new precedence for future Junior National swimmers.

Interestingly, the Women’s 50 free prelims included an abundance of swim offs in the East as well as the West. Gaby Vanbrunt of Georgia Coastal, Elysse Pardus of South Carolina, Hailey Galbrait of Spartan Aquatic, Sarah Evans of Indian River Aquatics, Sabrina Johnston of BGC-N. Westchest, Aubrey Chandler of Upper Palmetto, and Jacey Hinton of Crimson Aquatics all battled it out for the top spot in their heat at the Georgia Tech Campus Recreation Center. Vanbrunt surged ahead with a time of 22.92, which placed her in the top eight to qualify for finals.

On the West coast, there were three swim offs of the Women’s 50 free prelims, which included Ella Mazurek of Quicksilver Swim, Gracie Felner of Bellevue, and Kaitlyn Owens from Magnolia Aquatics in the first race; Lexi Duchsherer from AquaStorm versus Grace Hanson in the second contest; and Teia Salvino of Paseo Aquatics against Ella Ristic in the final match. All swimmers came within hundredths of a second of each other at the touch.

Thursday’s winners from the 2019 Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East:

  • Women’s 500 free: Abigail McCulloh (SwimAtlanta), 4:41.53
  • Men’s 500 free: Jake Magahey (SwimAtlanta), 4:12.72 (Meet Record)
  • Women’s 200 IM: Abby Arens (Marlins of Ralei), 1:56.48
  • Men’s 200 IM: Carson Foster (Mason Manta Rays), 1:42.43 (Meet Record)
  • Women’s 50 free: Claire Curzan (TAC Titans), 21.77 (National Age Group Record)
  • Men’s 50 free: Jack Aikins (SwimAtlanta), 19.86
  • Women’s 400 Medley Relay: Dynamo Swim Club, 3:37.00
  • Men’s 400 Medley Relay: Mason Manta Rays, 3:13.47

Thursday’s Winners from the 2019 Speedo Winter Junior Championships – West:

  • Women’s 500 free: Ashley Strouse (Scottsdale), 4:42.75
  • Men’s 500 free: Coby Carrozza (Longhorn Aquatics), 4:14.95
  • Women’s 200 IM: Isabelle Stadden (Aquajets Swim Team), 1:56.55
  • Men’s 200 IM: Tyler Lu (Seattle Metropolitan), 1:44.87
  • Women’s 50 free: Kaitlyn Dobler (The Dolphins Portland), 22.21
  • Men’s 50 free: Aiden Hayes (Sooner Swim Club), 19.58
  • Women’s 400 Medley Relay: University of Denver, 3:38.34
  • Men’s 400 Medley Relay: Peak Swimming, 3:12.87

Amy Padilla | USA Swimming Contributor

Dec 13 19

British Juniors enjoying international opportunities

by ZwemZa

(British Swimming)

Great Britain’s junior swimmers are enjoying some fabulous overseas training and competition opportunities this December, putting in the hard yards in the countdown to Christmas.

On Monday a group of six talented females headed to Fuji, Japan, for the annual Japan Development Camp, which will see the youngsters undertake an immersive 10 day block of training, exposing them to the rigours of senior international swimming.

Amongst the group are World Junior 400m Individual Medley bronze medallist Michaella Glenister, Katie Shanahan, who won a staggering six medals at the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), with no fewer than three of them gold, and her fellow multi-medallist Freya Colbert.

The group, which also includes European Junior Championships medallists Maisie Elliott and Mia Slevin, as well as Lola Davison, started their trip with a visit to the new Tokyo Aquatics Centre, which will play host to next summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. Now though it’s into the pool for an intense training block alongside their Japanese peers.

A slightly larger group of 10 swimmers travelled to Canada earlier this week for the Ontario Junior International, which kicks off on Friday 13th December. Being contested at Toronto’s Pan Am Aquatics Centre, the annual event has been regularly used by British Swimming as a great development opportunity, with the likes of Freya Anderson and Joe Litchfield having competed here in the past few years on the way to senior success.

Amongst the 2019 cohort are European Junior medallists, Honey Osrin, Ed Mildred, Matt Richards and Jacob Whittle, who will hope to work on both race-craft and skills, as well as winning medals.

Of the importance of the final two trips of 2019, British Swimming’s Head of Elite Development, Tim Jones, said:

“We are always looking for innovative ways of developing some of our best junior talent. The competition in Canada and training camp in Japan both come with a significant amount of challenge and discomfort, but will also be great opportunities to embed some of the skills we know are essential in successful senior athletes.”

Full 2019 Ontario Junior International squad:

Kyle Booth
Charlie Brown
Sophie Freeman
Katie Goodburn
Medi Harris
Edward Mildred
Honey Osrin
Matt Richards
Tamryn Van Selm
Jacob Whittle

British Swimming

 

Dec 13 19

After Russia Doping Ban, a South African Speaks Up for the Innocent

by ZwemZa

Penny Heyns (Getty Images)

Even before global antidoping leaders confirmed this week that Russia would be banished from top-level international sport for four years, the athletes’ committee they consulted was expressing frustration that the punishment did not go far enough.

That athletes’ group, led by Beckie Scott of Canada, an Olympic gold medalist in cross-country skiing, released a statement critical of the penalties on Sunday, the night before they were announced in Lausanne, Switzerland. The statement said anything short of a blanket ban of all Russian athletes would be an insufficient response to Russia’s repeated violations of antidoping rules, and would only encourage further malfeasance.

But one other athlete whom the World Anti-Doping Agency consulted extensively — a former swimmer from South Africa — disagreed. And when the world’s senior antidoping executives lined up on Monday to announce their decision, they said the views of the swimmer, Penny Heyns, had played a significant role.

Heyns, 45, has served on the committee charged with overseeing the Russian doping investigation since January, when Scott resigned over the agency’s handling of the Russia scandal. In recent weeks, Heyns made a passionate defense of the importance of protecting innocent young Russian athletes, said Jonathan Taylor, the British lawyer who led the panel.

In her first interview since the announcement, Heyns told The New York Times that she had no regrets about the punishment, which bans Russia and its officials from major international sports but is likely to allow hundreds of Russian athletes to continue competing if they can prove they are clean. Heyns said she had made up her mind at a recent swimming event in Budapest, where teenage Russian swimmers showed great promise.

“They were 10 or 11 when all of this was going down; they are not part of the system,” said Heyns, who won the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events at the 1996 Olympics, becoming South Africa’s first post-Apartheid era gold medalist. “They’re totally innocent. We needed to take a decision that’s looking after whole world.”

Heyns said the panel had discussed a blanket ban, which is something she remembered from her childhood, as South Africa was barred from international sports for decades because of its apartheid policies. She said that the penalty was appropriate for the time, but that it had also “destroyed a lot of dreams” for young athletes.

Heyns argued that the mission of the doping authorities was to protect clean athletes everywhere. “It’s our duty to ensure all clean athletes have the right to compete, including those from Russia who can honestly prove their innocence,” she said.

The organization announced the ban for Russia on Monday after concluding that the country’s authorities had manipulated or deleted thousands of files containing athlete antidoping data. That action makes it unlikely that scores of potential drug cheats who benefited from the state-run cheating program may never be punished. Officials said that any athletes who were linked to the doping scheme or the subsequent cover-up would be barred from international sports, and most likely be stripped of any medals.

But hundreds of Russians are likely to be cleared to participate as part of a neutral team at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where the Russian flag, anthem and uniform will be outlawed. Heyns said that ban, which critics have labeled more symbolic than severe, was important.

“Russia does not exist,” she said. “Looking at the way things have gone thus far, the manipulation and everything, I think what’s more important is the word ‘Russia’ is gone.”

Heyns said it was unfair to single out Russian athletes for special attention, even though the scale of the cheating program and the subsequent cover-up are among the biggest scandals in sports history.

One criticism is that the punishments do not go as far as those issued by track and field’s governing body in 2015, penalties that remain in place today. Track’s leaders have banished Russia from all events — local, regional and international — and have instituted a strict vetting process to allow individual athletes to participate under the rubric “Authorized Neutral Athlete.”

Another criticism is that the ban announced Monday does not include high-profile competitions that are not world championships. The Russian team will take part in next summer’s European soccer championships, for example, and Saint Petersburg will remain one of the 12 host cities. Russia also is expected to retain the hosting rights to the 2021 Champions League final, the biggest match in club soccer.

Heyns said the relevance of regional events did not factor into her opposition to a blanket ban.

“To be honest,” Heyns said, “my focus was so much on the Olympic level that I didn’t actually consider the continental events.”

Heyns asked whether the very best athletes would even want to compete in events where Russia was excluded, suggesting that winning without having faced major rivals would be unsatisfactory to many elite competitors.

“Any athlete who is honestly a true competitor — you want to compete against the best of the best,” she said. “I’d be curious to know how some of the top athletes would feel about that.”

She also disputed the level of athlete opposition. She said there were few, if any, objections to the proposed sanctions last week during a conference call organized by the International Olympic Committee that included athlete representatives from several sports.

“Nobody made a statement like, ‘Why is there not a blanket ban?’” Heyns said. “If all these athletes were so upset, why didn’t it come up?”

The I.O.C. provides half of the antidoping agency’s funding, and its leader, Thomas Bach, has publicly opposed a blanket ban for Russia, even though the country has seemingly doubled down on its bad behavior. Bach, a German who won a gold medal in fencing at the 1976 Olympics, has said he favors “individual justice” over collective punishment.

Heyns said that she had not spoken to Scott, the outgoing chairwoman of the antidoping organization’s athletes’ committee, about their divergent views. She said, however, that Scott and the others critical of the ban should play a part in the process that will clear individual Russian athletes one by one.

“They should sit around the table and evaluate evidence these athletes bring in,” Heyns said. “If our hearts are truly for the protection of clean athletes, and if these athletes give evidence and it’s compelling, then they are clean.”

Dec 12 19

2019 Speedo Winter Junior Championships: Day 1 Recap

by ZwemZa

(USA Swimming)

East
The young swimmers competing at the 2019 Speedo Winter Junior Championships East got off to an explosive start on day 1 of the four-day-event at the Georgia Tech Campus Recreation Center in Atlanta. The championships will conclude on Dec. 14 with day 4 of the finals.

The meet began with the Women’s 200 medley relay, with the athletes battling it out during each leg of the race. During the fastest heat, Ellie Waldrep from Baylor Swim Club pulled ahead in the backstroke leg, giving her team a slight advantage. Alicia Henry then surged forward in the breaststroke, helping Dynamo Swim Club get a slight lead. Yet, it was Tristen Ulett’s outstanding butterfly split that really set Dynamo apart from the rest of the teams during the race. Peyton Curry also raced incredibly strong in the freestyle, helping her relay finish with a time of 1:40.03.

The fastest heat of the Men’s 200 medley relay started off with extra long under waters during the backstroke, which helped Carmel Swim Club and SwimMAC Carolina surge ahead on the first leg. Carmel Swim Club’s Ryan Malicki and Stephen Kim of SwimMAC Carolina were almost neck-and-neck during the breaststroke. Carmel continued to stay in front with Griffin Hadley’s powerful butterfly stroke along with Jake Mitchell’s breathless freestyle, giving the team a final time of 1:28.66.

The Women’s 800 free relay showed off the mid-range sprinters’ talent as they competed against the other junior fastest athletes in the country. Dynamo Swim Club led the top heat with Ulett during the first stint, pushing ahead the rest of the swimmers. SwimMac Carolina’s Kiley Wilhelm then took over the lead in the second leg, pushing ahead of Curry. The two teams continued to fight for first place, until Morgan Razewski and Kensley Merritt from SwimMac helped them achieve a victory. SwimMac finished with a time of 7:12.97.

Throughout the Men’s 800 free relay, the swimmers were determined to prove their skills in the water against the competition. To start off, Tim Connery of SwimAtlanta had a significant lead for first in the initial leg of the fastest heat. Ike Atkinson from SwimMAC caught up and took over during the third leg, putting his team in the forefront. On the last part of the race, however, Mitchell from Carmel Swim Club again showed his swimming prowess by coming out of nowhere to jump ahead of the other two teams and helping his team achieve a win in a meet record time of 6:23.21.

Complete Results

Check in with USASwimming.org tomorrow to watch day 2 of the prelims at 9 a.m. Eastern.

West

The nation’s top young swimmers are proving that age is nothing but a number at this year’s 2019 Speedo Junior Nationals West, with many of the athletes already having next year’s 2020 Olympics in their sights. Day 1 has kicked off at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington and will continue until Dec. 14.

The Women’s 200 free relay featured the fastest sprinters as they showed off their swimming prowess during the race. Greer Pattison of Scottsdale Aquatics powered ahead of the other teams in the first leg of the top heat. Emma Weber of the Denver Hilltoppers shot forward amidst the breaststroke, putting her team right next to Sadie Edwards of Scottsdale.

The two teams continued to combat for the win with Scottsdale’s Morgan Brophy and Denver’s Holley Dennis too close to call on the butterfly stint. Ashley Strouse just barely grabbed the win for Scottsdale over Denver’s Anna Shaw, slamming hard into the wall. Scottsdale finished first with a time of 1:40.03, with Denver just behind them at 1:40.11

Next was the Men’s 200 free relay, which included Nova Aquatics, Scottsdale, Denver Hilltoppers, Rose Bowl Aquatics, Sierra Marlins, Bellevue Club, Nitro Swimming, and Premier Aquatics in the fastest heat. In the backstroke leg, Ronald Dalmacio from Rose Bowl Aquatics gained the lead ahead of the pack. The team lost their advantage to Bellevue’s Ethan Dang for the breaststroke segment.

Rose Bowl swimmer Danny Syrkin powered forward to regain the lead during the butterfly, with Sierra Marlins following at a close second. Rafael Gu finished the freestyle hard for Rose Bowl, helping them claim a win with a time of 1:29.21. Even though Bellevue finished second in the fastest heat, Peak Swimming was second overall at 1:29.35. Bellevue achieved third at 1:29.65.

The Women’s 800 free relay followed shortly after with Ella Ristic of Irvine Novaquatics surging ahead of the competition in the top heat. Sam Baron from Bellevue followed closely behind in second, striving for the win. On the last leg, Ashley Strouse of Scottsdale propelled in front from several body lengths behind to achieve the victory for her team at 7:16.19. Novaquatics came in second with 7:18.18, followed by Bellevue at 7:18.36.

The fastest heat of the Men’s 800 free relay proved to be an exciting race. Lukas Miller from Elevation Athletics gained the first lead of the event. Pierce Bigelow, Max Kreidl, and Harrison Lierz finished strong to win the heat with a time of 6:35.75. Yet, the Rose Bowl Aquatics relay consisting of Gu, Dalmacio, Chris O’Grady and Syrkin claimed first overall with a time of 6:35.67.

Complete Results

Check in with USASwimming.org tomorrow to watch day 2 of the prelims at 9 a.m. Pacific.

Amy Padilla | USA Swimming Contributor

Dec 12 19

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu Roared Back in 2019—And She’s Not Done Yet

by ZwemZa

Katinka Hosszu (ISL)

There was a time, after the divorce, when Katinka Hosszu had heard enough. She’d heard all the variations of the same question, the same doubt: Could the famed Iron Lady of swimming still be a dominant force without her volatile, hard-driving husband and coach, Shane Tusup?

“I wanted to scream, ‘I know what I’m doing!'” she says. “I wasn’t scared at all. I was confident. As a woman, it is sometimes a bit different than [it is] for male athletes. Sometimes the coaches get more credit than the athletes.”

Tusup had certainly put himself out there as the driving force behind Hosszu, the world-record holder in both the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys and a three-time Olympic gold medalist representing Hungary. He was a stage husband-coach, flooding social media with his wife’s exploits while also creating sideshows with eruptions on pool decks around the world.

The two had met in 2008 while students at USC and started dating. After Hosszu failed to medal at the ’12 Olympics, Tusup took over coaching her, and they were married in ’13. Tusup, who had no previous experience as a coach, looked more like a cross between a bodybuilder and an overzealous fan who somehow got a deck pass.

But the results came. His wife broke the world record in the 200 IM at worlds in 2015. Then there was a three-gold-medal performance at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, including smashing the world record in the 400 IM. Tusup was named female swimming’s coach of the year by FINA that season, and NBC’s Dan Hicks even called him “the man responsible” for Hosszu’s success during a broadcast.

It was a productive, if seemingly uneasy, partnership that grew more and more strained as it invited scrutiny. By the end of 2017, Hosszu was training in Miami while Tusup was in Hungary. In February ’18 she filed for divorce, and three months later she publicly acknowledged the split both personally and professionally.

At the advanced swimming age of 29, after years of exhausting training and competing that had earned her the Iron Lady moniker, she says a couple of sponsors dropped her. Competitors, accustomed to flailing in her wake, had renewed hope. But not for long.

“I don’t need someone telling me what to do at this point,” she says. “I know my body, and I know how to prepare.”

Hosszu roared back to prominence in 2019, dominating both the 200 and 400 IMs at the world championships in South Korea in August, her eighth and ninth gold medals at either worlds or the Olympics. And she will coach herself on the road to Tokyo in 2020.

Meanwhile, she has taken over control of her burgeoning personal brand in Hungary, where she is a bona fide celebrity. She is a team owner in the fledgling International Swim League, and heads Iron Swim in Budapest, a swim school and competitive program. While still training, Hosszu is now throwing herself into those projects.

“Sometimes I am like a zombie,” she says with a laugh. “But at this point in my career, it is a huge opportunity. It gives me a challenge and a lot of motivation. I am finally able to show who I am.”

Dec 12 19

Africa Zone VI swimming championship to serve as continental Olympic qualifier

by ZwemZa

Kenya will join 13 other countries for the CANA Zone IV Championships, taking place in February 2020 in Gaborone, Botswana.

A total of 40 Kenyans took part in the African Swimming Confederation (CANA) Zone 3 swimming championship, which was held in Nairobi in April and they will make the team that will head to Gaborone to seek Olympic qualifying time.

The tournament is open to the team from Southern African region. Alongside Kenya, there will be swimmers from Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“We are pleased to inform you that Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) has approved the CANA Zone IV Championships in Botswana, as a meet where swimmers can achieve the FINA “A” and “B” Swimming Qualifying Standard-Times for the Olympics,” FINA said in a statement on Wednesday.

The CANA Zone IV’s annual swimming event has grown in standing within Africa over the past 19 years. FINA has recognized the event, which promises to have some top-class swimming on show as well as some of the young talents and upcoming swimmers that this region has to offer.

Kenyan swimmers are focused on setting times that will see them not only qualify for the Olympic Games but also win medals at the games held after every four years.

According to FINA, each country may enter a maximum of two qualified athletes in each individual event at the Tokyo Games, but only if both athletes have attained the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT).

Alongside the CANA Zone IV competition, the continent’s best swimmers will still have a second chance to hit the marks during the African Swimming Championships, which will be held in Durban, South Africa from April 17-21, 2020.

Xinhua

%d bloggers like this: