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Mar 24 17

Olympic champion Adam Peaty motivated to make Olympic history

by ZwemZa
Adam Peaty of Great Britain celebrates after the men's 100m breaststroke final at the Rio 2016 Olympics (Getty Images)

Adam Peaty of Great Britain celebrates after the men’s 100m breaststroke final at the Rio 2016 Olympics (Getty Images)

The determination to make history is more than enough motivation according to Olympic swimming champion Adam Peaty.

The 100m breaststroke champion from Rio 2016 is targeting a title defence at Tokyo 2020, which would make him the first ever British swimmer to win consecutive Olympic gold medals.

Peaty, 22, is also the reigning Commonwealth and European champion, and set two world records en route to victory in Brazil last summer.

And having already made history by winning in Rio, the thought of adding to his legacy is his new driving force for the next four years.

“I think I can defend my titles, but defending my Olympic title is my main motivation,” he told BBC Sport.

Peaty, 22, is also the reigning Commonwealth and European champion, and set two world records en route to victory in Brazil last summer.

And having already made history by winning in Rio, the thought of adding to his legacy is his new driving force for the next four years.

“I think I can defend my titles, but defending my Olympic title is my main motivation,” he told BBC Sport.

And it’s not just titles that are spurring him on, with the prospect of lowering his world record even further a realistic possibility.

His first opportunity to do so will come at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield, next month, with that event acting as the qualifier for July’s World Championships, in Hungary.

“At Rio, 57.1 was very, very fast, but I went 56.5 in the relay so I am guessing that there is a little more in there,” he added.

“Getting 56 would be outrageous because it would be two seconds and a bit above everyone else in the world, which is unheard of in swimming.”

Sportsbeat

Mar 24 17

Joseph Schooling finishes third in NCAA 50-yard freestyle final

by ZwemZa
Joseph Schooling celebrates after winning his second-straight NCAA title in the 200-yard butterfly in record-breaking fashion yesterday. (Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com)

Joseph Schooling celebrates after winning his second-straight NCAA title in the 200-yard butterfly in record-breaking fashion at 2016 NCAA Championships. (Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com)

Olympic champion Joseph Schooling won his first individual freestyle medal at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Indiana, clocking 18.79sec to finish third in the 50-yard freestyle final on Thursday.

Defending champion Caeleb Dressel won the event in 18.23sec, while Ryan Held was second (18.6sec)

Schooling, a University of Texas (UT) junior had earlier won his heat in 18.77sec to be the second-fastest out of 51 competitors. Dressel, a University of Florida junior, was the top finisher in the heats with 18.38sec.

Schooling, 21, also raced in the 400-yard medley relay final alongside UT team-mates John Shebat, Will Licon and Brett Ringgold. The quartet won the race in 2min 59.22sec, a meet record.

Schooling will next defend his 100-yard NCAA butterfly title on Friday.

He holds the meet record of 44.01sec in the event.
Mar 24 17

Record-breaking night lifts Texas to day-two lead at NCAA Championships

by ZwemZa

Texas17A

Two-time defending NCAA champion Texas took a sizable step toward a third consecutive NCAA team title with four victories, two NCAA records and a new American record Thursday evening on day two at the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

Texas opened the night six points behind first-place N.C. State, but it would not stay there for long. The Longhorns won their third NCAA 200 freestyle relay title in as many years and its seventh overall, as junior Brett Ringgold, senior Jack Conger, sophomore Tate Jackson and junior Joseph Schooling were victorious in 1 minute, 14.59 seconds. The swim broke the school record of 1:14.88 set by Ringgold, Schooling, Conger and former Longhorn John Murray.

Ringgold led off the relay in 18.96 seconds before Conger split a blistering 18.37 seconds on the second leg. Jackson picked up leg three in 18.92 before Schooling anchored in a scorching 18.34 to deliver Texas the victory. Florida took second at 1:14.88 while California placed third at 1:15.29.

All-America senior Clark Smith won his second NCAA 500 freestyle title in the last three seasons and knocked down the door to the NCAA and American records he had threatened since 2015. Smith, a Rio Olympics gold medalist in the 4x200m freestyle relay, rewrote the 11-year-old NCAA record and nine-year-old American record, as he edged out teammate Townley Haas in 4:08.42.

Smith broke the NCAA record of 4:08.60 set by Michigan’s Peter Vanderkaay at the 2006 NCAA Championships and eclipsed Vanderkaay’s American record of 4:08.54 from 2008.  Haas, the 2016 NCAA champion in the event, took a close second in the race at 4:08.92, as Texas won it for the third consecutive year at the NCAA Championships.

“It’s nice to go out like this,” Smith said. “Last year I didn’t have the meet I wanted to. I just remember how I felt watching the final last year when I was at the end of the race tonight.”

All-America senior Will Licon entered the meet as the defending NCAA champion in the 200 IM, and while he shared the honor of national champion Thursday, he left the pool with his second straight national crown and fifth NCAA individual title of his sterling career. Licon sat in third behind Cal’s Ryan Murphy and Andrew Seliskar heading into the final 50 yards, but he ran them both down and tied Florida’s Mark Szaranek for the national title in 1:40.67. Junior Jonathan Roberts joined Licon in the final and placed eighth at 1:42.56.

Texas sent Schooling to the 50 freestyle championship final where he placed third at 18.79 seconds. Ringgold won the event’s consolation final in 18.97 seconds, a personal best, while Conger took second at 19.05. Jackson placed eighth in the consolation final at 19.69.

Senior Mark Anderson made his second consecutive NCAA finals appearance on one-meter and placed seventh overall with 395.20 points after qualifying eighth with 363.55 points in the preliminary round.

Texas capped the night by lowering its NCAA record and winning its third consecutive NCAA title in the 400 medley relay. Sophomore John Shebat broke UT’s 25-year-old school record in the 100 backstroke earlier in the day, and he lowered it once more to 44.58 while leading off the medley relay. Licon picked up the breaststroke leg in a career-best split of 49.75 seconds before giving way to Schooling, who split a meet-best 43.60 seconds on butterfly.

Conger anchored the relay in 41.29 seconds, as Texas produced the first relay ever to dip below three minutes. The Longhorns finished in 2:59.22, which shattered the same quartet’s NCAA record from the 2016 NCAA Championships.

Texas completed night two at the NCAA Championships in first place with 225.5 points. California sits in second with 143 points while Florida holds third with 138.5 points. N.C. State is in fourth place with 123 points and Indiana rounds out the top-five with 121 points.

Day three of the NCAA Championships gets underway Friday at 9 a.m. CT with finals set for 5 p.m. CT.

Mar 24 17

British Swimming open investigation into bullying allegations

by ZwemZa
A series of bullying allegations surrounding British Cycling has already led to the departure of Shane Sutton ©Getty Images

A series of bullying allegations surrounding British Cycling has already led to the departure of Shane Sutton ©Getty Images

An “independent fact-finding investigation” has been launched by British Swimming into multiple claims of bullying reportedly made by Paralympic squad members.

This was confirmed by the national governing body after a BBC report alleging that unnamed Rio 2016 Paralympic medallists was among those to file complaints against a specific coach.

A parent of one complainant told the BBC that swimmers were “belittled and criticised” by a “culture of fear”.

It marks the latest abuse scandal to emerge in a British Olympic or Paralympic sport following a series of problems in cycling.

Swimming was Britain’s most successful sport at last September’s Games, contributing 47 medals of which 16 were gold.

“Whilst some athletes have expressed some concerns, we have immediately undertaken an independent fact-finding investigation into these,” said British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes.

“The investigation remains ongoing and, until it is completed, we do not propose to make any further comment.”

The BBC report claims the investigation has already been ongoing for two months.

“We understand that some athletes have raised concerns with British Swimming, their national governing body,” a British Paralympic Association statement to the Press Association added.

“Athlete welfare is of the utmost importance, therefore it is quite right that British Swimming has undertaken an independent fact-finding investigation into the matter, which remains ongoing.”

UK Sport also described their “disappointment to hear of these allegations”.

They added: “We are reassured that athletes feel able to challenge any behaviour that they are uncomfortable with and that British Swimming are investigating.”

It follows months of bullying allegations surrounding British Cycling after sprinter Jess Varnish was dropped from the Olympic squad shortly before Rio 2016.

Technical director Shane Sutton resigned as a result of bullying and sexism claims.

An independent review into the team’s climate and culture has also been set-up.

According to the Daily Mail, a leaked early draft has strongly criticised both British Cycling and UK Sport.

Former team member Wendy Houvenaghel has also claimed to the BBC today that she was “frozen out” of the team before London 2012.

“It was horrid – it was not the training environment I expected,” the Beijing 2008 individual pursuit silver medallist was quoted as saying.

“There was no choice, if you rocked the boat, you were out.”

Nick Butler | Inside the Games

 

Mar 23 17

A swimmer’s thoughts during the last 5 yards

by ZwemZa

Finish17A

The final 5 yards of a race are often the most intense. Eyeballs are popping. Veins are pulsating. Muscles are aching. It’s a final desperate claw-and-stretch adventure towards that wonderful, wonderful timing pad. The final 5 yards of a race feels like the end of a journey, which it is. An entire season’s worth of training culminates into one race, and the last few yards is the last mountain peak.

Getting there can be tough.

Previously, we uploaded ten thoughts swimmers think about on the blocks.

This week, here are A Swimmer’s Thoughts During the Last 5 Yards of a Race…

1. The wall is moving away from me.
This is particularly evident in backstroke. You see the flags coming, but the wall never does. Especially in long course. I believe there is actually a conspiracy against me that whenever I swim long course, someone moves the wall ever-so-slightly away while I swim.

2. Please don’t die, self.
Once I blacked out during a race. I have only myself to blame: I took out the first 100 meters of my 200 fly in a personal best time… for 100 meters. Needless to say, the second-half of that race was…painful.

3. Grow, arms, grow!
I’ve always been envious of Matt Grevers. Because when Grevers swims alongside virtually anyone else, and he’s tied going into the flags, he’ll out-touch them every time. It’s a bit harder for those of us several inches shorter. Which is why I always hope, miraculously, under the flags, my arms will grow just a couple of inches.

4. Seriously, where is the wall?
For real.

5. Time the finish.
Not in seconds, but in strokes. Especially in breaststroke. Any good finish is about timing. (Just ask Michael Cavic.) Five yards from the wall, take stock in where you’re at, and where the wall is at, and the stroke timing you need to finish perfectly extended into the wall.

6. Don’t breathe.
Don’t breathe into the wall. Just don’t. Nothing shows more of a breakdown in concentration than taking a nice, big whiff of air during freestyle one stroke before the wall.

7. Head down, arms out. 

This is pretty much for any stroke, any race. Don’t look at your competitors. Don’t look at the wall. Put your head down and extend as faaaaaaaaaar as possible.

8. DON’T DIE.

9. AAAHHHHHRRRHHHGHGHHHHH!!!!!!

10. …. That wasn’t so bad. 
You finish. You look at the scoreboard. And immediately, you want to do it all over again. (Well, maybe not immediately, but you get it.)

Mike Gustafson | USA Swimming corrospondent

Follow Mike on Twitter @MicGustafson

Mar 23 17

aQuellé Ocean Racing Series final this Sunday

by ZwemZa
At just 10 years of age, Tiara Finnis of Morningside was one of the finds of the Season, excelling in the 400m Ocean Swim discipline at the aQuellé Ocean Racing Series this season. (Michael Sheehan)

At just 10 years of age, Tiara Finnis of Morningside was one of the finds of the Season, excelling in the 400m Ocean Swim discipline at the aQuellé Ocean Racing Series this season. (Michael Sheehan)

The 12th season of the aQuellé Ocean Racing Series, Africa’s largest family beach event which is unique to Nelson Mandela Bay, concludes this Sunday morning when round 10 kicks off at 9am
 
Drawing an average of between 400 and 500 participants on mostly alternate Sunday mornings throughout the whole of summer, the Series is truly a family affair with no fewer than 7 simultaneously running events taking place which are suitable for all members of the family. The Series kicks off each October and usually features between 10 and 12 race days to conclude the week before the Ironman weekend. An ideal regular sporting outlet for swimmer, fun runners and walkers, the Series this season included a 3km, 2km, 1km and 400m ocean swim together with a 5km beach walk, beach run and a kids 1km beach run for 12 years and under. Participants wanting to take part in the Series are welcome to join at any stage of the season and Sunday will be your last chance to take part in the 2016-17 season.
 
Immediately after the races on Sunday, the overall prize giving function for the kids 1km Beach Run will take place at the beach before everyone heads up to the News Cafe for the Series final prize giving function to honour the overall series winners. Racing starts at 9am on Sunday, kids prize giving on the beach between 10am and 10.30am and the senior prize giving at News Cafe between 11am and 1pm. Sunday will also be a double points day and this could have a significant impact on the overall standings where 7 out of a possible 10 race results are taken into account.
 
Going into the final round, a handful of the participants have managed to stay undefeated and will be looking to keep a clean record come Sunday. These include Belinda Niemand (5km Ladies Walk), Grobbie Grobler (5km Men’s Walk), Tara Sacke (5km Ladies Run), Tiara Finnis (400m Girls Swim), Kirstin Marriott (1km Ladies Swim), Ian Venter (1km Men’s Swim) and Amica De Jager (3km Ladies Swim). One of the biggest upsets this season was Daniel Jones (2km swim) losing to Slater Black in Round 7. This was the first time in several years that Jones had not won the race.
 
A significant highlight for season 12 has been the inclusion of almost 80 children from historically disadvantaged communities as part of Zsports Events NPC’s Masakhane Future Stars Development program which is backed by Caltex Eastern Cape. These children are given the opportunity to take part in local Zsports events throughout the year and to watch them flourish in their various disciplines this year has been unbelievable. Hopefully this is something which will continue to grow in Port Elizabeth.
 
 See www.oceanracingseries.com to register for Sunday morning or come down to Hobie Beach from 7.30am where late entries will be accepted. Bookings at News Cafe for the final series prize giving is highly recommended.

Zsports

Mar 23 17

Kyle Main swims Port to Port this Saturday

by ZwemZa
Kyle Main (Twitter)

Kyle Main (Twitter)

Port Elizabeth ultra distance adventure swimmer Kyle Main will attempt a crossing from The Port of Coega to the Port Elizabeth harbour, as part of the attractions at the People’s Port Festival on 25 and 26 March managed by Magnetic Storm on behalf of Transnet.
 
Having earned a reputation for undertaking pioneering swims under harsh conditions, Main, a swim coach based at Virgin Active Greenacres and former national swimming champion, will take a straight line between the two ports.
 
Much of the 20km, more than 5 times the distance of the Ironman Ultra swim leg, will be in the natural shipping lanes so Main will be seconded by boats and a paddler.

“I will be swimming against the natural current so it will be very tough. Hopefully the wind will play ball,” says Main who has a number of major swims to his name, that last of which was a 4 hour effort in treacherous conditions between the uninhabited tropical islands of Mauritius late last year.

Main suggests the water quality would be good, but that sharks posed a greater threat.

“There will be sharks but I will have four shark shields on the ski and boats around me and they have been reliable and a very effective deflector in the past.”

Main spanned the 20km Rottnest Channel off Australia in an African record time in 2015 and swam the Straits of Gibraltar (16km) in the fastest recorded time that year – 2013.

The People’s Port Festival is no ordinary festival taking place this weekend. Marked with entertaining activities for the whole family with exciting things related to our PE Port. Water sport activities will include a Port2Port Surf Ski race on Saturday morning and lifesaving Surf Boat racing on the Sunday.

Deon Engelke | Inkanyezi

Mar 23 17

Tips for consistent nutrition

by ZwemZa

tangerine

In the Winter 2017 issue of Splash, I was intrigued by Olivier Poirier-Leroy’s article titled, “Staying Consistent.” It made me think of ways that swimmers should heed Poirier-Leroy’s advice and apply it to eating behaviors. So, with a thank you to Olivier, let’s review how the advice applies to fueling and hydration.

Consistent Process: When it comes to food, consistent process means eating to fuel training and competition every day. Your training will not be helped if you are under- or over-fueled. Too little food results in sluggish performance and early fatigue; too much food can divert blood from working muscles to the gut for digestion. Plan to eat mini-meals or snacks before a long practice and replenish muscle fuel and fluids after practice. A slice of turkey on a mini-bagel, a Clementine tangerine, and water may be just the thing to get you through a grueling pool and land training session. A carton of low-fat chocolate milk after practice can provide key amino acids for muscle repair, carbohydrates for muscle glycogen synthesis, and fluids. Consistent fueling will also keep hunger at bay so you won’t be starving when you get home from practice.

Consistent Mindset:
Do you think of nutrition as something that your parents nag you about? Or, do you take responsibility and seek healthful foods and beverages throughout the day? Healthy food doesn’t have to mean yucky! Even at your favorite quick service restaurants, healthy options abound. It is up to you to think about food as something that can elevate your swimming, and taste good at the same time. Parents and coaches can guide a swimmer to healthy foods, but only you can eat the foods to get the benefits.

Consistent Lifestyle: Sleep, stress, and social support all contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Eating a variety of foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins, contribute nutrients that feed your brain, as well as your muscles. Try eating 3 meals and 3 snacks every day during your hardest training periods and take note of how you feel. My bet is you will feel better, stronger, and more energized than when you are eating less food. And, while dietitians always take a “food first” approach, there are times when bars or chews or shakes can add needed calories. Look for wholesome ingredients in these foods: whole grain carbohydrates, naturally occurring sugars from fruit or milk, and healthy fats from nuts or unsaturated oils.

Chris Rosenbloom is a registered dietitian, certified specialist in sports nutrition, and professor emerita of nutrition at Georgia State University. She welcomes questions from swimmers, parents and coaches. Email her at chrisrosenbloom@gmail.com; follow her on Twitter @chrisrosenbloom

Mar 23 17

Katie Ledecky inducted into Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame

by ZwemZa

Katie Ledecky17ZZZ

Team USA swimmer, Stanford University freshman and two-time Olympian Katie Ledecky was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame on March 16 at a ceremony held at the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis, Maryland, becoming that Hall of Fame’s youngest inductee ever and placing her among honorees in that Hall including such luminaries as Harriet Tubman, Rachel Carson, Billie Holiday, Clara Barton, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

The Maryland Hall of Fame was established in 1985 by the Maryland Commission for Women and the Women Legislators of Maryland to honor women in the state who have made significant and lasting contributions to the arts, athletics, business, education, government, the humanities, human rights, law, medicine, philanthropy or science. Honorees are selected by an independent committee each year and are inducted in March during Women’s History Month. The Hall is housed at the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center in Baltimore.

Ledecky was unable to attend the induction ceremony as she was participating at the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis from March 15-18. Fittingly, on the night of the ceremony, Ledecky won the 500-yard freestyle at the NCAA meet, breaking the American record by 1.1 seconds. It was one of five event victories for Ledecky at the NCAA meet (3 individual and 2 relays), and one of several overall NCAA and NCAA Championship meet records for Ledecky and her team as Stanford – guided by fifth-year head coach Greg Meehan and associate head coach Tracy Slusser – won its first NCAA Championship since 1998.

In lieu of attending the ceremony, Ledecky issued a statement thanking the Hall of Fame’s sponsors and those who have helped her along the way. “I have to thank my parents for having the great sense to raise my brother and me in the wonderful State of Maryland,” said Ledecky, who went on also to thank, among others, her schools and school teachers at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart and Little Flower School in Bethesda, Maryland; all of her current and former classmates and teammates; USA Swimming and the U.S. Olympic Committee; her club and Olympic swim coaches Bruce Gemmell and Yuri Suguiyama; Tom Ugast and former Nation’s Capital swim club coaches Carolyn Kaucher and Nicole Gamard; the Palisades Swim Club; and Stanford University and its coaches Meehan and Slusser.

As part of the induction ceremony, Ledecky received a “Governor’s Citation” from Maryland Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. and presented by Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, which reads in part: “In recognition of your induction into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame…with best wishes and sincere congratulations as you are honored for your unique and lasting contributions to our state; and as the people of Maryland join together in expressing our deep appreciation, great respect, and admiration for your inspiring leadership and educated service for the benefit of all women.”

Ledecky is a five-time Olympic gold medalist who has broken 13 World records and 30 American records in her swimming career, which includes 19 international gold medals for Team USA. She was the most decorated female athlete at the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning four gold and one silver medal as she became the first woman since Debbie Meyer (1968) to sweep the 200, 400 and 800-meter freestyle races.

The two-time USOC Athlete of the Year and four-time USA Swimming Athlete of the Year completed a similar sweep for Stanford this week at the NCAA Championships, becoming the first woman since University of Florida’s Tami Bruce in 1988 to win the 200, 500, and 1650-yard freestyle events at a single NCAA Division I Championship meet, and becoming the first Stanford swimmer since Olympic Gold medalist Misty Hyman in 1998 to win any three NCAA individual events at the same NCAA Championship meet.

Overall, Ledecky had one of the finest seasons ever posted by an NCAA swimmer, breaking nine American records and 12 NCAA records across four different individual events and relays, including new American records in three events at the NCAA Championships, along with four NCAA and NCAA Championship meet records, and the most event victories (5) by any swimmer in the 2017 NCAA Championship meet.

USA Swimming

Mar 23 17

Libby’s new lifeblood

by ZwemZa
Libby Tricket with Addisyn James, Amelie James and Hudson McFadden.Picture: Picture: Ian Munro

Libby Tricket with Addisyn James, Amelie James and Hudson McFadden. (Ian Munro)

Gripped by the depression that often afflicts athletes when their career ends, Libby Trickett decided to fight for better mental health.

After her retirement in 2009, the swimmer felt going back into the pool the following year was a way to give her life substance.

“I went back to swimming because I hated the real world,” Trickett, who has an 18-month-old daughter Poppy and still swims regularly as a form of meditation, said.

“I just didn’t want to get out of bed. I stopped exercising and I put on a lot of weight because I kept eating as if I was training 35 hours a week. Not only are you also not around the same friends but your complete structure and routine goes out the window.”

Trickett has joined Dawn Fraser, Blair Evans and Tommaso D’Orsogna as an ambassador for Swimming WA and has a similar role with beyondblue. She will swim in Saturday’s Port To Pub event from Leighton beach to Rottnest in a team competing for the R U OK? organisation.

Steve Butler

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