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Sep 1 14

Anderson, Gemmel claim Pan Pacs open water titles

by ZwemZa
Haley Anderson : image Eurosport

Haley Anderson : image Eurosport

U.S. Olympians Haley Anderson and Andrew Gemmell raced to the Pan Pacific Championships 10-kilometer open water titles Sunday at Ulua Beach.

In the tightly contested women’s race, Anderson out-touched U.S. teammate Eva Fabian for gold by one second. Anderson was victorious in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 51 seconds; Fabian earned silver in 1:59.52. Chelsea Gubecka of Australia was awarded bronze after finishing in 1:59.54.

Gemmell pulled away from the men’s field down the stretch to earn gold in 1:51:11, nearly a minute clear of runner-up Jarrod Poort of Australia, who touched in 1:52.12. Kane Radford of New Zealand was third in 1:52.13.

With the victories today, Team USA has swept the men’s and women’s 10K gold medals at each Pan Pacs open water competition contested – 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Originally scheduled for Aug. 25 in Gold Coast, Australia, the event was relocated due to water quality issues and contested in conjunction with the Junior Pan Pacific Championships 10K. With the three open water medals earned today, Team USA wraps up 2014 Pan Pacs with 43 medals – 16 gold, 13 silver, 14 bronze – across pool and open water competition.

Pan Pacific Championships rules limit a country to two swimmers among the top eight scoring positions. In the women’s race, Team USA’s Becca Mann finished in 1:59.53, and Christine Jennings touched in 1:59.57. Additional U.S. men’s finishers included Alex Meyer , who was fifth in 1:53.00, and Jordan Wilimovsky, who finished in 1:54.00.

The U.S. clinched the team title with 29 points. Complete results can be found here.

In Sunday’s junior open water races, the U.S. added two more medals – gold in the men’s race from Brendan Casey of Team Santa Monica (1:58.00) and bronze in the women’s event from Regan Kology of Somerset YMCA (2:03.25).

Sunday’s open water competition wrapped a successful Junior Pan Pacs for Team USA. The Americans led all nations with 47 overall medals and 27 gold medals in the pool competition. Andrew Seliskar of Nation’s Capital Swim Club and Sierra Schmidt of North Baltimore Aquatic Club were honored as swimmers of the meet.

Complete Junior Pan Pacific Championships meet information, results and race videos can be found here.

USA Swimming

Sep 1 14

Team Kenya swimmers display class in Dar

by ZwemZa
(Standard Digital)

(Standard Digital)

Team Kenya swimmers splashed in the University of Dar Salaam pool like torpedoes, winning 29 gold medals out of the possible 30 on offer during the Brookside East African Secondary School Games.

A Burundian swimmer passed through Kenyans to deny Team Kenya the single gold. Team Kenya finished in a commanding overall lead with 29 gold, 23 silver and four bronze, meaning they won available gold but one that went to Burundi.
Due to her impressive performance, Muteti was named the victress lodurum while Saahil Harunani won the award of victor lodurum.
In selected results, Emily Muteti won girls senior 50m butterfly after she stopped the clock at 46.16 seconds. Marina Rozanski also of Kenya bagged silver in 1:12.07 minutes while the bronze went to Gift Lunkus of Uganda who registered 1:12.09.
It was a 1-2 for Kenya in boys’ seniors 50m butterfly after Saahil Harunani stopped the clock at 39.27sec while Ahmed Abdulkadir managed silver in 44.99. In girls 100m breaststroke, Diya Shah touched the wall first in 1:28.05 to claim gold while Djulla Gadzo returned 1:38.31 to bag silver.
Gadzo, who is a student from Mudassa Academy said: “Swimming here was a Kenyan affair as the results indicates.”
“I’m happy with my silver because this is my first appearance in East African Games. I have now tested the waters and I promise to perform even better in case I qualify for the games next year,” Gadzo said.
In boys’ 100m breaststroke, Team Kenya bagged gold and silver through Billy Muteti (1:21.05) and Ian Ngatia (1:22.38). Ambaar Michaelo (50.93) and Nabina Shikely (55.15) won Team Kenya gold and silver in girls’ 50m backstroke. Kelly Antropus claimed gold for Kenya in girls’ senior 50m backstroke after she registered 49.49 and teammate Stephanie Ondiek bagged silver after she romped home in second position in 1:00.31.
In boys’ senior 50m backstroke, Team Kenya swimmers finished in the top two positions to claim silver through Saahil Harunani (45.91) and Maina Murage (50.25).
Oscar Pilipili
Sep 1 14

Lewis Pugh becomes first person to swim the Seven Seas

by ZwemZa

Lewis completed his final swim from Southend-on-Sea up to the Thames Barrier, breaking the swim into three lengths – Southend to Gravesend on the 28th August and Gravesend to the Thames Barrier on the 29th August. It took him 8hrs and 12 minutes.

Today I start my North Sea swim - the final swim in our campaign for more Marine Protected Areas in our oceans. The swim will be from Southend on Sea to the Thames Barrier. We expect to finish on Friday morning. It's a symbolic place to finish this campaign. The Thames Barrier was built 30 years ago to protect London from flooding. Expected to be used 2 or 3 times per year. This year it's been raised 48 times already.  Picture: Facebook

Today I start my North Sea swim – the final swim in our campaign for more Marine Protected Areas in our oceans. The swim will be from Southend on Sea to the Thames Barrier. We expect to finish on Friday morning.
It’s a symbolic place to finish this campaign. The Thames Barrier was built 30 years ago to protect London from flooding. Expected to be used 2 or 3 times per year. This year it’s been raised 48 times already. Picture: Facebook

Lewis said: “I’ve just completed the first long-distance swim in the Seven Seas of the ancient world. I’ve experienced some things I will never forget. And seen some things I wish I could erase from my memory, but which will haunt me for the rest of my days.

Thank you so much to Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, who kindly sponsored our final night in Oman. What a treat. I loved swimming here. Tomorrow we start our final swim in the North Sea! Picture: Facebook

Thank you so much to Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, who kindly sponsored our final night in Oman. What a treat. I loved swimming here. Tomorrow we start our final swim in the North Sea! Picture: Facebook

“I will never forget the people I met along this journey, the literally hundreds of people from all walks of life who helped us and supported us and jumped in the sea to swim with us, just to be part of this mission, just for their love of the sea.

Just completed my Arabian Sea swim. 10km in 3h 15min. In 27 years of swimming, I've never seen so many turtles. Literally hundreds. Just the way oceans should be! Certainly a highlight of my life. Picture: Facebook

Just completed my Arabian Sea swim. 10km in 3h 15min. In 27 years of swimming, I’ve never seen so many turtles. Literally hundreds. Just the way oceans should be! Certainly a highlight of my life. Picture: Facebook

“And then there are the things I would rather forget. Such as the sea floor under me as I swam the Aegean, which was covered with litter; I saw tyres and plastic bags, bottles, cans shoes and clothing – but absolutely nothing that qualifies as ‘sea life’.

About to start my Arabian Sea swim and look what walks between my feet! Great to see such a well protected turtle reserve. Picture: Facebook

About to start my Arabian Sea swim and look what walks between my feet! Great to see such a well protected turtle reserve. Picture: Facebook

In the Arabian Sea I swam through vast shoals of turtles, which was spectacular. They do belong there. But so do many, many other fish species, and those were nowhere to be seen.

My favourite photo from yesterday's Black Sea swim. Urging nations to protect our oceans. We now have 3 more swims to go - the Red Sea, Arabian Sea and the North Sea. Picture: Facebook

My favourite photo from yesterday’s Black Sea swim. Urging nations to protect our oceans. We now have 3 more swims to go – the Red Sea, Arabian Sea and the North Sea. Picture: Facebook

“I never saw any fish bigger than the size of my hand, in any of the seven seas. The larger ones had all been fished out. The Black sea was full of jellyfish. This is not a good thing, because they don’t belong there – they were brought in with the ballast on visiting ships and wrought havoc on an ecosystem that was already unbalanced.

Tomorrow will be my 5th swim to urge nations around the 7 Seas to create more Marine Protected Areas before it's too late. It will be held near Aqaba in the Red Sea. Many thanks to His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan who has kindly provided the support boat and crew. Picture: Facebook

Tomorrow will be my 5th swim to urge nations around the 7 Seas to create more Marine Protected Areas before it’s too late. It will be held near Aqaba in the Red Sea. Many thanks to His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan who has kindly provided the support boat and crew. Picture: Facebook

In the entire four weeks I did not see one shark, anywhere.

“As I was about to jump in the water for the Red Sea swim I asked the boat’s skipper whether I should keep a look out for sharks. He told me not to worry, because the sharks have all been fished out. That’s exactly what DOES worry me. A healthy ocean is an ocean with sharks.

Practice things until u can't get them wrong. Not until u get them right. There's a big difference. Picture: Facebook

Practice things until u can’t get them wrong. Not until u get them right. There’s a big difference. Picture: Facebook

“But I did see something astonishing in the Red Sea. It was when I swam through a Marine Protect Area, and experienced a sea as it was meant to be: rich and colourful and teaming with abundant life.

“And then, just two kilometres on, outside of the protected area, the picture changed again. There was no coral and there were no fish. It looked like an underwater desert.

 My favourite pic from yesterday's Adriatic Sea swim. Sadly underneath I saw very few fish. Picture: Facebook
My favourite pic from yesterday’s Adriatic Sea swim. Sadly underneath I saw very few fish. Picture: Facebook

“If I had needed more proof that Marine Protected Areas really work, that was it. Everything I knew about how MPAs allow marine life to recover, how they protect and restore fish stocks, how they provide income-generating livelihoods for local people, how they boost ecotourism and ensure long-term sustainability, was all there in front of me.

“Many of the people I met along the way have experienced it too. They have seen their seas changing. They know that there is a serious problem. And they have seen that the problem is reversible, WHEN we take urgent action and create Marine Protected Areas.

I've just finished my Adriatic swim. PERFECT conditions. But longer than expected - 3h 55min. This coastline is a key resting place for migrating birds. But they’re at risk from hunting, pollution & overfishing. For example the slender-billed curlew is now down to just 50 animals worldwide. We urge all nations on the Adriatic to increase their efforts to protect this sea through a network of effective Marine Protected Areas. Picture: Facebook

I’ve just finished my Adriatic swim. PERFECT conditions. But longer than expected – 3h 55min. This coastline is a key resting place for migrating birds. But they’re at risk from hunting, pollution & overfishing. For example the slender-billed curlew is now down to just 50 animals worldwide. We urge all nations on the Adriatic to increase their efforts to protect this sea through a network of effective Marine Protected Areas. Picture: Facebook

“There’s a reason we ended our final North Sea swim at the Thames Barrier. It’s a highly symbolic example of foresight and visionary design. When it was commissioned 30 years ago, its engineers had no idea how crucial it would be. They thought it would be used two or three times a year.  But this last winter it was used 48 times. Where would London be today without the Thames Barrier? In a word: underwater.

“I don’t want to imagine what the world will be like in 30 years time if we don’t protect our marine resources today.

The start of yesterday's Adriatic swim. Picture: Facebook

The start of yesterday’s Adriatic swim. Picture: Facebook

“The world’s waters are changing. The seas and oceans are in a state of crisis. And we rely on these seas and oceans – all of us on this planet, wherever we live – for our very livelihood.

“I am well aware that the world is caught up in a number of serious global political and humanitarian crises right now. It is certainly not my intention to trivialise any of these. But in focusing solely on the current state of global hyper-conflict, we run the risk of losing sight of something that is going to affect our children and grandchildren. The biggest risk the world faces right now is what is happening to the environment, and a large part of that is what is happening in our seas.

Passing a massive cruise ship during yesterday's Mediterranean swim off Monaco. Picture: Facebook

Passing a massive cruise ship during yesterday’s Mediterranean swim off Monaco. Picture: Facebook

“When Desmond Tutu came to wish me well at the outset of this expedition, he reminded me of something fundamental. He reminded me that so many of the world’s conflicts are over resources. When we fail to protect our resources, we set the stage for conflict. But when we protect our resources, we foster peace.

I dream of a peaceful world of well-managed Marine Protected Areas, protecting our coastlines and extending across our high seas. Of abundant oceans teeming with fish, big and small, with turtles and whales and sea-birds. Oceans filled with sharks.

I don't think I've ever felt the English Channel as warm as it was yesterday. Now's the time to swim across, if you have the urge! Picture: Facebook

I don’t think I’ve ever felt the English Channel as warm as it was yesterday. Now’s the time to swim across, if you have the urge! Picture: Facebook

“Now is the time to make that dream happen. To reverse the rampant devastation of our marine resources, to provide them safe havens that allow them to regroup and recover.  Too many species are dying out, hunted to near extinction, slipping through our fingers, like sand.

“Let’s stop fighting. And start giving our seas a fighting chance.”

Just finished my Black Sea swim. 10km in 2 hours 48 minutes. It was like a washing machine out there! Thank you to all the Turkish swimmers who encouraged me along and support our campaign for more Marine Protected Areas in this vulnerable ecosystem. We now have 3 more seas to go. Picture: Facebook

Just finished my Black Sea swim. 10km in 2 hours 48 minutes. It was like a washing machine out there! Thank you to all the Turkish swimmers who encouraged me along and support our campaign for more Marine Protected Areas in this vulnerable ecosystem. We now have 3 more seas to go. Picture: Facebook

The Citizen

Sep 1 14

Annaleise Carr back in the water to finish marathon swim across Lake Erie

by ZwemZa
Annaleise Carr

Annaleise Carr

Sixteen year old Annaleise Carr returned to the water late last night to finish her marathon swim across Lake Erie.

In the first leg of the 75-kilometre crossing in late July she swam from Erie, Pennsylvania to Long Point Ont.

Stormy weather and rough conditions eventually forced the Walsh, Ont., native to end the swim 33-kilometres short of her goal.

She was half way through the second leg by about five o`clock this morning, and still going strong.

Carr is swimming to raise money for Camp Trillium, a camp for children with cancer.

She`s raised more than $190,000 so far this summer.

The Canadian Press

Sep 1 14

Hosszu, Gyurta set world records

by ZwemZa
Katinka Hosszu

Katinka Hosszu

Hungarian swimmers Katinka Hosszu and Daniel Gyurta ruled the pool smashing world records on the first day of the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup held at the Hamdan Sports Complex Dubai on Sunday.

Gyurta set a new world record in the men’s 200m Breaststroke with a time of 2:00:48 while Marco Koch of Germany claimed the silver clocking 2:01:28 and Yukihiro Takahashi bagged the bronze with a time of 2:05:00. Reigning World Cup champion Hosszu of Hungary lived up to her ‘Iron Lady’ image setting a new world record in the women’s 200m Individual Medley clocking 2:02:13.

Caitlin Leverenz of US emerged second clocking 2:07:30 while Lisa Zaiser claimed the third spot with a time of 2:06:76.

Hosszu was earlier shy of smashing yet another record in the women’s 200 Freeestyle. She lost steam after the third lap losing her grip on world record. She progressed clocking 1:52:25 to clinch the gold followed by Lisa Zaiser of Austria claiming the silver with a time of 1:54:25 and Evelyn Verrasztro of Hungary the bronze with a time of 1:55:99.

Hosszu, lived upto her expectations clinching her third gold in the women’s 50m Backstroke clocking 26:10 while Ukranian Daryna Zevina swam in second with 26:45 and Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk emerged third with a time of 26:70.

The ‘Iron Lady’ bagged her fourth gold in the women’s 200m Backstroke clocking 2:01:17. Daryna Zevina of Ukraine bagged the silver with a time of 2:03:76 and Carolina Colarado Henao bagged the bronze clocking 2:06:96.

“It feels really good. The amazing part is that last year and the year before I was swimming four or five races in the afternoon and I was just so tired. But I felt really happy to be on the podium in some of them but today I am like in all four of them,” said a beaming Hosszu.

Thomas Fraser Holmes of Australia set a new championship record and Commonwealth record in the men’s 400m Individual Medley clocking 3:58:69.

Holmes held on to his lead to claim his first gold with Hungarian David Verrasztro emerging second with a time of 4:02:52 and Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia came in third.

Holmes claimed his second gold in the men’s 400m Freestyle clocking 3:38:22 with Velimir Stjepanovic of Serbia claiming the silver with a time of 3:38:32 and Ahmed Mathlouthi claiming the bronze with 3:41:43.

South Africa’s Chad Le Clos bagged the gold in the men’s 100m Freestyle with a time of 46:24 and surged ahead to claim his second gold in the men’s 50m Butterfly clocking 22:02 .

“It been a good run for me. I am very happy. I usually win and I like to keep up the wining streak,” said Le Clos.

Rajesh D’silva

Aug 30 14

Le Clos aims to consolidate lead

by ZwemZa
Chad le Clos

Chad le Clos

Defending champion Chad Le Clos may have been overshadowed by the amazing exploits of Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu during the opening leg of the 2014 Fina/Mastbank Swimming World Cup in Doha two days back. But the World, Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion from South Africa is seeking to raise the bar a bit and come within striking distance of his more accomplished colleague from Hungary when the second leg of the 2014 Fina/Mastbank World Cup takes place at the Hamdan Sports Complex here on Sunday and Monday.

Hosszu ended two days of competition at the opening round in Doha with ten medals, seven of these gold, and three world records to boot. Le Clos won the men’s competition while Hosszu took the women’s honours at the end of the Dubai leg at the Hamdan Sports Complex last year.

And this year, the South African wants to perhaps go one step further. For the time-being, things are going in his favour as overall champion for 2012 and 2013 as the 22-year-old South African occupies the top position in men’s competition at the end of the Doha leg.

Le Clos has 54 points following three golds and a silver on the two days of the event in Doha. He is followed by Thomas Fraser-Holmes of Australia in second and Daniel Gyurta of Hungary, both with 48 points.

Fraser-Holmes had the highest number of wins in Doha with four golds, while coming in fastest in the 200m free, 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley and 400m freestyle. Germany’s Christian Diener had wins in the 100m and 200m backstroke for two gold medals to remain within striking distance of the overall two-time defending champion.

“Things are looking pretty balanced among us [men], but then I think I am in pretty good shape this year and we will see how things go here,” Le Clos told the media.

“There are a lot of tough swimmers out there, but my job is to go out there and give it my best and we will see how things work out on Sunday and Monday,” he added.

With her brilliant performance, Hosszu is firmly in the seat with 189 points, way clear of Inge Dekker of the Netherlands in second with 60 points and Spaniard Mireia Belmonte in third with 45 points.

This is the fourth time that Dubai is hosting the Fina Swimming World Cup that this time has 235 swimmers from 38 nations attending. As many as 84 swimmers from the UAE will be involved in this competition, 50 of these UAE athletes and the remaining 34 expatriates, including recent European champion Velimir Stjepanovic.

The Dubai leg is the second round of the seven-leg World Cup series. The swimmers will next move onto to Hong Kong, and then onward to Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo and finally to Singapore for the seventh round on November 1-2.

The Swimming World Cup is contested in a 25m pool and sees both men and women vying for prize money in each of the 36 events. Points are awarded for performances using a Fina scale that is based on the current world record time. Points are accumulated over the seven leg series with the overall series winners in the men’s and women’s sections winning $100,000 (Dh365,000). Action at the Hamdan Sports Complex will get under way at 10 am with the heats followed by all the finals and medals presentation from 6 pm onwards.

Provisional top-3 best of the overall ranking of the competition

(Men) 1. Chad Le Clos (RSA) 54 pts; 2. Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS) 48; 3. Daniel Gyurta (HUN) 48.

(Women) 1. Katinka Hosszu (HUN) 189 pts; 2. Inge Dekker (NED) 60; 3. Mireia Belmonte (ESP) 45.

Alaric Gomes

Aug 30 14

Using sport and history to unite

by ZwemZa
Gideon Sam

Gideon Sam

International travel for work is a lot less glamorous than it may sound – having said that, it’s always a privilege to be able to report on our national sporting journey around the world.

Every city has its own particular tale to tell. Last year, Colombia hosted the World Games and off the sporting field, the story of the Cali Cartel in the host city of Cali was a fascinating one to learn more about.

Earlier this year Gaborone, Botswana hosted the African Youth Games and it was another fascinating experience of a laid-back, yet proud and dignified way of life.

Glasgow, Scotland hosted the Commonwealth Games and it was a riotous experience of cultural fervour and this writer had an eerie early-morning adventure while jogging alongside the River Clyde and emerging into thick fog surrounded by thousands upon thousands of graves in St Peter’s Cemetery in Dalbeth. A sobering experience indeed, walking among the dearly departed, with many gravestones remembering those killed in the two World Wars, and epitaphs dating back to as far as 1860.

We’re currently in Nanjing, China  for the Youth Olympic Games, and this city has one of the most sobering tales of all to tell.

This week, SASCOC President Gideon Sam, veteran photographer Wessel Oosthuizen and myself found time for a must-visit excursion to the Massacre Museum.

In a nutshell, the city once known as Nanking, used to be the capital before Beijing assumed that role. In 1937 the city fell to invading Japanese forces and on 13 December, what is also known as the Rape of Nanjing took place.
In the space of two months 300,000 men, women and children were tortured, raped and butchered, some in the most barbaric, heinous and senseless of ways.

The impressively laid-out museum pays terrible tribute to those departed and leaves nothing to the imagination. Haunting music greets visitors and statues depicting the city’s residents fleeing for their lives make one feel as though they are there.

Skeletons in shallow graves are on show for the many visitors, and there are many, most of them Chinese citizens, on a working day, eager to learn their own history. One particularly moving sight was that of a tiny 60-year-old woman, bayoneted through the pelvis and then shot in the forehead.

Harrowing, harrowing stuff but by all accounts the Chinese have forgiven but NOT forgotten that awful period in their history.

A moved President Sam said on entering the museum: This is going to be a moving, emotional experience’. He was not wrong, and as he reflected afterwards: ‘It’s amazing how inhumane humans can be to each other.’

There was a moment at the amazing opening ceremony that showed the wounds of Nanjing are still there, if not openly visible, as the crowd booed the entrance of the Japanese team.

The world we live in today is full of conflict – Iraq, Gaza and the city of Ferguson in the United States spring to mind immediately. It’s up to the youth of today to help make the world a better place!

And right now the cream of the globe’s sporting youth are in China for the Youth Olympics. The Games may be about sport, but not entirely about sport and there is a large emphasis on the exchanging of cultural experience and knowledge. Never has the saying: ‘Knowledge is Power’ had so much significance than in the troubled times we live in. May the youth, including Team South Africa, leave Nanjing next week having a better understanding of life beyond sport and strive to make the world a better place.

Mark Etheridge
Disclaimer: ZwemZa encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on ZwemZa are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of ZwemZa.
Aug 30 14

Two friends pursuing a shared Olympic dream

by ZwemZa

Joyce Tafatatah1Swimmer Joyce Tafatatah left her family in Malawi and moved to the Netherlands in order to pursue her dream of competing at the Olympic Games.

Joyce started swimming at the very early age of four, and competed in her first big event when she was just eight. “My older brother used to swim and my mother really loved swimming, so I just watched them and then I picked it up slowly. I started to become really good at it, I just liked it and I continued,” she says of her early beginnings in the sport.

Swimming in Malawi, a landlocked country in southeast Africa bordering Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, is not easy mainly due to the lack of facilities. Most of the pools are only 25m instead of 50m, which is the standard for international competition.

“There are not really high standards if you are swimming in Malawi. Swimming is more for fun and not taken seriously. However, I take it seriously,” she explains. “Most people in Malawi quit swimming by the age of 14. I would like to change the attitude of people in Malawi to sports.  It is a big deal and I think that we have the resources to spend on facilities, but we don’t,” she said.

In 2011 Joyce was invited to travel to the Netherlands for the opportunity to meet with a professional coach. He told her she had talent, and that was enough to encourage her to continue pursuing her passion.

At the 10th All African Games in Maputo (MOZ) in September 2011, Joyce was offered a universality place to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games, aged just 14. At the Malawi National Swimming Championships in March 2012 she broke six national records becoming an overnight sensation at home.

And then at London 2012, as one of the youngest competitors at the Games, she competed in the 50m freestyle, going on to swim a personal best time of 27.74. “I don’t think I knew what was going on in London because I was so young. I mean it was just another swimming competition that was big,” she explained.  “It was a great experience, and I am so glad I took part so I saw how it actually works. How the big guys do it.”

Following her Olympic experience she went back to Malawi, but it was winter and she was being forced to train outside in the cold, which took its toll on her health.

But it did not break her resolve. “My biggest dream was, and still is, to qualify for Rio 2016,” she explained. And in order to help her achieve that dream, her parents decided she should move to a place where she had the proper facilities to train. She packed up her things and moved to the Netherlands.

Adapting to the new culture was the hardest thing. “It is a really different culture from back home and it was also hard because I did not have my parents with me,” she explained.
“Also when I got there it was one of the coldest winters, which made it even worse for me because I had never seen snow before,” she added.

Joyce has built up a good social environment in her new European home. She was helped when she met Jannah Sonnenschein, an 18-year-old swimmer from Mozambique who had herself relocated to train in the Netherlands.

“I moved to the Netherlands when I was 15,” explained Jannah. “When Joyce came to the Netherlands I knew exactly what she was going through so I went up to her on the first day of practice, so she would feel more comfortable and accepted in that different world. “Joyce is a very strong woman. She went through a lot that first year with all those changes, but she did well. She is also a very honest person,” she added.

The two are now like sisters. One morning after training they were sitting together just chatting, as friends do, and they decided they would go to the Youth Olympic Games – together. It is a dream they fulfilled, both qualifying for the Nanjing 2014 with their respective countries.

After Nanjing 2014 they will go their separate ways again. Jannah is going to study and swim at New Mexico State University in the USA. Her plan is to train there and hopefully qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, Joyce will continue her high school studies in the Netherlands where she will also be training in a bid to realise her dream of competing at the Olympic Games.
However, if all goes to plan, they will be reunited once more – in Rio in 2016!

Laura Godenzi,

Aug 30 14

Chad le Clos interview: 100m butterfly world record my target

by ZwemZa
Chad le Clos

Chad le Clos

Chad le Clos has set his sights on breaking the 100m butterfly world record during this year’s FINA World Cup series.

The 22-year-old South African swimming sensation broke his nation’s best time in the event yesterday (Thursday), swimming 48.70 to also set a world’s best ‘textile best’ time. That’s a time without the benefit of a polyurethane suit, which helped decimate records in 2009 and 2010.

Korotyshkin’s ‘suited’ record

That hasn’t stopped Le Clos setting his sights on the 48.48 posted by Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia back in 2009, and he told us before the start of the short-course series that he is hoping to dip below that mark on one of the seven stops this year.

“I’m excited about this year’s event. In the 200m this year, we’ll see what happens. I think I’m just going to try and be consistent in that event and then try and break the 100m world record on one of the stops,” he exclusively told GiveMeSport.

“If I can do that, it would be great. We’ll just enter a lot of races, keep improving and hopefully get the world record along the way.”

Big trips ahead

The FINA swimming world cup started on Wednesday in Doha, and after yesterday’s finals travels to Dubai, Hong Kong, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore in the space of two months.

It’s a gruelling schedule that puts the top swimmers under pressure to perform, but Le Clos enjoys travelling around the world and believes all the effort helps him to ‘race tough’ on the big stage.

“Short course means you travel the world and it’s always at the same time of the year. It’s a gruelling series of seven or eight weeks, and you’ve got to be the most consistent swimmer in the world,” Le Clos added.

Tactical swimming

“However close you are to the world record, that’s how many points you get per leg. You also get points per gold medal, so you can either go for six gold medals per meet or you can go for two swims that are very close to a world record.

“Sometimes you’ve got to be tactical, because you can’t swim six legs for eight weeks. As I say, it’s gruelling, but it’s a lot of fun and teaches you how to race tough.”

Le Clos has already showed his tactical side in Doha, skipping the 200m freestyle and IM events before winning the 100m freestyle, 100m fly and 50m fly.

Mark Bollens

Aug 30 14

O’Neill backs Aussie Youth Olympic results

by ZwemZa
Susie O'Neill says Australia did well at the Youth Olympics despite winning 26 medals. (AAP)

Susie O’Neill says Australia did well at the Youth Olympics despite winning 26 medals. (AAP)

Australia’s inability to win a swimming gold medal at the Youth Olympics should not be viewed as a bad omen, says pool great Susie O’Neill.

Swimmers contributed 10 of Australia’s 26 medals at the second Youth Games in Nanjing, China, which ended on Thursday.

Nine of those medals were bronze, with Sydneysider Ami Matsuo winning the only silver in the women’s 50m freestyle.

Swimming has traditionally been the backbone of Australia’s Olympic success at senior level, the sport the country looks to first for gold medals.

O’Neill, Australia’s Youth Olympic team leader, said the results in Nanjing did not reflect the depth of talent in Australian swimming.

“Without making any excuses … it’s not like a normal swimming event,” she said.

O’Neill said the eight swimmers on the Australian team were selected to compete across all disciplines rather than just their preferred races.

She also said bronze medals now would make the young swimmers even more determined to win next time.

“I imagine not getting any golds would be extra motivation for them,” she said.

“Hopefully it makes them go back and train a bit harder.

“I think that’s why this event is so important. People can practise when things don’t go entirely perfectly for them.”

Of Australia’s 26 medals, five came in from events where athletes competed in mixed teams made up of many nations.

At the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore, Australia won 32 medals, three of which came from mixed nation events.

Notable success stories this time were triathlete Brittany Dutton who won gold on the opening day, followed by the triumphant women’s rugby sevens team, 400 metre runner Jessica Thornton and the men’s hockey fives team who won the last gold of the Games.

In a departure from senior Olympics, there is no official medal table at Youth Olympics.

“To be honest, coming in we weren’t really focusing on the medal tally,” said O’Neill.

“We were focusing on how they conducted themselves and how they behaved, and how they represented the country.”

However O’Neill believed several athletes made their mark as future Olympians, particularly the gold medallists.

“Overall the athletics team was really quite impressive,” she said.

The next Youth Olympic Games will be held in 2018 in Buenos Aires.

AAP

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