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Jun 22 18

Japan forces a thriller against Hungary but the home side survives, faces Montenegro

by ZwemZa

Hungary is chasing its first World League title since 2004 – after that year only the former Yugoslavian states could clinch this trophy. Serbia came first 11 times in 13 years, the missing two went to Montenegro in 2009 and to Croatia in 2012. In this season, Montenegro ousted the Serbs in the qualification and now they are the ones who can maintain the Southern Slavoninans’ streak as they will clash with the host Magyars in the final. The Hungarians overcame an extreme challenge from Japan to win a thrilling semi-final while Montenegro kept the game under control against Spain and can play for the gold for the first time since 2010

Tanamura came up with 16 saves in the Japanese goal

In the first semi-final, at halftime, only the showmaker could generate some noise in the Duna Arena otherwise the crowd was frozen in silence as Japan staged a brilliant 0-4 second period against Hungary and took a stunning 2-5 lead after two periods. The Magyars missed all their chances during this phase, the Japanese goalie did a great job – then the world championship silver medallists responded spectacularly and produced a 7-goal period, though the Japanese were still in the game at 9-8. They levelled once, had a chance to go even at 10-9 but at the end experience prevailed and Hungary closed down the game for a 11-9 win and a place in the final, for the first time since 2014.

Before this competition day the second SF looked to be more exciting but comparing the two encounters, the Montenegrins’ victory came a bit easier – at least they didn’t have to overcome such headaches as their Saturday rival. They built this convincing win step-by-step, in the third they managed to take a three-goal lead and even the Spaniards reduced it to one late in the fourth, they didn’t have a realistic chance to force a shootout and a great goal in the last minute secured the Montenerins’ place in the final, for the first time in eight years.

The Montenegrin defence worked really well

In the first game of Day 5 Croatia hit back for its surprising defeat in the prelims to the United States and restored some pride by beating the Americans convincingly. Though there was not a lot at stake but the post-game symptoms after the bitter losses in the quarters (the Croats were edged out by Hungary in a shootout while the group winning US team suffered a shocking defeat against fourth placed and winless Japan) – one player from both teams were expelled with a red card and Croatian head coach Ivica Tucak was also sent away from the bench, just like the US assistant coach. There were some tensions, still, the world champions dominated the second half and their victory was never in danger.

The duet of Jesse Smith (USA) and Josip Vrlic – not really fitting for artistic swimming, rather for a tough water polo contest – Credit: Jozsef Szaka

The Aussies joined them soon to set up a fine match for the 5th place on Saturday – they did a clean job against Kazakhstan. The Sharks took firm control right from the beginning and didn’t let the Kazakhs think of something similar what had happened last year when they upended the Aussies in the same phase of this tournament. The boys from Down Under went 4-1 up in the opening period and never looked back – maintained a 4-5 goal lead throught the game which turned into a scoring festival, stopping at 26 in total.

Jun 22 18

FINA World Youth Water Polo Championships 2018 – draws reveal the groups!

by ZwemZa

The draws for both the FINA World Men and Women’s Youth Water Polo Championships 2018, to be held in Szombathely (HUN) and Belgrade (SRB) respectively, were hold today in Budapest (HUN) where the Men’s World League Super Final is currently being disputed until Saturday June 23.

In the Women’s Youth tournament, 16 teams will compete in Belgrade from August 27-September 2 2018. Following the draw, the groups are as follows:

WOMEN

GROUP A
Spain
Canada
Serbia
Italy

GROUP B
Uzbekistan
Greece
Australia
Brazil

GROUP C
Kazakhstan
Hungary
USA
Argentina

GROUP D
New Zealand
Netherlands
Russia
South Africa

In the Men’s Youth tournament, 20 teams will be present in Szombathely from August 11-19, 2018 and groups’ composition unfolds as follows:

MEN

GROUP A
Egypt
Australia
South Africa
Brazil
Montenegro

GROUP B
Greece
Hungary
Argentina
Russia
China

GROUP C
Uzbekistan
New Zealand
Italy
USA
Croatia

GROUP D
Serbia
Colombia
Spain
Canada
Saudi Arabia

The Youth Water Polo Championships is tailored for the youngest players, aged 18 year old or under.

FINA Communication Department

Jun 22 18

Dark Mofo nude swimmers take the plunge for annual winter solstice dip

by ZwemZa

A record number of naked backsides have galloped down a Hobart beach into the water for the annual mad dash of Dark Mofo’s winter solstice nude swim.

The year before, organisers ran short on towels – they brought extras along for the 2018 swim. (AAP: Rob Blakers)

With the air temperature hovering around 7 degrees Celsius, a record number of participants arrived in the dark to don red swimming caps supplied by organisers and steel themselves for the event, held annually as part of the Museum of Old and New Art’s (MONA) festival of the bizarre.

The stampede began at 7:42am, with waves of bodies throwing off the towels and heading towards the River Derwent, where a relatively tropical water temperature of around 14C awaited.

In 2017, just over 1,000 people registered for the event, catching out organisers who had factored in a number of no-shows — resulting in too many bums and not enough towels.

This year more than 2,200 signed up, with Dark Mofo learning the lesson of 2017, with plenty of linen on hand this morning at Long Beach, in Sandy Bay.

Come crunch time, organisers said 1,537 punters turned up to get wet — a new record.

Graeme Mineall, who has multiple sclerosis, took part for the first time thanks to a beach wheelchair and support from his carers.

The 74-year-old said the skinny dip had been on his bucket list since the inaugural event.

They are off and heading to the water for the 2018 Dark Mofo nude swim in Hobart. (ABC News: Gregor Salmon)

“It was just something that I wanted to do right back when the first one happened in 2013,” he said.

“If you want help, help is always there. If you can do it, try. It is worth the effort, I feel good.”

He said stripping down did not bother him.

“It was a marvelous experience,” he said.

Not everyone is a fan of Dark Mofo’s cheeky calendar of events, with the city’s mayor expressing his distaste. (ABC News: Gregor Salmon)

Getting naked in the company of strangers was no problem for Jacqui Stevenson either.

“I’m from the Get Naked Australia community, so we are all about being positive when you’re naked and getting out in nature,” she said.

Graeme Mineall said he has been keen to do the swim since it started in 2013. (ABC News: Gregor Salmon)

“What better way to feel alive than to come out in the freezing cold water and get nude.

“I think the whole body positivity movement is really going ahead now. You are seeing more naked events like this, which is great.

“It is about being free and loving the body that you are in.”

Dark Mofo executive director Kate Gould said with more people than ever taking part in the sixth annual nude swim, the shock value no longer existed.

“It is very every day [and] it is a celebration of humanity,” she said.

“It’s not shocking at all anymore.”

Ms Gould said although rival events had sprung up, with Canberra conducting their own event this year, nothing could compare.

“I don’t think anyone can compete with us, but isn’t it fantastic to be copied,” she said.

The swim is a highlight of the annual Dark Mofo festival, which has revitalised Tasmania’s tourism economy. (AAP: Rob Blakers)

The inaugural swim in 2013 was almost scuttled after police threatened to arrest participants for endangering public decency, with a senior police officer stating “whilst other people and other councils and other jurisdictions may have their own beliefs, here in Tasmania the fact is we are ensuring nobody is offended by this behaviour”.

Following support from the government, the event was back on, with the then-police minister explaining he had called on the parties to come together and find a way to allow the nude swim to proceed.

The swim coincides with similar events around the world marking the shortest day of the year. As part of their long-running tradition, Antarctic expeditioners cut a hole in the ice near Casey research station, with 21 team members braving the water temperature of minus 2 degrees Celsius.

The early morning dip has gone on to become emblematic of the Dark Mofo festival, which has featured a number of performances that have challenged the public to examine their definition of art and performance.

The last swimmer enjoys the serenity at Sandy Bay. (ABC News: Gregor Salmon)

MONA founder David Walsh said the controversies have been good for business, with widespread acceptance now allowing the festival to be instrumental in boosting tourism numbers to the island.

Dark Mofo runs until Sunday night and will culminate with an effigy of a giant cave spider carried aloft through the city centre and set alight at the end of the Ogoh-Ogoh parade.

Rhiannon Shine | abc.net.au

Jun 22 18

Schooling wins 100m butterfly at National C’ships, may stop competing in 200m fly

by ZwemZa

Joseph Schooling in action during the 100m men’s butterfly event at the NEO Garden 14th Singapore National Swimming Championships, on June 21, 2018.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The 200m butterfly was the ticket to his first Olympic Games, in London in 2012. Six years on, Joseph Schooling is mulling over dropping the event at the elite level, as he trains towards Tokyo 2020.

“That is up in the air; I’ve raced the 200m fly for a very long time and I think I might be done with that race,” said the 23-year-old after winning the 100m fly on Thursday (June 21) at the Neo Garden 14th Singapore National Swimming Championships.

He clocked 52.43sec to beat Australians Matthew Temple (52.59) and Bowen Gough (53.20).

Jun 22 18

Simone Manuel has graduated to her Next level of swimming and life

by ZwemZa
Jun 21 18

Leading athletes in the Olympic Movement

by ZwemZa

Kirsty Coventry (Afro Tourism)

Following her appointment as chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission (IOC AC) in February 2018, Kirsty Coventry offers insight into her background as an athlete, her career transition after retirement and her plans for the future in her new role

I started swimming when I was just 18 months old, when my mom and grandad taught me, and I instantly fell in love with the water.

I was six years old when I joined my first swim club and already, at such a young age, I loved the competitiveness. My mom could never get me out of the pool. It became my quiet place as I grew up and gave me confidence within myself.

Fulfilling a childhood dream
A decade after joining my first club, my Olympic career started. I remember going to the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 and being completely amazed – it was where my childhood dream became a reality.

I later got a scholarship in the United States at Auburn University – and I never looked back. It was there that I qualified for my second Olympic Games in Athens, where I won my first medals – bronze in the 200m individual medley, silver in the 100m breaststroke and gold in the 200m backstroke.

Those were the first Olympic medals for Zimbabwe in 24 years, which was very special. Thousands of people met me at the airport. Everyone was so happy, and despite tough times in the country in that period, people just wanted to celebrate.

Transitioning on my own terms
I competed in another three Olympic Games, but before Rio 2016 I had started looking ahead to retirement and my career transition. I was committed to walking away on my own terms, as fit and healthy as I could be, and that’s what Rio was all about.

My husband and I toured around Zimbabwe in 2013, sharing my experiences with school children and this is where the idea for HEROES and the Kirsty Coventry Academy was born. We wanted to uplift and inspire children in underprivileged areas of Zimbabwe. Our Heroes Programme allows for children to come and try different sports in a safe environment, creates a platform for talent identity and inspires youth through physical activity. We officially launched it in July 2017 and have had 6,000 children come through our programme since then.

Away from this, I’ve been a member of the IOC AC and I’m now chairing the commission; I’ve been a part of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Surfing Federation; while I also became more active within my National Olympic Committee (NOC) and International Federation, becoming NOC Vice-President and sitting on the FINA Athletes Committee.

Leading athletes
Within the AC as someone that has been constant and willing to put my hand up, I’ve sat on some amazing commissions and am particularly proud of the continuous work we’ve done in upgrading the Athlete Career Programme. I recently retired so I know the struggles, more mentally than physically, that an athlete has to go through, and we want to be a leader in supporting that transition.

Under the leadership of Angela Ruggiero, my predecessor, we’ve also created a fantastic Strategy – and now, we’re very excited about the implementation. For this, we need have a more open and direct communication with the global athlete community, and to come up with strong KPIs so that we can measure our work and show athletes what we’ve been doing.

If the athletes remain at the heart of the Games and their rights and responsibilities are being looked after, that’s what drives me and maintains my passion for the whole Olympic Movement. It’s about trying to make change in a positive way and being part of the conversation.

olympic.org

Jun 21 18

Hungary edges out Croatia in shootout, Montenegro, Spain advance with ease

by ZwemZa

Montenegro was the first team reaching the semifinals as they beat Kazakhstan with ease, as expected. The Montenegrins ruled the game right from the beginning, took a commanding 5-2 lead in the first period, maintained that gap until half-time and knocked out their rivals in the second half. The partial results are telling the story: the first half was 7-4, the second was 7-2, no surprise, no tension – a convincing and comfortable win for Montenegro.

A rare scene: the Kazakhs set to score – Credit: Jozsef Szaka

Spain was next to join the top four. Australia had the better start and in the first half it was an even affair, stood 2-2 while the man-ups didn’t work at either sides. Spain began to gear up in the second half and while shutting out their rivals for 20:57 minutes, they gained a three-goal lead. Though the Aussies managed to came back to 4-5 but experience and better condition made the difference in the finish, Spain scored the last four goals and passed this test easily.

The third game brought the most thrilling contest of the day – which is expected at any time when Hungary and Croatia clash. It was a tremendous fight between last year’s world champion and the runner-up side, the defences did a huge job, killing man-downs were superb at both ends. In a highly tactical match Hungary took the upper hand in the second half breaking two goals clear and they held on until early in the fourth but the Croats staged a better finish to save the game into a penalty shootout. However, the Magyars were more precise, converted all four shots while the Croats had a miss then Viktor Nagy delivered a save (see the big picture) to close the match down (the Croats lost their second shootout in three days). It means that Hungary returns to the World League semis for the first time since 2014, while Croatia had to settle for the games played for 5-8th place – this happens to them for the very first time in history (when they qualified for the Super Final, always made the semis at least).

Quarterfinals

15.15 Montenegro v Kazakhstan 14-6

16.45 Australia v Spain 4-9

18.15 Hungary v Croatia 6-6, pen: 4-2

19.45 United States v Japan

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

Jun 21 18

Learning to love morning training

by ZwemZa

The alarm clock rings. It’s 5am. Sunshine is still an hour away, and yet that incessant beeping of your alarm clock is impolitely reminding you that soon, you’re about to jolt your body from its pleasant cocoon of blankets and pillows and submerge it into freezing cold water with the expectation of the generation of lactic acid and a 150bpm heart rate.

Of course, this description of the everyday morning practice routine isn’t included in the “Join a Swim Team” handout. Many young potential swimmers would likely read that above paragraph, smirk, and say, “I’ll stick to soccer, thanks.”

And yet, morning practice — while sometimes cold and difficult — can actually be a pretty fun and rewarding experience, with the right attitude. And no, this isn’t just some USA Swimming propaganda. Anyone who knows me would tell you that I’m the last person who ever enjoyed morning practice, but even I, finally, during the final swimming season of my career, learned to enjoy leaping into the water at 6am.

And if I can do it, so can you, swimmers.

Here are some tips for learning to love morning practice:

1. Arrive five minutes early.

Nothing is worse for your Morning Practice Mentality than showing up to practice a few seconds late and trying to catch-up with the team during warm-up. It just makes everything feel rushed — which is the last thing anyone wants at 6am.

2. Drink some water as soon as you wake up.

It’s important to hydrate as soon as you wake up! Whenever I’m dehydrated, I feel slow, slogged down, and I just generally don’t want to do anything but sleep. Before you jump into the pool, drink some water. It helps wake you up.

3. Leap into the deep end.

It’s all about how you enter the pool: If you dip your toes into the water, timidly and wishing for sleep, I can tell you that you’re going to despise morning practice. But if you head over to the deep end and do a massive cannonball before anyone else gets into the water? Something about that just sends a statement to your mind that this is fun — even if you don’t believe it (at first).

4. Positive self-talk.

It’s so corny, but positive self-talk can really help. “I love morning practice!” is something I actually told myself, out loud, whenever I felt that urge to sleep come on. Eventually, as you keep telling yourself this over and over, you begin to believe it. Try it for one month. Whenever you hear yourself think, “I want to sleep” or “This pool is too cold this morning” or “I just want to quit swimming,” try instead saying out loud, “I love morning practice!” Or try shouting it. Out loud. To your entire groggy-eyed team.

5. Set a bedtime.

Yup. If you’re a morning practice swimmer, you’ve got to set a bedtime. Seriously. Otherwise you’ll be doing a Netflix binge until 2am and feeling like utter death when you wake up for morning practice a few hours later. This bedtime has to be sacred and you have to adhere to it every single evening. Over time, your body will thank you.

6. Treat yourself for every “good” morning practice.

The only reason I joined a swim team in the first place is because my mother promised me fast food breakfasts after every morning practice. Sure, not the healthiest or best reason to join a swim team — but I did it. And I continued eating that way all through high school and college. I’m not saying you need fast food as a motivational force for doing a morning practice. But find whatever reward system you can to help you get through those tough morning practices. It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while… especially if you’re waking up before dawn and swimming miles on end before the majority of the world even hits their snooze button.

Practice these six things like you would practice an endless 400 IM repeat set at 6:15am, and one day, you’ll wake up and actually be excited for morning practice.

And — gasp! — you may even learn to love it.

Mike Gustafson | USA Swimming Corrospondent

Jun 21 18

Croatia lose again at Water Polo World Super League Super Final

by ZwemZa

Hungary exploited the physical strength of their forwards to beat Japan ©FINA

Hungary and Croatia, last year’s World Championship finalists, will meet in the quarter-finals of the men’s International Swimming Federation Water Polo World League Super Final in Budapest after the United States and Montenegro topped the groups.

After losing a shoot-out to Spain yesterday, the Croatian world champions lost again today to the US, meaning they finished in third place in Group B at the Duna Arena.

The Americans took control of the game early on and were three goals up going into the last quarter.

A late surge by the Croatians almost forced a draw but, in the end, it was too little too late and the game finished 11-10 to the US.

In Group A’s first match of the day Montenegro gained control against Australia and maintained it until the end.

Two goals away was the closest Australia ever got to forcing a shoot-out, the match ending 10-8.

That result means Montenegro top the group with three wins.

Spain won game three of the day to claim second spot in Group B.

They folllowed up yesterday’s surprise win over Croatia by cruising to victory against Kazakhstan.

When the final whisle blew the score read 11-3.

The final game saw Hungary exploit the size and strength of their forwards to great effect.

It was once again too much for Japan today, who fell to a 14-7 defeat.

The results mean Montenegro and the US top their respective groups, Hungary take second place in Group A and Spain finished second in B.

Croatia and Australia take the third spots and Japan and Kazakhstan take up the rear with zero points each.

Tomorrow’s other quarter-finals are due to see Montenegro play Kazakhstan, Australia meet Spain and the US face Japan.

James Diamond | Inside the Games

Jun 21 18

Open Water Swimming adventure camps in HAWAII this Summer!

by ZwemZa

Meredith Novack will be hosting one week Open Water Swimming Adventure Camps in HAWAII this Summer! ADULTS ONLY (21+) Come back faster and more amazing! LIVE THE DREAM! These camps are scheduled for July 16-21 August 20-25 $1199 – camp fee. Limited space. BOOK NOW!

Reach another level this summer! Meredith specializes in taking athletes to another level. She empowers her clients – teaching skills, techniques and strategies that they can use for years to come! A world class open water swimmer, US Masters National Champion and former professional triathlete,

Meredith has guided swimmers and triathletes to best times around the world. She has a soft spot for beginners who are excited to learn and work hard and a reputation for immediate positive results. For 15+ years she has quietly consulted pro triathletes and swimmers, coached club, college and Masters…now she wants to share THE DREAM.

Imagine one week completely devoted to your development in beautiful Hawaii…training harder and longer, chasing dolphins and turtles, looking for underwater caves, jumping off of cliffs, taking a sunset cruise, eating organic, healthy snacks, exploring coral reefs, having vacation photos taken by professional photographers, joining a local open water swim race… Two swim sessions a day (some technical and skills sessions, training sessions, long straight swims, etc.)…7 plus locations around the island…this week will change your swimming…and it will also CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Contact Meredith directly at MeredithNovack@gmail.com .

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