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Aug 21 14

Euro 2014 : Carlin clinches stunning 800m, treble for ‘Iron Lady’ Hosszu

by ZwemZa
Great Britain’s Jazmin Carlin celebrates winning the women's 800m Freestyle final of the 32nd LEN European Swimming Championships on August 21, 2014 in Berlin

Great Britain’s Jazmin Carlin celebrates winning the women’s 800m Freestyle final of the 32nd LEN European Swimming Championships on August 21, 2014 in Berlin

Jazmin Carlin launched herself into the upper realms of distance swimming with victory in the 800 metres freestyle while “Iron Lady” Katinka Hosszu won three medals on a night of quality racing at the European Championships on Thursday.

Only American Katie Ledecky, on the road to greatness at 17, has swum faster than Carlin in a textile suit, the Briton picking up her second title in three weeks following Commonwealth gold.

She set a new championship record of 8min 15.54sec ahead of Mireia Belmonte Garcia and Boglorka Kapas.

Ledecky swam more than three seconds quicker earlier Thursday at the Pan-Pacific Championships in Australia but Carlin has intense speed through the water only to lose ground at the turns so there is room for further cuts in the Welshwoman’s times.

Hosszu added the 200m individual medley title to her 400m gold, shared 100m backstroke with 17-year-old Mie Nielsen before anchoring Hungary to bronze in the 4x200m freestyle.

Germany’s Marco Koch raised the roof by winning the 200m breaststroke title.

Katie Ledecky of the US rests following the women's 800m freestyle at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on August 21, 2014
Katie Ledecky of the US rests following the women’s 800m freestyle at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on August 21, 2014

Belmonte Garcia took the 800m freestyle out in an attempt to break the field, Carlin going with her but losing ground at each turn.

Carlin’s former coach Bud McAllister described her as “pitbull, rottweiler, whatever”, a reference to her tenacity.

So it proved with Carlin refusing to let go but instead going ahead at 600m and pulling away for an ultimately emphatic victory.

Belmonte Garcia, the Olympic silver medallist, was second in 8:21.22 with defending champion Kapas of Hungary third.

Injury and illness has conspired against the Briton and there have been near misses, making the last three weeks all the more special.

“It’s been amazing, I couldn’t have asked for more. I am in shock with that time,” said Carlin.

“I knew I was capable of going a faster time -– I’ve done three 8min 18sec in the past year -– so I knew I was due a drop but I didn’t know whether it would be here.

“To come away with 8:15 and a gold medal — I couldn’t have asked for more.

“It’s been a really great season. I’ve put in a lot of work and I think you get out what you put in.”

This picture taken with an underwater camera shows first place Hungary's Katinka Hosszu in the 200 medley women final event at the 32nd LEN European swimming championships on August 21, 2014 in Berlin
This picture taken with an underwater camera shows first place Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu in the 200 medley women final event at the 32nd LEN European swimming championships on August 21, 2014 in Berlin

Twenty-four hours after Laszlo Cseh proved again he is the undisputed king of the European medley, his fellow Hungarian Hosszu demonstrated she is the queen.

Hosszu won the 400m individual medley on the opening night and on Thursday she gave a demonstration in the 200m event with a new championship record of 2:08.11, the margin of victory over Aimee Willmott a mighty 3.33secs with Lisa Zaiser third.

She said: “I wanted to slip under 2:08 but it was hard to go faster as no one really challenged me. All in all, it was a good swim and a gold medal is always a gold medal.”

The 25-year-old then returned to share the 100m backstroke title with Nielsen, the pair dead-heating on 59.63 with Britain’s Georgia Davies third.

Her gruelling programme concluded with the final event of the night when she anchored Hungary to bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Koch held off Ross Murdoch to take the 200m breaststroke in a championship record of 2:07.47, 0.30 ahead of the young Briton with Giedrius Titenis of Lithuania in third.

A powerful final leg by former Olympic champion Federica Pellegrini saw Italy overhaul Sweden to win the 4x200m freestyle in a championship record of 7:50.53 with Hungary in third.

Viktor Bromer of Denmark won the 200m butterfly in 1:55.29 and Vladimir Morozov took the 50m backstroke in 24.64.

AFP

Aug 21 14

Nanjing 2014 : Triathletes take lots away from YOG experience

by ZwemZa

gideon-sam-jayme-sue-vermaas-1858Team South Africa’s triathlon code wrapped up their competition with the International Team Relay at Xuanwu Lake on Thursday.

After racing the individual events on Sunday and Monday, Nathan le Roux and Jayme-Sue Vermaas were part of an African team in the 4xMixed Relay, held over the sprint distance.

Those distances involved a 250m swim, 6.6km bike ride and 1.8km run. The team of four clocked 1hr 30min 50sec, which put them 8:33 behind winners Europe 1.

The South African effort was slightly hampered by one of the other African athletes having to compete with an injury which slowed things down.
‘But our two competitors raced very well,’ said manager/coach John Rumbelow. ‘They raced their own races and beforehand we wrote down their target times and they ended up around 5-10sec shy off that.

‘They definitely took a lot out their Youth Olympic Game experience going forward.’

Meanwhile in the pool, Team SA’s Jarred Crous moved into the semi-finals of the boys’ 50m breaststroke in morning action. After placing second in heat four to Russian Anton Chupkov, Crous was fourth fastest with a 29.66. That was 0.69sec off fastest qualifier Nikola Obrovic of Croatia.

In the  boys’ 100m freestyle, Joshua Steyn was 27th quickest in morning heat action, clocking 52.19sec. That was 2.04sec off the pace set by China’s Hexin Yu.

There was little joy for the girls’ 4x100m freestyle relay as the combination of Marlies Ross, Nathania van Niekerk, Justine Macfarlane and Michelle Weber ended fifth and last in their heat. They clocked 3:59.05 to end 9.55sec of host nation China.

In the 800m heats Szurdoki was fifth in his event, clocking 8:15.50.

Mark Etheridge
Aug 21 14

Pan Pacs 2014 : Ledecky wins twice on opening day

by ZwemZa
Katie Ledecky celebrates her win and world record time in the Women's 400 Meter Freestyle Final during the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships. (Getty Images)

Katie Ledecky celebrates her win and world record time in the Women’s 400 Meter Freestyle Final during the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships. (Getty Images)

Katie Ledecky enhanced her status as swimming’s new teen queen with two victories in less than an hour on the opening day of the Pan Pacific championships on Thursday.

The 17-year-old American took the 200 metres freestyle after world champion Missy Franklin failed to qualify for the final. She then left her rivals in her wake to win the 800m freestyle, coming within a whisker of breaking the world record she set less than two months ago.

Franklin, who has been troubled by back spasms and almost missed the meet, won the 200m consolation final in a time that would have got her second place in the A final before finishing third behind Australia’s Emily Seebohm in the 100m backstroke.

Ledecky was named World Swimmer of the Year in 2013 after breaking the world record for 800m and 1500m, but is turning her attention to shorter distances.

She broke the 400m world record this month and is swimming the 200m at an international meet for the first time.

Her winning time of Thursday was one minute 55.74 seconds, almost a second and a half clear of her nearest rival. She clocked 8:11.35 in the 800m, just 0.35 outside her world record.

“I wasn’t really focusing on hitting a certain time,” she told reporters at Australia’s Gold Coast. “I just wanted to get through the double and see if I could handle both races.

“It was my first big international double. I’m really happy how I handled it.”

Franklin won six gold medals at last year’s championships in Barcelona but was well off her best on Thursday. “There is still some discomfort but it is getting much, much better day by day,” the 19-year-old told reporters after the heats.

Seebohm was impressive in winning the 100m backstroke, stopping the clock at 58.84 seconds, and she was delighted to finally beat her nemesis Franklin.

“A win is a win,” Seebohm told reporters. “Sometimes you don’t feel fantastic and you have to go out and do your best.

“She is obviously a strong competitor and, sometimes, you just have to go out and race your competition.”

The United States won four of the eight finals contested on the opening night of the four-day meet with Camille Adams (women’s 200m butterfly) and Conor Jaeger (men’s 1500m freestyle) joining Ledecky on top of the podium.

Thomas Fraser-Holmes won the men’s 200m freestyle to give the host nation a second gold. Japan won the other two races, with Ryosuke Irie upsetting Olympic champion Matt Grevers in the men’s 100m backstroke and Daiya Seto taking the women’s 200m butterfly.

Michael Phelps, competing in his first international meet since retiring after London 2012, is scheduled to make his first appearance on Friday.

Reuters

Aug 21 14

Poland complains over racist joke at swimming championship

by ZwemZa
Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski competes in a men's 200m butterfly first round heat at the LEN Swimming European Championships in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP / Gero Breloer)

Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski competes in a men’s 200m butterfly first round heat at the LEN Swimming European Championships in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP / Gero Breloer)

Polish officials have complained to the organizers of the European Swimming Championships in Berlin after an announcer introduced the Polish team by joking that they would return home with stolen cars.

Poland’s Foreign Ministry said its embassy in Berlin was asking for a clarification on the matter and possible “consequences” for the announcer.

Andrzej Kowalski, the president of the Polish Swimming Federation, told the Polish news channel TVN24 that during the event on Monday the announcer said “a large group came from Poland that will return home with our cars.”

“We were shocked. We couldn’t believe what we heard,” Kowalski said.

He said he complained and the announcer made a public apology.

An Associated Press photographer at the event confirmed hearing both the comment and the apology.

Associated Press

Aug 21 14

Schlanger swim at Pan Pacs raises more questions

by ZwemZa
Melanie Schlanger

Melanie Schlanger

Melanie Schlanger has raised further questions over the controversial decision to leave her out of the 4 x 200m relay in Glasgow with a commanding swim at the Pan Pacs to secure a spot in Thursday night’s final.

Schlanger hit the wall in 1:57.16 to qualify alongside Bronte Barratt, with Commonwealth Games champion Emma McKeon missing out as only two per nation can progress through to the decider.

It was the same rule that claimed the scalp of American superstar Missy Franklin, who battled through the water to record a time of 1:57.63, leaving her short of the mark as compatriots Katie Ledecky and Shannon Vreeland progressed.

Franklin was only touch-and-go to swim at all on day one after back spasms on Tuesday and never looked to travel at her best, although she managed to rebound and book a spot in the finals of the 100m backstroke.

There she will meet Australia’s Emily Seebohm, the silver medal winner behind Franklin at the London Olympics.

“I would consider this morning a success. My times may not have been where I want them to be but in relative terms I’m fairly happy. I was able to get out there and race, which was what I wanted to do. There is still some discomfort but it’s getting much, much better day by day,” Franklin said.

“I was able to swim a little bit yesterday (Wednesday) and that felt really good to get back in the pool. This is my hardest day so the timing didn’t work out too well. I just did what I had to do.”

Schlanger had plenty to prove in her home pool and did just that on a windy opening morning of competition. She was miffed by her omission in Scotland after swimming the third fastest time by an Australian in 2014 and featuring in the world-record breaking 4 x 100m relay team earlier in the program.

“I just wanted to go out and have a good race. I just love to be in relays so hopefully that will put me in there,” Schlanger said.

“You have to race fast to beat your own team-mates so I’m pretty happy with the result and the time.”

Even with the emphatic statement, Australian coach Jacco Verhaeren refused to guarantee Schlanger a relay spot, although surely now the matter must be beyond doubt.

“No,” Verhaeren said. “But she is showing great shape as she did in the Comm Games. She is without a doubt a great athlete. I’m happy to see here perform like this.”

In other results for Australia, Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Cameron McEvoy qualified for the final of the 200m freestyle, Belinda Hocking joined Seebohm in the final of the 100m backstroke, while Mitch Larkin and Ben Treffers (100m back) and Mack Horton and Jordan Harrison (1500m) also progressed.

Phil Lutton

Aug 21 14

Pan Pacs 2014 : Boyle and Stanley contest finals

by ZwemZa
Lauren Boyle

Lauren Boyle

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lauren Boyle and New Zealand teamate Matthew Stanley will contest the A finals at the Pan Pacific Swimming Champs on the Gold Coast tonight.

Stanely grabbed the final spot in the 200m freestyle final after this morning’s heats with swimmers encountering windy and chilly conditions in the new outdoor pool at Southport.

Boyle will contest the fastest heat of the 800m freestyle, which essentially amounts to the final.

Also through to the evening programme in the B finals tonight are Samantha Lucie-Smith in the women’s 200m freestyle, Steven Kent and Dylan Dunlop-Barrett in the men’s 200m freestyle, Corey Main in the 100m backstroke and Samantha Lee in the 200m butterfly.

The quadrennial Pan Pacific Championships is a five-day meet with full strength teams from USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, the rest of the Pacific and other non-European nations.

Radio NZ

Aug 21 14

Pan Pacific Championships women’s events preview

by ZwemZa

Pan_pacs_news_1Missy Franklin must overcome the Australians at home and a troublesome back. Katie Ledecky may only be able to measure herself against her own world records.

The Pan Pacific Championships, which begin Thursday in Gold Coast, Australia, include a total of two women who have won individual Olympic titles. They are Franklin and Ledecky, the last two World Swimmers of the Year.

The year’s biggest international meet — including swimmers from top non-European nations — was expected to test the 19-year-old Franklin more than the 17-year-old Ledecky. But the trials were expected to come during competition, not before it. Franklin’s status is in doubt due to a back injury seen at practice Tuesday.

If she is able to swim, Franklin faces stiff competition in all of her individual events. At least one Australian has been faster than Franklin this year in the 100m and 200m freestyles and the 100m and 200m backstrokes.

Plus, Ledecky beat Franklin in the 200m free at the U.S. Championships two weeks ago.

Ledecky’s path to Gold Coast glory includes fewer obstacles. She’s the fastest woman this year in the fields of the 200m free (by .41), 400m free (by 5.61 seconds), 800m free (by 8.76 seconds) and 1500m free (by 36.03 seconds).

Ledecky is also entered in the 100m free, where she was 13th in preliminary heats at Nationals. That’s the next event where she could join the world’s elite with progress.

Pan Pacs is not only the biggest international meet of 2014, but will also help determine who makes the U.S. team for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

The key for U.S. swimmers will be to see who has the top two times per event over finals races from Nationals and Pan Pacs. The top two make the 2015 Worlds team in each of those Olympic events. The top four (and perhaps fifth and sixth) in the 100m free and 200m free make it to Worlds for relays.

Franklin could swim poorly due to her back — or not swim at all — and still have a chance to make the 2015 World Championships team based on her times from Nationals.

The top U.S.-Australia showdowns will come in the sprint freestyles and relays. Sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell are the fastest women in the fields of the 50m and 100m free.

The Campbells were half of a quartet that broke the 4x100m free relay world record at the Commonwealth Games on July 24. The Aussies are deep in the 100m and 200m free and will be superior to the U.S. in at least two medley relay legs if Franklin is out or not in form.

The Aussies will also be motivated, at home, to reverse the results of the 2013 World Championships, where they took silver behind the U.S. in all three women’s relays.

Here’s the full schedule of women’s events in Gold Coast:

Thursday (prelims 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday; finals 5 a.m. ET)

200m freestyle
100m backstroke
200m butterfly
800m freestyle

Friday (prelims 8 p.m. ET on Thursday; finals 5 a.m. ET)

100m breaststroke
100m freestyle
400m individual medley
4x200m freestyle relay

Saturday (prelims 8 p.m. ET on Friday; finals 5 a.m. ET)

100m butterfly
400m freestyle
200m backstroke
4x100m freestyle relay

Sunday (prelims 8 p.m. ET on Saturday; finals 5 a.m. ET)

1500m freestyle
200m individual medley
50m freestyle
200m breaststroke
4x100m medley relay

Nick Zaccardi | NBC Sports

Aug 21 14

Pan Pacific Championships men’s events preview

by ZwemZa

Pan_pacs_news_1The U.S. swimming headlines have largely focused on the big four in recent weeks — Phelps, Lochte, Franklin, Ledecky — but, in Australia, the most anticipated event of the biggest meet of the year is a showdown between two other swimmers.

That’s U.S. Olympic champion Nathan Adrian vs. Australian World champion James Magnussen in the 100m freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships, the latest head-to-head rivalry between the world’s two pool power nations.

Pan Pacs begin Thursday in Gold Coast, Australia, which is 14 hours ahead of Eastern time. NBC will have coverage Saturday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET and Sunday from 1-2:30.

Pan Pacs are not only the biggest meet for U.S. and Australian swimmers this year, but times from Pan Pacs and the U.S. Championships will also determine the U.S. team for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

The men’s and women’s 100m free finals are on Friday night’s finals session, which starts at 5 a.m. Eastern time.

In 2012, Adrian edged Magnussen for Olympic 100m free gold by .01, a sliver margin that drastically altered the perception of Magnussen, the biggest Australian swimming star going into London.

The Games were considered a failure for Australia’s “Missile,” who also led off the 4x100m freestyle relay team that finished fourth after winning the World title in 2011.

But Magnussen, 6 feet, 6 inches, stood tall again at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, winning the 100m free. American Jimmy Feigen was second, followed by Adrian in third.

Magnussen is the world’s fastest man in the 100m free this year, but his status as favorite is a bit in doubt due to a “pretty dodgy” back.

His biggest threat is one of his teammates, Cameron McEvoy, who is the second-fastest man this year. Adrian is third, his best time .49 of a second slower than Magnussen’s world lead.

Michael Phelps: The most decorated Olympian of all time is swimming his first international meet since the London Olympics.

It should be a busy one for Phelps once he gets going in the 100m free on Friday, followed by the 100m butterfly Saturday and the 200m individual medley Sunday. He could also swim in relays.

Remember, Phelps won zero events at the U.S. Championships two weeks ago, but he clocked the world’s fastest time in the 100m fly this year (in the prelims).

He is not the favorite in the 100m free (Magnussen, Adrian) or the 200m IM (Ryan Lochte, Kosuke Hagino).

But Phelps may just be the man in the 100m fly, where he will be out to flip his finish from Nationals. He lost to Tom Shields by .01 in the final in Irvine, Calif., two weeks ago. Unfortunately, the field is lacking the reigning World champion in the event, Chad le Clos, who is not on South Africa’s roster in Gold Coast.

The key for Phelps — and all U.S. swimmers — will be to see who has the top two times per event over finals races from Nationals and Pan Pacs. The top two make the 2015 Worlds team in each of those Olympic events. The top four (and perhaps fifth and sixth) in the 100m free and 200m free make it to Worlds for relays.

Ryan Lochte: Phelps’ longtime rival is entered in the same three events, plus the 200m free and 200m backstroke. It’s another test for a man who suffered a major knee injury in November, aggravated it in February and again in April.

Lochte said last week that the knee was strong but not “110 percent.”

Like Phelps, Lochte is not expected to challenge Magnussen and Adrian in the 100m free. He’s also not among the world’s fastest in the 200m free this year.

He appears likelier to vie for wins in the 200m back and, even moreso, the 200m IM, the only event he won at Nationals. The young Japanese star Hagino has been more than a second faster than Lochte in the 200 IM this year, though.

Here’s the full schedule of men’s events in Gold Coast:

Thursday (prelims 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday; finals 5 a.m. ET)

200m freestyle
100m backstroke
200m butterfly
1500m freestyle

Friday (prelims 8 p.m. ET on Thursday; finals 5 a.m. ET)

100m breaststroke
100m freestyle
400m individual medley
4x200m freestyle relay

Saturday (prelims 8 p.m. ET on Friday; finals 5 a.m. ET)

100m butterfly
400m freestyle
200m backstroke
4x100m freestyle relay

Sunday (prelims 8 p.m. ET on Saturday; finals 5 a.m. ET)

800m freestyle
200m individual medley
50m freestyle
200m breaststroke
4x100m medley relay

Nick Zaccardi | NBC Sports

Aug 21 14

Pan Pacs 2014 : Phelps scratches first two events of Pan Pacs

by ZwemZa
Michael Phelps prepared Tuesday for the Pan Pacific Championships, his first international meet since the 2012 Olympic Games, where he won six medals (European Pressphoto Agency)

Michael Phelps prepared Tuesday for the Pan Pacific Championships, his first international meet since the 2012 Olympic Games, where he won six medals (European Pressphoto Agency)

Michael Phelps won’t compete on the first day of the Pan Pacific Championships, pulling out of the 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke. The most decorated swimmer of all time will debut at the Australian meet in the 100m free on Friday, according to reports.

It’s not a shocking move for Phelps, whose best shots at individual victories at the meet appear to be in the 100m butterfly Saturday and 200m individual medley Sunday. Phelps is also swimming to make the U.S. team for the 2015 World Championships.

He said he spent time “working on the basics” in training after not winning any events at the U.S. Championships two weeks ago, though he did swim the fastest 100m fly time in the world this year (in prelims).

Phelps said he committed mistakes at Nationals that a swimmer would make at age 11 or 12. Those mistakes included misjudging his turns and finishes at walls.

It’s Phelps’ first international meet after a 20-month competitive retirement following the London Olympics. He is not yet committed to attempting a run to the Rio 2016 Olympics. This meet, the biggest competition of the year, is another building block.

“Taking it with me for the next season,” Phelps said. “Then back to the drawing board.”

Nick Zaccardi | NBC Sports

Aug 21 14

Pan Pacs 2014 : Franklin fails to make 200 freestyle final

by ZwemZa
Missy Franklin. (AP)

Missy Franklin. (AP)

World champion Missy Franklin failed to make the 200 metres freestyle final at the Pan Pacific swimming championships on Australia’s Gold Coast, despite setting the fourth-fastest time in Thursday’s qualifying.

The 19-year-old American, who has been struggling with back spasms in the lead-up to the four-day meet, clocked one minute, 57.63 seconds in her morning heat.

But she was ruled out of the final, to be held Thursday night, because she was the third fastest American and under the rules of the competition, only two swimmers from each country can contest the final.

Franklin’s team mate Katie Ledecky, who has set three world records in freestyle swimming in the last two months, was the top qualifier in 1:56.45.

Australia’s Melanie Schlanger was second-fastest in 1:57.16 while Shannon Freeland finished third overall in 1:57.40, knocking Franklin out of the final.

Franklin did however rebound to qualify safely for the 100m backstroke final, one of two individual events she won at the 2012 London Olympics.

She was third-fastest overall behind Australia’s Emily Seebohm, who was the only woman to dip under one minute.

Seebohm finished in 59.72 seconds, while her Australian team mate Belinda Hocking was second fastest in 1:00.46. Franklin was 0.14 seconds further back.

“There is still some discomfort but it is getting much, much better day by day,” Franklin said.

Michael Phelps, competing in his first international meet since retiring after London, was scheduled to make his first appearance on Friday.

Reuters

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