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Apr 24 19

School sport holds the key to transformation – sports minister

by ZwemZa

Tokozile Xasa (Supplied)

Sports minister Tokozile Xasa believes that schools hold the key to successful transformation in South African sport.

That was they key takeaway from Tuesday’s release of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report for 2017/18.

While Athletics South Africa (ASA) was singled out as the federation in need of the quickest turnaround in terms of their approach to transformation, Xasa expressed satisfaction at the country’s other major sporting codes with rugby, soccer, cricket and netball all receiving a tick.

Moving forward, though, the department acknowledged a need to invest in school sport.

There seems to be a clear move away from implementing quotas at a senior and national level, with director general Alec Moemi making a clear distinction between between quotas and targets.

“When we started we had a need for quotas, but now simply counting the number of black players on the field is something that is not sustainable,” he said.

Instead, sport at a grassroots level must be prioritised.

While this will see the department invest 40% of its conditional grant for the next year to school sport initiatives, one of the major challenges lies in accessing data from the schools themselves that can help in accelerating the rate of transformation.

“To support longer-term planning initiatives, we need to consciously invest in school sport to increase the pipeline of our sporting codes,” Xasa said.

“The case for transformation now is longevity of the sport versus focusing on the short term.”

A Memorandum of Understanding between the department of sport and the department of basic education was signed last year, while Xasa has also encouraged the federations themselves to have an active role in what happens at school level.

Apr 24 19

Four myths parents need to know about supplements

by ZwemZa

Dietary supplements are omnipresent in sports. When youth athletes see their professional idols or peers using supplements, they may feel supplementation is necessary to keep up with the competition. Since they are so readily available, it’s also easy for parents to think there’s no harm in letting athletes use them.

Unfortunately, the supplement industry is one of smoke and mirrors. Although they might seem appropriate for young athletes trying to stay healthy and competitive, there are many myths surrounding supplements that parents should be aware of before choosing to buy these products.

MYTH: A supplement found on store shelves is safe

While you would think that a supplement sold in a health food store or pharmacy has been thoroughly vetted for safety and efficacy, that’s not the case due to how the U.S. supplement industry is regulated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluates supplements in a post-market manner, meaning that all supplements can be sold until something is proven wrong with them. This is the opposite of how pharmaceuticals are regulated, as their effectiveness must first be proven in studies and clinical trials.

MYTH: Labels tell you exactly what’s in a supplement

Post-market regulation also makes it possible for supplement labels to be extremely misrepresentative, as well as intentionally deceptive, about what is actually in a product.

Many supplement companies list ‘Proprietary Blend’ on the label, meaning they can hide any ingredients they want, including those prohibited in sports, under that name. Other companies list ingredients under scientific names, or even fake names, that you might not recognize as anything dangerous or illicit, even if you are careful about reading the label.

In other cases, supplements that aren’t meant to contain potent substances become contaminated as a result of being produced in the same setting as higher-risk supplements. The manufacturer may be unaware and the label won’t reflect the error, but consumers are still at risk when products don’t undergo pre-market analysis and certification.

MYTH: Natural Ingredients Mean A Supplement Is Safe

Supplement companies often brand their products as being ‘all-natural’ or ‘organic,’ usually with a green ‘certified’ logo that provides a holistic vibe. However, there’s plenty of things in nature that can cause serious damage to the human body, and unfortunately these are sometimes found in supplements.

The classic example of this is ephedra, an ingredient from a plant of the same name, which was popular in weight-loss supplements. After the ingredient was tied to the deaths of several young athletes and an NFL player, as well as other severe side effects in many more people, the FDA banned the ingredient from being sold in supplements in 2004. However, products that contain ephedra extract are still legal.

MYTH: Recalled or Proven Dangerous Products Can No Longer Be Bought

Unfortunately, after a supplement has been proven dangerous and recalled, it doesn’t magically disappear from the market.

Instead, it’s up to the retailer to pay attention to recall announcements and remove the product from their shelves. This means a dangerous product can stay on store shelves for years after the fact and that someone who has already bought said product would never know that it’s been recalled.

How to Decide If Supplements Are Appropriate

While many people use supplements without adverse health consequences, it’s vital for consumers, and especially athletes who may be subject to anti-doping rules, to understand there is no such thing as a ‘no-risk’ supplement, only a ‘lower-risk’ supplement. In most cases, a healthy, balanced diet will get athletes the nutrients they need to stay fit and perform at their best. Some athletes may have specific nutrient deficiencies, but those should be diagnosed and treated in collaboration with your physician.

Before letting your athlete take any supplement, even one recommended by a physician, always do your due diligence by researching a supplement’s ingredients and manufacturer. For more information on these best practices and other helpful information about supplements, download the TrueSport Supplement Guide.

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About TrueSport

TrueSport®, a movement powered by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, champions the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sport.

TrueSport® inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to change the culture of youth sport through active engagement and thoughtful curriculum based on cornerstone lessons of sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance, by creating leaders across communities through sport.

TrueSport | USA Swimming Partner

Apr 24 19

Australian Olympic gold medalist Brittany Elmslie retires from competitive swimming

by ZwemZa

Brittany Elmslie (Ausswim)

Swimming Australia congratulates two-time Olympic gold medallist Brittany Elmslie OAM on her career following the announcement that she will retire from competitive swimming.

Swimmer pin 717, Elmslie first represented Australia at the 2012 London Olympics where she won a gold medal in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay with Alicia Coutts, Melanie Schlanger and Cate Campbell. At the same games she took home two silver medals as a heat swimmer in the Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay and the Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay.

Four years later in Rio she won her second Olympic gold when she was part of the world-record-breaking quartet in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay with Emma McKeon and Cate and Bronte Campbell.

2016 Rio Olympics - Women's 4X100m Freestyle Gold

The 24-year-old has also won multiple gold medals swimming in relays at both the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast.

She won an individual gold medal in the 100m freestyle at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Windsor in 2016 and a bronze in the 50m butterfly at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Originally hailing from Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, she moved to Brisbane to pursue her dream of becoming an Olympian and swam at Brisbane Grammar and St Peter’s Western, before moving to Adelaide in 2018 to join Marion and train with Peter Bishop.

Elmslie announced her retirement on her Instagram page saying: “After 12 years of dedicating my mind, body and soul to the pursuit of excellence I can proudly announce that my competitive swimming journey has come to an end.”

“The positive impact Swimming has had on my life is overwhelming which is why I will still be passionately involved with giving back to the sport that gave me so much.”

Swimming Australia Chief Executive Leigh Russell said Elmslie was a wonderful Dolphin leader and a credit to swimming in Australia.

“Britt has attained an impressive haul of accomplishments in her career and should be very proud of what she has achieved.

“To be a double Olympic gold medallist is a very special feat and we wish her all the best in whatever comes next in her career.”

Women's Relay Team
Apr 24 19

British Swimming announce 2019 World Championships team

by ZwemZa

Anderson (second right) with Adam Peaty Credit: afp

A 25-strong British Swimming team has been selected to compete at this summer’s FINA World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, the event taking place from 12-28 July.

Defending world champions Adam Peaty, Ben Proud, Duncan Scott, Calum Jarvis and James Guy headline the team, which boasts a great mix of youth and seasoned championship performers. Making their senior international debuts this summer will be the University of Stirling’s Scott McLay and Plymouth Leander’s Laura Stephens, after the pair delivered lifetime bests at the British Swimming Championships last week, which doubled up as the selection meet for Gwangju.

Two years ago in Budapest Adam Peaty stole the show, winning both the 100m Breaststroke and 50m Breaststroke, and he will look to secure a hat-trick of double golds in the Far East this summer. Ben Proud was also a double medallist in Hungary, taking gold and bronze in the 50m Butterfly and 50m Freestyle respectively, whilst Guy, Jarvis and Scott formed part of the World Championship winning Men’s 4x200m Freestyle relay team.

Commenting on the selections for the 2019 edition, British Swimming National Performance Director, Chris Spice, said:

“We had another great British Championships in Glasgow where we saw some exceptional individual performances from our established group of senior swimmers.  In particular Duncan Scott, Adam Peaty, James Wilby, Max Litchfield and Ross Murdoch continued to show their class.  And of course, who could forget the brilliant 1500m Freestyle swim from Dan Jervis that had everybody on their feet and really set the Championships alight.

“The selectors were also pleased to see that some younger athletes have grabbed the opportunity that we gave them at last year’s Europeans to step up and make this team. We saw superb lifetime bests from Luke Greenbank, Tom Dean, Anna Hopkin and Jess Fullalove, that really built on those performances from last year. As we look towards Tokyo, the challenge now for the whole team is to move this on in the summer and swim a season’s best under the spotlights in Gwangju.”

With a top 12 finish in relay events securing a spot at next summer’s Olympic Games, Spice added:

“In terms of our discretionary selections, this year a key consideration was the need to qualify our relays for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, whilst resting those relay athletes that could have large schedules in Gwangju. Having said that, the stand out swim from this category was Laura Stephens in the 200m Butterfly, who just missed the World’s individual consideration time by 0.05%, so she fully deserves her inclusion.

“Now that the team is finalised we will head to a team preparation camp in June, with all athletes and staff getting together for two legs of the Mare Nostrum series in Canet and Barcelona. We have also been fortunate to secure our pre-World’s holding camp in Yokohama this year, which will also form a dress rehearsal for our preparations for Tokyo 2020.”

On the prospect of making his senior debut in South Korea, Scott McLay commented:

“I’m over the moon! This was one of my targets at the beginning of the season and the fact I’ve been able to achieve that shows that my hard work in the pool has paid off. I’m looking forward to going even faster at Worlds now and it gives me the confidence that the work I’m doing will carry forward to next year, which has always been the target.”

The British Swimming team for the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju:

Adam Peaty, England, National Centre Loughborough

Dan Jervis, Wales, Swansea University

Max Litchfield, England, National Centre Loughborough

Duncan Scott, Scotland, University of Stirling

James Wilby, England, National Centre Loughborough

The athletes above gained selection after they won their event and achieved the qualification standard at the British Championships 2019 as per Table 1 of the selection policy.

Ben Proud, England, Plymouth Leander

Ross Murdoch, Scotland, University of Stirling

Luke Greenbank, England, National Centre Loughborough

James Guy, England, National Centre Bath

Georgia Davies, Wales, Loughborough University

Alys Thomas, Wales, Swansea University

Molly Renshaw, England, National Centre Loughborough

Freya Anderson, England, Ellesmere College

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, England, National Centre Bath

Aimee Willmott, England, University of Stirling

Tom Dean, England, National Centre Bath

Calum Jarvis, Wales, National Centre Bath

The athletes above gained selection after they achieved the consideration time as per Table 2 of the selection policy (individual and relay). 

Cameron Kurle, England, National Centre Bath

Nick Pyle, England, Newcastle

Holly Hibbott, England, Stockport Metro

Georgia Coates, England, National Centre Bath

Scott McLay, Scotland, University of Stirling

Jess Fullalove, England, National Centre Bath

Anna Hopkin, England, Ealing

Laura Stephens, England, Plymouth Leander

The athletes above gained selection at the discretion of the GB Head Coach and National Performance Director. The criteria for these decisions included the need to qualify relay teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games; provision of relay cover and alternates to rest key athletes that have large schedules; potential to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympic team; individual performances over the last 12 months and performances at the 2019 British Swimming Championships.

Coaches selected to the British team for the 2019 World Championships:

Euan Dale, Millfield School

Jol Finck, National Centre Bath

Dave Hemmings, National Centre Loughborough

Mel Marshall, National Centre Loughborough

David McNulty, National Centre Bath

Steven Tigg, University of Stirling

British Swimming

Apr 23 19

Russia tops Kazan medal table

by ZwemZa

Russia’s Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina perform in the synchronised swimming duet technical routine final during the World Swimming Championships at the Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona July 21, 2013. REUTERS

Team Russia clinched nine gold medals out of ten available this weekend in Kazan, Russia, as the experienced host city staged the third leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series 2019 for the first time since the inception of the annual competition in 2017.

The favourite duet composed of Olympic and World champions Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko were the best in the the duet technical and free, pocketing the gold medals at stake earning respectively the excellent scores of 96.1481 and 97.1000.

Kolesnichenko also took the top honours in the solo technical event with a strong 92.8144. In second and third positions were Austria’s Vasiliki Alexandri (85.1902) and Alisa Ozhogina of Spain (83.7338).

However the Russians were defeated in the solo free as veteran Linda Cerruti of Italy claimed gold with 90.4000 points, in front of Russia’s Alina Mantulenko (87.0333) and the Belarusian Vasilina Khandoshka (86.0667).

Mayya Gurbanberdieva and World champion Aleksandr Maltsev (RUS) took gold in both the mixed duet events with 89.8181 points for their technical routine and 91.4000 points for their free performance.

China, Hungary and Kazakhstan were the other nations to grab at least a medal in Kazan in the team and mixed duet events.

The eight-leg circuit (+ a Super Final) next stops in Tokyo (JPN) for the fourth meet of the season from April 27-29).

You can read detailed news reports on FINA website here and you can re-watch the competition on VoD on  FINAtv.

Medallists in Kazan (RUS):

Solo Technical:
1. Svetlana Kolesnichenko (RUS) 92.8144; 2. Vasiliki Alexandri (AUT) 85.1902; 3. Alisa Ozhogina (ESP) 83.7338

Solo Free:
1. Linda Cerruti (ITA) 90.4000; 2. Alina Mantulenko (RUS) 87.0333; 3. Vasilina Khandoshka (BLR) 86.0667

Duet Technical:
1. Svetlana Romashina / Svetlana Kolesnichenko (RUS) 96.1481; 2. Linda Cerruti / Costanza Ferro (ITA) 89.8612; 3. Vasiliko Alexandri / Anna-Maria Alexandri (AUT) 87.7417

Duet Free:  
1. Svetlana Romashina / Svetlana Kolesnichenko (RUS) 97.1000; 2. Linda Cerruti / Costanza Ferro (ITA) 91.8667; 3. Teresa Bellver / Mireia Hernandez (ESP) 87.4000

Team Technical:
1. Russia 95.3411; 2. Belarus 83.4736; 3. Hungary 78.4414

Team Free:
1. Russia 97.9000; 2. Spain 87.9000; 3. Belarus 82.6333

Free Combination:
1. Russia 92.5333; 2. Belarus 81.8000; 3. Hungary 79.2667

Highlight Routine:
1. Russia 85.4667; 2. Kazakhstan 80.7000; 3. Hungary 79.7333

Mixed Duet Technical:
1. Mayya Gurbanberdieva / Aleksandr Maltsev (RUS) 89.8181; 2. Shi Haoyu / Yayi Zhang (CHN) 82.9349; 3. Fernando Diaz Del Rio / Beatriz Castano (ESP) 74.3859

Mixed Duet Free:
1. Aleksandr Maltsev / Mayya Gurbanberdieva (RUS) 91.4000; 2. Wentao Cheng / Shi Haoyu (CHN) 84.4333; 3. Beatriz Castano / Fernando Diaz Del Rio (ESP) 77.3667

Calendar 2019

  1. Paris (FRA) : 28 February – 3 March
  2. Alexandroupolis (GRE) : 5 – 7 April
  3. Kazan (RUS) : 19-21 April
  4. Tokyo (JPN) : 27 – 29 April
  5. Beijing (CHN) : 4 – 6 May
  6. Greensboro (USA) : 24 – 26 May
  7. Quebec City (CAN) : 30 May – 1 June
  8. Barcelona (ESP) : 31 May – 2 June
  •     Super Final – Budapest (HUN) – June 14-16

FINA Communications Department

Apr 23 19

Kiwi sensation Erika Fairweather smashes Olympian’s 43-year-old national record

by ZwemZa

Erika Fairweather shaved over two seconds off the 400m freestyle record. Photo / Facebook

New Zealand’s oldest swimming record is no more.

Erika Fairweather from Dunedin smashed the 400m freestyle mark for 15 year olds set by the great Rebecca Perrott in winning the age group title in Wellington on Saturday.

Fairweather, a member of Dunedin’s Neptune Swim Club, recorded 4min 12.10s, way ahead of Perrott’s 4min 14.7s.

Her record-breaking swim would have earned her the bronze medal in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal – where Perrott recorded the time to become New Zealand’s youngest Olympian.

The gold was won in that race by East German Petra Thumer in world record time.

It is Fairweather’s 11th long course age title and she also holds six short course ones. She also broke the 100m, 200m and 800m marks, and won eight golds.

“It was beyond what I was hoping for, so I’m very happy,” she said.

Fairweather will look to carry on the fine tradition of Kiwi 400m swimmers. New Zealand’s best swimmer of recent times has been the now-retired Lauren Boyle, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, world championship bronze medallist and Olympic finalist in that distance.

NZ Herald

Apr 22 19

ASWS-2019 in Kazan, Day 3: Heavy favorite keeps the bar high

by ZwemZa

The third leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series has finally hit the tape in Kazan, Russia. The ultimate 2 team titles settled as the number of medals winning nations enhanced to eight. The absence of the Russian team in the Highlights and Team Free Combination did not have any substantial impact on the podium’s order, featuring the home hopes continuing their winning streak.

TEAM HIGHLIGHT: Kazakhstan checks in on podium

Although Team Russia was not registered for the Highlights, the first gold of the day was doomed to land on its side. The chase on the merits turned into a merry-go-round as 3 host teams competed to grab their share of international merits. Saint-Petersburg was more impressive than the rest, scoring 85.4670 on their “Merry thieves” program, a tiny 0.0100 point ahead of their next Russian and rough 4 points to international challengers.

“We are happy about the gold medal, – said Elena Dolzhenko, coach of the Saint Petersburg squad. – We have done a good job, taking into consideration a short period of time on the preparations we had. Learning we are to show Highlights 10 days ago, we chose the program, which was not new, but very energetic. Carlsson story of the thieves, running down the roofs, inspired our girls. Supports could have been higher and synchronization better, but all in all, we are happy about the overall and about the win”.

Team Kazakhstan earns their first medal in Kazan (Photo: Courtesy to LOC)

Kazakhstan collected their first medal in Kazan as their Highlights program scored 80.7000 points. Their Wild Indians were acted out emotionally, but definitely needed brushing.

“Our aim this season is FINA World Championships in Korea, and we hope we will make it possible to improve on every aspect of our routine, – commented on Nailya Baimurzina, coach of Kazakhstan. – This is our debuting swim of the year, and we will look forward to work on hard to brush it up”.

Swimming to the soundtrack to the “Incredibles”, Hungarians performed an intense composition, which included a number of spectacular lifts, Hybrids and a kaleidoscope. A new group of swimmers came to Kazan to improve their overall of Alexandroupolis, Greece. The local task has been hit, alongside bringing them the first podium presence of the year.

“Step by step we are improving, and the scores we have received today, 79.7333 with 32.1333 on the artistic impression, shows we are on the right way, – said Natalia Tarasova, Hungarian head coach. Immediately after the swim, she was loudly telling the girls of their errors. – Today they were not perfect at all in terms of collaboration in the water, – she noted. – We are supposed to get much better by the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final, which is due to take place in Budapest this June”.

Team Hungary, bronze medalists in the Team Highlights (Photo: Courtesy to LOC)

TEAM FREE COMBINATION: Home hopes a head above

Another triumph of the host team took place in the afternoon session of the ultimate competition day of the Kazan’s ASWS 2019 Leg.

There were again 14 contenders for the Russian Champion’s title, which came along with the FINA merits. Team Moscow not just outplayed their local challengers` with their strong “Carnival” program, but finished atop of the international field at a marvelous 10 points gap.

Russians earned 92.5333 points with 28.0000 on difficulty, 27.2000 on execution, and 37.3333 on the artistic impression.

“It was a pleasure to watch, – commented Russian head coach Tatiana Pokrovskaya. – My compliments to the Moscow team, they have done a good job. Of course, to grow in their skills, they should never stop working, as well as our national team athletes do. Russia has strong artistic swimming background, and the main basis for it is steady training”.

Belarus got silver on 81.8000 points, adding to another silver they pocketed in Budapest on Leg #5 of the FINA Artistic World Series-2018. In Kazan they presented their computer inspired program, called “Cuphead”. Run and gun was its main idea, and 10 Belarus girls hit it well.

“I love the Team free combination routine, – confessed Vera Butsel of Belarus, just after the Awarding Ceremony. – It is pretty challenging to swim, as there are a lot of creative patterns and lifts. By the way, lifts have been our weak point today, so we will have to improve them by the next competitions”.

Team Belarus, silver medalists in the Team Free Combination (Photo: Courtesy to LOC)

The third place drifted to Hungary, the third international participant of the Kazan’s Free Combo contest. Performing an Odyssey routine, they finished but a 0.1666 points behind the second. The routine was well-known for the Magyars as they presented it both in the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series-2018 and FINA Junior Worlds in Budapest, and by now have managed to improve the overall by a nearly a full point.

“Kazan is definitely a lucky city for us, and we know why, – said Anna Apathy of Hungary. – Our junior team has celebrated 3 podium presences, which is an inspiring result. We train a lot to improve our skills, and it is always very rewarding to be able to get medals”.

Overall recap

3 competition days of the of the 2019 FINA Artistic Swimming World Series in Kazan were a success, collecting over 300 athletes of 12 countries, which played out 10 sets of medals. The good number of participants became possible owing to the 3rd leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series integrated the annual Russian Championships, one of the strongest on the continent.
The Perennial favorite Russia added 9 more to its numerous Artistic Swimming titles. Italy will bring home 1 gold and 2 silver medals, where as the third most successful nation in Kazan was Spain, claiming 5 podium appearances.

Team Russia celebrates another triumph (Photo: Courtesy to LOC)

The next stop en route from Europe to Asia is due to take place later this month in Tokyo. The main take is yet to come, exciting hunger for medals and points. The 3rd edition of Artistic Swimming World Series is designed to keep everyone in engaged till the very Super Final scheduled to take place after 8 “regular” meets are over in June.

Lisa Schott, FINA Technical Delegate, FINA Artistic Swimming Technical Committee Chairwoman:

“All medals are played out, all routines are performed, and the Gala came as a big artistic swimming show, very impressive and attractive for all spectators. Kazan loves our sport, we feel it, and therefore we will be happy come back to your sports city next year.

FINA Artistic Swimming World Series is always looking to grow both in numbers and geographically, which is very important. We realize, that if we don’t grow the sport worldwide, then the sport dies. We are working hard all around the globe to ensure countries have the opportunity to invite coaches in order to teach children. Education is a key. FINA has invested a lot in our sport, and we are very thankful. I think You can see the consequences that fill us with the energy. We are concentrating on the grass routes to grow up the next Olympian generations.

FINA Artistic Swimming World Series is developing tremendously. This year we have 8 stops, Kazan was the third of them. And every time I watch the routines, they improve. A good number of meets in course of the year make swimmers better prepared for the major competitions, like FINA World Championships and Olympic Games. This is a great platform for development, and hopefully we will continue to grow all around the world”.

Olga Brusnikina and Lisa Schott (Photo: Courtesy to RUSSPORTIMAGE)

Competition results. FINA Artistic Swimming World Series 2019. Competition Day 3

Team Highlights.

1. RUSSIA, Saint-Petersburg-1 (Dergacheva Natalia, Efremenko Anna, Golubeva Alisa, Golubeva Ekaterina, Ivanova Polina, Pavlenko Evilina, Pavlova Elizaveta, Pavlovskaya Anna, Perebeynos Margarita, Presniakova Iana, Smirnova Liubov, Shaidullina Karina) 85.4667

2. KAZAKHSTAN (Yezdakova Olga, Simonova Yekaterina, Krylova Yelena, Kurmangaliyeva Aigerim, Zhiyengazy Zhaniya, Abdulina Karina, Kakutia Eteri, Makarova Xeniya, Bolatova Nargiza, Russanova Jennifer, Skakovskaya Valeriya 80.7000

3. HUNGARY (Apathy Anna, David Janka, Di Franco Alice, Farkas Linda, Gacs Boglarka, Gersternkorn Mira, Hungler Szabina, Kassai Kamilla, Szabo Anna, Teravagimov Virag, Gotz Lilien, Pentek Lili 79.7333

Women Team Free Combination 

1. RUSSIA (Bazlova Antonina, Khudiakova Kseniya, Kossova Ekaterina, Ladnaya Kseniya, Minaeva Elizaveta, Nesterova Valeriya, Platonova Olesya,Solovyova Polina, Titova Sophia, Zhavoronkova Arina, Gaiday Tatiana, Polyakova Elizaveta) 92.5333

2. BELARUS (Butsel Vera, Khandoshka Vasilina, Kiryliuk Marharyta, Koutsun Hanna, Kudzina Yana, Kulagina Daria, Kuliashova Kseniya, Navasiolava Anastasiya, Privezentseva Vita, Vysotskaya Aliaksandra, Valasach Valeriya) 81.8000

3. HUNGARY (Apathy Anna , David Janka,Farkas Linda, Gacs Boglarka, Gersternkorn Mira, Hungler Szabina, Kassai Kamilla, Pentek Lili, Szabo Anna, Teravagimov Virag, Di Franco Alice, Gotz Lilien) 79.2667

Olga Kamardina, FINA Correspondent in Russia

Apr 21 19

Scott hat-trick the perfect end to the 2019 British Championships

by ZwemZa

Duncan Scott (Twitter)

Duncan Scott brought the house down as he won his third British title of the week at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

With the Scottish crowd roaring him on, Scott dug deep into his reserves in his tenth race in six days to get the better of James Guy in a brilliant Men’s 200m Freestyle encounter. In arguably the deepest field of the week, eight men did battle over four lengths, with Scott and Guy to the fore throughout. Despite being separated by Calum Jarvis in lane five, the pair were breathing on opposite sides, tracking each other all the way.

In the end though the in-form Scott had the strength to move clear in the final 50m, securing his third title and third World Championships qualifying time of the week.

“It’s faster than I was two years ago at trials and that’s my tenth race of the week. At the World Championships, I think the 200m free is up first. It’s a solid swim, only 0.3 slower than I went in the European final, so I’ve got to take that. That was a hard swim, constantly battling with Jimmy, but it’s always a pleasure as he’s a great competitor.”

National Centre Bath’s Tom Dean finished quickly to smash his lifetime best and join his training partner James Guy on the podium, Guy also going inside the consideration time for the July event that will take place in South Korea.

Luke Greenbank was another swimmer to show his class on the final night as he clinched his second British title, adding Men’s 200m Backstroke gold to the 100m title he won at the start of the week. This time however he went inside the consideration time for Gwangju 2019 with a massive 1.55.89 lifetime best, slicing exactly a second off his four year old personal best.

“This is amazing. I’ve struggled for the last couple of years so I’m just so happy to be back on form in that race there, it was amazing, I can’t put it into words.”

On hitting the consideration time, Greenbank added:

“I knew I was definitely capable of doing it, but I didn’t try to think about it too much, as I do have a tendency to overthink things, but it was always in the back of my mind. This is what I wanted this week, to come here and do the times and get on the team, so I’m just really, really pleased with that.”

Swansea’s Alys Thomas doubled her gold medal tally here in Glasgow as she added the 100m Butterfly crown to the 200m equivalent that she won on the third day of action. Heading the qualifiers coming into tonight’s final, the European medallist bore the weight of the favourite tag, producing a confident swim to see off silver and bronze medallists Charlotte Atkinson and Laura Stephens in the closing stages.

Summarising her week, Thomas said:

“Yeah, it’s not been too bad – two British titles in one week!”

Having gone inside the consideration time for the 200m event on Thursday, Thomas will hope to contest that event and the medley relay in Gwangju.

“We did really well at the Europeans and it is a strong relay – when we’re on form we could go all the way. I’m only new to the medley relay team anyway but those girls are strong, Freya, Siobhan and Georgia as well – when we’re on fire I believe we could be really competitive in it.”

Jocelyn Ulyett upset the odds to take Women’s 100m Breaststroke gold, edging ahead in the closing stages of a thrilling encounter. A fast starter, it was 50m champion Sarah Vasey who headed the field at halfway, but 2017 British 200m champion Ulyett showed her strength to overhaul her in the final 10 metres to take gold. In the end youngster Tatiana Belonogoff also showed great back end speed to snatch silver, with Vasey having to settle for bronze.

On being crowned British champion again, the Loughborough University swimmer said:

“It’s a bit surreal – it’s a good feeling! I always knew it was going to be really close but I just tried to focus on my own swim. I knew that Siobhan and Sarah either side of me would go out fast, so I just tried to come back on them and use my 200m pace. It’s been a tough past few years, so this meet for me was about coming here and having fun most importantly, as I swim fast when I have fun. I’ve stepped forward with my 200m but I’m really pleased with this.”

Such was the quality of the field that 200m champion Molly Renshaw, 200m IM champion Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Imogen Clark had to settle for fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Hot favourite Ben Proud duly delivered to add the Men’s 50m Butterfly title to the 50m Freestyle gold that he won on Saturday night. Out of the blocks well, Proud only stretched his advantage to win by a body length from Lewis Fraser and Jacob Peters, afterwards saying:

“I’m happy with that swim tonight. I think looking back at both races, both of them have been consistently off my best but it reflects that we’ve just been taking a steady build throughout the season and I think that’s going to pay dividends for the summer. I’m definitely trying to learn how to focus my preparations to the one big meet each year; I think that’s how my career is going to have to be now and that’s all I want to be doing – winning medals on the world stage.”

The Women’s 1500m Freestyle was a real nail biter, as despite being contested over 30 lengths of the pool, it came down to the wire. Loughborough University’s Emily Clark set her stall out from the get-go, a lone leader, however with four laps to go 800m champion Leah Crisp finally drew level, Even at the bell the duo were still locked in battle, the former moving away down the final length to win by one second. Like City of Leeds’ Crisp, Newcastle’s Georgia Darwent swam a measured race to get up for bronze.

Re-watch every minute of the British Swimming Championships by clicking here.

For full results from all of the week’s action, please click here.

British Swimming

Apr 21 19

Michael Phelps discusses viral Masters moment behind Tiger Woods

by ZwemZa

Michael Phelps and Tiger Woods (Golf Channel)

It was his first time being at Augusta National for the Masters and it’s an experience he’ll never forget.

Michael Phelps spoke with NBC Sports and “Today” on Wednesday about his visit to Augusta National, focusing mainly on what it was like to stand behind Tiger Woods on the 16th hole as Woods was on his way to winning his first major in 11 years.

“Being able to watch him and how in control he is of every single thing on the golf course. I feel like every step is so calculated and every little small detail he pays so much attention to. It’s something I can relate to,” Phelps told NBC Sports as he recounted the Masters final round on Sunday.

Phelps said he has a friend who is a member of Augusta National and he was invited to attend the final round earlier in the week.

When asked how he achieved getting such good seats on the 16th hole as Woods putted his way to winning a fifth green jacket, Phelps told “Today” he just got lucky.

“We met some nice people that offered us a chair to sit next to them at some pretty cool spots and that was one of probably the coolest shots and coolest things I’ve ever seen live in sports and definitely in golf,” Phelps said of Woods’ tee shot on the 16th hole. “Just watching Tiger come back. Watching him be able to do that, get back on top of the mountain, it’s just so cool.”

The 23-time Olympic gold medalist didn’t go unnoticed on the 16th hole Sunday. He ended up on CBS’s broadcast and a screenshot of him appearing just as intense as Woods quickly went viral.

Because no cell phones are allowed on the course at Augusta National, Phelps didn’t know he was featured on the broadcast until later.

“I think that was probably the most exciting part about not having your phone. You know what I mean? You really get to truly enjoy where you are and seeing what you’re seeing so I had a couple texts when I got back to the house,” Phelps said on “Today.”

Even though Woods’ focus was solely on his game Sunday, Phelps is pretty sure the 15-time major winner knew he was at the event.

“I think he knew I was there because I was standing when he walked out of the clubhouse (before his round), and it looked like somebody said something to him about it, like one of the guys walking out with him,” Phelps told NBC Sports.

Phelps told NBC Sports the two accomplished athletes met in 2004 in New York City for a video game launch.

“Through a mutual friend, just reached out, tried to do whatever I could if he needed help, wanted to ask questions, bounce ideas,” Phelps told NBC Sports. “I’ve gone through a lot that other people haven’t gone through in the sports world. I just wanted to support. Tiger is one of my favorite athletes to watch, being a huge golf nut.”

While the two are both champions in their respective fields, the tie that connects Woods and Phelps is much more profound because it’s rooted in perseverance.

In 2004, a 19-year-old Phelps was arrested for driving under the influence in Maryland. In February 2009, he was suspended for three months by USA Swimming and lost his Kellogg’s sponsorship after a photo of the swimmer using a bong went viral. In 2014, Phelps was suspended once again by USA Swimming, this time for six months after another arrest involving speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol in Baltimore.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he won one silver and five gold medals to retire as the most decorated Olympian of all time.

In May 2017, Woods was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol near his home in Jupiter Island, Florida In October 2017, he pled guilty to reckless driving and was given one-year probation.

Despite the hardship, Woods was able to redeem himself on Sunday. And Phelps loved every moment.

“I’m getting chills right now,” Phelps said to NBC Sports as he recounted Sunday’s final round. “The chance to see (Tiger Woods) at that place be able to come back when everybody counted him out. It’s cool because I kind of have an idea of what that feels like, climbing back to the top of the mountain. Having a chance to see him do it on his terms with his kids there, I was speechless for two days.”

JuliaKate E. Culpepper | Golfweek | USA Today

Apr 21 19

Italy’s Cerruti ends Russian dominance at FINA Artistic Swimming World Series

by ZwemZa

Italy’s Linda Cerruti won the solo free event at the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series in Kazan ©FINA

Italian Linda Cerruti triumphed in the solo free event at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Artistic Swimming World Series in Kazan to prevent Russia from winning every availabe gold medal so far.

Cerruti’s performance at the Aquatics Palace of Kazan earned her 90.4000 points, placing her ahead of Russia’s Alina Mantulenko with 87.0333 and Belarus’s Vasilina Khandoshka on 86.0667.

Russia took all four gold medals yesterday, claiming the remaining three today.

Olympic champions Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina, already winners of the duet technical event, dominated the duet free event with a score of 97.1000 points.

Cerruti and her team-mate Costanza Ferro were awarded silver with 91.8667 points and Spain’s Mireia Hernandez and Irene Jimeno secured the bronze with 87.4000.

Maya Gurbanberdyeva and two-time world champion Aleksandr Maltsev then earned their second gold medal of the competition and their country’s second of the day in the mixed duet free.

They scored 91.4000 points, beating China’s Cheng Wentao and Shi Haoyu on 84.4333 and Spain’s Fernando Diaz del Rio and Beatriz Castano of Spain on 77.3667.

The hosts third gold medal was in the team free event, with Russian scoring 97.900 points.

Spain were second with 87.900 points and Belarus third with 82.6333.

The competition is due to continue Sunday.

Nancy Gillen | Inside the Games

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