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Sep 22 17

Caeleb Dressel “I don’t want to be compared to Michael”

by ZwemZa

Five years ago Caeleb Dressel was the youngest male entered in the 2012 US Olympic Trials at age 15. He recalled the bursts of fire on both sides of the pool and the red-white-and blue coloured waterfall used as the backdrop for each new Olympian selected for the US Olympic team.

Less memorable were his own performances, a tie for 145th, out of 167 finishers, in the 50m freestyle and tied for 152nd in the 100m freestyle. Dressel chose to sit by himself in the stands, away from his parents Christina and Michael and even from swim coach Sergio Lopez of the Bolles School.

Dressel recalled watching how some of the best swimmers in the world went about their business.

“I was in awe of everything,” he said.

“It makes you hungry when you see people making the team, and you’re just sitting in the stands thinking that maybe four years from now I can be doing that. Making the US Olympic team one day became a goal of mine.”

Dressel took six months off from swimming.

“I wasn’t even thinking about swimming during that period, not at all. I didn’t want to touch water and I didn’t touch water. I didn’t even think about touching water.”

“It was such a blast”

Four years after the 2012 Olympic Trials, Dressel would qualify as a member of the US team that would be competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and won his first gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

In the final, he swam the second fastest leadoff leg in 48.10 and was followed by teammates Michael Phelps, Ryan Held, and Nathan Adrian, their relay finishing in a time of 3:09.92.

In Rio Dressel finished sixth in the final of the 100m freestyle in a time of 48.02. Swimming in the heats of the 4x100m medley relay, Dressel earned his second Olympic gold medal when the USA finished first in the finals. He recorded a freestyle split of 47.74 in the heats.

On the first day of the FINA World Championships competition, Dressel set the American record in the 50m butterfly in a time of 22.76, recording the fastest of the semi-finals. Later that evening in the 4x100m freestyle relay, Dressel set the American record in the 100 metre freestyle with a time of 47.26 in the leadoff leg.

Combined with Townley Haas, Blake Pieroni, and Nathan Adrian, the American team won gold with a time of 3:10.06, earning him his first gold medal of the Championships.

When Dressel arrived at the post competition press conference in the Danube Arena on the last Saturday of July he apologised to the patiently waiting media: “Thank you guys for waiting for me, sorry, I was busy”.

Busy indeed, Dressel became the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at the World Championships.

The USA’s newest rising star has just accomplished a ‘hat trick’ by racing and winning three events during the span of about two hours. His performance drew comparisons to his 2016 teammate Michael Phelps who retired after the Rio Olympic Games. Dressel was the winner of the gold medal in the 100m butterfly, another gold in the 100m freestyle, and captured his sixth gold medal in the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay on the seventh day of the eight-day World Championships programme.

“Man that last relay was a lot of fun,” Dressel said. “I wanted to lead it off even though it meant less time to get ready for it. It was such a blast,” said the 20-year-old college student coached by Gregg Troy at the University of Florida.

Leading off the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay, Dressel’s split of 47.22 was the only leadoff leg faster than 48 seconds. He and USA teammates Nathan Adrian, Mallory Comerford and Simone Manuel shaved more that 3.5 seconds off the previous world record in the winning effort. Dressel’s campaign that evening started with a victory in the 50m freestyle. He qualified for that event a few weeks earlier at the 2017 USA Swimming National Championships beating 36 year-old Anthony Ervin, the Rio 2016 Olympic champion.

“In Budapest I only had to run twice after the medals ceremony. Exciting is one way to put it, tiring is another way to look at it. Tonight was busy, it was physically tiring, mentally straining. You got to take one swim at a time, enjoy the moment, then refocus quickly, very quickly.”

“My goal here is not to count medals” Dressel came back about a half hour after the 50m freestyle event to nearly break Michael Phelps’s world record in the 100 butterfly.

“It’s humbling to be that close to world records.”

The comparisons to the legendary Phelps are inevitable:

“I’m not the same person as Michael. My goal here is not to count medals. I don’t think it puts any more pressure on me. I just want to keep doing my own thing. “I don’t want to be compared to Michael. I absolutely love Michael. It was my first time being on the US Olympic Team in Rio and Michael was such a great teammate. He texted me this week to say ‘good job’.”

Dressel capped the night by leading off a world-record performance in the mixed 4×100 free relay. With one day of swimming left, Dressel had six gold medals to his credit in the Championships, putting him in position to tie Phelps’ record of seven golds earned at the 2007 Worlds in Melbourne, Australia. Mark Spitz won seven gold medals, all in world record times at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

Asked about the events he might swim in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, he replied:

“I haven’t even finished the 2017 worlds yet. I’m focused on the medley relay tomorrow. Plus I have a math test in two days. It’s college algebra and it’s very tough to be a college athlete. I’m not really good at math and I have tried to study but I have been busy. Then we can worry about what happens three years from now.”

“We’re seeing a star being born”

“Two more laps to go,” Dressel said with a smile hoping to close the meet with another gold medal in the 4 x 100m medley relay. Dressel was unable to divulge whether he would be swimming butterfly or freestyle.

“I can’t say, that’s a secret. It could be breaststroke, I don’t know.”

Likely it would not be breaststroke. He was winner of the 100m freestyle earlier in the 2017 Championships but his American teammate Nathan Adrian could be counted on to anchor the relay, having won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics and a bronze last summer in Rio. Dressel’s time in the individual 100m butterfly was only .04 off of Phelps’s world record and almost half a second faster than the winning time of the 2016 Olympic champion Joseph Schooling of Singapore.

Schooling, also coached by Lopez and trained with Dressel when they were teenagers, is best remembered for preventing Phelps from winning that event at four consecutive Olympic Games.

Twenty-four hours after becoming the first swimmer to win three golds in one night at a major international meet, Dressel joined Phelps in another elite club: seven golds at the second-biggest meet after the Olympics. On the eighth and final day of competition, Dressel earned his seventh gold in the 4x100m medley relay.

The American relay team included backstroker Matt Grevers and breaststroke specialist Kevin Cordes. Swimming the butterfly leg Dressel was chasing James Guy of the UK after Adam Peaty had put the Brits ahead following his dominant breaststroke leg. Dressel put the USA back on top, splitting 49.76, the only flyer to swim under 50 seconds.

“I don’t consider myself a flyer, but I guess not – I will be practicing a lot more fly. I’m close to the world records, and it’s nice to stay hungry,” said Dressel.

Nathan Adrian was the USA’s freestyle anchor with a comfortable lead, pulling away to win in 3:27.91, only .60 of a second off the world record set by his American predecessors in Rome, Italy in 2009. Britain settled for the silver, more than a second behind. While his teammates left the pool deck, Dressel lingered a bit, watching a replay of the race on the video board.

We’re seeing a star being born,” teammate and 2012 London Olympic champion Matt Grevers said about Dressel. “This meet was fantastic!”

Dressel emerged as the breakout performer of the FINA World Championships winning three individual gold medals and was part of four winning relay teams. He now holds American records in 50m and 100m freestyle and the 50m butterfly, as well as the world record in the 4x100m mixed freestyle and mixed medley relays. It was no surprise that he was named the male swimmer of the meet.

“I had mixed relays helping me out.” he smiled.

Two of his gold medals were in events that include men and women on the same relay team, and not previously on the Olympic programme.

“I’m pretty tired, but it’s been a good season, a good year, and to put together a seven-day meet, it’s a really nice feeling,” Dressel said.

“There’s a lot more that goes into this than just the eight days that people see, so I’m very happy to be done. “I have never been to a meet like this. This meet was fantastic! Especially for the Hungarian swimmers, it’s been great. I absolutely envy the amount of respect and energy that came from the stands. It was awesome. I loved the great atmosphere.”

Asked if he was prepared to be the next face of swimming, Dressel was humble and tactful:

“There are a lot of up and coming athletes in the USA and there is plenty of talent in USA Swimming to go around. I don’t think it can be put on one individual and I don’t think it can be put all on me.” “I am still getting my feet wet in international swimming, but I am excited for the future. I am just having fun doing it.” 

Gregory Eggert | FINA Media Committee

Sep 22 17

Rasovszky and Beck crown season with command performances in Bracciano

by ZwemZa
Kristof Rasovszky (FINA Budapest 2017)

Kristof Rasovszky (FINA Budapest 2017)

Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky and Germany’s Leonie Beck won the respective overall titles of the LEN European Open Water Swimming Cup. They arrived as overall leaders and secured their triumphs by finishing atop in the final as well, in Lake Bracciano (ITA).

Full Results

Kristof Rasovszky sealed his outstanding season with another sound victory. The Magyar open water swimmer’s constant development is mirrored by his achievements which has been tremendous in the past two seasons. The Hungarian won the junior world and European gold in 10km last year and came up with a brilliant performance in his first full senior season in 2017. He won the first three races in the European Cup, added two World Cup crowns, had top 10 finishes in the World Championships and crowned his match by clinching the overall title of the European Cup.

In Bracciano he came first on Day 1 in his favourite 10km, placing himself to a winning position and even though he finished runner-up on Sunday over 5km, his win in the final was never in danger. His combined time in the two races, which determined the rankings in the final event, was five seconds better than title-holder Dario Verani’s effort who . It meant that Rasovszky won the overall with the maximum points, way ahead of Italy’s Alessio Occhipinti whose fourth position in the final placed him ahead of Germany’s Christian Reichert since in case of equal points scored in the overall, the better result in the final decides.

Leonie Beck (Shz)

Leonie Beck (Shz)

Leonie Beck did even better than the male winner as she made the 10km-5km double in Bracciano this weekend, also collecting the maximum points to finish atop in the overall and get the winner’s check on 3,500 euros. Beck won a thrilling race on the first day out-touching Italy’s Ginevra Taddeucci by 0.1sec, while her other great rival Katalin Somenek came third with further 0.5sec adrift.

t promised some further excitements in the 5km but Beck withheld the pressure from Taddeucci and came first again, this time she had a winning margin of 0.3sec ahead of the Italian. Taddeucci could be still happy as her second place in the final put her second in the overall too: she had the better placement in Bracciano and that favoured her over Hungary’s Somenek whom she finished on equal points with.

The newly shaped European Cup, involving new locations and offering €21,000 in prize money, proved to be a great success, preparations for next season are already under way in order to ensure a great racing environment for the participants.

LEN European Open Water Swimming Cup, Final Rankings – (based on combined times clocked in 10km and 5km)

Men

  1. Kristof Rasovszky   HUN 2:50:38.6        40 points
  2. Dario Verani        ITA 2:50:43.9        34
  3. Artem Mamushkin     RUS 2:50:45.0        30
  4. Alessio Occhipinti  ITA 2:50:46.9        28
  5. Christian Reichert  GER 2:50:57.5        26

Women

  1. Leonie Beck         GER 3:07:15.0        40
  2. Ginevra Taddeucci   ITA 3:07:15.4        34
  3. Katalin O. Somenek  HUN 3:07:18.2        30
  4. Martina Caramignoli ITA 3:07:20.0        28
  5. Nikoletta Szilagyi  HUN 3:48:06.7        26

Overall – final rankings

Men

  1. Rasovszky Kristof      HUN 80 – €3,500
  2. Alessio Occhipinti     ITA 55 – €3,000
  3. Christian Reichert     GER 55 – €2,000
  4. Dario Verani           ITA 49 – €1,250
  5. Andrea Bianchi         ITA 48 – €750

Women

  1. Leonie Beck            GER 80 – €3,500
  2. Katalin S. Onon        HUN 65 – €3,000
  3. Ginevra Taddeucci      ITA 65 – €2,000
  4. Nikolett Szilagyi      HUN 53 – €1,250
  5. Martina Caramignoli    ITA 28 – €750

2017 European Open Water Swimming Cup – Legs

Leg 1 – Eilat (ISR), 26 March (10km)

Leg 2 – Barcelona (ESP), 1 July (10km)

Leg 3 – Navia (ESP), 5 August (7.5km)

Leg 4 – Copenhagen (DEN), 25 August (6km)

Final – Bracciano (ITA), 16-17 September (5 and 10km)

LEN

Sep 22 17

Australian Olympic swimmer gets one-year ‘whereabouts’ ban

by ZwemZa
Jarrod Poort puts everything on the line in the 10km marathon swim in Rio. (AP)

Jarrod Poort puts everything on the line in the 10km marathon swim in Rio. (AP)

Australian swimmer Jarrod Poort, who represented his country at the last two Olympics, has been handed a one-year ban for failures to notify anti-doping authorities of his whereabouts.

“Athletes are required to maintain the accuracy of their whereabouts information at all times,” the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) said in a statement on Thursday.

“Mr Poort failed on two occasions to submit his information on time, and on the third occasion, ASADA attempted to test Mr Poort outside his designated hour, only to discover that he had not updated his whereabouts to take account of travel plans.”

Poort, who competed in the 1,500 meters freestyle in London and 10km open water swim four years later in Rio, could have been banned for two years but ASADA decided he had not deliberately intended to deceive.

“At the end of the day people make mistakes and that’s what I did,” Poort, who has waived his right of appeal, said in a Swimming Australia media release.

“It was remiss of me to neglect a management system that must be shown the full respect it deserves and it is a very embarrassing situation to now be in.”

Reuters

Sep 22 17

USA Swimming National Team to square off against Pac-12 conference stars in USA College Challenge

by ZwemZa
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 05:  Katie Ledecky adjust her cap following her preliminary heat of the Women's 400m Freestyle during day two of the Arena Pro Swim Series swim meet at the Georgia Tech McAuley Aquatic Center on May 5, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, GA – MAY 05: Katie Ledecky adjust her cap following her preliminary heat of the Women’s 400m Freestyle during day two of the Arena Pro Swim Series swim meet at the Georgia Tech McAuley Aquatic Center on May 5, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

Members of the USA Swimming National Team will square off against collegiate swimming stars from the Pac-12 Conference in the second edition of the USA College Challenge, USA Swimming announced Thursday.

The short-course yards dual meet is slated for Oct. 21-22 at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The Saturday, Oct. 21 session will begin at 6 p.m.Pacific, followed by the Sunday, Oct. 22 session at 11 a.m.

“We received tremendous feedback from the athletes who participated in last year’s USA College Challenge, and we’re looking forward to an even bigger and better event next month,” said USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch. “Collegiate swimming is key for the continued success of USA Swimming on the international level, and this event will again showcase the best college and National Team athletes our sport has to offer.”

“The Pac-12 is excited to embrace the opportunity to partner with USA Swimming on initiatives that elevate the profile of the sport nationally and highlight the close relationship that college athletics has to Olympic success,” said Gloria Nevarez, Pac-12 Senior Associate Commissioner/Senior Woman Administrator.

“The collegiate swimming experience was key to my success with the National Team, and the USA College Challenge is a fantastic competitive platform for athletes at all levels,” said Lindsay Mintenko, former USC All-American, two-time Olympian and USA Swimming’s Managing Director, National Team. “The team format will make for an exciting early season meet for athletes and spectators.”

Pac-12 Networks will provide exclusive broadcast coverage of the event. Specific channel and broadcaster information for the Saturday, Oct. 21 session will be announced at a later date, while the Sunday, Oct. 22 session will air live nationally on Pac-12 Network as well as on Pac-12 Arizona and Pac-12 Los Angeles. Both sessions will also be available to stream live for authenticated Pac-12 Networks subscribers via the Pac-12 Now app and Pac-12.com.

In a similar format to the successful Duel in the Pool events, a running score will be kept throughout the dual meet competition combining the points earned by both women and men. With 269 points available in 31 total events, the first team to 134.5 points will be the winner.

In last year’s USA College Challenge, the USA Swimming National Team defeated the Big Ten Conference All-Stars in Indianapolis.

For individual events, each team will be permitted to enter up to four athletes. The top three athletes in each individual event will be permitted to score points for their team – 5 points for first place, 3 points for second and 1 point for third. Relay scoring is 7 points for a first-place finish and 0 points for second.

Each athlete may be entered in up to six events during the meet, including individual events and relays.

Current student-athletes at Pac-12 institutions who are members of the USA Swimming National Team will represent the Pac-12 Conference at the meet. Pac-12 alumni will represent the National Team. Rosters for the USA College Challenge will be announced in the near future.

The Pac-12 Conference produced a number of individual gold medalists for Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games, including Maya DiRadoKatie Ledecky and Simone Manuel of Stanford; and Nathan AdrianAnthony Ervin and Ryan Murphy of Cal. In total, 17 members of the U.S. roster were products of Pac-12 programs.

Stanford swept the men’s and women’s 2017 Pac-12 Conference Championships. At the NCAA Championships, Stanford won the women’s national tile, while Cal was runner-up on the men’s side.

About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.

About the Pac-12 Conference
The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 51 of the last 57 years, with 501 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities. The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. For more information on the Conference’s programs, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to www.pac-12.com/conference.

Pac-12 Conference

Sep 21 17

FINA forms new Athletes Committee of 16 members

by ZwemZa
Penny Hynes, South African swimming trainer

Penny Heyns

The 2017 – 2021 FINA Athletes Committee (FINA AC) was recently announced with a number of former members re-appointed and six new members appointed.

  • Penny HEYNS – Chairman and FINA Bureau Member
  • Britta KAMRAU – Vice Chairman
  • Camelia POTEC – Honorary Secretary
  • Kirsty COVENTRY – Member
  • Virginie DEDIEU – Member
  • Orlando DUQUE – Member
  • Malick FALL – Member
  • Aaron FELTHAM – Member
  • Stavroula KOZOMPOLI – Member
  • Patrick MURPHY – Member
  • Aaron PEIRSOL – Member
  • Thiago PEREIRA – Member
  • Ryan PINI – Member
  • Tingmao SHI – Member
  • Kaori TAKEMURA – Member
  • Matthew DUNN – FINA Bureau Liaison

“During my tenure on the FINA AC I have seen the Committee grow and achieve several important milestones. Each step forward has admittedly taken time however momentum has been created and the FINA AC is steadily strengthening its influence within FINA, ensuring the voice of the athlete is represented at all decision-making levels” says Penny Heyns, FINA AC Chairperson.

Since 2013 the FINA AC Chairperson has represented the athlete’s voice on the FINA Bureau and now, for the first time the FINA AC enjoys full representation of all six FINA Disciplines.

Furthermore, a FINA AC representative has been appointed to each respective Technical Committee as a full member:

  • Tingmao SHI – TDC – Technical Diving Committee
  • Orlando DUQUE – THDC – Technical High Diving Committee
  • Britta KAMRAU – TOWSC – Technical Open Water Swimming Committee
  • Aaron PEIRSOL – TSC – Technical Swimming Committee
  • Virginie DEDIEU – TASC – Technical Artistic Swimming Committee
  • Stavroula KOZOMPOLI – TWPC – Technical water Polo Committee

This is possibly the most important step forward thus far giving the FINA AC a vote on the platform where decisions most directly affect the athletes and our sport.

“The FINA AC provides a voice to all aquatic athletes and via this platform allows them to influence the development of all aquatic disciplines at multiple levels. The athletes are our sport and therefore it is important that their collective views can shape the future of FINA” says Matthew Dunn, FINA Bureau Liaison

The new FINA AC forms a very capable team and recognises their responsibility toward all aquatic athletes. As such they invite athletes to communicate concerns, issues and new ideas with them via email on ac@fina.org

FINA Communication Department

Sep 21 17

Fuji and Montreal – two new hosts of the 2018 Diving World Series

by ZwemZa

Diving 3

FINA  has announced the 2018 calendar of the prestigious annual circuit of the FINA Diving World Series.

The event will kick-off in Beijing (CHN) on March 9-11. The 2018 edition will then stop in Fuji (JPN) on March 15-17 while the last two meets will be held in Montreal (CAN) and Kazan (RUS) on April 27-29 and May 4-6 respectively.

The Chinese capital has been hosting a leg of this Series since 2011 without exception while Kazan is on board since 2015, the year the city organised a fantastic FINA World Championships.

Fuji and Montreal are both new hosts of this important international rendezvous, which gathers the world’s diving elite each year.

There are 10 events on the programme: men’s 3m springboard / men’s 10m platform, men’s synchronised 3m springboard / 10m platform, women’s 3m springboard / women’s 10m platform, women’s synchronised 3m springboard / 10m platform and two mixed events (3m + 10m).

The total prize money for the Series amounts to USD 1,350,000.

You can closely follow LIVE all the results of this meet on the FINA app, and all finals will be live streamed on FINAtv.

The 2017 edition was led by diving powerhouse China, who topped the ranking of every single event. Xie Siyi led the men’s 3m, while Chen Aisen was the best in the 10m platform. Shi Tingmao won the ranking of the women’s 3m and Si Yajie the 10m.

China was the best in all synchronised and mixed events in 2017.

Check out 2017 results and rankings

Diving World Series 2018 calendar

1. Beijing (CHN) – March 9-11

2. Fuji (JPN) March 15-17

3. Montreal (CAN) April 27-29

4. Kazan (RUS) May 4-6

FINA Communication Department

Sep 21 17

Doha to host Swimming World Cup for sixth consecutive year

by ZwemZa
Star swimmers Chad Le Clos (left) and Katinka Hosszu will be in action at the Doha leg of the Swimming World Cup next month. (Gulf Times)

Star swimmers Chad Le Clos (left) and Katinka Hosszu will be in action at the Doha leg of the Swimming World Cup next month. (Gulf Times)

Qatar Swimming Association (QSA) is preparing to host the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup (25m) in Doha from 4th to 5th of October at the Hamad Aquatics Complex, the event’s host venue for the sixth consecutive year.

The Doha round is the fifth of total eighth rounds of Swimming World Cup Series hosted across the world. Moscow staged the first round (2-3 August), followed by Berlin (6-7 August), Eindhoven.

Hong Kong city is due to host the fourth round (September 30 to October 1), which will be followed by Doha leg. The series will then move to Beijing (10-11 November), Tokyo (14-15 November) before coming to stop in Singapore (18-19 November).

The Doha round will bring together top swimmers at the both regional and international levels. A lot of swimmers have confirmed participation for the Doha leg, including Hungarian Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu, who is a crowd puller here in Doha, having won 13 medals including nine gold and four sliver in the last year’s edition.

Also South African Chad Le Clos made his mark by clinching three gold medals in 2016 and in 2015 he claimed four gold. This year’s event will see other prominent names and Olympic medallists. Khaleel al-Jaber, the President of QSA confirmed that staging the fifth round of Swimming World Cup in Doha for the sixth consecutive year is a proof of Qatar’s high organisational abilities in hosting major international events.

“QSA is highly appreciative of FINA’s confidence on Doha by granting the city the hosting rights to stage one of FINA World Series since 2012. But the biggest challenge remains ahead when Doha host 2023 FINA World Aquatics Championships and FINA World Masters Championships,” al-Jaber said.

“We are keen to host an exceptional FINA event here in Doha, the capital of world sports which had prominent record in hosting many world championships and sport events over the past years,” he added.

FINA started staging the first edition of the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Belgrade in 1973. The event has gone to become one of the most important championships hosted by FINA.

The first championship was organised under the name ‘FINA World Cup’ at the Yoyogi Olympic pool in the Japanese capital Tokyo in 1979 and had brought together eight teams from across the world including United States of America, Canada, Sweden, Soviet Union, Japan (participated with its all official national teams) also other teams representing Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and Europe.

In January 1991, the world records had been made in the short course events (25m) were officially approved during the FINA technical conference held in Australia’s Perth city. In the same year, FINA was keen to host World Championships in short course (25m).

And from 2007, the FINA has decided to provide busy table for the event in effort to attract large media coverage and brings further international attention.
Gulf Times

 

Sep 20 17

Mexico City earthquake: International Paralympic Committee postpones events

by ZwemZa

IPC_HeaderLogoThe International Paralympic Committee has postponed its World Championships in powerlifting and swimming following the earthquake in Mexico City.

Tuesday’s earthquake killed more than 200 people and toppled many buildings.

The 2017 Para Sport Festival, incorporating both championships, was scheduled to run from 30 September to 6 October in the Mexican capital.

Both events were postponed after the IPC consulted with local government and the organising committee.

“The immediate focus of the Mexican authorities should be on prioritising recovery and rebuilding for the Mexican people and not organising two major international sport events,” said IPC president Andrew Parsons.

It is the first time the IPC has had to postpone a major championship.

“I know the postponement of both championships will be disappointing news to all the athletes who were set to take part, however these are unique circumstances and quite simply this is the right thing to do at the moment,” added Parsons.

Parsons said the body will now work to ensure the safe departure of team delegations already in the country, before assessing whether it can reschedule the championships in Mexico City or must seek alternatives.

The 7.1 magnitude quake caused major damage in the capital and in neighbouring states.

The IPC says the two venues poised to host the championships – the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool and the adjacent Juan de la Barrera Olympic Gymnasium – had sustained minor damage.

A full structural assessment has yet to be carried out but hotels set to accommodate the 1,400 athletes, officials and staff that were due to arrive for the events have been badly damaged.

“Following the terrible earthquake our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the people of Mexico at this time,” said Parsons.

“The tragic loss of life and devastation caused is heart breaking to see and our deepest sympathies are with all those involved.”

It is the first time two of the biggest Para sport competitions have been held together and it had been expected to feature 550 swimmers from more than 60 countries and 360 powerlifters from 65 countries.

BBC Sport

Sep 19 17

Phelps has ‘no desire’ to return to swimming

by ZwemZa
Michael Phelps celebrates winning his gold medal in the men’s 200-meter butterfly with his fiance Nicole Johnson and baby Boomer during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Phelps says he has “no desire” to return to competitive swimming, but he’s eager to stay involved with the sport and cheer on those who follow in his enormous wake. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Michael Phelps celebrates winning his gold medal in the men’s 200-meter butterfly with his fiance Nicole Johnson and baby Boomer during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Phelps says he has “no desire” to return to competitive swimming, but he’s eager to stay involved with the sport and cheer on those who follow in his enormous wake. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Michael Phelps wondered if watching others compete at the world championships would pique his desire for another comeback.

Nope.

Phelps said Tuesday he has “no desire” to return to competitive swimming, but he is eager to stay involved with the sport and cheer on those who follow in his enormous wake.

In an interview with The Associated Press while promoting a healthy pet food campaign, Phelps said he is excited about having his second child and building a life beyond swimming.

“For me, it’s about being happy where I am and happy where my family is,” Phelps said. “We have more goals we want to accomplish outside the sport.”

It was around this time four years ago when Phelps got serious about ending his first retirement, but he now seems content with his decision to step away again after the Rio Olympics.

His wife, Nicole, is about four months pregnant. The couple already have a 16-month-old son, Boomer.

“I’ve got no desire — no desire — to come back,” the 32-year-old Phelps said flatly.

Phelps has attended a handful of swimming meets since the Rio Games, where the winningest athlete in Olympic history added to his already massive career haul by claiming five gold medals plus a silver. A few months ago, he conceded to the AP that he wasn’t sure how he would feel about a possible comeback after watching the worlds in Budapest, Hungary.

“We’ll see if I get that itch,” he said in April.

Turns out, it had no impact.

Phelps said the second-biggest meet after the Olympics “truly didn’t kick anything off or spike any more interest in coming out of retirement again.”

He is excited to follow the development of his heir apparent, Caeleb Dressel, who emerged as the sport’s newest star by winning seven gold medals at Budapest.

The 21-year-old Floridian joined Phelps and Mark Spitz as the only swimmers to accomplish that feat at a major international meet.

“I’m happy Caeleb decided to go off this year instead of last year,” quipped Phelps, who won 23 golds and 28 medals overall in his Olympic career. “I’m kind of happy to see him swimming so well when I’m not there.”

While he still travels extensively for his many sponsors, Phelps said he’s much more involved in his wife’s second pregnancy than he was before Boomer’s birth, when he was consumed by full-scale training for the Olympics.

“It’s definitely different going through it again,” he said.

Boomer, meanwhile, is a chip off the old block.

“He skipped the walking part and went right to running,” Phelps said, chuckling. “He just scoots around the house. It’s funny when we get him in the pool. He basically just splashes around the whole time. He’s literally nonstop. As soon as he wakes up from a nap or his night’s sleep, he’s just go, go, go. There’s no time for slow moving in our family. He likes to go fast. I guess that’s a good thing.”

Boomer is even starting to show some good form in the pool. His mom and Phelps’ longtime coach, Bob Bowman, have detected a bit of the stroke that was his father’s strongest.

“Nicole and Bob both say he’s got a good butterfly technique that he’s working on,” Phelps said. “I guess he’s seen his dad doing it a couple of times and kind of picks it up. He’s also now in a stage where it’s like all five senses are coming together. He feels everything, recognizes everything. It’s really fun to watch, as a dad, just watching these transitions in his life.”

In his latest business endeavor, Phelps is spearheading a marketing campaign for Nulo Pet Food, which he describes as a healthy alternative for dogs and cats. He’s an investor in the company and accompanied in ads by his French bulldogs, Juno and Legend.

“Our bodies are like a high-performance car. You have to make sure you’re putting the correct fuel in your body,” Phelps said. “We obviously treat our pets like human beings. I’d like my animals to be fed in the right way, with good nutrition and healthy foods. If we can do that with a company that’s putting good, natural ingredients into a pet food, it makes sense for me with what I’m doing in my own life. It’s something that goes hand in hand.”

With Dressel and Katie Ledecky now leading the American team, the U.S. is expected to remain the world’s dominant swimming country heading into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Even without Phelps.

“It’s time to kind of move on,” he said, “and watch other people come into their own.”

Associated Press

 

Sep 12 17

From war in DRC to swimming the open ocean

by ZwemZa
Arafat Gatabazi came to South Africa from the DRC as a child, and lived in a shelter for children until 2015. Now he is a long-distance open water swimmer. (Photo supplied)

Arafat Gatabazi came to South Africa from the DRC as a child, and lived in a shelter for children until 2015. Now he is a long-distance open water swimmer. (Photo supplied)

He escaped conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2012 and travelled 3 400km to Cape Town, an arduous journey that took several weeks. He was only 17 at the time, and came with his sister and two cousins, all of them under 20.

This Saturday, almost five years after being granted asylum in South Africa, Arafat Gatabazi will embark on a 12km swim from Robben Island to Sea Point, raising funds for a crèche in Khayelitsha.

“Children are the future of this country and deserve a safe learning environment,” says the 22-year-old, who completed a certificate in Information Technology in 2016 and now works as a web developer. “Education is so important.”

Located in Site B, the Imizamo Yethu Educare Centre operates from a single shack, serving about some 45 children between the ages of five months and five years. The structure is cramped and leaks when it rains. Money from Gatabazi’s swim will go towards installing a fully equipped container classroom through the charity Breadline Africa.

To date the drive has raised just more than R5 500 – 16% of its R34 000 target.

Gatabazi learned to swim after taking lessons at The Homestead, a shelter for street children in Cape Town where he lived until 2015. Within a year he had completed his first Robben Island crossing, an astounding achievement by any standards. (His first attempt, a month earlier, ended when he got hypothermia a kilometre from the Blouberg coast.)

Since then Gatabazi has swum around Cape Point (approximately 8km) for the Little Fighters Cancer Trust and around Robben Island (a total of 13.5 km after strong currents altered his course) for Lifeline Western Cape.

Swimming rules

“I want to show kids in children’s homes that they can achieve big things too,” he said.

To comply with open ocean swimming rules, male swimmers may only wear goggles, a cap, and a speedo – “not even trunks that cover your thighs,” adds Gatabazi, who was named Swimmer of the Year by the Cape Town Long Distance Swimming Association in 2014. Water temperatures in Table Bay range from 10 to 15 °C.

“I’m hoping for 14°C this Saturday,” said Gatabazi, who will postpone his swim if conditions are not suitable.

He anticipates that his swim will take 3.5 to four hours.

He took a break from training this week and flew to Durban to renew his asylum papers, a procedure he must repeat every six months. He has not returned to the DRC since fleeing Goma, in the country’s troubled east, when armed rebels took over the city in 2012.

“I want to show that refugees don’t only come here to seek help,” he said. “There’s a lot of prejudice against refugees, but they can make a real difference in the communities where they’re living.

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