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Jun 16 19

Africa champ Brunlenher leads Kenya to World Swimming Championships

by ZwemZa

Maria Brunlenher (Kenya Daily News)

Africa Youth Games champion Maria Brunlenher and Danilo Rosafio will lead the Kenya team to this year’s World Swimming Championships to be held from July 12-28 in Gwangju, South Korea.

Brunlenher claimed two gold medals at the 2018 Youth Africa Games, will have Danilo Rosafio, Emily Muteti and Isa Abdalla accompanying her to South Korea for the week-long event.

“I hope it will help me improve my personal times and get to the respective finals of their races,” said Abdalla in Nairobi on Sunday. Brunlehner is based in Germany while Muteti is in the United States.

Head coach Fakry Mansoor will be assisted by Steve Schaefer and Todd Price. Mansoor hopes Kenya swimmers will learn more from the trip.

“We have to focus on the Tokyo Olympics and select best talent. The World Championships may be the first for some, but it is a good opportunity for them to learn and improve their times,” said Mansoor.

Xinhua

Jun 16 19

Urlando wins third event Saturday at TYR Pro Swim Series at Clovis

by ZwemZa

Gianluca Urlando (USA Swimming)

U.S. National Team member Gianluca Urlando wrapped up the TYR Pro Swim Series at Clovis Saturday with his third win of the meet, taking the men’s 200m IM in 2:00.12. His time was more than three seconds ahead of the rest of the field, with Jarod Arroyo of Puerto Rico taking second in 2:03.29 and Erick Gordillo of Guam finishing third in 2:05.22.

Urlando also won the 100m fly on Thursday, and the 200m fly on Friday.

“I was happy with my race,” Urlando said. “I thought I would go a little faster, but I think I’m a little tired from the entire meet. This was definitely a good first stop on my summer schedule. It gives me a lot of confidence heading into other meets.”

Fellow National Teamer Erica Sullivan won the women’s 1500m freestyle in 15:55.25, a personal best time and the third-fastest in the world this year. Mackenzie Padington was second in 16:56.58, and Ayumi Macias of Mexico was third in 16:56.76.

It was Sullivan’s second win of the meet after taking the 400m free on Friday.

“I had a really tough day today,” Sullivan said. “I was kind of emotional, and I just gave everything I could in the water. Sometimes you have to push through those mental and emotional challenges or use them to have a better race. I’m really glad I was able to overcome that and use it to my advantage.”

Another National Team swimmer wrapping the meet with multiple wins was Isabelle Stadden. Stadden won the 100m backstroke last night, and then followed that up with a win in the 200m back tonight in 2:08.67. Sydney Pickrem of Canada was second in 2:13.17, followed by Taylor McCoy of Cougar Aquatics in 2:14.46.

Stadden will be competing in the 200m back in August at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

“I think I took it out a little faster than I normally take it out, which I think helped me in the long run,” Stadden said. “It’s just a fun race to race.”

Two members of the U.S. National Team who will be competing July 21-28 at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea won the men’s and women’s 100m free Saturday.

Mallory Comerford took the women’s 100m free in 53.90, followed by Worlds Teammate Kelsi Dahlia in 54.56. Julie Meynen from Luxembourg was third in 54.63.

Comerford will be swimming this event at Worlds.

“I’m really excited about it,” Comerford said. “It was my first time under 54 [seconds] unshaved, so I’m really happy with that. I’m excited about where I am heading into Worlds. This was really the last big meet to see where I am. I’m excited to fine-tune a little bit and get ready for taper and to head to Worlds.”

Michael Chadwick won the men’s 100m free in 48.70, with Cristian Quintero of Venezuela and Peter Holoda of Hungary finishing second and third in 49.43 and 49.46.

“Great swim,” Chadwick said. “Always happy when I break 49 [seconds]. I think this meet is the perfect time for this time of year – three weeks out from leaving for [World Championships] training camp and about a month away until racing. It’s a perfect time.”

Other first-place finishers Saturday were Akaram Mahmoud of Egypt in the men’s 1500m free, 15:26.12; Pickrem in the women’s 200m IM, 2:11.78; Markus Thormeyer (CAN) in the men’s 200m backstroke, 1:59.24; Alia Atkinson (JAM) in the women’s 50m breaststroke, 30.69; and Brandon Fischer (Livermore Aqua Cowboys) int the men’s 50m breaststroke, 27.26.

“I wanted to go out with a bang for the week,” Fischer said. “I felt great after last night. I recouped and recalibrated myself and was ready to start again today.”

Complete Results

Across the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series, swimmers may earn increased awards for top-three finishes in all individual Olympic events. At each meet, $1,500 will be provided for a first-place finish, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. In addition, one athlete per gender with the highest-scoring prelim swim in an individual Olympic event based on FINA power points will win $1,500.

Jim Rusnak | Director of Media Properties

Jun 16 19

Emily Seebohm, Australia swim star, sees world champs streak snapped

by ZwemZa

Emily Seebohm (Getty Images)

Emily Seebohm, Australia’s top backstoker for the last decade, will miss the world swimming championships for the first time since 2005, when she was 13 years old.

Seebohm finished third and fourth in the backstrokes at Australia’s trials for next month’s worlds in South Korea, where a nation can only send two swimmers per individual event. Seebohm said earlier this week that illness slowed her prep, according to Australian media.

Full Australian trials results are here.

Seebohm qualified for the world championships for the first time when she was 14 years old in 2007. She went on to earn five Olympic medals, including 100m backstroke silver behind Missy Franklin at the 2012 London Games.

She then swept the backstrokes at the 2015 World Championships. After missing the individual medals in Rio, she bounced back to claim Australia’s lone gold at the 2017 Worlds, taking the 200m back. That ensured the formerly dominant swim nation didn’t go winless at an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 1986.

The world’s top backstrokers in the last year have been Americans Kathleen Baker and Regan Smith, Canadians Kylie Masse and Taylor Ruck, Italian Margherita Panziera and Australian Kaylee McKeown.

Australia’s swimming federation also put Mack Horton on the world team in his Olympic gold medal event, the 400m freestyle, even though he did not meet the nation’s qualifying standard time, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Horton would have otherwise made the team in the event for finishing second at trials.

Australia’s other stars had no problem qualifying for worlds, including sprint freestylers Kyle Chalmers, Cate Campbell and Bronte Campbell and Katie Ledecky‘s biggest rival, 18-year-old Ariarne Titmus.

Olympic Talk

Jun 16 19

Three titles for Ukraine and Fiedina in two hours

by ZwemZa

The Ukrainians ruled the field on the second day of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final in Budapest as they clinched three titles in as many events they entered. Solo free, duet free, team free – all went to them, Marta Fiedina was the super hero as she was part of each golden routine. The fourth gold headed to Russia in the mixed duet free.

Two golds from Ukraine kicked off the second day in the Duna Arena – both were somewhat expected and both were delivered with safe hands (and legs) as the winning margins were above 3 points in the free routine finals in duet and in solo.

The medallists of the duet free in Budapest – Credits: Istvan Derencsenyi

Indeed Marta Fiedina managed to grab two more titles in an hour: after teaming up with Anastasiya Savchuk for the duet gold she also came first in the solo events. Ona Carbonell, he amazed many on Friday with her brand new and somewhat revolutionary technical routine, this time opted to swim only in the duet (where she got a bronze), in the solo Spain’s new hope Iris Tio (still junior) took part and finished third.

Simoneau added a silver to her bronze from yesterday

The silver went to the Italians in the duet, just like a day before, while Jacqueline Simoneau was runner-up among the soloists.

The Ukrainians were very happy with this golden sweep. “Once more it’s a record high score for us and this is the first time we could win both golds in the duet event” Anastasiya Savchuk said. “We are working hard, preparing for the World championships in Gwangju and then to the Olympic games in Tokyo. We are still very young, we have a lot of great competitions ahead.”

Fiedina also set a personal best while winning the solo free so she was obviously sitting on cloud nine after the event. “I am really happy now, it is the highest score I have ever been given in my solo career. This programme was nearly the same as yesterday, but without the compulsory elements and the music was different too. I could express myself freely, I was able to offer much more emotions. I felt I could open up and my soul was flying during the run.”

Flying souls… The medallists of the solo free, with Fiedina in the middle

The mixed duets enjoyed a great success in the evening session, highlighted by the ‘clash’ of two great rivals, Russia’s Aleksandr Maltsev with his new partner Mayya Gurbanberdieva and Italy’s Giorgio Minisini and Manila Flamini who upset Maltsev two years ago here in Budapest in the technical routine at the FINA World Championships. The Italians entered only the free here because Giorgio had to overcome an injury in the spring and they are working on a new technical routine which they still wish to polish before showing it in Gwangju. Now they had to settle for the silver medal as the Russians doubled down the titles on offer in the Super Final.

Maltsev and Gurbanberdieva: a golden farewell to the old programme

“There is no secret in it at all” Maltsev replied to a question regarding any secret behind their success. “Each time we compete, we set ourselves the goal to perform such a way as we have decided previously, as we have imagined. There are always certain ‘circumstances’: tiredness, de-concentration, unexpected things that can push our performance back. Whenever we win, we always have the idea in mind to perform our programme at the highest possible level and perfection. Since the last World Championships I have changed my partner and this was our 8th performance with Mayya. This is the tenth and last time I have performed this programme. For the World Championships we have created a totally new one. That’s why it was important to do this programme as close to perfection as possible. To our greatest pleasure, this was the highest score we have ever got for this routine and I am really proud of it. I hope our next programme will be even better and of higher level.”

Minisini and Flamini were on fire, as always

The bronze went to the Japanese pair, though the tango-based new routine of the Spanish duet was also wildly applauded by the spectators.

The team event closed the evening session and the Ukrainians were just again at their best, with the top score of the two days (above 94 points) they made their golden treble in the three free routines staged on Satuday. Maria Fiedina claimed her third gold of the day as she also swam in this final.

The Ukrainians got the highest marks of the entire meet so far

“These points were the highest we received so far for this new long programme” the winners said. “We felt perfect in the water, we were able to give our best performance, this led to these great marks. When we jumped into water, we did not know the result of the Spanish team, as we were right after them and we were preparing for our performance. But we are extremely happy to win this title. Although we are really satisfied with this result, our goal is to be even  better, correct our tiny mistakes in order to be properly prepared for the World Championships. We wish to give our most ideal performance there.”

The Spanish were also electrifying

The day was crowned with a special performance of the Hungarian synchro age-groupers as a hundred girls (!!!) performed a special choreography in the pool much to the delight of the crowd.

Medallists, Day 2

Duet free

1. Anastasiya Savchuk, Marta Fiedina (UKR) 93.9000

2. Linda Cerruti, Constanza Ferro (ITA) 90.8333

3. Ona Carbonell, Paula Ramirez (ESP) 90.4667

Solo free

1. Marta Fiedina (UKR) 93.4667

2. Jacqueline Simoneau (CAN) 90.2333

3. Iris Tio (ESP) 87.4667

Mixed duet free

1. Mayya Gurbanberdieva, Aleksandr Maltsev (RUS) 93.0667

2. Manila Flamini, Giorgio Minisini (ITA) 90.8000

3. Atsushi Abe, Yumi Adachi (JPN) 88.9667

Team free

1. Ukraine 94.2667

2. Spain 92.0667

3. Canada 89.4000

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

Jun 15 19

Rasovszky, finally made it, Cunha claims another gold

by ZwemZa

Kristof Rasovszky (FINA Budapest 2017)

Hungary’s Kristof Rasovszky completed his self-assigned mission to clinch a medal at the home leg of the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series. It turned out to be gold, a first-ever podium in Balatonfured for the local hero. Winner of the women’s race Ana Marcela Cunha routinely stepped to the top of the podium, she had already won this event in 2015 and in last year. Both champions cemented its top position in the overall.

Kristof Rasovszky won five titles in total in the previous two seasons in the World Series, medalled a couple of times, was junior world champion, achieved an unparalleled feat at the 2018 Europeans with three medals in as many individual events – but in Lake Balaton he could never make the podium.

It’s not just home soil for him because he is Hungarian – he is the boy next door as he lives in Veszprem, some 20km from the venue, swims for the Balaton Swimming Club and trains at the lake-side complex. Before this year’s leg he openly declared: claiming a medal is his top priority, he even skipped the previous leg in Setubal last week (he had bad memories from last year when he, together with others, got a serious infection during the race).

In fact, everything worked out for him this morning. As usual, he went out fast, kept his position in front, in the third he sat back a bit but still stayed among the leaders. Then he staged his monster finish in the last lap and not even the Olympic and world title-holder Dutch Ferry Weertman could keep up with him. Rasovszky’s winning margin was unusually large at this level, 6.5 seconds (at the Europeans Weertman edged him out by 0.04sec), Germany’s Soren Meissner came for a further 3.3sec adrift to get the bronze.

“Everything went according to my plans, even the other guys helped somewhat” Rasovszky said. “I swam ahead at the beginning to set the pace and found out the others tried to follow me which was good news since my race tactics were tailored for me and actually no one wanted to challenge this. So when I geared up for the finish no one could come with me.”

Rasovszky, parading with a moustache, insisted that he would keep this new look at least until the World Championships in Gwangju. “This brought me luck so I won’t touch it in the remaining weeks. No worries, it barely grows more than this.” Then he added that the last three weeks spent in an altitude training camp bore its fruits. “I arrived here in good shape and the work done recently paid off. I swam 100km per week there, so I felt the power today.”

Nicknamed The Balaton Shark, Rasovszky reinforced his top position in the overall, the only one in the men’s field with three podium finishes in the four leg held so far, after a silver in Doha and a bronze in Seychelles he added the missing gold to his 2019 collection.

Ferry Weertman tried hard but this time he couldn’t catch up his friend and rival. “I stuck too long into the pack, to come forward took a bit more energy than usual and once I managed to pass the others, Kristof had already been gone. I tried to have a big finish, I got a bit close to him but this time it was not enough. I’m still fine with this outcome, there is one month to go, we will work hard to be on top for Korea.”

Unlike the men’s race, women’s battles offered the usual thrills in the finish. No one could escape from the pack so half a dozen swimmers rushed towards the finish line. At the end, the top three stormed in within 1.8sec, Ana Marcela Cunha could hold on to claim the first place again, out-touching Italy’s Ariana Bridi by 0.4sec, while the bronze went to Leonie Beck from Germany.

Ana Marcela Cunha in the finish – Credit: Istvan Derencsenyi

This was Cunha’s third win in four legs this season and also her third triumph here in Balatonfured after 2015 and 2018 (and after her glorious three-medal haul at the 2017 World Championships here).

“This was all good once more, I’m happy” Cunha said with a smile. “I tried to set the pace but stay patient at the end. I’m more used to swim 25km but as we say with our coach, in the 10km, towards the finish you need to be more European. In South America, it’s in your blood to go with emotions in the finish, but in the 10km you need to be cool and professional and I just managed to do that.”

Bridi, the only one managed to beat Cunha this season (in Seychelles), was happy with her silver. “I tried to keep up with Ana Marcela and this was a good race, one month before the World Championships.”

Leonie Beck was also consent with her bronze. “Here we wanted to test everything, swimming in the pack, getting the pace, going to front, making the finish and this all worked well. To have a medal is great, but here really the practice was the most important before the World Championships.”

The World Series will resume in July in Canada, soon after the open water races conclude at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju.

Medallists, Leg 4

Men

1. Kristof Rasovszky (HUN) 1:50:12.7

2. Ferry Weertman (NED) 1:50:19.2

3. Soren Meissner (GER) 1:50:22.5

Women

1. Ana Marcela Cunha (BRA) 1:58:45.4

2. Arianna Bridi (ITA) 1:58:46.2

3. Leonie Beck (GER) 1:58:46.8

Jun 15 19

Ona Carbonell shines again, uses Nelson Mandela’s speech with music

by ZwemZa

Spain’s Ona Carbonell offered another glimpse of her outstanding talent to win the solo technical on the opening day of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final in Budapest. Ukraine grabbed the gold in the duet technical and later in the team technical as well, while in the mixed duet Russia’s only representatives in the meet came first.

The duet technical event kicked off the action in the magnificent Duna Arena on the first day of the Super Final here in Budapest. Ukraine’s pair of Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk was no match for the others as they earned a clean win with a margin of 2.98 points. All but two of their marks were above 9.

The Ukranien duo in action

“Before the routine we decided, that everything should go well and uring the programme everything worked perfect. Each of our elements was perfectly timed both by moves and synchronisation and we did not have any errors” Savchuk said and added that they managed to set a personal best in terms of scores. “We worked really hard, tried our best in the programme and do it with the maximum concentration. When we saw the result, we were very happy as it was the highest score we have ever been given.”

Italy Linda Cerruti and Constanza Ferro came second, ahead of Canada’s Claudia Holzner and Jacqueline Simoneau.

Fiedina was back for more in the solo event and she almost claimed another gold but Spain’s top swimmer Ona Carbonell edged her out by a tiny margin of 0.1888 – Canada’s Simoneau made the podium here as well for a second bronze in a span of half on hour.

Carbonell later admitted that a mistake almost cost her the title. “I could not execute perfectly the last element this is why I got so close to Marta Fiedina at then end. I have to work on that element very hard to get it right for the World Championships. This is a totally new routine, it was a surprise for everyone that I came here with this, but I wanted to perform it in competition before the Worlds.”

The Spanish world champion offered a detailed description of the very special music she used during her routine. “I really wanted to create something special, something different. Swimming to Nelson Mandela’s speech is also part of that artistic level which I try to achieve and add to my routine. Mandela is one of the most inspiring persons in my life, it is simply amazing to swim for his speech which is about the power of sports in uniting people and changing the world. My main aim is to prove and show more in the artistic and human meaning of this programme and I need to do the last element perfectly in order to achieve this. My goal is to practice my two new routines, the solo technical and the solo free to be as perfect as possible for Gwangju.”

Alexandr Maltsev in action in the mixed duet – Credit: Krisztian Porszasz

The evening session saw world Aleksandr Maltsev and his new partner Mayya Gurbanberdieva clinching the title in the mixed duet technical routine – with a performance worthy to Russia’s only representatives in this meet. The winning gap was the largest of the opening day here, they gained 3.4456 points on Japan’s Atsushi Abe and Yumi Adachi, while Spain’s Emma Garcia and Pau Ribes got the bronze.

“During the preparations our goal was to improve each part of the programme. We worked a lot to show a really artistic performance” Maltsev said then he explained why they competed a lot this season. “This year we had a lot of meets one after the other, this one is the fifth in this series. We performed in many countries as we didn’t have to create a new programme. On the other hand it was a great preparation time for the forthcoming World Championships in Korea, where we could bring our performance to ‘perfection’. Then we go home and we will have time to work on a new programme.”

Gurbanberdieva and Maltsev with their gold medals

Maltsev’s determination is understandable: since the mixed duet made its debut at the World Championships, the young Russian great claimed back-to-back golds in the free routine but he is yet to win the title in the technical event where he was bested by the US duet in 2015, then by the Italians in 2017.

In the team event Ukraine landed another title, ahead of Spain – another convincing victory it was – and the Canadians had to be happy with their third bronze in the Super Final.

The Ukrainian routine was a beauty to watch

The victors were full of praises – and happiness. “This competition was one of the selection meets for the World Championships, two more will follow” Yelizaveta Yakhno said. “The conditions are outstanding, great organisation, breathtaking swimming pool with warm water. Maybe it is the best swimming pool we have ever competed in. Some of us have already been here and we return to this place with pleasure. We are already in the final stage of our preparations for the World Championships and we hope we will achieve the same good result as here.”

Medallists, Day 1

Duet technical

1. Marta Fiedina, Anastasiya Savchuk (UKR) 92.0205

2. Linda Cerruti, Constanza Ferro (ITA) 89.0333

3. Claudia Holzner, Jacqueline Simoneau (CAN) 87.6666

Solo technical

1. Ona Carbonell (ESP) 90.8142

2. Marta Fiedina (UKR) 90.6254

3. Jacqueline Simoneau (CAN) 83.5809

Mixed duet technical

1. Alexander Maltsev, Mayya Gurbanberdieva (RUS) 90.7902

2. Atsushi Abe and Yumi Adachi (JPN) 87.3446

3. Emma Garcia, Pau Ribes (ESP) 84.6330

Team technical

1. Ukraine 92.8734

2. Spain 89.7990

3. Canada 87.8845

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

Jun 15 19

A letter to… “The Keyboard Warriors” from Cate Campbell

by ZwemZa

Confident: Cate Campbell.
Photo: AAP

Dear Keyboard Warriors,

Hi it’s me, Cate. You may remember we had a bit of a run in about two years ago and have had brief encounters ever since.

I don’t think we have ever actually spoken directly, you’ll talk about me, then I might have a brief passing comment about you in return and the cycle continues.

But I think it’s time we talked – not face-to-face, because let’s not forget, you are faceless, while I very much am not – but at least directly to one another – no intermediaries. No journalists.

Let’s revisit the initial incident where we got well acquainted. 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The final of the 100m freestyle. I was the undisputed favourite.

The World, Olympic and Commonwealth Record holder in the event.

The sure bet (as many of you have subsequently told me “I lost money on you!”), I was the all but guaranteed that Olympic gold medal.

It would be another gold for the Australian medal tally, another reason to gloat to your Pommy friends, another reason to down that can of XXXX gold.

But I was also just a person. And as it turns out, I wasn’t the sure bet. I wasn’t a contributor to Australia’s medal tally.

I wasn’t another great Australian asset to boast about. Although I probably was still the reason you downed that can of XXXX – sadly it probably tasted more like VB.

I’ve had a long time to process what went wrong and why I choked (yes I am still going to use that word).

And there are many, many reasons, none of which I feel now I have to justify to you. I did at the time.

But I just want to let you know, that you could not possibly be more disappointed in me, than I was in myself.

You could not have been more ashamed of me than I was of myself. You could not possible have judged me harsher than I was (and to an extent still am) judging myself.

In saying that, I did feel your disappointment, I did feel your shame and I felt your judgement.

For future reference, when you see someone choking, it’s not because they don’t care. It’s because they care too much.

And I cared. I cared because I knew that my performance could bring joy to so many people – you included.

I cared because my performance could reflect the brilliance of my coach and my amazing team. I cared because I wanted to be this image of myself that everyone else could see and yet I could not.

I cared because of all the sacrifices that my family has made over the years for me.

I cared because I had worked harder for this, wanted this more and given more of myself to this than anything else in my life.

I cared because it had become part of my identity. I cared because that’s what I do. I care.

So judge me.

Sit in your chairs and judge me. Judge me because I choked. Judge me because I couldn’t take the pressure.

Judge me because I had under 60 seconds to fulfil, not only my dream, but the dreams of a nation, a swim team, a coach, a family. Because you are right.

In some way I do deserve your judgment here (but could you reserve it, or at least some of the ridicule?).

Just don’t judge me because you think I didn’t care enough. Of that I am innocent.

It was a surreal experience coming back from Rio. I went into the Games as one kind of role model and came out another a very different one.

I went in as a herald for achieving your goals, for making your dreams come true, for being a winner and I came out as Australia’s poster-girl for failure.

I felt that in failing, I was a failure. The two were synonymous. I have since learned that they are mutually exclusive.

I say I became Australia’s poster-girl for failing. I became the real personified version of Buzz Lightyear’s quote from Toy Story when he says “that wasn’t flying, that was falling with style”.

And if I have learned anything throughout this whole experience, it’s that the flying might not be as important as the falling.

Fear is a powerful thing. It’s what makes your heart beat faster when you are standing on the edge of the cliff.

Even though your feet are firmly planted on the ground, you fear falling. In life, instead of falling, we fear failing.

I let the fear of failure destroy the possibility of success.

Yet I missed the crucial point that only in a place where failure is possible, is success possible. Most of our fear of failure comes from fearing what others will say about us.

How we will be judged. Especially because of you, my faceless Keyboard Warriors, we are now exposed to more judgement than ever before.

Things that were once said behind our backs, now leave a permanent cyber brand on the World Wide Web, but more importantly, are etched in that same black text in our hearts.

Don’t worry, I’m not blaming you, I take full responsibility for my actions and performance (or lack thereof).

So here’s the point that I want to make. Let’s change the way we view failure.

It’s seen as a dirty word, something that we should be ashamed of. But let me tell you, it takes a hell of a lot of time, effort, diligence, perseverance and above all courage to get to a place where failure is possible.

XXXRIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 06: Gold medalist Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie, Bronte Campbell and Cate Campbell of Australia pose during the medal ceremony for the Final of the Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Because it is the same place where success is possible. Instead of shaming people, let’s applaud their courage to go and do something that we were not brave enough or capable enough to do ourselves.

Like it or not, I still did a better job out there than any one of you could.

I have one thing to ask of you before I go. And that is to be kind. Think before you type.

Before you begin to limber up your thumbs, ask yourself if you are qualified to level the criticism or insult that is at your fingertips.

Ask yourself what that person you are watching has had to sacrifice to get to the position they are in? What have they done?

What have they given up? Would you be willing to put yourself in their place? Not just for the few moments that you get to see, but for the moments that you don’t.

For the blood, sweat and tears that they have shed to place themselves in this position. A place where failure is possible but so is success.

If the answer is no, and it almost always will be, then maybe change your tune.

In the months following Rio I am so immensely grateful the many thousands of messages of support I received. For the people who believed in me when I no longer believed in myself, thank you.

Thank you for your kindness, your understanding and for seeing qualities in me that I could not and sometimes still struggle to see.

And so, dear Keyboard Warriors, thank you for listening. In closing I’d just like to say: A little kindness goes a long way – but the reverse is also true.

Don’t you want to make this world just a little bit better? Even if that is only 280 characters better.

Yours Sincerely,

Cate Campbell

www.exclusiveinsight.com

Jun 15 19

Urlando, Freeman win second events at TYR Pro Swim Series at Clovis

by ZwemZa

Trey Freeman (USA Swimming)

A number of U.S. National Teamers and other swimmers who will be representing the U.S. at a major international competition this summer have been racking up the wins this week at the TYR Pro Swim Series at Clovis.

National Team member Gianluca Urlando won his second event of the meet Friday, taking the men’s 200m butterfly in 1:53.84, a TYR Pro Swim Series and 17-18 National Age Group record. His time was the third-fastest in the world this year, 51-hundredths of second faster than his swim last month at Mel Zajac Invitational in Vancouver.

National Teamer Justin Wright, who will be competing in the 200m butterfly at the FINA World Championships July 21-28 in Gwangju, South Korea, was second in 1:58.61, followed by Ben Miller of Tigard Tualatin Swim Club in 2:00.41.

“Overall I’m just really surprised,” said Urlando, who also won the 100m butterfly on Thursday. “I didn’t think I was going to get a best time today. But I’m really happy about it. I was just trying to stay relaxed and bring home the second 100 faster than I have been recently.”

Trey Freeman, who will represent the U.S. at the World University Games next month in Naples, Italy, won his second event of the meet in the men’s 400m freestyle, turning in a time of 3:49.16. Freeman outdistanced the rest of the field by nearly five seconds. Akaram Mahmoud of Egypt was second in 3:53.94, followed by Chris Wieser of DART Swimming int 3:54.81.

Freeman also won the 200m free on Thursday.

“I would have liked to be a little faster,” Freeman said. “I think I pushed it out too hard at the beginning because I got a little excited. I can’t be too mad with the time, and I think this puts me in a good place for [World University Games] in a few weeks.”

U.S. World Championships team member Kelsi Dahlia swam a tough triple Friday, winning the women’s 200m fly in 2:10.69, then finishing fourth in the 50m free in 25.28 about 10 minutes later. She capped the night with a second-place finish in the 50m fly in 26.38.

Finishing second behind Dahlia in the 200 fly was Remedy Rule in 2:11.56 and Lauren Case in 2:12.13.

“My 50 free was the hardest, with that quick turnaround,” Dahlia said. I improved on all my times from this morning, and that was the goal. I’m walking away just really happy overall.”

Catie DeLoof emerged victorious in the women’s 50m free in 24.99, while Julie Meynen of Luxembourg and U.S. National Teamer Mallory Comerford finished 2-3 in 25.08 and 25.21.

DeLoof will be competing in next month’s World University Games.

“During my race this morning I felt good, “DeLoof said. “I wanted to see if I could go faster tonight and work on my details off the start and go from there.”

Catie DeLoof and her sister, Ali, finished third and second, respectively, in the women’s 100m backstroke, turning in times of 1:01.60 and 1:00.59. Isabelle Stadden swam a personal best of 59.71 for the win.

Both Stadden and Ali DeLoof will be competing in the Pan American Games in August in Brazil. It was the second time this week the two faced off in the finals of a backstroke race. On Thursday night, it was DeLoof who came out on top of the 50 back.

“It was tough, but the competition was really good,” Stadden said. “It was fun to race.”

U.S. World Championships Team member Matt Grevers and Justin Ress went 1-2 in last night’s finals of the men’s 50m back, with Ress coming out on top. Tonight it was Grevers who would touch first in the men’s 100m backstroke in 53.59, followed by Ress in 54.25. Markus Thormeyer of Canada was third in 54.50.

“I’m really pleased with my time and where I am in training outdoors,” Grevers said. “I don’t want to make excuses, but every pool is different, and every environment is a little different, so for me to go that time right now it’s great. [For this summer] it’s giving me confidence to go out naturally, and smooth and not to force anything in the first 50. Every time I go out and swim well with that kind of strategy it just reaffirms it – that going out easier is better.”

Other U.S. National Team members winning Friday included Kendyl Stewart in the women’s 50m butterfly in 26.35; Erica Sullivan in the women’s 400m freestyle in 4:10.36, and Daniel Roy in the men’s 200m breast in 2:10.43.

Complete Results

The four-day, long-course meters competition runs through Saturday with daily prelims at 9 a.m. PT and evening finals at 5 p.m. PT.

The NBC Sports app, as well as usaswimming.org, will stream live coverage of Saturday’s finals at 5 p.m. PT. A live webcast of prelims will stream online at usaswimming.org.

Across the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series, swimmers may earn increased awards for top-three finishes in all individual Olympic events. At each meet, $1,500 will be provided for a first-place finish, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. In addition, one athlete per gender with the highest-scoring prelim swim in an individual Olympic event based on FINA power points will win $1,500.

Jim Rusnak | Director of Media Properties

Jun 15 19

Regan Smith has more to prove in the pool

by ZwemZa

Regan Smith (USA Swimming)

Next year is a big one for many reasons for Regan Smith.

Not only will graduate high school in the spring and start college in the fall, but she’ll be making final preparations to make sure she’s a top contender at Olympic Trials in Omaha and insure she’s in position to earn a spot on her first Olympic team.

But in the short-term, Smith will be vying for her first individual medal in her second FINA World Championships next month – putting the rest of the swimming world on notice that she’s a factor this year and will be an even bigger one next year.

“Next year will definitely be a very exciting one,” she said. “It is crazy to think that Trials and college are just one year away. At 2016 trials, I was heading into my freshman year of high school, so 2020 Trials will be a very different experience for me.

“I am not one who tends to think too far out into the future, but just knowing that all of these things are so close is very motivating to me and it’s something that I keep in my mind at practice every day.”

Several weeks back at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Bloomington, Smith proved her prowess by sweeping the 50, 100 and 200 backstrokes and finished second in the 200 butterfly.

All season, she’s been on a tear in her specialty events, adding victories in both the 100 and 200 back events in Knoxville as well as swimming freestyle and butterfly events.

This weekend, she’s competing at the Counsilman Classic in Indianapolis – her final meet before Worlds next month – and she’s planning to compete in a lot of freestyle events and put up some fast swims for a positive start to her summer season.

“Bloomington was a blast for me,” said Smith, who made her first World team two years ago as a 15-year-old, the youngest Worlds team member from the U.S. since 2007. “I was not expecting anything near what I was able to accomplish and it was such a confidence booster. It makes me really excited to see how well I can represent USA this summer.

“I don’t typically need a very long taper, so my coach will not begin to rest me for a little while. I’m also excited to see South Korea. I love to travel so much, and any new place that I get the opportunity to see will never be forgotten.”

Despite that tremendous success at a very young age, Smith has handled the expectations and pressure to continue to perform at that high level with maturity.

She said she never wants to put pressure on herself, and she does that by not expecting any specific standards or goals.

“I think I train and compete my best when I put zero boundaries or limits on what I can accomplish,” she said. “As far as this summer goes, I will be feeling much more confident and relaxed. Although it is the same meet as Budapest 2017, I think that it will be an entirely different opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I honestly think I’m a very similar person and swimmer to how I was when I made the World Championship team in 2017. That definitely isn’t a bad thing. I have been in a really good place over these past two years, and I am trying to continue to ride the wave of positivity and hard work that I created and refined back when I was about 15.”

The year before her big meet at Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships in 2017, everyone got their first look at Smith when she made the semifinals and finished 13th in the 100 backstroke as a 14-year-old at 2016 Olympic Trials.

And while she admits Trials were a tough meet for her, Smith said she learned much about herself as a swimmer and competitor and has used that experience to her advantage.

“Although I was only 14, I think I put some pressure on myself that was super unnecessary,” she said. “Most of that summer was very mentally challenging for me, and I questioned a lot of what I was doing. Looking back on it now, I am so thankful that I went through that rough patch because it motivated me in a way that nothing else could.

“That summer is one I definitely won’t ever forget and it helps to keep me going during current rough patches in training. I haven’t made any drastic changes in my training since then. I just think that I have matured a lot and developed a different and more positive mindset.”

With Worlds in a few weeks and the Olympics within reach next summer, Smith said she is excited to continue to pursue her Olympic dream – something she grew up with since she started swimming.

It was something she wished for in her fifth-grade yearbook quote, and as she’s continued to improve, it’s something she feels is more and more realistic.

“There was never a distinct point where I thought the dream could turn into reality, mostly because I never want to expect something that isn’t insured,” said Smith, who said she is in no rush to make a decision about college. “As I’ve made my way through my swimming career, I think I’ve embraced its possibilities and gladly endured everything that has come with it.

“To be honest, I have always felt like I’ve been living my swimming dream. All I ever wanted was to have fun in my sport and be the absolute best I could be. There was never a certain ‘aha’ moment that I experienced where I realized what I was beginning to accomplish; it was just a great sport to compete in from the beginning.”

Mike Watkins | USA Swimming Contributor

Jun 15 19

Dolphins ready to take on the World

by ZwemZa

Swimming Australia has named a 27-athlete strong team to take on the rest of the world in Gwangju, South Korea, at the FINA World Swimming Championships in July. They will join the eight open water athletes who were named last month to compete in Yeosu.

World Championship Team

Consisting of 13 males and 14 females, the squad includes men’s Olympic 100m freestyle champion Kyle Chalmers (Marion), who clocked the fastest time in the world so far this year – a formidable 47.35 – during the Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials which concluded in Brisbane on Friday night. Chalmers will also compete in the 200m freestyle along with St Peters Western’s Clyde Lewis, who swum a personal best time to secure the second spot.

Australia will have a strong showing in the female distance events with TSS Aquatic teammates Kiah Melverton and Madeleine Gough both posting personal best times to qualify in the Women’s 1500m Freestyle. Melverton had a terrific week in Brisbane, also grabbing spots in the 400m and 800m freestyle events.

Following an impressive meet which saw her set personal best times, Griffith University’s Emma McKeon will contest the 100m and 200m freestyle events as well as the 100m butterfly. Posting the second fastest time in the world this year for the 100m free – behind Dolphins teammate Cate Campbell who clocked the quickest time, 52.12 – McKeon’s stellar meet means she will also form a crucial part of the women’s freestyle relay teams, who are still showing they are at the top of their game.

The squad will include one debutant – Nunawading butterflier Matthew Temple who has been selected on squad as a relay swimmer after he tied for first with David Morgan (TSS Aquatic) in an epic 100m butterfly race which saw both swimmers post personal best times.

St Peters Western’s Mitch Larkin has qualified in three events after recording a world-leading time for 2019 in the Men’s 200 Individual Medley and setting a new Commonwealth record on night three of trials. He will also line-up in his favoured backstroke events in both the 100m and 200m races – which he was the world champion in 2015.

Larkin’s club teammate Ariarne Titmus made a statement on the opening night of trials in the Women’s 400m Freestyle, setting a new Commonwealth record time of 3:59.35. Titmus also qualified in the 200m and 800m freestyle events alongside McKeon and Melverton, respectively.

Queensland young gun Kaylee McKeown (USC Spartans) proved she is ready to take on the best in the world after qualifying in three events. She clocked personal best times in the 200m backstroke and the 200m individual medley, while also placing second in the 100m backstroke. She will be joined in the backstroke events by fellow teenager Minna Atherton (Brisbane Grammar) whose personal best performance saw her claim the 100m race and secure her the second spot in the 200m.

Chandler’s Jack McLoughlin showed sublime form over the week to post personal best times and qualify in the men’s 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle races. He has a big program ahead in Gwangju after also finishing fourth in the 200m freestyle, putting him in contention for the Men’s 4x200m Relay.

National Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren said he was impressed with the strong performances from the week given the qualification times set.

“We have very strong qualification standards which is based on the top eight times in previous world championships, so this is a smaller team than perhaps previous worlds, but a very strong team I believe,” he said.

“There have been some fantastic individual performances and the depth in some of our relay teams is very promising.

“Qualifying here is just the first step, we now have to convert and capitalise on these performances in South Korea, so our efforts in the coming five weeks will be focussed on that.”

Joining the 27 strong team will be eight team coaches including, Dean Boxall (St Peters Western), Chris Nesbit (TSS Aquatic), Michael Bohl (Griffith University), Vince Raleigh (Chandler), Peter Bishop (Marion), Simon Cusack (Knox/Pymble), Chris Mooney (USC Spartans) and Adam Kable (SOPAC).

Looking to mirror the preparation they will undertake for the Tokyo Olympics next year, the Australian Dolphins swim team will head to Cairns for a staging camp in the coming weeks, before moving to Nagaoka in Japan to train, and then travelling onto to Gwangju in South Korea for the World Championships beginning on July 21.

Athletes who are selected on the team to compete as relay swimmers only may be entered into individual events, provided there are not already two qualified swimmers racing in any one event. This is possible given they have achieved the FINA A qualifying time in the selection year. Possible additions in either Olympic or non-Olympic events will be decided in the next few weeks.

The Australian Dolphins Swim Team for the 2019 FINA World Swimming Championships

Name Club
Minna Atherton Brisbane Grammar
Bronte Campbell Knox/Pymble
Cate Campbell Knox/Pymble
Kyle Chalmers Marion
Thomas Fraser Holmes Griffith University
Alex Graham Bond
Madeleine Gough TSS Aquatic
Jess Hansen Nunawading
Mack Horton Melbourne Vicentre
Shayna Jack St Peters Western
Mitch Larkin St Peters Western
Clyde Lewis St Peters Western
Cameron McEvoy TSS Aquatics
Emma McKeon Griffith University
Kaylee McKeown USC Spartans
Jack McLoughlin Chandler
Kiah Melverton TSS Aquatic
David Morgan TSS Aquatic
Leah Neale USC Spartans
Zac Stubblety-Cook West Brisbane Aquatic
Jenna Strauch Bond
Matt Temple Nunawading
Brianna Throssell UWA West Coast
Ariarne Titmus St Peters Western
Madison Wilson Marion
Matt Wilson SOPAC
Brad Woodward Mingara Aquatic

 

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