Skip to content
Oct 25 14

Sunny start to Metsi Open Water Swim Series

by ZwemZa


(clive wright)

(clive wright)

Over 160 swimmers took advantage of the sunny conditions to participate in Round One of the Metsi Open Water Swim series, which took place at Marina Martinique, Jeffreys Bay on Sunday.

First into the 20 C water were the 10 K swimmers, with Byron Lockett taking first place (2 hours 23 minutes) with Rebecca Newman the first lady home (2 hours 36 minutes).

Iain and Robert Geddes finished in second and third position respectively, with Amy Mardon completing her first ever 10 K in a time of 2 hours 56 minutes, to take second position in the ladies division.

Daniel Jones won the 5K event from Dylan Smith, with Bradley Reen taking third position in the men’s race.

Kirsten Marriot continued her dominance of the 5 K swim in the Eastern Cape, winning the ladies division in 1:11:25, with Hannah Haswell and Tracy Gous taking second and third positions.

Jason Jones won the 3 K event beating Nicholas Adam and Dylan Smith into second and third places.

Jessica Canter won the ladies race, with Amica de Jager and Brigitte Muller taking the other podium positions.

Veteran swimmer PJ Duffy had a great swim and was not far off the pace set by the youngsters.

Credence Pattinson won the 1K swim from Wayne Jones and Kevin Raine, while the top three finishers in the ladies race were Teagen Strydom, Kayla Holtshausen and Bianca Ansley.

“Conditions were excellent for the event and there was some great racing at Marina Martinique, said Brenton Williams, the event organiser.

Round two of the Metsi Open Water Swim Series will take place on 16 November at Marina Martinique.

Entries have opened at, while pictures of the Round One event can be found at the Swimming Plus facebook page.

Oct 25 14

McCardel eyes 200km-plus swim

by ZwemZa
Marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel has said she plans to swim over 200km for her next record attempt.

Marathon swimmer Chloe McCardel has said she plans to swim over 200km for her next record attempt.

Let’s play a numbers game.

You’ve just spent one night in hospital after swimming 126km in 42 hours.

And now you want to try swimming that distance all over again, plus an extra 75km.

For most of us, it just wouldn’t add up.

But Chloe McCardel isn’t most of us – she’s a 29-year-old marathon swimmer who has just completed a gruelling swim in the Bahamas.

While it’s yet to be officially recognised, the feat is being reported as the longest open-water, solo, continuous marathon swim in history.

But the likely entry into the record books has cost her.

McCardel is bedridden in the capital of Nassau after stumbling ashore early on Wednesday morning, local time.

She’s suffering from the effects of more than a dozen jellyfish stings and is on a course of pain medication.

Her arms and legs are covered with welts and her eyes are encircled by blisters from her goggles rubbing against her skin.

“Every time I put my head in the water it was pitch-black,” McCardel said.

“I couldn’t see anything.”

“You just hope with every arm stroke that you’re not going to hit something.”

It sounds like a nightmare.

Naturally, McCardel can’t wait to do it all again.

She says she’s planning something “pretty big” for her next trick, to take place within the next two years.

“It’s going to be completely on a whole other level,” McCardel told AAP.

“(It’ll be) longer than 200km.”

In the meantime, though, the Melburnian is focusing on a more immediate goal: walking again.

So why does she, in her words, “risk life and limb” with such extreme endeavours?

“I ask myself that question. It’s very sadistic,” she laughed.

“Right now I’m not walking. But you know, I’m someone who has big dreams.”


Oct 25 14

McCardel hospitalized after setting open-water record

by ZwemZa
Chloe McCardel image

Chloe McCardel image

Australian Chloe McCardel is recovering at a hospital after suffering jellyfish stings while swimming a distance of 127 kilometers (79 miles) between two Bahamian islands to apparently set a new world record for a continuous open-water solo marathon swim.

During the last 13 hours of the nearly 42-hour swim, McCardel was stung by 10 to 12 jellyfish on her arms, legs, shoulders and armpits, the British newspaper Daily Mail reported.

The 29-year-old swimmer also suffered hypothermia and exhaustion during the swim and is being treated at a hospital in Nassau.

McCardel swam the distance between the southern tip of Eleuthera and the northeastern coast of Nassau to set the world record, which is still pending recognition by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.

Web users were able to follow the swim, which was transmitted via satellite in real time. At around 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday, McCardel reached the coast of Nassau after overcoming adverse sea currents.

Based on the MSF’s rules for a continuous open-water solo marathon swim, the individual can only wear a swimsuit, goggles and cap and cannot touch the support boat or be physically assisted by his or her team.

In 2013, McCardel failed in her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida, having to stop after suffering multiple jellyfish stings on her face.


Oct 25 14

Using fear as motivation

by ZwemZa

Cover dive 6A week ago I wrote a post that went (relative to other “swim blogs”) viral. The post was titled, “Lighten up, Swim Parents!” and many coaches, parents, and swim teams shared it on social media.

What I want to stress — though I’m sure this post won’t go nearly as viral — is that “Swim Parents” aren’t the only adults in the swimming community who need to “lighten up.”

Someone on Twitter wrote to me and said (I’ll paraphrase) that it seemed odd that this particular post went so viral when I have written many similar posts relating to swim coaches and giving swim coaches advice how to “lighten up,” and yet those aren’t shared as much.

She’s right. It is odd.

I have a luxury of being far enough removed from the swimming arena to be objective (I’m not a coach or official or parent) and yet close being a former NCAA swimmer and writer to see things other people sometimes miss. Since beginning my “Mike’s Mailbag” column last year, I’ve received hundreds and hundreds of emails from young athletes across the USA. The question subjects are similar: Injuries, or overbearing adults. The swimmers who write to me are oftentimes between 11-15 years-old.

In last week’s article, I opened with an anecdote about a swimmer named “Sara” who had a less-than-stellar interaction with a Swim Parent. Later in that article, I described speaking with a friend and how that friend related to me woes regarding too much pressure from parents.

What I didn’t write was, in that same conversation, this swimmer also described overbearing coaches. Coaches who demanded too much. Coaches who screamed. Coaches who yelled. Coaches who produced fear as a means to motivate. We actually had a long conversation about swim coaches, and how there are those infamous “screaming” types of coaches on the pool decks who coach for years and decades, and yet everyone seems fine with it.

It’s football season, and much of the nation’s attention, at least on Saturdays, turns towards college football. There is one very powerful, perhaps the most powerful, football program over the past ten years that is having yet another successful season. A good friend of mine played football for this coach. And he really, really disliked him. A lot. My friend is a great person, a wonderful man and a hard-worker and someone who is devoted towards serving the public.  And yet this man, this friend of mine, described this coach pretty much as “evil” and as someone who “uses fear” to become personally successful.

Another extremely successful football coach, also ranked in the Top-10, uses fear, too. Again, I won’t name the program, but a different friend of mine played for this coach a long time ago, back before he was a household name holding the reins of America’s most iconic football program. This friend told me something similar: That fear was the primary motivator.

Why is it that, in many sports, adults create this type of fear to “motivate”?

In the swimming world, we have our own fear-producing coaches. You’ve seen them. I’ve seen them. And yet no one stands up to them. No one says, “Look buddy, lighten up. This is a sport. This is a game. You’re literally making my kid cry about a sport. You’re making my kid write emails to some strange freelance writer about how she can’t fall asleep at night, how she needs to see a therapist because she’s not succeeding at what you demand she succeeds at.”

No one says this because some of us subscribe to this “tough love” approach, or some of us have blind trust and faith in coaches across America because they wear a badge that says “coach.”

The fact is, there are great coaches out there. Just like there are great “Swim Parents” out there.

There are also nasty coaches, bad coaches, and incompetent coaches in every sport, just like there are unsupportive Swim Parents. My point with last week’s article wasn’t necessarily to tell all swim parents to back off, or to stop caring about their kids’ success and involvement with sports. Because, and I want to stress, there are many great Swim Parents just like there are great Swim Coaches. My point, last week, was just to get parents to step back and say, “Are my comments appropriate in this venue?”

I want to stress that this problem, this inappropriateness when it comes to sports and games, isn’t only due to the red-faced screaming and upset “Swim Parent.” It is also due to coaches. Coaches who use fear to motivate. Coaches who scream at swimmers over mistakes. Coaches who lose their tempers. Coaches who preach “their way or the highway.” If you’re reading this and immediately thinking of that One Coach, then you know the problem. You know what I’m talking about.

I live in a community that witnessed a program send a football player out into the field after suffering a concussion, an act that could have had severe, long-term health consequences. I am friends with both swimmers, football players, and a barrage of other athletes who all have horror stories about adults in the sports world, sitting from the sidelines, using fear as a motivator. Using fear to generate success.

This article won’t go viral like last week. But I just want to use this public forum while I have it:

Swim parents aren’t the only adults in sports who need to lighten up.

Mike Gustaffson

Oct 25 14

Pulmonary Edema cases higher among community athletes

by ZwemZa
Flickr/Bill Brine

Flickr/Bill Brine

Recent findings published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine reveals that extreme fitness commonly seen in athletes can sometimes be unexpectedly deadly.

“Swimming-induced pulmonary edema is a well-documented but relatively rare condition that may be misdiagnosed,” said British cardiologist and lead study author, Dr. David MacIver, in a news release. “If an accurate diagnosis and appropriate advice are not given individuals are at increased risk of future life threatening episodes and drowning.”

For the study, researchers examined statistics that showed increasing numbers of swimming-induced pulmonary edema cases in community triathletes and army trainees. Furthermore, findings revealed that the condition was more likely to develop in highly fit individuals undertaking strenuous or competitive swims, particularly in cold water.

Researchers also found that highly trained individuals were more susceptible to swimming-induced pulmonary edema as they likely experienced a mismatch in the ventricles’ stroke volume as the heart beats, with results in excess accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

“If the athlete is in open water and unable or unwilling to rest while there is ongoing stroke volume difference, pulmonary edema can take place with potentially fatal consequences.”

Fortunately, researchers said they believe that an increased awareness of this risk can help swimming-induced pulmonary edema, particularly among those dealing with the health issue.

Kathleen Lees
Oct 25 14

Endurance athletes at risk of swimming-induced pulmonary edema

by ZwemZa

Cover OWS startEndurance athletes taking part in triathlons are at risk of the potentially life-threatening condition of swimming-induced pulmonary oedema. Cardiologists from Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, say the condition, which causes an excess collection of watery fluid in the lungs, is likely to become more common with the increase in participation in endurance sports. Increasing numbers of cases are being reported in community triathletes and army trainees. Episodes are more likely to occur in highly fit individuals undertaking strenuous or competitive swims, particularly in cold water.

Dr David MacIver, lead author, said: “Swimming-induced pulmonary oedema is a well-documented but relatively rare condition that may be misdiagnosed. If an accurate diagnosis and appropriate advice are not given individuals are at increased risk of future life threatening episodes and drowning.”

Dr MacIver and colleagues suggest that the unique combination of strenuous swimming, cold water and a highly trained individual can lead to a mismatch in the ventricles’ stroke volume as the heart beats, resulting in the accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

“If the athlete is in open water and unable or unwilling to rest while there is ongoing stroke volume difference, pulmonary oedema can take place with potentially fatal consequences”, said Dr MacIver. “An increased awareness of the risk of swimming-induced pulmonary oedema among participants, organisers and medical personnel is important, especially as many may have swum before in the same conditions without experiencing symptoms.”


Notes to editors

Swimming-induced pulmonary oedema in two triathletes: a novel pathophysiological explanation (DOI: 10.1177/0141076814543214:) by Helen Casey, Amardeep Ghosh Dastidar and David MacIver will be published by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine at 00:05hrs (UK time) on Friday 24 October 2014.

For further information or a copy of the paper please contact:

Rosalind Dewar
Media Office, Royal Society of Medicine
DL +44 (0) 1580 764713
M +44 (0) 7785 182732

Oct 25 14

Record number of athletes register for FINA Worlds

by ZwemZa

Cover dubai 1With just over a month to go before the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Qatar is already setting records as an unprecedented 1,300 swimmers have registered their interest in competing at Hamad Aquatic Centre.

Also, more than 500 team officials have registered to participate in the event.

As of yesterday, 174 countries will be represented at this year’s event, which will be held from December 3-7, 2014. Whilst athletes are still undergoing the formal approval process in order to confirm their place at swimming’s showpiece event, all signs point towards Qatar being set to attract more swimmers to a FINA World Swimming Championship (25m) than ever before. At the 11th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Istanbul, 2012, 958 swimmers competed.

Speaking ahead of the 12th FINA Swimming World Championships (25m), Qatar Swimming Association (QSA) president and Doha 2014 CEO Khaleel al-Jabir said: “The excitement is building ahead of the World Championships here in December. We were delighted with the success of the FINA Swimming World Cup in August and clearly Doha has built a strong reputation as a world-class host in the swimming world, with a record number of athletes registered to compete here in December. We look forward to another spectacular event.”

Come December, the world’s best swimmers will once again take to the blocks at Hamad Aquatic Centre to compete in 46 medal events, with morning heats starting at 9:30am and finals at 6pm daily. Spectators can expect to witness exhilarating performances in the pool which has already seen three World Records broken this year thanks to the efforts of Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu. The defending FINA World Cup champion set new records in the 200m and 400m Individual Medleys at the FINA Mastbank Swimming World Cup – Doha in August.

Her compatriot, Daniel Gyurta, gold medallist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, also wrote himself into the history books in Doha this summer breaking a World Cup record in his signature 200m breaststroke. One of the 1,300 athletes hoping to compete in the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships in December, he believes his experiences at Hamad Aquatic Centre last month will give him an edge.

“I think I am very lucky that I was able to compete at Hamad Aquatic Centre before the World Championships. It has given me feedback about what the swimming is like there, and what kind of times can be fulfilled –based on my performance at the World Cup it looks positive for me,” he said.

Previous victors at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) include US Olympic gold medallist Ryan Lochte, who took home six gold medals at the last Championships in 2012. South African Olympic champion Chad Le Clos and Hosszu, are among the top athletes already looking forward to a return to Doha. In addition, Mireia Belmonte (ESP), Marieke D’Cruz (AUS), Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS) and other key athletes from Germany, Italy, Russia, China, Japan and the Netherlands are expected to be bringing their best to the competition.

Doha will also host the 3rd FINA Aquatics Convention at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel between November 29 and December 1, providing a platform for industry leaders and decision makers to facilitate and support sustainable growth of aquatic sports throughout the world.

Doha is also showing its commitment to the future of swimming through a Qatar Olympic Committee and FINA-organised five-day Youth Programme where nearly 400 elite young swimmers will be given the opportunity to experience the FINA Swimming World Championships first hand.

Gulf Times

Oct 25 14

Sport saves live: Shelley Taylor-Smith

by ZwemZa

Shelley Taylor-Smith111Marathon swimming legend Shelley Taylor-Smith has used a return to the headlines to call for compulsory swimming programs in all schools, revealing her prodigious talent helped save the life of a Balinese man last year.

Taylor-Smith, women’s world marathon swimming champion for a record seven consecutive years, will tomorrow night join cyclist Ryan Bayley as inductees into the coveted WA Sporting Hall of Champions.

It is due recognition for a swimming star who fought through a childhood battle with scoliosis and was once given only six months to live by doctors as she swam herself to exhaustion.

She also fought through poverty, a marriage break-up, the scare of a benign breast tumour, a miscarriage and several diseases that were the result of swimming in the murky waters that underpinned her remarkable journey.

But the 53-year-old was anxious to defer much of her latest honour to the watery craft that made her an International Swimming Hall of Famer, pleading for more focus on school swimming classes because it was “the only sport that saves lives”.

“What I say to kids is that it’s not just about being a fast swimmer,” Taylor-Smith said. “You just never know when you might need that skill. The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of life.”

Which is what her mastery of the craft allowed her to do for a drowning man in the waters near Bali’s popular Potato Head restaurant last year.

“I looked out, I could hear everyone screaming and knew it was my call to swim out,” she said of her 300m dash.

“He was moving really quick, so I knew there was a rip and no one was moving to him.

“I actually had my goggles because I was going to do laps, so I ran down there and just swam out.

“Thank God I hadn’t had anything to drink. He was going more under than up and I knew he’d be pretty tired by the time I got there. There were a lot of waves because the afternoon tides were switching in the rip.

“Next minute I couldn’t see him, so I went under and could just make him out.

“I pulled him up, he was fully clothed, gasping, his eyes were glazed and he threw up all over me. I thought he was going to push me under, so I rolled on to my back, wrapped my legs around him and started doing one-arm backstroke to get him in.”

By that point, another local had pulled alongside with a surfboard to help with the rescue effort, reminding Taylor-Smith not to kick her legs too much for fear of attracting sharks.

The Potato Head clientele gave her a standing ovation when she returned.

Taylor-Smith’s career as an elite swimmer started because of her badly curved spine. She had to wear a back brace for more than 2000 days through all of her high school studies from ages 12 to 17.

“I just loved going swimming because I got to take the brace off,” she said.

“Even though I wasn’t very good at it then, not being able to swim would have been like taking the air out of my lungs. When I was in the water, I could be free without the brace – that’s the relief I got.”

She had pleaded with her parents not to put her through the recommended operation to fuse her spine, which would have dashed any hopes for a swimming career and promised to “do whatever it took” to stay out of surgery.

She said the condition still sometimes caused her to fall over because one of her legs was longer than the other.

“The only time I wear stilettos is in my bed,” she laughed.

Taylor-Smith is now a swimming and life coach through her Champion Mindset business.

Steve Butler

Oct 24 14

Chad and Roland amongst the silverware in Beijing

by ZwemZa

RolandSchomanChad-le-ClosThe FINA World Cup in Beijing opened up where it left off in previous stops with Chad le Clos and Katinka Hosszu both dominating with multiple golds.

Chad le Clos extends his overall points lead to victory with every win he produces. He topped the 100free this evening to start the night with a 46.81.

Russia’s Sergiy Fesikov hit the wall second overall in 47.20 with Germany’s Steffen Deibler placing third in 47.51.

China’s Lin Yongqing (47.96), Australia’s Edward McKendry (48.55), Ling Huanan (49.17), Liu Junwu (49.22) and Germany’s Robin Backhaus (49.42) closed out the finale.

Roland Schoeman, the evergreen sprinter who is still putting up World Cup wins well into his 30s, took the sprint breaststroke title in 26.87.  Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell finished just behind in second in 26.91 with Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta also breaking 27 with a third-place 26.93.

Huang Yunkun (27.43), Li Xiang (27.60), Xue Jiajia (27.67) and Yan Zibei (27.71) finished fourth through seventh, while USA’s Michael Andrew wound up eighth overall in 28.37.

China’s Lu Ying had the first remarkable swim of the meet as she broke her Asian record in the 100 fly.  She raced her way to a top time of 55.95, that lowered her 56.05 record from the 2011 edition of the Beijing World Cup. She still has awhile to catch up to the world record of 55.05 set by Diane Bui Duyet, but she did push Asia into the 55s.  Africa is the only continent now yet to break 56 seconds with Lize-Marie Retief’s 2007 56.52 on the record.

The Netherlands’ Inge Dekker chased down silver with a time of 56.03, matching her top time of the year so far, while Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu picked up her third medal of the night with a bronze-winning 56.68.

Li Shuang (57.28), Chen Xinyi (57.28), Australia’s Marieke D’Cruz (57.84), Liu Zige (58.02) and Liu Lan (58.38) finished fourth through eighth.

le Clos dominated the men’s 200 fly en route to his second gold medal of the night.  He clocked a 1:49.73 to win by nearly two seconds.

Japan’s Daiya Seto collected his second podium of the night with a silver-winning 1:51.56, while Wang Shun took third in 1:52.91.

Wang Pudong (1:54.08), Australia’s Grant Irvine (1:57.20), Japan’s Masaki Kaneko (1:58.54), Peru’s Mauricio Fiol (1:58.71) and Germany’s Robin Backhaus (1:59.51) placed fourth through eighth.

Chad le Clos closed out a strong night of swimming with his third victory as he clocked a 22.03 in the 50 fly.  Deibler checked in second with a 22.69, while USA’s Giles Smith earned his first career FINA World Cup medal with a third-place 22.81.

South Africa’s Roland Schoeman (23.14), Zhang Qibin (23.16), USA’s Eugene Godsoe (23.29), Shi Yang (23.31) and Yu Hexin (23.33) rounded out the top eight.

For the full story go to Swimming World Magazine

Oct 24 14

Furong Lin most decorated swimmer at Incheon 2014

by ZwemZa

Furong Lin1China’s Furong Lin won his sixth gold medal on the final day (23 October) of swimming at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games to become the most decorated swimmer of the competition.

In a close men’s 100m backstroke S10 race, Lin beat Indonesia’s Tangkilisan Sualang by just 1.20 seconds to break the Asian record and take the gold medal in a time of 01:08.74.

Vietnam’s Thang Tung Vo became the second most successful male swimmer at Incheon 2014 by winning his fifth gold medal in the men’s 50m butterfly S5.

Vo’s teammate Thanh Trung Nguyen also won a gold medal on the final day of swimming in the men’s 200m individual medley SM5.

Lin’s compatriot Jiexin Wang added a fourth gold medal to her tally in the women’s 100m backstroke S9. Wang topped the podium in a new Asian record time of 01:14.41 ahead of teammate Ping Lin.

Four more Asian records were broken on the final day of competition in Incheon.

In a fascinating and close race, home favourite Wonsang Cho set a new Asian record in the men’s 200m individual medley SM14 with a time of 02:17.37, just 0.08 ahead of his teammate Inkook Lee and 0.64 of Japan’s Yasuhiro Tanaka.

China’s Yinan Wang broke his own Asian record set at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the men’s 50m freestyle S8 by 0.14 to take the gold medal in a time of 26.17.

Wang’s compatriot Jiaying Zhu is the new Asian record holder in the women’s 100m backstroke S10 after beating teammate and multi-medallist Meng Zhang by just 0.77 in 01:13.17.

There was double success for China in the women’s 50m freestyle S8, as Yajing Huang set a new S7 Asian record to take silver in a time of 34.60 and Shengnan Jiang won gold.

Japan’s para-swimming star Keiichi Kimura bagged his fourth gold medal of the Games in the men’s 100m butterfly S12. With a total of six medals (four gold, one silver, one bronze) Kimura is one of the most successful swimmers of Incheon 2014.

Kimura’s teammate Takayuki Suzuki completed his Asian Para Games medal collection with his first gold medal in the men’s 50m breaststroke SB3 beating China’s Zhipeng Jin and Thailand’s Somchai Doungkaew.

Jungeun Kang added a second gold medal of the day to South Korea’s tally winning the women’s 200m individual medley SM14 comfortably ahead of Hong Kong, China’s, Yuen Ying Chow.

Indonesia’s Mulyana won the men’s 50m butterfly S4 ahead of Thailand’s Somchai Doungkaew.

The Chinese team collected five more gold medals to bring their total medal count in swimming to 95 (48 gold, 34 silver, 13 bronze).

Qing Xu took his personal gold medal tally to three by winning the men’s 200m individual medley SM6.

Dong Lu won the women’s 50m butterfly S6 ahead of Vietnam’s Thi Bich Nhu Trinh.

Xiaobang Liu beat his teammate Yongjia Cui to take the gold in the men’s 100m backstroke S9, while Shiyun Pan won the men’s 50m freestyle S7.

China’s final gold medal was won by the men’s 4x100m medley 34 points relay ahead of hosts South Korea and India.

The final night of the swimming competition at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games was completed by Kazakhstan’s victory in the men’s 4x100m freestyle 49 points relay.

The 2014 Asian Para Games opened on Saturday 18 October and will run through to Friday 24 October. Athletes from 41 countries will compete in 23 sports.


%d bloggers like this: