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Oct 22 17

Cate Campbell is ready to be a swimmer again – and silence critics

by ZwemZa
New vision: Life away from the pool has been good for Cate Campbell but now she's ready to take care of business. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

New vision: Life away from the pool has been good for Cate Campbell but now she’s ready to take care of business. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

During her post-Rio glimpse of the other side, a region most of us call normal life, Cate Campbell liked what she saw.

When she rose from bed each morning, her body didn’t feel like it had been on the rack. Late nights were suddenly attainable, so too occasional indulgences.

It was all so pleasing that it presented Campbell with a question that cut right to the core of her being. She had defined herself as an elite, ultra-competitive athlete for as long as she could remember. Now she had to ask herself whether that was a life she wanted back.

Campbell is pretty much done talking about Rio, where she anchored the sprint relay to gold before failing to rise to the occasion in her pet 100-metre freestyle where, as white-hot favourite, she missed the medals.

Putting it all back together has involved far more time on dry land, then a gradual return to the water through partial training and relatively relaxed competition in the European summer, where she swam a number of lower-key events with relative success.
Now the 25-year-old former world record holder has returned to full-time training ahead of the Australian Short Course Championships in Adelaide from October 26, her first meet of any real consequence since Brazil and an important step towards next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
It’s only been six weeks back at the coalface, and at the best of times, Campbell doesn’t expect great returns from the 25-metre pool, which inconveniently puts walls in front of her lengthy frame just as she gets rolling.
It's history now: Cate Campbell addresses the media at the Rio Games.It’s history now: Cate Campbell addresses the media at the Rio Games. Photo: AAP

Even so, it represents an almighty step, given what transpired in Rio. If there were times when she questioned whether she wanted to be back in the pool, now she sees it as an arena of unfinished business.

“I’ve had a glimpse of how life could be after swimming,” Campbell said. “And it was good. That’s a big scary thing that’s looming in the not-too-distant future for me now I’ve reached the ripe old age of 25.

“But it also showed me I do have some unfinished business in the pool, I do want to get back in and get back to 100 per cent. I don’t feel I’m done with it just yet.

“For me, that was the real question. How much do I want this? Because I know that if you want to be the best in the world, it takes an immense amount of time and effort.

“For a while there, I didn’t want to be No. 1 in the world. And that was the first time in my career or life that I didn’t really care about being at the top. It was an uncomfortable situation to find myself in because I was trying to work out what that meant. Does it mean I want to quit swimming? Does it mean I’ve lost my competitive edge? What does it mean for the competitive Cate I’ve always known?

“In the end, it was just a priority shift, not a complete 180 [degree change]. I saw that life does exist after sport. But I’ve come back to the fact that I still want to be better. I don’t want to give it away and I’m willing to do what it takes to get back to my best.”

Campbell remains unsure whether her best will once again be good enough to find herself on top of the world and for once the notion hasn’t consumed her.

In her absence from competition, Swedish star Sarah Sjostrom crushed her 100m freestyle record of 52.06s, clocking a sizzling 51.71s in a relay lead-off at the FINA World Championships in Budapest in July.

New mantle-holder: Sarah Sjostrom hugs Australia's Emma McKeon after winning gold in the women's 100 meters butterfly final in Budapest.Changing of the guard: Sarah Sjostrom hugs Australia’s Emma McKeon after winning gold in the women’s 100-metre butterfly final in Budapest. Photo: AP

Campbell was on pool-side media duties in Hungary while that race unfolded. The notion that she decided to sit out the biggest meet of the year didn’t sit well with some of her critics. Campbell has hit back hard, saying it is her career and she will manage it how she sees fit.

“I can completely understand it [the question about why she wasn’t swimming],” she said. “The answer I would give anyone is simply because I didn’t want to. It’s nobody else’s business but my own.

“Nobody else has to go out there and perform. Nobody has to line up and race. Nobody has to put themselves out there to be judged for a race that lasts 60 seconds. And if I didn’t want to do it, that’s a good enough answer.

“I feel like I’ve given a lot to the sport … of course, the sport has given me a lot more. But it’s my choice, my career.

“I don’t think it’s fair for people to be upset at me. I respect that, for some people, sport is a waste of taxpayers’ money and I’m a drain on society, but for plenty of others, athletes are a source of inspiration and sport is a way to better themselves.

“When I want to see people perform, I want to see them at their best physically and emotionally. And I wasn’t there, physically or emotionally.”

It’s taken tears, hikes in the New Zealand wilderness, streams of corporate engagements, a new house, good amounts of soul searching, a lost world record and fleeting notions of moonlighting as an Uber driver for Campbell to get back to this point.

“But I do want to prioritise swimming again,” she said. “We’ve got the Comm Games coming up and you have to be at the top of your game for that. I’ve decided to knuckle down and I’ve really enjoyed it. That has been the pleasant surprise.”

Phil Lutton

Oct 22 17

10 drills to improve your freestyle

by ZwemZa
244C6028.JPG CREDIT: PENTAPHOTO 2A05656

(PENTAPHOTO)

Swimming is only ranked 44th in terms of difficulty in the ESPN (a US TV channel that broadcasts sports programs only) world rankings.

A study of the parameters on which these rankings are based (coordination, stamina, flexibility, strength, endurance, speed, agility and analytical attitude) shows that swimming is second only to gymnastics in terms of coordination.

Coordination means implementing a motor scheme that your brain has just designed.

It takes good coordination to develop an efficient technique and this can only be achieved by practising at every training session.

With this in mind, here is a set of drills to help you improve your technique. Today we will be focusing on freestyle:

1. One arm only: swim freestyle for a length using one arm only with your other arm either extended along your side or out in front of your head.

2. Freestyle with breaststroke legs: perform a breaststroke leg kick every cycle of arm strokes (right and left), breathing facing forwards as you make your leg kick.

3. Clenched fists: swim freestyle with your fists clenched (variation: start with clenched fists and then release one finger – starting with your little finger – every two arm strokes)

4. Alternating: swim freestyle pausing as your hand enters the water until your other hand has caught up and pause for approximately 2”.

5. Long sculling: swim “dog style” using your arm to provide all the thrust from out above the water down to your thigh, performing your arm recovery underwater

6. Short sculling: block your elbows along your sides and thrust underwater using only your forearm which “oscillates” alongside your body to describe a semicircle.

7. Sculling behind your head: lie on your back with your feet facing forwards and perform short and quick oscillating movements with your hands by rotating your wrists to drive yourself towards the other end of the pool.

8. Elbow bending: accentuate your elbow bend during the arm recovery phase (external phase) touching your armpit with your hand and pausing g for approximately 2”.

9. Varying your arm speed: swim freestyle with 3-4 fast arm strokes and 6-7 slow arm strokes

10. Rolling: swim freestyle breathing both sides and pausing momentarily when your body is on its in order to breathe (maximum rotation around the body’s central axis).

Since swimming is such a highly technical sport, why not practice as much as you can?

Arena Coaches

Oct 22 17

Bridi wins final FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup leg to claim overall spoils

by ZwemZa
Arianna Bridi sealed the World Cup spoils in perfect fashion ©Getty Images

Arianna Bridi sealed the World Cup spoils in perfect fashion ©Getty Images

Italian duo Arianna Bridi and Simone Ruffini produced contrasting performances in the final International Swimming Federation (FINA) Marathon Swimming World Cup of the season in Hong Kong, but each ended as overall champions.

Bridi produced a superb display over 10 kilometres in Repulse Bay to triumph in a sprint finish by just one tenth of a second in 2 hours 2min 12.60sec.

Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil, the winner of the previous World Cup leg in Chun’an County last week, battled hard but was forced to settle for second place.

Finnia Wunram of Germany took third in 2:02.14.

“I managed to put all the progress made during the year and the teachings of my technician Fabrizio Antonelli in the water,” Bridi said afterwards.

“Winning the World Cup means so much because it means I’ve been there for so many months, despite so many important appointments and appointments.”

Germany’s Rob Muffels won the corresponding men’s race in 1:53:10.14

Dutch Olympic champion Ferry Weertman was forced to settle for second place in 1:53.11.10.

Brazil featured on the podium again as Allan de Carmo clocked 1:53.11.2 for third.

Ruffini finished off the pace in seventh in 1:53.21.70.

His performance was enough for the overall World Cup spoils, however, subject to official confirmation by FINA.

Nick Butler

Oct 22 17

Emerging Aussie sprinter Shayna Jack says training with the Campbell sisters is helping her improve

by ZwemZa
Shayna Jack won four medals as part of relay teams at this year’s swimming world championships. Picture: Glenn Hunt.Source:News Corp Australia

Shayna Jack won four medals as part of relay teams at this year’s swimming world championships. Picture: Glenn Hunt.Source:News Corp Australia

Emerging Australian sprinter Shayna Jack doesn’t have to look far to know what it takes to catch the best 100m freestyle swimmers in the world because they’re in the next lane every day at training.

The 18-year-old trains with the Campbell sisters Bronte and Cate at the Commercial Swimming Club in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley and after a breakout performance at this year’s world championships has her sights set on big things.

Jack won four medals – two silver and two bronze – as part of four relay teams in Budapest in July and is now gearing up to race the national short course titles in Adelaide this week.

“It’s great having those training partners because I can see where I’m at, they are some of the best in the world so it pushes me to be better,” Jack said.

“I look at the way they train, the way they recover, and it teaches me a lot.

“It’s all friendly, at times we focus a lot more and I’ll sometimes try to beat them at training or the end of a session but it’s all fun and when we’re behind the blocks it’s serious, focus on your own race.”

Her longer term goal is next year’s Commonwealth Games trials where she will swim the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle.

“My goal is to mainly get an individual spot for the 50m and 100m freestyle, it would be good to make a bit of a move in that as they take top three,” she said.

Jack said she took a lot of confidence out of this year’s world championships because she had been able to perform with a less than ideal preparation due to illness.

“I was happy with my performance and it makes me confident that if that’s what I was like after that (preparation) then the future looks good.

“I managed to swim a few relays and hold my times consistently, it wasn’t PBs but it was still a world-level time.

“So when I’m fit and healthy and have everything going to plan we don’t know what I can do, we’ll have to wait and see.”

The 2017 Australian National Short Course Swimming Championships will be held at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre from October 26-28.

Reece Homfray

 

Oct 22 17

Katie Ledecky helps Pac-12 to early lead at USA Swimming College Challenge

by ZwemZa
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 29:  Katie Ledecky of the United States competes during the Women's 800m Freestyle final on day sixteen of the Budapest 2017 FINA World Championships on July 29, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 29: Katie Ledecky of the United States competes during the Women’s 800m Freestyle final on day sixteen of the Budapest 2017 FINA World Championships on July 29, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The Pac-12 Conference – which has six-time Olympic medalist Katie Ledecky on its side – scored 155 points Saturday to lead Team USA by 11 points after the first day of the 2017 USA Swimming College Challenge in Los Angeles.

The second-ever exhibition continues at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday in the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on the Southern Cal campus. With 613 points up for grabs throughout the competition, the first team to score 306.5 points will be named the winner. The meet features 29 members of the USA Swimming national team facing Pac-12 all-stars.

Ledecky, a sophomore at Stanford and a four-time gold medalist at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, won the women’s 500-meter freestyle for the Pac-12, finishing in 4:28.75. She also helped the Pac-12 win the women’s 800 freestyle relay.

Zane Grothe won the men’s 500 for Team USA with a time of 4:13.63.

Team USA started the meet with a win in the women’s 400-yard medley relay, with Regan Smith, Molly Hannis, Hellen Moffitt and two-time Olympian Lia Neal finishing in 3:28.37. Team USA also won the men’s 400 medley relay, with 2016 Olympic teammates Ryan Murphy, Cody Miller, Tom Shields and Jack Conger touching in 3:06.26.

Louise Hansson of USC and Sweden gave the Pac-12 a win in the women’s 100 butterfly, finishing in 51.28, and Shields gave Team USA the win in the men’s 100 fly with a time of 45.16.

Kathleen Baker edged Smith for a Pac-12 win in the women’s 200 backstroke, winning in 1:50.62, and Patrick Mulcare made it a sweep in the event, winning in 1:40.44.

Maggie Aroesty won the women’s 200 breaststroke for the Pac-12 with a time of 2:06.88, but Team USA swept the men’s 200 breaststroke with Olympic silver medalist Josh Prenot winning in 1:53.42 to give the national team a 99-87 lead.

Hansson got her second win of the night for the Pac-12 with a victory in the women’s 100 freestyle. Shields won the men’s 100 freestyle to bring Team USA’s lead to 118-106.

Ella Eastin won the women’s 400 IM in 4:00.02 and the Pac-12 inched up to within three points of Team USA at 123-120.

The Pac-12’s Andrew Seliskar won the men’s 400 IM in 3:43.11 to tie the score, 131-131.

Led by McLaughlin, Baker, Eastin and Ledecky, the Pac-12 won the women’s 800 free relay with a time of 6:57.98.

Finally, Stanford’s Grant Shoults helped the Pac-12 to a victory in the men’s 400 IM, finishing in 6:24.97

Karen Price

Oct 22 17

Georgia swimming and diving beats Northwestern on the road

by ZwemZa
 The University of Georgia men's and women's swim and dive team gather with swimmers from the University of North Carolina at a swim meet in the Ramsey Center in Athens, Ga. Oct 6h, 2017 (Photo/Justin Fountain, justingf@uga.edu)


The University of Georgia men’s and women’s swim and dive team gather with swimmers from the University of North Carolina at a swim meet in the Ramsey Center in Athens, Ga. Oct 6h, 2017 (Photo/Justin Fountain, justingf@uga.edu)

Georgia swimming and diving advanced to a 4-0 record after a win against Northwestern on Friday evening in Evanston, Illinois.

Georgia’s No. 8-ranked men’s team swam to a 174-109 win, while the No. 4 women’s side won 167-125.

“It was a job well done,” Georgia head coach Jack Bauerle said. “We were solid and we were consistent, and that’s what you look for.

UGAvsNorthwestern
Georgia’s Javier Acevedo celebrates after a race at the Canadian Olympic Trials at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto, Ontario on April 6, 2016. (Courtesy Swimming Canada/Photo by Vaughn Ridley) 

Sophomore Javier Acevedo highlighted the meet with wins in three individual meets: the 50-yard freestyle, 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley. Senior Jay Litherland and freshman Camden Murphy followed Acevedo with two individual wins.

Freshman Courtney Harnish led Georgia’s female side with two individual victories in the 1,000 freestyle and the 200 backstroke. The Lady Bulldogs swept the butterfly events with sophomore Veronica Burchill winning the 100 butterfly and senior Megan Kingsley taking the 200.

Georgia conquered the relay events with the fastest times in the women’s 200 medley relay, the men’s 200 medley relay, the women’s 400 freestyle relay and the men’s freestyle relay.

In the diving pool, sophomore Charlie Clifton placed first in both the 1 and 3-meter springboards. Senior Olivia Ball earned another first-place win for Georgia in the women’s 3-meter springboard.

Georgia’s win over Northwestern completes a weekend of back-to-back competitions on the road for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs defeated Wisconsin on Thursday in Madison, Wisconsin.

“We got all out of the two road meets that we wanted,” Bauerle said. “It was a job well done getting a couple wins and now we’ll get back to work.”

Lauren D’Ambra

 

Oct 22 17

Australia’s Groves cleared of breach of whereabouts rules

by ZwemZa
2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Victory Ceremony - Women's 200m Butterfly Victory Ceremony - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 10/08/2016. Madeline Groves (AUS) of Australia poses with her silver medal.      REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

2016 Rio Olympics – Swimming – Victory Ceremony – Women’s 200m Butterfly Victory Ceremony – Olympic Aquatics Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 10/08/2016. Madeline Groves (AUS) of Australia poses with her silver medal. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

Rio Olympics silver medallist Madeline Groves has been cleared of a third breach of anti-doping ‘whereabouts rules’ and is free to compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games, Swimming Australia said on Saturday.

The 22-year-old, who won silver in the 200m butterfly behind Spain’s Mireia Belmonte in Rio, had missed her third test at her residence in the United States in May.

However, swimming’s world governing body FINA said on Friday Groves had been “fully compliant with her responsibilities and obligations” and therefore not recorded a third breach of the rules in a 12-month period.

“I have always been confident in achieving this outcome as I have been compliant with all anti-doping policies throughout my career,” Groves said in a Swimming Australia statement on Saturday.

“I am happy to put this behind me and I am looking forward to competing in an attempt to qualify for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.”

Local media reported that testers had been unable to find Groves at her university residence in San Diego.

However, her legal representatives said she had been waiting for them in her room and the testers had not gone beyond the building’s front desk nor tried to contact her by telephone.

Groves’ Rio team mates Jarrod Poort, a long-distance freestyle swimmer, and Commonwealth 200 freestyle champion Thomas Fraser-Holmes were both banned for 12 months earlier this year for breaches of the whereabouts rules.

Athletes are required to file information on their whereabouts for at least one hour every day to allow drug testers to locate them for random out-of-competition tests.

Reuters

Oct 22 17

Gators swimming and diving men’s victory vs. Texas sole win at Texas/Indiana tri-meet

by ZwemZa
Caeleb Dressel races in the 400 meter freestyle relay during Florida’s meet against Auburn on Jan. 23, 2016, in the O’Connell Center.     Alligator File Photo

Caeleb Dressel races in the 400 meter freestyle relay during Florida’s meet against Auburn on Jan. 23, 2016, in the O’Connell Center. Alligator File Photo

The third annual Texas/Indiana tri-meet at the O’Connell Center concluded after Day 2, and while the men’s swimming team did manage to escape with a victory over three-time defending champions Texas, there was not a whole lot of success anywhere else.

As far as total wins go, the Gators had one less today than they did on Day 1, emerging victorious in two events. Senior standout Caeleb Dressel posted the fastest time of the men’s 50 freestyle event with a time of 19.61, and Polish native Jan Switkowski took first in the men’s 200 butterfly with a time of 1:45.24.

The women’s team were defeated by both Texas and Indiana in the tri-meet. Despite this, sophomore Kelly Fertel found the positives in the team’s performance.

“I think we did a really good job today, just getting up and racing,” she said. “We’ll just need to listen to our corrections and fix the little things. I think it’s always good to compete against bigger teams, because it’s a better opportunity to see what we can do.”

Assistant coach Leah Stancil praised both the men’s and women’s teams for swimming tough and aggressive but asserted that there was still much improvement left to be done.

“Right now, we have a few things we need to continue to work on,” she said. “We need to work on our turns, our kicks off the wall, our breakouts. It’s always helpful with swim meets to take it all back to training and see the little things we can work on.”

The Gators men’s team defeated Texas 258-171, but lost to Indiana 242-187. The women’s team were defeated by both Texas and Indiana, losing to the Longhorns 290-136 and the Hoosiers 251-178.

The Indiana Hoosiers continued their roll after Day 1, winning every team event and emerging victorious in eight other events. In addition to defeating both Florida teams, they also defeated the Longhorns men’s team 264-165; however, their women’s team fell in a close loss the Texas, 226.5-200.5.

The Gators are heading for a busy week, going to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama on Oct. 25 and then hosting Georgia back in Gainesville on Oct. 27.

“This is a big week for us,” said senior Ben Manganiello. “We have three competitions with top ten teams, and if we can go and compete tough, it’ll really set us up for the rest of the year.”

River Wells

Oct 22 17

Schooling turns tables on Dressel

by ZwemZa
Joseph Schooling celebrates after winning his second-straight NCAA title in the 200-yard butterfly in record-breaking fashion yesterday. (Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com)

Joseph Schooling celebrates after winning his second-straight NCAA title in the 200-yard butterfly in record-breaking fashion. (Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com)

Joseph Schooling exacted some vengeance on World Championships conqueror Caeleb Dressel on Friday, beating the American in the 100-yard butterfly at a triangular swim meet involving their respective universities.

The Singaporean, representing the University of Texas, touched home first in 46.57 seconds, reported swimming website Swim Swam.

The University of Indiana’s Vini Lanza was a hair’s breadth behind in second (46.68sec) while Dressel, who swims for the University of Florida, finished third in 47.17sec.

This National Collegiate Athletic Association season (2017/18) could also see Singapore’s first Olympic champion swimming the breaststroke leg for Texas in the 200-yard medley relay, as former team-mate and breaststroke specialist Will Licon has graduated.

The initial signs are fairly promising: The 22-year-old clocked the second-fastest breaststroke split of the medley relay field (24.64 seconds) at the tri-meet on Friday, behind Indiana’s Ian Finnerty (24.38sec).

Schooling later finished ninth in the individual 100m breast in 57.81sec, posting the second-fastest time for Texas.

The multiple SEA Games gold medallist is not new to racing the breaststroke in relays, however, having done the same when in high school as part of the Bolles relay team.

Schooling, who has also won two World Championships bronze medals in the 100m fly, has on several occasions stated his desire to expand his repertoire and race in different strokes instead of focusing only the fly.

Last month, he set a new personal best (46.29sec) in the 100-yard backstroke final at the Texas Men Orange vs White intrasquad meet, 0.99sec quicker than his previous best.

Lester Wong

Oct 22 17

University of Regina found negligent in Miranda Biletski case, $9M in damages awarded

by ZwemZa
Miranda Biletski says the best part of the verdict handed down by the jury on her case Friday is that she can finally say neither she nor the Piranhas Swim Club are responsible for the accident that left her a quadriplegic. (Bonnie Allen/CBC)

Miranda Biletski says the best part of the verdict handed down by the jury on her case Friday is that she can finally say neither she nor the Piranhas Swim Club are responsible for the accident that left her a quadriplegic. (Bonnie Allen/CBC)

The University of Regina has been deemed negligent by a jury in a June 2005 diving accident that left Miranda Biletski a quadriplegic.

Biletski and the Piranhas Swim Club were deemed not at fault in the same accident.

The jury indicated that verdict at Regina Court of Queen’s Bench Friday evening, bringing an end to a legal saga that began in 2007, when Biletski filed the lawsuit.

In total, the jury awarded Biletski more than $9 million for damages, residence modifications, care items, loss of future earnings and loss of marriage/interdependence benefits.

Biletski began weeping softly when the verdict was being read and once proceedings ended, she was embraced by those around her.

‘It’s finally recognized’

“I think it’s finally recognized that it wasn’t a fault on my end or the swim club’s,” the athlete, who competed as a member of Canada’s national wheelchair rugby team in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, told reporters, struggling not to break down in tears.

“I think we all knew all along but to actually be able to say it now, I think that’s the most enjoyable part of this.”

Biletski dove into a pool from competition starting blocks at the university during a Piranhas Swim Club practice in June 2005. The then-16-year-old hit the bottom and fractured her cervical vertebrae, leaving her a quadriplegic.

At the time of the accident, Biletski was a promising speed swimmer who’d recently joined the Piranhas Swim Club. She’d been swimming with the club for just 37 days

After Friday’s verdict, she expressed relief by joking about going home to a bottle of wine and bed, before taking a more serious tone in encouraging others who might be dealing with a similar situation.

Miranda Biletski swim

Miranda Biletski on the diving block at a swim meet in Assiniboia, Sask., in 2004. (Submitted by Miranda Biletski)

“Don’t give up,” she said.

“It would’ve been really easy to throw in the towel five or six or even seven years ago,” she said.

Regarding what the dollar amount awarded by the jury meant to her, she said, “Honest, I kind of zoned out after they said the U of R was liable for everything.”

Her lawyer, Alan McIntyre, noted that the process had been a struggle, saying “we’ve toiled mightily for the last 10 years or so.

“My client is a champion and we prevailed.”

A shallow dive

The university argued during the trial the pool depth and the height of the starting blocks met Swimming Canada guidelines.

The block from which Biletski dove was in an area of the pool 1.22 metres deep — in line with international standards. However, the International Swimming Federation, a world governing body for competitive swimming, now requires a minimum depth of 1.35 metres where swimmers will be diving from blocks. Swim Canada only enforces that depth for new pools built after 2002.

miranda biletski

Miranda Biletski playing wheelchair rugby. She competed as a member of Canada’s national wheelchair rugby team in the 2016 Rio Paralympics. (BC Wheelchair Sports)

McIntyre argued that amount of water in the pool at the time of the dive was a key issue.

Workers from the facility and pool supervisors confirmed that water depth drops over time as swimmers splash about and remove water that’s been absorbed into their swimsuits.

Pool maintenance logs indicated that water had been added to the pool only once during the two months leading up to Biletski’s accident.

Craig Chamerblin, the university dean in charge of the pool at the time, testified that record keeping was a continuing problem.

He told the jury that three witnesses had told him the water level was at the top of the pool when Biletski was injured, but that no measurements or photos were taken.

While being cross-examined, the U of R aquatics supervisor, Gabor Jerkovits, said he couldn’t say for sure where the water level was when Biletski performed the dive.

The university filed its own suit against the Piranhas Swim Club to cover damages if liability was established.

The club’s lawyer, Reg Watson, brought forward evidence that the Piranhas never signed a rental contract relieving the university of liability.

Miranda Biletski

Biletski says it was difficult to hear testimony that quadriplegia would shorten her life by two decades. (Brandon Harder/CBC)

Personal details laid bare

Throughout the course of the trial, the court heard information of a personal nature from Biletski, outlining the physical difficulties she has experienced since the accident.

A bowel movement now takes her several hours and and she must put in her own catheter to go to the the bathroom.

Experts also provided projections that quadriplegia will likely shorten her life expectancy.

“You definitely have to check your ego and dignity at the door on that one,” she said, responding to a question about what it’s like to share such details before the courts.

Until now she has gone without equipment that could could assist her, for financial reasons.

However, a large part of the total funds awarded to her by the jury is intended to help her attain such equipment, including $250,000 for modifications to her residence and over $500,000 for care items.

Brandon Harder, CBC

 

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