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Dec 13 18

Dominant 20: Katie Ledecky on her swimming origins, breaking records and her one fear

by ZwemZa

Katie Ledecky is No. 5 on ESPN The Magazine’s list of the most dominant athletes of the year. (John Huet)

Katie Ledecky is No. 5 on ESPN The Magazine’s list of the most dominant athletes of the year. Click here for more on the Dominant 20.

Stanford psychology major Katie Ledecky, 21, has 14 world records and five Olympic golds, the first coming in 2012 at just 15 years old. The world’s most dominant swimmer recently turned pro but has seemed professional for decades, because of her unerringly levelheaded demeanor and because she swims so far ahead of the competition it’s as if she’s in her own pool. She holds the world’s eight fastest times in the 1,500-meter freestyle and has shattered her own records by staggering margins. Her six-year, $7 million deal with swimwear company TYR and her 2018 cover of National Geographic, the first for a female Olympian, prove that nice girls not only finish first — they rule.

Allison Glock: Why swimming?

Katie Ledecky: My mom swam in college, but she never pushed me into the sport. She wanted me to feel comfortable in the water, so she taught my brother and me how to swim from a pretty early age. When I was 6, we joined a summer-league pool. We didn’t really know anybody, and my mom thought that the fastest way for us to meet people would be to join the swim team.

AG: So your unrivaled swimming career started as a way to make friends?

KL: [Laughs] Pretty much, yeah. I played a number of sports growing up. Basketball, soccer. I eventually realized that I was picking swimming over basketball practice. I also broke my arm playing basketball, so that may have contributed a little bit to it. [Laughs]

AG: Did you have an immediate kinship with the water?

KL: No. I didn’t drop into the pool on day one a great swimmer. For my first summer of league swimming, my only goal was to be able to do the 25 free without stopping to wipe my nose or catch my breath. And by the end of the summer, I was able to do that.

AG: When did you first recognize how good you could be?

KL: Swimming wasn’t something that came naturally, but I kept working at it, and by the time I was 8, I’d broken a couple of county records. Then by the time I was 10, I was breaking some Potomac Valley [Maryland] swimming records, kind of a bigger deal.

AG: You haven’t stopped breaking records since. What do you think makes you so dominant?

KL: I’ve always had a knack for goal-setting. I don’t really compare myself to others. For me, it’s about not being afraid to set scary goals, goals that most people never even dream of, and then going out and chasing them.

AG: What’s an example of a scary goal to you?

KL: In 2014, I set my goals for Rio in 2016 to go 3:56 or better in the 400 free and to go 8:05 or better in the 800 free. And back then, those times were 10 seconds faster than what anyone else had ever done before and seven seconds faster than what I’d done.

AG: And you met those goals.

KL: [Laughs] Yeah. It’s kind of crazy for me even to think about. I met them right on the nose in Rio.

AG: You were the youngest U.S. swimmer at the 2012 and 2016 Games. Was that an additional challenge?

KL: My first time traveling internationally to swim was the 2012 Olympics! That was a little daunting. I always loved watching the Olympics on TV, so to have a front-row seat was just incredible. My race wasn’t until the second-to-last day. I watched all my teammates win medals, and that inspired me.

AG: Do you view yourself as wiser than your years?

KL: The family that I have, the education that I’ve had, and being a student throughout my swimming career, I think all of that has helped me stay pretty grounded. At the same time, going through the Olympics at age 15 and coming back with a gold medal … you do grow up a little faster than some other people. At the end of the day, I try to do things the right way in and out of the pool, and hopefully that shows.

AG: What would you call your defining quality?

KL: I’m driven. I’m motivated by myself and the benchmarks I set for myself and trying to be faster, better, stronger in every aspect of my life. That said, I try not to get too caught up in moments, not to be too excited about any one accomplishment. When I was younger and started breaking county records, that may have been a time when I realized I’m pretty good. But being great at age 8 doesn’t mean you’re going to be an Olympian. And the Olympics were never a goal of mine growing up.

AG: They weren’t?

KL: No. It was never a dream of mine to get to that level. There are those Olympians who say that they have always dreamed of going, but that was never me. I just never pictured myself there. I only understood how to qualify for trials about a year before I did.

AG: Have you changed anything significant about your technique as your career evolves?

KL: My stroke probably changes every year, honestly. I made a breakthrough when I was about 14. Kinda this loping stroke. I only really breathe to one side. It’s a way that I utilize my strength, which is my catch in the water, the underwater portion of my stroke. And I use my legs a lot more than most swimmers. I use the strength of my catch up front and then power behind me with my legs. After 2012, I started focusing on shorter events and expanding my range, different pacing and ways of managing energy.

AG: What’s the one thing that people get wrong about swimming?

KL: That it’s every four years. Swimming is every day, it’s 10 times a week.

AG: What’s your most joyful memory in the pool?

KL: Oh wow. Probably those first moments when I was just starting to swim summer league, honestly. When I was a kid. I clearly remember learning how to breathe, playing water polo or sharks and minnows. Those are really, really great memories.

AG: It’s striking that those seminal childhood memories dwarf winning golds or breaking records.

KL: Certainly winning my first gold in 2012 was pretty surreal and joyful in a different way. But I keep things in perspective. It can be very easy to get wrapped up in ambition. But I think at the end of the day, it’s still just a hobby for me. I got into swimming to meet people, and I feel like I’ve been able to do that at a level that I never imagined. Swimming is just something I try to have fun with.

AG: That’s a really unique point of view for any pro athlete, let alone someone of your level and skill set.

KL: I’m just doing what I love and what I’m passionate about and trying to do it to the best of my ability. That’s kind of the message that I have for kids. Find something that you love and pursue it to the best of your ability.

AG: When are you the happiest?

KL: When I’m at swim practice, surrounded by my teammates. I just love walking away from practice feeling like I’ve gotten better. That’s been a constant in my life since I was 6 years old.

AG: Nothing seems to rattle you. Are you afraid of anything?

KL: Cats. [Laughs] I’m afraid of cats.

Dec 13 18

Australian swimmers to ramp up fight against FINA at London summit

by ZwemZa

Swimmers unite: Rio butterfly silver medalist Madeline Groves is backing the ISL in its fight against FINA, Credit:Joe Armao

Some of Australia’s top swimmers are backing an organisation set up as a rival to the world swimming body, FINA, which is promising to pay athletes more in prize money.

The International Swimming League has been bitterly opposed by FINA, the institution that has run Olympic swimming for 110 years, which sees the upstart organisation as an existential threat.

Founded by Ukrainian energy tycoon Konstantin Grigorishin, ISL is locked in a legal dispute with FINA after it threatened to block athletes from competing in the 2020 Toyko Olympics if they participated in an unsanctioned ISL event that was set to be held in Turin this month before it was cancelled.

Australian Olympic medallists Madeline Groves and Emily Seebohm are expected to attend an ISL-run summit in London next week to establish a new global Professional Swimmers Association, which will provide athletes with the “tools to build a brighter future for their sport in a professional environment,” event organisers said.

“So looking forward to this and so privileged to be a part of it,” Groves said on Twitter.

Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, a strong ISL supporter, competes at the Hungzhou short course championships.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, a strong ISL supporter, competes at the Hungzhou short course championships.Credit:AP

International champions Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, South African Chad Le Clos and Adam Peaty of England are also on the list of expected attendees at the event, which includes athletes from 10 leading swimming nations including the United States.

Several prominent swimmers past and present, including Australian Olympic champion Cate Campbell and legend Dawn Fraser, have come out in support of the ISL because they say swimmers are not being paid enough by FINA.

In Australia, Olympic gold medal-winning swimmers receive an annual grant of just $26,000.

Two lawsuits have been filed in the US this week, one by swimmers and one by the ISL, accusing FINA of illegally monopolising top-level swimming in the wake of the cancelled Turin event.

“This case is also about whether FINA—entrenched in and fearful of losing total control over lucrative swimming competitions—unlawfully wields its dominant influence to prevent outside organisations from expanding opportunities for hundreds of world-class swimmers and their millions of fans across the world,” the ISL filing claims.

In a statement, FINA said that its attention was focussed on the ongoing short course championships in Hangzhou, China.

“FINA will nonetheless give the filings our full attention and mount a robust defense if required to do so,” FINA said.

“As always, FINA remains open to proposals that would genuinely enhance – rather than conflict with – the current and planned competition calendars, providing further opportunities for aquatics athletes, and ideally in a manner that benefits the whole sport.”

Nick Bonyhady |The Sydney Morning Herald

Dec 13 18

Le Clos powers to gold in the pool in China

by ZwemZa

Chad Le Clos Men Open 100 LC Meter Butterfly during day 4 of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Swimming Trials at Kings Park Swimming Pool on December 19, 2017 in Durban, South Africa.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

South Africa’s Chad le Clos won a gold medal at the 14th FINA World Swimming short course Championships in Hangzhou, China on Thursday.

After finishing as runner-up in the men’s 200m butterfly final earlier in the week, Le Clos went one better, this time in the 100m butterfly.

Le Clos stopped the clock in a time of 48.50, some 0.21 ahead of rising American star Caeleb Dressel. China’s Zhuhao Li took bronze in 49.25.

Le Clos remains the world record holder in the event, having posted 48.08 at the last FINA World Swimming Championships (SC) in Windsor, Canada in 2016.

Le Clos’ gold was South Africa’s second of the championship after Cameron van der Burgh’s memorable victory in the men’s 100m breaststroke on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday, SA’s Erin Gallagher finished eighth in the women’s 100m freestyle final.

Minutes later, the soon to be 20-year-old failed to reach the final of the 50m butterfly when she could only manage the 16th – and slowest – time in the semi-finals.

In better news for Team SA, Bradley Tandy qualified with the seventh-quickest time (21.07) for Friday’s splash-and-dash men’s 50m freestyle final.

South African team in Hangzhou:

Men

Chad le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh, Brad Tandy, Ryan Coetzee, Ayrton Sweeney, Douglas Erasmus

Women

Erin Gallagher, Emily Visagie, Rebecca Meder

Garrin Lambley – Sport24 Editor

Dec 13 18

Gallagher misses out on medal in China

by ZwemZa

PIETERMARITZBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 12: Erin P Gallagher in the 100m Women SC Butterfly during day 3 of the 2017 SA Short Course National Championships at GC Joliffe Pool on August 12, 2017 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

South Africa’s Erin Gallagher has missed out on a medal at the 14th FINA World Swimming short course Championships in Hangzhou, China.

Swimming in the final of the women’s 100m freestyle out of Lane 1, Gallagher posted a time of 53.14 which was only good enough for eighth and last position.

Dutch superstar Ranomi Kromowidjojo took the gold medal in a new championship record time of 51.14, ahead of compatriot Femke Heemskerk (51.60), with American Mallory Comerford taking bronze (51.63).

South African team in Hangzhou:

Men

Chad le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh, Brad Tandy, Ryan Coetzee, Ayrton Sweeney, Douglas Erasmus

Women

Erin Gallagher, Emily Visagie, Rebecca Meder

Garrin Lambley – Sport24 Editor

Dec 13 18

Gallagher’s star continues to rise in China

by ZwemZa

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 05: Erin Gallagher from South Africa in action in the Women 100m Butterfly during day 1 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at on April 05, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)

Erin Gallagher’s star continues to rise at the 14th FINA World Swimming short course Championships in Hangzhou, China.

After reaching the final of the women’s 100m freestyle on Wednesday, Gallagher was back in the pool for the heats of the 50m butterfly on Thursday.

Swimming in Lane 1 in Heat 6, Gallagher finished third in a time of 26.01, which, when all was said and done, was the 12th-fastest time among the 68 starters.

Dutch superstar Ranomi Kromowidjojo led the way with a time of 25.32.

With the top 16 swimmers qualifying for the semi-finals (13:46 SA time on Thursday), Gallagher has booked her spot among swimming’s elite.

Elsewhere, Bradley Tandy did not start his men’s 100m individual medley heat, electing instead to save himself for the 50m freestyle splash-and-dash.

His decision paid off as the 27-year-old qualified for the semi-finals with the 13th-fastest time, despite only finishing seventh in what was a stacked final heat.

Tandy’s time of 21.38 was a full 0.76 behind rising American star Caeleb Dressel’s blistering 20.62.

Doug Erasmus was less fortunate in the same event, with his 21.85 only good enough for 33rd overall.

Rebecca Meder finished with the 25th-quickest time in the heats for the women’s 100m individual medley (1:01.93) some 3.88 seconds behind the fastest time set by Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (58.05).

Ayrton Sweeney had to be content with 24th-place in the heats for the men’s 200m breaststroke (2:08.15), a full 6.51 behind the quickest qualifier, China’s Haiyang Qin (2:01.64).

Disappointingly, once again South Africa failed to field a team for a relay heat, this time the Mixed 4x50m medley relay, where 47 countries were able to assemble a quartet, including swimming minnows such as the Maldives, Jordan, Benin and the Turks and Caicos Islands – among others.

From a South African perspective in this evening’s finals in Hangzhou, Gallagher will contest the women’s 100m freestyle at 13:08 (SA time), while Chad le Clos faces a mouth-watering showdown in the men’s 100m butterfly with Dressel at 14:00.

South African team in Hangzhou:

Men

Chad le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh, Brad Tandy, Ryan Coetzee, Ayrton Sweeney, Douglas Erasmus

Women

Erin Gallagher, Emily Visagie, Rebecca Meder

Sport24

Dec 13 18

Van der Burgh announces retirement after 100m breaststroke gold in Hangzhou

by ZwemZa

At a press conference tonight, December 12, in Hangzhou (CHN) where the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships are currently underway, Cameron van der Burgh announced he is retiring from competitive swimming.

South Africa star breaststroker made the announcement moments after claiming victory in the 100m breast in 56.01, establishing a new World Championships record, in front of Ilya Shymanovich (BLR, 56.10) and Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki 56.13).

The 30-year-old swimmer can be proud to count, among other many achievements, one gold and one silver Olympic medals from London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as two World titles from Barcelona 2013 and Rome 2009, to his champion’s tally (full list of achievement below).

After visioning the video prepared by sponsor Arena, a very emotional Van der Burgh announced: “It is an amazing flashback to see a long way ago when I was still a young kid with a lot of dreams. It has been amazing to fulfil those dreams but today is the day I announce my retirement. I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome of my last race tonight. I have won the 100m breast gold medal here in Hangzhou tonight and I feel very blessed to be here in this room with my family and coach.”

“Thank you so much for every person that has been a part of my life and my swimming career. Swimming has given me so much and has “springboarded” me to the next part of my future.”

“2018 has definitely been the best year of my life. I have gotten married to my beautiful wife who is here in the room; my Commonwealth Games gold was also one of the heights. But I have also started to plan my future and think what is coming next for me. Swimming has really given me a springboard for the rest of my career.I have now started to work at a private hedge funding company in London where we trend with oil and the rush I get from there is very similar to what I get when I race. The sport of swimming has given me the platform I needed for the rest of my life”, he said reflecting on his year.

“Developing about his new business career, van der Burgh said: “I see myself as a chameleon. I have always adapted with my own assets and taken bits from here and there to form my own puzzle. Moving forward to business I have been lucky enough to join a world’s leading company where I am learning along the way. Responsibilities will come with time but I can see my progression in the four months since I have joined. I have this urge to prove that I am more than Cameron the swimmer.”

About tonight’s victory he said: “The final tonight was very tight. I was very happy to race some of the other athletes. I knew everybody would be tired in the last 25m so I knew this would be the moment I could beat them. I thought this was the last 25m of pain in my life and when you become the World champion all the pain disappears.”

The below video is a recap of van der Burgh’s career best moments.

2018

World Swimming Championships – Hangzhou

Gold 100m Breaststroke

2017

World Championships – Budapest

Bronze 50m breaststroke

2016

Olympic Games – Rio de Janeiro          

Silver 100m breaststroke

World Swimming Championships – Windsor

Gold 50m Breaststroke

2015  

World Championships – Kazan

Silver 50m breaststroke

Silver 100m breaststroke

2014

World Swimming Championships – Doha

Silver 50m Breaststroke

2013

World Championships – Barcelona

Gold 50m Breaststroke

Silver 100m Breaststroke

2012
Olympic Games – London
Gold 100m Breaststroke
2011

World Championships – Shanghai

Bronze 50m Breaststroke

Bronze 100m Breaststroke

2010

World Swimming Championships – Dubai

Gold 100m Breaststroke

Silver 50m Breaststroke

2009

World Championships – Rome

Gold 50m Breaststroke

Bronze 100m Breaststroke

2008

World Swimming Championships- Manchester

Silver 100m Breaststroke

Bronze 50m Breaststroke

2007

World Championships – Melbourne

Bronze 50m Breaststroke

 

Commonwealth medals

2018

Commonwealth Games – Gold Coast

Gold 50m Breaststroke

2014

Commonwealth Games – Glasgow

Gold 50m Breaststroke

2010

Commonwealth Games – Delhi

Gold 50m Breaststroke

Gold 100m Breaststroke

FINA Communications Department

 

Dec 13 18

Hangzhou, Day 2: USA shines with five gold medals

by ZwemZa

Swimmers of the United States dominated operations in the second day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), taking place until December 16, 2018 in Hangzhou (CHN). Out of the eight finals at stake, the North Americans got five gold medals, with two of them generating new World Records. Katinka Hosszu, the Magyar star, was also in good shape (one gold and one silver), while Alia Atkinson (JAM) triumphed after three consecutive silver medals, and Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) “recovered” his 2010 gold in the 100m breast, before announcing his retirement from the pools.

Results

The day started in the best possible way, with a new World Record by the US women’s 4x50m medley relay, in a time of 1:42.38. The previous best global mark was already owned by the North Americans, when they clocked 1:43.27 in Windsor 2016. In Hangzhou, the US quartet was formed by Olivia Smoliga, Katie Meili, Kelsi Dahlia and Mallory Comerford. The minor medals went to China, silver, in 1:44.31, and to the team of the Netherlands, bronze in 1:44.57. This was the third time this event was included in the World Championships’ programme, with the first title going to Denmark in 2014, followed by the US success two years ago in Canada.

Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – Photo by Istvan Derencsenyi

In one of the most awaited races of the day, the men’s 100m back, the fastest of the semis was China’s Xu Jiayu (third in 2016), world record holder of the distance since last November in 48.88. In a thrilling final, Xu could not respond to Ryan Murphy’s speed, who touched for gold in 49.23. The Chinese star had to content with silver in 49.26, while the hero of the last Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov was bronze medallist in 49.40. Mitch Larkin, from Australia, with two consecutive titles in this event (2014 and 2016) was close to the podium, but finished fourth in Hangzhou (49.46).

Katinka Hosszu (HUN) accumulated another success in these Championships, with a brilliant victory in the women’s 200m fly. With 50m to go, Kelsi Dahlia (USA) looked in a good position to take the title, but the Magyar’s very strong final was decisive for the gold in 2:01.60, against 2:01.73 for the US swimmer. The bronze went to Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa in 2:04.04. It was the third title for Hosszu in this event, after previous successes in 2012 and 2016 (the winner in 2010 and 2014, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte is not competing in China). Moreover, it was the second gold of the Hungarian in Hangzhou, after the triumph in the 400m IM.

Swimming in lane 7, Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) swam a very fast men’s 100m breaststroke race, to touch home for gold in 56.01, a new Championships record. The previous best mark of the competition (56.29) had been established by Felipe Franca (BRA) in Doha 2014. The South African star (2012 Olympic champion) had won in 2010 and was second 10 years ago in Manchester (GBR), and owns the World Record in the event, with a 2009 effort of 55.61. Ilya Shymanovich, from Belarus, earned silver in 56.10, while Yasuhiro Koseki, from Japan, concluded third in 56.13. Fabio Scozzoli (ITA), winner in 2012, was fourth this time (56.48).

Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) – Photo by Istvan Derencsenyi

In another much-anticipated final, Alia Atkinson (JAM, WR holder in 28.56) convincingly won the women’s 50m breaststroke race, in 29.05, much faster than her best time of the semis, 29.54. It was her first win in this event, after three consecutive silver medals in 2012, 2014 (on both occasions behind Ruta Meilutyte, LTU), and 2016 (when Lilly King, USA, won). The Lithuanian star was precisely the contender to beat, and Atkinson’s strategy was successful this time. Meilutyte finished second in 29.38, with bronze going to Italy’s Martina Carraro (29.59).

In the men’s 200m free, Blake Pieroni’s tactics worked quite well. Swimming in lane 8, the US star departed very fast and was under the WR pace until the 100m-mark. He then lost some stamina, but the advantage was sufficient to comfortably touch first for gold in 1:41.49. Almost on the other end of the pool (in lane 3), Danas Rapsys (LTU, winner of the 400m free) also did a very intelligent race, earning silver in 1:41.78. The bronze went to Alexander Graham (AUS), in 1:42.28. Pieroni’s best individual result so far at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) had been a fourth place in the 100m free in Windsor 2016.

Blake Pieroni (USA) – Photo by Istvan Derencsenyi

Hosszu was again in action in the 100m back, where she was naturally expecting to get a third world crown, after the wins in 2014 and 2016. This time, the Magyar great was not so successful, and had to content with silver, behind the 2012 winner, US Olivia Smoliga. The winner took 56.19 to complete the four laps, while the Hungarian swimmer (WR holder in 55.03) touched in 56.26. Georgia Davies (GBR) replicated her 2016 result, sharing the bronze in 56.74 with Minna Atherton (AUS).

Photo by Istvan Derencsenyi

In the last event of the session, the mixed 4x50m free relay, the US quartet established the second WR of the evening, with a 1:27.89 effort, much faster than the previous global mark, owned by the Netherlands in 1:28.39, since December 2017. The winners started their race with two men (Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Held), who were followed by Mallory Comerford and Kelsi Dahlia. Contested since 2014, this is the second win for the North Americans, after the triumph of Russia in 2016. In Hangzhou, the silver went to the Netherlands (1:28.51), while the Russians were only third in 1:28.73.

QUOTES

Ryan Murphy (USA) – Gold, men’s 100m back

“It was super close. It wasn’t the cleanest race from me, but it’s good to come out on top. This is only my second ever time racing over the short course. It’s a little bit different, but coming in having no time expectations is pretty nice”.

Olivia Smoliga (USA) – Gold, women’s 100m back

“The time is OK, but just the fact that I was able to race hard next to such strong women in my heat means the world to me. I really wanted to get my hand on the wall first and just go as hard as I could and I’m glad it turned out the way it did”.

(On beating Hosszu): “It’s badass. She’s so incredible. In the ready room, it’s really cool because everybody has their game face on. She has her headphones in and it’s intimidating. But you know what, we all race hard, we all train hard, so I was really pumped to be with all those girls for sure”.

Alia Atkinson (JAM) – Gold, women’s 50m breast

“It is my first gold at the worlds. I was very happy about that. Considering the World Cup schedule and I broke the world record two months ago in Budapest, I don’t think myself as the top dog in the 50m breaststroke. Once in the final, everybody can win the race. I have been collecting the mascots from the all the meets. My father made me a structure and I am already thinking of a spot to put Qili”.

Blake Pieroni (USA) – Gold, men’s 200m free

“It was a great race, but probably not the best split. I was struggling this morning but I am very happy with the win. I had a great time racing at the FINA World Cup Series this season which has given me the chance to learn how to race the short course metres. While I have raced the 200 yard freestyle thousands of times, It is a totally different from the 200m short course race”.

Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) – Gold, men’s 100m breast

“I am beyond happy. When I made the turn at 75 metres, I knew I had a good chance and I had to hold on. Luckily it wasn’t one metre more or I would have lost that one. It means the world to me. It is my last race, so I am extremely happy. The world championship means a lot. It is the last one. It is sad but I am happy to end on a high. The last 25 metres was the most pain I have ever had in my life in swimming, so it was a good way to finish. It is funny how these things turn out. At least I have no loose ends to tie up or reason to come back”.

Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – Gold, women’s 200m fly

“I am pretty excited about the 200 butterfly. When we finished, I thought I was second, but it was exciting to see I was able to touch the wall first. It was fun to race Kelsi because she beat me racing on the World Cup and she always pushes the first 100, but she changed her tactics and she let me go on the first 100 and I said ‘you sneaky [girl], you changed your tactic”.

FINA Communications Department

Dec 12 18

Gold and a new Championship Record for Cameron van der Burgh during the second day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships

by ZwemZa

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 09: Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa celebrates after winning the Men’s 100m Breaststroke on day five of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Optus Aquatic Centre on April 9, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Cameron van der Burgh claimed Mzansi’s second medal, winning gold and setting a new Championship Record in the 100m breaststroke race on the second day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Hangzhou, China today.

Van der Burgh broke Brazil’s Filipe Franca da Silva’s 2014 time of 56.29 by clocking a golden 56.01, while Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich finished with the silver in 56.10 and Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki with the bronze in 56.13.

With the 7th fastest semi-final time of 52.70, Erin Gallagher successfully qualified for the final of the 100m freestyle and broke her own African Record in the process. Gallagher first bettered her record, which stood at 53.34, during the morning heats, touching the wall in 53.09 and later improved on that time during the semi-finals, shedding another 0.39secs.

Olympian Chad le Clos also secured his place in the 100m butterfly final tomorrow after a fast finish in the semi-finals, clocking 49.07 and coming 2nd behind the USA’s Caeleb Dressel in 48.93.

Le Clos also swam the 200m freestyle but just missed out on a spot in the finals, ending in 10th place with a time of 1:43.19.

During the morning heats session, Ryan Coetzee finished 22nd in the 100m butterfly in 51.65, while the quartet of Douglas Erasmus, Rebecca Meder, Gallagher and Brad Tandy concluded the 4 x 50m mixed freestyle relay in 13th place with a time of 1:33.21.

It will be a busy day for the South African swimming team tomorrow, as Tandy and Erasmus take on the 50m freestyle, with Tandy also swimming in the 100m individual medley, while Gallagher participates in the 50m butterfly, Meder in the 100m individual medley and Ayrton Sweeney races in the 200m breaststroke.

Supplied by SSA

Dec 12 18

Olympic medallist Van der Burgh hangs up his goggles

by ZwemZa

Cameron van der Burgh (Arena)

Olympic medallist Cameron van der Burgh has announced his retirement from competitive swimming on Wednesday.

This comes soon after the 30-year-old stunned the field by claiming gold in the men’s 100m breaststroke at the 14th FINA World Swimming short course Championship in Hangzhou.

Van der Burgh confirmed his decision to hang up his goggles at a press conference in China.

“It is an amazing flashback to see a long way ago when I was a still young kid with a lot of dreams. It has been amazing to fulfil those dreams but today is the day I announce my retirement,” he said, as quoted by the FINA website.

“I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome of my last race tonight. I have won the 100m breast gold medal here in Hangzhou tonight and I feel very blessed to be here in this room with my family and coach.”

Van der Burgh has an impressive swimming resume, with a gold and silver medal from the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics, respectively, as well as four Commonwealth Games gold medals, two silvers and three bronze medals.

“Thank you so much for every person that has been a part of my life and my swimming career. Swimming has given me so much and has ‘springboarded’ me to the next part of my future,” he continued.

“2018 has definitely been the best year of my life. I have gotten married to my beautiful wife who is here in the room; my Commonwealth Games gold was also one of the heights.

“But I have also started to plan my future and think what is coming next for me. Swimming has really given me a springboard for the rest of my career. I have now started to work at a private hedge funding in London where we trend with oil and the rush I get from there is very similar to what I get when I race. The sport of swimming has giving me the platform I needed for the rest of my life.”

Van der Burgh will still compete in the men’s 50m breaststroke on Thursday.

The swimming superstar has recently got married and relocated to London.

Sport24

Dec 12 18

Van der Burgh defies age to win 100m breast gold

by ZwemZa

Cameron van der Burgh RSA

Cameron van der Burgh produced an age-defying swim at the FINA World Short-Course Swimming Championships in Hangzhou, China on Wednesday bagging the 100m breaststroke gold medal.

The 30-year-old won his seventh world short-course medal and his third in the 100m breaststroke medal adding to the 2008 Manchester silver and gold from the 2010 Dubai championships.

The breaststroke sensation has shown immense longevity performing at the highest level for more than a decade.

Van der Burgh won the 100m breaststroke gold in Dubai 2010 while claiming the 50m breaststroke title in Windsor 2016.

The South African swimming legend was expected to announce his retirement from international competition later on Wednesday.

“It means the world to me. It is my last race, so I am extremely happy. The world championship means a lot,” Van der Burgh said.

“It is the last one. It is sad but I am happy to end on a high.”

Van der Burgh stole the limelight on the second day of the world championships where he led the race from start to finish.

He won his third world short-course title in style touching the wall first in a new championship record of 56.01 seconds.

The world record holder stopped the clock just 0.40s short of the global mark he set in 2009.

Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich finished just behind him in second place clocking 56.10 with Yashuhiro Koseki of Japan rounding off the podium with 56.13.

“I am beyond happy,” an elated Van der Burgh said.

“When I made the turn at 75 metres, I knew I had a good chance and I had to hold on. Luckily it wasn’t one metre more or I would have lost that one.”

The Games

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