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Jun 14 19

Few athletes have a chance to make a career out of swimming. A new pro league is hoping to change that.

by ZwemZa

Growing up in Baltimore, Giles Smith’s summers were spent swimming and following the Orioles. But as Smith began to develop into a top swimmer at McDonogh, he wondered whether he’d have the chance to extend his career professionally, like baseball, football and basketball players.

“I kind of was having success in swimming, and I kind of thought, ‘Wow, this would be cool to do this for a living,’ ” he recalled.

That opportunity has arrived for Smith, who is one of several dozens of swimmers who will compete in a new professional swimming league later this year with the chance to win prize money and attract sponsors.

The International Swimming League will feature eight teams from Europe and the United States with meets beginning in October in six American and European cities, leading to a championship final at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s 12,000-seat arena in Las Vegas in December. One of the matches will be hosted by the University of Maryland’s Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center in College Park in November.

The 27-year-old Smith — a butterfly specialist for the DC Trident, which will be headlined by five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky — has high hopes for the new league.

“I think it is swimming’s version of the NFL or the NBA,” said Smith, who won the gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly at the 2015 Pan American Games and was the first high school swimmer from Baltimore to finish the 50 freestyle in less than 21 seconds. “It’s going to allow the best swimmers in the world to be on teams. It’s going to allow swimmers to swim for fans, and it’s going to be really exciting. There will be a lot of international travel. So fans from all over the world will be able to see their favorite swimmers compete and the best swimmers in the world compete.

“There’s never really been a true league to do this as a sport. Hopefully, it can make our sport — for all the work that we put in — more than just a four-year sport.”

The ISL is funded by Ukrainian energy entrepreneur Konstantin Grigorishin, who is an avid swimming fan. In 2017, he invited professional swimmers to take part in a competition to be held in Italy and came to a stunning realization, according to Dmytro Kachurovskyi, the ISL’s director of development and a former president of the Ukrainian Swimming Federation.

“Konstantin was shocked by how underpaid the world’s top athletes were and saw the need to create a concept where the best athletes, who dedicate their lives to swimming, will be able to make a decent living out of their hard work and exceptional talents,” Kachurovskyi said via email.

The ISL, however, ran into the International Swimming Federation — perhaps better known by its acronym, FINA — which refused to sanction an ISL meet scheduled for December 2018. A month and a few lawsuits later, FINA changed its stance and agreed that swimmers are permitted to compete in competitions arranged by independent organizers.

Before the ISL, there have been few professional options for swimming professionally — the TYR Pro Swim Series in the United States, as well as the FINA Swimming World Cup and FINA Champions Swim Series abroad. The Champions Swim Series was introduced this year.

The eight teams in the ISL will each field 24 swimmers — 12 men and 12 women — with several teams competing in each meet. Two swimmers from each team will be required to compete in a single race in short-course pools of 25 meters in length, and there will be no preliminary events.

The team format has been embraced by swimmers who competed at the NCAA level and have missed that type of camaraderie.

“Once I graduated, I think in my first year as a pro, I struggled a little bit with the feeling that I didn’t have a team,” said Bethesda resident Andrew Wilson, who will swim for the Cali Condors and won gold medals in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the 2017 World University Games. “It was now just me swimming. But with a team, you’re swimming for each other as much as you’re swimming for yourself. So having an ISL team is going to be a great thing because it’s going to get you back into the feeling of a college meet.”

World record holder Adam Peaty, five-time Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian, two-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel, three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy and Australian Olympic gold medalists Cate and Bronte Campbell and Kyle Chalmers have been reported as participants in the ISL.

But outside of Olympic champions Michael Phelps and Ledecky, swimmers are not usually household names in the United States. The ISL hopes to turn that thinking upside-down.

“The objective is to build commercial value for the league, the clubs and all the members involved, including the coaches and the athletes,” Kachurovskyi said. “Athletes like Adam Peaty and Katie Ledecky are equally talented to other professional athletes, but right now, their commercial value is unfortunately low, and the league aims to change that.”

Swimmers were recruited by teams, which then signed them to contracts. Grigorishin told Reuters that a leading swimmer on the winning club could earn about $120,000 a year in appearance and prize money.

DC Trident general manager Kaitlin Sandeno said the swimmers deserve the chance to try to gain some financial stability.

“Some of these athletes are the best athletes in the world, and they’re trying to represent their countries, and they have to find other opportunities to pick up some type of financial income to support their dreams just because the amount of money is just not really there,” said Sandeno, an Olympic gold medalist and world champion. “They get highlighted every four years and then they’re just forgotten.

“I think what’s great about this league’s timing is we’re helping them build their brand and their visibility into 2020, but on the athletic side, we’re giving them an opportunity to stay on that high and ride that emotional and physical high that they’re going to be at.”

Natalie Taylor, director of aquatics at Maryland’s University Recreation & Wellness, said the ISL reached out to the center in March about hosting the two-day meet Nov. 15-16. She said placing a competition just outside the nation’s capital made sense.

“The local swimming community of a couple counties in Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia is one of the largest in the country,” Taylor said. “We’re the smallest in terms of geographic area, but the second largest in the country outside of California. We’ve produced the likes of Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and a number of other strong swimmers who have made several Olympic teams — not only for the U.S. but for other countries. So to have this type of competition in their backyard, several swimmers have already reached out to us and said they’re really excited to be here and witness this event.”

Baltimore’s Smith, who gave up swimming to sell tables for a nonprofit organization for two years after failing to make the U.S. national team in 2016, decided to return to the sport in March 2018 for a shot at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He said he views the ISL as another avenue to further enhance the opportunity to represent the U.S. at the Olympics.

“I’m really excited for this, especially because it’s a short-course format,” he said. “I think I’ll do extremely well at it because I’m pretty good underwater and that kind of favors me with the turns. I’m excited to travel. We have a meet in Naples, Italy, and I’ve never been to Italy. So that will be exciting. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time in Asia and South America, but I really haven’t spent as much time in Europe. So this will kind of be a fun way to cross that off of the bucket list.”

What to know about the ISL

Schedule

Oct. 4-5 – IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI, Indianapolis

Oct. 12-13 – Piscina Felice Scandone, Naples, Italy

Oct. 18-19 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas

Oct. 26-27 – Duna Aréna, Budapest, Hungary

Nov. 15-16 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, College Park

Nov. 23-24 – London Aquatics Centre, London

Dec. 20-21 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas

Teams*

New York Breakers

Los Angeles Current

DC Trident

Cali Condors

Aqua Centurions

Energy Standard

* — Two European teams to be announced

Edward Lee | The Baltimore Sun

Jun 14 19

Madeira to host 2020 World Para Swimming European Championships

by ZwemZa

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL. 12 September 2016. Henri Herbst during the 50m freestyle of the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro today.
Copyright picture by WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA

Funchal, Madeira Island, will host the 2020 World Para Swimming European Open Championships, the second time the Portuguese island stages the event.

The competition will take place from 17 to 23 May and will be open to athletes from other continents as one of the most important tests before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in August.

Nearly 500 swimmers from more than 50 countries are set to compete at the Penteada Olympic Swimming Complex, located right in the centre of Funchal.

Built in 2004, the venue is the same used at the European Open Championships in 2016 which saw a total of 28 world records broken during seven days of competition

The Madeira 2020 Europeans will be jointly organised by the Portuguese Swimming Federation (FPN), the Madeira Swimming Association (AN Madeira), the Municipal Chamber of Funchal and the Government of the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

Tracy Glassford, World Para Swimming Manager, said:

“We are thrilled to return to Funchal and Madeira for the European Championships. We have fond memories of the 2016 Euros and look forward to an even more successful competition. Since this is an Open Championships, swimming fans from all over the continent will have the chance to watch the best athletes in the world in action ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“The Europeans are also a great opportunity for up and coming athletes who will experience a major international competition for the first time. I would like to thank the Government of Madeira, the City of Funchal, the Madeira Swimming Association and the Portuguese Swimming Federation for their commitment and support to stage such an important event.”

Antonio Jose Silva, President of the Portuguese Swimming Federation, said:

“By granting the European Open Championships to Madeira, World Para Swimming acknowledges the capacity of the Portuguese Swimming Federation and its partners to organise major swimming events. It is also a statement of the work done by FPN to promote inclusion through sport which was later followed by other sport federations in Portugal.

“Last but not least, this is also a testimony to the results achieved by Portuguese swimmers in different classes. My sincere thank you to World Para Swimming, the Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth, the AN Madeira, the Regional Government of Madeira and the Municipal Chamber of Funchal for their unconditional support.”

The first World Para Swimming European Championships took place in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2009. Dublin, Ireland, hosted the last edition in 2018.

Around the Rings

Jun 14 19

Swimming on your Period: The complete guide

by ZwemZa
While tampon ads showing women wearing white frolicking in a field can be a little silly, they do have one thing right: you don’t have to change any of your day-to-day activities when you have your period, and that includes swimming. Swimming can be one of the best parts of summer, after all. You don’t have to let your period prevent you from learning how to surf or showing off your cute bikini.
According to the CDC, about 91 million people over 16 swim in oceans, lakes, or rivers each year in the United States. In fact, swimming is the fourth most popular recreational sport in the U.S., following walking, exercising with equipment, and camping. You can bet that a lot of those 91 million people were on their periods.
No matter if you’re swimming in an ocean or a pool, swimming on your period is normal, hygienic, and totally safe — including from sharks. So take some inspiration from this synchronized team that choreographed a water ballet inspired by periods and get in the water. Tampon-shaped pool float not required.

Will My Period Stop In The Water?

You might have heard that your period will stop in the water. There is some truth to this. It’s not magic, but physics. The water pressure will work against the force of gravity, counteracting your blood flow. But if you sneeze, cough, laugh, or even move around in certain ways, blood could still leak out — though it will be diluted by the water and won’t leave a bloody trail behind you. The second you get out of the water, your blood flow will go back to normal. This means you will likely want to wear some sort of menstrual product, unless you’re near the end of your period and your flow is very light.

Can I Swim With A Pad?

Menstrual pads are designed to absorb your period blood. But they also absorb water. So wearing one while swimming won’t be comfortable. It might even feel like wearing a diaper. Luckily, you have other options.

Can I Swim With A Tampon?

Tampons are a great period product to wear while swimming. Simply insert one like you usually would, put on your swimsuit, and hop in the water. You can wear a tampon for four to eight hours, so if you’re spending all day at the beach, you might want to change your tampon once or twice. Just bring a few tampons with you and note where the bathrooms are when you arrive.
If you’ve never worn a tampon before, take a look at the instructions on the box, or look up a tutorial. If it’s difficult, try a few different positions, like putting one leg up on the edge of the bathtub or toilet, or sitting down with your knees apart.

What Are Good Tampons For Swimming On Your Period?

Any brand of tampons works just fine for swimming. Some people find that tampons with plastic applicators are easier to insert. So if you’re new to tampons, you may want to try a brand with a plastic applicator. But really, any kind of tampon works well for swimming.

Can I Swim With A Menstrual Cup?

Another easy way to deal with your period while swimming is to wear a menstrual cup. If you haven’t used one before, a menstrual cup is a small, silicone cup that you can wear inside your vagina to collect period blood. When you remove your cup, you empty the blood into the toilet, wash your cup in the sink, and re-insert it. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to twelve hours — longer than a tampon — and they can be reused, so they’re environmentally-friendly.

Is It Unhygienic To Swim On My Period?

If you use a tampon or cup, it’s unlikely that any blood will touch the water. But even if you don’t use any period products at all, not much blood will leave your body during the time you’re in the water. Most people lose between 4 and 12 teaspoons of blood during their entire period — and you’ll probably only be in the water for a few hours at most. The pool or ocean will dilute any blood that does leak, and swimming pools contain chlorine to prevent the spread of disease.

Can I Swim With Period Cramps?

Good news: research has shown that swimming can actually help reduce period cramps! During aerobic exercises like swimming, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins act as natural painkillers and can help reduce your cramps.

Will My Period Bring Sharks?

Although this would make a great scary movie, there is zero evidence to suggest that sharks are particularly drawn to people who are menstruating. According to Popular Science, sharks can smell period blood, but they can also smell regular blood (think a kid with a scarped knee), urine, sweat, mucus, and any other bodily fluid that contains amino acids. And despite what Jaws would have you think, sharks don’t generally snack on humans — they prefer tastier treats like fish.
Jun 13 19

Frenetic pace set on night five of Aussie trials

by ZwemZa

Cate Campbell (Australian Swimming)

A fierce dual in the Women’s 100m Freestyle between Knox Pymble’s Cate Campbell and Griffith University’s Emma McKeon kicked off the fifth night of the Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

Going head-to-head in lanes four and five for the majority of the race, it was Campbell – as the Commonwealth and Australia record holder – who managed to power home to the wall first in a qualifying time of 52.12.

McKeon, who is having a stellar meet, also recorded a sub 53-second swim, touching under the qualifying time in a personal best of 52.41 and making her the third fastest Australian of all time.

“I am really pleased that I held my nerve and swam my own race,” Campbell said post-race.

“Traditionally I usually like to be out quickest and then just hold on but I have been really working on cruising on the way out and using all the training that I have been doing – cause I have been doing a lot of it – to help me get home.

“It is a tenth off my personal best so I am really pleased with that and I will now go back and do a ten day training block and then taper again for worlds, that worked really well in the lead up to Pan Pacs so we are hoping to emulate that again.”

The calibre of talent in the women’s 100m freestyle was evident, as Knox Pymble’s Bronte Campbell (52.84) and St Peters Western’s Shayna Jack (53.18 PB) also achieved the world championship qualifying time of 53.20.

“To have three girls to go under the 53 second barrier and Shayna go 53.1, we are going to be a tough relay team to beat and it is really exciting to be a part of it,” Campbell added.

After claiming top spot in the 100m backstroke on night two and the 200m individual medley on night four, Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) has added yet another victory to his meet – this time claiming the spoils in the Men’s 200m Backstroke. Posting a qualifying time of 1:55.03, the Commonwealth record holder finished ahead of Mingara Aquatic’s Bradley Woodward (1:57.66) and Melbourne Vicentre’s Jorden Merrilees (1:58.11) who both were unable to make the world championship qualifying time of 1:56.11.

With the crowd on their feet, SOPAC’s Matthew Wilson made a blistering start in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke. After breaking the Commonwealth and Australian record at the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships in April, the 20-year-old was under world record pace for 175m of the race. Hitting the wall in 2:07.79, Wilson had West Brisbane’s Zac Stubblety-Cook nipping at his heels all the way to the end, with Stubblety-Cook (2:08.54) also touching under the world championship qualifying time of 2:08.80. Melbourne Vicentre’s Daniel Cave finished third in 2:10.17.

Speaking post-race, Wilson said he was encouraged by his results.

“In April I was on track for 150m now it is 175m, so with five more weeks of preparation ahead of world champs I reckon I can get myself a stronger finish there, if I can crack the world record it would be unbelievable,” Wilson said.

“It is so close to worlds, so to go that time is a good sign and I can probably go a bit faster. I am probably not fully fit or rested here, but give me five more weeks with proper training and rest and I reckon I can crack a pretty fast time.

“It’s going to be a tight field but if I can crack a podium, I will be stoked with that.”

Taylor McKeon (Griffith University), Tessa Wallace (Pelican Waters) and Jenna Strauch (Bond) left nothing in the tank as they battled it out in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke – aiming to achieve the qualifying time of 2:23.81. Recording sub 2:25 for the second time this meet, it was McKeown who ultimately took the top honour in 2:24.95, with Wallace and Strauch finishing second and third in 2:25.15 and 2:26.34, respectively.

Showing his class yet again, Jack McLoughlin (Chandler) took out his third event of the meet, this time in the men’s gruelling 1500m freestyle. The 2018 Comm Games gold medallist charged through the water to post a qualifying time of 14:52.83. Competing from lane six, Noosa’s Nick Sloman finished strongly in 15:11.12, while Ben Roberts (Breakers) clocked 15.22.72, however both were not able to post a qualifying time of 14:59.32.

Meanwhile, after completing their first heat session for the Para GP this morning, our country’s elite para swimmers jumped back in the pool on Thursday afternoon to battle it out in the finals.

Running concurrently with the Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials, the Para GP provides vital race practice and simulation ahead of September’s World Para Swimming Championships in London.

Improving on her swim from earlier in the day, Rio Paralympian Lakeisha Patterson (S9) from Lawnton pulled away from the pack in the Women’s 400m Freestyle Multi-Class to claim the spoils in 4:41.96 and 819 points. Auburn’s 18-year-old Jenna Jones (S13) finished in second place after hitting the wall in 4:58.80 and collecting 656 points, while Springwood’s Ella Jones (S8) touched in 5:22.98 which equated to 654 points.

Kawana Waters’ Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Liam Schluter (S14), knocked nearly six seconds off his time from this morning to clock 1:57.78 in the Men’s 200m Freestyle Multi-Class. Earning a huge point score of 948, the 20-year-old finished ahead of Uni Of Queensland’s Jack Ireland (S14) who posted 2:00.58 and 884 points and TSS Aquatics’ Daniel Fox (S14) who came third (2:03.10) with 830 points.

Liam Schluter - Para GP

The experienced Ellie Cole (S9) from Knox Pymble was too strong for the rest of the field in the Women’s 100m Backstroke, securing victory in 1:10.63 (879 points), while Fraser Coast’s Kiera Stephens (SB9) narrowly took first place in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke ahead of Monte’s Tiffany Thomas Kane (SB7) – 1:20.56 and 726 points to 1:38.17 and 723 points.

An ecstatic Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson (SM3) from Central Cairns couldn’t contain his excitement after defeating good mate Ahmed Kelly (SM3) from Melbourne Vicentre in the Men’s 150m Individual Medley Multi-Class. Patterson touched just ahead of Kelly – 3:06.76 and 631 points to 3:07.14 and 627 points.

For the full list of results from tonight’s Para GP finals, click here.

Our para athletes will be back in action tomorrow morning for the final day of the Para GP, with heats beginning at 11am.

Note: All para events were swum as multi-class races, meaning athletes from all classifications competed in the same event, with the para-swimmer attaining the highest point score crowned the winner. The Multi-Class Point Score (MCPS) has been developed to provide a simplified way for swimmers and coaches to measure and compare performances. The MCPS is based on the World Record (WR) times for each classification, but also takes into account weightings for non-Paralympic events that are not raced by other countries around the world.

Australian Swimming

Jun 13 19

Cate Campbell bites lip on swim star Sun

by ZwemZa

Cate Campbell would not be drawn on controversial Chinese swimmer Sun Yang’s world titles clearance.Image: AP

Cate Campbell has bitten her tongue and refused to criticise Sun Yang after reports the controversial Chinese star will be free to swim at next month’s world titles in South Korea.

Three-time Olympic champion Sun will reportedly contest the world titles at Gwangju because of a delay in setting a date for his latest doping case.

Sun – who served a secret three month doping ban in 2014 – faces a lifetime ban after allegations a vial of his blood was smashed by a hammer during a clash with testers in China last year.

Reports claimed Sun objected to an out-of-competition test at his Zhejiang home last September and it was alleged his mother ordered security guards to destroy a vial of the swimmer’s blood that had been taken.

World body FINA decided not to reprimand Sun amid claims the testers had not shown adequate identification but World Anti-Doping Agency lodged an appeal.

However, Sun will reportedly still compete at the world titles starting on July 12 with his Court of Arbitration for Sport tribunal date yet to be finalised.

Campbell had been a vocal critic of Sun, angrily responding to news that the Chinese star was free to contest the lucrative FINA Champions Swim Series that concluded earlier this month.

“It raises some really serious questions that demand answers if WADA and FINA want to remain credible in the world of clean sport … especially where it pertains to Sun Yang,” Campbell told reporters at April’s national titles.

But she resisted taking aim at the Chinese star as she prepared for her own world titles campaign.

“It is what it is. For me it’s nothing but a distraction,” she said at the world titles trials in Brisbane.

“I have to focus on doing what I do within the system that is currently in place, it is too late to change anything now.”

Australia’s Jack McLoughlin – who will potentially line up against Sun in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle – didn’t seem fazed by the Chinese star’s world titles availability.

“I have got no say in it but I look forward to racing him. I want to race the best in the world and he is one of the best,” Pan Pacs 400m champion McLoughlin said.

“Whoever steps on the blocks, it is not going to affect me and the way I race.”

Laine Clark | AAP

Jun 13 19

Basson set to compete against world’s best

by ZwemZa

Madibaz swimmer Alaric Basson will compete in his highest ranked event yet when he represents South Africa in the World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, from July 12 to 28. Photo: Supplied

Madibaz swimmer Alaric Basson has taken another step forward in his career by being included in the South African squad to participate in the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea next month.

The 23-year-old Uitenhage-based star will make his first appearance for South Africa at this level and is relishing the opportunity to test himself against the best in the world.

The championships will take place in Gwangju from July 12 to 28, marking a busy time for the construction management post-graduate student.

Basson will first attend the World Student Games in Napoli, Italy, from July 3 to 14 before turning his attention to one of international swimming’s top-level events.

“It’s really an amazing feeling to have been considered and selected to take part in the Fina World Champs,” the ace breaststroker said.

“This will be my first time at an event of this standing and I feel that making the SA squad is one of my best achievements to date.”

He added that he would be swimming in his specialty 200m breaststroke event, but was not sure at this stage if he would be included in any other races.

“But either way, the goal for this year was to try to get as close as possible to the Olympics qualifying times and I feel the Fina Worlds will be a good platform to do that as I will be racing against the best in the sport.”

Qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is high on Basson’s priority list and he is hoping the experience he gains in Gwangju will put him on track for the next Olympic trials, which will be held next year.

Madibaz Sport aquatics manager Melinda Goosen said Basson was the first swimmer from Nelson Mandela University to reach this level and his success would be an inspiration to others.

“Alaric joined the Madibaz swimming family four years ago when he started his studies at Nelson Mandela University and he has been an absolute revelation,” she said.

“Every year he has gone from strength to strength and his selection for the national side to go to the World Championships is a major highlight for the club.

“We are so proud to have a swimmer reaching such heights and it’s recognition for the hard work he has put in, which is all starting to pay off.

“Alaric is a true ambassador for Madibaz Sport and we are looking forward to great things from him going forward, with a keen eye on the Olympic Games coming up in 2020.”

Elzaan van Eeden | Full Stop Communications

 

Jun 13 19

Leah Smith wins on night one of TYR Pro Swim Series at Clovis

by ZwemZa

Leah Smith (USA Swimming)

A sunny evening in California at the Clovis North Aquatics Complex in was the setting for the first day of the TYR Pro Swim Series at Clovis. Wednesday night’s action featured the men’s and women’s 800-meter freestyle timed finals and saw U.S. National Team member Leah Smith claim her second freestyle win in 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series competition.

Smith’s time of 8:22.87 was good for best female mark of the event and over four and a half seconds ahead of the competition. The result pushed Smith to 17 finishes inside the top-3 in TYR Pro Swim Series events this year, which is tied for second most among female competitors.

“I was really excited about my swim,” said Smith. “That was my second fastest in-season best. I’m super pumped, that’s basically what I went at nationals last year with a taper, so I’m really pumped to see what I can do at [FINA World Championships]”

Touching in second was fellow national team member Erica Sullivan, who finished in 8:27.06. Sullivan also finished second in the 800m freestyle at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Knoxville this past January. This time around, Sullivan managed to shave almost 10 seconds from her Knoxville time, which she clocked in at 8:37.39.

The men’s 800m freestyle concluded the night and saw Egyptian swimmer Akaram Mahmoud win the event in 8:00.86.

The lone American in the men’s 800m freestyle, U.S. National Team member Chris Wieser, touched in 8:01.98, good for second place overall. The swim was Wieser’s first TYR Pro Swim Series race of 2019 and marked his best career finish at the TYR Pro Swim Series.

Thursday’s action at the Clovis North Aquatics Complex will feature 10 events and a handful of U.S. National Team members to watch. Smith will be vying for her second win in Clovis, competing in the 200m freestyle and 400m IM. Also expected to compete Thursday: Olympians Townley Haas, Matt Grevers and Kelsi Dahlia

Tomorrow’s prelims begin at 9 a.m. PT with finals starting at 5 p.m. PT. Prelims will be available via livestream on usaswimming.org, while NBCSN will air Thursday’s A finals with B finals streaming at usaswimming.org.

USA Swimming

Jun 13 19

Tatjana Schoenmaker, SA’s newest swimming sensation

by ZwemZa

Silver medalist Molly Renshaw (ENG), gold medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA) and bronze medalist Chloe Tutton (WAL) following the Women’s 200m Breaststroke Final at the XXI Commonwealth Games in Australia. Photo: Darren England/EPA

South Africa has struggled to find female swimming stars since Penny Heyns, but Tatjana Schoenmaker is determined to change that.

She impressed at the SA National Aquatic Championships, clocking a FINA Qualification time in her 200m breaststroke victory.

Schoenmaker has always loved sport and she enjoyed Netball but the youngster’s parents and one of her coaches had other plans.

“I enjoyed doing athletics and netball, I like netball a lot that was the one thing I was always competing. My parents were like no I should do swimming.”

“The definitely saw the talent in me and my coach as well and that’s why coach went and spoke to them and well I had to put my netball dreams aside.”

After moving to Tuks, Schoenmaker started training regularly and her talent started to show.

Her biggest achievement to date is bagging a double gold at the commonwealth games.

Schoenmaker has been compared to South Africa’s golden girl Penny Heyns.

Heyns is best known for being the only woman to have won Olympic gold in both the 100 metres and 200 metres breaststroke events.

She achieved the feat at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

If she continues to follow her own advice, she may be on her way to becoming South Africa’s next swimming superstar.

Jun 13 19

British fab five win gold on day two in Canet

by ZwemZa

Great Britain’s Aimee Willmott in action during Women’s 400m Individual Medley Final during day two of the 2018 European Championships at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow. Picture: PA

Great Britain enjoyed a brilliant night in the pool on Wednesday, as the World Championship bound team advanced their preparations by winning five individual gold medals in France.

On the second and final day of competition at the Canet leg of the Mare Nostrum Swim Series, Adam Peaty added his second gold, whilst James Wilby, Duncan Scott and Ben Proud all upgraded minor medals from the previous night.

Perhaps the swim of the night though was Alys Thomas, whom having started as favourite showed great conviction to lead from the blocks all the way to the touch to win the Women’s 200m Butterfly. Extending her advantage throughout with a powerful piece of swimming, the Swansea flyer was over a second clear of her nearest rival, such was the dominance of her performance.

Afterwards she confessed:

“That felt a lot better – much more like my swim. I wanted to have a bit more attack and a bit more bite tonight, especially down the last 50. It was always going to hurt and you’ve just got to fight it!”

Also lining up in the final GB long course debutant Laura Stephens and she finished an impressive fourth, just squeezed off the podium in the final 25m having swum a positive race; like Thomas she improved on her heat time this morning.

Duncan Scott and James Guy both stepped onto the podium after a thrilling Men’s 100m Freestyle final, which saw all eight men separated by just half a second. Swimming in the outside lanes, Scott was to the fore throughout, duly taking the win, whilst Guy came home strongly down the final 25m to snatch the final podium spot.

Speaking post-race Stirling based Scott said:

“It was a really close race in the end, which was good as it’s going to be like that at all major internationals, so it was good to have that sort of race. I wasn’t really aware of my position as I was breathing away from everyone – I could see the boy inside me and just lanes seven and eight, which was quite good as Jimmy [Guy] came back strong.

“Getting an opportunity to race world class athletes quite a few weeks from Worlds is always really good and if anything it just puts you in your place – it’s good I’m learning some lessons here rather than in five or six weeks’ time.”

Just as they were the previous evening, Britain’s breaststroke stars Adam Peaty and James Wilby were in fine form, both taking gold in the 50m and 200m events respectively. Peaty broke his second meet record in as many days to claim top spot, much to the delight of the crowd, whilst in the longer event Wilby finished like a train down the final length of the pool to overhaul long-time leader Shoma Sato of Japan.

Pleased with his efforts over the two days, Wilby said:

“It’s been a tough couple of days of racing, but I’m really happy with the results, especially considering the training work load that has been going on in the lead up to the meet. I feel like I’m in a good place and am looking forward to Barcelona now at the weekend and the rest of the cycle.”

Ben Proud upgraded the silver he won in the freestyle last night to gold in the Men’s 50m Butterfly final, producing a season’s best time, which was a full second quicker than his heat swim, to take the title. A strong start set him up well as he beat a quality field, afterwards reflecting:

“I changed my mind-set this afternoon and tried to execute my race plan as best as I could. I spoke to my coach James and he said to execute my start as I’m supposed to and that was the only thing to focus on. I did that and then found my rhythm.”

Dan Jervis produced a six second 800m lifetime best just moments later to secure silver from lane eight. Swimming on his own throughout, the 1500m specialist looked composed, sticking to his race strategy to great effect as he produced a 7.50.65 swim, only denied gold by a Mare Nostrum record from Norwegian Henrik Christiansen.

Afterwards Jervis commented:

“I was nervous for that as I’m in a tough block of swimming at the moment and that was a really good time. I’m really looking forward to Worlds in a few weeks now – to do that time, when I’m nowhere near tapered, is really good. In fact before I came out here I was saying to my coach how nervous I was, because I knew how hard this competition was going to be because I knew how much training we had done. I’m looking forward to swimming my main event in Barcelona now.”

Also winning silver was young Tom Dean, the National Centre Bath swimmer battling hard in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley final to back up the 200m Freestyle gold he won on Tuesday evening.

Just like the men’s race the Women’s 100m Freestyle was a typically close fought encounter, with Freya Anderson just denied a medal in fourth place. In the mix throughout the Ellesmere College swimmer missed out on bronze by just 0.04 of a second, that swim her best of the meet. Having set a new 24.89 lifetime best last night to win silver in the Women’s 50m Freestyle, and a 26.72  lifetime best in finishing eighth in the 50m Butterfly earlier in the evening, Anna Hopkin couldn’t quite complete the hat-trick, but delivered another quality swim for seventh.

Aimee Willmott just missed out on a podium place as she finished fourth in a high quality Women’s 400m Individual Medley field, headed by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, the Commonwealth champion putting together a measured effort as she builds towards Gwangju.

After taking gold in the 50m event last night, Georgia Davies returned to the pool to finish fifth in the Women’s 100m Backstroke final, whilst also on the podium last night, Luke Greenbank was back in action, also finishing fifth in the Men’s 100m Backstroke with a very solid in-season swim.

In the Women’s 200m Breaststroke final Great Britain had double representation, Molly Renshaw leading the way with a fifth place finish. Attacking the first half of the race, the National Centre Loughborough swimmer was second after 100m and despite fading slightly she went two seconds quicker than this morning. On the other side of the pool Siobahn-Marie O’Connor was two seconds and two places back in seventh. In the other endurance event of the night, Holly Hibbott secured seventh in the Women’s 400m Freestyle final, like Jervis she too was swimming out in lane eight.

Full results from the Mare Nostrum Swim Series in Canet can be found here

The team will now travel to the final leg of the series in Barcelona this weekend.

Britswim

Jun 13 19

Campbell to feature in night five finals of Aussie trials

by ZwemZa

Cate Campbell (Australian Swimming)

The Commonwealth and Australian record holder in the Women’s 100m Freestyle, Knox Pymble’s Cate Campbell,made her first appearance at the 2019 Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials on Thursday morning.

Recording sub 53 seconds in the 100m free heats, Campbell (52.87), along with Griffith University’s Emma McKeon (53.06), already posted swims under the world championship qualifying time of 53.20. In what is sure to be a fierce field in tonight’s final, St Peters Western’s Shayna Jack (53.21) also secured herself a centre lane, while Marion’s Madison Wilson (53.88) and Knox Pymble’s Bronte Campbell (53.93) will provide tough competition from lanes two and six.

Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) returned to the Brisbane Aquatic Centre this morning after his record-breaking swim in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley last night, and will head into the Men’s 200m Backstroke as the favourite after posting the fastest heat swim (1:58.11). The winner of the 100m backstroke will have competition from Melbourne Vicentre’sJorden Merrilees (1:59.47) and Mingara Aquatic’s Bradley Woodward (1:59.97), who will be swimming alongside him after posting the second and third fastest times respectively.

After smashing his personal best time and breaking the Commonwealth record at national champs in April, SOPAC’s Matthew Wilson posted 2:10.06 in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke on Thursday. West Brisbane’s Zac Stubblety-Cook, who has been undertaking altitude training with coach Vince Raleigh, looked damaging in the heats, recording a strong time of 2:10.68, while Melbourne Vicentre’s Daniel Cave (2:13.15) will also be striving for the qualifying time of 2:08.80.

Griffith University’s Taylor McKeown clocked a time of 2:26.84 in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke to see her claim pole position for this evening’s finals hit out. This year’s national champ, Bond’s Jenna Strauch placed second in 2:27.73, while Nunawading’s Jess Hansen also secured her spot in the final eight, touching in 2:28.81. With the world championship qualifying time set at 2:23.81, all competitors will need to up their speed in order to lock down a spot on the world champs team.

One timed final was swum for the Men’s 1500m Freestyle, with the second and last timed final to be completed tonightduring the finals session.

The fifth night of finals kicks off from the Brisbane Aquatic Centre at 6pm AEST, with Para GP events scheduled to start beforehand at 4:30pm. Click here to find out how you can watch all the action for FREE via Swimming Australia’s iSwim app.

Australian Swimming

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