Four Cities in Running to Host Short Course Worlds in 2022 and 2024

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

Budapest will host the upcoming FINA World Championships, and Kazan hosted the event two years ago, but both cities could be in the running to host a future major FINA event, the Short Course World Championships.

According to a report from InsideTheGames, Budapest, Kazan, Taiwan and Hong Kong are the four candidates to host Short Course Worlds in either 2022 or 2024. Host cities will be selected by the FINA Bureau on July 17.

Unlike the about-to-begin FINA World Championships in Budapest, the short course edition of the meet consists of only swimming events, not the other aquatic sports. It was most recently held in Windsor, Canada, in December 2016, and future years’ meets are scheduled for Hangzhou, China (2018), and Abu Dhabi (2020).

Hong Kong previously hosted the event in 1999, but none of the other candidate cities have previously hosted Short Course Worlds.

Budapest will also play host to the 2018 World Junior Synchronized Swimming Championships, according to InsideTheGames.

Read more from InsideTheGames by clicking here.

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USA Men’s Water Polo Announces World Champs Roster

Photo Courtesy: Catharyn Hayne

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USA Water Polo Men’s Senior National Team Head Coach Dejan Udovicic has announced the roster for the 2017 FINA World Championships starting this Monday in Budapest, Hungary. Seven returners from the 2016 Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are back to anchor the squad that is coming off a fourth place finish at the FINA World League Super Final last month in Russia.

Alex Obert (Loomis, CA/Pacific/NYAC) and Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/NYAC) lead Team USA into action in their third straight World Championship competition for USA Water Polo, offering the most experience of anyone on the squad. They are joined by fellow Rio Olympians McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/Regency), Ben Hallock (Westlake Village, CA/Stanford/LA Premier), Luca Cupido (Santa Margherita, Italy/California/Newport), Thomas Dunstan (New Canaan, CT/USC/Regency) and Alex Roelse (Maarssen, Netherlands/UCLA/Bruin).

Chancellor Ramirez (Pasadena, CA/UCLA/NYAC) returns to the World Championship stage for the first time since 2013 and is joined by first-time participants Johnny Hooper (Los Angeles, CA/California/LA Premier), Nic Carniglia (Lodi, CA/California/Davis WPC), Marko Vavic (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA/Loyola HS (CA)/Regency), Max Irving (Long Beach, CA/UCLA/LA Water Polo) and Drew Holland (Orinda, CA/Stanford/Lamorinda).

Team USA opens play in Budapest on Monday, July 17 against Croatia at 1:50pm et/10:50am pt. From there they will take on Japan and Russia before qualification play begins on July 23. Medals will be awarded on July 29. The USA Men have never medaled in World Championship play and will look to improve upon a seventh place finish in 2015 in Kazan, Russia.

The newly launched Olympic Channel will be airing all the action from Budapest with a full broadcast schedule to be announced. For more information on The Olympic Channel, check with your local cable provider.

Be sure to follow USA Water Polo (@USAWP) on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates from Budapest, Hungary throughout the tournament. For more information on the FINA World Championships, click here to visit the official homepage.

2017 FINA World Championships Roster – USA Men’s National Team
1. McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/Regency)
2. Johnny Hooper (Los Angeles, CA/California/LA Premier)
3. Nic Carniglia (Lodi, CA/California/Davis WPC)
4. Alex Obert (Loomis, CA/Pacific/NYAC)
5. Ben Hallock (Westlake Village, CA/Stanford/LA Premier)
6. Luca Cupido (Santa Margherita, Italy/California/Newport)
7. Thomas Dunstan (New Canaan, CT/USC/Regency)
8. Marko Vavic (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA/Loyola HS (CA)/Trojan)
9. Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/NYAC)
10. Chancellor Ramirez (Pasadena, CA/UCLA/NYAC)
11. Alex Roelse (Maarssen, Netherlands/UCLA/Bruin)
12. Max Irving (Long Beach, CA/UCLA/LA Water Polo)
13. Drew Holland (Orinda, CA/Stanford/Lamorinda)

Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Dejan Udovicic
Assistant Coach: Alex Rodriguez
Team Manager: Lori Verdegaal

2017 FINA World Championship Schedule (time subject to change)
July 17 vs Croatia 1:50pm et/10:50am pt
July 19 vs Japan 12:30pm et/9:30am pt
July 21 vs Russia 7:10am et/4:10am pt
July 23 vs TBD (qualification)
July 25 vs TBD (quarterfinals)
July 27 vs TBD (semifinals)
July 29 vs TBD (finals)

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How Women’s Swimming Paved The Way For Equality

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

By Erin Keaveny, Swimming World College Intern

Today, swimmers like Katie Ledecky, Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin are renowned for their accomplishments as athletes. Parents don’t think twice about whether or not their daughter should learn to swim, however it wasn’t always this way.

Until around 100 years ago, swimming was an activity exclusively for men.

The first female swimmers did more than pave the way for today’s Olympians. Women’s accomplishments in the water are deeply linked to how society viewed women as a whole. Advocates of women’s swimming not only changed the sport, but helped change society.

In the medieval time period there were no bathing suits or swimming garments. Swimmers only dove in naked. Due to the association between a women’s modesty and morality, which defined her as a human being, women could not swim. These attitudes in western society have persisted since the dark ages.

In 19th century Europe, there was a huge rise in the popularity of swimming as a men’s sport. Yet, in his 1838 book, Familiar Hints on Sea Bathing, William Smith commented that “English ladies in general will [never] take to the amusement of swimming, which however, may prove useful in an emergency.”

In 1875, Matthew Webb became the first man to swim across the English Channel. This feat of incredible athleticism turned Webb into an instant celebrity. Following industrialization in England, crossing the channel was seen as an incredible testament to man’s capabilities in the face of nature, and considered the epitome of Victorian manliness. Webb continued to perform aquatic stunts, growing in fame for his acts which showed off man’s physical abilities.

Five years after Webb swam the channel, Agnes Beckwith treaded water for 30 hours in a Westminster aquarium tank. Her time equalled the world record previously set by Webb.

Swimming is one of the few sports that can claim its place as an original Olympic event. The sport has been present in the games since the first modern Olympics in 1896, where women were not included. Yet in its premiere event, a woman known as Melpomene, determinedly swam the men’s course on her own.

The founder of the modern Olympics, Barron Pierre de Coubertin, commented “it is incident that the spectators should be exposed to the risk of seeing the body of a woman being smashed before their very eyes. Besides, no matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks. ”

In the next Olympic Games, women were allowed to compete in three exhibition events. Nineteen women participated in tennis, golf, and croquet, sports deemed acceptable for the nature of women. In the next twenty years, women’s action drastically changed these perceptions.

Annette Kellerman gained fame as the first woman to enter a race against men in 1905. Afterwords, she became an international sensation as an aquatic performer. Her act consisted of high diving and underwater ballet, a predecessor to modern synchronized swimming. Kellerman not only became the highest paid female circus performer in America, but an incredible advocate for women’s swimming.

At the time, women were required by law to wear clothing in the water, which meant corsets, bloomers and full skirts and in many places were only permitted to wade, not swim. Where it was permitted, the burdensome clothing requirements more or less prevented women from swimming at all.

In Kellerman’s native Australia, it had become somewhat acceptable for women to appear in races wearing men’s one-piece suits. This only applied in the presence of other women during competition. This kind of attire was not allowed in her 1905 race or America. In order to compete, Kellerman creatively wore black stockings under a men’s one piece, effectively creating the women’s swim suit.

annette-kellerman

Photo Courtesy: Library of Congress

Kellerman was later arrested on Revere Beach in Boston for public indecency. She was wearing a suit with no skirt that revealed her thighs. In court, she defended herself on the premise that swimming was the ideal exercise for women. After winning her case, Kellerman designed one of the first lines of women’s swimwear, a huge breakthrough in women’s swimming as well as freedoms.

By 1912 Women’s swimming was finally introduced as an Olympic sport. Women could compete in three events, 100 meter freestyle, the 4×100 relay and diving. Still, due to the Amateur Athletic Union’s policy on women’s sports, American women were not permitted to compete.

Women from the United Sates finally got their chance in the 1920 Games. They were only permitted to compete in one sport: swimming. At the games American Ethelda Bleibtrey took gold in all of the races, while Aileen Riggin won springboard diving in its debut event at just 14 years old. The success of American women in swimming helped American female athletes across the board prove they could also compete on the world stage.

In 1926, fifty one years after Webb completed it for the first time, American Gertrude Ederle swam the English Channel. Not only did she do it successfully, Ederle complete the cross in 14 hours and 31 minutes. That time broke the previous record by two hours, making her the fastest person to cross the English channel ever. And, she did it wearing the first two piece bathing suit in public.

gertrude-ederle

Photo Courtesy: U.S. Library of Congress

Ederle’s crossing is to this day considered the breakthrough moment in women’s athletics. Her feat represented a physical accomplishment where a women not only equated but surpassed men, disproving anti-suffragists everywhere.

Three weeks after Ederle, another American, Clemington Corson, completed the crossing in fifteen and a half hours, the second fastest time to date.

Breakthroughs in women’s swimming created the perfect storm for much bigger changes. Through swimming, these women helped to fundamentally changed the way that women were viewed in public settings, and sexist ideas concerning what they can do and wear.

These ladies pushed the boundaries of what women were thought to be capable of, and against all odds found success.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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“Synchro Sisters” Follows Two Rival Teams, Premiering on Olympic Channel

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

Taking viewers behind the scenes for an up-close look at the dedication, precision and athleticism required to make an Olympic team, Synchro Sisters shows you the sport of synchronized swimming like you’ve never seen it before. The four-episode docu-drama series premieres this Thursday, 13 July, and will be available worldwide exclusively on the Olympic Channel digital platform at olympicchannel.com and on its mobile apps.

Synchro Sisters follows the day-in and day-out of the athletes and coaches of the Aquamaids (Santa Clara, Calif., USA) and Aquanuts (Walnut Creek, Calif., USA) in the weeks prior to competition with National Team selection on the line. Known internationally for their success in the pool, the reality-driven series delves into the fierce rivalry between these two esteemed clubs from California’s Bay Area who use each other to push themselves to excellence in search of Olympic Gold.

Coached by International Swimming Hall of Famers Chris Carver (Aquamaids) and Gail Emery (Aquanuts), who served as co-coaches for the U.S. National Team that won gold in the inaugural team event at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996, the athletes take viewers on their journey through their mental and physical preparations, and also how their families and the game of “bingo” play an important role in their success.

“It is all based on the desire to pursue excellence,” said Carver. “On a national level, Gail and I were fierce competitors. I wanted nothing more than to beat her. And she set the bar very, very high.”

The two coaches encourage a friendly rivalry between the two clubs not only to raise their teams’ performances, but also in efforts to return the U.S to the top of the podium as the sport continues to grow in popularity across the nation.

“We have athletes at the National Training Centres from all over the U.S. and from very small clubs who are as good, if not better, as these two clubs,” according to USA Synchro CEO and High Performance Director Myriam Glez.

Olympic Channel Episode Guide: Synchro Sisters

Episode 1 – Synchro Sisters

The world-class rivalry of Aquanuts and Aquamaids. Dive into the historic rivalry of two of the elite synchronised swimming clubs in the U.S. as they prepare to compete at nationals.

Episode 2 – Synchro Sisters

How two of the world’s best synchro clubs strike a balance. Members of Aquanuts and Aquamaids reveal the sacrifices — both inside the pool and out — required for elite synchronised swimming.

Episode 3 – Synchro Sisters

Synchro’s big backers will shock you. Learn about the surprising multi-million-dollar businesses that keep the two synchronised swimming clubs afloat.

Episode 4 – Synchro Sisters

A cruel twist threatens one squad’s dreams. In the final episode, the Aquanuts and the Aquamaids go head-to-head as they compete at the most important synchro competition of the year.

Synchro Sisters was produced exclusively for the Olympic Channel by VICE Media.

The Olympic Channel is a ground-breaking global platform where fans can experience the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round, and is available worldwide via mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and at olympicchannel.com.

About the Olympic Channel

The Olympic Channel is a multi-platform destination where fans can discover, engage and share in the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round. Offering original programming, news, live sports events and highlights, the Olympic Channel provides additional exposure for sports and athletes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Olympic Channel was launched in August 2016 in support of the IOC’s goal, set out in Olympic Agenda 2020, of providing a new way to engage younger generations, fans and new audiences with the Olympic Movement. Founding Partners supporting the Olympic Channel are Worldwide TOP Partners Bridgestone, Toyota and Alibaba. The Olympic Channel is available worldwide via mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and at olympicchannel.com.

Editor’s Notes

A short trailer for Synchro Sisters can be watched HERE.

The series will be available with subtitles in one of 10 languages in addition to English by selecting the “CC” button found on the lower right of the episode videos.

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FINA World Championships Predictions: Women’s 100 Breast

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

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This one will get plenty of attention: Lilly King and Yulia Efimova will have their long-awaited rematch in the women’s 100 breast at the FINA World Championships.

King got the better of Efimova at the Olympics in Rio, but Efimova will arrive in Budapest as the top seed for the event. She’s also the reigning World Champion in the event, while King has never competed at a long course World Championships.

Read below to see what Swimming World’s trio of experts think will happen in Budapest. David RiederJohn Lohn and Andy Ross will each offer their predictions for who will finish on the podium.

Women’s 100 Breast

Current Records:

World Record: Ruta Meilutyte, LTU (2013) — 1:04.35
Championship Record: Ruta Meilutyte, LTU (2013) — 1:04.35
American Record: Jessica Hardy (2009) — 1:04.45

2015 World Champion: Yulia Efimova, RUS — 1:05.66
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist: Lilly King, USA — 1:04.93
2017 World No. 1: Yulia Efimova, RUS — 1:04.82

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: Lilly King, USA
Silver: Yulia Efimova, RUS
Bronze: Katie Meili, USA

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: Lilly King, USA
Silver: Yulia Efimova, RUS
Bronze: Katie Meili, USA

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: Yulia Efimova, RUS
Silver: Lilly King, USA
Bronze: Katie Meili, USA

Previous Events

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

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Eight of the Most Hyped Races in World Championships History

We are just under two weeks from the swimming portion of the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest. I have always looked at these World Championship as the “encore Olympics,” since all the main story lines will revolve around what happened in Rio. This is what happens at every World Championships held the year after the Games. It is always a chance for swimmers to show that their Olympics were not a fluke, or a chance for them to back up their shocking Olympic swims and prove their dominance in their respective events.

In honor of the approaching World Championships, I decided to take a look back at some of the most hyped up rematches in a post-Olympic year. Since FINA decided to stagger the meet to every odd year after 2000, this is a short list. It does not include any World Championships in the 90s and earlier because FINA held them every four years at this time, pinning them in the halfway point between Olympics.

This list is primarily focused on highlighting the races that I distinctly remember being very hyped up about in post-Olympic years, as they were all pitted as “official rematches.”

Ian Thorpe vs. Pieter van den Hoogenband; 200 Free, 2001

In 2000, Pieter van den Hoogenband stunned Aussie Ian Thorpe in his home country in the 200 free final in Sydney. Van den Hoogenband tied his own World Record from the previous night and handed Thorpe his first loss in a major meet in his career. There was talk that Thorpe was already the greatest swimmer ever and looked unbeatable leading into the 2000 Olympics. Van den Hoogenband posted a formidable challenge in the 200 final and shocked “the Thorpedo.”

In 2001, Thorpe took his world record back at the Aussie nationals earlier in the year. The rematch was set as the two swimmers were in the same lanes they swam in a year prior. Even Australian commentators Ray Warren and Duncan Armstrong hyped the race as “revenge night” in Fukuoka.

“How long has he been aching?”

“It’s been coming for about 310 days, so about 311 sleeps (since Sydney).”

Thorpe stayed with the Dutchmen for 150 meters and ran away with the race the last 50 as he smashed his own world record with a 1:44.06, over a second faster than what van den Hoogenband went in Sydney (1:45.35). He split a 25.80 on the last 50 to blow away the Dutchmen and the world record as well. That record did not get broken until 2007 when Michael Phelps went 1:43.86 at the World Championships in Melbourne.

Brendan Hansen vs. Kosuke Kitajima; 100 Breast, 2005

Brendan Hansen broke the world record in the 100 breast at the 2004 US Olympic Trials in Long Beach and entered the 2004 Athens Olympics as the favorite. Hansen broke the record that belonged to Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima who entered Athens as the reigning World Champion. Kitajima ended up winning the final just ahead of Hansen. Video replay after the race showed Kitajima snuck in a dolphin kick on his pullout on the start and the turn, an act that was illegal at the time. Kitajima let out a couple screams in the water when he saw he was the winner in the final. Hansen took these screams personally and wanted to get his own personal revenge on Kitajima in future races.

Just like Thorpe and van den Hoogenband, Hansen and Kitajima entered the final in Montreal in 2005 in the same lanes they were in the previous year. Hansen took the lead early from Kitajima in the final and held off the Olympic champion. You could see the satisfaction on Hansen’s face when he won the race as he hit the water. It was clear that this one was personal and he wanted that one badly.

Ian Crocker vs. Michael Phelps; 100 Fly, 2005

Before Milorad Cavic, there was Ian Crocker. Crocker was Michael Phelps‘ kryptonite in the 100 fly leading into the Athens Olympics. Phelps ran Crocker down in the final in 2004 in a very similar fashion to what he did in 2008. A year later in Montreal, Crocker gave Phelps one of the worst defeats in his career.

Crocker was the heavy favorite in Athens but slipped up in the final. He was going to make sure that did not happen in Montreal in his first year as a post grad. Crocker went out under world record pace, with Phelps seven tenths behind. Instead of running him down, Phelps actually split slower than Crocker on the back 50 as the latter smashed his own world record set at the previous summer’s Olympic Trials. Crocker swam a 50.40, a record that stood until Phelps broke it in 2009.

Federica Pellegrini vs. the British Girls; 400 Free, 2009

A lot of people forget that Italian Federica Pellegrini was the heavy favorite in the 400 free going into Beijing. She was the world record holder and the top seed going into the final after she posted a quick time in the prelims. In the final however, the pace was painfully slow and Pellegrini never had control. American Katie Hoff took advantage of the slow pacing and pounced on the lead at the halfway point. Hoff extended her lead to the 300 but was ultimately caught by Brit Rebecca Adlington. Pellegrini was never in contention and ended up fifth in the final. Her time from the heats would have won the final by over a second.

A year later in her home country, Pellegrini had revenge on her mind over Adlington and fellow Brit Joanne Jackson, who broke her world record earlier in the year. Pellegrini snatched it back leading up to the Worlds but it was a grudge match in the 400 final in Rome.

Pellegrini took the lead early and never relinquished it. She split a 1:59.73 on her second 200 and became the first swimmer to break four minutes in the event. It had to be extra sweet for the Italian as she did it in front of her home crowd in Rome. Her world record lasted until 2014 when it was broken by American Katie Ledecky.

USA vs. France; 4×100 Free Relay, 2009

Let’s be real, every swimmer alive in 2008 remembers where they were when Jason Lezak chased down Alain Bernard over the final 25 of the 4×100 free relay at the Beijing Olympics. But not very many people remember the rematch in 2009. France was a huge favorite leading into the Olympics, but they were out swam that morning in China.

Just one year later, the French were again heavy favorites. They had Fabien Gilot, Bernard, Gregory Mallet and Fred Bousquet behind the blocks in Rome against the Americans who had Michael PhelpsRyan LochteMatt Grevers and World Championship rookie Nathan Adrian. There were other strong countries in the final as Brazil and Russia put up good fights, but the hype was all going to be around what France and the US were doing in lanes five and six.

Gilot had just out-touched Phelps on the leadoff leg. The French put world record holder Bernard in the second spot to give themselves a lead at the halfway point. Bernard split a 46.46, one of the fastest splits ever, and gave the French the lead halfway through. Lochte had split a 47.03, not bad for a 400 IMer. Grevers had clawed his way up to Mallet and put the US in front of France. Grevers split 47.61 to Mallet’s 48.28. (Russia actually had the lead at this point, but no one really seemed to notice). It was up to 20-year-old Adrian against Bousquet. Adrian had ran away from Bousquet on the last 50 as he split a 46.79 to Bousquet’s 47.42. It was a surprisingly slow split from Bousquet, but the Americans had triumphed again, backing up their win at the Olympics.

This time it wasn’t a 30+year-old veteran, it was a 20-year-old newcomer that was the hero here. Adrain earned the nickname, “little Lezak” for his performance in that race. The US won the race with a 3:09.21. Russia was second at 3:09.52 and France was third at 3:09.89.

Michael Phelps vs. Milorad Cavic; 100 Fly, 2009

In perhaps one of the most famous and hyped up races in World Championship history, Michael Phelps silenced all of his doubters by running down Serbian Milorad Cavic in the 100 fly in Rome.

This race was not just a rematch from Beijing. Cavic had frequently stated leading up to the 09 Worlds that he believed he touched first in Beijing, and he could do it again in Rome. Phelps had also been beaten for the first time in four years in the 200 free final by Germany’s Paul Biedermann who beat Phelps in a new and shiny Arena X-Glide body suit. Phelps refused to wear the plastic suits as he wanted to stay loyal to his sponsor Speedo and wear their LZR suit at the championships. Cavic had even offered to race the 100 fly final in briefs, but Phelps was not having it.

The race played out similar to Beijing with Cavic bolting to the front. Cavic took it out in a blistering 22.67, the same time that he swum to win the gold medal in the 50 fly earlier in the week. It did not matter as Phelps tracked him down the second 50 and out-swam the Serbian once again. Phelps became the first swimmer to break 50 seconds as he swam a 49.82 to Cavic’s 49.95.

One of the most telling images of that race was when Phelps got on the lane line and showed off his Speedo suit like he was a basketball player showing off his jersey. It was one of Phelps’ most iconic moments and will certainly go down as one of his greatest races in his career, not just because of the fast time, but the way he responded to the pressure saying he could not beat Cavic again with an inferior suit.

France vs. USA; 4×100 Free Relay, 2013

France got its revenge on the US in the 4×100 free relay in London. We know that much. But the race in London was mainly about Australia not showing up, rather than France getting revenge back on the US. Australia was the heavy favorite there. The US actually swam out of their minds and put themselves in a great position to win the gold medal, but they were chased down by Yannick Agnel and France.

In Barcelona a year later, it was expected to be between the US, Australia and Russia, with France a dark horse. Nathan Adrian took the lead with a 47.95 lead-off ahead of Russia’s Andrey Grechin (48.09) and Australia’s James Magnussen (48.00). Australia’s Cam McEvoy actually gave them the lead at the halfway point with a 47.44 split ahead of Ryan Lochte (47.80) and Nikita Lobintsev (47.91). On the third leg, Anthony Ervin (47.44) and Vlad Morozov (47.40) pulled away from the Aussies and it looked to be a Cold War over the anchor leg. But all of a sudden, Jeremy Stravius had kicked out even with Russia and the US. Stravius was in the race with Danila Izotov and Jimmy FeigenFabien Gilot‘s 46.90 split almost went un-noticed as France crawled its way back into the race.

It was a three-team race over the final 50 between Stravius, Izotov and Feigen. In a mad dash to the wall, Stravius (47.59) helped upset Russia and the US in the 4×100 free relay for the second straight year as France won the world title with a 3:11.18. The US was second (3:11.42) and Russia was third (3:11.44).

James Magnussen vs. Nathan Adrian; 100 Free, 2013

American Nathan Adrian famously out-touched Australian James Magnussen in the 100 free in the 2012 Olympics beating the heavily favored Aussie. Adrian had gone into the London Olympics seeded almost a full second behind Magnussen as the Aussie looked to be unbeatable in this event. Adrian had accomplished the upset and was looking to repeat that in Barcelona in 2013.

The race itself was hyped up because of the presence of Adrian and Magnussen, as well as Fabien Gilot, who was the only swimmer to break 47 in the 4×100 free relay. It also featured young stars Cameron McEvoyVlad Morozov and Jimmy Feigen who had stellar 2013s and were looking for a breakthrough win.

It was a heavily hyped race between Adrian and the young guns that Magnussen was almost an afterthought, despite being the Olympic silver medalist and the defending World Champion.

Morozov bolted to the front and split a 21.94 on his feet to lead Adrian and McEvoy. Morozov started to come back to the field as Adrian was catching him. The field started to bunch up and Magnussen was closing fast. As five guys came crashing to the wall, Magnussen’s name popped out of his lane as the winner. Feigen and Adrian had gotten silver and bronze. Magnussen had been through a lot in the preceding year, after he was criticized for losing the 100 free gold medal, as well as failing to medal in the 4×100 free relay. He had put all that outside pressure aside to come through and win the gold medal he was expected to win in London.

Leading into Budapest, the big rematch I am most looking forward to is the women’s 100 breast between Lilly King and Yuliya Efimova as well as the women’s 100 free between Penny Oleksiak and Simone Manuel. The men’s races that will be the most intriguing include Joseph Schooling’s run at Phelps’ 100 fly world record with Laszlo Cseh and Chad Le Clos in tow. The men’s 200 fly will be an exciting rematch even without Phelps. Cseh along with Le Clos, Masato Sakai and Tamas Kenderesi will be favorites for the 200 fly in Budapest. Also, keep an eye for a sneaky exciting race between Chase Kalisz and Kosuke Hagino in the 400 IM.

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USA Synchro Announces Team for FINA World Championships

Photo Courtesy: Jeff Cable/USA Synchro

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The U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Team hopes to build on its recent success when the FINA World Championships begin Friday in Budapest, Hungary.

The U.S. will compete in solo, duet, mixed duet and team July 14-22. Around 2,500 athletes in synchronized swimming, swimming, open water swimming diving, high diving and water polo will take part in the championships.

The U.S. synchro squad won gold in the team event at last month’s Synchro America Openpresented by Le Rêve – The Dream, a FINA World Series event. As a result, the squad earned Best of June honors for the United States Olympic Committee’s Team USA Awards presented by Dow.

In addition, the mixed duet of Bill May (Cicero, N.Y./Las Vegas) and Kanako Spendlove (Las Vegas) won gold, and Anita Alvarez (Kenmore, N.Y.) and Victoria Woroniecki won bronze in duet at the Synchro America Open.

Competing for the U.S. at the FINA World Championships are:

  • Team – Anita Alvarez (Kenmore, N.Y.); Elizabeth Davidson (Northridge, Calif.); Nicole Dzurko (Monte Sereno/Los Gatos, Calif.); Rachel Jager (Williamsville, N.Y); Jacklyn Luu (Milpitas, Calif.); Louisa Strutynski (Carmel, Calif./Calgary, Alberta); Alexandra Suarez (San Diego, Calif.); Karensa Tjoa (San Jose, Calif.); Natalia Vega (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico); Monica Velazquez-Stiak (Phoenix, Ariz.); and Victoria Woroniecki (Palm Coast, Fla.).
  • Solo tech – Anita Alvarez (2016 Olympian)
  • Duet – Anita Alvarez and Victoria Woroniecki
  • Mixed Duet – Bill May and Kanako Spendlove

The U.S. squad has been training together for only a couple of months, but team coach Jenny Ekhilevsky said they are headed in the right direction.

“These are brand-new routines for both of our programs, for eight people who are swimming together for the first time,” she said. “But they’ve done a great job from where we came from.”

The mixed duet competition made its FINA Worlds debut two years ago in Kazan, Russia, where May won gold and silver. He’ll be back this time around with Spendlove, a silver medalist for Japan at the 2004 Olympics. May and Spendlove, who are in the Cirque du Soleil show “O” in Las Vegas, are coached by Chris Carver, a former Olympic coach for Team USA.

For more on the FINA World Championships, click here.

2017 FINA World Championships Synchronized Swimming Schedule

All times local

Friday, July 14

11 a.m. – Solo Technical Prelim

4 p.m. – Duet Technical Prelim

Saturday, July 15

11 a.m. – Solo Technical Final

7 p.m. – Mixed Duet Technical Prelim

Sunday, July 16

11 a.m. – Duet Technical Final

7 p.m. – Team Technical Prelim

Monday, July 17

11 a.m. – Mixed Duet Technical Final
7 p.m. – Solo Free Prelim

Tuesday, July 18

11 a.m. – Team Technical Final

7 p.m. – Duet Free Prelim

Wednesday, July 19

11 a.m. – Solo Free Final

7 p.m. – Team Free Prelim

Thursday, July 20

11 a.m. – Duet Free Final

7 p.m. – Free Combo Prelim

Friday, July 21

11 a.m. – Team Free Final

7 p.m. – Mixed Duet Free Prelim

Saturday, July 22

11 a.m. – Free Combo Final

7 p.m. – Mixed Duet Free Final

Press release courtesy of USA Synchro.

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LumaLanes Performance of the Week: Joseph Schooling’s 100 Butterfly

Photo Courtesy: Caroline Kosciusko

This week’s Performance Of The Week, sponsored by LumaLanes, goes to Joseph Schooling for his dominating win the 100 butterfly at the 2017 Austin Speedo Sectionals. Schooling’s swim vaulted him to the No. 2 time in the world so far this year and set up what is sure to be one of the most exciting races at World Championships in just a few weeks.

Touching the wall in 50.96, Schooling slashed nearly a second off of his 2017 best of 51.82 to move to the #2 spot in the world. Splitting the race 23.76/27.20, Schooling also cut more than half a second off his best-ever in-season time, which stood at a 51.58 from just a year ago in the lead-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics where he would win gold in this event.

What is really significant about this swim is the match-up that is likely to happen in Budapest between Schooling and Caeleb Dressel, the man with the fastest time in the world this year. Schooling’s former Bolles teammate threw down an impressive 50.87 at U.S. Nationals last week to lead the world in the event, faster than anyone else aside from Schooling swam at last year’s Olympics in Rio.

This won’t be the first time Dressel and Schooling swim head to head in the 100 butterfly this year. The two went head to head at NCAA’s back in March, with Dressel taking down the defending champion en route to a new American and NCAA record.

While short course may play slightly to Dressel’s advantage with his dominance in the sprints, when comparing the two athlete’s most recent long course 100 butterflies Dressel’s advantage actually came in his second 50 (27.00 to Schooling’s 27.20). A couple more weeks of rest is likely to give Schooling a stronger finish, but regardless this should still be a race down to the wire in Budapest.

Schooling has already been vocal this year about gunning for Michael Phelps’ world record following his short break after the Rio Games, and his 50.96 is just one more reason to look forward to the 100 butterfly at World Championships.

Congratulations Joseph Schooling on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!

Special Thanks to LumaLanes for sponsoring Swimming World’s Performance of the Week.

Learn More About LumaLanes

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FINA Bureau Release Meeting Minutes From Budapest

Photo Courtesy: Singapore Swimming Federation

Three days prior to the start of the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest, the FINA Bureau held today its meeting in the Magyar capital. After warmly expressing its appreciation and gratitude to the Organising Committee of the FINA showcase in Hungary, the Bureau took the following main decisions:

–    Approval of a set of rules concerning the conduct of the General and Technical Congresses, to be held also in Budapest, starting on July 12 with the Open Water Swimming and Diving/High Diving gatherings. Related with the voting procedure, show of hands will be used for the Technical Congresses, while delegates at the General Congress will decide through paper secret ballot;

–    Approval of the Revision Committee and Scrutineers for the General Congress, to be held on July 22, 2017. For the first one, it will be comprised of Mr Onat Yildrim, Mr Maurice Watkins, Mr Richard Young and Chief Olatokunbo Thomas (all members of the FINA Legal Committee). The Scrutineers (one per continent) will be: Africa – Mr Mustapha Larfaoui; Americas – Mr Eldon Godfrey; Asia – Mr Qiuping Zhang; Europe – Mr Bartolo Consolo; Oceania – Mr Christopher Fydler;

–    For the FINA Technical Water Polo Congress, the Bureau approved the proposal to only submit to the vote of delegates two changes, following the recent IOC decision to raise the number of teams in the Olympic women’s water polo tournament, from eight to 10. These rules include the 11-player rule for the constitution of each team (men and women) at Olympic level, and the confirmation in the technical rules of a 10-team Olympic women’s tournament. After Budapest, the Bureau approved the organisation of a FINA World Water Polo Conference in the end of 2017 to discuss and propose new ways of enhancing the first Olympic team sport in the five continents. Once the proposals will be finalised by the new Technical Water Polo Committee to be nominated in Budapest, FINA will call an Extraordinary Congress to validate these changes;

–    Approval of a FINA anti-doping educational programme, aimed at raising awareness and information about anti-doping procedures among athletes and National Federations;

–    Award of the 2018 edition of the FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships to the city of Budapest, Hungary;

–    Acknowledgement of the four candidates for the organisation of the 2022 and 2024 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and FINA World Aquatics Convention: Budapest (HUN), Chinese Taipei (TPE), Hong Kong (HKG) and Kazan (RUS). The decision on this matter will be taken by the FINA Bureau on July 17, 2017;

–    Starting from the 2019 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, FINA will provide financial assistance to the National Federations taking part in this event;

–    Appreciation for the positive reports received from the organisers of the next FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), in Hangzhou (CHN) in 2018, and the FINA World Championships, to be held in Gwangju (KOR) in 2019. Moreover, the Bureau acknowledged the excellent co-operation with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games organisers and expressed its satisfaction for the recent IOC decision to increase the number of swimming events and improve the number of teams at the women’s water polo tournament.

Press release courtesy of FINA. 

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Zack Kundel, Smith College’s New Coach, Has Heart for Program

By Abby Bergman, Swimming World College Intern.

It is not an easy feat to step into a position vacated by a beloved coach of 40 years. This, however, is exactly what Coach Zack Kundel plans to do at Smith College this fall. Former Smith College head Coach Kim Bierwert retired after the 2016-17 season and Coach Kundel is preparing to take over the role. “

Zack has been an excellent assistant coach of the last two years,” Coach Bierwert says. “He will continue to bring energy, dedication and passion to our program.”

Zack-Kundel-dive

Kundel racing at Ithaca College. Photo Courtesy: Zack Kundel

Coach Kundel began his swimming career when his father brought him to “tiny tots” swim lessons in his hometown of Del Mar, New York. He went on to join the Del Mar Dolphins swim team, where he swam until high school. In addition to joining his high school’s swim team, where he served as a captain senior year, Kundel was also a member of the baseball team. Because of his swimming prowess, his baseball teammates affectionately called him “Aquaman.”

A talented sprinter, Kundel was recruited to swim for Ithaca College and represented the team at NCAAs in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Kundel set and still currently holds Ithaca College records in the 50 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, and 200 medley relay. He graduated from Ithaca with a degree in health and physical education in 2014 and received a master’s in coaching from Smith College in 2017.

Zack-Kundel-coaching

Coach Zack Kundel at a Bluefish-Williston meet. Photo Courtesy: Zack Kundel

Coach Kundel’s initial inspiration to coach stemmed from a love of teaching coupled with frustration with the school system. “With sport, you are able to teach things in the pool that athletes can bring to everyday life,” Kundel explained. He began coaching in the age group program at Ravena Rave while still in college and went on to coach at Charles River Aquatics, Boston College, and the Bluefish-Williston.

Through these different experiences, Kundel eventually decided that his passion lies in the collegiate rather than club environment. A Division III athlete himself, Coach Kundel is committed to the Division III model and strives to help his athletes reach their goals, both in and out of the pool.

“Division III allows for people to explore different things,” Kundel says. “They can accomplish things they want to accomplish in the pool to be a more well-rounded person.”

Zack-Kundel-racing

Photo Courtesy: Zack Kundel

During his first year as Assistant Coach at Smith College, Coach Kundel had an experience which he credits with solidifying his desire to make coaching his permanent career. He spent much of the year coaching a pair of sprinters, Meri Millman and Erin Walch, helping them improve as swimmers while he improved as a coach. “It was really special watching both of them race back-to-back heats at conference championships,” Kundel describes. “They both crushed their goal times and that was really special to watch.”

Millman and Walch also felt that Coach Kundel was an integral part of their growth as swimmers. “He would go out of his way to figure out why my shoulder was hurting or how I could improve my stroke,” Millman says. “Every swimmer could see Zack walking up and down the lane ‘land-swimming’ so he could figure out how to improve your stroke.”

“Zack spent a lot of time helping me tackle the mental edge of sprinting,” Walch says. “He supported me on my great days and especially on the bad ones. ”

Zack-Kundel-NEWMACS

Coach Kundel with Millman and Walch at 2016 NEWMAC Championships. Photo Courtesy: Meri Millman

Throughout his graduate program, Kundel realized that he wanted to make Smith College his permanent home. “The team itself and the synergy is something that I always envisioned in a program and is something that’s really special,” Kundel explains. “There is also a strong sense of teamwork and a home away from home atmosphere.” Committed to returning to Smith College eventually, Coach Kundel planned to wait for an opening there before applying for a head coaching position anywhere else.

A passionate coach and teacher, Kundel’s colleagues and swimmers agree that he is ready to make a positive impact on the Smith College program while preserving its historic character.

“Zack is a talented coach,” Morgan Cooper, who coached alongside Kundel at Smith College, says. “With an eye for technique and a heart for the Smith College team.” Though the departure of Coach Kim Bierwert leaves big shoes to fill, there’s no doubt that Coach Kundel is up to the challenge.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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