FINA World Championships Predictions: Men’s 800 Free

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

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The men’s 800 free will be contested at the FINA World Championships for a ninth time in Budapest, but more and more swimmers figure to zero in on this distance over the next several years given its status as a new Olympic event.

Given that the world’s top distance swimmers have not raced in the 800 at a major meet in two years, this one is tough to peg. So take a look at the men who won medals in both the 400 and 1500 in Rio: Mack HortonSun YangGabriele Detti and Gregorio Paltrinieri. (Connor Jaeger, the Olympic silver medalist in the 1500, is retired.)

Sun held off Paltrinieri for gold in this event two years ago, with Horton earning the bronze. Detti didn’t even swim the 800 in Kazan in 2015, but he ranks No. 1 in the world for 2017 after winning bronze medals in both the 400 and 1500 in Rio.

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.

Men’s 800 Free

Current Records:

World Record: Zhang Lin, CHN (2009) — 7:44.47
Championship Record: Zhang Lin, CHN (2009) — 7:44.47
American Record: Michael McBroom (2013) — 7:43.60

2015 World Champion: Sun Yang, CHN — 7:39.96
2017 World No. 1: Gabriele Detti, ITA — 7:41.64

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: Gabriele Detti, ITA
Silver: Mack Horton, AUS
Bronze: Sun Yang, CHN

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: Sun Yang, CHN
Silver: Gregorio Paltrinieri, ITA
Bronze: Gabriele Detti, ITA

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: Gabriele Detti, ITA
Silver: Gregorio Paltrinieri, ITA
Bronze: Mack Horton, AUS

Previous Events

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

Day Four:

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Alex Sumner Lends Verbal Commitment to Cal Class of 2022

Photo Courtesy: Twitter (@EAswimdive)

NEW COMMIT: Alex Sumner of the Suburban Seahawks announced via Instagram that she will be joining the University of Cal, Berkeley’s program beginning the fall of 2018.

A native of Wallingford, Pennsylvania and a rising senior at Episcopal Academy, Sumner is best known for her backstroke abilities. She holds the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming & Diving Championship meet record in the 100 back (53.41), an event that she has won for the last two years, and is a two-time champion in the women’s 200 IM. She has also earned the honor of Scholastic All-American from USA Swimming and was named Swimming World Magazine’s Up & Comer for the July 2016 issue.

Sumner’s top SCY times:

  • 50 back – 25.41
  • 100 back – 53.41
  • 200 back – 1:52.33
  • 100 fly – 54.91
  • 200 fly – 1:59.05
  • 200 IM – 2:00.82
  • 400 IM – 4:15.08

Recently, Sumner took her talents to the 2017 U.S. National Championships where she finished an incredible fifth in the 200 LCM back. She also competed in the 100 back, 200 IM, and 400 IM while in Indianapolis. Additionally, she was one of the top talents at the 2017 NCSA Spring Championships in Orlando, grabbing first in the 200 back, fourth in the 100 back, sixth in the 200 IM, and eighth in the 400 IM.

While at Cal, Sumner will continue the strong backstroke traditions with her four years overlapping with current Cal Bears Kathleen Baker and Amy Bilquist for one year. She joins Cassidy BayerElise Garcia, and Ema Rajic as a member of Cal’s class of 2022.

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Top Open Water Swimming Fears Debunked

Photo Courtesy: Eric Seals-USA TODAY Sports

By Norah Hunt, Swimming World College Intern. 

The summer brings with it many opportunities to swim outside. Many athletes inevitably latch onto open water swimming, a type of racing that is so vastly different from regular competitive swimming. It could be argued that the two are completely different sports. Open water is, in a word, extreme. Swimming in a pool is a relatively controlled environment; swimming in a lake or a river is almost a battle against the elements, and there are many unfortunate things that can go wrong in an open water race that would not happen in a pool.

Nevertheless, there is a certain group of die-hard open water enthusiasts that come out on race day, again and again. How do they do it? Simply put, they have figured out how to put aside their fears and find a way to truly thrive in this adrenaline-filled environment. Here are the top open water fears that swimmers struggle with, and ways to conquer them, so that every athlete has the chance to become a phenomenal open water swimmer:

I can’t see the bottom.

By far the most common fear, especially for younger swimmers. The black line at the bottom of a pool is like a security blanket; we feel lost without it. It guides us to the wall; it takes us home. Without it, there is no way to know how far down the bottom is, and who knows what creatures are lurking down there, ready to eat a young swimmer up?

The simple fix to this problem is to just not think about the bottom, plain and simple. Many experienced open water veterans will testify that, in the midst of a race, the bottom of the lake or river is the last thing going through their heads. These events are a bit of a sensory overload, and there are so many other things to think about!

Oftentimes, swimmers will be so focused on making it to the next buoy or keeping their stroke in rhythm that they completely forget about what lies below them, which is probably the best way for it to be. If the swimmer truly cannot think past where the bottom is, then it sometimes helps to imagine swimming in a four foot lake. The floor is right below them, it is just a little out of sight!


Photo Courtesy: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

The races are so long.

This fear gets tossed around a fair amount, especially by swimmers that specialize in the shorter races. There is some validity to this statement, after all, as most open water races are significantly longer than any done in a pool.

However, these races go by much faster than one might originally think. For one, swimmers are not mindlessly going back and forth. They are traveling from one part of a lake or river to another. There is the idea of movement, and gradually getting closer and closer to a buoy makes the swim feel much shorter.


Photo Courtesy: Eliza Cummings

I don’t know where I am going.

This is another valid fear, but an easily solvable one. The courses in these races are much more complex than what swimmers are used to (a simple black line). Nevertheless, it is relatively easy to follow along the route, and if a swimmer is truly lost, it is very easy to follow someone ahead of them or flag down a boat to ask directions.

Jul 11, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; The swimmers dive into Lake Ontario to begin the women's 10km open water swimming competition during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Ontario Place West Channel. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports Images

Other swimmers run into me.

This is perhaps the biggest adjustment one must make when they go from pool swimming to open water races. Lanelines guide us, but they also keep swimming from becoming a contact sport. In open water races, there is splashing and shoving and sometimes even kicking! Swimmers will get penalized if they are too rough, but the officials obviously cannot watch everything that happens below the surface.

Open water races are an absolute blast. As these fears show, they are much more complex than regular pool races, but that is part of the fun! There are so many stories that you will get from your open water experience, and being outside is always better than the concrete pool we normally swim in! Go find your race!

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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Jaimie Monahan Completes Swim From Vermont To Quebec

Photo Courtesy: Phil White and Arik Thormahlen

On Monday, July 10, 2017, Jaimie Monahan of New York, NY swam the 25-mile distance on Lake Memphremagog between Newport, VT and Magog QC in 14 hours and 18 minutes.  She left the Newport City Dock at 5:53 am under cloudy skies and arrived in Magog as the sun was setting at 8:11 pm.

Winds were light and from the south west.  Rain was heavy at times. but the slight threat of a thunderstorm never materialized.  Water temperature ranged from 70 to 71 F.  Arik Thormahlen, also of New York, crewed for her.  Phil White of Kingdom Games piloted the wooden dory, Django, and made the arrangements for pre-authorization of her clearance across the international border into Canada.

Monahan is a world renowned ultra-marathon swimmer, a world champion winter swimmer, and an accomplished ice swimmer. She won the 2016 Barra Award for Best Overall Year by the Marathon Swimmers Federation and the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year award from the World Open Water Swimming Association.  She is the first person to complete the Ice Seven Challenge, swimming a mile in sub 5 C water on all seven continents, the final swim being in Argentina on July 2nd, 2017.  She has swum in the Memphremagog Winter Swim in 2015 and 2016.  This is the first time she has swum in Vermont during the summer.

Mighty Memphre was tamed for the day, it seems by Jaimie’s gentle and loving spirit and the sacrifice of Arik’s sun glasses and a pair of swim goggles.  Memphre laid down all of her defenses and let us pass without incident, without a dust up, and little drama other than the sheer beauty of swimming this lake in the clouds, the mist, and the rain, all breaking into a gorgeous sunset as we landed in Magog.  Memphre even gave us still waters as we boated back to Newport, arriving at half past midnight.

Monahan’s swim kicks off what is scheduled to be a record breaking number of border busting swims on Lake Memphremagog during this summer season.  Charlotte Brynn of Stowe is the next up with an individual solo attempt the length of the lake on July 17th.  On July 29th 2017, 39 swimmers are signed up for the 25 km swim from Newport into Canada, around Province Island and back to Newport as part of Kingdom Swim.  Seven swimmers are signed on to swim the length of the lake in September.

Canadian and US border officials have helped facilitate these crossings.  We very much appreciate their consideration.

Press Release courtesy of Kingdom Games

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FINA World Championships Predictions: Men’s 50 Breast

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher- USA TODAY Sports

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Adam Peaty provided one of the most stunning swims of the Olympic Games in Rio, but he had only one event in which to flex his dominance. Not so this summer at the FINA World championships.

Peaty is the reigning World Champion in the 50 breast, and in a development that won’t shock anyone who watched his gold medal-winning swim in Rio, he’s favored for gold in that event as well come Budapest.

He might not have the pure raw power of someone like Joao Gomes or Cameron van der Burgh, but Peaty puts the pieces of breaststroke together better than anyone else ever has.

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.

Men’s 50 Breast

Current Records:

World Record: Adam Peaty, GBR (2015) — 26.42
Championship Record: Adam Peaty, GBR (2015) — 26.42
American Record: Kevin Cordes (2015) — 26.76

2015 World Champion: Adam Peaty, GBR — 26.51
2017 World No. 1: Adam Peaty, GBR — 26.48

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: Adam Peaty, GBR
Silver: Cameron van der Burgh, RSA
Bronze: Michelle Coleman, SWE

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: Adam Peaty, GBR
Silver: Cameron van der Burgh, RSA
Bronze: Kevin Cordes, USA

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: Adam Peaty, GBR
Silver: Joao Gomes, BRA
Bronze: Cameron van der Burgh, RSA

Previous Events

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

Day Four:

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Commit Swimming Set of The Week: Developing 200 Fly Pacing

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

Welcome to Swimming World’s Set of the Week sponsored by! This week’s set is designed to work on developing the right tempo and pacing for a 200 butterfly. Tale a look at the set below and the description that follows:

3 Rounds:

1 x 200 butterfly as:

50 3R-3L-3dbl

50 2R-2L-2dbl

50 1R-1L-1dbl

50 steady tempo

4 x 50’s on 1:00

ODD: easy drill or freestyle

EVEN: 50 @ 200 pace

100 easy


The set begins with a single 200 butterfly that itself is a drill progression. Starting with 3R-3L-3dbl, swimmers will drop a stroke of the single arm drill with each 50 until their last 50, which is full stroke butterfly.

A common problem when swimming the 200 butterfly is forcing your stroke tempo to early and not setting yourself up to have a strong second half of your race. The drill progression through the 200 forces swimmers to slow down their tempo at the beginning of the swim and naturally increase their tempo with each 50, working on making the last two 50’s feel faster than the first two.

Each round will end with 4 x 50’s trying to put this steady tempo into practice, alternating between easy 50’s of drill or freestyle and full 50’s of pace butterfly. Take an easy 100 between each round to regroup and give your swimmers some active recovery between sets. Happy swimming!


Download Commit’s App To Use On Your Pool Deck.

Take control of your pool deck with Commit’s apps for iOS and Android. No need to burry your head in your phone all practice, but Commit is there for those few minutes you need it. Take attendance , quickly and easily modify the workout, take some notes about the practice so you don’t forget. Everything you need for your workout is on 1 screen. Commit is designed with your time in mind, so you can get back to what you do best… coaching. Now when practice ends, you can get home to your family or meet up with friends right away without wasting extra time in the office.

All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.

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Olympic Gold Medalist Ous Mellouli Out of World Champs With Injury

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Ous Mellouli, a four-time Olympian for Tunisia, has pulled out of this summer’s World Championships in Budapest after suffering an undisclosed injury.

Mellouli won gold in the men’s 1500 free at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and added a bronze four years later in London. But his biggest accomplishment of the 2012 Games came in open water, where he won gold in the 10k.

Last summer in Rio, Mellouli was 21st in the 1500 and then came in 12th in a tight finish in the 10k.

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USA Swimming Releases Safe Sport Activity Book

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

USA Swimming has released the organization’s first-ever Safe Sport Activity Book. The Activity Book was created to share the Safe Sport message with a younger audience. The mission of the USA Swimming Safe Sport Program is to help teams foster a fun, healthy and safe environment for all their members.

The Safe Sport Activity Book is one of many tools that the organization offers to assist clubs, coaches and volunteers to create a Safe Sport environment at meets, practice and at home. The Activity Book has been added to the Safe Sport Club Toolkit where teams can find tools, resources and model policies to create positive team culture, educate their members and intervene in risky situations.

“The Safe Sport Activity Book provides a fun, easy and accessible way for parents and coaches to talk to kids of all ages about Safe Sport,” said Elizabeth Hoendervoogt, Safe Sport Coordinator. “Anyone can enjoy the Activity Book and our hope is to make learning about Safe Sport fun for young kids and a point of conversation amongst parents.”

The Activity Book will feature 12 entertaining games including puzzles, word games and mazes, all centered on Safe Sport for kids and their families to enjoy on-deck or at home.

The Activity Book will be available online at or can be ordered from USA Swimming’s National office by contacting Paula D’Amico at

USA Swimming’s Safe Sport program is dedicated to fostering a fun, healthy and safe environment for all USA Swimming members. It has developed into one of the most comprehensive safe sport programs in Olympic sport. Its abuse prevention initiative is rooted in six core areas: Policies & Guidelines, Screening & Selection, Training & Education, Monitoring & Supervision, Recognizing, Reporting & Responding and Grassroots Engagement & Feedback.

For more information about USA Swimming’s Safe Sport program, visit

Press release courtesy of USA Swimming.

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Michael Chadwick Signs Apparel Deal With TYR Sport

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos

One day after TYR Sport announced the signing of Leah Smith, the company added Michael Chadwick to its stable of U.S. professional swimmers.

Chadwick won four medals on relays at the Short Course World Championships in December, and he made his first major international team last month when he finished fifth in the 100 free at U.S. Nationals, qualifying to swim the 400 free relay at the World Championships.

Chadwick recently completed his NCAA career at Missouri, and he finished second in the 100-yard free at the NCAA championships as a senior.

Read the full press release from TYR Sport below.

TYR Sport, the leading manufacturer of competitive swim and triathlon gear, is proud to announce the signing of 4x Short Course World Championship medalist Michael Chadwick to its roster of sponsored athletes.

With major performances for the University of Missouri under his belt, Chadwick has proven to the swimming world he certainly is one to watch. Accumulating a total of 22 All-American honors with 11 first-team and 11 honorable mentions, Michael is currently the most decorated athlete in the history of the Missouri swimming program. At the culmination of his collegiate career, he owned team records in the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle and the 200-yard IM, and is ranked third all-time in the 100 yard breaststroke.

Chadwick has shown consistent improvement and really began making a name for himself in 2015 after placing fourth in the 50m free at Summer Nationals which earned him a spot on the national team. Later that year as part of the 400-meter freestyle relay, he contributed to a new American Record at the 2015 Duel in the Pool. At the 2016 FINA World Short Course Championships, Michael earned one gold, two silvers and a bronze medal in Windsor, Canada as part of four relay teams.

Chadwick will remain a key relay player on the U.S. Team at the 2017 FINA World Championships after securing a spot on the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with his 5th place finish in the 100-meter freestyle at the 2017 Summer Nationals. His performances at the meet also earned Chadwick an opportunity to compete in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events at the World University Games held at the end of August.

Today, Chadwick joins a growing roster of standout swimmers including 12x Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte, 7x Olympic medalist Dana Vollmer and 6x Olympic medalist Matt Grevers. To date team TYR has earned a total of 32 Olympic and 152 World Championship medals.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join team TYR,” began Chadwick. “During my time at the University of Missouri my coaches and I made the decision that I would only wear the TYR Avictor because it proved to be the fastest suit on the market. However, outside of their leading technologies, TYR has always been a family company and that’s exactly what I’m joining, a new family.”

Matt DiLorenzo, Chief Executive Officer of TYR Sport, added, “We are proud to welcome Michael Chadwick to the team TYR family. He has enormous potential and we look forward to watching his swimming career continue to evolve.”

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FINA Announces Technical Changes for Diving and Synchro

Photo Courtesy: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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The first two FINA Technical Congresses – Synchronised Swimming, and Diving & High Diving – took place today in Budapest (HUN), a couple of days before the start of the 17th FINA World Championships in the Magyar capital.

“This is certainly a great opportunity, every four years, to update, improve and modernise our rules, with the contribution of our National Federations and Technical Committees. Their valuable work makes our Sport bigger and more recognised, thus generating more popularity and inspiration in the five continents”, stated the FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione to the delegates of both Congresses.

The main rule changes approved by the National Federations’ representatives were:


–    Introduction of a new event in the programme of the FINA World Championships: the Highlight Routine (with 10 swimmers). Required elements (to be performed by all athletes) for this routine include a minimum of four acrobatic movements (jumps, throws, lifts, stacks or platforms), a connected or intertwined action, and a float to give a kaleidoscopic effect;
–    Figure routines are replaced by technical routines at FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships;
–    Free team routines may have a maximum of six acrobatic movements (excluding partner lifts). If this number is exceeded, a two-point penalty shall be deducted from the routine score;
–    Reduction of the Free Combination routine time, from 4m30s to 4m00s;
–    Changes in the judgement of figures, with definitions for small, medium and large deductions;
–    For Solo and Duet technical routines, all elements shall be performed parallel to the sides of the pool where the panel of judges have been placed;
–    Update on the rules concerning the music accompaniments;
–    Adjustments on some synchro movements.


–    Precisions on the competition format, namely in mixed synchronised diving events;
–    Clear definition of double bounce on the end of springboard or double jump on the end of the platform, before take-off;
–    Precisions on the possible judging score deductions.


–    Readjustments in the diving number designations;
–    Possibility for each diver to provide two reserve dives, which may be substituted five minutes before the commencement of the final round of dives;
–    New deductions for divers touching or performing unsafely close to the platform;
–    Updated criteria for the establishment of the degree of difficulty for dives with twists.

On July 13, 2017 two more Technical Congresses – Open Water Swimming and Water Polo – will be staged in Budapest. On July 21, Swimming and Masters will update their technical rules, while the FINA General Congress will be held on July 22, 2017.

Press release courtesy of FINA.

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