Photo courtesy: SIPA USA
Fresh off the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, many of the world’s top athletes have descended upon Rome, Italy for the first ever Energy for Swim – Champions for Charity meet. This meet has brought together the swimming world’s finest for a two-day action-packed schedule. Unlike most meets, the athletes are not swimming for medals, records, or personal glory, but for charity.
The athletes have been divided into four teams: USA, Australia, Italy, and Energy Standard. The first three teams are comprised of athletes representing their home nations, while the Energy Standard team represents many of Europe and Africa’s greatest. Each team has chosen a charity that they are swimming for and each race will win the teams points. At the end of the two-day meet the team with the most points will win and the money will be donated to their charity.
The charities are as follows:
Individual events can earn as may as 9 points, with the second through eighth place finishers eligible for 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 respectively. Relays can earn a max of 18 points and a minimum of 10.
The first day of the competition featured a whopping 18 events and saw Team Energy Standard jump to a strong lead in the points table with a total of 222. Team USA sits at second overall with 210, followed by Team Australia (152) and Team Italy (149).
Women’s 200 Free
The women’s 200 free saw a much anticipated race between Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini. Sjostrom elected to not swim the 200 at the 2017 FINA World Championships, creating an aura of excitement for everyone as she went head-to-head with the current 200 free world champion.
To no one’s surprise the two immediately jumped to the lead, swimming stroke-for-stroke, however at the finish it would be Sjostrom claiming victory with a time of 1:55.51.
Men’s 200 Free
The crowd roared as Italian Gabrielle Detti surged past the USA’s Conor Dwyer to victory in the men’s 200 free. Detti delivered a 1:47.67, followed by the American duo of Dwyer (1:47.88) and Zane Grothe (1:47.92).
Women’s 100 Breast
Ruta Meilutyte jumped to an early lead in the women’s 100 breast, but was unable to hold-off the charging Jennie Johannson. The two went 1-2 for Team Energy Standard with times of 1:07.16 and 1:07.36.
Men’s 100 Breast
All eyes turned to the scoreboard at the touch of the men’s 100 breast. Multiple swimmers had lunged into the finish simultaneous, creating confusion over who actually won, with the commentators on the live stream questioning who the winner was for several seconds. The result? A tie between Cameron van der Burgh and Fabio Scozzoli for first and matching times of 59.58.
Women’s 200 Back
Emily Seebohm of Australia proved why she was the World Champion in the 200 back with a dynamic win of 2:07.86. Her win marked the first Australia collected for the day.
Men’s 200 Back
Russian teenage superstar Kliment Kolesnikov held off the Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy in the final 50 meters of the 200 back. Kolesnikov earned victory with a 1:56.65, while Murphy settled for a 1:57.19 and second.
Women’s 200 Fly
Team Energy continued to collect top points as Zsuzsanna Jakabos flew to first in the 200 fly. Jakabos delivered a 2:10.09 over the USA’s Ella Eastin and her time of 2:10.65.
Women’s 400 Free Relay
Michelle Coleman, Sarah Sjostrom, Farida Osman, and Femke Heemskerk dashed to a top showing in the women’s 400 free relay, collecting top points and a time of 3:35.68 for Team Energy. Australia, Italy, and the USA took second through fourth respectively.
Men’s 400 Free Relay
A multiple-country combination in the 400 free relay resulted in yet another strong win for Team Energy. Sergie Shevtsov, Chad le Clos, Ivan Girev, and Ben Proud combined to post a time of 3:16.60 for first and 18 points. Australia, Italy, and the USA finished second through fourth.
Women’s 50 Back
Seebohm collected her second victory of the night with a top showing in the 50 back. She sprinted to a time of 27.68.
Men’s 50 Back
Ryan Murphy made his way to the top of the podium with a top showing in the men’s 50 back, stopping the clock at a sizzling 25.18.
Men’s 200 Fly
Chase Kalisz flew past World Champion Chad le Clos in the men’s 200 fly. The duo finished first and second with times of 1:56.72 and 1:57.61 respectively.
Women’s 50 Free
Unsurprisingly, the women’s 50 free was claimed by world record holder Sjostrom. She clocked a 24.13 over Australia’s Cate Campbell’s 24.43.
Men’s 50 Free
Nathan Adrian backed up Murphy’s victory with one of his own in the men’s 50 free. The sprinting stalwart thundered to a time of 22.00 for first.
Women’s 200 IM
Results not available at this time.
Men’s 200 IM
The moment finally arrived for Ryan Lochte to make his international return following his swimming suspension. Lochte delivered by finishing second behind the USA’s new IM king and World Champion Kalisz. The two were the only ones under the two-minute mark with times of 1:58.22 and 1:59.75 respectively.
Women’s 400 Medley Relay
There was no catching Team Energy in the women’s 400 medley relay. The squad loaded up with Georgia Davies, Ruta Meilutyte, Sarah Sjostrom, and Femke Heemskerk, posting a final time of 3:58.91 for another relay victory. Australia scooped up second, while the USA and Italy finished third and fourth.
Men’s 400 Medley Relay
Team USA ended the night on a strong note with a top showing in the men’s 400 medley relay. Ryan Murphy, Cody Miller, Tim Phillips, and Nathan Adrian turned in a top time of 3:33.43, ahead of Team Energy’s final time of 3:35.27. Italy and Australia were third and fourth.