December 31, 2010

1.Coral Springs Swim Club and Comets Swim Team merge and become South Florida Aquatic Club in May, combining more than 450 swimmers, 20 employees including two world-class coaches, two 50-meter Olympic-size pools, three 25-meter and 25-yard pools, and diving and teaching pools at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, Mullins Park and Academic Village Pool. After only eight months, USA Swimming awards SOFLO Level 1 club status.

2.After undergoing state-of-the-art reconstructive knee surgery and rehabbing, five-time Olympian Dara Torres announces on Live with Regis and Kelly talk show that she is going to attempt to make her sixth Olympic team at age 45. “My heart and head are like, “Yeah, let’s go for it,” Torres said.

3.After a disappointing summer, Lindsey McKnight bounces back and enjoys her best high school season ever, winning four gold medals for American Heritage. As a junior, she won two individual and two relay state titles with All-American times and broke a state record in the 200-yard medley relay. “I am not sleeping tonight…it was such a fun night,” McKnight said of her finest state meet performance in three years.

4.At 14, Emily Kopas makes her senior national debut in Columbus, Ohio and makes “C” final. Calling it “a privilege” to qualify for seniors, Kopas, the youngest swimmer in the field, breaks the 200-yard breaststroke club record twice and posts career-best 2:16.02 in the championship final.

5.Two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson is first Jamaican swimmer to compete in a championship final at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Dubai.  The two-time Olympian qualified for two finals.

6. Two-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov wins silver medal at Asian Games, bronze medal at U.S. Nationals and finals at World Short Course Championships.

7.Loai Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia makes history by winning three gold medals in national record-breaking swims at the Arabian Gulf State Championships.

8.Tyla Martin, representing Trinidad and Tobago at age 12, broke her own national record in the 100-meter butterfly at the Caribbean Island Swimming Championships in Havana, Cuba and was the 11-12 overall girls champion at the CARIFTA Championships, her first international meet.

9.Academic Village Pool undergoes major renovation, upgrading the pool deck expansion, stadium lighting, cost-effective Geothermal heating and cooling for the pool, parent seating area with easy access, bleacher seating, crossfit exercise and dryland stations with spinning bikes, and brick paver donation walkway.

10. tie, In only her freshman year at Florida State, Tiffany Oliver is named Atlantic Coast Conference Female Performer of the Week after breaking the school record in the 100-yard freestyle (49.26) and leading the Seminoles’ upset over the defending national women’s champion University of Florida.

10. tie, At 46, SOFLO father and masters swimmer Rich Nixon enjoys his first Top 10 finish and career-best performance at the Ford Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. In his fifth Hawaii appearance, he was sixth in the 45-49 age group and 153rd overall among a field of more than 1,800 in 9 hours, 28 minutes and 33 seconds.

There is no doubt South Florida Aquatic Club shined in its first year and 2011 will be the year it shines even brighter. Thank you swimmers, parents and coaches for a great year.

Happy New Year!!!

Sharon Robb can be reached at

ISHOF Adds New Safety Device For Jan. 8 Rough Water Swim

ISHOF Adds New Safety Device For Jan. 8 Rough Water Swim


December 28, 2010

With a solid safety plan already in place for years, an additional safety device will be offered to swimmers in the January 8 International Swimming Hall of Fame’s 41st annual Fort Lauderdale Rough Water Swim off Fort Lauderdale beach.

Since the tragic death of 26-year-old U.S. national team member Fran Crippen at an October open water swim in the United Arab Emirates, open water swimming has come under scrutiny.

While the investigation into Crippen’s death is ongoing, local open water race officials are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of every swimmer and for the race to maintain its perfect safety record.

“This is about safety and lives of swimmers,” said ISHOF CEO and president Bruce Wigo, who has been an open water swimmer since age 10.

ISHOF ordered three hundred open water safety balls that will be made available to any swimmer wishing to use one during the swim.

Wigo first saw a photo of the unique product, that ties around the swimmer’s waist, used at the Pearl River Swim, featuring 15,000 swimmers in China, is not only a flotation safety device but also has a compartment that can hold towels, clothes and valuables when swimming alone in open water.

“I always wanted to try this product, something like this is inevitable,” Wigo said. “It doesn’t impede or slow down the swimmer. It goes around the waist. It’s an inflatable float that rides the back flow of the swimmer, it doesn’t pull, it just rides through the water. There is no drag at all.”

Wigo remembers his early days as an open water swimmer when he put himself at risk unknowingly. “When I look back at it now…” Wigo said.

“We would like as many people possible to use them as an experiment,” Wigo said. “I am convinced if Fran had been wearing this it would have been easy to note that his identification marker wasn’t moving. I think it’s perfect. We want to try to get people to use it.”

Crippen, in Fort Lauderdale last year for an open water clinic for local swimmers and coaches, won the Rough Water Swim in 19 minutes and 25.4 seconds.

ISHOF is working closely with Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue to ensure all standards established by the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) for open water swimming are in place including safety buoys.

The swim is parallel to the beach and swimmers will be observed from both the beach and ocean side of the course.

The open water swim was started in 1969 by the legendary Buck Dawson, founder of the International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum and one of the early open water swimming pioneers.

Wigo is hoping for a good turnout of swimmers of all ages from local clubs, high school and masters teams to the popular event. Numbers were low last year, he said.

Even before Crippen died, some college athletic directors would not allow their teams that were pool training in South Florida during the holidays, to participate in any open water swim because of the risk. College swimmers always looked forward to the change of scenery swimming in the ocean.

Numbers have been low for the College Swim Forum in Fort Lauderdale as well mainly because of the economy and travel problems.

Awards will be presented for the one mile swim in age group, college and masters divisions as well as the top 10 male and female finishers.

Registration is underway online at or at the ISHOF Gift and Pro Shop. There is also race day registration with an additional $10 fee. The race begins at 9:30 a.m. on Fort Lauderdale Beach at Vistamar Street. The race finishes in front of the ISHOF facility on the beach at SE Fifth Street.

Another open water swim is scheduled for Sunday, January 2 at 9:30 a.m.

The Delray Beach Ocean Rescue Ocean Mile Swim will be held on Anchor Park Municipal Beach right off South Ocean Blvd. The well-organized event, open to all ages, benefits the Delray Beach Ocean Rescue Lifeguard Competition Team. There is free parking at Sandoway Park. Lifeguards will be on paddleboards and all lifeguard towers will be open. For more information call 561-243-7352 or email

Another fun event this weekend is the largest paddle boarding event hosted by Miami.

The World Paddle Association’s Orange Bowl Paddle Championship will take place at 11 a.m. on Sunday, January 2 at the Bayside Marketplace Marina, 401 Biscayne Blvd. The event includes a five-mile race from Biscayne Bay to the Miami River for competition and amateur paddle boarders.

There will also be live music, charity raffle and demonstrations. The race is open to anyone. All proceeds benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Great Miami. The event fee is $10. Admission includes credit for a burger and refreshment. For more information go to

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Earns USA Swimming’s Level One Rating

SOFLO Earns USA Swimming’s Level One Rating


December 27, 2010

Swimmers, parents and coaches have known all along South Florida Aquatic Club had the makings of an outstanding swim club.

Now it’s official.

USA Swimming, the sport’s national governing body, has recognized SOFLO, the newest club in the Florida Gold Coast, Level 1 status in its first year of existence.

It is the starting level for all clubs in USA Swimming’s Club Recognition Achievement Program.

“SOFLO is on the move,” said SOFLO CEO Chris Anderson.

The rating consideration is based on business and organizational success, parent and volunteer development, coach development and education, and athlete development and performance.

SOFLO became an official USAS club on May 1, 20100 when two of the most well-respected USA Swimming clubs in the nation officially merged.

Sponsored by Nike, SOFLO combines more than 450 swimmers and 20 employees including two world-class coaches, two 50-meter Olympic-size pools, three 25-meter and 25-yard pools, and diving and teaching pools at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, Mullins Park and City of Pembroke Pines Academic Village Pool.

“It is quite an honor to be already recognized by USA Swimming as a Club Recognition Level 1 team in SOFLO’s first year,” Anderson said. “I think it’s great pooling CST and CSSC resources together. We will be one of the top competitive aquatic clubs in the future, both athletically and administratively.”

“By receiving this award, SOFLO is now eligible to submit a club excellence application for the year 2011. SOFLO will also be able to reap the benefits that USA Swimming has to offer.”

The clubs’ 8-and-under age group programs remain under the auspices of the Coral Springs Swim Club and Comets satellite programs.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Lochte Wins Three Events, SOFLO’s Atkinson Makes Second Final On Last Day Of Short Course Worlds

Lochte Wins Three Events, SOFLO’s Atkinson Makes Second Final On Last Day Of Short Course Worlds


December 19, 2010

Ryan Lochte ended a truly remarkable year with even higher hopes for the future.

The hottest swimmer in the world in 2010, may not have broken another world record on Sunday but added three more gold medals to his already Herculean efforts on the final day of the FINA Short Course World Championships in Dubai.

The 26-year-old Floridian was the most talked about swimmer during the five-day meet and rightfully so.

Lochte finished with seven medals: five individual golds, one relay gold and one relay silver and two world records. He missed an eighth medal when the U.S. finished fourth in the 400 freestyle relay on opening night.

Lochte broke the all-time record for medals won at three short course world championships with a total of 21, four more than previous record holder Therese Alshammar of Sweden with 17.

Buoyed by Lochte, who lives and trains in Gainesville, Team USA finished with 25 total medals, 12 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze. China had 14 (3 gold, 5 silver, 6 bronze) and the Aussies had 11 (1 gold, 7 silver, 3 bronze). Russia had 10 medals (4 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze).

Lochte started his ambitious night on Sunday flirting with another world record but settled for the meet record in the 200-meter backstroke in 1:46.68, 2.41 ahead of U.S. teammate Tyler Clary who took silver in 1:49.09 and Austrian Markus Rogan took bronze in 1:49.96.

Lochte also broke his own American record of 1:47.91 he set in 2008. Lochte is one of only two swimmers to crack 1:47.

Fighting off fatigue, the Floridian won the 100-meter individual medley in 50.86. Germany’s Markus Deibler took silver in 51.69 and Russian Sergey Fesikov took bronze in 51.81.

Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell just missed a medal finishing fourth in 51.97, which lowered his own national record.

“I messed up a couple turns,” Lochte said referring to the 100 IM. “I just went for it.

“I felt it a lot in my legs after the 200 back, but it’s around the time I went in semis so I’ll take it. I think I could have gone a lot faster in the 200 back. I gave it my best shot.”

Lochte, a member of the winning 4×100-meter relay along with teammates Nicholas Thoman, Michael Alexandrov and Garrett Weber-Gale, gave the U.S. the lead on his third leg as the U.S. went on to win in a meet and ratified American record 3:20.99, just 0.62 ahead of the Russians in 3:21.61 and 2.13 ahead of Brazil with Cielo swimming anchor leg.

It was the only relay the usually dominant U.S. team won in the men’s and women’s competition.

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson, representing Jamaica, made her second championship final and finished eighth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:25.49. She also made the 50-meter breaststroke final becoming the first Jamaican swimmer to make the championship final of the world short course meet.

American Rebecca Soni remains the swimmer to beat in the breaststroke after winning the 200-meter breaststroke in a meet record 2:16.39 setting herself up as a favorite for the long course worlds in Shanghai this summer. China’s Ye Sun took silver in 2:18.09 and Denmark’s Moller Rikke Pedersen took bronze in 2:18.82.

Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, despite swimming in the slow heat because of paperwork glitch, won the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:24.16. No one was able to overtake his time in the faster heat. Denmark’s Mads Glaesner took silver in 15:29.52 and Hungary’s Gergely Gyurta took bronze in 14:31.47.

In other championship finals:

Brazil’s Cesar Cielo swept the sprint events by winning the 100-meter freestyle in a meet record 45.74 adding to his 50-meter title Friday and duplicating his feat at last year’s long course worlds in Rome. France’s Fabien Gilot was second in 45.97 and Russian Nikita Lobintsev was third in 46.35. American Nathan Adrian finished a disappointing sixth in 46.44.

“It was harder than I expected,” Cielo said. “I thought I was going to be faster but a gold is always a gold.”

China continues to look impressive with Jing Zhao winning the women’s 50-meter backstroke in a meet record 26.27. Aussie Rachel Goh took silver in 26.54 and Spain’s Mercedes Peris Minguet took bronze in 26.80.

Australia’s Felicity Galvez won gold in the 100-meter butterfly in a meet record 55.43. It was the Aussies first gold of the five-day meet. Australia had not gone without gold at a short or long course meet since 1986. The Aussies did not bring several of their top swimmers after a busy summer that includes Pan Pacs in California. Sweden’s Therese Alshammar was second in 55.73 and American Dana Vollmer was third in 56.25.

Brazil’s Felipe Silva won the 50-meter breaststroke in a meet record 25.95. South Africa’s Cameron Van Der Burgh took silver in 26.03 and Norway’s Aleksander Hetland took bronze in 26.29.

American Jessica Hardy was shut out in the 50-meter freestyle. The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo (23.37) and Hinkelien Schreuder (23.81) finished 1-2 in the sprint event. Bahamians Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace took bronze in 24.04. Hardy finished fourth in 24.09. Kromowidjojo also completed a sweep after winning the 100 freestyle. She finished with three golds including a victory in the 400 freestyle relay.

South Africa’s Chad Le Clos won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:51.56. Brazil’s Kaio Almeida took silver in 1:51.61 and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh took bronze in 1:51.67.

France’s Camille Muffat won the 200-meter freestyle in a meet record 1:52.29. American Katie Hoff was second in 1:52.91 and Aussie Kylie Palmer was third in 1:52.96.

Attendance was disappointing throughout the week at the multi-million complex particularly on the final day when none of the swim teams remained to watch the closing ceremony or flag exchanging ceremonies. Less than a 100 watched the closing in the 15,000-seat arena.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Soni, Cielo, Garcia Steal Spotlight From Lochte For One Night At Short Course Worlds

Soni, Cielo, Garcia Steal Spotlight From Lochte For One Night At Short Course Worlds


December 18, 2010

While Ryan Lochte flirted with another world record in the 100-meter individual medley semifinals, American Rebecca Soni, Brazilian Cesar Cielo and Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia shared the spotlight on Saturday night at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Dubai.

While Lochte remains the talk of the meet, a few other swimmers got their fifteen minutes of fame on Day Four.

Garcia won her third gold and fourth medal overall breaking the meet record in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:05.73.

“I feel very happy, it was an amazing race,” Garcia said. “This morning I was very tired and felt very nervous but as the afternoon wore on I became more relaxed.

“I can’t believe that I have won four medals, three of them golds. I think it will sink in when I get home.”

Garcia, who swims the 200-meter breaststroke on Sunday, also won gold in the 400-meter individual medley and 200-meter butterfly on Day One and silver medal in the 800-meter freestyle.

Soni, the queen of the breaststroke, won her second gold medal in a breaststroke event. After winning the 50-meter breaststroke, she won the 100-meter breaststroke in a meet record 1:03.98, and renewed her rivalry with Aussie Leisel Jones.

Soni was only 0.01 seconds ahead of Jones at the midway point but turned it on coming home.

“I definitely saw her next to me,” Soni said. “I know turns are my weakness so I just tried to outswim her and get to the wall first.

“It’s hard to be the first race of the night. I’m used to sitting back there and watching Ryan Lochte set a world record first.”

Albert Subirats of Venezuela won his country’s first gold medal at a world championship since 1997 in the 50-meter butterfly in a meet record 22.40.

“I am happy to get gold for myself and my country,” Subirats said. “I think I have gotten fourth by 1/100th of a second six times over the last few years.”

Russian Stanislav Donets won the 50-meter backstroke in a meet record 22.93.

Cielo will go after his second gold medal on Sunday after being the top qualifier in the 100-meter freestyle semifinals in a meet record 46.01. He was 0.13 ahead of world record pace midway through his race.

Lochte, who also has three gold medals, was the fastest qualifier for Sunday’s 100-meter individual medley in a meet record 50.81, just 0.05 seconds off the world record. Germany’s Markus Deibler qualified second in 52.08, a German national record.

“I don’t know what to say about that race,” Lochte told reporters afterwards. “I’m not used to swimming it. Today was my easy day. I was pushing for it this morning until just at the end and then I stopped. I enjoyed that race.

“I’m not really aiming for anything on Sunday. It’s definitely going to be a hard challenge for me. It’s probably going to be the hardest day. But I’m up for it.”

Lochte has already won gold in the 200-meter freestyle as well as his world record swims in the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys. On Sunday Lochte is scheduled to swim the 100-meter individual medley, 200-meter backstroke and may swim on the 4×100-meter medley relay.

“I do have a tough schedule, it’s just a lot of racing,” Lochte said. “It’s a stepping stone for me on the way to the World Championships.”

The Netherlands won the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay in a meet record 3:28.54, ahead of the U.S. team of Natalie Coughlin, Katie Hoff, Jessica Hardy and Dana Vollmer (3:29.34) and China (3:29.81).

Team USA leads the medal count with 18 total medals (8 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze). China has 12 total, 2 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze. Competition concludes on Sunday.

In the men’s 50-meter breaststroke, SOFLO’s Vlad Polyakov of Kazakhstan finished 11th in the semifinals in 26.86 and did not make the final eight. Brazil’s Felipe Silvas was top qualifier in 26.22.

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson will compete in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke for Jamaica. The heats will take place in the morning session.


Eight-and-under swimmer Luke Gillette of Trinidad and Tobago’s Marlins club team broke a 30-year-old record on Day Two of the annual Invitational Swim Meet at the Marlins pool. Gillette was first in his age group in the 100-meter freestyle in 1:12.15. The old record of 1:12.24 was set by Laurens Albada in December 1980. Gillette also won the 50-meter butterfly in 36.73.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Lochte Breaks Another World Record At Short Course World Championships

Lochte Breaks Another World Record At Short Course World Championships


December 17, 2010

Ryan Lochte is taking up where Michael Phelps left off.

The Floridian broke his second world record and won his third gold medal Friday on Day 3 of the FINA World Short Course Championships in Dubai.

“I always get better after the first day, but I race for fun so what comes as an outcome I’ll take it,” Lochte said. “These results just get me ready for the 2011 Worlds in Shanghai and Olympics in 2012.”

Lochte trimmed the 200-meter individual medley world record by more than a second in 1:50.08, 2.83 seconds ahead of Austria’s Markus Rogan.

“This is amazing, that’s pretty fast,” said Lochte, who finished by more than two body lengths ahead of Rogan. Lochte broke the previous mark set by South Africa’s Darian Townsend by 1.5 seconds.

“I started very fast and did a very fast last 25 meters and the result is a world record. I just focused on going out faster than the rest of the field.”

Lochte was coming off his world record performance in the 400 individual medley and victory in the 200 freestyle.

Lochte could actually see the clock on the screen during his race.

“When I was doing backstroke I looked up at the screen and saw I was just in front of the world record line,” Lochte said. “That motivated me through the breaststroke and freestyle.”

Lochte’s two world records are the only individual world records set in 2010, in either short course or long course, since the textile suits took the place of the high-tech body suits. He has now won 19 titles over three world short course championship meets.

With every win, Lochte knows he is doing his part to add to the sport’s popularity in the absence of Phelps, who is not competing at the short course meet.

“My overall goal in swimming is just to make it bigger than it is now,” Lochte said. “I think Phelps started with all that and made the sport bigger than what it was before. I just want to try to help in that effort.”

In other championship finals:

Swedish superstar Therese Alshammar won the women’s 50-meter butterfly in a meet record of 24.87, just ahead of Australia’s Felicity Galvez who finished in a lifetime best of 24.94.

Alshammar has now won 16 medals at the short course world championships, one shy of American Jenny Thompson.

Brazilian Cesar Cielo, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist sprinter who predicted Lochte’s 200 IM world record, got a little glitter of his own after winning the 50-meter freestyle in a meet record 20.51 ahead of Frederick Bousquet (20.81) and American Josh Schneider (20.88). “I now have all the major titles a swimmer can dream of,” Cielo said.

Germany’s Paul Biedermann, finally getting accustomed to the textile suit and ending the criticism that he can only swim fast in the now-banned high-tech bodysuit, won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:37.06.

Swimming in Lane 8, Biedermann came from behind in the last 50 meters to overtake Ous Mellouli of Tunisia and Nikita Lobinstev of Russia.

“It was not my plan to win like that,” Biedermann said. “They call me Mr. Suit but I am training harder than ever to prove my critics wrong.”

Japan’s Naoya Tomita won the men’s 200-meter breaststroke in a meet record 2:03.12 ahead of Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, who finished in 2:03.47. The duo had a nice rivalry going with Tomita breaking the meet record in his semifinal and Gyurta coming back to break the meet record in his semifinal.

In the women’s 100-meter freestyle, Dutch sprinters Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Femke Heemskerk finished 1-2 and American Natalie Coughlin was third in 52.25, an American record. Kromowidjojo won in 51.45, 0.73 seconds ahead of Heemskerk and 0.80 ahead of Coughlin.

American Katie Hoff won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:57.07, after leading from start to finish. It was Hoff’s first international gold medal since 2007.

U.S. teammate Ariana Kukors also won a gold medal in the 100-meter individual medley in 58.95. Teenager Missy Franklin was seventh in the event in 1:00.75.

Franklin won her first world championship medal with a second place finish in the 200-meter backstroke in an American record time of 2:02.01. Alexianne Castel of France won the 200-meter backstroke.

China continues to dominate the women’s relays. The foursome of Zhao Jing, Zhao Jin, Liu Zige and Tang Yi just missed a world record by .32 seconds in the 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:48.29. Americans Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Jessica Hardy were second in an American record time of 3:48.36 and the Aussies were third in 3:48.88.

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson of Jamaica just missed out on qualifying for her second final finishing with the ninth-fastest time in the 100-meter breaststroke. She was coming off making the 50-meter breaststroke final and becoming the first Jamaican swimmer to make a final at the world short course event.

SOFLO’s Vlad Polyakov also didn’t make finals in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:06.78. SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia was 48th

in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:12.57 and Venezuela’s Leo Andara was disqualified in the 200 breaststroke.

Team USA leads the medal count with 15 total medals (7 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze). Thirty-seven meet records have been broken after three days.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Lochte Breaks World Record at World Short Course Championships; His Father Steps Down At Daytona Beach State College

Lochte Breaks World Record At World Short Course Championships; His Father Steps Down At Daytona Beach State College


December 16, 2010

After the high-tech bodysuits were banned at the beginning of the year, swimming experts said a world record would not be broken in 2010.

Floridian Ryan Lochte proved them wrong by becoming the first individual to break a world record in a textile suit on Day Two of the FINA World Short Course Championships on Thursday in Dubai.

Lochte, 26, who trains and lives in Gainesville, won the 400-meter individual medley in 3:55.50, shaving nearly two seconds off the previous mark set by Laszlo Cseh of Hungary last December.

Tunisia’s Olympic 1500-meter champion Ous Mellouli took the silver in 3:57.40 and Team USA’s Tyler Clary took bronze in 3:57.56.

Lochte has now won the 400 IM titles at the 2006, 2008 and 2010 world championships. Brazil’s Olympic 50-meter freestyle champion Cesar Cielo predicted Lochte would break the world record in the 200 IM on Friday.

“I wasn’t really expecting that (world record),” Lochte said after the race. “I was going out there, racing the field. I had no idea where I was during the race. I’m really happy, it was a world record and you have to be happy with that.”

Lochte was also part of the second record-breaking race of the night but was forced to settle for the silver medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

The Russians knocked off the Americans in the men’s relay in 6:49.04 with Nikita Lobintsev (1:42.10), Danila Izotov (1:42.15), Evgeny Lagunov (1:42.32) and Alexander Sukhorukov (1:42.47). The previous world record was 6:51.05 set by Canada last December.

The American team of Peter Vanderkaay, Lochte, Garrett Weber-Gale and Richard Berens was second, also under the world record in 6:49.58. France took bronze in 6:53.05.

“We are really happy with this victory and we would like this tradition to continue, Russia beating USA,” Lagunov said. “We really wanted to beat the U.S. team and we were happy to do it. We were very confident that we could do it.”

In two days, three world records have been broken. China broke the first world record in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay Wednesday night.

After two days, the U.S. had four gold, one silver and two bronze medals. Russia has three gold and two silver medals.

Team USA is having mixed results. Nathan Adrian, the No. 1 sprinter in the U.S., failed to final in the 50-meter freestyle, his best event and Mike Alexandrov didn’t medal in the 100-meter breaststroke, an event he was favored to win.

The rubberized bodysuits turned swimming upside down the past two years. Of the 32 current long course world records, all but four were set in 2009. In the 25-meter pool, all but 10 of the 42 world records were set in 2009. At the last short course meet in Manchester, England, 18 world records were broken.

The staggering record-breaking prompted FINA, the sport’s international governing body, to  ban the buoyant suit. Men now wear jammers covering the waist only to the knees and women’s suits are now sleeveless and not extended beyond the knees.

In other championship finals:

American Rebecca Soni won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.83, 0.01 seconds head of Commonwealth Games champion Leiston Pickett of Australia and China’s Zhao Jin. SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson of Jamaica was sixth in 30.22, in the first of four events she is entered.

Teammate and Olympian Natalie Coughlin won the 100-meter backstroke in a meet record 56.08, her best time in a textile suit. China’s Zhao Jing (56.18) and Gao Chang (56.21) finished second and third respectively. “I just tried to keep the momentum going and to be fearless in the race,” Coughlin said. “Tonight I had no hesitation.”

Russian Stanislav Donets just missed the world record but broke the meet record in the 100-meter backstroke in 49.07. Camille Lacourt of France took the silver 49.80 after nearly being disqualified and Aschwin Wildeboer of Spain took the bronze in 50.04. World record holder Nick Thoman was fourth in 50.38.

South African Cameron van der Burgh won the 100-meter breaststroke in a championship record 56.80 holding off Italian Fabio Scozzoli (57.13) and Brazil’s Felipe Silva (57.39). SOFLO’s Vlad Polyakov of Kazakhstan was seventh in 58.66. “This is a great way to wrap up the season,” van der Burgh said. “It’s been a long but a great season and fantastic to at least defend my title.”

Russian world record holder and No. 1-ranked Evgeny Korotyshkin won the 100-meter butterfly in 50.23. Venezuela’s Albert Subirats was second in 50.24 and Kaio Almeida of Brazil was third in 50.33. No American made the final.

Spain’s Erika Villaecija won the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:11.61, fourth best textile suit time ever, and teammate Mireia Belmonte took silver in 8:11.61. American Kate Ziegler was third in 8:12.84.


Steve Lochte, the father of Olympian champion Ryan Lochte, has decided not to return to his job as head swimming coach at Daytona Beach State College after his controversial suspension, according to the Daytona Beach News Journal.

Lochte, who was hired in 2008, was offered re-assignment within the college that would have removed him from his coaching position by college officials, but chose to resign instead. 

Lochte and his daughter, Kristin, have been on paid leave of absence since an international investigation started in October.

Administrators had received reports about lack of supervision, drug use, poor grades and other details concerning the team. Many of the swimmers and parents rallied around the Lochtes who were concerned about their reputations being tarnished in the sport.

Sharon Robb can be reached at