Lochte Wins Fifth Gold Medal, Team USA Ends With A Flourish At World Aquatic Championships

Lochte Wins Fifth Gold Medal, Team USA Ends With A Flourish At World Aquatic Championships

July 31, 2011


Ryan Lochte won his fifth world title on the final night of the eight-day swimming competition at the XIV FINA World Aquatic Championships in Shanghai, China.

On Sunday, U.S. swimmers won four gold medals, one silver and one bronze in the last major international competition before the 2012 London Olympics.

Looking ahead to London, the U.S. team’s performance was “unbelievably encouraging” according to U.S. women’s coach Jack Bauerle. “It was great by Saturday night and just got greater tonight.”

Lochte’s final gold was in the 400-meter individual medley in 4 minutes, 7.13 seconds, 3.29 seconds slower than Michael Phelps’ world record and off Lochte’s personal best of 4:06.08.

“I’m kind of upset just because I wanted to go faster,” Locte said.

U.S. teammate Tyler Clary took silver in 4:11.17. Japan’s Yuya Horihata won the bronze in 4:11.98.

“Getting five gold medals is definitely great,” said Lochte, named Male Swimmer of the Meet. “But the times I’ve gone, I know I can go a lot faster. Worlds was a roller coaster. A lot of places in my races I messed up on. I have a full year to make sure I have those perfect swims.”

Despite Lochte’s success and his dominance over Phelps, he refuses to take over the top spot in men’s swimming. Lochte is only the fourth man to win at least five gold medals in a single world championship.

“I don’t think I’m the top dog,” Lochte said. “As far as I’m concerned right now, I’m at the bottom of swimming.”

Phelps finished with four golds, two silvers and one bronze and echoed Lochte’s sentiments.

“I have a lot of things rolling around in my head and you can take that any way you want to,” Phelps said. “I’m fairly satisfied. This is 2011, not 2012. And it’s not the Olympic Games. We have 12 months to prepare.

“I have been able to gather more motivation here than I already had. I think that’s something that will help me get into better shape for next year. It’s going to be a fun year.”

Phelps got his final gold medal on the 400-meter medley relay with teammates Nick Thoman, Mark Gangloff and Nathan Adrian on anchor leg.

Phelps brought the U.S. from fourth to second on his butterfly leg and Adrian came up with a 47.64 split to take the lead and touch first.

“I think the biggest thing is just being able to finish on a win like that,” Phelps said. “Relays are all about teamwork. To be able to put four guys together to step up and fight, we always find a way to get up and go. It was a great way to end the last event.”

U.S. women Jessica Hardy and Elizabeth Beisel, a sophomore at the University of Florida, came up big to win individual gold medals in the 50-meter breaststroke and 400-meter individual medley.

Rebecca Soni, named Female Swimmer of the Meet, added a bronze in the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.58 to add to her three golds.

World record holder Hardy competed in a tough double, winning the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.19 and then competed in the 50-meter freestyle just fifteen minutes later.

“I was still out of breath when I dove in for the 50 free but it was really fun,” Hardy said. I’m glad I did it, but I am completely dead.”

Beisel won her first world title in 4:31.78, a textile best in the event. She won by more than two seconds ahead of Great Britain’s Hannah Miley in 4:34.22 and Aussie Stephanie Rise in 4:34.23.

“My strategy is really just not to worry too much,” said the 18-year-old Beisel. “It was a very good surprise and I just try to do my best to win medals.”

Teenage phenom Missy Franklin leaves her first worlds with five medals including three golds and two world records. Franklin, who also competes for her high school team, trains in a 25-yard high school pool in suburban Denver.

The U.S. team finished with 16 gold medals (eight men and eight women) and 29 overall. The world championships also returned to normalcy with the textile suits. Two world records were broken in Shanghai as opposed to 43 world records in the shiny high-tech suits at the 2009 Rome World Championships.

While the Americans did dominate final day action, there were other highlights.

China’s Sun Yang, only 19, broke the oldest world record in the 1500-meter freestyle. Sun broke Aussie Grant Hackett’s 10-year-old world record. He finished in 14 minutes, 34.14 seconds to better the 14:34.56 record. He was two seconds off world record pace with four laps to go but turned it on in the final two laps.

Sun has been training in Australia with Hackett’s coach, Denis Cotterell.

Canadian Ryan Cochrane took the silver in 14:44.46 and Hungary’s Gergo Kis won bronze in 14:45.66.

“I was not obsessed with the world record before the final because I wanted to focus on my plan, my aim was to keep the good energy and stable mindset to the end,” said Sun, who also won the 800 freestyle earlier in the meet. “My goal was to win gold.”

Sweden’s Therese Alshammar, who turns 34 this month, won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.14. Dutch swimmers Ranomi Kromowidjojo took silver in 24.27 and Marleen Veldhuis took the bronze in 24.49.

SOFLO sprinter Dara Torres did not compete because she was rehabbing her knee. She is expected to be a factor at the U.S. Olympic trials against swimmers young enough to be her daughter.

Most of the U.S. world swimmers hopped a plane for California where they will compete in ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships that begin on Tuesday at Stanford’s Avery Aquatic Center.

South Florida Aquatic Club has ten swimmers, all women, competing. Several members arrived on Saturday and worked out on Sunday in the meet pool. Others departed on Sunday.

Medal tally

China, one of the favorites to dominate the 2012 Olympics, finished with the most medals with 36 total, 15 goal, 13 silver and 8 bronze. The U.S. had 32 total medals, 17 gold, 6 silver and 9 bronze. Russia was third with 18 including 8 gold medals.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


SOFLO’s Zain Qali, Abbas Qali, Hazem Tashkandi Win Gold At Gulf Aquatic Championships

SOFLO’s Zain Qali, Abbas Qali, Hazem Tashkandi Win Gold At Gulf Aquatic Championships

July 30, 2011


SOFLO’s Zain Qali of Kuwait won a gold medal and broke a meet record at the Gulf Aquatic Long Course Championships at the Hamad Aquatic Complex in Kuwait.

Zain Qali won the 50-meter butterfly in a meet record 25.30.

Abbas Qali, also of Kuwait, won the 100-meter freestyle in 53.20 and was second in the 50-meter butterfly in 25.60.

Hazem Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:16 and was fourth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:59.

Three-time gold medalist and national record holder Loai Tashkandi, also of Saudi Arabia, was second in the 50-meter breaststroke in 31.60.

Abbas and Zain Qali are members of the Kuwait national team.

The swim meet features all six Gulf nations, KSA, UAE, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Qatar and host Kuwait.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


SOFLO’s 11-12 Boys Break Own National Record On Final Day Of Southern Zone Championships

SOFLO’s 11-12 Boys Break Own National Record On Final Day Of Southern Zone Championships

July 30, 2011


South Florida Aquatic Club’s 11-12 boys’ 200-meter freestyle relay team broke its own national record on a bigger stage Saturday night at the USA Swimming Southern Zone Age Group Championships at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, N.C.

The relay team of Cristian Rossi, 12, Tristan Celestin, 12, Alfredo Mesa Jr., 12, and Julien Pinon, 12, crushed their two-week old record in 1 minute, 48.80 seconds. The splits were 27.40, 27.50, 28.04 and 25.86.

The previous record was 1:50.83 set at the July 15-17 Florida Gold Coast 14-and-Under Junior Olympic Championships in Plantation.

The boys field was so competitive, two other teams, Florida Swimming (1:49.52) and Southeastern (1:50.44) dipped under the old national age group record.

“They crushed it,” SOFLO CEO and coach Chris Anderson said after talking by phone with SOFLO age group coach Rose Lockie with the boys at the meet. “Twelve-year-olds have unlimited gas tanks.”

It was SOFLO’s fifth national age group record in three weeks and Lockie’s fifth national age group record as a coach. She works with Rossi, Mesa and Pinon. SOFLO also owns the 11-12 boys’ 200- and 400-meter medley relay and 400-meter freestyle relay records.

“After this morning, they knew what they had to do,” Lockie said. “They had to be the four fastest swimmers going in. They swam their little hearts out. It was amazing, absolutely brilliant.”

After a full week of racing in multi events, the foursome was determined to fight off fatigue.

“They all knew it was their last race,” Lockie said. “They wanted to break it so much. It was pure adrenalin. They are going to sleep for a week.”

The SOFLO relay was pushed from start to finish by a strong boys relay field.

“They did have competition,” Lockie said. “Diving in each kid knew that. They knew how close it was going to be. They were swimming to win which helped them get the record.

“They swam their hearts out. It was awesome and a great way to finish the meet. I am so proud of them. I know they are tired.”

In individual races, Pinon added two more silver medals to his medal haul on the final day.

In four days, Pinon won three gold medals, four silver medals and two bronze medals and finished as the most decorated SOFLO swimmer.

Earlier Saturday night, Pinon was second in the 50-meter freestyle in a career-best 26.17. His previous best was 26.52. Jackson Defore of Florida Swimming won the event in 26.05.

Pinon was also second in the 50-meter butterfly in a career-best 29.13 faster than morning swim of 29.61, fourth fastest seed. His previous best time was 29.36. Andrew Tretyakov of Southeastern won in 28.77.

SOFLO’s Catharine Cooper won her first silver medal of the week-long meet as a member of the girls’ 11-12 200-meter freestyle relay that finished second in 1:55.36 along with members Alexa Rivera, Jamie Flores and Rose Smiddy.

Florida Gold Coast’s 15-18 boys relay of Wali Toulson, Austin Saunders, Daniel Spas and Cory Perez won in 1:37.50 finishing ahead of Florida Swimming in 1:37.85. FGC flirted with the meet record of 1:36.09.

Spas also won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.32 and Austin Manganiello won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:08.46.

Florida Gold Coast boys’ team finished fifth with 449.5 points. Southeastern won the team title with 930.5 points and Florida Swimming was second with 800.5.

Florida Gold Coast finished sixth with 431.5 points among the 14-team girls’ field. Southeastern won the title with 920.5 points and Florida Swimming was runner-up with 786.5.



1.Southeastern 920.5, 2. Florida 786.5, 3. Georgia 727.5, 4. North Carolina 549.5, 5. Kentucky 437, 6. Florida Gold Coast 431.5, 7. Gulf 207, 8. South Texas 141, 9. South Carolina 111, 10. Border 36, 11. Louisiana 34.5, 12. North Texas 29, 13. West Virginia 16, 14. Mississippi 7.


200-meter individual medley: 11-12, 1. Ann Kyriakidis, SES 2:23.80; FGC: 2. Rose Smiddy 2:26.22, 16. Alexa Rivera 2:36.04, 23. Allison Kopas 2:37.91, 38. Jessica Rodriguez 2:41.35, 39. Star Fassler 2:41.46; 13-14, 1. Sophia Pilkington, SES 2:23.66; FGC: 16. Lindsey Swartz 2:30.52, 18. Darby Goodwin 2:31.16, 19. Adrianna Noya 2:31.74, 21. Chris Herfuth 2:32.07, 28. Kelsea Volland 2:34.07, 32. Amanda Tipton 2:34.83; 15-18, 1. Ellie Grimes, KY 2:21.58; SOFLO: 24. Emma Lincoln 2:33.43, best time; FGC: 28. Alex Kalandiak 2:35.16, 31. Khamai Simpson 2:36.89.

50-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Jessie Everett, SES 28.29; FGC: 3. Tie, Rose Smiddy 28.47, 20. Jamie Flores 29.62, 29. Stephanie Hernandez 30.01, SOFLO: 18. Catharine Cooper 29.60; 13-14, 1. Brooke Bauer, KY 27.23; FGC: 7. Carolina Nava 27.87, 23. Darby Goodwin 28.49, 33. Amanda Tipton 28.85, 34. Kelsea Volland 28.88, 38. Omaira German 29.01, 54. Lindsey Swartz 29.61; 15-18, 1. Meg Strickland, STX 26.88; FGC: 12. Jessica Randolph 27.83, 19. Khamai Simpson 28.32, 30. Brenna Ruth 28.86, 31. Zoie Balthazar 28.87, 46. Julie Suarez 29.43; SOFLO: 22. Emma Lincoln 28.37, best time.

50-meter butterfly: 11-12, 1. Ann Kyriakidis, SES 29.11; SOFLO: 13. Allison Kopas 31.59, best time; 39. Catharine Cooper 33.69, best time; FGC: 21. Alexa Rivera 31.99, 50. Jamie Flores 35.10.

200-meter butterfly: 13-14, 1. Asia Quentin, GULF 2:18.78; FGC: 3. Chris Herfurth 2:23.44; 15-18, 1. Corinne Taylor, SCZT 2:18.64; FGC: 8. Alex Kalandiak 2:28.55, 11. Amanda Ford 2:32.48.

200-meter freestyle relay: 11-12, 1. SES 1:53.32, 2. FGC “A” 1:55.36 (Alexa Rivera, Jamie Flores, Catharine Cooper, Rose Smiddy) 13-14, 1. NCS 1:50.16, 7. FGC “A” 1:52.81 (Caroline Nava, Darby Goodwin, Kelsea Volland, Arianna Noya); 15-18, 1. Florida Swimming 1:47.86, 6. FGC “A” 1:51.93 (Emma Lincoln, Khamai Simpson, Zoie Balthazar, Jessica Randolph).


1.Southeastern 930.5, 2. Florida 800.5, 3. Georgia 739.5, 4. North Carolina 551.5, 5. Florida Gold Coast 449.5, 6. Kentucky 445, 7. Gulf 207, 8. South Texas 141, 9. South Carolina 117, 10. Louisiana 38.5, 11. Border 36, 12. North Texas 29, 13. West Virginia 16, 14. Mississippi 7.


200-meter individual medley: 11-12, 1. Jackson Defore, FL 2:21.38; FGC: 11. Julio Horrego 2:32.00, 22. Alberto Gomez 2:35.17; SOFLO: 27. Juan Lucas 2:37.41, 32. Alfredo Mesa Jr. 2:38.50; 13-14, 1. Alex Taylor, GA 2:13.73; SOFLO: 12. Brandon Goldman 2:15.34, best time; FGC: 17. Marco Guarente 2:20.44, 32. Manuel Lopez 2:24.57, 34. Fernando Bohorquez 2:25.02, 51. Gabriel Pere 2:30.07; 15-18, 1. Austin Manganiello, FGC 2:08.46; FGC: 19. Derek Chait 2:17.13.

50-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Jackson Defore, FL 26.05; SOFLO: 2. Julien Pinon 26.17, 13. Cristian Rossi 28.17, 22. Alfredo Mesa Jr. 28.65, best time; FGC: 21. Tristan Celestin 28.48, 39. Michael Hovart 29.74; 13-14, 1. Adam Thomas, SES 25.31; FGC: 11. Marco Guarente 25.98, 18. Gabriel Perez 26.26, 20. William Pisani 26.33, 31. Nicholas Conrad 26.95; 15-18, 1. Daniel Spas 24.32; FGC: 9. Austin Saunders 25.16, 10. Cory Perez 25.17, 12. Wali Toulson 25.21, 21. Lucas Brito 25.63.

50-meter butterfly: 11-12, 1. Andrew Tretyakov, SES 28.77; SOFLO: 2. Julien Pinon 29.13, 23. Tristan Celestin 31.24, best time, 40. Cristian Rossi 33.10, FGC: 16. Julio Horrego 30.83, 24. Alberto Gomez 31.25.

200-meter butterfly: 13-14, 1. Joey Carbone, SES 2:07.07; FGC: 14. Nicholas Medina 2:20.04, 15. Fernando Bohorquez 2:20.18, 22. Tobias Faucher 2:24.97, 26. Manuel Lopez 2:26.79; 15-18, 1. Ty Rocca, FL 2:03.97; FGC: 2. Austin Manganiello 2:06.09, 3. Lucas Brito 2:09.29, 10. Austin Saunders 2:12.15, 13. Derek Chait 2:13.53. 

200-meter freestyle relay: 11-12, 1. FGC “A”/SOFLO 1:48.80, NATIONAL RECORD (Cristian Rossi, Tristan Celestin, Alfredo Mesa Jr., Julien Pinon);  13-14, 1. SES “A” 1:40.61, 8. FGC “A” 1:46.13 (William Pisani, Nicholas Conrad, Gabriel Perez, Marco Guarente); 15-18, 1. FGC “A” 1:37.50 (Wali Toulson, Austin Saunders, Daniel Spas, Cory Perez).

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com