Aussies Win Big; Carter Shut Out Of Medals At XXII Commonwealth Games


By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, August 3, 2022—Australia, Canada, England and Scotland took turns winning gold medals on the sixth and final night of the XXII Commonwealth Games Wednesday at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

In the much-anticipated women’s 400-meter freestyle, Aussie world record holder and Olympic gold medalist Ariarne Titmus outdueled Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh to win in a Games record 3:58.06, her third gold medal of the Games. McIntosh, who scratched from the 200 butterfly for a rest day, was second in a national record 3:59.32. Aussie Kiah Melverton was third in 4:03.12.

Scotland’s Duncan Scott won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:56.88 ahead of Tom Dean of England in 1:57.01 and New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt in 1:57.59. It was Scott’s second gold medal of the Games.

Canadian Kylie Masse won the 50-meter backstroke in a Games record 27.31. Aussie Mollie O’Callaghan was second in 27.47 followed by Aussie teammate Kaylee McKeown in 27.58.

Aussie teenager Sam Short, 18, won the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:48.54, shaving nine seconds off his career-best. Northern Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen was second in 14:51.79 and England’s Luke Turley was third in 15:12.78.

England broke the Aussies’ relay streak, winning the final men’s relay, the 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:31.80 with Paul Brodie Williams, James Wilby, James Guy and Tom Dean. The Aussies were second in 3:31.88 and Scotland third in 3:35.11.

The Aussie women had no trouble winning the 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:54.44 followed by Canada in 3:56.59 and England in 3:59.44. It was the Aussies ninth consecutive gold in the relay. Relay members were Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon and Mollie O’Callaghan.

The Aussies won gold in 12 out of 19 events including a sweep of all five freestyle events where only one podium finisher out of 12 was a non-Australian and sweep of all three women’s relays.

Two-time Olympian Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago lost his final shot at a medal in the 50-meter freestyle. For the second time in a Games event Carter just missed a medal placing fourth in 22.10. Brit Ben Proud won his third Commonwealth gold in the event in 21.36.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Aussies Continue To Dominate XXII Commonwealth Games; Dylan Carter Competes Tuesday


By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, August 1, 2022—After four days of competition, Australia owns the XXII Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

Kyle Chalmers won the Aussies’ first gold medal to open Monday night action in the 100-meter freestyle in 47.51. Brit Tom Dean took silver in 47.89 and Scotland’s Duncan Scott took bronze in 48.27. It was Scott’s 10th career medal, making him the most decorated Games athlete for Scotland. Chalmers had already broken the Games record in semis in 47.36.

Aussie teammate and reigning Olympic and world champion Kaylee McKeown won the 200-meter backstroke in a Games record in 2:05.60 followed by Canadian Kylie Masse in 2:07.81 and Scot Katie Shanahan in 2:09.22.

Aussie Emma McKeon won the 50-meter butterfly in 25.90. South African Erin Gallagher and Aussie Holly Barratt tied for second in 26.05. It was McKeon’s 12th Commonwealth gold medal.

The Aussies ended the evening with a Games record 7:04.96 to win the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay with Elijah Winnington, Flynn Southam, Zac Incerti and Mack Horton. It was the Aussies’ 13th win in 14 years of the Commonwealth Games. England took silver in 7:07.50 and Scotland took bronze in 7:09.33.

Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh, 15, won her second gold medal of her debut Games after winning the 200-meter individual medley in a best time and world junior record 2:08.70, just ahead of Aussie Kaylee McKeown by 0.82 seconds. Brit Abbie Wood was third in 2:10.68. Earlier, McIntosh won the 400 IM in a Games record.

New Zealand’s Andrew Jeffcoat won the 50-meter backstroke in 24.65 followed by South African Pieter Coetze in 24.77 and Canadian Javier Acevedo in 24.97.

Two-time Olympian and Plantation American Heritage alum Dylan Carter, 25, of Trinidad and Tobago will compete in the 50-meter freestyle heats on Tuesday.

The meet continues Tuesday with prelims at 5:30 a.m. EST and finals 2 p.m. EST.

SPEEDO JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

IRVINE, Calif.—U.S. junior national team member and Stanford-bound Josh Zuchowski of FAST was fifth fastest qualifier in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:00.71 Monday at William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center. Zuchowski is coming off senior nationals. He is prepping for Junior Pan Pacs later this month in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

U.S. Swimmers Wrap Up FINA World Aquatics Championships With Record Medal Haul; Sarasota’s Emma Weyant Takes Bronze


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 25, 2022–The final night of the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships was an emotional roller coaster for swimmers and coaches Saturday night at Duna Arena.

In a dramatic turn of events, American Justin Ress was disqualified after winning the gold medal in the 50-meter backstroke for being completely submerged at the finish only to be re-instated less than a hour later after a closer review of the race by officials.

U.S. teammate and world record holder Hunter Armstrong gladly returned the gold medal after finishing 2/100ths of a second behind Ress who won in 24.12. Poland’s 17-year-old Ksawery Masiuk took the bronze in a national record 24.49. It was Ress’ first individual long course gold medal.

“It was definitely an emotional roller coaster,” Armstrong said before the ruling was reversed. “I am really proud of Justin. That was a great race. There was only 2/100ths of second separating us.

“I would rather take second and have him with me, then getting the title with a disqualification. It’s not how I wanted it. He is an amazing athlete, completely talented. To have that taken away from him, it sucks.”

Italy came up with two of the biggest upsets of the night.

Veteran distance freestyler Gregorio Paltrinieri, 27, flirting with the world record in Lane 1, pulled away early in the race and never faltered to win in championship and European record time of 14:32.80, second fastest time in history.

University of Florida’s Bobby Finke, the Olympic champion and favorite, could not pull off his patent comeback down the stretch, that’s how far the Italian was ahead. Finke took silver breaking his own American record 14:36.70 and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock was third in 14:36.94.

“I knew that they were coming, but I had quite a big lead, so that was enough for me,” Paltrinieri said. “That was my strategy, actually, to go out fast and try to open a gap with the others. So I’m really glad I did it.”

Ironically, Paltrinieri was the seventh fastest qualifier for the final, just three seconds away from not making the final.

“In the beginning, I was just trying to keep up with him, but he just kept getting farther and farther ahead,” Finke said. “Hats off to Greg. I wasn’t able to run him down. He had a great race, and I’m really proud of him.”

“Greg had a great race, starting from the get go,” Finke said. “I broke the record by three seconds so I’m happy with it. I was just trying the do best I could. I am going away happy after this meet. It was stressful. I have never been in this scenario as expected to take the title again and being reigning Olympic champion.”

The Italian 4×100-meter relay of world record holder backstroker Thomas Ceccon, 100 breaststroke gold medalist Nicolo Martinenghi, Federico Burdisso and Alessandro Miressi upset the U.S. team of Ryan Murphy, Nic Fink, Michael Andrew and Ryan Held, 3:27.51-3:27.79. Great Britain was third in 3:31.31 just ahead of the Aussies in 3:31.81.

There were 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers that competed on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Four swimmers, including University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach, are entered in open water events which begin on Sunday with the 6K team relay (4×1500) off Lupa Beach. The 5K is Monday, 10K on Wednesday and 25K on Thursday.

In other finals Saturday night:

WOMEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE: Ten years after winning gold at the London Olympics, Ruta Meilutyte, 25, of Lithuania came out of retirement in 2021 after missing three doping tests and serving a 24-month suspension, started training again and ended up winning another title in 29.70. Italy’s world record holder Benedetta Pilato was second in 29.80 and Lara van Niekerk of South Africa was third in 29.90. American Lilly King was seventh in 30.40.

“It’s nice to be a world champion, I’m super proud of myself,” said Meilutytė, who won her second world title nine years after winning the 100 breaststroke in 2013. “I’m grateful for every step taken in my life, the bad ones and the good ones as well.”

WOMEN’S 400 IM: Canadian teenager sensation Summer McIntosh won her second gold medal, fourth overall and broke her third world junior record en route to the win in 4:32.04. McIntosh, 15, held off another outstanding teenager, American Katie Grimes, 16, second in 4:32.67. Sarasota’s Emma Weyant, who waited all week to swim, took the bronze in 4:36. It’s been 17 years since two Americans won medals in the same race. Hungarian Katinka Hosszu was unable to win her fifth straight gold in the event fading to fourth.

“Since it was the last day, I definitely felt, not the freshest in the water,” McIntosh said. “But I just tried my best to get my hand on the wall first and I’m so happy with the placement.”

50-METER FREESTYLE: Swedish world record holder Sarah Sjostrum won her 20th career gold medal in 23.98. It was her second world title of the meet. Poland’s Katarzyna Wasick took the silver in 24.18 and Meg Harris of Australia and American Erika Brown tied for the bronze in 24.38.

“It means so much to me,” Sjostrum said. “Every journey is different to winning a gold medal. I am super proud of achievening this medal. I came off a broken elbow and struggled with motivation, but now I remember why it was worth putting in all the time.”

WOMEN’S 4×100 MEDLEY RELAY: The U.S. won its third straight world title with Regan Smith, Lilly King, Torri Huske and Claire Curzan in 3:53.78. It was Curzan who broke open a tight race and pulled away on anchor. The U.S. had only qualified seventh and was in the outside lane. Australia was second in 3:54.24 and Canada was third in 3:55.01.

“The faster we finish, the faster we get pizza,” King joked after the race.

The U.S. finished with a record 45 medals (17 gold, 12 silver and 16 bronze. Australia was second with 17 total (6 golds, 9 silver, 2 bronze). Canada was third with its best-ever world finish with 11 (3 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze). Italy was fourth with 9 (5 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze).

The U.S. team’s 45 medals eclipsed the previous record of 38 medals the U.S. won at the 2017 world championships.

“We have crushed it this whole week,” said Regan Smith, who led off the relay and also won the individual 100 backstroke earlier in the meet. “We’ve had such good energy. This team is really special. It’s like no other team I’ve ever been on.”

The aquatics championships that also feature diving, water polo, high diving, open water swimming and synchronized swimming end July 3. Although the pool racing is done action continues with diving and open water swimming, both beginning Sunday. Meanwhile, the water polo tournaments are ongoing.

A highlights show will be on NBC at noon on June 26.

OPEN WATER SCHEDULE
Sunday, June 26: Open water, 6K team relay.
Monday, June 27: Open water, men’s and women’s 5K.
Wednesday, June 29: Open water, men’s and women’s 10K.
Thursday, June 30: Open water, men’s and women’s 25K.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Marchand, U.S. Women’s Relay Win; Dressel Drops Out Of Meet; Azura’s Morales Top FGC Finisher At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 22, 2022–It was a crazy day at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Wednesday at Duna Arena.

In the biggest news of the day, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Caeleb Dressel withdrew from the rest of his events on the fifth day of the eight-day meet, a day after scratching out of the 100 freestyle for unspecified medical grounds.

“After conferring with Caeleb, his coaches and medical staff, a decision has been made to withdraw him from the FINA World Championships,” according to a USA Swimming. “Our priority is and will always be the health of our athletes and we will continue to give Caeleb the assistance he needs to recover quickly.”

Dressel, a Clay High School and Bolles Swim Club alum and 15-time world champion who won five golds at the Tokyo Olympics, scratched out of Tuesday’s 100 freestyle semifinals. He was also expected to race in Tuesday’s mixed 4×100 medley relay final before withdrawing. He didn’t have any events scheduled Wednesday.

Now, Dressel will also miss the 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle, events that start Thursday, and two more relays he was expected to be a part of (mixed 4×100 free and men’s 4×100 medley).

The top Florida Gold Coast finisher was Azura’s Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico. He was 16th in 1:59.77 in the 200-meter backstroke morning prelims to advance into the semifinal round where he finished eighth in 2:01.47 in his semi and 16th overall. Swimming in Lane 8, Morales had the second fastest start (0.54) in the first semifinal.

In her world championship debut, Cayman Islands national record holder Jillian Crooks, who turns 16 on June 27, tied for 29th in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.24 with Peru’s Rafaela Erazo. The home schooler and TS Aquatics swimmer has the 50 freestyle left to swim on Friday.

There are 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

FGC swimmers who competed on Wednesday:

Patrick Groters, 23, Aruba (NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club, University of South Carolina), 200 backstroke, 28th, 2:05.90.

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay (South Florida Heat, Azura), 200 breaststroke, 27th, 2:39.05.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 100 freestyle, tied for 29th, 57.24.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 200 backstroke, 16th, 1:59.77 in prelims; in the semifinals he was eighth in 2:01.47 and 16th overall.

FGC swimmers competing on Thursday are:

Olympic bronze medalist Bruno Fratus, 32, Brazil, (Coral Springs Swim Club), 50 freestyle.

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, (Plantation American Heritage, USC), 50 freestyle.

Esteban Nunez de Prado, 18, Bolivia, (Azura), 100 butterfly.

Jenebi Benoit, 19, Grenada, (Azura), 100 butterfly.

Leon Seaton, 18, Guyana (Azura), 50 freestyle.

Jordan Crooks, 20, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle.

Steven Aimable, 23, Senegal, (Azura), 100 butterfly.

In Wednesday night’s final events:

200 WOMEN’S BUTTERFLY: Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh, 15, topped three Olympic medalists and broke her own world junior record to win in 2:05.20. She is the first Canadian to win the event at worlds. American Hali Flickinger was second in 2:06.08 and reigning Olympic champion Zhang Yufei was third in 2:06.32.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE: Romanian teenager David Popovici, 17, won in 47.58 out-touching Frenchman Maxime Grousset in 47.64 and Canadian Josh Liendo was third in 47.71. It was his second win of the meet.

WOMEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE: In a tight finish Canadian national record holder Kylie Masse won gold in 27.31. American Katharine Berkoff took silver in 27.39 for her first world medal. Frenchwoman Analia Pigree was third n 27.40, the first-ever French woman medalist in the event. American Regan Smith was fifth. 16/100ths of a second separated the top six swimmers.

MEN’S 200 IM: Frenchman Leon Marchand, 20, of Arizona State, swept the medley events, winning in a best time and national record 1:55.22. He also won the 400 IM earlier in the week. Marchand was third going into the breaststroke where he overtook the early leaders. American Carson Foster was second in 1:55.71 and Japan’s 2019 world champion Daiya Seto was third in 1:56.22.

“It’s a dream for me because five years ago, I was watching this race, and I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s amazing,'” Marchand said. “And now, I can win two titles, so it’s amazing.”

WOMEN’S 4×200 FREE RELAY: With two veterans and two youngsters, the U.S. women’s team pulled off an upset win in a championship record 7:41.45. Katie Ledecky swam third leg to pick up her 18th worlds gold medal, the most of any woman in meet history. Bella Sims, 16, swam anchor leg. Claire Weinstein, 15, and Leah Smith swam the first two legs. Australia was second in 7:43.86 and Canada third in 7:44.76.

“I think we always find a way to be in the mix,” Ledecky said. “I knew that going into tonight that no matter who’s going to be on that relay, no matter who makes those spots, they’re going to step up and swim well. This was awesome. It’s so easy to get up for these relays, to not think and go. I had so much trust in these three. I think we’re always counted out, and we always deliver so I’m proud of this group.”

In the 200 breaststroke semifinals, middle schooler Sua Moon of Korea was 16th in the semis in 2:26.64. The 13-year-old also swam 1:08.50 in the 100 breaststroke heats.

Thursday prelim events are men’s 100 butterfly, women’s 200 backstroke, men’s 50 freestyle, women’s 50 butterfly, women’s 800 freestyle and men’s 4×200 free relay.

The U.S. added four more medals to its tally of 11 gold, 6 silver and 9 bronze for 26. Australia is second with eight total (2 golds, 5 silver, 1 bronze).

The swimming runs through Saturday with the pool events. The aquatics championships that also features diving, water polo, high diving, open water swimming and synchronized swimming end July 3.

The Olympic Channel and Peacock, on the NBC platform, is televising the finals at noon each day. A highlights show will be on NBC at noon on June 26. The FINA facebook page is also posting competition news. Canada’s CBC will also broadcast the swimming.

There are huge cheers for any Hungarian swimmers from spectators at Duna Arena. FINA, the sport’s governing body, has asked fans each day to clap rather than cheer as a precaution against coronavirus infections. There were no other requests or restrictions.

FINALS SCHEDULE
Thursday, June 23: 100 women’s freestyle, 200 women’s breaststroke, 200 men’s backstroke, 200 men’s breaststroke, 4×200 men’s freestyle relay.

Friday, June 24: 50 women’s fly, 50 men’s free, 100 men’s fly, 200 women’s back, 800 women’s free, 4×100 mixed free relay.

Saturday, June 25: 50 men’s back, 50 women’s breast, 1500 men’s free, 50 women’s free, 400 women’s IM, 4×100 men’s and women’s medley relay.

Sunday, June 26: Open water, 6K team relay.

Monday, June 27: Open water, men’s and women’s 5K.

Wednesday, June 29: Open water, men’s and women’s 10K.

Thursday, June 30: Open water, men’s and women’s 25K.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

2020 Summer Olympic Games Postponed, Moved To 2021


By Sharon Robb

TOKYO, Japan, March 24, 2020–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson will have to wait a little longer to make a historic fifth Olympic appearance.

After weeks of speculation, it’s official: the 2020 Summer Olympics, originally scheduled to begin on July 24 in Tokyo, Japan and end Aug. 9, have been postponed to a later date because of the global coronavirus pandemic and will not take place until 2021.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made what athletes, coaches and parents knew was inevitable official on Tuesday.

This is the first time the Olympic Games have been postponed although the major international event has been canceled three times because of war.

At 31, the four-time Jamaican Olympian was looking forward to competing in her fifth and probably final Olympics. SOFLO aquatics director and head coach Chris Anderson has coached Atkinson at all four Olympics.

“I do believe it was the best choice,” said the short course breaststroke world record holder. “A great majority of athletes across the board were on the same page. There is such a sense of relief.

“I don’t really have mixed emotions,” Atkinson said. “I think you have to consider everything. If every country competed there was a high probability of getting it. If one person has it, everyone in the Athletes’ Village is confined so that would increase the odds of getting it even more. And if the virus had died down in an athlete’s country and that athlete returned home with it, a whole second wave of the virus would start.”

Canadian Olympic swimming hopeful Bill Pisani already knew his country wasn’t going to the Summer Olympics, but it really hit home on Monday when he learned the Games were being postponed.

Pisani, 21, of West Palm Beach received an email from his swim federation on Sunday night that Canada was boycotting the Olympics because of COVID-19.

“For sure I have mixed emotions,” said Pisani, who grew up swimming in the Florida Gold Coast with the Lake Lytal Lightning and graduated from Florida State last year.

“The most emotion came when I was reading the email that it was postponed. I thought ‘oh wow this is the reality now.’ The more I think about it, it was absolutely the right decision.”

Pisani was pleased to see Canada join forces with Australia boycotting the Games and pressuring the International Olympic Committee to postpone the event until 2021.

“As the son of a Canadian who’s working in a hospital right now at the forefront of this invisible war and as an Olympic hopeful who has dedicated so much of his life to chase the Olympic dream, I am more proud than ever to be Canadian,” said Pisani, referring to his country’s boycott.

Pisani’s mom Lisa is a physical therapist. Recently, her hospital, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, had its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

“I think there was more of a sigh of relief for all athletes around the world,” Pisani said. “There were just too many questions left unanswered. Hosting the Olympics would have put so many people in danger. It makes us as athletes feel more secure and safe.”

The Canadian Olympic Trials were scheduled for March 30-April 5 in Toronto. Pisani was a favorite to at least make a relay.

“Over the past two years, the Olympic dream had become so close to reality for me,” Pisani said. “It was getting exciting as time went on and this year the closer we got to our Olympic trials it was the most excited I have been about swimming. Everything has definitely changed.”

Sid Cassidy of Boca Raton, St. Andrew’s School aquatics director and longtime swim coach, is vice chairman of the FINA technical open water swimming committee. He has been working Olympic events since 2008.

“I think at this point the athletes had it right,” said Cassidy, who was set to serve as referee for the men’s and women’s 10K races.

“It is hard when you see athletics taking a back seat,” Cassidy said. “Of course, I am disappointed they are not going to do it this year, but it certainly seems to be the best decision.

“There is no easy way to redirect your life. A lot of the talk is to be stronger and learn from it but it doesn’t take away any of the pain. This is very different from the 1980 Olympic boycott, this involves the whole world. I am happy for the athletes knowing but not happy with the reality.”

The U.S. swimming trials were scheduled for June 21-28 in Omaha. The pandemic had already disrupted the training of every elite athlete and Olympic hopeful in the U.S.

The postponement and rescheduling to no later than the summer of 2021 will already add to a crowded 2021 schedule that features the 2021 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka, July 16-Aug. 1. Track and field will also have a conflict with its Aug. 6-15, 2021 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Florida State swim coach Neal Studd echoed Cassidy’s sentiments after watching his swim program’s NCAA season end early because of COVID-19. The men’s team was expected to finish in the Top 10 for the first time.

FSU had eight swimmers at World Championships and six at University Games. Studd was the 2012 St. Lucia Olympic coach and has coached several student-athletes on the international level.

“If anything this gives it some clarity,” Studd said. “Now we get to re-set and plan accordingly.

“There are bigger problems than sports right now. There is a big picture here and bigger place in the world. Obviously though I would rather be at NCAAs and Canadian trials.”

Mariusz Podkoscielny, two-time Olympian for Poland in 1988 and 1992, now head swim coach at Pine Crest School, said problems were already beginning to surface because of the lack of out-of-competition drug tests during the pandemic.

“There is the aspect that the Olympic competition would not be fair, that the way of preparation is not on a level playing field,” Podkoscielny said. “There are issues of people taking advantage of illegal supplements without conducting the out-of-competition drug testing. It would give athletes a green light to do it.”

Podkoscielny said the COVID-19 is bigger than any sports event including the Olympics.

“The majority of athletes are going to feel relieved,” Podkoscielny said. “These are not the circumstances to get ready for the Olympics or think about the Olympics. People’s lives are changing daily.

“If I were an athlete right now I would be heartbroken not going. There will be disappoitment but it is right thing to do. Everyone agrees with that.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Bronze On Final Day Of FINA Champions Swim Series


By Sharon Robb

BEIJING, China, January 20, 2020—Alia Atkinson settled for a bronze medal on the final day of the FINA Champions Swim Series 2020.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s four-time Jamaican Olympian was third out of four swimmers in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.88. China’s Jingyao Yu won in 1:07.18 and Italy’s Martina Carraro was second in 1:07.25.

Atkinson pocketed $6,000 for a third place finish. Atkinson has now won $26,000 in two meets. She won $12,000 for two third places in Shenzhen and $14,000 for a second and third place in Beijing.

The race of the meet was Canadian Sydney Pickrem knocking off Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu in the 200-meter individual medley, 2:09.26-2:09.93.

It broke a 56-final winning streak for Hosszu in long course meters and short course meters. Her last loss in the event in either course came at the 2017 FFN Golden Tour stop in Amiens, France where she swam a 2:15.36 to place third behind Cyrielle Duhamel and Fantine Lesaffre of Hungary.

Hosszu is defending Olympic Champion, 4-time defending World Champion in long course, 3-time defending World Champion in short course, 4-time European Champion in long course and 5-time defending European Champion in short course. She’s World Record holder and won 51-consecutive World Cup swims.

Pickrem won $10,000 for first place. The world championship bronze medalist now has the seventh fastest time of her career in long course.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Peaty, Dressel, Hosszu Among Gold Medalists; SOFLO’s Atkinson Finishes 11th On Day Two Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 22, 2019—A day after breaking his own world record, Adam Peaty of Great Britain sealed the deal by winning the 100-meter breaststroke at the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships on Monday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

Peaty, 24, made history on opening day as the first man to break 57 seconds in an astounding 56.88, breaking his own world record by 0.22 sconds. He came back in Monday’s finals to win the gold medal in 57.14, fourth fastest swim in history. Peaty is the first male swimmer to win five world championship medals in the breaststroke events.

Brit teammate James Wilby took silver in 58.46 and China’s Yan Zibei won bronze in 58.63.

In the women’s semifinals, Russian Yuliya Efimova(1:05.56), the fastest woman in the world this year, and Amerian Lilly King (1:05.66) are the top two qualifiers for the 100-meter breaststroke.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Ali Atkinson of Jamaica failed to make it into finals tying for 11th in 1:07.11. The four-time Olympian was a bronze medalist in the event in 2015. Atkinson is also entered in the 50-meter butterfly and 50-meter breaststroke.

Canadian Maggie MacNeil knocked off Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum in the 100-meter butterfly. MacNeil, fifth at the turn, found another gear to win in 55.83. Sjostrum was second in 56.22 and Aussie Emma McKeon was third in 56.61. American Kelsi Dahlia was sixth in 57.11.

Sjostrum saw her win streak snapped. She held all 10 of the all-time top 10 times and was the second woman ever to break 56. Her last defeat dates back to December, 2012. MacNeil is now the second fastest woman in history.

Clay High School, Bolles Sharks and University of Florida alum Caeleb Dressel won the 50-meter butterfly in an American and meet record 22.35. Dressel is the first American man to win this event at the world championships. It was his second gold medal of worlds.

“That’s faster than two years ago and a better place than two years ago,” Dressel said. “It’s good, good for Team USA and I’m glad I can be a part of keeping that ball rolling.”

Russian Oleg Kostin was second in a national record 22.70 and Nicholas Santos of Brazil, at age 39, was third in 22.79.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu started her gold medal campaign with defending her title in the 200-meter individual medley. Hosszu was clocked in 2:07.53 and became the first woman to win four straight titles in an event.

China’s 2012 Olympic champion Ye Shiwen was second in 2:08.60, her first medal since 2011 and best time since 2012. Canadian Sydney Pickrem was third in 2:08.70. American Melanie Margalis of St. Petersburg was fourth in 2:08.91.

Among past or current local swimmers results: 100-meter backstroke, 16. Dylan Carter, Trinidad& Tobago 54.03; 100-meter breaststroke, 11. Alia Atkinson, Jamaica 1:07.11; 200-meter freestyle, 53. Jorge Depassier, Chile 1:53.62.

The world championships has brought together a record 2,620 athletes from 194 countries and territories around the world with 76 sets of medals up for grabs in pool swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.

The meet will be streamed and televised by the Olympic Channel and live timing will be available.

TV Schedule: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019/07/17/swimming-world-championships-tv-stream-schedule/

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Third, Vien Nguyen Fourth On Day Two Of TYR Pro Swim Series


By Sharon Robb

CLOVIS, Calif., June 14, 2019–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson and Vien Nguyen saw their first action Thursday in the TYR Pro Swim Series Long Course Meet at Clovis North Aquatics Complex.

Atkinson, 30, a four-time Olympian for Jamaica, faded to third after a slow start in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke. She lost ground in the first 25 meters and finished in 1:08.00.

Canadian record holder Sydney Pickrem won in the last 25 meters in 1:07.20 and Mexico’s Melissa Rodriguez was second in 1:07.32. Pickrem bettered her personal best from the 2019 Canadian Championships.

In morning prelims, Atkinson led a tight field in 1:09.14 to earn the top seed. Three other swimmers were within a half second behind her: Melissa Rodriguez of Mexico in 1:09.23, Breeja Larson of New York Aquatic Club in 1:09.24 and Pickrem in 1:09.61.

Atkinson has four events left: the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly on Friday and 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter freestyle on Saturday.

Vietnamese Olympian Nguyen, 22, was fourth in the women’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:50.33. Pickrem won her second event in 4:40.64 and Overholt was second in 4:44.23.

Nguyen was fourth fastest in the 400-meter individual medley prelims in 4:52.42. The top seed was Evie Pfeifer of Texas in 4:46.86 who finished third in 4:44.51.

Nguyen also swam the 200-meter freestyle and finished 15th in 2:05.32 and qualified for the “B” final. She came back at night to finish second in the “B” final in 2:02.16.

Nguyen has four events left: the 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke.

Other event winners were:

Leah Smith of Tucson Ford Aquatics, women’s 200-meter freestyle, 1:57.40, just ahead of Mallory Comerford of Louisville in 1:57.93 and Emily Overholt of HPC Vancouver in 1:57.97.

Trey Freeman of Baylor Swim Club won the men’s 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.00. Markus Thormeyer of HPC Vancouver was second in 1:49.33 and Townley Haas of Nova of Virginia was third in 1:49.83.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Team Elite was fourth in 1:50.01. Carter is building up for the July 12-19 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea and July 26-Aug. 11 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Thirty-year-old Brandon Fischer of Livermore won the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in 59.86. He was the only swimmer to break 1 minute. Devon Nowicki of Michigan Lakeshore was second in 1:00.97 and Miguel de Lara Ojeda of Mexico was third in 1:01.15.

Ali DeLoof of Team Elite won the women’s 50-meter backstroke in 28.05 followed by Amy Bilquist of Scottsdale Aquatics in 28.44 and Isabelle Stadden of Aquajets in 28.64.

Justin Ress of Wolfpack Elite won the men’s 50-meter backstroke in 25.05 followed by Olympian Matt Grevers of Tucson Ford Aquatics in 25.21 and Chris Staka of Aptos Cabrillo in 25.57.

Louise Hansson of Trojan Swim Club won the women’s 100-meter butterfly in 57.36, just ahead of Kelsi Worrell Dahlia of the Cardinal Aquatics in 57.45 and Kendyl Stewart of Team Elite in 58.35.

Gianluca Urlando of Dart Swimming won the men’s 100-meter butterfly in 52.20. Giles Smith of Phoenix Swim Club was second in 52.63 and Ryan Coetzee of Tennessee Aquatics was third in 53.57.

Puerto Rico’s Jarod Arroyo of Pitchfork Aquatics won the men’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:21.65. Erick Gordillo of Guatemala was second in 4:27.00 and Brodie Young of UBC Thunderbirds was third in 4:28.18.

The four-day meet continues Friday with prelims and finals.

SOFLO is a TYR-sponsored club. It is the second year TYR is the title sponsor of the pro series. It was the Arena Pro Swim Series for the first three years.

The series offers prize money for first, second and third place finishes. First place earns $1,500, second $1,000 and third place $500.

Cash prizes were increased by at least 50 percent for each prize and a new prelim swim bonus of $1,500 was added for the top swim in prelims for both a male and female. All prize money is distributed by USA Swimming.

JUST THE FACTS

What: TYR Pro Swim Series

When: Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals, PST.

Where: Clovis North Aquatics Complex, 2770 E. International Ave., Fresno, Calif.

TV/Webcast schedule: June 14, noon and 8 p.m., EST, usaswimming.org; 8 p.m., nbcsports.com; June 15, noon, EST, usaswimming.org and 8 p.m., usaswimming.org or nbcsports.com.

Of note: This is the fifth and final meet in the 2019 series….the meet is sanctioned by USA Swimming….the meet is capped at 450 swimmers….it is a long course meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO Swimmers Hit The Road For Sectional Qualifier In Plantation


By Sharon Robb

February 8, 2018–South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will hit the road for the Florida Gold Coast Senior Long Course Sectional Qualifier at Plantation Aquatic Complex scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

SOFLO has 49 swimmers (24 girls and 25 boys) competing in 192 individual events and two relay events.

The meet opens 5 p.m. on Friday with the 800 freestyle in Session I. Two more sessions are scheduled for Saturday at 8:45-10 a.m. and 3:45 p.m., all timed finals.

Among SOFLO top seeds are:

Kathleen Golding, 18, 800-meter freestyle, 9:16.69; 400-meter individual medley, 4:49.23; 100-meter freestyle, 56.20.

Rafael Rodriguez, 17, 800-meter freestyle, 8:33.24.

Mary Smutny, 18, 200-meter freestyle, 2:01.81; 200-meter butterfly, 2:14.85; 100-meter butterfly, 1:01.19.

Dominic Bono, 15, 400-meter individual medley, 4:46.27.

Javier Roman, 15, 100-meter breaststroke, 33.18.

Canada, led by 18-year-old Penny Oleksiak, heads one of the most competitive fields for the meet. Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Philippe Marcoux, 19, is on college break and heads the boys field.

In addition to SOFLO and Canada, among teams competing are Azura, Pine Crest, Swim Fort Lauderdale, AquaKids Sharks, East Coast Aquatic, Foxjets, Hammerhead Aquatics, North Palm Beach, Mako Aquatics, Flood Aquatics, Boca Raton Swim Team and TS Aquatics.

IF YOU GO

What: FGC Senior Long Course Sectional Qualifier

When: Friday-Saturday

Schedule: Friday, Session I, 5 p.m.; Saturday, Session II, 8:45 a.m. and 10 a.m., Session III, 3:45 p.m.

Where: Plantation Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second Street, Plantation

Of note: Admission is $5 per person, per session. All sessions passes are available. Heat sheets will be posted online and Meet Mobile. For more information, call 954-452-2526.
Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com.

SWIMMING NOTEBOOK: Canadian Taylor Ruck Knocks Off Katie Ledecky At Pan Pacs; Atkinson Honored In Jamaica


By Sharon Robb

TOKYO, Japan, August 9, 2018—Canadian teenager Taylor Ruck knocked off five-time Olympian champion Katie Ledecky on opening night of the Pan Pacific Championships at Tatsumi International Swimming Center.

Ruck, 18, won the 200-meter freestyle in a meet record 1:54.44 breaking Ledecky’s 2014 record by 1.3 seconds. Japan’s Rikako Ikee was second in 1:54.85 and Ledecky settled for third place in 1:55.15.

“I was nervous before the race,” Ruck told reporters. “It’s the name. She is the fastest woman on the planet in a lot of races. My coach saw I was nervous and told me to focus on my lane and my race.”

Ledecky lowered the meet record in the 200 prelims in 1:55.16 before Ruck broke it.

Earlier in the day, Ledecky won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:09.13, fifth fastest time in the world and fifth time she dipped under 8:10.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” Ledecky said. “It’s a tough double. I’ve done it a number of times but it’s always a difficult thing. I really put in a lot of work into not having that happen again. But I still have two more years to go until the Big Show here in Tokyo.”

In other races:

American Olympic champion Lilly King won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:05.44. King has not lost this event since 2015.

Other U.S winners were Jordan Wilimovsky in the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:46.93; Townley Haas in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:45.56 and Chase Kalisz in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:07.95.

Japan had two champions. Yasuhiro Koseki won the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in 59.08 and Yui Ohashi won the women’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:33.77.

Austrailia’s only win was in the mixed medley relay in 3:38.91 ahead of Japan and U.S. with Kathleen Baker, Michael Andrew, Simone Manuel and Caeleb Dressel.

The meet runs through Aug. 14 and features the following federations: Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Cook Islands, Colombia, Ecuador, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, New Zealand, Oman, Palau, Peru, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S.

ATKINSON HONORED IN JAMAICA

Four-time Olympian Alia Atkinson, 29, was among 171 Jamaicans honored recently with the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander. She joined Gracie Jones, Harry Belafonte and Winston Barnes among others. They were honored for their contributions and achievements on National Heroes Day. Atkinson was coming off the CAC Games where she won three gold and two bronze medals.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com