SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Gets Second Bronze On Day Two Of 2020 FINA Champions Swim Series


By Sharon Robb

SHENZHEN, China, January 15, 2020–Alia Atkinson took home a second bronze medal Wednesday in the season-opening 2020 FINA Champions Swim Series at Shenzhen Universiade Center Swimming Natatorium.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian and short course world record holder finished third in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.15. She was seeded in 1:07.06 among a field of four swimmers.

Italy’s national record holder Martina Carraro won her second breaststroke gold in 1:06.85 and China’s Yu Jingyao was second in 1:07.59 on the second and final day of the series’ first stop.

On Tuesday, Atkinson was third in the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.63 behind Italy’s Martina Carraro in 30.38 and American Molly Hannis in 30.49.

Atkinson won $12,000 for two third places.

It was the first leg of the series with the second stop coming up on Jan. 18-19 in Beijing. The meet featured only 70 swimmers (41 men and 29 women). Almost $2 million in prize money is up for grabs at the two stops.

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

SOFLO’s Jennifer Martin Stars At 18th World Police And Fire Games In China; Her Final Event Is Aug. 15 Open Water Two-Miler


By Sharon Robb

CHENGDU, China, August 12, 2019—She came, she saw, she conquered.

Jennifer Martin of South Florida Aquatic Club won five gold medals, three silver medals and broke two world records in her international swimming debut at the 18th Chengdu 2019 World Police and Fire Games.

Martin still has the 2-mile open water swim remaining on Aug. 15 at the Jintang Triathlon venue.

The City of Pembroke Pines Police Sergeant swam five individual events and four relays over three days at the Tian Fu Sports Area pool.

On opening day, Martin broke a 10-year-old world record she has been chasing for four years in the 50-meter butterfly in 30.70. Her 200-meter freestyle relay took silver behind China which broke the Martin’s relay U.S. world record. Her relay lead-off time was 27.88, just off her world record of 27.86. She also took gold in the 100-meter breaststroke.

On the second day of competition, Martin won the 50-meter backstroke in 34.39. She took another silver in the women’s 200-meter medley relay behind China. Her 200-meter mixed freestyle relay took another silver behind China. Her 50-meter relay split was 27.23, another best time.

On her third and final day, Martin took gold in the 50-meter breaststroke and then broke her own world record and won the 50-meter freestyle in 27.70 bettering her previous record of 27.86.

“I dug deep and pulled off my best race of the meet,” Martin wrote.

Her mixed medley relay finished out of the medal hunt placing fourth.

“I’ve made lots of new friends but what I enjoy the most is seeing my old friends,” Martin wrote. “My ladies are some of the strongest, badass women I know. First responders, athletes, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and girlfriends. For one week every two years, we get to catch up on life, love and I get to learn so much about other countries from our chats. I am grateful for our time together, but sad to have to say goodbye…for another two years….until Rotterdam.”

The World Police & Fire Games are held every two years. The 2021 World Police and Fire Games are July 30-August 8 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“Competing every two years just doesn’t seem enough,” Martin wrote on her Facebook page. “I’ve made so many friends from around the world, and I only get to see them once every two years. I think I love catching up with friends just as much as I love competing. We may speak different languages, but we all have so much in common.”

In her last major international competition, the 2017 World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles, Martin won seven gold medals and one silver and broke five world records over four days of open water and pool racing.

Martin was sponsored by the Broward County PBA (Police Benevolent Association). Toyota of North Miami and several family members and friends also donated to her Blue To Chengdu Go Fund Me.

The World Police and Fire Games is a worldwide sporting event held every two years with more than 10,000 attendees. The games are an Olympic-style competition of policemen and firefighters from 70 countries across the world who compete in 60 sports.

Participants are police officers and firefighters from correction, probation, border protection, immigration, and customs from any country in the world.

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

SOFLO’s Jennifer Martin Ready For International Debut At 18th World Police And Fire Games In China


By Sharon Robb

CHENGDU, China, August 8, 2019—Jennifer Martin of South Florida Aquatic Club will make her international swimming debut in the 18th Chengdu 2019 World Police and Fire Games Friday through Sunday.

The City of Pembroke Pines Police Sergeant will compete in five individual events and four relays over three days at the Tian Fu Sports Area.

On Friday, Martin, 38, will swim the 100-meter breaststroke, 50-meter butterfly and 200-meter women’s freestyle relay.

The swimming event is divided into two sessions. Martin will swim three events a day.

Her remaining events are the 50-meter breaststroke, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter freestyle, 200-meter medley relay, mixed 200-meter free relay and 200-meter medley relay. She will also compete in the 2-mile open water swim on Aug. 15 at the Jintang Triathlon venue.

“As far as China, I am beyond impressed,” Martin wrote on her Facebook page. “Security is very tight everywhere. I had to bring my passport and register with the police when I got here, but at no point have I not felt safe. The Chinese people are so welcoming and doing everything to make me comfortable. Thank you again everyone for all the support. I’m not really sure how I had the courage to do this, but I am so glad that I’m here.”

Martin is at her optimum fitness and competitive level. In June, she tuned up at the U.S. Police & Fire Championships in San Diego where she won nine gold medals in individual and relay events and broke two meet records over 2.5 hours at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. It was the second consecutive year Martin had won nine gold medals at the meet.

Martin started training seriously a year ago for Chengdu.

“I took my fitness to another level,” she said. She shaved three minutes off her 5K time and started eating healthier while baking brownies and peach cobbler for her work mates.

“Many hours of hard work, sacrifice and overcoming obstacles,” she said. “Hoping that all translates to some fast wins and success in Chengdu.”

The World Police & Fire Games are held every two years. The 2021 World Police and Fire Games are July 30-August 8 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

In her last major international competition, the 2017 World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles, Martin won seven gold medals and one silver and broke five world records over four days of open water and pool racing.

Martin is sponsored by the Broward County PBA (Police Benevolent Association)and Toyota of North Miami. Several family members and friends also donated to her Blue To Chengdu Go Fund Me.

The World Police and Fire Games is a worldwide sporting event held every two years with more than 10,000 attendees. The games are an Olympic-style competition of policemen and firefighters from 70 countries across the world who compete in 60 sports.

Participants can be police officers and firefighters from correction, probation, border protection, immigration, and customs from any country in the world.

More than 6,200 volunteers are working the Games. Longtime actor Jackie Chan is the Ambassador for the 18th World Police & Fire Games.

As the capital of the Sichuan Province and a key southwestern city, Chengdu is an important center for high-tech industry, trade, logistics, and transportation. Being an attractive tourist destination, mostly due to its abundant panda populations, Chengdu is listed on the national registry of historical and cultural cities and won the Best Tourist City award by the World Tourism Organization and the China National Tourism Administration. Additionally, it is recognized by UNESCO as a “City of Gastronomy” and it won the title of “World Excellent Tourist Destination City” by the World Centre of Excellence for Destination (an international organization which promotes sustainable tourism practices).

Chengdu is also one of the best places in China, and thus the world, to see the famous Giant Panda. Within the city, visitors can spend an entire day with them at the Panda Breeding and Research Base, and just a two-hour ride outside the city, there is the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base. Visitors can see all ages of Pandas, sometimes including newborns, and can also get up-close and personal with them.

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

SOFLO’s Jennifer Martin Strikes Gold At U.S. Police & Fire Championships


By Sharon Robb

SAN DIEGO, June 30, 2019—Jennifer Martin passed her first big test with flying colors Saturday at the United States Police & Fire Championships.

The City of Pembroke Pines Police Sergeant and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer, tuning up for the Aug. 8-18 World Police and Fire Games, won nine gold medals in individual and relay events and broke two meet records in 2.5 hours at Southwestern College in Chula Vista.

Martin has now won 18 gold medals over two years at the meet.

“I am so very blessed for another great meet, but time to get back to work,” Martin wrote on her Facebook page.

Martin, 38, representing the Pembroke Pines Police Department, won the 50-meter breaststroke in a meet record 32.80, breaking her own record of 33.11 set last year. Her other record was in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.31, breaking the record of 56.50 set in 2010.

Martin also won the 50-meter freestyle in 25.35, 50-meter backstroke in 30.80 and 50-meter butterfly in 28.24, just missing her own record by 1/100th of a second. She and her teammates also won four relays: 200 freestyle, 200 medley, 200 medley mixed and 200 freestyle mixed.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me along this journey,” Martin wrote. “The text messages, the phone calls and support means more than I can ever express in words. My success would not be possible without all the love and support that I get from my friends, family and co-workers.

“Today was a very challenging day. My biggest accomplishment was overcoming a fear that I have hid from for 20 years, the 100 Freestyle. I have let the event beat me mentally and allowed it to hinder my performance and even stopped swimming it. Exhausted, I made the resolution that I would no longer allow my fears and reservations to control me, and I was able to set a new record in that event.

“Coming out of the meet, I am pleased where my performance is and I have a month to fine tune and put in some more work before Chengdu. The journey isn’t over yet, we are just getting started.”

The World Police & Fire Games, held every two years, are in Chengdu, China where Martin will rekindle a few rivalries.

For the second consecutive year, Martin was sponsored by the Broward County PBA (Police Benevolent Association).

At the 2018 USPFC competition in less than three hours, Martin won nine gold medals and broke three meet records including one that stood for 18 years. She competed in three races in less than seven minutes which included two meet-record performances.

Martin won the 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke and was a member of the winning 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay mixed relay and 200 freestyle mixed relay.

She broke meet records in the 50 breaststroke (1990 record of 33.93) in 33.11, 100 breaststroke (1994 record of 1:17.89) in 1:13 and 50 butterfly (2016 record of 28.36) in 28.1.

In her last major international competition, the 2017 World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles, Martin won seven gold medals and one silver and broke five world records over four days of open water and pool racing.

The eight-day United States Police & Fire Championships is an Olympic-style competition with athletes representing law enforcement, firefighters and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration and customs from across the country. It got under way June 22 and ended on Saturday.

Athletes competed in 54 different sports at 33 venues throughout the San Diego county.

It began in 1967 as the California Police Olympics, in 1990 was the California Police Summer Games, in 2000 was the California Police and Fire Games, and since 2012 has been known as the U.S. Police and Fire Championships.

The California Police Athletic Federation is the governing body for the U.S. Police & Fire Championships. Its mission is to promote sport and physical fitness among personnel representing various agencies.

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

SOFLO’s Jennifer Martin Preps For World Games At U.S. Police & Fire Championships On Saturday


By Sharon Robb

SAN DIEGO, June 27, 2019—With the Aug. 8-18 World Police and Fire Games just 41 days away in China, Jennifer Martin will get her first big test Saturday at the United States Police & Fire Championships.

The City of Pembroke Pines police sergeant will compete in the one-day swimming competition at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. The championships got under way on June 2 with various other sports.

Martin, 38, representing the Pembroke Pines Police Department, will compete in nine events including four relays.

When not working full-time, Martin has been training and fine tuning with SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson at SOFLO’s Academic Village Pool, where she use to coach with the Comets Swim Team. She has also been cross training in the gym and local road races.

For the second consecutive year, Martin is being sponsored by the Broward County PBA (Police Benevolent Association).

Over three hours, Martin has a Herculean lineup of individual and relay events. She will compete in the 30-39 50-yard breaststroke, 50-yard freestyle, 50-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke. She will also swim four relays: 200 freestyle, 200 medley, 200 medley mixed and 200 freestyle mixed.

“It’s a very challenging day for me,” Martin said.

Martin has been among top athletes in several local, state, national and international competitions. It is the second time she will compete in the United States Police & Fire Championships.

At the 2018 competition in less than three hours, Martin won nine gold medals and broke three USPFC meet records including an 18-year-old record. She competed in three races in less than seven minutes which included two meet-record performances.

Martin won the 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke and was a member of the winning 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay mixed relay and 200 freestyle mixed relay.

She broke meet records in the 50 breaststroke (1990 record of 33.93) in 33.11, 100 breaststroke (1994 record of 1:17.89) in 1:13 and 50 butterfly (2016 record of 28.36) in 28.1.

In her last major international competition, the 2017 World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles, Martin won seven gold medals and one silver and broke five world records over four days of open water and pool racing.

The eight-day United States Police & Fire Championships is an Olympic-style competition with athletes representing law enforcement, firefighters and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration and customs from across the country. It got under way June 22 and ends on Saturday.

Athletes compete in 54 different sports at 33 venues throughout the San Diego county.

It began in 1967 as the California Police Olympics, in 1990 was the California Police Summer Games, in 2000 was the California Police and Fire Games, and since 2012 has been known as the U.S. Police and Fire Championships.

The California Police Athletic Federation is the governing body for the U.S. Police & Fire Championships. Its mission is to promote sport and physical fitness among personnel representing various agencies.

The World Police & Fire Games are set for 2019 in Chengdu, China. The World Games are held every two years.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Gold; Two Relay World Records Broken On Day Two Of FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships


By Sharon Robb

HANGZHOU, China, December 12, 2018—Four-time Olympian and world record holder Alia Atkinson of Jamaica and South Florida Aquatic Club followed up her world record in October with a gold medal on Day Two of the 14th FINA World Short Course Championships.

After finishing runner-up three times, Atkinson, 30, seeded first, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.05, a half-second off her world record of 28.56 set on October 6 at the FINA World Cup Series.

Atkinson held off Lithuanian rival and two-time short course gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte who finished second in 29.38. Italian Martina Carraro was third in a national record 29.59.

Meilutyte took the lead with a faster reaction time off the blocks, 0.60 to 0.62. But Atkinson pulled away after a great turn and went on to win her first 50 breaststroke short course title.

In six world short course championships, she has been 17th, sixth and second three times before winning. She now has the most medals (eight) for either a man or woman from the Caribbean at the world short course meet.

No other woman has won as many medals as Atkinson in the 50 breaststroke with four. Meilutyte has three. She is also tied with South African Cameron van der Burgh and Ukraine’s Oleh Lisohor as all-time top medalist in World Championship history in the event.

“It was a sweet swim,” said SOFLO and Jamaican delegation head coach Chris Anderson. “The 50-meter breaststroke has always been a difficult race to start off the World Championships. By having a great turn and solid finish I think it is really going to build confidence for the 100 breaststroke. It was a great swim for her and I’m looking forward to more swimming at worlds.”

In other Wednesday finals:

The U.S. women’s 4×50-meter medley relay team of Olivia Smoliga, Katie Meili, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia and Mallory Comerford broke the world and championship records in 1:42.38. China was second in 1:44.31 and the Netherlands was third in 1:44.57.

Bolles alum and Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy won a close battle in the 100-meter backstroke in 49.23. Current short course meters world record holder Xu Jiayu of China was second in 49.26. Russian junior record holder Kliment Kolesnikov was third in 49.40.

Fifteen minutes after swimming the medley relay, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia finished a close second behind Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu who won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:01.60 edging out Dahlia in 2:01.73, who re-broke her own American record. Japan’s junior world record holder Suzuka Hasegawa was third in 2:04.04.

South African Cameron van der Burgh jumped out to an early lead and held on for the win in the 100-meter breaststroke in a championship record 56.01. Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus was second in 56.10 and Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki was third in 56.13.

American Blake Pieroni led from start-to-finish to win the 200-meter freestyle in 1:41.49. Danas Rapsys of Lithuania was second in 1:41.78 and Aussie Alexander Graham was third in 1:42.28. South African Chad le Clos failed to get out of the semifinals.

The U.S. won its third gold medal of the day in the 100-meter backstroke when American Olivia Smoliga knocked off world and championship record holder Katinka Hosszu, 56.19-56.26. There was a tie for third between Georgia Davies of Great Britain and Aussie Minna Atherton in 56.74.

The U.S. won the mixed 4×50-meter freestyle relay (Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Held, Mallory Comerford, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia) in a world and championship record 1:27.89 knocking off world record holder and defending champion Netherlands, second in 1:28.51. Russia was third in 1:28.73. It was a third event for both Dahlia and Comerford.

Other Florida swimmer results:

12. Dylan Carter, Trinidad and Tobago, American Heritage Plantation, 200-meter freestyle, 1:43.74.

15. Isabella Paez, Venezuela, Doral/Miami Metro Aquatics, 200-meter butterfly 2:11.23.

29. Marcelo Acosta, El Salvador, Azura, 200-meter freestye, 1:47.00

69. Abby (Araoluwa) Oyetunji, Nigeria, Somerset/South Florida Aquatic Club, 100-meter freestyle, 1:02.34.

The short course worlds are swum in short course meters and held in the years when FINA does not hold its world championships (currently this means in even years). The short course championship is swimming-only events where world championships feature all five aquatic disciplines.

A field of 960 swimmers, with several top names missing, from 178 countries are competing for 46 world titles over six days at the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center Tennis Centre. The center is uniquely shaped like a lotus bowl with an 8,000-seat capacity.

Prelims are 9 a.m. in China, 8:30 p.m. EST in the U.S. Finals are 7 p.m. in China and 6 a.m. EST in the U.S.

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

Japan’s Daiya Seto Breaks World Record, Knocks Off Chad Le Clos; SOFLO’s Abby Oyetunji Makes Debut, Alia Atkinson Earns Top Seed On Day One Of FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships


By Sharon Robb

HANGZHOU, China, December 11, 2018—On an exciting opening day of upsets and world records at the 14th FINA World Short Course Championships, Daiya Seto of Japan took center stage in his dual against world record holder and defending champion Chad Le Clos of South Africa.

Seto reeled in early leader Le Clos in the final 50 meters of the 200-meter butterfly to break the world record in 1:48.24. Le Clos’ previous record was 1:48.56. Both swimmers came in under world record time and are now one-two in the all-time rankings. Le Clos was second in 1:48.32 breaking his own African national record. China’s Zhuhao Li was third in 1:50.39.

Clay and Bolles alum Caeleb Dressel led off the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay with an American record of 45.66 which buoyed the U.S. to a world record in 3:03.03, breaking the previous mark of 3:03.30 set in 2009. Other relay members were Blake Pieroni, Michael Chadwick and Ryan Held. Russia was second in 3:03.11 and Brazil was third in 3:05.15.

After breaking the Lithuanian national record in morning prelims by four seconds, Danas Rapsys jumped out to an early lead and never wavered to win the 400-meter freestyle in a championship record 3:34.01, again breaking his own national record and third on the all-time list. Henrik Christiansen of Norway was second in 3:36.64 and Gabriele Detti of Italy was third in 3:37.54.

In a thrilling women’s race with three different leaders, Aussie Ariarne Titmus emerged as the winner in 1:51.38. American Mallory Comerford was second in 1:51.81 and Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands was third in 1:52.36.

Hungary’s Iron Woman Katinka Hosszu won her second 400-meter individual medley world short course title in 4:21.40, close to world record pace for most of the race. St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis was second in a career-best 4:25.84, third-fastest American of all-time. Fantine Lesaffre of France was third in 4:27.31.

In front of his hometown fans, China’s Shun Wang did not disappoint winning the 200-meter individual medley in 1:51.01 and knocking off American Josh Prenot, who was second in 1:52.69. Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori was third in 1:52.73.

The U.S. women won the 4×100-meter freestyle relay knocking off world record and championship record holder Netherlands, 3:78.78 to 3:28.02. U.S. relay members were Olivia Smoglia, Lia Neal, Mallory Comerford and Kelsi Worrell Dahlia.

Four-time Olympian and world record holder Alia Atkinson of Jamaica and South Florida Aquatic Club set herself up to repeat as world champion in the 50-meter breaststroke earning the top seed in 29.54 for today’s final.

SOFLO teammate Abby (Araoluwa)Oyetunji, a Somerset Academy alum, made her world championship debut for Nigeria. She finished 52nd in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:16.23.

Other Florida swimmer results:

13. Anh Vien Nguyen, Vietnam/St. Augustine, 400-meter individual medley, 4:37.28

13. Marcelo Acosta, El Salvador/Azura, 400-meter freestyle, 3:42.74.

35. Patrick Groters, Aruba/NSU University School/Pine Crest Swimming, 200-meter individual medley, 2:02.16.

52. Abby Oyetunji, Nigeria/SOFLO, 200-meter freestyle, 2:16.23.

The short course worlds are swum in short course meters and held in the years when FINA does not hold its world championships (currently this means in even years). The short course championship is swimming-only where world championships feature all five aquatic disciplines.

A field of 960 swimmers, with several top names missing, from 178 countries are competing for 46 world titles over six days at the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center Tennis Centre. The center is uniquely shaped like a lotus bowl with an 8,000-seat capacity.

Prelims are 9 a.m. in China, 8:30 p.m. EST in the U.S. Finals are 7 p.m. in China and 6 a.m. EST in the U.S.

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

FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships Begin Tuesday In China, Monday Night U.S. Time With Strong South Florida Connection


By Sharon Robb

HANGZHOU, China, December 9, 2018—Four-time Olympian Alia Atkinson of Jamaica and South Florida Aquatic Club is favored to repeat as world champion at the 14th FINA World Short Course Championships which begin Tuesday in China (Monday night in the U.S.).

Atkinson, the defending world champion and record holder, is seeded first in the 50-meter breaststroke in 28.56 among a less than stellar field. Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania is seeded second in 29.36 and American Molly Hannis is third in 29.51. The prelims and semifinals are on opening day and finals the following day.

Atkinson, 29, broke her own world record at the FINA World Cup in Budapest on Oct. 6. She swam 28.56 breaking her previous mark of 28.64 which she set in Tokyo, Oct. 26, 2016.

The short course worlds are swum in short course meters and held in the years when FINA does not hold its world championships (currently this means in even years). The short course championship is swimming-only where world championships feature all five aquatic disciplines.

The World Short Course Championships have always been a meet where Atkinson has taken center stage. She was the first Jamaican swimmer to win a medal when she took silver in the 50 breaststroke in 2012 in Turkey. And, in 2014 she the first Jamaican to win a gold medal at the meet when she won the 100 breaststroke in Doha, Qatar.

SOFLO coach Chris Anderson is serving as the Jamaican team coach. Anderson has coached Atkinson since 2001 and has played a huge role in her success. Jamaican Breanna Roman had also qualified but withdrew because of illness.

SOFLO’s Abby Oyetunji, a Somerset Academy alum, is representing Nigeria in her world short course debut. Oyetunji has been swimming with SOFLO since 2011. She is one of four swimmers competing for Nigeria and one of only two women.

Patrick Groters, a NSU University School alum and Pine Crest Swimming Club swimmer, will represent Aruba. His older brother, Jordy, is graduating from Missouri this week.

American Heritage Plantation alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago will compete in five events. Doral and Metro Aquatic Club alum Isabella Paez will represent Venezuela.

Azura Florida Aquatics will be well-represented with current and alum swimmers coached by NSU University School coach Gianluca Alberani. Current swimmers are Sidrell Williams of Jamaica, Pedro Chiancone of Uruguay and Celina Marquez of El Salvador. Three alumni swimmers are Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador, Elisa Funes of El Salvador and Jhonny Perez of the Dominican Republic.

Other swimmers with Florida connections are Clay alum and Bolles Swimming Club swimmer Caeleb Dressel; Bolles alum Ryan Murphy; Melanie Margalis of St. Petersburg Aquatics; Vietnam’s Anh Vien Nguyen of St. Augustine Swim Team; Coral Springs Swim Club alum Abbas Qali and Plantation American Heritage alum Yousef Alaskari of Kuwait; and Westlake Prep alum Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Surinam.

Other meet highlights:

USA Swimming’s five team captains are two-time Olympian Matt Grevers, three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Kelsi Worrell Dahlia, Madison Kennedy and Leah Smith. The U.S. team features 17 women and 18 men. The only top-seeded American male is Michael Andrew in the 100 IM. Kelsi Worrell Dahlia is the only American woman seeded first in the 100 butterfly. The women’s team will be coached by Brian Smith (Athens Bulldogs) and men’s team Dave Salo (Trojan Swim Club).

The U.S. team arrived in Hangzhou six days ago to give them twice as much time to adjust to the time zone as the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships they had in Tokyo last summer.

American Michael Andrew leads all male swimmers entered in five individual events. Teammate Leah Smith is entered in four women’s races.

Top names missing from the U.S. roster are five-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky, seven-time world champion Simone Manuel, two-time world champion Chase Kalisz, two-time Olympic champion Lilly King and Olympic champion Nathan Adrian.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu is entered in eight events, six of which she won at the 2016 Windsor Worlds. She will swim all three backstroke events, 100 and 200 butterfly and all three individual medley races. Hosszu is the world record holder in the short course 100 back, 200 back, 100 IM and 200 IM.

Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang province and its economic, cultural, science and educational center, Hangzhou is one of the central cities in the Yangtze River Delta. It also is a popular City of Scenic Tourism, ranking among the first batch of National Historical and Cultural Cities crowned by the State Council. Located in the southern wing of the Yangtze River Delta, western tip of the Hangzhou Bay, downstream of the Qiantang River, and the southern terminus of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Hangzhou stands as a vital transport hub in southeast China.

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

Michigan-Bound Moore Wins Gold On Final Day Of Youth Olympics, Five Junior World Records Smashed

Michigan-Bound Moore Wins Gold On Final Day Of Youth Olympics, Five Junior World Records Smashed


By Sharon Robb

August 22, 2014—-American Hannah Moore won Team USA’s third gold medal on the final day of the 2014 IOC Youth Olympic Games Friday at the Olympic Sports Centre Natatorium in Nanjing, China.

In a close race, Moore won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:11.05 just ahead of Thailand’s Sarisa Suwannachet in 4:11.23 and Germany’s Kathrin Demler in 4:11.25.

Moore, headed off to Michigan with teammate Clara Smiddy, who also won gold earlier in the week, took off early in a 2:03.70 split and held off the field in the final 50 meters.

Florida State-bound Daniella Van Den Berg of Aruba and Azura Florida Aquatics won her heat in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:26.14. She was also second in her heat and 15th

overall in the 800-meter freestyle in a best tie 8:59.38, a 13-second time drop.

On Thursday, Azura teammate Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador broke another national record when he won his heat and finished fifth overall in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:02.69, a six-second time drop from his lifetime-best.

St. Augustine’s Nguyen Thi Anh Vien was fifth in her 400-meter freestyle heat in 4:16.65.

Jamaica’s Timothy Wynter withdrew from the 200-meter backstroke.

On the sixth and final day, five junior world records were broken.

Host China finished with finished with 17 medals including ten gold medals to lead the medal count. Russia followed with 13 medals including six gold. Team USA was fifth with four medals including three gold. Australia was shut out of gold medals. Thirty-one countries earned at least one medal.

Florida had nine swimmers compete, eight from the Florida Gold Coast and one from Florida Swimming.

In other finals:

Rozaliya Naretdinova of Russia won the 50-meter freestyle in a junior world record time of 24.88. Aussie Ami Matsuo took silver and Russian Daria Ustinova was third in 26.39. Clara Smiddy of AquaKids Sharks was top U.S. finished placing 16th in the semifinals in 26.39.

Li Guangyuan of China won the men’s 200-meter backstroke in a junior world record of 1:56.94. Russian Evgeny Rylov was second in 1:57.08. Brit Like Greenbank was third in 1:59.03.

Liliana Szilagyi of Hungary won the 100-meter butterfly in a junior world record and national record 58.34 to continue her country’s domination in the stroke.

Brazilian Matheus Santana broke the junior world record in the 100-meter freestyle in 48.25. His back-half split was 24.90.

Anastasiya Malyavina of the Ukraine won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:26.43. Korea’s Jiwon Yang took silver in 2:27.31 and Hungary’s Anna Sztankovics took bronze in 2:27.66.

Hungary went one-two in the men’s 200-meter butterfly with Tamas Kenderesi winning in a junior world record time of 1:55.95 and Benjamin Gratz finishing second in 1:57.71. Italian Giacomo Carini was third in 1:58.14.

Nikola Obrovac of Croatia won the men’s 50-meter breaststroke in 27.83, just missing a junior world record. Venezuela’s Carlos Claverie took silver in 27.94.

China won the final event of the meet, the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:49.33. Russia took silver in 3:50.86 and Australia bronze in 3:52.45.

The Youth Olympics are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that takes place every four years consistent with the format of the Olympic Games.

The Youth Olympic Games are designed to integrate sport with education and culture, inspiring participants to live by the Olympic values and become ambassadors of the Olympic spirit. It also could provide a dress rehearsal for 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls.

With 3,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees, the 13-day competition continues with 31 sports.

NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports are showing 54.5 hours of coverage through the Closing Ceremony on August 28.

NBC Sports Live Extra—NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets—will provide streaming coverage of all the Youth Olympic Games appearing on NBC and NBCSN.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at nbcsports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available for Apple, Android and Microsoft mobile devices and tablets.

Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at TeamUSA.org and Twitter.com/USOlympic utilizing the #2014YOG hashtag. For more information on the Games, visit Nanjing2014.com.

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

Carter Wins Trinidad’s First Medals; Groters Breaks Aruban National Record

Carter Wins Trinidad’s First Medals; Groters Breaks Aruban National Record


By Sharon Robb

August 21, 2014—-Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Jordy Groters of Aruba, the future of international swimming, made history on Day Five of the 2014 IOC Youth Olympic Games Thursday night at the Olympic Sports Centre Natatorium in Nanjing, China.

Carter, a Plantation American Heritage alum and frequent trainer in South Florida, won his country’s first medals in swimming at the Games.

The country’s top junior swimmer took a silver medal in the 50-meter butterfly in 23.81, just behind China’s Yu Hexin in 23.69 and added a bronze medal in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.53.

After a great start, Carter led the freestyle until the final 20 meters when China’s Yu Hexin surged to win in a junior world record of 22.00. Brazil’s top junior sprinter Matheus de Santana was second in 22.43.

Carter had qualified with a 22.49 in semifinals and got out of the heats with a 24.01.

Missouri-bound Groters of Pine Crest Swimming swam back-to-back lifetime-bests and broke Aruba’s national record in the 50-meter breaststroke in the semifinals.

Groters first broke the national record in his heat in 29.03 and bettered it in the semifinal in 28.90, cracking the 29-second barrier for the first time in his career. He fell short of making it into the final and finished 11th overall.

Groters was happy with his Youth Olympics debut.

He wrote on his Facebook: “Youth Olympic semifinal was a great experience. I am very proud to have been able to represent my home Aruba at such a big stage. I swam another best time and Aruban national record (28.90) and it is the first time I go sub-29. Ended up in 11th place

and was .06 away from a spot in finals. Very satisfied with these results! Thank you everyone for your support.”

AquaKids Sharks’ Clara Smiddy tied for fourth in the 50-meter backstroke in 28.91. She tied Canadian Danielle Hanus. The top five finishers were just 55/100ths of a second apart. Smiddy was also fifth in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 26.42 and eighth in her semifinal in 26.39.

Jordan’s Lydia Musleh of Pine Crest Swimming was third in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 27.66.

Suriname’s Zuhayr Pigot of Doral Aquatics and Metro Aquatics was sixth in hi 100-meter freestyle heat in 52.70.

In other finals:

China’s women’s team won the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:41.19.

Egypt won its first medal of the Games when Akram Ahmed won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.29.

Maaike de Waard of the Netherlands won the 50-meter backstroke in 28.36.

Host China continues to lead the medal count with 13 medals (8 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) followed by Russia (6 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and Italy (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). Team USA is sixth with two gold medals and one bronze.

For swimming, prelims begin 10 p.m. and finals 6 a.m. East Coast time. The swimming competition ends on Friday.

The Youth Olympics are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that takes place every four years consistent with the format of the Olympic Games.

The Youth Olympic Games are designed to integrate sport with education and culture, inspiring participants to live by the Olympic values and become ambassadors of the Olympic spirit. It also could provide a dress rehearsal for 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls.

China is hosting 3,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees at the second Youth Olympics. During 13 days of competition in 32 sports, 222 medals events will be spread over 27 competition venues.

NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports are combining for 54.5 hours of coverage through the Closing Ceremony on August 28.

NBC Sports Live Extra—NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets—will provide streaming coverage of all the Youth Olympic Games appearing on NBC and NBCSN.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at nbcsports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available for Apple, Android and Microsoft mobile devices and tablets.

Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at TeamUSA.org and Twitter.com/USOlympic utilizing the #2014YOG hashtag.

For more information on the Games, visit Nanjing2014.com.

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