Podkoscielny Wins “B” Final; Winkler Finishes In Top 10 On Day Two Of Junior Pan Pacs


By Sharon Robb
HONOLULU, Hawaii, August 26, 2022—U.S. teammates Julia Podkoscielny of Pine Crest Swimming and Kaii Winkler of Eagle Aquatics got in more racing against some of the world’s best swimmers Thursday at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships at Mark Takai Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center.

Julia Podkoscielny, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming, won the “B” final and finished ninth overall in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:47.34. She swam 4:52.27 in prelims. She has the 200 backstroke and 200 IM left to swim.

U.S. teammate Kaii Winkler, 16, of Eagle Aquatics was second in the B final and tenth overall in the 100-meter freestyle in 50.12 after going a best time 49.47 in prelims, dropping 0.21 from his previous best of 49.68. He also anchored the 4×200-meter freestyle “B” relay with a 1:51.27 split that finished seventh in 7:22.66. Winkler has the 400 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle left to swim.

The talented trio of Josh Zuchowski of FAST, Podkoscielny and Winkler, representing the U.S. internationally for the first time, are among emerging stars from four Pan Pac charter nations (U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia) during the competitive four-day meet. Zuchowski, already a silver medalist, swims the 200 backstroke on Friday.

In addition to the four charter nations, other select non-European Swimming League (LEN) will also compete including New Zealand, China, Fiji, Singapore, South Korea and Ecuador.

Competition is through Saturday with prelims at 3 p.m. EST and finals at 11 p.m. EST. All sessions will be streamed at http://www.usaswimming.org/watch.

Friday events are: 400 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 backstroke and 4×100 free relay.

THURSDAY RESULTS
GIRLS: 1. US 109, 2. Australia 80, 3. Japan 70, 4. Canada 50, 5. New Zealand 12, 6. Singapore 6, 7. Fiji 4.
BOYS: 1. US 106, 2. Australia 80, 3. Japan 70.5, 4. Canada 47.5, 5. Singapore 16, 6. New Zealand 7.
GIRLS
100-meter freestyle: 1. Erin Gemmell, US 54.13, 2. Milla Jansen, AUS 54.36, 3. Olivia Wunsch, AUS 54.50.
100-meter breaststroke: 1. Piper Enge, US 1:08.58, 2. Kotomi Kato, JPN 1:09.10, 3. Isabella Johnson, AUS 1:09.36.
400-meter individual medley: 1. Mio Narita, JPN 4:36.79, 2. Kayla Han, US 4:43.60, 3. Ayami Suzuki, JPN 4:43.70, 9. Julia Podkoscielny, US 4:47.34.
4×200-meter freestyle relay: 1. US 7:54.70 (Kayla Wilson, Jillian Cox, Cavan Gormsen, Erin Gemmell), 2. Australia 7:55.85, 3. Japan 8:01.38.
BOYS
100-meter freestyle: 1. Flynn Southam, AUS 48.23, 2. Thomas Heilman, US 49.34, 3. Jamie Mooney, AUS 50.19, 10. Kaii Winkler, US 50.12.
100-meter breaststroke: 1. Zhier Fan, US 1:00.74, 2. Yamato Okadome, JPN 1:01.35, 3. Nicholas Mahabir, SGP 1:01.78.
400-meter individual medley: 1. Ei Kamikawabata, JPN 4:15.23, 2. Maximus Williamson, US 4:17.58, 3. Riki Abe, JPN 4:17.96.
4×200-meter freestyle relay: 1. Australia 7:13.07 (Flynn Southam, Anders McAlpine, Marcus Da Silva, Joshua Staples), 2. US 7:15.18, 3. Japan 7:22.26.

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

Adam Peaty Bounces Back With Gold; Dylan Carter Makes Finals At XXII Commonwealth Games


By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, August 2, 2022—In front of his hometown crowd, redemption was sweet for world record holder Adam Peaty at the XXII Commonwealth Games Tuesday at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

After finishing an unexpected fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke, the 27-year-old Brit came back to win his first Commonwealth career gold medal in the 50-meter breaststroke in a season-best 26.76 and fifth Commonwealth gold of his career. He won silver in the event in 2014 and 2018.

The media was harsh after Peaty suffered his first defeat in his specialty event in his eight-year career. Peaty took time off after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. suffered a broken foot in the gym in May, did not compete at worlds in June and is still not 100 percent. His cast was removed only a month ago.

“I just reverted to who I am,” Peaty said. “Mel [Marshall, his coach] said to me ‘today you wake up and play,’ but I said, ‘No, today I fight.’ And I gave literally absolutely everything in my race. I don’t care about the time. I don’t care about the result. I just care about enjoying that crowd and winning.

“It’s been a tough Games, a very hard Games. I came from literally the lowest point two days ago, and I just said ‘you know what, I am a fighter, I am not going to let just anyone take this and walk it.’ I had to work hard for it. I struggled, to be honest, really, really struggled.”

In other finals:
South African Lara van Niekerk knocked off countrywoman and defending champion Tatjana Schoenmaker in the 100-meter breaststroke to win in 1:05.47. Schoenmaker took silver in 1:06.68 and Aussie Chelsea Hodges won bronze in 1:07.05.

Brit Brodie Williams won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:56.40, just 1/100ths ahead of Aussie Bradley Woodward in 1:56.41 and South African Pieter Coetze in 1:56.77.

Aussie teenager Elizabeth Dekkers, 18, won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:07.26 followed by Brit Laura Stephens in 2:07.90 and Aussie Brianna Throssell in 2:08.32.

Aussie reigning champion Mollie O’Callaghan came from behind against an impressive field to win in 52.63 followed by Shayna Jack of Australia in 52.88 and Aussie Emma McKeon in 52.94.

Canadian Josh Liendo won the 100-meter butterfly in 51.24. James Guy of England and Matt Temple of Australia tied for second in 51.40. South African Chad le Clos was fourth in 51.61.

Aussie defending champion Ariarne Titmus broke her own Games record in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:13.59. It was an Aussie sweep with Kiah Melverton in 8:16.79 and Lani Pallister in 8:19.16

The Aussies continued to dominate the relays winning the mixed 4×100-meter medley in 3:41.30 followed by Canada (3:43.98) and England (3:44.03). The winning foursome was Kaylee McKeown, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Matt Temple and Emma McKeon.

Two-time Olympian Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago has another shot at a medal on Wednesday, the final day of the Games. The Plantation American Heritage alum was the fifth fastest qualifier after the semifinals of the 50-meter freestyle in 22.35. Two-time defending champion Ben Proud of England was top qualifier in 21.63.

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

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

Five South Florida, Florida Gold Coast Swimmers Will Compete At Commonwealth Games


By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, July 26, 2022–Five swimmers with South Florida and Florida Gold Coast connections will compete in the XXII Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

The meet begins Friday and ends Wednesday, August 3.

Azura Florida Aquatics is sending three swimmers: St. Andrew’s School alum Sidrell Williams of Jamaica, Kito Campbell of Jamaica and Jayhan Odlum-Smith of St. Lucia.

Two-time Olympian Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Plantation American Heritage alum and St. Andrew’s School alum and Florida State’s Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas will also compete.

Seven reigning world champions will compete including Ben Proud, Elijah Winnington, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kylie Masse, Kaylee McKeown and Summer McIntosh.

Other notables competing are Adam Peaty, Ariarne Titmus, Emma McKeon, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Duncan Scott and Maggie MacNeil.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place at Alexander Stadium on Thursday with all 72 countries within the Commonwealth. While the Closing Ceremony is scheduled to take place on 8 August 2022, with all 72 countries returning to Alexander Stadium.

Commonwealth Games Federation’s Executive Board has included 3 new sports namely Women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball, and Para table tennis for the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games.

ESPN, BBC and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will live stream the events on their platforms. Prelims are 10:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. EST) and finals 7 p.m. (2 p.m. EST).

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

Katie Ledecky Five-Peats At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 24, 2022–Katie Ledecky, the greatest woman swimmer of all time, won her fifth consecutive gold medal in the 800 freestyle Friday night at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships at Duna Arena.

Ledecky, 25, swimming in her “favorite event” is the first swimmer in history to win five straight world titles in the same event.

Ledecky, a grad assistant coach at University of Florida where she trains with Anthony Nesty, pulled away early in the race to win in 8:08.04, winning by nearly 11 seconds. It was the fifth fastest time in the event.

Aussie Kiah Melverton was second in 8:18.77 and Simona Quadarella of Italy was third in 8:19.00.

It was Ledecky’s 19th gold medal at world championships, moving her ahead of Ryan Lochte just behind leader Michael Phelps with 26 gold medals.

“I’m happy with it, I can’t complain,” Ledecky said. “I thought it was a little faster than that, but that’s the fastest I’ve been in a while, so really thrilled with that and really excited about the future as well.

“Year after year it’s really hard work,” Ledecky said. “In London I won my first gold ten years ago, back then they said I was a one-hit wonder and here we are, ten years later and I have another gold.

“It was a great week, probably the most fun I’ve had in a meet in a long time,” Ledecky said. “And the results showed. It’s just a really special team, and I know we’re not finished.”

There are 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers wrapping up their swims on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Other FGC swimmers who competed on Friday were:

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay, (Azura, South Florida Heat, Auburn), 50 breaststroke, 43rd, 34.25.

Jahir Lopez, 17, Ecuador, (Azura) 1500 freestyle, 23rd, 16:57.92.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 50 backstroke, 33rd, 26.23.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle, 41st, 26.75.

No FGC swimmers are scheduled to compete on Saturday.

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 Friday night’s final events:
WOMEN’S 50 BUTTERFLY: Sarah Sjostrum of Sweden won the event for a record fourth consecutive time in 24.95. She also won the 50 fly in 2015, 2017 and 2019. She tied Michael Phelps with a record eight gold medals in butterfly events at worlds. Melanie Henique of France took silver in 25.31 and China’s Zhang Yufeli took bronze in 25.32. Americans Claire Curzan (25.43) and Torri Huske (25.45) were fifth and sixth.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE: In a wide open race with Caeleb Dressel and Bruno Fratus out of the field, Brit veteran sprinter Ben Proud, 27, dominated the field to win his first long course world gold medal in 21.32, 9/100ths ahead of Michael Andrew in 21.41, the American’s third individual world and fourth overall medal. Frenchman Maxime Grousset, who knocked Fratus out of a swim-off for the eighth spot in finals, was third in 21.57.

Proud had the best reaction time off the blocks in 0.57. Proud is the first British swimmer to ever win a world title in the event.

“This medal today, gold, silver, bronze, no matter what it was, it was always going to be for my brilliant team around me this year,” Proud said. “So I’m really chuffed to be able to bring something home. Big disappointment after the 50 fly. I really made a big mistake in that, but that fired me up for today and I’m much happier to be leaving a freestyle world champion.”

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY: Even though Hungarian Kristof Milak and American Michael Andrew turned together at the 50, it was Milak who turned it on to win his second gold medal of the meet in 50.14. Japan’s Naoki Mizunuma was second in 50.94 and Canadian Josh Liendo was third in 50.97. Andrew faltered to fourth in 51.11.

WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE: In an exciting finish, Aussie Kaylee McKeown won gold in 2:05.08 just out-touching Americans Phoebe Bacon (2:05.12) and Rhyan White (2:06.96). It was the first time the U.S. won two medals in the event.

MIXED 4X100 FREESTYLE RELAY: With Mollie O’Callaghan swimming anchor, Australia broke the world record in 3:19.38 to dethrone the U.S., winners of the past three worlds since 2015. Jack Cartwright, Kyle Chalmers and Madison Wilson joined O’Callaghan on the relay. The Aussies shaved 2/100ths of a second off the 2019 record held by the U.S. Canada was second in 3:20.61 and the U.S. was third in 3:21.09.

Saturday prelim events are women’s 400IM, men’s 4×100 medley relay and women’s 4×100 medley relay. It is the final day of pool swimming.

The U.S. added five more medals to its tally of 15 gold, 8 silver and 14 bronze for 37. Australia is second with 15 total (6 golds, 8 silver, 1 bronze).

The aquatics championships that also feature 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.

FINALS SCHEDULE
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

King, Murphy, U.S. Men’s Relay Win Gold; Coral Springs Olympian Bruno Fratus Loses Swim-Off For Finals At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 23, 2022–Americans Lilly King, Ryan Murphy and men’s 4×200 relay defied the odds to win gold at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Thursday at Duna Arena.

Lilly King turned it on in the back half to win gold and her first world title of the meet in 2:22.41. Aussie Jenna Strauch was second in 2:23.04 and U.S. teammate Kate Douglas of University of Virginia was third in 2:23.20. It was King’s ninth career world gold medal and first in the 200. King has now won gold in every breaststroke event at worlds.

King was fifth at the final turn. “I guess I’m a distance swimmer now, which kind of stinks for me,” King said with a smile. “I knew today was about racing and I knew I would have a little bit left so I had to do it. Welcoming this new chapter of my career. I think this was my coach’s master plan all along.

“It’s awesome to win this gold,” King said. “I’m so excited to have this medal. That was a great race but that was all tactical. I think the one who wins the 200 is who can control the tactical part and the pace the best.”

Bolles alum Ryan Murphy, 26, won his first-ever individual world gold medal. A year after settling for silver at the Tokyo Olympics, the newly-engaged Murphy won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:54.52, 6/10ths ahead of the field. He was third after the opening 50 and with a 28.4 split took the lead at the 100 and led the rest of the way. Brit Luke Greenback was second in 1:55.16 and U.S. teammate Shaine Casas was third in 1:55.35.

“This one hurt a lot,” Murphy said. “I knew it was going to be a competitive field. This is what I worked for. My first individual title is really cool. Being able to come into something that I have a talent for, try to be the best in the world, that never gets old.

“There’s a ton of work that goes into this, not just on my end but my coaches, my teammates. So to come in, win a medal for myself and for the people who helped me and my country is really special.”

The U.S. ended its dry spell in the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay. The relay of Drew Kibler, Carson Foster, Trenton Julian and University of Florida’s Kieran Smith won in 7:00.24. Australia was second in 7:03.50 and Great Britain was third in 7:04.00. It was the first world title relay win in almost a decade since 2013.

Smith had a full three-body length and more than a 3-second lead heading into the final wall. Foster blew it open on the second leg with a 1:45.04 split and Smith turned in a 1:44.35 on anchor. The U.S. men, fourth at the 2020 Olympics, were not favored.

“Kieran and I were actually just looking at a photo taken right after we touched fourth at the Olympics last year, and it’s a pretty defeating photo,” Kibler said. “We were looking at it just before we came here, like, ‘We’re not going to experience that again.'”

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, 32, of Coral Springs Swim Club, fastest qualifier in the 50-meter freestyle prelims in 21.71, lost a swim-off by 3/100ths of a second to end his medal hopes.

The Olympic bronze medalist was fourth in the semifinals in 21.83 tying Frenchman Maxime Grousset, 23, who came back to win the swim-off, 21.59-21.62. It was the 100th time in his career Fratus cracked 22 seconds in the event.

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

Other FGC swimmers who competed on Thursday are:

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, (Plantation American Heritage, USC), 50 freestyle, 17th, 22.19.

Esteban Nunez de Prado, 18, Bolivia, (Azura), 100 butterfly, 50th, 55.61.

Jenebi Benoit, 19, Grenada, (Azura), 100 butterfly, 57th, 59.63.

Leon Seaton, 18, Guyana (Azura), 50 freestyle, 70th, 25.07.

Jordan Crooks, 20, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle, 19th, 22.20.

Steven Aimable, 23, Senegal, (Azura), 100 butterfly, 43rd, 54.65.

FGC swimmers who compete on Friday:

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay, (Azura, South Florida Heat, Auburn), 50 breaststroke.

Jahir Lopez, 17, Ecuador, (Azura) 1500 freestyle.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 50 backstroke.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle.

In Thursday night’s final events:
WOMEN’S 100 FREESTYLE:
In an exciting finish, Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan, 18, won her second world title in 52.67. In sixth place at the 50, O’Callaghan surged in the final 10 meters to out-touch world record holder Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, second in 52.80. American Torri Huske, who was leading for the first 90 meters, was third in 52.92. U.S. teammate Claire Curzan was eighth in 53.81.

O’Callaghan was last at the wall before going 25.9 on the back half, outsplitting Sjostrom by 7/100ths of a second. Sjostrom is the first woman 100 free world record holder not to win a world title.

“I had to just trust myself and focus on myself especially for my back end, that is definitely my strongest point, my front end not so much,” O’Callaghan said. “It’s certainly weird at the moment to think that I’m a world champion.

“I was panicking in warm-up, I had a little bit of a cramp in my leg. I was just feeling dizzy, I just felt out of it in warm-up and I started to panic a little. But I had teammates there. I had Madi Wilson, I had the whole team and especially Dean supporting me so I guess that kind of uplifted me for this race.”

O’Callaghan is coached by Dean Boxall at St. Peters Western in Brisbane. Boxall is best known for going nutso in the stands while another one of his swimmers Ariarne Titmus won gold in the 200 and 400 freeestyles at the 2020 Olympics.

MEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE: Australia’s Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook won gold with a convincing 2:07.07. He was eighth at the 100 and third at the 150. He is the first Aussie to win a world title in the event. Japan’s Yu Hanaguruma was and Erik Persson of Sweden tied for second in 2:08.38.

In the 50-meter butterfly semifinals, Torri Huske broke the American record in 25.38 and qualified second behind Sjostrom (25.13).

Friday prelim events are women’s 50 freestyle, men’s 50 backstroke, women’s 50 breaststroke, mixed 4×100 freestyle and men’s 1500 freestyle.

The U.S. added six more medals to its tally of 14 gold, 6 silver and 12 bronze for 32. Australia is second with 12 total (4 golds, 7 silver, 1 bronze) and Italy third (4 golds, 1 silver, 3 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
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

SOFLO’s Julio Horrego Competes Saturday At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 17, 2022–Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego of South Florida Aquatic Club competes in his first event Saturday at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships at Duna Arena.

Horrego, 23, will swim the prelims of the 100-meter breaststroke. It is the first of two events he will compete in. He will also swim the 50-meter breaststroke on Monday.

Horrego competed in the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, 2019 Pan American Games in Peru and 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and was flagbearer for his country in the opening parade of nations ceremony.

Horrego is one of 21 Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages. At 15, TS Aquatics’ Jillian Crooks of the Cayman Islands is the youngest local swimmer to compete at worlds. She will swim the 50 and 100 freestyles.

Other swimmers competing on opening day with Florida Gold Coast ties are:

Izaak Bastian, 21, Bahamas, 100 breaststroke. (St. Andrew’s School and Florida State)

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

Jayhan Odlum-Smith, 23, St. Lucia, 50 butterfly. (Azura)

Julimar Avila, 25, Honduras, 100 butterfly. (Azura)

Kito Campbell, 19, Jamaica, 100 breaststroke. (Azura)

Matheo Mateos, 21, Paraguay, 400 IM. (Azura)

Nicole Frank, 18, Uruguay, 200 IM. (Azura)

After twice being postponed, Budapest stepped in to host the 19th edition. Now, 130 days later, at the opening press conference on Friday, FINA President Husain Al-Musallam said these championships will show the world “that sport is back and sport brings hope.”

After the original 19th FINA World Championships were twice postponed (first, to avoid overlapping with the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, and again, in January 2022 when highly contagious Covid-19 variants extended the global health crisis), 2022 was shaping up to be a year without a major aquatic championship. Until Budapest stepped in.

The U.S. team, heavy favorites to dominate, will have several stories to follow.

No male swimmer has won three consecutive world championships in the same three events. Michael Phelps, a 23-time Olympic gold medalist, won the 100- and 200-meter butterfly in three consecutive world championships from 2007 to 2011, but never the three same individual events in three consecutive worlds.

Caeleb Dressel has that chance in his third worlds appearance. He is the two-time defending champion in the men’s 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly. He is also the defending world champ in the 50 fly. The Clay High School and Bolles Club alum is coming off the Olympics where he won five gold medals, including the 50 free, 100 free and 100 butterfly.

Claire Weinstein, a 15-year-old from White Plains, New York, is the youngest among a contingent of American teenagers on the women’s roster. She will compete in the 200-meter freestyle. Joining her are a pair of 16-year-olds, Katie Grimes of Las Vegas, and Leah Hayes of Sugar Grove, Illinois. Also in the teen group are 17-year-olds Bella Sims of Henderson, Nevada, and Claire Curzan of Cary, North Carolina.

Two-time Olympians Ryan Murphy and Dressel were among the five team captains selected for the 41-member U.S. team. They were also team captains at the Tokyo Games. Natalie Hinds, a 2020 Olympian, and Lilly King, a two-time Olympian, will make their debuts as captains for the women’s team. Also named as captain was 2016 Olympian Leah Smith, who served in the same role for the 2019 world championships.

The swimming runs through June 25 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 preliminary rounds of synchronized swimming got under way on Friday.

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

Saturday’s opening day prelim events are: women’s 200 IM, men’s 400 freestyle, women’s 100 butterfly, men’s 50 butterfly, women’s 400 freestile, men’s 100 breaststroke, men’s 400 IM and women’s and men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Finals will be held in the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle, men’s 400 IM and relays. The opening ceremony will also be held.

Finals Schedule
Saturday, June 18: Opening Ceremony, 400-meter men’s and women’s freestyle, 400 men’s IM, 4×100 men’s and women’s free relays.

Sunday, June 19: 100 men’s breaststroke, 100 women’s butterfly, 50 men’s fly, 200 women’s IM.

Monday, June 20: 200 men’s free, 1500 women’s free, 100 women’s and men’s backstroke, 100 women’s breast.

Tuesday, June 21: 800 men’s free, 200 women’s free, 200 men’s fly, 50 men’s breast, 4×100 mixed medley relay.

Wednesday, June 22: 200 women’s fly, 100 men’s free, 50 women’s back, 200 men’s IM, 4×200 women’s free relay.

Thursday, June 23: 100 women’s free, 200 women’s breast, 200 men’s back, 200 men’s breast, 4×200 men’s free 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

SOFLO’s Julio Horrego Leads Florida Gold Coast 20-Swimmer Contingent For FINA World Aquatics Championships That Begin Saturday


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 15, 2022–Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego of South Florida Aquatic Club will compete on opening day of the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Saturday at Duna Arena.

Horrego, 23, will swim the prelims of the 100-meter breaststroke. It is the first of two events he will compete in. He will also swim the 50-meter breaststroke.

Horrego competed in the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, 2019 Pan American Games in Peru and 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and was flagbearer for his country in the opening parade of nations ceremony.

Horrego will see plenty of familiar faces during the meet with Florida Gold Coast well-represented with 20 swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Azura Florida Aquatics has qualified 14 swimmers.

Heading the group is Uruguayan national record holder Micaela Sierra. The Pompano Beach resident who will start swimming for Auburn University this fall, competed for South Florida Heat in high school.

Other Azura swimmers are: Esteban Nunez Del Prado, Bolivia; Fatima Portillo, El Salvador, open water; Jahir Lopez, Ecuador, open water; Jayhan Odlum-Smith, St. Lucia; Jenebi Benoit, Grenada; Julimar Avila, Honduras; Kito Campbell, Jamaica; Leon Seaton, Guyana; Matheo Mateos, Paraguay; Maximiliano Paccot, Uruguay; Nicole Frank, Uruguay; Steven Aimable, Senegal and Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico, coming off the PanAm Aquatics Age Group Championships.

Brazil Olympic bronze medalist Bruno Fratus of Coral Springs Swim Club will compete in the 50-meter freestyle.

Patrick Groters, a former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swim Club swimmer now at South Carolina, will represent Aruba in the 100 and 200 backstrokes and 200 individual medley.

Former St. Andrew’s and Florida State swimmer Izaak Bastian, national record holder for the Bahamas, will compete in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes.

Former Plantation American Heritage swimmer Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago will compete in the 50 butterfly, and 50 and 100 freestyles.

University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach and Forest Hill High School and East Coast Aquatic Club alum, will compete in the 5K and 25K open water events for the U.S. team.

The swimming opens Saturday and runs through June 25 with the pool events. The aquatics championships that also features water polo, diving, open water swimming, high diving and synchronized swimming end July 3. NBC Sports will televise the swimming finals only. The FINA facebook page will show the other competitions. Canada’s CBC will also broadcast the swimming.

Saturday’s opening day prelim events are: women’s 200 IM, men’s 400 freestyle, women’s 100 butterfly, men’s 50 butterfly, women’s 400 freestile, men’s 100 breaststroke, men’s 400 IM and women’s and men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Finals will be held in the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle, men’s 400 IM and relays. The opening ceremony will also be held.

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

Puerto Rico’s Morales Sweeps Backstroke Events; Peru Wins Combined Team Title On Final Day Of Panam Aquatics Age Group Swimming Championships


By Sharon Robb
BALMAIN COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago, June 5, 2022–Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico made it a clean sweep on the fourth and final day of the Panam Aquatics Age Group Swimming Championships Sunday at National Aquatic Centre.

Morales, 26, who trains with Azura Florida Aquatics and only Florida Gold Coast swimmer in the meet, won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.67, more than 3 seconds ahead of Peru’s Ricardo Willing.

Earlier in the meet, Morales also won the 200-meter backstroke by 7 seconds in 2:02.02 and 50-meter backstroke in 26.40.

“I felt confident going into my races, we put in a lot of training before this meet,” Morales said. “Even though I am not tapered for this meet because we have worlds coming up I am happy with my times.”

Ecuador’s Elvira Demera, 13, was a double winner on the final day in the 11-12 100-meter backstroke in 1:11.88 and 50-meter freestyle in 28.48, both best times.

Peru won the combined team title with 1,149 points ahead of Puerto Rico (1,073) and Trinidad & Tobago (818.5). Host Trinidad & Tobago won the men’s team title with 520.5. Peru also won the women’s team title with 628 points.

Among dignitaries attending the meet was FINA treasurer Dale Neuburger.

“In a single word, it’s been fantastic,” Neuburger told PanAm Aquatics guest interviewer Jordy Groters.

“The easiest thing to do during the pandemic and immediately afterwards is to not do something, to cancel, to say no. The willingness for PanAm Aquatics to host an important event like this and for Trinidad & Tobago’s swimming federation to host this event and all that goes along with it, they really are to be commended for it. It’s so easy to say ‘we can’t do something.’ It takes a lot to do this under tough conditions.”

Several countries chose not to compete because of other meets being held the same week and close proximity of the world championships.

“We had 17 nations here which is tremendous,” Neuburger said. “We are a couple of weeks away from a world championship. This has been a tremendous step forward. The success of this event by word-of-mouth will bring other federations, swimmers and coaches the next time.”

The meet attracted 232 athletes from 17 nations and served as a qualification meet for the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games. The four-day tournament, formally called the UANA Cup, is an elite championship for age group swimmers. The event had athletes from South America, Central America, British Commonwealth and Caribbean.

SUNDAY RESULTS
COMBINED
: 1. Peru 1,149, 2. Puerto Rico 1,073, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 818.5, 4. Jamaica 278.5, 5. Honduras 236.5.
WOMEN: 1. Peru 628, 2. Puerto Rico 561, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 250, 4. Jamaica 182, 5. Colombia 142.
MEN: 1. Trinidad & Tobago 520.5, 2. Peru 467, 3. Puerto Rico 460, 4. Honduras 159.5, 5. Surinam 118.

WOMEN
1500-meter freestyle: 11-and-over, 1. Emma Guglielmello, PUR 17:13.24, 2. Danna Moreno, ECU 17:19.51, 3. Tifany Jinete, COL 17:43.77.

100-meter backstroke: 11-12, 1. Elvira Demera, ECU 1:11.88; 13-14, 1. Carolyn Levy-Powell, JAM 1:08.10; 15-17, 1. Alexia Acuna, PER 1:04.21; 18-and-over, 1. Ornella Walker, TTO 1:04.18.

200-meter butterfly: 11-and-over, 1. Yasmin Contreras, PER 2:19.12, 2. Maria Machuca, PER 2:22.30, 3. Jennifer Posada, HON 2:22.61.

50-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Elvira Demera, ECU 28.48, 2. Karla Carrizo, PAN 28.94, 3. Astrid Cervantes, PER 29.38.

MEN:
1500-meter freestyle: 11-and-over, 1. Diego Paredes, HON 16:12.43, 2. Caleb Serrano, PUR 16:36.70, 3. Adrian Papi, PER 16:39.62.

100-meter backstroke: 11-12, 1. Esteban Loncharich, PER 1:10.96; 13-14, 1. David Guevara, ECU 1:01.05; 15-17, 1. Zackary Gresham, GRN 59.54; 18-and-over, 1. Yeziel Morales, PUR 56.67.

200-meter butterfly: 11-and-over, 1. Victor Rosado, PUR 2:02.50, 2. Ariel Herrera, ECU 2:07.56, 3. Jose Olivo, PER 2:08.27.

50-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Carlos Carmona, PER 26.73; 13-14, 1. Zachary Anthony, TTO 24.79; 15-17, 1. Nikoli Blackman, TTO 22.71; 18-and-over, 1. Ricardo Willing, PER 23.88.

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