2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games Two-Year Countdown Kicked Off Tuesday


By Sharon Robb
PARIS, France, July 26, 2022—Let the countdown begin for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Because of the year’s delay to Tokyo 2020 caused by the pandemic, it seems like only yesterday when Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky were tearing it up in the pool. Now the spectacle returns in only two years when the best athletes in the world, including several from South Florida, compete on one of the world’s biggest sports stages beginning July 26.

A hundred years after last hosting the Olympics, the French capital will again host the Olympics and Paralympic Games. Many events will take place in iconic locations in the heart of the city including the Opening Ceremony along the River Seine when athletes will be paraded on boats down the river as an expected 600,000 spectators witness the event.

“The DNA of Paris 2024 is about sport, it is athlete-centered,” said Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet. “We want to offer the best sporting conditions to our community of athletes.”

Thirty-two sports, featuring 329 events, will be held over 18 days of competition through August 11th.

Olympic officials announced the official Paris 2024 slogan which they said reflects a new era of the Olympic Games. The official slogan is “Games Wide Open.”

Estanguet released the slogan on Monday as part of the kickoff.

“Games Wide Open” is the shared slogan for both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games,” he said. “Above all, since the beginning of this adventure, it is the ambition that drives us and inspires each of our actions.

“It is an invitation to the world to come and experience new emotions together. Our Games are the commitments of new experiences and big thrills. New disciplines, outdoor competitions in the heart of Paris, a unique Opening Ceremony on the Seine, the Marathon for all so that everyone can run this iconic Olympic event like the athletes.

“It’s a power. The power to open our hearts and minds, to stop seeing differences as obstacles. The power to write the greatest collective story of a whole generation, through everyone’s contribution, by giving room for everyone: all the territories, the expertise, and all those who wish to join us.

“To deliver inspiring Games that will help take the Olympic and Paralympic Movement into a new era. Bold and creative Games that dare to take a step outside the box, to challenge the current models, our ways of seeing things, our paradigms; to give us the opportunity to come together, to be proud together, to experience together. Quite simply a Games wide open.”

The official launch of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games ticketing, including the full price list, will take place in December 2022.

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

Katie Ledecky Wins; Dylan Carter Makes Final; Patrick Groters Swims First Of Three Prelim Events Sunday At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 18, 2022–Did you really expect opening day of the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships not to be exciting Saturday at Duna Arena?

Olympian Katie Ledecky, 25, didn’t regain her world record but she did win another world title in the 400-meter freestyle, winning her 16th world championship gold medal in a championship record 3:58.15. It was her fourth world title in the 400 after settling for silver in 2019.

Ledecky, grad assistant coach at University of Florida where she trains with head coach Anthony Nesty, was pushed for most of the race by Canadian 15-year-old Summer McIntosh, second in a Canadian record 3:59.29. At 14, McIntosh was the youngest member of Team Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. American Leah Smith was third in 4:02.08. Reigning world record (3:56.40) holder, world and Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus of Australia is not competing at worlds, choosing instead to focus on next month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The top Florida Gold Coast swimmer performance was turned in by Dylan Carter, 26, of Trinidad & Tobago in the 50-meter butterfly.

The Plantation American Heritage alum was fastest qualifier in prelims in a best time and national record 22.87. It was the first time Carter broke 23 seconds. He came back in a fast semifinal to qualify sixth despite a poor start in 22.98 for Sunday’s final. Brit Benjamin Proud was fastest qualifier in 22.76 followed by American Caeleb Dressel in 22.79.

In his opening prelim event, South Florida Aquatic Club Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego, 23, was 32nd in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.07. The top qualifying time was 58.69 by Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands. It was the first of two events Horrego is entered in. He swims the 50-meter breaststroke on Monday.

Carter and Horrego are among 21 Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

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

Izaak Bastian, 21, Bahamas, 100 breaststroke. (St. Andrew’s School and Florida State), 42nd, 1:03.95.

Jayhan Odlum-Smith, 23, St. Lucia, 50 butterfly. (Azura), 49th, 24.81.

Julimar Avila, 25, Honduras, 100 butterfly. (Azura), 22nd, 1:02.20.

Kito Campbell, 19, Jamaica, 100 breaststroke. (Azura), 52nd, 1:05.27.

Matheo Mateos, 21, Paraguay, 400 IM. (Azura), 27th, 4:30.20.

Nicole Frank, 18, Uruguay, 200 IM. (Azura), 28th, 2:17.78.

FGC swimmers competing on Sunday are:

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, 50-meter butterfly final, Plantation American Heritage.

Patrick Groters, 23, Aruba, 100-meter backstroke, NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club, University of South Carolina.

Nicole Frank, 18, Uruguay, 100-meter breaststroke, Azura.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, 100-meter backstroke, Azura.

In Saturday night’s four final events:
MEN’S 400 FREESTYLE: With a burst of speed (26.50 split) in the final 50-meters, Australia’s Elijah Winnington, 22, won in 3:41.22, his first individual gold medal at worlds. He overtook leader Lukas Martens of Germany, second in 3:42.85. Brazilian national record holder Guilherme Costa was third in 3:43.31. American Kiernan Smith, one of 16 former and present University of Florida Gators competing for various countries in swimming and diving, was seventh in 3:46.43 and U.S. teammate Trey Freeman eighth in 3:46.53.

“I tried to have fun in the pool and enjoy this whole experience,” Winnington said. “In the last call room I heard the noise, the MC’s (master of ceremonies) voice and it was a total boost for me. I haven’t had this feeling for a long time.”

MEN’S 400 IM: French national record holder Leon Marchand, 20, a freshman at Arizona State, won in stunning fashion in 4:04.28, a Championship, European and French record. He was the fastest qualifier in 4:09.09. American Carson Foster was second in 4:06.56 and U.S. teammate Chase Kalisz was third in 4:07.47.

Marchand was third on the opening butterfly leg and second after the backstroke leg. He pulled away on the breaststroke leg and was on world record pace, flirting with Michael Phelps’ 2008 world record (4:03.84) with a 1:07 split. Marchand didn’t break the world record but it was the second fastest time in event history. Marchand is coached by Bob Bowman, Phelps’ former coach.

MEN’S 4×100 FREE RELAY: Heavy favorite Team USA won in 3:09.34, just a second off the world record with relay swimmers Caeleb Dressel (47.67), Ryan Held (46.99), Justin Ress (47.48) and Brooks Curry (47.20). It was their third straight title. Held’s split of 46.99 briefly put them on world record pace. The Aussies, eighth at the halfway mark, were second in 3:10.80 and Italians third in 3:10.95.

WOMEN’S 4X100 FREE RELAY: Another heavy favorite, Australia, even without their big names, came through winning the event in 3:30.95. The winning relay members were Mollie O’Callaghan, Madison Wilson, Meg Harris and Shayna Jack. Canada was second in 3:32.15. The U.S. took the bronze in 3:32.58 with Torri Huske, Erika Brown, Kate Douglass and Claire Curzan.

Team USA won six medals including two gold on opening night.

Sunday prelim events are women’s 1500 freestyle, women’s and men’s backstroke, women’s breaststroke, men’s 200 freestyle.

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

Finals Schedule
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

Anna Auld Top Florida Gold Coast Finisher At U.S. Open Water National Championships; SOFLO’s Wilson Makes Top 20


By Sharon Robb
FORT MYERS BEACH, April 3, 2022–University of Florida freshman Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was the top Florida Gold Coast finisher at the U.S. Open Water National and Junior Championships this past weekend at Lynn Hall Beach Park.

Despite rough weather conditions, Auld was among the Top 6 American 10K finishers qualifying for the current U.S. Open Water National Team, putting herself in position to qualify for the 2022 FINA World Championships U.S. roster.

Auld was seventh overall in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 50 seconds. With three swimmers from France among the top seven finishers, Auld qualified as fourth American.

Blair Stoneburg of Treasure Coast Aquatics just missed making the U.S. team by 1 minute and 7 seconds and one spot in 2:26:58. She was the seventh top American finisher.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Isabelle Wilson was 19th in the 7.5K in 1:55:56. The only other FGC swimmer, Erin Miller of St. Andrew’s Aquatics was ninth in 1:49:29.

Teenager Katie Grimes of Sandpipers of Nevada and Axel Reymond of France won the 10K titles.

It was Grimes’ first senior-level open water national title. She stayed with the lead pack and finished more than a minute ahead of the field.

“I really had a good time out there today, the conditions were a little rough but I’m learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Grimes said. “I was swimming with a ton of girls so I was really happy with the outcome and I’m excited for the next race.”

Conditions were not ideal with strong winds and choppy water.

Grimes was followed by Indiana University’s Mariah Denigan (2:17:50) and France’s Caroline Jouisse (2:18:34). The top six Americans were:

Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada), 2:16:40.
Mariah Denigan (Walton, Ky./Indiana University), 2:17:50.
Summer Smith (Agawam, Mass./Bluefish Swim Club), 2:21:07.
Anna Auld (West Palm Beach, Fla./University of Florida), 2:21:50.
Kensey McMahon (Jacksonville, Fla./University of Alabama), 2:22:00.
Brooke Travis (Newark, Del./NC State), 2:25:51.

France’s Axel Reymond (2:02:49) edged U.S. National Team member and University of Florida junior Brennan Gravley (2:02:53) for the top spot. Dylan Gravley, Brennan’s younger brother, finished third (2:03:13), a career-best 10K finish.

“It’s one of my favorite parts of being a USA Swimming athlete,” Brennan said when asked about qualifying for the U.S. Open Water National Team. “I feel like we have a lot of privileges, especially as open water swimmers. It was a fun venue and it was fun to come out here even with intense conditions.”

Added his brother, “I was trying to maintain my position and keep up with Brennan,” Dylan Gravley said. “I’m taking baby steps, it is another year and I was a few places upwards of where I was last year.”

The top-6 American male finishers were:
Brennan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/University of Florida), 2:02:53.
Dylan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/Arizona State University), 2:03:13.
Joey Tepper (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./University of Tennessee), 2:03:39.
Michael Brinegar (Columbus, Ind./Mission Viejo Nadadores/Indiana University), 2:05:44.
Simon Lamar (Sonora, Calif./Harvard University), 2:08:27.
David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo Nadadores), 2:10:20.

French swimmer Aurelie Muller won the senior 5K title ahead of Joiusse and U.S. pool Olympian Bella Sims of Sandpipers of Nevada, third and top American finisher.

Claire Weinstein of Sandpipers of Nevada won the girls 5K junior national title in 1:06:08.

Samuel Marsteiner of New Wave Swim Team won the boys 5K junior national title in 1:02:40.

The top two finishers qualified for the U.S. roster for the Sept. 1-4 FINA World Junior Open Water Championships Beau Vallon, Seychelles.

On Sunday, 16-year-old Ilya Kharun won the Junior National 7.5K race and led a 1-2 finish for the Sandpipers of Nevada Teammate Luke Ellis, 14, was second.

Please note, the full results have not been posted on usaswimming.org. South Florida Aquatic Club’s Isabelle Wilson, 14, competed in the girls 7.5K race and finished but her time has not been posted as of Sunday night.

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

SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Gold, Silver; Breaks National Record On FINA World Cup Day Two; Swims Tuesday In Berlin


August 26, 2016—Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic won her second event Saturday at the FINA World Cup Series opener in Paris-Chartres, France.

A day after tying her own short course meter world record in the 100-meter breaststroke, the four-time Jamaican Olympian won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.25 and $1,500 first place prize money.

Prize money breakdown is $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third.

All three sprint breaststroke finishers were sub-30. Yulia Efimova was second in 29.34 and Katie Meili was third in 29.75.

Atkinson, 27, was second in the 100-meter individual medley in 57.84 for another $1,000, just behind series leader Katinka Hosszu of Hungary in 57.63.

Atkinson was also fourth in the 50-meter butterfly in a national record time of 26.04 after qualifying in 26.70. She broke her own national record of 26.65 she swam last year at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Santa Clara.

She also tied for seventh in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.16 and scratched from the final. She did not compete in the 200-meter breaststroke.

On Friday, Atkinson tied her world record of 1:02.36 equalling her own and Ruta Meilutyte’s world record to kick off the World Cup Series on a positive not and put her disappointing finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics behind her.

It was Atkinson’s first meet since her eighth place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event. She now heads to Berlin for the second leg.

Other winners:

Jeanette Ottesen, Denmark, 100-meter freestyle, 51.84.

Philip Heintz, Germany, 200-meter freestyle, 1:43.13.

Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa, 100-meter breaststroke, 56.42.

Chad le Clos, South Africa, 100-meter butterfly, 49.05.

Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 100-meter backstroke 55.93.

Jeremy Stravius, France, 50-meter backstroke, 22.85, the only sub-23 in the field.

Franziska Hentke, Germany, 200-meter butterfly, 2:05.16.

Philip Heintz, Germany, 200-meter individual medley, 1:52.03.

Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 400-meter individual medley, 4:27.67.

Vladimir Morozov, Russia, 50-meter freestyle, 20.81.

Rie Kaneto, Japan, 200-meter breaststroke, 2:16.99.

Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 100-meter individual medley, 57.63.

Mitch Larkin, Australia, 200-meter backstroke 1:50.10.

Jeanette Ottesen, Denmark, 50-meter butterfly 25.09.

Jan Micka, Czech Republic, 1500-meter freestyle, 14:56.21.

Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 400-meter freestyle 4:02.83.

Hosszu is looking for her sixth straight title on the FINA World Cup Series. She picked up 11 medals including seven wins in Paris and leads all women by 53 points for a total of 129. Atkinson is second with 76 points.

Vladimir Morozov leads the men’s standings with 86 points, 26 ahead of defending series champion Chad le Clos.

France was the first leg of the nine-meet circuit hosted by the French Swimming Federation in a 25-meter pool. Only 115 swimmers (71 men, 44 women) are competing for $300,000 in overall prize money.

The first cluster of the FINA World Cup also features Berlin, Tuesday and Wednesday and Moscow Sept. 3-4.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Begins FINA World Cup Series On Friday


August 25, 2016—Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club will compete in her first meet since the 2016 Rio Olympics on Friday.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian will compete for part of the $300,000 overall prize purse being offered starting with the FINA World Cup Series opener in Paris-Chartres, France.

It is the first leg of the nine-meet circuit hosted by the French Swimming Federation in a 25-meter pool. Only 115 swimmers (71 men, 44 women) are competing.

Atkinson will be among some of the world’s fastest breaststrokers including Japan’s Rie Kaneto, Olympic gold medalist in the 200-meter breaststroke; Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Katie Meili and Russia’s Yulia Efimova.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, last year’s World Cup overall champion, will go after her fifth consecutive title. She is coming off an outstanding Olympics where she won her first medals, three gold and one silver. The “Iron Lady” is entered in every event over two days in the FINA World Cup opener.

The men’s field is just as loaded with South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos, France’s Florent Manaudou and Yannick Agnel Aussie Mitch Larkin, Russian Stansilav Donets and American Michael Andrew.

Prelims are 3:30 a.m. EST and finals 11 a.m. EST.

The first cluster of the FINA World Cup also features Berlin, Aug. 30-31 and Moscow Sept. 3-4.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Atkinson Wins Second Gold On Final Day Of FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Chartres, France


By Sharon Robb

August 16, 2015—Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club won her second gold medal Sunday at the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series second stop at the L’Odyssee Complex in Chartres, France.

Atkinson, 26, making her FINA World Cup Series debut, won the 50-meter breaststroke just out-touching American Katie Meili by .10 in 30.85, well off her third-ranked season best of 30.11 at world championships.

It was Atkinson’s 11th win in the 50-meter breaststroke on the FINA World Cup circuit. Atkinson last loss in the event was in 2014 to Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte in Tokyo.

Atkinson was also seventh in the 50-meter butterfly in 27.01. SOFLO teammate Claire Donahue was fourth in 26.74 and finished with $1,750 from her Moscow showing. Atkinson pocketed $3,000 for her two wins in Chartres. Atkinson did not compete in Moscow.

On Saturday, the three-time Jamaican Olympian won the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event, in 1:07.03, a second off her fourth-ranked season-best of 1:06.21 at world championships.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu leads the women’s prize money list with $65,500. Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa leads the men’s prize money list with $56,000.

The overall points leaders: (MEN) Cameron van der Burgh, 96; Chad Le Clos, 81; Nic Fink, 54; (WOMEN) 1. Katinka Hosszu, 162; 2. Emily Seebohm, 111; 3. Katie Meili and Vitalina Simonova, 42.

Swimmers competed for $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third in addition to a $10,000 bonus check for a world record performance. A prize purse of $92,000 is offered at each FINA stop.

The FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup comprises eight legs distributed over three clusters with eight different events held separately in Moscow, Paris-Chartres, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, Doha and Dubai.

SUNDAY RESULTS

WOMEN

100-meter freestyle: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 54.30, 2. Missy Franklin, USA 54.34, 3. Charlotte Bonnet, France 54.49.

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Alia Atkinson, South Florida Aquatic Club/Jamaica 30.85, 2. Katie Meili, USA 30.95, 3. Breeja Larson, ISA 31.06; FLORIDA: 5. Melanie Margalis, USA/St. Petersburg 31.48.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Emily Seebohm, Australia 58.91, 2. KAtinka Hosszu, Hungary 1:00.05, 3. Missy Franklin, USA 1:00.47; FLORIDA: 7. Carolina Colorado, Colombia/SOFLO 1:02.57.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Franziska Hentke, Germany 2:06.58, 2. Cammile Adams, USA 2:06.73, 3. Zsuzsanna Jakabos, Hungary 2:07.11.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Lindsay Vrooman, USA 4:07.16, 2. Lauren Boyle, New Zealand 4:07.80, 3. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 4:09.31.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Vitilina, Ussia 2:25.26, 2. Breeja Larson, USA 2:26.36, 3. Lisa Zaiser, Austria 2:30.16.

50-meter butterfly: 1. Beryl Gastaldello, France 26.35, 2. Marie Wattel, France 26.46, 3. Sasha Touretski, Switzerland 26.60; FLORIDA: 4. Claire Donahue, USA/SOFLO 26.74, 7. Alia Atkinson, Jamaica/SOFLO 27.01.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 4:35.80, 2. Zsuzsanna, Hungary 4:37.63, 3. Vien Nguyen, Vietnam/St. Augustine 4:42.53.

MEN

200-meter freestyle: 1. Daniel Smith, Australia 1:46.50, 2. Devon Brown, South Africa 1:47.55, 3. Jeremy Stravius, France 1:48.11.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Cameron Van Der Burgh, South Africa 58.97, 2. Nic Fink, USA 1:00.00, 3. Cody Miller, USA 1:00.21.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Chad Le Clos, South Africa 51.04, 2. Tom Shields, USA 51.27, 3. Tim Phillips, USA 52.10.

50-meter backstroke: 1. Camille Lacourt, France 24.75, 2. Pavel Sankovich, Belarus/FSU 25.17; 3. Zheng Wen Quah, Singapore 25.22.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Hiromasa Fujimori, Japan 1:59.39, 2. Ganesh Pedurand, France 2:01.73, 3. David Verraszto, Hungary 2:02.92.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Josh Schneider, USA 22.11, 2. Clement Mignon, France 22.40, 3. Tommaso D’Orsogna, Australia 22.44.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Chad Le Closs, South Africa 1:57.81, 2. Keita Sunama, Japan 1:58.57, 3. Ashley Delaney, Australia 1:59.24.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy 15:04.98, 2. Jan Micka, Czechoslavakia 15:07.75, 3. Damien Joly, France 15:08.07.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Gold On Day One Of FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Chartres, France


By Sharon Robb

August 15, 2015—Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson won a gold medal on the opening day of the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series second stop at the L’Odyssee Complex in Chartres, France.

Atkinson, 26, of South Florida Aquatic Club, making her FINA World Cup Series debut, won the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event, in 1:07.03, a second off her fourth-ranked season-best of 1:06.21 at world championships.

Americans Katie Meili took silver in 1:07.30 and Melanie Margalis of St. Petersburg took bronze in 1:07.49.

Atkinson had the second fastest prelim time in 1:07.99 behind Meili in 1:07.86. Margalis had the fourth fastest in 1:09.27.

Atkinson, the Jamaican national record holder is coming off her silver and bronze medal performances at the recent XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships. She pocketed $1,500 for first place.

SOFLO’s Claire Donahue was fifth in the 100-meter butterfly in 59.20 after taking the second seed in prelims in 59.12.

Frenchwoman Beryl Gastaldello, a sophomore at Texas A&M, lowered her own national record in the 50-meter backstroke in 28.01. Her previous record was 28.02. With great front-end speed, American Natalie Coughlin won the event in 27.65.

American Josh Schneider swam a lifetime-best 48.91 to take silver in the 100-meter freestyle. It was the first time he was under 49 seconds with a time drop of almost .5.

Ryan Lochte, entered in several events before the meet, did not swim.

Swimmers are competing for $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third in addition to a $10,000 bonus check for a world record performance. A prize purse of $92,000 is being offered at each FINA stop.

The FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup comprises eight legs distributed over three clusters with eight different events held separately in Moscow, Paris-Chartres, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, Doha and Dubai. The event has attracted 250 swimmers in 32 events.

The final leg of the first cluster concludes on Sunday in Chartres.

SATURDAY RESULTS

WOMEN

200-meter freestyle: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 1:56.06, 2. Missy Franklin, USA 1:57.28, 3. Charlotte Bonnet, France 1:58.28.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Alia Atkinson, South Florida Aquatic Club 1:07.03, 2. Katie Meili, USA 1:07.30, 3. Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg 1:07.49.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Madeline Groves, Australia 57.98, 2. Brianna Throssell, Australia 58.21, 3. Marie Wattel, France 58.63; FLORIDA: 5. Claire Donahue, SOFLO 59.20.

50-meter backstroke: 1. Natalie Coughlin, USA 27.65, 2. Emily Seebohm, Australia 27.74, 3. Beryl Gastaldello, France 28.01; FLORIDA: 8. Carolina Colorado, Colombia/SOFLO 29.94.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 2:10.19, 2. Zsuzsanna Jakabos, Hungary 2:10.82, 3. Lisa Zaiser, Austroa 2:12.59; FLORIDA: 4. Vien Nguyen, Vietnam/St. Augustine 2:14.01.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Anna Santamans, France 24.78, 2. Natalie Coughlin, USA 24.83, 3. KAtinka Hosszu, Hungary 25.51.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Daria Ustinova, Russia 2:07.43, 2. Emily Seebohm, Australia 2:08.78, 3. Missy Franklin, USA 2:09.25; FLORIDA: 6. Carolina Colorado, Colombia/SOFLO 2:16.03.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Lauren Boyle, New Zealand 8:26.46, 2. Bingjie Li 8:30.09, 3. Lindsay Vrooman, USA 8:30.16.

MEN

100-meter freestyle: 1. Medhy Metella, France 48.69, 2. Josh Schneider, USA 48.91, 3. Jeremy Stravius, France 48.93

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Cameron van Der Burgh, South Africa 26.74, 2. Brendan McHugh, USA 27.61, 3. Renato Prono Fernandez, Paraguay 27.76.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Camille Lacourt, France 53.39, 2. Ashley Delaney, Australia 54.25, 3. Wen Quah Zheng, Singapore 54.34; FLORIDA: 5. Pavel Sankovich, Belarus/FSU 54.96.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Chad Le Clos, South Africa 1:54.18, 2. Jordan Coelho, France 1:57.58, 3. David Morgan, Australia 1:58.93.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Jan Micka, Czechoslavakia 3:50.54, 2. Devon Brown, South Africa 3;50.67, 3. David Brandl, Austria 3:51.15.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Nicolas Fink, USA 2:08.89, 2. Cody Miller, USA 2:10.04, 3. Kazuki Kohinata, Japan 2:10.58.

50-meter butterfly: 1. Chad Le Clos, South Africa 23.23, 2. Timothy Phillips, USA 23.42, 3. Jayden Hadler, Australia 23.66; FLORIDA: 18. Pavel Sankovich, Belarus/FSU 24.64.

400-meter individual medley: 1. David Verraszto, Hungary 4:27.05, 2. Benjamin Doyle, Ireland 4:31.61, 3. Mohammed Al Ghaferi, United Arab Emirates 5:25.69.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Joins FINA World Cup Series In Chartres, France


By Sharon Robb
August 14, 2015—Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will join the FINA World Cup Series second stop on Saturday in L’Odyssee, Chartres, France.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer skipped the opening stop in Moscow to shoot a Speedo catalog in Europe.

The photo shoot in Montenegro was part of Atkinson’s contractual obligations to Speedo, who she signed with earlier in the year.

Atkinson posted a photo on her Instagram page with the caption: “Who would have thought that a little girl from Jamaica could make it this big.”

Atkinson is coming off her silver and bronze medal performances at the recent XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships.

Atkinson will be joined by SOFLO teammates Claire Donahue, who took a gold medal and bronze medal in Moscow, and Carolina Colorado and Jorge Murillo of Colombia. Atkinson was a big money winner in last year’s FINA World Cup Series.

The two-day meet is 90 kilometers outside of Paris, France in Chartres.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu leads the women’s points standings with $7,500 and 75 points after the opening cluster.

South African Cameron van der Burgh leads the men’s standings with $3,000 and 48 points.

A total of $96,000 in prize money will be offered at the Paris-Chartres stop, the final meet of the first cluster. An additional $150,000 will be distributed among the top six male and female performers.

Swimmers are competing for $1,500 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third in addition to a $10,000 bonus check for a world record performance. A prize purse of $92,000 is being offered at each FINA stop.

The FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup comprises eight legs distributed over three clusters with eight different events held separately in Moscow, Chartres, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, Doha and Dubai.

The event has attracted 250 swimmers in 32 events.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Pinon Takes Home Relay Silver, Bronze Medals At COMEN Cup In Israel

SOFLO’s Pinon Takes Home Relay Silver, Bronze Medals At COMEN Cup In Israel


By Sharon Robb

June 29, 2014

Julien Pinon of South Florida Aquatic Club took home two medals at the XXX Mediterranean Swimming COMEN Cup in Netanya, Israel.

Pinon, 16, representing France for his French club team Canet 66 Natation, anchored the second place 4×100-meter freestyle relay and third place 4×200-meter freestyle relay at the newly-built Wingate Institute Olympic Swimming Pool.

Pinon anchored the 4×100 that finished second to Italy (3:27.17) in 3:29.98. Pinon’s opening split was 25.14 and he finished in 53.11. He was joined by teammates Alexandre Derache, Remi Meresse and Mathieu Allemandet.

He also anchored the 4×200 that finished third in 7:42.72. Spain won in 7:36.16. Meresse, Ramon Fuchs and Mathieu Bernardini were other relay members.

The French national age group champion was shut out in the individual 200-meter freestyle finishing sixth in 1:55.73. Pinon went out in 27.07 for the first 50, 56.18 for 100 and 1:26.02 at the 150-meter mark.

Pinon had qualified for the major international meet with a victory in the 15-16 French Long Course National Championships in the 200 in 1:54.08.

Pinon served as team captain of the 28-member French team.

The COMEN Cup was hosted by the Israel Swimming Association and features swimming, synchronized swimming, open water and masters swimming.

Italy swept the girls and boys team titles. The girls won with 173 points and boys finished with 163 points. Spain was second and France was third in both divisions. More than 210 athletes from 18 countries competed.

Pinon has now competed in three international meets since going overseas to train with the French team. Pinon will now return to training camp in France until the July 25-29 French nationals for 16-year-olds and older in southeastern France.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com