Dressel, Ledecky Make History With Gold Medals, World Record At Tokyo Olympics

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 30, 2021–Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky more than lived up to expectations Friday at the Olympic Aquatics Centre.

Dressel, 24, broke his own world record in the 100-meter butterfly in 49.45. His previous record was 49.50.

Dressel led with the quickest start (.60 off the blocks) and after the turn (23.00 split) and held off Hungary’s Kristof Milak’s late charge, who was second in a European record 49.68, also a lifetime best.

It was the first world record in an individual event by a male. Dressel is five-for-five in gold medals in two Olympics including two individual and one relay in Tokyo.

It was a busy day for the Clay High School, Bolles Swim Club and University of Florida alum who had a challenging triple in a span of 73 minutes. His semifinal 50-meter freestyle was 46 minutes after the 100 fly final. He then swam anchor on the mixed 400-meter medley relay 27 minutes after the 50 free and butterfly gold medal ceremony.

No American woman has won more gold medals than Katie Ledecky, 24, who won her sixth gold medal in her final event of the Games in the 800-meter freestyle. She won her third consecutive 800 Olympic gold in 8:12.57.

In the final 200 meters, she pulled away from Aussie rival Ariarne Titus who took silver in an Oceanic record 8:13.83. Fifteen-year-old U.S. teammate Katie Grimes was fourth in 8:19.38 and thanked Ledecky for pulling her along. “You’re welcome,” smiled Ledecky leaning on a lane line.

“It’s awesome, I just wanted to finish on a really good note,” Ledecky said. “I’m really happy. I want to try and soak it all in. I’m still in a lot of pain.

“That was not my last swim. I’m going to be around at least until 2024 (Paris Olympics) and maybe 2028 (Los Angeles Olympics). I don’t take anything for granted.”

Local swimmers results:

Coral Springs Swim Club’s Bruno Fratus of Brazil won the eighth heat of the 50-meter freestyle in 21.67. In the first semifinal he was second in 21.60, the 90th time he has broken 22 seconds, more than any other swimmer in history. He will swim in Lane 3 in the final next to Dressel.

Plantation American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago, second in his 50-meter freestyle heat in 22.46.

Westlake Prep alum Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Suriname, fifth in his 50-meter freestyle heat in 22.56.

Azura’s Samantha Roberts of Antigua was sixth in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 27.63.

PAQ’s Cherelle Thompson of Trinidad & Tobago was eighth in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 26.19.

Azura’s Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador was second in his 1500-meter freestyle in 15:27.37.

In other championship medal finals:

Women’s 200-meter backstroke:
The Aussies continue to have a great showing, this time finishing one-three in the event. Kaylee McKeown came on in the last 20 meters to sweep the backstroke events in 2:04.68. She went 31 seconds on the back end. Early leader Kylie Masse of Canada was second in 2:05.42 and Aussie teammate Emily Seebohm was third in 2:06.17. Americans Rhyan White (2:06.39) and Phoebe Bacon (2:06.40) were out of the medal hunt in fourth and fifth.

Mixed 4×100-meter medley relay: The event made its Olympic debut with the U.S. getting shut out of medals. Great Britain, with Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty (56.78 split), James Guy and Anna Hopkin won with a world record 3:37.58. China was second in 3:38.86 and Australia third in 3:38.95. The U.S. relay of Ryan Murphy (52.23 split), Lydia Jacoby (1:05.09), who lost her goggles on the start and swam with them on her face, Torri Huske (56.27) and Caeleb Dressel (46.99), who was eight seconds behind the leaders when he hit the water, was fifth in 3:40.58.


200-meter backstroke: 1. Kaylee McKeown, AUS 2:04.68, 2. Kylie Masse, CAN 2:05.42, 3. Emily Seebohm, AUS 2:06.17.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, US 8:12.57, 2. Ariarne Titmus, AUS 8:13.83, OC, 3. Simona Quadarella, ITA 8:18.35.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Caeleb Dressel, US 49.45, WR, 2. Kristof Milak, HUN 49.68, ER, 3. Noe Ponti, SUI 50.74.

Mixed 4×100-meter medley relay: 1. Great Britain 3:37.58, WR, 2. China 3:38.86, 3. Australia 3:38.95.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Will Compete For Team Iron This Weekend In ISL Pro Debut

By Sharon Robb

LEWISVILLE, Texas, October 18, 2019—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson of Jamaica and Olympic superstars Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and Adam Peaty of Great Britain will make their International Swimming League debut this weekend.

The third stop (the first two were in Indianapolis and Naples, Italy) will feature the LA Current, NY Breakers, Team Iron and London Roar will all compete for the first time in league play Saturday and Sunday at LISD Westside Aquatic Center just outside Dallas.

Hosszu, the most dominant medley swimmer in the world, and Peaty, the fastest male breaststroker in the history of the sport, head the elite field. Peaty and the British team are training at Pine Crest in Fort Lauderdale for three weeks.

Hosszu, a captain of Team Iron, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, a nine-time Long Course World Champion, and holder of six individual world records.

Peaty, a member of the London Roar, is the reigning Olympic champion in the men’s 100 breaststroke, an eight-time World Champion, and world record holder in the 50 and 100 breaststroke.

Atkinson, a world short course record holder and four-time Olympian, will also compete on Hosszu’s Team Iron along with Russian Vladimir Morozov, the best male short course swimmer in the world.

The league features eight teams all competing for a spot in the splashy season finale in Las Vegas.

The four American clubs are Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current and NY Breakers. The international teams are Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Team Iron and London Roar.

“I’m very excited to be part of this huge movement,” said Hosszu, who owns Team Iron. “I know that we are going to change a lot of things in the sport of swimming. For me, it’s more like a double excitement because I’m an owner of Team Iron and a swimmer in Team Iron, so I see how both sides and how everything unfolds.”

There will be no heats. The events will be held over two hours in a 25-meter pool featuring four swimmers per final.

Swimmers will race for team points, with relays worth double. Skins sprints feature three heats, with eight swimmers reduced to four and then a head-to-head of the fastest two. Points earned in skins are worth triple.

The top four finishers in each race are eligible for prize money beyond what they receive from team revenue. The ISL has committed to a 50-50 split of revenue with the teams and swimmers, who receive base salaries as well.

Other ISL stops are in Hungary, Washington, D.C., and London. The top two teams from the U.S. and Europe after the six regular-season meets advance to the finals on Dec. 20-21.

Two aspects the ISL has implemented outside of the pool is a zero tolerance stance on doping (any athlete with a positive test is not allowed to compete) and equal pay between men and women.

Also, every ISL competitor will have access to financial benefits, including substantial prize money, personal insurance and pension plans. Each of them have signed two contracts – one with their team and another with the league – with central revenues, generated through sales of sponsorship, media rights and merchandise, distributed equitably.

Each team will pay its swimmers from a total salary budget of $150,000, with additional cash bonuses offered based on performance.

Ukrainian Konstantin Grigorishin, the ISL’s founder and financier, talks about bringing a “paradigm shift” in swimming, a sport he believes has huge untapped commercial potential but which has suffered from inertia on the part of Fina, which controls the amateur sport.

ESPN will provide live and delayed streaming of the ISL on ESPN3, which can be accessed through the ESPN app. It will also be shown on CBC Sports for Canadian viewers.

ISL 2019 Schedule:

5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA

12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy

19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA

26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary

16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA

23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain

20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

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

By Sharon Robb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Peaty Breaks World Record; Ledecky Finishes Second; SOFLO, Florida Gold Coast Swimmers See Action On Day One Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships

By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 21, 2019—The opening day of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships on Sunday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre crowned its first four world champions with some stunning surprises.

Brit Adam Peaty cracked the 57-second barrier to become the first swimmer to do so when he broke the world record in the semifinals. Peaty finished in an astounding 56.88, breaking his own world record by 0.22 sconds. He was on world record pace midway through the race. He will now go after the gold medal Monday night.

“There’s no real words, except for incredible,” Peaty said. “Obviously, I’ve been chasing that for years now. As soon as I touched that wall in Rio, I was like, ‘I could go faster’. It’s a very special journey that we’ve had and hopefully we’ll go a lot faster tomorrow. I said to all these guys down there, it’s still a semi-final. It would be a bit embarrassing to go world record and then not come away with a world title.”

Katie Ledecky, 22, opened worlds with a rare second-place finish. The American superstar lost for the first time on a major international stage, finishing second in the 400-meter freestyle. Aussie teenager Ariarne Titmus reeled her in on the final lap to knock off the five-time Olympic champion.

“I want to try to take it in,” Titmus told reporters, “because that’s not something that happens every day. Before the race my coach said to me just fight. I never thought I would find myself in a situation where I’d be mowing Katie down. She’s such a champion.”

The world record holder in the event was second in one of her strongest events in 3:59.76, 0.21 seconds behind the 18-year-old. She had won every major race at that distance since the 2013 worlds. U.S. teammate Leah Smith was third in 4:01.29.

“Obviously this stings a little,” Ledecky said. “It’s unfamiliar and different. But I need to rebound from this, and I need to get my fight back. I just need to continue to do the things I know I’m prepared to do. I’m prepared to swim fast at this meet. Tonight wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be.”

In the men’s 400-meter freestyle, China’s Olympic champion Sun Yang won gold in 3:42.44, a record fourth gold medal at worlds. Aussie Mack Horton was second in 3:43.17 and Italian Gabriele Detti was third in 3:43.23. American Zane Grothe was eighth in 3:45.78.

The U.S. won the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay in a championship record 3:09.06. Relay members included Clay High School and Bolles alum Caeleb Dressel, Blake Peroni, Zach Apple and Nathan Adrian. Dressel swam lead-off in 47.63. Russia was second in 3:09.97 and Australia was third in 3:11.22.

Dressel also broke the American and championship records in the 50-meter butterfly qualifier in 22.57.

Australia won the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle in 3:30.21 with Cate Campbell, Brianna Throssell, Madison Wilson and Bronte Campbell. The U.S. was second in 3:31.02 with Allison Schmitt, Abbey Weitzeil, Margo Greer ad Lia Neal. Canada ws third in 3:31.78.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Nguyen Vien of Vietnam opened worlds with a 26th place finish in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:17.79 and 19th place in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:13.35.

Among Florida Gold Coast swimmers: Aruba’s Daniel Jacobs was 40th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:00.69. Venezuela’s Isabella Paez was 36th in 100-meter butterfly in 1:01.27. Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador was 31st in the 400-meter freestyle in 3:55.06. Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago was eighth in the 50-meter butterfly opener in 23.33 and 13th in 23.37 in semifinals to end his finals hope. Joseph Schooling of Singapore failed to qualify in the 50 butterfly finishing 20th in 23.73. Colombia’s Jorge Murillo was 33rd in 1:01.45. Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas was 58th in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.60. Will Pisani was 13th in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay swimming for Canada in 3:15.06.

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

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

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

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Great Britain Surprise Team At LEN European Championships That End On Sunday

Great Britain Surprise Team At LEN European Championships That End On Sunday


August 14, 2010

Great Britain has caught everyone by surprise including its head coach Dennis Pursley at the 30th LEN European Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The Brits are in full training mode and did not shave or taper for this meet.

The 34-member team is using the seven-day meet more as a training gauge. The main focus is on the Commonwealth Games in India in October.

Still, the British have already equalled their best European medal haul of 13.

“I wasn’t expecting them to come here and post as many personal bests as they have done,” said Pursley, former U.S. national team director.

“I expected them to race tough but I didn’t think they would make the podium as much as they have done. In some respects we are looking beyond this meet. But when the team is swimming well it goes through the team and the others start to think they don’t want to be left out of this.”

Said Brit swimmer Robbie Renwick: “It’s been hard for the guys here without any rest and as the week has worn on we have got faster and faster due to the rest between events. It shows we are capable and we’ll go to the Commonwealth Games with confidence.”

Three more meet records fell and Russia won three gold medals Saturday night at the Alfred Hajos Pool Complex.

With one day remaining, France leads the medal count with 17 (six gold, six silver and five bronze).

Russian Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia broke his own meet record to win the gold medal in the men’s 100-meter butterfly. His time of 51.73 bettered his previous mark of 51.89 set in March, 2008.

“My plan was to swim a fast first lap, about 24 seconds flat,” Korotyshkin said. “I finished as best as I could because I was completely exhausted in the last 10 meters.”

Joeri Verlinden of the Netherlands was second in 51.82 and Konrad Czerniak of Poland was third in 52.16.

Stanislav Donets of Russia won the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 1:57.18 knocking off Markus Rogan of Austria in (1:57.31) and Frenchman Benjamin Stasiulis (1:57.37) in an exciting race.

“I am quite tired,” Donets said. “I had a strenuous program here with three backstroke competitions. I am very pleased that it was enough to win.”

The Russian 4×200-meter freestyle relay team of Nikita Lobintsev, Daniil Izotov, Sergey Perunin and Alexander Sukhorukov won the gold medal in course record time of 7:06.71. The previous mark of 7:09.60 was set by Italy in August 2006. Germany took the silver in 7:08.13 and France took bronze in 7:09.70.

“This was a really good relay,” Izotov said. “That’s how we like it. Although the French had Yannick Agnel on their team, that didn’t bother us.”

Italy won its first two gold medals of the meet.

Italian Federica Pellegrini scored a convincing victory in the women’s 200-meter freestyle in a meet record time of 1:55.45. The world and European champion broke her own meet record of 1:56.53 in the prelims. She is the first woman this year to go under 1:56.

European junior champion Silke Lippok of Germany took the silver in 1:56.98 and Agnes Mutina of Hungary took bronze in 1:57.12.

“It’s incredible to get a medal,” said Lippok. “My legs were shaking at the start and now I am totally exhausted. I gave it everything I had.”

Fabio Scozzoli of Italy won the men’s 50-meter breaststroke in 27.38. Dragos Agache of Roumania was second in 27.47 and Lennart Stekelenburg of the Netherlands was third in 27.51.

Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus won the women’s 50-meter backstroke in a meet record time of 27.64. She broke her own record of 27.98 she set in prelims. Daniela Samulski of Germany was second in 27.99 and Mercedes Peris Minguet of Spain was third in 28.01.

In the women’s 1500-meter freestyle Denmark’s Lotte Friis won in 15:59.13. Grainne Murphy of Ireland took a silver in 16:02.29 and Erika Garcia Villaecija of Spain took bronze in 16:05.08.

“I was still tired from the 800 race,” Friis said. “I think it is stupid to schedule these long distance events without a one-day break.”

Said Murphy, “I’m surprised I managed the transition from junior to senior so well. I need to calm down and digest it all.”

Two meet records were broken in the semifinals. Russian Yuliya Efimova broke her own course record of 30.54 in 30.32 and will go after her European record of 30.09 in finals.

Frenchman Fred Bousquet broke the course record in the 50-meter freestyle in 21.36. The previous record was 21.50 set by Alain Bernard of the Netherlands in March 2008.

Annika Saarnak, a University of Miami senior and Estonia national record holder, finished 49th in the 50-meter freestyle in 27.14 in her fourth and final event on Saturday. Sweden’s Theresa Alshammar, who already has the fastest time in the world this year, had the fastest qualifying time in 24.93.

Saarnak holds the fastest time in the 100-meter freestyle in Estonia in 54.78 which she set at the December 2009 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Turkey.

A record-high 591 swimmers from 43 European countries have been competing for 61 titles in the seven-day championships that end on Sunday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com.