Wellbrock Breaks World Record; FGC’s Sid Cassidy Honored At FINA Short Course World Championships


By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 21, 2021–The final day of the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships ended with the fourth world record of the meet Tuesday at Etihad Arena.

Germany’s Florian Wellbrock broke the world record in the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:06.88. Wellbrock pulled away from the field at the midway mark. The previous record was 14:08.06 set in 2015 by Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, who was fourth in Tuesday’s race in 14:21.00. Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia was second in 14:10.94 and the Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk was third in 14:11.47.

Three other world records were set earlier in the week. Siobhan Haughey broke the 200-meter freestyle world record in 1:50.43. Margaret MacNeil broke the world record in the 50-meter backstroke and Sweden equaled the 4×50-meter medley relay world record.

The three individual swimmers and four relay swimmers earned an additional $50,000 in addition to their $10,000 first place prize money.

In addition, five world junior records and 11 meet records were broken. Swimmers from 28 countries earned at least one medal, the most countries ever awarded at a short course world championship.

“I want to thank everyone in the aquatics family, in particular the incredible athletes, for ending this challenging year with so many incredible performances during this historic FINA World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi,” said President Captain Husain Al-Musallam.

“The world-class Etihad Arena and the beautiful shores of Yas Island have provided the ultimate environment for athletes to set world and national records and provide family-friendly entertainment for thousands of passionate swimming fans.”

In local short course world championship news, St. Andrew’s Aquatics Director and head coach Sid Cassidy was awarded the first Dennis Miller Award during the FINA Gala as an outstanding open water organizer.

In other championship final action:

Italy’s Alessandro Miressi held on to win the 100-meter freestyle in a national record 45.57 just ahead of American Ryan Held in 45.63.

American Emily Escobedo won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:17.85, 3/100ths ahead of Evgeniia Chikunova of the Russian Swimming Federation. It was only the second individual gold medal of the meet for the U.S. women.

In another close race, Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki surged in the final 50 to win the 200-meter backstroke in 1:48.68 ahead of American Shaine Casas in 1:48.81.

Canadian Maggie MacNeil won the 100-meter butterfly in 55.04. American Claire Curzan broke the world junior record in 55.39 and was third.

American Nic Fink won the 50-meter breaststroke in 25.53.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom won the 50-meter freestyle in a meet record 23.08.

The U.S. women won the 4×50-meter freestyle relay in 1:34.22 just ahead of Sweden in 1:34.54 with Abbey Weitzeil, Claire Curzan, Katharine Berkoff and Kate Douglass.

Italy won the men’s 4×100-meter medley relay in a meet record 3:19.76 ahead of the U.S. with swimmers Lorenzo Mora, Nicolo Martinenghi, Matteo Rivolta and Alessandro Miressi.

FINA paid out $2.8 million in prize money, a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There was also a $50,000 bonus given to any swimmer who breaks a world record.

The top eight individual payoffs for first through eighth place were $10,000, $8,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

There were 943 swimmers from 183 countries competing. The 16th FINA World Swimming Championships will be held Dec. 17-22 , 2022 at the Aquatics Palace in Kazan, Russia.

FINA and Myrtha Pools also announced the renewal of their long term partnership that will see Myrtha continue as one of FINA’s Official Partners for the next four years through 2025.

FINA also confirmed the meet had 37 positive COVID-19 cases including 15 athletes. Seven nations including Singapore and Nigeria were also forced to withdraw because of the restrictions.

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

Energy Standard Captures Second International Swimming League Title


By Sharon Robb
EINDHOVEN, Netherlands, December 4, 2021—Energy Standard knocked off defending champion Cali Condors to win its second International Swimming League title in three years Saturday at Pieter van den Hoogenband Zwemstadion.

Energy Standard, 19-point leaders after the opening day, clinched the title with 534 points. Cali Condors were runner-up with 522 followed by London Roar with 393.5 and LA Current with 305.5.

SOFLO five-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of London Roar was second in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.85. Cali Condors’ Lilly King won in 1:03.75. It was King’s 18th ISL win in her specialty event.

London teammate Dylan Carter, two-time Olympian for Trinidad & Tobago, was third in the 100-meter freestyle in 46.45. He split 23.89 on the back half. He was also third in the 50-meter butterfly in 22.36.

Sarah Sjostrom of Energy Standard was selected the ISL MVP for the second time in three years. She was also the championship finals MVP. The Swedish Olympian won $120,000 in MVP prize money ($100,000 for the season and $20,000 for the finals). She scored 61 points in the match and 511.5 points for the entire season.

Other winners were:
Siobhan Haughey of Energy Standard became the first woman to break 51 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle, winning in 50.79, an Asian and ISL record. Teammate Sarah Sjostrom was second in 51.26.

Kyle Chalmers of London Roar came from behind to win the men’s 100-meter freestyle in 45.73.

Hali Flickinger of Cali Condors won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:03.73. She also won the 400 individual medley in 4:29.92.

Teppei Morimoto of London Roar won the men’s 200-meter butterfly in 1:50.44 just ahead of Chad Le Clos of Energy Standard in 1:50.97.

Ingrid Wilm of LA Current won the 100-meter backstroke in 55.73.

Evgeny Rylov of Energy Standard won the 100-meter backstroke in 48.94.

Sarah Sjostrom of Energy Standard won the 100-meter individual medley in 57.46, fastest time of the season.

Caeleb Dressel of Cali Condors won the 100-meter individual medley in 50.74.

Cali Condors’ Nic Fink won the 100-meter breaststroke in 55.56 breaking his own American short course record by 6/10ths of a second.

Kelsi Dahlia of Cali Condors won the 50-meter butterfly in 24.86.

Ben Proud of Energy Standard won the 50-meter butterfly in 22.18 ahead of LA Current’s Tom Shields in 22.27.

Siobhan Haughey of Energy Standard won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:51.04.

Townley Haas of Cali Condors won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:42.18.

Energy Standard won the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay in an ISL record 3:30.94 with Evgeny Rylov, Ilya Shymanovich, Anastasiya Shkurdai and Sarah Sjostrom. It is an unofficial world record since FINA does not keep world records for short course mixed medley relays.

Duncan Scott of London Roar won the men’s 400 individual medley in 4:03.24.

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

FINA World Cup Series Final Leg In Singapore This Weekend; SOFLO’s Rojas Competes Saturday At Speedo Winter Championships


By Sharon Robb

November 17, 2017—Chad Le Clos of South Africa and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden are expected to clinch the overall titles going into this weekend’s final leg of the FINA/Airweave World Cup Series in Singapore.

Both have huge leads and favored to clinch at the OCBC Aquatics Centre. If they clinch, they will be awarded $150,000.

Le Clos, a four-time Olympic medalist, leads the men’s standings with 402 points, a 129-point cushion.

Sjostrom, who won three gold medals at the Budapest World Championships, has 578 points, 132 points ahead of three-time Olympic gold medalist Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, the defending World Cup Series overall champion. It is the first time Sjostrom has done the entire World Cup circuit.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO is among the women’s field. Atkinson is coming off a win in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:19.58 and 50-meter breaststroke. She has won 51 World Cup medals overall including 11 gold medals this year.

SPEEDO WINTER CHAMPIONSHIPS

SOFLO’s Marc Rojas, 23, will compete in one event Saturday at the 27th annual Speedo Winter Championships at Plantation Aquatics Complex.

Rojas, who represents the Dominican Republic internationally, is seeded first in the 100-yard breaststroke in 55.70 among 25 swimmers in the open field.

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

FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup Series Continues Tuesday In Tokyo; Sjostrom, Le Clos Lead Series


By Sharon Robb

November 13, 2017—-Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden and Chad Le Clos of South Africa continue to lead the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup rankings going into the seventh leg Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.

Sjostrom leads the women’s standings with 515 points followed by Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, 404, and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (227).

Le Clos leads the men’s series with 360 points ahead of Vladimir Morozov of Russia with 237 and Kirill Prigoda of Russia with 210.

On the second and final day of the Beijing, China leg on Saturday, four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 28, of SOFLO won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:19.58 against a less than stellar field. On Friday, she won the 50 breaststroke in 29.57.

It was her second gold medal of the meet. She has won 11 gold medals this year and 51 World Cup gold medals overall.

Also in Beijing, Le Clos won three gold medals over two days. Sjostrom also won three events.

American Michael Andrew broke a world junior record in the 100-meter individual medley in 51.86 and was second overall behind Morozov in 50.36, just .06 off his own world record.

The finals of the seventh leg in Tokyo will be live streamed on FINAtv. The series ends Nov. 18-19 in Singapore.

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

Sarah Sjostrom, Chad Le Clos Stars Of FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup; Atkinson Takes Gold, Silver On Final Day


By Sharon Robb

October 6, 2017—Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and South Africa’s Chad Le Clos continue to lead the point standings after the second and last leg of Cluster Two of the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

Sjostrom now leads with 446 points and Le Clos has 312. Both finished the second cluster with impressive wins.

Le Clos picked up an added $50,000 for winning Cluster Two along with Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu who won five gold medals.

Sjostrom won five races over two days, the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyle and 50- and 100-meter butterfly.

Sjostrom also earned the best female performance of the meet with her 23.28 50-meter freestyle (994 points).

Le Clos won four races, the 200-meter freestyle and 50-, 100- and 200-meter butterfly.

The top three World Cup Leaders are Sjostrom, Hosszu and Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands for the women and Le Clos, Kirill Prigoda of Russia and Russian teammate Vladimir Morozov.

Cluster Three begins in November in Beijing, China, Nov. 10-11; Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 14-15; and Singapore, Nov. 18-19.

In other events at the Hamad Aquatic Centre:

On the final day, four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO won a gold and silver medal on the final day. Atkinson, 28, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.42 and was second in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:26.10 behind Denmark’s Rikke Pedersen.

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa won the 100-meter breaststroke in 56.11 just ahead of Kirill Prigoda of Russia.

Hosszu won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.27 ahead of Aussie Emily Seebohm in 56.40.

Germany’s Christian Diener won the 50-meter backstroke in 23.58 and 200-meter backstroke in 1:50.96.

China’s Zhang Yufei won the women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:07.43.

Prigoda won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:55.57.

China’s Wang Jianjiahe, who set the first world junior record in the women’s 800-meter freestyle, won the 400 freestyle in 4:02.42.

Russian Vladimir Morozov won the 50-meter freestyle in 20.98.

Hosszu won the 100-meter individual medley in 57.26 and finished winning the 400-meter individual medley in 4:27.94.

Hungary’s Gergely Gyurta won the men’s 1500-meter freestyle in 14:41.84.

The Netherlands won another relay, the mixed 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:32.20 in Tom De Boer, Kyle Stalk, Maaike De Waard and Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

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

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Hosszu, Sjostrom, Le Clos Shine On Final Day Of FINA World Cup Series; Missouri Tigers Dominate Show-Me Showdown


By Sharon Robb

October 1, 2017—Hungarian Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu just missed the 100-meter individual medley world record on Day Two of the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup Series in Hong Kong.

The final session featured some of the world’s best swimmers and series leaders including Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom and Chad Le Clos.

In the race of the night, Hosszu pulled away from Sjostrom to win the 100 individual medley in 56.97, off her world record of 56.51 and ahead of Sjostrom in 58.62. The two have been the stars of the series.

Hosszu also won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.20 ahead of Aussie Emily Seebohm in 56.71.

Hosszu finished the meet with a win in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:33.55, pulling away from South African Jessica Whelan in 4:50.24.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO won her second gold medal of the meet in the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.26. She also took third in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:26.70; was fourth in the 100-meter individual medley in 59.57; and fifth in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.32. Atkinson automatically qualified for finals and did not have to swim prelims.

On Saturday she won the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.09. It was her seventh gold medal of the 2017 series. She has also taken three bronze medals after three of the eight series stops.

Other winners were:

Sjostrom won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.99 ahead of Ranomi Kromowidjojo in 52.53. She also won the 50-meter butterfly in 24.62 just missing the world record of 24.38.

Le Clos won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.88 ahead of American Tom Shields in 1:43.58. Le Clos also won the 100-yard butterfly in 50.28, again ahead of Shields in 50.82.

Cameron van der Burgh won the 100-yard breaststroke in 56.43.

Florida State alum Pavel Sankovich of Belarus won the 50-meter backstroke in 23.03. It was his first win of the weekend meet.

China’s Zhang Yufei won the women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.64.

Russian Kirill Prigoda won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:54.81 just out-touching Hong Kong’s Kenneth To in 1:54.83.

Femke Heemskerk won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:04.30.

Russian Vladimir Morozov won the 50-meter freestyle in 20.91, the only sub-21 in the final. Le Clos was second in 21.48.

Canadian Kierra Smith led from start to finish to win the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:18.48.

Christian Diener of Germany won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:51.25.

China’s Qiu Ziao knocked off 800 world champion Gabriele Detti of Italy in the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:44.09. Detti took silver in 14:46.44.

Netherlands won the 4×50 freestyle mixed relay in 1:32.11 with Thom de Boer (22.04), Kyle Stolk (21.69), Femke Heemskerk (24.21) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (24.17).

Next up is Doha, Qatar Oct. 4-5.

FINA has increased the prize money for the top reward among overall series winners from $100,000 to $150,000 for first, $100,000 for second and $50,000 for third. The increase in prize has not attracted more top level swimmers for the remainder of the series. Most of the world’s top swimmers from national teams are not competing.

Coaches and swimmers are planning to start a new pro tour in 2018. It features the concept of a pledge to pay 49 percent of all revenue generated to athletes. FINA’s spend on swimmers amount to less than five percent of available funds.

COLLEGE SWIMMING

Missouri men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted the 12th annual Show-Me Showdown, competing against teams from all over the state. The Tigers won 21 combined events on both the men’s and women’s sides.

The women’s team had 700 points and men’s team, led by NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming Club alum Jordy Groters of Aruba this season, finished with 676 points. Groters, a senior, is one of six returning All-Americans, along with junior Mikel Schreuders, also Aruban. Schreuders won the 100-yard freestyle in 46.00 and was a member of the winning 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays. Both Groters and Schreuders are coming off this summer’s FINA World Championships.

The Tigers next meet is Oct. 14 at home. The men will swim SEC foe South Carolina and women will battle South Carolina and Arkansas.

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