18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Opens Friday; Swimming Begins July 21

By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 10, 2019—The 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships will make its debut in Korea on Friday.

The biggest FINA event, held over 17 days, will feature competitions in all six aquatic disciplines–swimming, diving, high diving, open water swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo competing for 76 gold medals.

With the slogan of “Dive Into Peace” the world championships will offer a sneak preview of what’s to come at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Several international athletes are competing for Olympic berths.

The 18th edition of the FINA World Championships has attracted the largest number of athletes in event history with 2,639 from 194 countries.

With 82 athletes, host South Korea will have the largest contingent of athletes including 29 in swimming. South Korea will make its debut in open water swimming and water polo at worlds.

Swimming, the most popular event, will not begin until July 21, at the Nambu University Memorial Aquatics Center. The U.S. team leads in medals with 208 gold medals in 17 world championships.

China is expected to dominate the diving, that begins Friday. Divers will compete for 13 gold medals.

High diving, made from heights over 20 meters, made its debut at the 2013 world championships in Barcelona and is attracting a strong fan base around the world. Male divers will jump from a 27-meter platform and women will dive from 20-meters. Only two gold medals are available. In 2017, Steve LoBue of Pembroke Pines won gold. High diving will be held July 22-24 at the Chosun University High Diving competition venue.

More than 1,097 athletes from 47 countries will compete in synchronized swimming. Ten gold medals are up for grabs. Russia is expected to dominate.

Nearly 400 swimmers from 60 countries will compete in open water swimming held at the Yeosu EXPO Ocean Park Open Water swimming venue. The July 13-19 events featuring 5K, 10K and 25K distances will award seven gold medals.

Water polo is the only competitive team sport at worlds. Hungary, Italy and the U.S. will be playing for gold in the men’s and women’s tournaments, July 14-27.

PREVIEW COMING UP NEXT WEEK: South Florida will be well-represented in pool swimming at worlds with South Florida Aquatic Club’s Olympic veterans Nguyen Vien of Vietnam and Alia Atkinson of Jamaica along with several other swimmers from around the Florida Gold Coast.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 159: Boyle, Park Win; SOFLO’s Atkinson, Marinheiro Swim Friday In Santa Clara

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 159: Boyle, Park Win; SOFLO’s Atkinson, Marinheiro Swim Friday In Santa Clara


May 31, 2012

It was an international sweep on opening day of the 45th annual Santa Clara International Grand Prix Thursday at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, Calif.

Lauren Boyle of New Zealand topped a field of 16 to win the women’s 1500-meter freestyle in 16 minutes, 21.73 seconds, two seconds ahead of American Emily Brunemann of FAST in 16:23.36 and three seconds ahead of Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto of Gator Swim Club in 16:24.16.

It was Brunemann’s first 1500 race of the season after switching back from open water swimming.

South Korea’s Tae Hwan Park, seeded third, won the men’s 800-meter freestyle in a meet record 7:52.07, fourth fastest time in the world this year. He led by a body length for most of the race.

Previous meet record holder Ryan Cochrane of Canada was second in 7:57.19 and Australia’s Ryan Napoleon was third in 7:59.10.

Both the women’s 1500 and men’s 800 are non-Olympic events.

On Friday morning, South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson and Marcella Marinheiro will begin competing in morning prelims.

Marinheiro, 17, will swim in the 100-meter freestyle. Her best time is 1:00.99. The freestyle field features 204 swimmers.

Atkinson, 23, a two-time Olympian for Jamaica, will compete in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:29.00). Atkinson is seeded seventh among a field of 93 breaststrokers.

Other events on Friday are 400-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and 400-meter freestyle.

SOFLO’s Vlad Polyakov, 28, originally entered in the meet, is not competing in the final grand prix of the season.

The meet, both prelims and finals, is being webcast live at usaswimming.org. Prelims are noon and finals at 8 p.m. EST.

Jacksonville Bids For 2016 Trials

Jacksonville will bid for the 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials with Veterans Memorial Arena as the host venue. Crews would build an above-ground Olympic-sized pool in the middle of the area. Fifteen cities attended the pre-bid conference on May 15th with USA Swimming officials in Colorado Springs. Jacksonville lawyer Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and Jacksonville Bolles, coached by Spain Olympian Sergio Lopez are supportive of the bid. The event attracted 160,000 fans over eight days and generated $13.2 million in revenue for the city at the 2008 Trials in Omaha, which is also hosting the Trials later this month. Greensboro is expected to be one of the leading candidates.


Five-time Olympian Dara Torres of Coral Springs Swim Club is one of five athletes featured in the new Olympics “Got Milk” ad along with Carmelo Anthony, Aly Raisman, Steven Lopez and Kerron Clement…

A 57-year-old man working on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials pool at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha was seriously injured in a fall on Tuesday. He fell 8 to 10 feet from a scaffolding, according to a spokesman for the Omaha Fire Department. He was working on the pool decking when he slipped. He was treated on the scene and transported to the nearby hospital where he is in serious condition…Meanwhile, construction is ahead of schedule on the competition pool in the arena and warm-up pool in the adjacent convention hall. According the organizers the competition pool could be filled with water as early as Friday…

Three-time Olympian Gary Hall Jr. of The Race Club was in Omaha on Thursday and dropped by the Trials’ venue. “When I walk in here it brings back a lot of nostalgia,” Hall told reporters. “It’s an emotional experience seeing this. I haven’t been on a pool deck for a swim meet in months. I went to the NCAA Championships this year. To revisit this venue and see the construction going on, it’s moving.”…


“Taper has begun. It is now swim a little, rest a lot, and play Call of Duty A Lot!—U.S. Olympian Ricky Berens preparing for U.S. Trials

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com