Saturday, December 25, 2010

2010 Long Course World Championship

Over the course of the year, I merged the results of the four biggest long course international meets to create a list of virtual world champions for this year, a year without a long course world champs. As any swim geek like myself knows, this year has been a crazy one in swimming, from the outbreak of "Delhi Belly" at the Commonwealth Games to the two-per-country rule at the Pan Pacs and European Champs. With this list, I took the top two times from different swimmers from one country from any of the four meets , and the top-eight are the world championship final. Only finals times are considered on this list; relay lead-offs, and prelim/semi-final times do not count. Times swam at any other meet throughout the year (national championships, etc.) are not valid. This serves to mimic a World Championships, where nothing matters besides stepping up in the final heat. Without further ado, the list.

Women's Events

50 Free
1. Therese Alshammar, Sweden 24.45 (Europeans)
2. Jessica Hardy, USA 24.63 (Pan Pacs)
3. Hinkelien Schreuder, Netherlands 24.66 (Europeans)
4. Francesca Halsall, Great Britain 24.67 (Europeans)
5. Amanda Weir, USA 24.70 (Pan Pacs)
6. Dorothea Brandt, Germany 24.71 (Europeans)
7. Victoria Poon, Canada 24.76 (Pan Pacs)
8. Aliaksandra Herasimenia, Belarus 24.82 (Europeans)

100 Free
1. Francesca Halsall, Great Britain 53.58 (Europeans)
2. Natalie Coughlin, USA 53.67 (Pan Pacs)
3. Aliaksandra Herasimenia, Belarus 53.82 (Europeans)
4. Emily Seebohm, Australia 53.96 (Pan Pacs)
4. Dana Vollmer, USA 53.96 (Pan Pacs)
6. Yolane Kukla, Australia 54.02 (Pan Pacs)
7. Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands 54.12 (Europeans)
7. Tang Yi, China 54.12 (Asian Games)

200 Free
1. Federica Pellegrini, Italy 1:55.45 (Europeans)
2. Allison Schmitt, USA 1:56.10 (Pan Pacs)
3. Dana Vollmer, USA 1:56.47 (Pan Pacs)
4. Zhu Qianwei, China 1:56.65 (Asian Games)
5. Silke Lippok, Germany 1:56.98 (Europeans)
6. Tang Yi, China 1:57.08 (Asian Games)
7. Agnes Mutina, Hungary 1:57.12 (Europeans)
8. Blair Evans, Australia 1:57.27 (Pan Pacs)

400 Free
1. Rebecca Adlington, Great Britain 4:04.55 (Europeans)
2. Chloe Sutton, USA 4:05.19 (Pan Pacs)
3. Ophelie Cyriell Etienne, France 4:05.40 (Europeans)
4. Kate Ziegler, USA 4:05.52 (Pan Pacs)
5. Shao Yiwen, China 4:05.58 (Asian Games)
6. Katie Goldman, Australia 4:05.84 (Pan Pacs)
7. Blair Evans, Australia 4:06.36 (Pan Pacs)
8. Lotte Friis, Denmark 4:07.10 (Europeans)

800 Free
1. Kate Ziegler, USA 8:21.59 (Pan Pacs)
2. Lotte Friis, Denmark 8:23.27 (Europeans)
3. Li Xuanxu, China 8:23.55 (Asian Games)
4. Ophelie Cyriell Etienne, France 8:24.00 (Europeans)
5. Shao Xiwen, China 8:24.14 (Asian Games)
6. Chloe Sutton, USA 8:24.51 (Pan Pacs)
7. Rebecca Adlington, England/Great Britain 8:24.69 (Commonwealth Games)
8. Federica Pellegrini, Italy 8:24.99 (Europeans)

1,500 Free
1. Lotte Friis, Denmark 15:59.13 (Europeans)
2. Melissa Gorman, Australia 16:01.53 (Pan Pacs)
3. Grainne Murphy, Ireland 16:02.29 (Europeans)
4. Kate Ziegler, USA 16:03.26 (Pan Pacs)
5. Erika Villaecija Garcia, Spain 16:05.08 (Europeans)
6. Kristel Kobrich, Chile 16:06.57 (Pan Pacs)
7. Camelia Alina Potec, Romania 16:17.67 (Europeans)
8. Haley Anderson, USA, 16:18.10 (Pan Pacs)

50 Back
1. Gao Chang, China 27.45 (Asian Games)
2. Aliaksandra Herasimenia, Belarus 27.64 (Europeans)
3. Sophie Edington, Australia 27.83 (Pan Pacs)
4. Aya Terakawa, Japan 27.86 (Asian Games)
5. Daniela Samulski, Germany 27.99 (Europeans)
6. Mercedes Peris Minguet, Spain 28.01 (Europeans)
7. Gemma Spofforth, England/Great Britain 28.03 (Commonwealth Games)
8. Xu Tianlongzi, China 28.14 (Asian Games)

100 Back
1. Zhao Jing, China 59.20 (Asian Games)
2. Emily Seebohm, Australia 59.45 (Pan Pacs)
3. Aya Terakawa, Japan 59.59 (Pan Pacs)
4. Natalie Coughlin, USA 59.70 (Pan Pacs)
5. Gemma Spofforth, Great Britain 59.80 (Europeans)
6. Shiho Sakai, Japan 59.87 (Asian Games)
7. Gao Chang, China 59.90 (Asian Games)
8. Liz Pelton, USA 1:00.15 (Pan Pacs)

200 Back
1. Zhao Jing, China 2:06.46 (Asian Games)
2. Elizabeth Simmonds, Great Britain 2:07.04 (Europeans)
3. Meagan Nay, Australia 2:07.56 (Commonwealth Games)
4. Shiho Sakai, Japan 2:07.81 (Asian Games)
5. Elizabeth Beisel, USA 2:07.83 (Pan Pacs)
6. Missy Franklin, USA 2:08.05 (Pan Pacs)
7. Gemma Spofforth, Great Britain 2:08.25 (Europeans)
8. Emily Seebohm, Australia 2:08.38 (Commonwealth Games)

50 Breast
1. Jessica Hardy, USA 30.03 (Pan Pacs)
2. Yuliya Efimova, Russia 30.29 (Europeans)
3. Rebecca Soni, USA 30.68 (Pan Pacs)
4. Leiston Pickett, Australia 30.75 (Pan Pacs)
5. Leisel Jones, Australia 30.78 (Pan Pacs)
6. Wang Randi, China 31.04 (Asian Games)
7. Kate Haywood, Great Britain 31.12 (Europeans)
8. Zhao Jin, China 31.13 (Asian Games)

100 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni, USA 1:04.93 (Pan Pacs)
2. Leisel Jones, Australia 1:05.66 (Pan Pacs)
3. Yuliya Efmiova, Russia 1:06.32 (Europeans)
4. Ji Liping, China 1:06.91 (Asian Games)
5. Sarah Katsoulis, Australia 1:07.04 (Pan Pacs)
6. Satomi Suzuki, Japan 1:07.05 (Pan Pacs)
7. Rikke Moeller Pederson, Denmark 1:07.36 (Europeans)
7. Jennie Johansson, Sweden 1:07.36 (Europeans)

200 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni, USA 2:20.69 (Pan Pacs)
2. Leisel Jones, Australia 2:23.23 (Pan Pacs)
3. Anastasia Chaun, Russia 2:23.50 (Europeans)
4. Annamay Pierse, Canada 2:23.65 (Pan Pacs)
5. Satomi Suzuki, Japan 2:23.83 (Pan Pacs)
6. Amanda Beard, USA 2:24.30 (Pan Pacs)
7. Sarah Katsoulis, Australia 2:24.38 (Pan Pacs)
8. Sara Nordenstam, Norway 2:24.42 (Europeans)

50 Fly
1. Therese Alshammar, Sweden 25.63 (Europeans)
2. Jeanette Ottesen, Denmark 25.69 (Europeans)
3. Yolane Kukla, Australia 25.99 (Pan Pacs)
3. Marieke Guehrer, Australia 25.99 (Pan Pacs)
5. Melanie Henique, France 26.09 (Europeans)
6. Li Tao, Singapore 26.10 (Asian Games)
7. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden 26.14 (Europeans)
8. Francesca Halsall, England/Great Britain 26.24 (Commonwealth Games)

100 Fly
1. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden 57.32 (Europeans)
2. Francesca Halsall, Great Britain 57.40 (Europeans)
3. Alicia Coutts, Australia 57.53 (Commonwealth Games)
4. Dana Vollmer, USA 57.56 (Pan Pacs)
5. Jiao Liuyang, China 57.76 (Asian Games)
6. Therese Alshammar, Sweden 57.80 (Europeans)
7. Christine Magnuson, USA 57.95 (Pan Pacs)
8. Ellen Gandy, England/Great Britain 58.06 (Commonwealth Games)

200 Fly
1. Jiao Liuyang, China 2:05.79 (Asian Games)
2. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 2:06.71 (Europeans)
3. Jessicah Schipper, Australia 2:06.90 (Pan Pacs)
4. Teresa Crippen, USA 2:06.93 (Pan Pacs)
5. Zsuzsanna Jakobos, Hungary 2:07.06 (Europeans)
6. Kathleen Hersey, USA 2:07.27 (Pan Pacs)
7. Audrey Lacroix, Canada 2:07.31 (Commonwealth Games)
8. Ellen Gandy, Great Britain 2:07.54 (Europeans)

200 IM
1. Yi Shiwen, China 2:09.37 (Asian Games)
2. Alicia Coutts, Australia 2:09.70 (Commonwealth Games)
3. Emily Seebohm, Australia 2:09.93 (Pan Pacs)
4. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 2:10.09 (Europeans)
5. Evelyn Verraszto, Hungary 2:10.10 (Europeans)
6. Ariana Kukors, USA 2:10.25 (Pan Pacs)
7. Hannah Miley, Great Britain 2:10.89 (Europeans)
8. Caitlin Leverenz, USA 2:11.21 (Pan Pacs)

400 IM
1. Hannah Miley, Great Britain 4:33.09 (Europeans)
2. Yi Shiwen, China 4:33.79 (Asian Games)
3. Elizabeth Beisel, USA 4:34.69 (Pan Pacs)
4. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 4:36.43 (Europeans)
5. Samantha Hamill, Australia 4:37.84 (Pan Pacs)
6. Zsuzsanna Jakobos, Hungary 4:37.92 (Europeans)
7. Caitlin Leverenz, USA 4:38.03 (Pan Pacs)
8. Li Xuanxu, China 4:38.05 (Asian Games)

4x100 Free Relay
1. United States (N. Coughlin, J. Hardy, A. Weir, D. Vollmer) 3:35.11 (Pan Pacs)
2. Australia (A. Coutts, M. Guehrer, F. Galvez, E. Seebohm) 3:36.36 (Commonwealth Games)
3. China (Li Z., Wang S., Zhu Q., Tang Y.) 3:36.88 (Asian Games)
4. Germany (D. Samulski, S. Lippok, L. Vitting, D. Schreiber) 3:37.72 (Europeans)
5. Japan (H. Ueda, Y. Matsumoto, T. Hagiwara, H. Ito) 3:37.90 (Asian Games)
6. Canada (V. Poon, J. Wilkinson, E. Morningstar, G. Samur) 3:38.14 (Pan Pacs)
7. Great Britain (A. Smith, F. Halsall, J. Sylvester, J. Jackson) 3:38.57 (Europeans)
8. Sweden (J. Lillhage, T. Alshammar, S. Sjostrom, G. Fagundez) 3:38.81 (Europeans)

4x200 Free Relay
1. United States (D. Vollmer, M. Scroggy, K. Hoff, A. Schmitt) 7:51.21 (Pan Pacs)
2. China (Zhu Q., Liu J., Yang S., Tang Y.) 7:51.81 (Asian Games)
2. Hungary (A. Mutina, E. Dara, K. Hosszu, E. Verraszto) 7:52.49 (Europeans)
3. Australia (B. Evans, K. Palmer, K. Goldman, M. Nay) 7:52.64 (Pan Pacs)
4. France (C. Balmy, O. Etienne, M. Farrell, C. Muffat) 7:52.69 (Europeans)
5. Canada (G. Samur, J. Wilkinson, B. Jardin, S. Cheverton) 7:54.32 (Pan Pacs)
6. Great Britain (R. Adlington, J. Carlin, H. Miley, J. Jackson) 7:55.29 (Europeans)
7. Japan (H. Ito, H. Ueda, Y. Matsumoto, R. Sekine) 7:55.92 (Asian Games)
8. New Zealand (L. Boyle, P. Marshall, A. Gessler, N. Hind) 7:57.46 (Commonwealth Games)

4x100 Medley Relay
1. United States (N. Coughlin, R. Soni, D. Vollmer, J. Hardy) 3:55.23 (Pan Pacs)
2. Australia (E. Seebohm, L. Jones, A. Coutts, Y. Kukla) 3:56.96 (Pan Pacs)
3. Japan (A. Terakawa, S. Suzuki, Y. Kato, H. Ueda) 3:57.75 (Pan Pacs)
4. China (Zhao J., Chen H., Jiao L., Tang Y.) 3:57.80 (Asian Games)
5. Great Britain (G. Spofforth, K. Haywood, F. Halsall, A. Smith) 3:59.72 (Europeans)
6. Sweden (H. Stenkvist, J. Hoestman, T. Alshammar, S. Sjostrom) 4:01.18 (Europeans)
7. Canada (J. Wilkinson, A. Pierse, K. Savard, V. Poon) 4:03.08 (Pan Pacs)
8. Germany (J. Mensing, C. Ruhnau, D. Samulski, S. Lippok) 4:03.22 (Europeans)

Men’s Events

50 Free
1. Fred Bousquet, France 21.49 (Europeans)
2. Nathan Adrian, USA 21.55 (Pan Pacs)
3. Cesar Cielo, Brazil 21.57 (Pan Pacs)
4. Stefan Nystrand, Sweden 21.69 (Europeans)
5. Fabien Gilot, France 21.76 (Europeans)
6. Brent Hayden, Canada 21.89 (Pan Pacs)
7. Bruno Fratus, Brazil 21.93 (Pan Pacs)
8. Gideon Louw, South Africa 22.08 (Pan Pacs)

100 Free
1. Brent Hayden, Canada 47.98 (Commonwealth Games)
2. Nathan Adrian, USA 48.15 (Pan Pacs)
3. Cesar Cielo, Brazil 48.48 (Pan Pacs)
4. Alain Bernard, France 48.49 (Europeans)
5. Evgeny Lagunov, Russia 48.52 (Europeans)
6. Simon Burnett, England/Great Britain 48.52 (Commonwealth Games)
7. William Meynard, France 48.56 (Europeans)
8. Jason Lezak, USA 48.57 (Pan Pacs)

200 Free
1. Tae Hwan Park, South Korea 1:44.80 (Pan Pacs)
2. Ryan Lochte, USA 1:45.30 (Pan Pacs)
3. Paul Biedermann, Germany 1:46.06 (Europeans)
4. Sun Yang, China 1:46.25 (Asian Games)
5. Nikita Lobintsev, Russia 1:46.51 (Europeans)
6. Peter Vanderkaay, USA 1:46.65 (Pan Pacs)
7. Sebastiaan Verschuren, Netherlands 1:46.91 (Europeans)
8. Danila Izotov, Russia 1:47.14 (Europeans)

400 Free
1. Tae Hwan Park, South Korea 3:41.53 (Asian Games)
2. Sun Yang, China 3:42.47 (Asian Games)
3. Yannick Agnel, France 3:46.17 (Europeans)
4. Paul Biedermann, Germany 3:46.30 (Europeans)
5. Ryan Cochrane, Canada 3:46.78 (Pan Pacs)
6. Zhang Lin, China 3:46.91 (Pan Pacs)
7. Peter Vanderkaay, USA 3:47.11 (Pan Pacs)
8. Charlie Houchin, USA 3:47.98 (Pan Pacs)

800 Free
1. Sebastien Rouault, France 7:48.28 (Europeans)
2. Ryan Cochrane, Canada 7:48.71 (Pan Pacs)
3. Christian Kubusch, Germany 7:49.12 (Europeans)
4. Samuel Pizzetti, Italy 7:49.94 (Europeans)
5. Chad LaTourette, USA 7:51.62 (Pan Pacs)
6. Takeshi Matsuda, Japan 7:51.87 (Pan Pacs)
7. Gergo Kis, Hungary 7:51.93 (Europeans)
8. Robert Hurley, Australia 7:52.71 (Pan Pacs)

1,500 Free
1. Sun Yang, China 14:35.43 (Asian Games)
2. Ryan Cochrane, Canada 14:49.47 (Pan Pacs)
3. Chad LaTourette, USA 14:54.48 (Pan Pacs)
4. Sebastien Rouault, France 14:55.17 (Europeans)
5. Pal Joensen, Faroe Islands 14:56.90 (Europeans)
6. Zhang Lin, China 14:58.90 (Pan Pacs)
7. Samuel Pizzetti, Italy 14:59.76 (Europeans)
8. Tae Hwan Park, South Korea 15:01.72 (Asian Games)

50 Back
1. Camille Lacourt, France 24.07 (Europeans)
2. Liam Tancock, Great Britain 24.62 (Commonwealth Games)
3. Junya Koga, Japan 24.86 (Pan Pacs)
4. Ashley Delaney, Australia 24.98 (Pan Pacs)
5. Nick Thoman, USA 25.02 (Pan Pacs)
6. Guy Barnea, Israel 25.04 (Europeans)
7. Hayden Stoeckel, Australia 25.08 (Pan Pacs)
8. David Plummer, USA 25.09 (Pan Pacs)

100 Back
1. Camille Lacourt, France 52.11 (Europeans)
2. Aaron Peirsol, USA 53.31 (Pan Pacs)
3. Jeremy Stravius, France 53.44 (Europeans)
4. Liam Tancock, England/Great Britain 53.59 (Commonwealth Games)
5. Ryosuke Irie, Japan 53.61 (Asian Games)
6. Junya Koga, Japan 53.63 (Pan Pacs)
7. Nick Thoman, USA 53.66 (Pan Pacs)
8. Ashley Delaney, Australia, 53.67 (Pan Pacs)

200 Back
1. Ryan Lochte, USA 1:54.12 (Pan Pacs)
2. Tyler Clary, USA 1:54.90 (Pan Pacs)
3. Ryosuke Irie, Japan 1:55.21 (Pan Pacs)
4. James Goddard, England/Great Britain 1:55.58 (Commonwealth Games)
5. Stanislav Donets, Russia 1:57.18 (Europeans)
6. Markus Rogan, Austria 1:57.31 (Europeans)
7. Benjamin Stasiulis, France 1:57.37 (Europeans)
7. Gareth Kean, New Zealand 1:57.37 (Commonwealth Games)

50 Breast
1. Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa 27.18 (Commonwealth Games)
2. Felipe Silva, Brazil 27.26 (Pan Pacs)
3. Fabio Scozolli, Italy 27.38 (Europeans)
4. Dragos Agache, Romania 27.47 (Europeans)
5. Lennart Stekelenberg, Netherlands 27.51 (Europeans)
6. Mark Gangloff, USA 27.52 (Pan Pacs)
7. Alexander Dale Oen, Norway 27.55 (Europeans)
8. Scott Dickens, Canada 27.63 (Pan Pacs)

100 Breast
1. Alexander Dale Oen, Norway 59.20 (Europeans)
2. Kosuke Kitajima, Japan 59.35 (Pan Pacs)
3. Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa 1:00.10 (Commonwealth Games)
4. Hugues Duboscq,France 1:00.15 (Europeans)
5. Christian Sprenger, Australia 1:00.18 (Pan Pacs)
6. Mark Gangloff, USA 1:00.24 (Pan Pacs)
7. Ryo Tateishi, Japan 1:00.26 (Pan Pacs)
8. Brenton Rickard, Australia 1:00.28 (Pan Pacs)

200 Breast
1. Kosuke Kitajima, Japan 2:08.36 (Pan Pacs)
2. Daniel Gyurta, Hungary 2:08.95 (Europeans)
3. Alexander Dale Oen, Norway 2:09.68 (Europeans)
4. Brenton Rickard, Australia 2:09.97 (Pan Pacs)
5. Eric Shanteau, USA 2:10.13 (Pan Pacs)
6. Naoya Tomita, Japan 2:10.36 (Asian Games)
7. Michael Jamieson, Scotland/Great Britain 2:10.97 (Commonwealth Games)
8. Hugues Duboscq, France 2:11.03 (Europeans)

50 Fly
1. Cesar Cielo, Brazil 23.03 (Pan Pacs)
2. Rafael Munoz Perez, Spain 23.17 (Europeans)
3. Nicholas Santos, Brazil 23.33 (Pan Pacs)
4. Jason Dunford, Kenya 23.35 (Commonwealth Games)
5. Geoff Huegill, Australia 23.37 (Commonwealth Games)
6. Roland Schoeman, South Africa 23.39 (Pan Pacs)
7. Fred Bousquet, France 23.41 (Europeans)
8. Evgeny Korotyshkin, Russia 23.43 (Europeans)

100 Fly
1. Michael Phelps, USA 50.86 (Pan Pacs)
2. Geoff Huegill, Australia 51.69 (Commonwealth Games)
3. Evgeny Korotyshkin, Russia 51.73 (Europeans)
4. Joeri Verlinden, Netherlands 51.82 (Europeans)
5. Zhou Jiawei, China 51.83 (Asian Games)
6. Tyler McGill, USA 51.85 (Pan Pacs)
6. Takuro Fujii, Japan 51.85 (Asian Games)
8. Konrad Czerniak, Poland 52.16 (Europeans)
8. Masayuki Kishida, Japan 52.16 (Pan Pacs)

200 Fly
1. Takeshi Matsuda, Japan 1:54.02 (Asian Games)
2. Michael Phelps, USA 1:54.11 (Pan Pacs)
3. Nick D'arcy, Australia 1:54.73 (Pan Pacs)
4. Pawel Korzeniowski, Poland 1:55.00 (Europeans)
5. Ryusuke Sakata, Japan 1:55.23 (Asian Games)
6. Chen Yin, China 1:55.29 (Asian Games)
7. Wu Peng, China 1:55.32 (Asian Games)
8. Kaio Almeida, Brazil 1:55.66 (Pan Pacs)

200 IM
1. Ryan Lochte, USA 1:54.43 (Pan Pacs)
2. Tyler Clary, USA 1:57.61 (Pan Pacs)
3. Laszlo Cseh, Hungary 1:57.73 (Europeans)
4. Thiago Pereira, Brazil 1:57.83 (Pan Pacs)
5. Markus Rogan, Austria 1:58.03 (Europeans)
6. Ken Takakuwa, Japan 1:58.06 (Pan Pacs)
7. James Goddard, England/Great Britain 1:58.10 (Commonwealth Games)
8. Henrique Rodrigues, Brazil 1:59.00 (Pan Pacs)

400 IM
1. Ryan Lochte, USA 4:07.59 (Pan Pacs)
2. Tyler Clary, USA 4:09.55 (Pan Pacs)
3. Laszlo Cseh, Hungary 4:10.95 (Europeans)
4. Thiago Pereira, Brazil 4:12.09 (Pan Pacs)
5. David Verraszto, Hungary 4:12.96 (Europeans)
6. Chad Le Clos, South Africa 4:13.25 (Commonwealth Games)
7. Yuya Horihata, Japan 4:13.35 (Asian Games)
8. Chaosheng Huang, China 4:13.38 (Asian Games)

4x100 Free Relay
1. United States (M. Phelps, R. Lochte, J. Lezak, N. Adrian) 3:11.72 (Pan Pacs)
2. Russia (E. Lagunov, A. Grechin, N. Lobintsev, D. Izotov) 3:12.46 (Europeans)
3. France (F. Gilot, Y. Agnel, W. Meynard, A. Bernard) 3:13.29 (Europeans)
4. Australia (K. Richardson, E. Sullivan, T. D'Orsogna, J. Magnussen) 3:13.92 (Commonwealth Games)
5. England/Great Britain (S. Burnett, L. Tancock, G. Turner, A. Brown) 3:15.05 (Commonwealth Games)
6. Sweden (S. Nystrand, L. Froelander, R. Andreasson, J. Persson) 3:15.07 (Europeans)
7. Italy (F. Magnini, M. Orsi, C. Galenda, L. Leonardi) 3:15.18 (Europeans)
8. South Africa (G. Moore, G. Louw, R. Schoeman, D. Townsend) 3:15.21 (Commonwealth Games)

4x200 Free Relay
1. United States (M. Phelps, P. Vanderkaay, R. Berens, R. Lochte) 7:03.84 (Pan Pacs)
2. Russia (N. Lobintsev, D. Izotov, E. Perunin, A. Sukhorukov) 7:06.71 (Europeans)
3. China (Zhang L., Jiang H., Li Y., Sun Y.) 7:07.68 (Asian Games)
4. Germany (P. Biedermann, T. Wallburger, R. Backhaus, C. Rapp) 7:08.13 (Europeans)
5. France (Y. Agnel, C. Lefert, A. Haramboure, J. Stravius) 7:09.70 (Europeans)
6. Australia (T. Fraser-Holmes, N. Ffrost, R. Napoleon, K. Monk) 7:10.29 (Commonwealth Games)
7. Japan (Y. Kobori, S. Uchida, S. Kuzuhara, T. Matsuda) 7:10.39 (Asian Games)
8. Great Britain (R. Renwick, R. Davenport, D. Carry, R. Bale) 7:11.00 (Europeans)

4x100 Medley Relay
1. France (C. Lacourt, H. Duboscq, F. Bousquet, F. Gilot) 3:31.32 (Europeans)
2. United States (A. Peirsol, M. Gangloff, M. Phelps, N. Adrian) 3:32.48 (Pan Pacs)
3. Australia (A. Delaney, B. Rickard, G. Huegill, E. Sullivan) 3:33.15 (Commonwealth Games)
4. Russia (S. Donets, R. Sludnov, E. Korotyshkin, E. Lagunov) 3:33.29 (Europeans)
5. Japan (J. Koga, K. Kitajima, M. Kishida, T. Fujii) 3:33.90 (Pan Pacs)
6. Netherlands (N. Driebergen, L. Steklenburg, J. Verlinden, S. Verschuren) 3:33.99 (Europeans)
7. Great Britain (L. Tancock, K. Gilchrist, A. James, S. Burnett) 3:35.74 (Europeans)
8. South Africa (C. Crous, C. van der Burgh, C. Le Clos, G. Louw) 3:36.12 (Commonwealth Games)

Friday, December 24, 2010

TYR Capital Classic

This past weekend, I helped out with the Swimming World TV coverage of the TYR Capital Classic. From Cary, North Carolina, I helped Garrett McCaffrey call all the races from the meet, all of which are now available to watch on-demand. Though I know this blog is coming several days late, I wanted to share some thoughts on the great swimming I saw, the great meet the YMCA of the Triangle Area (YOTA) put on, and gratitude to all who made my experience this past weekend possible and a great experience.

First, the swimming. In the very first swim I saw after arriving late Friday afternoon, Michael Hughes broke the American disability record in 50 fly for the S6 division. His 39.02 took seven seconds off the old record of 46.01. A record is always a great way to start, but it kept going. Joe Bonk opened up the regular meet program with a 20.4 50 free split anchoring YOTA's 200 medley relay, and then Ashlee Linn threw down a 1:48 200 free. Linn would go on to win the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 back, post the top time of the meet in the 100 back (relay lead-off), finish second in both IMs, and break 5:00 for the first time in finishing fourth in the 500 free. I watched her interview with Garrett, and she is very well-spoken, her interview one of the best I saw this weekend. I highly recommend checking out her interview (along with the others).

In the 13-14 age group, Alex Katz put on quite a show. On Friday, he won the 200 free in 1:41, followed by the 400 IM in 4:03. On Saturday, he took the 50 free and 500 free, in which he swam a 4:28, almost beating the winning time in the senior race. With at least three years remaining in which he can attend the meet, he will have numerous more shots at the meet record, which is a 4:25 - held by U.S. National teamer Charlie Houchin! On the final night, he won the 100 free and 200 back in succession, before Colin Ellington took it to him in the 200 IM, winning it with a monster breaststroke leg. When Katz beat Ellington in the 100 free, a fan behind Garrett and me shouted, "Watch him (Ellington), he's gonna take over next year!" It didn't take even that long, however, for him to get a win, and Ellington's fan club, seated behind us, erupted with that win.

The host club's own Dominick Glavich won the title of swimmer of the meet. Glavich, a future swimmer at the University of North Carolina, won the 100 breast, 100 fly, 200 fly, 100 back, and 200 IM over the course of the three day meet. In the 200 fly, his 1:47.87 beat Houchin's meet record, while his dominant 200 IM (1:48.91) was quite something as well. In three of his races, Glavich beat future Florida Gator Nicholas Caldwell. Caldwell skipped some of his signature races this weekend, such as the 500 free and 400 IM, but his third leg on the 800 free relay might be my favorite moment of the weekend. Caldwell, of Sarasota YMCA, dove in several seconds behind YOTA, before absolutely obliterating his competition with a 1:36.16 split for a 200 free! Interestingly, YOTA switched their order shortly before the race, so Caldwell ran down Nathan Walters, not Joe Bonk, on the third leg.

After Bonk split a 20.4 anchoring the 200 medley relay on Sunday, I made a bet with YOTA head coach Chad Onken about what Bonk could do in the individual 50 free. The bet was: I would pay Chad $1 if Bonk swam 20.69 or faster, and Chad would pay me $1 if Bonk swam 20.70 or faster. Sure enough, Bonk led off the 200 free relay in 20.65. Chad immediately texted Garrett (for me), "You got Bonked." In the individual race, Bonk had a terrible start and "only" swam a time of 20.82. I said I won the bet; Chad said he won. I told him we'd call it a draw. In the 100 free the next day, Chad predicted Bonk would swim a 44.9 - which he did, to the tenth. Later on, he led off the 400 free relay in 44.6! There is a reason Auburn sent Aaron Ciarla and Richard Long to the meet.

Finally, I want to give a shout-out to Sabrina Benson. The now-YOTA and future Virginia Tech swimmer showed up to the meet with an injured knee and having missed several weeks of training. She still proceeded to throw down a 56.34 100 back, faster than she did last year, on her way to a win at YMCA Nationals, where she swam a 53. A very brave and impressive swim.

For the first time this year,
YOTA held the meet at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. Being from South Carolina, I have seen a handful of pools in the southeast, but none better than this one. The amount of deck space, size of warm-up area and the stands, and pool set-up is unmatched in this area. Great venue for both a swim meet and a Christmas YMCAparade.

YOTA put on an excellent meet this weekend for swimmers, coaches, and media. Head coach Chad Onken made sure that Garrett and I could get to where we needed to be when we wanted to be there. Hospitality saved us many times throughout the meet - I ate most of my meals there, and I think we took 30 water bottles over the course of the weekend. Additionally, the meet ran exceptionally well and quickly, all a credit to YOTA.

Additionally, I owe a big thank-you to Swimming World, especially to Garrett and also Brent Rutemiller. Garrett was awesome this weekend, making sure I did what I was supposed to do at all times and that I was comfortable at all times. Additionally, he showed me the ropes of streaming a meet and how to handle all of the content. I am extremely grateful; without him being there, I would not have had this opportunity to work at the Capital Classic. Additionally, I thank Brent for agreeing to cover all my expenses the entire weekend; I spent $17 over the course of the meet; and at least $12 of that went to the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation.

Finally, I had an amazing swim-geek experience in the Triangle Area this weekend. Garrett and Chad took my questions about swimming and answered them. I am greatful that both appreciate my extreme passion about swimming and try to help it grow. In addition to Long and Ciarla of Auburn, I met University of South Carolina coach Jason Mermont, who provided some interesting insight of his own from his own perspective in the SEC. Finally, former University of Arizona NCAA champ Taylor Baughman, now working with Evan Morgenstein and Premier Management, provided insight into the west coast of competitive swimming as well as the agents she represents.

I apologize to anyone who I met this weekend and failed to mention. It was an awesome experience that I hope I am fortunate enough to have again in the future!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

World Short Course Championships Predictions

The World Short Course Champs get underway on Wednesday in Dubai, and most of the athletes are in the United Arab Emirates preparing to race. The major exceptions include the Israeli team and U.S. backstroker David Plummer. This was one of the hardest meets I have ever predicted. You just don't know about a lot of things - how swimmers will do short course, how much certain people have tapered, etc. Of course, your guess is as good as mine in this week's prediction contest; email me at your list of winners to me by Tuesday night, 10pm eastern. Also, if you'd like, please post a link on my Facebook page. You can find full entry lists and live results at Omega Timing.

My Predictions:

Men’s 200 Free
1. Ryan Lochte, USA
2. Paul Biedermann, Germany
3. Yannick Agnel, France

Women’s 50 Breast
1. Yulia Efimova, Russia
2. Rebecca Soni, USA
3. Leiston Pickett, Australia

Men’s 100 Back
1. Stanislav Donets, Russia
2. Nick Thoman, USA
3. Camille Lacourt, France

Women’s 200 Fly
1. Liu Zige, China
2. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
3. Felicity Galvez, China

Men’s 100 Breast
1. Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa
2. Felipe Silva, Brazil
3. Mike Alexandrov, USA

Women’s 100 Back
1. Natalie Coughlin, USA
2. Zhao Jing, China
3. Gao Chang, China

Men’s 100 Fly
1. Geoff Huegill, Australia
2. Evgeny Korotyshkin, Russia
3. Steffen Deibler, Germany

Women’s 400 IM
1. Hannah Miley, Great Britain
2. Yi Shiwen, China
3. Ariana Kukors, USA

Men’s 400 Free Relay
1. United States
2. France
3. Russia

Women’s 800 Free Relay
1. United States
2. France
3. Hungary

Women’s 100 Free
1. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands
2. Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands
3. Natalie Coughlin, USA

Men’s 400 IM
1. Ryan Lochte, USA
2. Tyler Clary, USA
3. Laszlo Cseh, Hungary

Women’s 50 Fly
1. Therese Alshammar, Sweden
2. Marieke Guehrer, Australia
3. Inge Dekker, Netherlands

Men’s 50 Free
1. Cesar Cielo, Brazil
2. Fred Bousquet, France
3. Nathan Adrian, USA

Women’s 100 IM
1. Hinkelien Schreuder, Netherlands
2. Zhao Jing, China
3. Evelyn Verraszto, Hungary

Men’s 800 Free Relay
1. United States
2. Russia
3. Italy

Women’s 800 Free
1. Kate Ziegler, USA
2. Lotte Friis, Denmark
3. Federica Pellegrini, Italy

Men’s 50 Back
1. Stanislav Donets, Russia
2. Nick Thoman, USA
3. Camille Lacourt, France

Women’s 200 Back
1. Missy Franklin, USA
2. Alexianne Castel, France
3. Kseniya Moskvina, Russia

Men’s 50 Fly
1. Rafael Munoz, Spain
2. Fred Bousquet, France
3. Geoff Huegill, Australia

Women’s 100 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni, USA
2. Leisel Jones, Australia
3. Yulia Efimova, Russia

Men’s 400 Free
1. Ous Mellouli, Tunisia
2. Yannick Agnel, France
3. Paul Biedermann, Germany

Men’s 200 IM
1. Ryan Lochte, USA
2. Markus Rogan, Austria
3. Tyler Clary, USA

Women’s 400 Free
1. Federica Pellegrini, Italy
2. Katie Hoff, USA
3. Coralie Balmy, France

Men’s 200 Breast
1. Daniel Gyurta, Hungary
2. Felipe Silva, Brazil
3. Eric Shanteau, USA

Women’s 400 Medley Relay
1. United States
2. Sweden
3. Australia

Women’s 50 Back
1. Gao Chang, China
2. Marieke Guehrer, Australia
3. Zhao Jing, China

Men’s 100 Free
1. Nathan Adrian, USA
2. Cesar Cielo, Brazil
3. Danila Izotov, Russia

Women’s 100 Fly
1. Dana Vollmer, USA
2. Therese Alshammar, Sweden
3. Christine Magnuson, USA

Men’s 100 IM
1. Ryan Lochte, USA
2. Markus Deibler, Germany
3. Peter Mankoc, Slovenia

Women’s 50 Free
1. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands
2. Hinkelien Schreuder, Netherlands
3. Jessica Hardy, USA

Women’s 200 IM
1. Ariana Kukors, USA
2. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
3. Evelyn Verraszto, Hungary

Men’s 50 Breast
1. Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa
2. Roland Schoeman, South Africa
3. Felipe Silva, Brazil

Women’s 400 Free Relay
1. Netherlands
2. United States
3. Sweden

Men’s 200 Back
1. Ryan Lochte, USA
2. Tyler Clary, USA
3. Arkady Vyatchanin, Russia

Women’s 200 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni, USA
2. Leisel Jones, Australia
3. Annamay Pierse, Canada

Men’s 200 Fly
1. Pawel Korzeniowski, Poland
2. Laszlo Cseh, Hungary
3. Chad Le Clos, South Africa

Women’s 200 Free
1. Federica Pellegrini, Italy
2. Femke Heemskerk, Netherlands
3. Dana Vollmer, USA

Men’s 400 Medley Relay
1. Russia
2. United States
3. France

Men’s 1,500 Free
1. Ous Mellouli, Tunisia
2. Federico Colbertaldo, Italy
3. Pal Joensen, Faroe Islands

Thursday, November 25, 2010

U.S. Short Course World Championships Team - Women

The World Short Course Champs are looming in less than three weeks in Dubai. The U.S. team prospects appear much better than usual, considering this will be the first time since 2004 that USA Swimming has sent a nearly-full team to this Championship meet. Other than Americans and few others, I don't know exactly which swimmers will swim in the short course meet. For example, both Thiago Pereira and Brent Hayden have announced they will bypass the meet, and Australia and Great Britain will both be sending very limited rosters; in fact, only Hannah Miley and Jemma Lowe will swim for Britain in Manchester. With this limited knowledge (and my lack of free time between now and the meet, here's a basic idea of what to expect from Team USA in Dubai, starting with the women's events. The line-ups I assume for non-Olympic events are unofficial; I am merely speculating what would be best for the U.S. under the qualifying procedure.

50 Free - Jessica Hardy, Amanda Weir
Europeans Therese Alshammar, Hinkelien Schreuder, and Ranomi Kromowidjojo enter the meet as slight favorites, but Hardy also has a strong chance to earn a medal, possibly even gold. If she has an oustanding meet, Weir has an outside chance to medal as well.

100 Free - Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer
Based on her outstanding short course abilities, Coughlin has a strong chance to medal and perhaps even win gold, while Vollmer is an outside shot at a medal. Dutch swimmers Kromowidjojo and Femke Heemskerk along with Coughlin, are top contenders.

200 Free - Dana Vollmer, Katie Hoff
Both Vollmer and Hoff have had strong starts to their respective seasons, and both could easily come home with medals. Federica Pellegrini is a strong favorite to win gold easily, while Femke Heemskert, Camille Muffat, and Silke Lippok also could medal.

400 Free - Chloe Sutton, Katie Hoff
Once again, Pellegrini is a strong favorite, and no one should be able to touch her in the field. Sutton and Hoff will battle with French and Australian swimmers in the field for the minor medals, and the two could go 2-3; anyone beating Pellegrini is unconceivable at this point.

800 Free - Kate Ziegler, Chloe Sutton
Coming off an amazing comeback season, Ziegler could be favored to claim the world title which she has twice claimed long course but never short course. Her biggest competition will come from current long course world champion Lotte Friis, while Sutton, along with French swimmers, Australian swimmers, and even Pellegrini, could all medal.

50/100 Back - Natalie Coughlin, Missy Franklin
Based on the meet's attendees, Coughlin has a very strong chance to claim 100 back gold, especially considering her amazing underwater swimming skills. She could also be a factor in the 50 distance, if she chooses to pursue that race. Franklin is an outside medal chance in the 100 back.

200 Back - Missy Franklin, Madison White
With most of this year's world top 200 backstrokers missing the meet, Franklin has a very strong chance for a medal, perhaps even gold, based on the amazing year she has had. On the other side of the spectrum, White merely made the team based on a large number of swimmers declining; in her first major international meet, a final for her would be a remarkable achievement.

50 Breast - Jessica Hardy, Rebecca Soni
Even though swimmers cannot qualify for stroke 50s without first qualifying for the 100 of that stroke, Hardy is already on the team, and she has led the world in this event long course for the past four years, so she would be a strong favorite for gold, if she is allowed to swim. Soni, along with Yuliya Efimova, should round out the medals.

100 Breast - Rebecca Soni, Micah Lawrence
Soni has dominated the breaststroke events since Beijing, and she should be favored ahead of Leisel Jones. Her world record of 1:02.70 could possibly come under threat. Defending champ Hardy would be a much bigger threat than Auburn's Lawrence, but she could make the final with a great performance.

200 Breast - Rebecca Soni, Micah Lawrence
Soni should dominate this race and possibly approach her world record of 2:14.57. Jones and possibly Annamay Pierse should be the only swimmers anywhere close to the Olympic champ. Lawrence has a better chance to final in the longer distance, but a medal would be a long shot for her.

50/100 Fly - Christine Magnuson, Dana Vollmer
Both Magnuson and Vollmer will battle for gold in the 100 fly, along with Therese Alshammar and Felicity Galvez. In the 50, Alshammar will be heavily favored, but Magnuson has a strong chance to end up on the podium.

200 Fly - Mary Descenza Mohler, Kim Vandenberg
Neither has swum especially fast in competition this year, but defending champ Mohler has the potential to step up and repeat her amazing feat from two years ago in Manchester, and Vandenberg is another outside shot.

100 IM - Natalie Coughlin, Ariana Kukors
Though Coughlin has swam no race that would put her in this event via the qualifying procedure, it would be hard to deny a woman that held the world record in this race for seven years and is currently ranked no. 3 in the world. She is a gold medal-threat, but she will face tough competition from Hinkelien Schreuder, among others. For Kukors, this will merely be a bonus event.

200 IM - Ariana Kukors, Missy Franklin
Depending on who shows up, Kukors could add a short course world title to the long course one she picked up in Rome last year; at the very least, Kukors should expect to win a medal in Dubai. Although she is weaker here than in backstroke, Franklin is an amazing swimmer and should make the top eight.

Ariana Kukors 2010 ConocoPhillips National Championships

400 IM - Ariana Kukors, Katie Hoff
Both American swimmers have outside chances for medals, depending greatly on what swimmers show up and choose to focus on this event. Hannah Miley should be heavily favored to win here.

4x100 Free Relay - Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer, Jessica Hardy, Kara Lynn Joyce
The Americans will battle for gold with the Netherlands, who have back much for their team that won Olympic gold in 2008 and the World title in 2009. Although only four swimmers are selected for relays for this meet, both alternates for next summer's worlds (Amanda Weir and Missy Franklin) are on the team and can be used as substitutes. I expect Coughlin, Vollmer, and Hardy to swim in finals, with Joyce and Weir battling for the fourth spot.

4x200 Free Relay - Dana Vollmer, Katie Hoff, Dagny Knutson, Jasmine Tosky
Even without Allison Schmitt, this team will be tough to beat. Vollmer and Hoff are solid veterans, Knutson has show much promise over the past two years, and Tosky is a perpetually-improving young stud. Based on her 1:43.90 at the Minnesota Grand Prix, Missy Franklin would be a great option for this relay, perhaps relegating Tosky to just a prelim swim.

4x100 Medley Relay - Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, Jessica Hardy
Alternates: Missy Franklin (back), Hardy/Micah Lawrence (breast), Christine Magnuson/Mary Mohler (fly), Kara Lynn Joyce/Amanda Weir (free)
This team should not struggle to win this race, most likely with ease. The same quartet recorded the fastest long course time in the world this year by nearly two seconds, and no other nation is bringing a strong enough team to challenge them.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Swimmers of the Month

As the month of October winds down, I have another list of this month's top swimmers. Most of the performances recognized come from the Commonwealth Games and the four October stops on the World Cup.

Pacific Rim Women’s – Alicia Coutts, Australia
Alicia Coutts has been chosen to be Australia's flag bearer at the closing ceremony
Won five golds at the Commonwealth Games, including the 200 IM, in which she posted the fastest textile suit time in history (2:09.70)

Pacific Rim Men’s – Geoff Huegill, Australia

Capped off his remarkable comeback with Commonwealth gold in the 100 fly (51.69) and 400 medley relay, as well as silver in the 50 fly (23.37)

African Men’s – TIE Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa and Roland Schoeman, South Africa
van der Burgh:

Swept the 50 and 100 breast at the Commonwealth Games, with the world’s top time in the 50 (27.18) and third-fastest time in the 100 (1:00.10)


Won three medals (one silver, two bronze) at the Commonwealth Games and has posted eight World Cup wins in October; holds the top short course times in the world in the 50 breast (26.09) and 50 fly (22.39)

European Women’s – Therese Alshammar, Sweden

Currently leading the World Cup standings, having posted nine wins in four stops this month; posted the world's top 50 fly short course time (25.24)

European Men’s – James Goddard, Great Britain

Won the 200 back at Commonwealth Games in 1:55.58, making him the fourth-fastest performer this year, while also winning the 200 IM (1:58.10)

American Women’s – Dana Vollmer, United States

Set four American records at the World Cup in Berlin, the 200 free (1:53.67), 100 fly (55.59) and 100 free twice (52.71-prelims; 52.50-finals); in the 100 fly, she missed the world record by a mere half second

American Men’s – Brent Hayden, Canada

Swept the sprints at the Commonwealth Games, including his 47.98 100 free, the only swim under 48 seconds this year

U.S. Men’s – Conor Dwyer

Posted blistering times at the Florida-Georgia duel meet on Friday, winning the 1,000 free (9:00.48), 200 free (1:37.77), and 500 free (4:25.46) in succession, before leading of Florida’s victorious 400 free relay in 44.88.

Special mention once again to Fran Crippen. Now laid to rest in his hometown of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, the swimming community continues to honor his many contributions to the sport. Everyone has heard the story, and we have all shed tears. For now, this blog commemorating the top performances in the month of October, is dedicated to Fran Crippen.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Delhi-Belly Drama a Predictable Outcome of Commonwealth Games

Originally posted by Braden Keith at The Swimmer's Circle.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India were, by most accounts, a failure. Between last-minute completion of event venues, injuries at test events, terrorist threats, lack of security, reports of sloppy construction, and the now-infamous Delhi Belly that many athletes are reportedly still feeling the effects of well after leaving the country, the event left a lot to be desired. And as such, I’ve got a serious bone to pick with the collective international governing bodies–which I will henceforth refer to as the IGB–of the sporting world. It seems as though lately, these governing bodies have been putting so much effort into bringing the world’s backwoods and slums into the sporting fore-front that they have neglected the true nature of selecting these host cities.

I began to really get frustrated when I heard that Baku, Azerbaijan was selected as one of seven semi-finalist for the 2016 Olympic Games. While most people I know couldn’t pick out Azerbaijan on a map if you gave them 10 tries, I am quite familiar with the country, as my parents were Baku residents for 3 years.

Let me break this down for you. In Baku, 99% of the wealth is concentrated in government employees and foreigners, while much of the population lives in poverty. Traffic drives 6 cars wide on a 3-lane road, with horns seemingly connected to both the gas and brake pedals of cars. The corruption is so rampant, and the government so xenophobic, that non-citizens have to use special license plates so that the police force knows who they should pull over for traffic violations (which, in Azerbaijan, is a meaningless phrase, because any attempt to follow a traffic law will surely result in a near-death experience). Bribery is a way of life, and nobody is ashamed about it. Everyone pays off the police, because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t. Greasing palms is the only way for business to get done. The infrastructure is effectively divided into three groups: ancient structures built in the oil boom of the early 20th century, depressive Soviet structures, and a few modern buildings built exclusively for the use of the lucrative oil companies.

Azerbaijan and their neighbors Armenia have been locked in conflict over the NKR region for at least the last century, including allegations of genocide. Baku has their own special ills referred to as “Baku-Belly” that is equally potent as the Indian version.

So, if you will pull out your Olympic-criteria scorecards:

Human Rights: Failure

Infrastructure: Failure

City of the World: Failure (since the Silk Road Shut Down, anyways)

Government Transparency: Failure

Traffic: Failure

Pollution: Failure

Friendly to Foreigners: Failure

Safe Water: Failure

Demonstrated Ability to Host Large Scale Events: Failure

Demonstrated Ability to Build World Class Facilities: Failure

Now, this is not to say that Baku is the worst place in the world. The history of the city makes it one of the most fascinating in the World, and I encourage anybody who gets a chance to visit there to do so and take a qualified tour of the city. But in terms of hosting a large-scale event with 12,000 athletes and 100 times that many traveling to be a part of the Olympic spectacle, Baku shouldn’t even have been accepted as an applicant.

Similarly, a city like Rio de Janiero, which won the 2016 bid, is a city that, while huge in population, has a serious crime problem. On top of that, they were not even able to muster enough internal financial support to host their 2009 Swimming World Cup event. Rio received only the fifth-highest rating amongst the semi-finalists, and wouldn’t have even been a finalist save for Doha, Qatar’s plan to hold the games in October as a result of the extreme summer heat.

The only saving grace here for the IOC is that FIFA will absorb a good portion of the costs in preparing for Brazil to host the 2014 soccer World Cup.

Beijing, China, which hosted the 2008 Games, was widely regarded as a competitive success. But this was as much a result of heavy marketing, heavy spending, and suppression of dissenters as anything else. Athletes were hampered by the traffic and heavy pollution in the city, and there a shroud of the Tibetan situation hung over the whole Games.

Obviously, there are very few (if any) perfect cities, and it brings excitement to rotate the games to different locales. But as elite athletes, there are a few basic needs: mainly, the athletes need to be safe, they need to be welcomed by the local population, and they need to have access to healthy food and water. If a city can’t provide even these basic needs, they shouldn’t be in the running.

I understand why the IOC, Commonwealth, FINA, FIBA, etc. etc. choose these cities. They are usually on the lesser-developed continents (South America, Asia, Africa), and are cities with enormous populations (Baku has 2 million people, Rio 6 million, and Delhi 12 million). They are also centers for even larger (and usually even less-developed) populations. The marketing opportunities for the IGB’s, and their sponsors, are unbelievable.

Events like the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games were designed to showcase the world’s best athletes in the world’s great cities. They have now turned into nothing more than a economic and political machine. We criticize our athletes for politicizing the games and for not participating due to the potential financial risks of an injury, but how can they help but do so when that is the example set for them?

This is not to say that only cities like New York, Tokyo, or London would make good host cities. Many smaller, and more underrated, cities, like Chicago, Damascus (if they relent on their Israeli travel restrictions), Durban, or Yokohama would also make fantastic destinations for major events.

FINA, for the most part, has nailed their World Championship host cities. Rome in 2009, and Barcelona in 2013. Shanghai (2011 host) is a more modern city than Beijing, and has significantly superior transportation infrastructure. They also have impressively low pollution for a city of that size-on par with a city like Los Angeles only at three times the population. They have also aggressively been adding green spaces and relocating industry since the 1990′s.

They got a break when Dubai pulled out of hosting, rather than limping their way to a sub-par event with little support from the citizenship. Dubai could certainly be a formidable host for another, more wide-spread event, like the Asian Games. Qatar would be a much better future option in the region, as they have already demonstrated the ability to host large scale events (the 2006 Asian Games). Doha has been a finalist for seemingly every large event that’s come up in the last few years, and it’s only a matter of time before they land a few of them.

The Commonwealth Games committee has done a significantly better job of selecting their 2014 host, Glasgow Scotland, but needs to be careful in 2018, where the two finalists bids are The Gold Coast, Australia, and Hambantota, Sri Lanka. The Gold Coast is a very well-educated, very well-educated, very beautiful city. Sri Lanka is only a year removed from a civil war, and will likely run into many of the same pitfalls that Delhi did.

Delhi already suffered a pull-out by many of the Commonwealth’s top athletes because of concerns over safety. If events like the Commonwealth Games want to remain legitimate events, they need to return to choosing host cities that can handle these events and where conditions will allow for elite, world-class performances.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Best Male Sprinter in the World

After Nathan Adrian's sweep of the 50 and 100 free races at Pan Pacs - both ahead of world record-holder Cesar Cielo - I proclaimed him the best sprinter in the world. Tom Wildridge of the Speed Endurance blog disagreed. He believed (and still does) that the best sprinter in the world must have won a major title that year AND be ranked first in the world in either the 50 or 100 free. I said that a balance between the 50 and 100 free was required to earn such a prestigious title, ruling out 50 free world no. 1 and European champion Fred Bousquet from such an honor, as he had not performed up to his capabilities in the 100 free. He did not really have a true best sprinter in the world.

After Brent Hayden won the Commonwealth Games in 47.98, the top time in the world, Tom named Hayden the world's best sprinter. At the time, I agreed. He appeared to have the best balance of 50 and 100 free for the year. In a comment, I wrote, "Right now, no one can argue that Hayden is the best sprinter in the world, and he will leave Commonwealth Games the best sprinter in the world as long as he does two things in the 50: 1) breaks 22, and 2) wins a medal. Both seem near assured."

As it would turn out, Hayden did win gold but did not break 22, his winning time 22.01. Thus, the choice for world's best sprinter becomes less clear. To find a clear winner, I decided to add up long course best times this year for 13 of the world's premier sprinters. This is what I found.

1. Nathan Adrian, USA 21.55 + 48.15 = 69.70
2. Brent Hayden, Canada 21.89 + 47.98 = 69.87
3. Cesar Cielo, Brazil 21.55 + 48.48 = 70.03
4. Fabien Gilot, France 21.75 + 48.47 = 70.22
5. Alain Bernard, France 21.99 + 48.32 = 70.31
6. Stefan Nystrand, Sweden 21.69 + 48.82 = 70.51
7. Andrey Grechin, Russia 21.98 + 48.59 = 70.57
8. Eamon Sullivan, Australia 22.09 + 48.52 = 70.61
9. Fred Bousquet, France 21.36 + 49.34 = 70.70
9. Simon Burnett, Great Britain 22.16 + 48.54 = 70.70
11. Jason Lezak, USA 22.27 + 48.47 = 70.74
12. Evgeny Lagunov, Russia 22.54 + 48.23 = 70.77
13. Michael Phelps, USA 23.43 + 48.15 = 71.58

If I use Tom's criteria that the best sprinter in the world must have won a major title in either the 50 or 100 free this year, the list narrows itself out.

1. Nathan Adrian, USA 21.55 + 48.15 = 69.70
2. Brent Hayden, Canada 21.89 + 47.98 = 69.87
3. Alain Bernard, France 21.99 + 48.32 = 70.31
4. Fred Bousquet, France 21.36 + 49.34 = 70.70

It is a tight call, but to me the choice is clear. Based on his incredible world ranking and regional superiority in both the 50 and 100 free, Nathan Adrian remains the best sprinter in the world for 2010.

Commonwealth Games Wrap-Up

The swimming portion of the Commonwealth Games finished up this morning (my time) in Delhi. I spent the week in school, and in my few minutes of free time, I would rush to update the Swimming World Virtual Meet, which compares results of the European Championships, Pan Pacs, and these Commonwealth Games. Though the meet was for the most part slow and relatively uneventful, a few storylines did emerge in the meet's final days, which I would like to shed some light on.

On Friday in their 50 free semi-final, Roland Schoeman and Simon Burnett both false started after a spectator screamed and the starter told the athletes to stand. However, officials permitted both to swim, and both made it into the final. Afterwards, the always-outspoken Schoeman claimed, "It's unacceptable to be at a professional event like this and have people going on like monkeys." Australian media picked up the quote and saw racial undertones, and many proceeded to alienate Schoeman. Since that semi-final, Schoeman has been attacked all across the web, including his Twitter account. On a live blog during today's finals, a Herald Sun reporter in Delhi noted, "Mr Schoeman, he of the 'monkey' comment, goes in Lane 2 here. Shouldn't really be here but anyway..." A commenter named Tim remarked, "at least the arrogant cheat didnt win it," to which the reporter replied, "Indeed, but shouldn't even have silver."

This is horrible treatment of a world class athlete who merely wished to express the complete unprofessionality of the situation in Delhi, which began with two days in the Athlete Village without air conditioning. Quiet for the start isn't much to ask for; at every level I have swam (club, high school, even summer league), starters always have to remind spectators to remain quiet during the start of races. It is not much to ask for. While Schoeman's quote can be interpreted as offensive, he was frustrated with the situation he should not have had to deal with. I support Roland, even as the uninformed continue to insult him.

After finishing up in Delhi with a silver medal in the 100 breast and bronze in the 200 breast, Aussie Christian Sprenger showed uncertainty about his future. Some reports claimed that Sprenger was considering retirement, while most gave this quote: "My ideas about the 200 are crowded, but for the moment that was the last long course 200 of my career." Indeed, Sprenger has struggled so much with the knowledge that he will never again approach his 200 breast world record that he intends to abandon it to focus on the 100 distance. With the return to textile suits, many talked about the mental games the transition have played on the athletes, but no one expected an athlete to switch events! Sprenger has shown much success already with his new 100 focus, winning silvers at both Pan Pacs (behind Kosuke Kitajima) and Commonwealth Games (behind Cameron van der Burgh). Still, he has potential in the 200, and it will be odd to see him avoiding the event. However, Sprenger did remark, "But Libby's (Trickett) coming back from retirement so you can never say never."

Back here in the U.S., Alabama defeated the Auburn men in the pool today in Tuscaloosa, 133-110. What does this have to do with Commonwealth Games? In reality, Auburn's best sprinter (and arguably best swimmer), England's Adam Brown, is in Delhi right now, where he competed in the finals of both the 50 free and 100 free. In addition to Brown's absence, senior Kohlton Norys swam only on Auburn's losing 800 free relay. Aside from those two, Auburn was nearly full strength. Past contributors such as Jared White and Adam Klein could not muster enough strength to win what in the past would have been an easy team. In Auburn's signature events, Alabama freshman Vlad Caciuc and BJ Hornikel defeated the best Auburn could offer in the 50 and 100 free, respectively. Although this is way to early in the season to mean anything, this does not bode well for Auburn's rebound following 2010's disappointing sixth-place finish at NCAA's. If Auburn cannot beat Alabama, clearly they will not be challenging the likes of Cal for the championship this March. Their 14-straight SEC title streak could be coming to an end, with the likes of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama looming as threats. I started a College Swimming thread on the topic, so check it out.

Back to the action in India. Australia's Alicia Coutts and Canada's Brent Hayden emerged from Delhi as the top swimmers of the meet, while England's Liam Tancock and James Goddard, Australia's Leisel Jones, and South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh also put forth top performances. However, no one could surpass Geoff Huegill as the top story of the meet. For two years, many have commented on Huegill's amazing comeback to the sport, losing 40kg in hopes of representing Australia in the 50 fly in Delhi and winning a medal. Huegill completed this run on Tuesday, finishing just behind Kenya's Jason Dunford, finishing just 0.02 shy of a fairytale ending to that comeback.

However, Huegill had another comeback going, and this one has just begun. After qualifying for the Australian team for Delhi in the 50 fly in March, Huegill looked towards the 100 fly. At the Olympics in Sydney, he won bronze in the 100 fly, after posting the fastest time of the meet in the semi-final (51.96). That time remained his lifetime best for the long haul. In 2004, he finished eighth in the 100 fly. In his comeback up until May, the 100 fly had been his secondary event, until he and his coach began experimenting in the longer event, with the possibility of staying around until the 2012 games to race the 100 fly. A strong showing throughout the summer in the 100 fly got Huegill comfortable with the event, and he finished fifth in the event at Pan Pacs, posting a 52.32, his fastest time in nine years. He also split a stellar 51.45 on the medley relay. Although he only finished fifth in the event at Australian Nationals in March, he finished ahead of any other Aussie at Pan Pacs, giving him the opportunity to take up the event for Delhi.

Entering the event at the Commonwealth Games, many considered Dunford the favorite to double up and add the 100 fly win to his win in the 50, especially after Olympic bronze medalist Andrew Lauterstein withdrew from the event with "Delhi Belly." Dunford went out faster than Huegill, but the man known affectionately as "Skippy" came off the wall with the lead and extended it going into the wall. Huegill won in 51.69, tying USA's Tyler McGill as the second fastest swimmer in the world this year. Moreover, ten years after the fact, he beat his best time of 51.96 from the semi-final in Sydney. Afterwards, he committed to a run at the London Olympics in the event, where he will chase the man who has owned the 100 fly for the past four years, Michael Phelps. 51.69 won't medal in London. But Skippy has a chance to do much better and challenge the new generation of butterflyers two years down the line. What began simply as a crusade for better health has become much, much more. Watch that inspiring race here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games get underway today in Delhi, India, with the swimming competition beginning tomorrow (tonight in the United States). Full recaps of each race will be immediately available on, and I will try to keep up with the Swimming World Virtual Meet throughout the week. For those of you who don't remember, I started the Virtual Meet during Pan Pacs and the European Championships to determine who would have won the world title and made the final in each World Championship event.

As usual, I have predicted out the meet:

50 Free
1. Ashley Callus, Australia
2. Brent Hayden, Canada
3. Eamon Sullivan, Australia

100 Free
1. Brent Hayden, Canada
2. Eamon Sullivan, Australia
3. Kyle Richardson, Australia

200 Free
1. Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Australia
2. Kenrick Monk, Australia
3. Jean Basson, South Africa

400 Free
1. Ryan Cochrane, Canada
2. Robert Hurley, Australia
3. Robbie Renwick, Scotland

1,500 Free
1. Ryan Cochrane, Canada
2. Robert Hurley, Australia
3. Herman Heerden, South Africa

50 Back
1. Liam Tancock, England
2. Ashley Delaney, Australia
3. Daniel Arnamnart, Australia

100 Back
1. Liam Tancock, England
2. Ashley Delaney, Australia
3. Hayden Stoeckel, Australia

200 Back
1. James Goddard, England
2. Ashley Delaney, Australia
3. Chris Walker-Hebborn, England

50 Breast
1. Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa
2. Brenton Rickard, Australia
3. Scott Dickens, Canada

100 Breast
1. Brenton Rickard, Australia
2. Christian Sprenger, Australia
3. Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa

200 Breast
1. Brenton Rickard, Australia
2. Michael Jamieson, Scotland
3. Neil Versfeld, South Africa

50 Fly
1. Geoff Huegill, Australia
2. Roland Schoeman, South Africa
3. Andrew Lauterstein, Australia

100 Fly
1. Andrew Lauterstein, Australia
2. Geoff Huegill, Australia
3. Michael Rock, England

200 Fly
1. Nick D’arcy, Australia
2. Michael Rock, England
3. Chad Le Clos, South Africa

200 IM
1. James Goddard, England
2. Darian Townsend, South Africa
3. Leith Brodie, Australia

400 IM
1. Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Australia
2. Roberto Pavoni, England
3. Riaan Schoeman, South Africa

4x100 Free Relay
1. Australia
2. South Africa
3. Canada

4x200 Free Relay
1. Australia
2. Canada
3. South Africa

4x100 Medley Relay
1. Australia
2. South Africa
3. Canada

50 Free
1. Francesca Halsall, England
2. Victoria Poon, Canada
3. Yolane Kukla, Australia

100 Free
1. Francesca Halsall, England
2. Emily Seebohm, Australia
3. Yolane Kukla, Australia

200 Free
1. Blair Evans, Australia
2. Rebecca Adlington, England
3. Kylie Palmer, Australia

400 Free
1. Rebecca Adlington, England
2. Kylie Palmer, Australia
3. Katie Goldman, Australia

800 Free
1. Rebecca Adlington, England
2. Katie Goldman, Australia
3. Wendy Trott, South Africa

50 Back
1. Emily Seebohm, Australia
2. Sophie Edington, Australia
3. Grace Loh, Australia

100 Back
1. Emily Seebohm, Australia
2. Gemma Spofforth, England
3. Elizabeth Simmonds, England

200 Back
1. Elizabeth Simmonds, England
2. Belinda Hocking, Australia
3. Meagen Nay, Australia

50 Breast
1. Leisel Jones, Australia
2. Leiston Pickett, Australia
3. Sarah Katsoulis, Australia

100 Breast
1. Leisel Jones, Australia
2. Sarah Katsoulis, Australia
3. Annamay Pierse, Canada

200 Breast
1. Annamay Pierse, Canada
2. Leisel Jones, Australia
3. Sarah Katsoulis, Australia

50 Fly
1. Marieke Guehrer, Australia
2. Yolane Kukla, Australia
3. Emily Seebohm, Australia

100 Fly
1. Francesca Halsall, England
2. Alicia Coutts, Australia
3. Felicity Galvez, Australia

200 Fly
1. Jessicah Schipper, Australia
2. Ellen Gandy, England
3. Samantha Hamill, Australia

200 IM
1. Emily Seebohm, Australia
2. Hannah Miley, Scotland
3. Julia Wilkinson, Canada

400 IM
1. Hannah Miley, Scotland
2. Samantha Hamill, Australia
3. Natalie Wiegersma, New Zealand

4x100 Free Relay
1. Australia
2. England
3. Canada

4x200 Free Relay
1. Australia
2. England
3. New Zealand

4x100 Medley Relay
1. Australia
2. England
3. Canada

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Libby's Back

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past three days, you know that Libby Trickett announced on Wednesday that she is coming back to swimming after a brief retirement in hopes of making her third Olympic team in 2012. This is arguably the best news out of the swimming world in some time. Not only is this a major boost to Australia's hopes headed into London, but it also is an obvious bonus to have Trickett in the sport. The always-smiling sprint superstar has been well-missed this season.

I remember when Trickett, then Libby Lenton, won five golds at the World Championships in 2007, becoming arguably the best female sprinter in the world. Two days later, Trickett took on Michael Phelps in a mixed freestyle relay at the Duel in the Pool in Sydney, becoming the first woman in history to break 53 seconds in the 100 free, posting a 52.99. That time never became the world record, but Lenton returned under her married name one year later to set the record straight, posting a time of 52.88 at the Australian Olympic Trials.

At the Games in Beijing, Trickett won gold in the 100 fly early in the meet, but she came very close to missing the final of her signature 100 free. Four years after coming into the Games as the world record-holder but finishing ninth, only a DQ from top qualifier Pang Jiaying could keep history from repeating itself. Trickett took the final out hard from lane eight, only to be caught by Germany's Britta Steffen in the closing strokes, and Steffen out-touched Trickett by 0.04 to take the gold, the world record still standing. Despite this, Trickett had finally won an Olympic medal in the 100 free, and she had a big smile on her face as she congratulated Steffen. Perhaps not the smile as when she broke the world record above, but she still kept her grace in defeat. Trickett would later finish fourth in the 50 free, in which she held the world record both coming into the Olympics and leaving it, while she took two relay medals: gold in the medley and bronze in the 4x100 free.

One year later, Trickett found herself left behind as Steffen took advantage of the full polyurethane suits to crush the world records in both the 50 and 100 free. Trickett stayed in the LZR Racer suit she wore in Beijing, and while she did manage to beat her 52.88 in the suit, she could only manage a bronze medal in the final, nearly a second behind Steffen's world record of 52.07. Despite an obviously disappointing performance, Trickett once again had her signature smile on her race seconds after touching, happy for Steffen's outstanding performance. However, for the first time since 2003, Trickett walked away from a major competition with no gold medals, as her two relay teams both came up short as well (bronze in the 4x100 free and silver in the 4x100 medley).

A month after Worlds, Trickett announced she would take an extended break from the sport before deciding her future. The suit controversy had worn her down, many believed, and she no longer had the desire to chase untouchable records, and she didn't believe her one final major goal could justify three more years in the sport. As the months rolled on, it became painfully obvious that Trickett would not be returning to the sport for the season and quite possibly retire altogether. And then came the night of December 13, a Sunday, Monday morning in Australia. The headline: "Libby Trickett Expected to Retire Tomorrow."

2010 began. Australia dearly missed Trickett. The 100 free at Australian Trials proved a list of things that could go wrong with Australia's sprint corps. Their sprint relay could not approach the Americans at Pan Pacs, after defeating them by two seconds the year before. In the hands of a backstroker and a 14-year-old girl, the women's sprinting squad lacked the star power of years before. Trickett remained on deck as a sports reporter and post-race interviewer through Pan Pacs, but her bubbly excited approach to the sport was nowhere to be found in the water.

Wednesday, September 1. It's been a busy day for me. I haven't been on the Internet. I come home from a tiring day of school and swimming. I see the new headline. She's back. Yes!

Her eight-and-a-half month break refreshed Trickett. Being on the pool deck but not in it, she realized she missed the competition and even smell of chlorine, and she got the swimming itch. After Pan Pacs, she knew she was ready to come back. She is ready to chase her one major goal: Olympic gold in the 100 free.

Trickett may not be eligible to qualify for next year's World Championships (which Craig Lord can explain better than myself, here and here), but the sport is definitely better than it was one week ago. Trickett is a great person, swimmer, and role model, and the sport has one of the greatest and most excitable talents back in the water. The road to London will be an exciting one, and look for some outstanding performances from Trickett along the way. Whatever happens, she will always have that amazing smile on her face, no matter the result.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Swimmers of the Month

The month of August featured three of the highest profile meets of 2010: U.S. Nationals, the European Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships. So for August, Swimmers of the Month will correspond to the top swimmers from each region at their respective championship meets. I will also give awards for the top race of each competition, both men and women.

European Championships
Female Performer: Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
Won four medals at the European Champs, three gold and one silver, and moved to second in the world in two events (200 fly, 200 IM)

Female Performance: Hannah Miley, Great Britain – 400 IM (4:33.09)
Defeated World Champ Hosszu with the fastest time in the world by a second

Male Performer: Camille Lacourt, France
Came up just short of world records in the 50 (24.07) and 100 back (52.11)

Male Performance: Camille Lacourt, France – 100 Back (52.11)
Status as an Olympic event gives the 100 the edge over the shorter race

Pan Pacific Championships
Pac Rim Female Performer: Emily Seebohm, Australia
Won six medals, two gold in the 100 back and 200 IM, as well as four relays

American Female Performer: Rebecca Soni, USA
Posted world-dominating times in the 100 and 200 breast for wins, as well as winning gold in the medley relay and the B-final in the 50 breast

Female Performance: Rebecca Soni, USA – 100 Breast (1:04.93)
Equaled the third-fastest performance in history, becoming the first woman to swim sub-1:05 in textile

Pan Rim Male Performer: Kosuke Kitajima, Japan
Posted textile best and world best times to win the 100 (59.35, 59.04 in prelims) and 200 (2:08.36)

American Male Performer: Ryan Lochte, USA
Won six gold medals at the meet and posted world best times in four individual events: 200 free (1:45.30), 400 IM (4:07.59), 200 back (1:54.12), and 200 IM (1:54.43)

Male Performance: Ryan Lochte, USA – 200 IM (1:54.43)
Capped off an outstanding meet with a near-world record in this event

Special Awards
Perseverance Award: TIE – Katie Hoff, USA and Kate Ziegler, USA
Both fought back from disappointing Olympics and terrible 2009s to make a splash and set themselves up well for 2011 Worlds - Hoff with her eye-watering victory in the 400 free at Nationals, while Ziegler suddenly bouncing back to her old self when she pulled away from the field in the 800 free at Pan Pacs

Relay Performance: France (Camille Lacourt, Hugues Duboscq, Fred Bousquet, Fabien Gilot) - Men’s 400 Medley Relay at European Champs (3:31.32)
Put together a dominant performance with all outstanding splits to beat the top American time by more than a second

Favorite Swim: Nathan Adrian, USA – Men’s 100 Free at Pan Pacs (48.15)
Got it done and proved he is the best sprinter in the world. Amazing.

Junior Pan Pacs finished up yesterday in Maui. Check out full results as well as on-demand finals video at

Swimming re-launched just a few hours ago, taking on the layout of what has all summer been Swimming World TV. The new site is much better organized and makes specific pages much easier to find and interconnected. Reaction Time will eventually disappear to be replaced by the powerful new Disqus comment system, which you can log in through social networking accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. Still some work to be done, which Swimming World CEO Brent Rutemiller outlines in his column in the September issue of the Magazine. Highly recommend checking it out; the site will continue to be the best source for any swimming news and reports from across the world.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Past Pan Pacs

For the top American swimmers, the swim season has come to an end. Nationals is complete, Pan Pacs is complete, and the World Championship rosters for both short course and long course are unofficially set. Ryan Lochte has surpassed Michael Phelps as the best swimmer in the world (for the time being), while Rebecca Soni has emerged as the most dominant female swimmer in the world, untouchable in both Olympic breaststroke events. Missy Franklin has officially arrived on the world stage, while Amanda Beard has returned once again and has made another Worlds team, seven years after her last appearance at such a meet. Jason Lezak has completed his tenth year on the National "A" team after missing last year, while Chad LaTourette has emerged as the new Larsen Jensen/Erik Vendt. Internationally, Emily Seebohm has been called the next Natalie Coughlin (who is back as well), while Camile Lacourt has dominated the men's sprint backstrokes all year. Australia and France have each seen young superstars jump on to the world stage, Yolane Kukla and Yannick Agnel, respectively. Kosuke Kitajima continues to prove why he is the best breaststroker in history.

Starting on the pool deck at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center in May, I watched the entire season unfold and attempted to predict and analyze it. I have reported on every Grand Prix meet this year for Swimming World and become the biggest Swim Geek known to man. Swimming has been my life this summer, obvious from the 41 blogs I have posted this month alone. I hope this will continue, on pool decks around the country (eventually) and from my room and laptop.

Tomorrow morning, I enter my junior year of high school. The entire cycle starts all over for me, as it soon will for the nation's top swimmers. I am THE Swim Geek, and I will remain involved with the sport big time, particularly through my Twitter and Facebook pages. But for now, this blog will be dormant. I will post predictions and some analysis from meets around the world and continue my virtual World Championships for 2010, but for now, this summer's blogging season has come to an end. (Hopefully,) see you on deck!

Pan Pacs: Day 5

The pool competition at the Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine is complete. Final prediction contest scores for the pool and the unofficial World Championships teams (Short Course 2010 and Long Course 2011) are complete. The Open Water 10k for Pan Pacs begins in under a half hour in Long Beach, and you can watch it live on and follow tweets from Steve Munatones and/or USA Swimming.

Post-pool competition official prediction contest scores. And the winner is...

1. David "The Swim Geek" Rieder 336
2. Tom 316
3. Jerry 315
4. John 313
5. Matt 292
6. Priyant 275
7. G. John 268
8. The Viking 262
9. Braden 261
10. Katie 218

Unofficial world champs team(s)(relay swimmers include those in individual events):

50 Free - Jessica Hardy, Amanda Weir
100 Free - Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer
4x100 Free Relay - Jessica Hardy, Amanda Weir, Kara Lynn Joyce, Missy Franklin
200 Free - Allison Schmitt, Dana Vollmer
4x200 Free Relay - Morgan Scroggy, Katie Hoff, Dagny Knutson, Jasmine Tosky
400 Free - Chloe Sutton, Katie Hoff
800 Free - Kate Ziegler, Chloe Sutton
100 Back - Natalie Coughlin, Liz Pelton
200 Back - Elizabeth Beisel, Missy Franklin
100 Breast - Rebecca Soni, Amanda Beard
200 Breast - Rebecca Soni, Amanda Beard
100 Fly - Christine Magnuson, Dana Vollmer
200 Fly - Teresa Crippen, Kathleen Hersey
200 IM - Ariana Kukors, Caitlin Leverenz
400 IM - Elizabeth Beisel, Caitlin Leverenz

50 Free - Nathan Adrian, Cullen Jones
100 Free - Nathan Adrian, Jason Lezak
4x100 Free Relay - (Michael Phelps,) Garrett Weber-Gale, Ryan Lochte, Dave Walters, Scot Robison
200 Free - Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps
4x200 Free Relay - Peter Vanderkaay, Ricky Berens, Conor Dwyer, Dave Walters
400 Free - Peter Vanderkaay, Charlie Houchin
1,500 Free - Chad LaTourette, Peter Vanderkaay
100 Back - Aaron Peirsol, David Plummer
200 Back - Ryan Lochte, Tyler Clary
100 Breast - Mark Gangloff, Mike Alexandrov
200 Breast - Eric Shanteau, Scott Spann
100 Fly - Michael Phelps, Tyler McGill
200 Fly - Michael Phelps, Tyler Clary
200 IM - Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps
400 IM - Ryan Lochte, Tyler Clary

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pan Pacs: Day 4

The final pool session of Pan Pacs is about to get underway from the Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine. The Americans have dominated all seven sessions of the meet thus far, and nothing should change in the final one. The big storyline going into tonight: world records. Ryan Lochte has a strong chance in the men's 200 IM, as does Rebecca Soni in the women's 200 breast. John Lohn put up a notebook on Swimming with some nice thoughts headed into tonight.

Final predictions:

Men's 800 Free
1. Ryan Cochrane
2. Chad LaTourette
3. Takeshi Matsuda

Women's 200 IM
1. Ariana Kukors
2. Emily Seebohm
3. Caitlin Leverenz

Men's 200 IM
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Tyler Clary
3. Thiago Pereira

Women's 50 Free
1. Jessica Hardy
2. Yolane Kukla
3. Amanda Weir

Men's 50 Free
1. Cesar Cielo
2. Nathan Adrian
3. Gideon Louw

Women's 200 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni
2. Leisel Jones
3. Amanda Beard

Men's 200 Breast
1. Kosuke Kitajima
2. Eric Shanteau
3. Brenton Rickard

Women's 1,500 Free
1. Kate Ziegler
2. Melissa Gorman
3. Kristel Kobrich

Women's 4x100 Medley Relay
1. United States (Coughlin, Soni, Vollmer, Hardy)
2. Australia (Seebohm, Jones, Coutts, Kukla)
3. Japan (Terakawa, Suzuki, Kato, Ueda)

Men's 4x100 Medley Relay
1. United States (Peirsol, Gangloff, Phelps, Adrian)
2. Japan (Koga, Kitajima, Kishida, Fujii)
3. Australia (Delaney, Sprenger, Huegill, Richardson)

Official prediction contest results headed into the final night of pool racing:

1. David "The Swim Geek" Rieder 264
2. John 251
3. Jerry 245
4. Matt 241
5. Tom 231
6. The Viking 213
7. G. John 196
8. Braden 189
9. Priyant 171
10. Katie 162

This should be the world champs team so far:

100 Free - Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer
200 Free - Allison Schmitt, Dana Vollmer
400 Free - Chloe Sutton, Katie Hoff
800 Free - Kate Ziegler, Chloe Sutton
100 Back - Natalie Coughlin, Liz Pelton
200 Back - Elizabeth Beisel, Missy Franklin
100 Breast - Rebecca Soni, Amanda Beard
100 Fly - Christine Magnuson, Dana Vollmer
200 Fly - Teresa Crippen, Kathleen Hersey
400 IM - Elizabeth Beisel, Caitlin Leverenz

100 Free - Nathan Adrian, Jason Lezak
200 Free - Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps
400 Free - Peter Vanderkaay, Charlie Houchin
1,500 Free - Chad LaTourette, Peter Vanderkaay
100 Back - Aaron Peirsol, David Plummer
200 Back - Ryan Lochte, Tyler Clary
100 Breast - Mark Gangloff, Mike Alexandrov
100 Fly - Michael Phelps, Tyler McGill
200 Fly - Michael Phelps, Tyler Clary
400 IM - Ryan Lochte, Tyler Clary