PHOENIX, Arizona, September 12. SWIMMING Australia appears to be in hot water, as reports are surfacing that the six men slated to swim the 400 freestyle relay in the London Olympics took part in pranks that could have affected the entire team's performance. An article in the newspaper The Australian reports that the six men on the relay took a sleeping pill that was banned from team use, then after a dinner attended by only those six, they prank called several other member of the team and knocked on their doors late at night. The relay swimmers contacted by writer Nicole Jeffrey admitted to the pranks but deny taking the sleeping pill in question. The pranks, the article says, led to a lack of team unity that caused some swimmers to be happy when the relay placed fourth and James Magnussen got silver in the 100 free by one-hundredth of a second.
Despite this, swimming still continues Down Under, where Jarrod Killey provided the highlight of the short course nationals. The 21-year-old swam a 1:43.20 in the 200 free, a lifetime best. It's still early in the short course season, but that time would have ranked fifth in the world last year. Christian Sprenger was one of a few Olympians to compete today, and he posted the top time in the 100 breast semifinals with a 59.89.
Sun Yang also is returning to competition, posting a 1:47.15 in the long course 200 free at the Chinese University Games. Several other Olympians, including 2008 200 fly gold medalist Liu Zige and London100 fly silver medalist Lu Ying, are racing at this meet.
USA Swimming announced on Twitter a new development from the United States Aquatic Sports convention: Funds will be set aside for one coach per athlete to attend the FINA open water grand prix meets throughout the season. Still on the table is reportedly an issue involving USA Swimming officially making a stand on what the minimum temperature should be for open water races around the world. Alex Meyer is at the convention in Greensboro to fight for cooler temperatures than FINA is calling for, which is about 31 degrees Celsius, or nearly 88 degrees.