PHOENIX, Arizona, December 11. WE'RE less than 24 hours away from the start of the short course world championships, taking place in Istanbul, Turkey. Some of the gold medalists from the London Olympics will be there to try their hand at short course meters racing. Ryan Lochte won't swim the 400 IM, the event in which he won his only individual gold last summer, but he is racing in the 200 free and 200 back, as well as the 50 and 100 butterfly events. Lochte won six gold medals in the 2010 short course worlds.
France is sending a very small team to the meet that will include 50 freestyle Olympic champion Florent Manaudou in several events, as well as his sister Laure Manaudou, and Fred Bousquet, making this trip a family affair. But the French will be severely hurt by the absence of Camille Muffat and Yannick Agnel, who will not be participating in Istanbul.
Katinka Hosszu will be riding the wave of success she experienced during the FINA World Cup, where she won more than $150,000 in race winnings. Hosszu will be a force in the butterfly and IM events, as well as the middle distance freestyle.
Joining Lochte on the American squad will be Allison Schmitt, the Olympic champ in the 200 free, and Kevin Cordes, the new American record holder in the yards versions of the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. We'll be bringing you live coverage of the meet beginning tomorrow on swimmingworld.com.
Canada and the United States will partner to host the 2016 short course world championships in Windsor and Detroit. Windsor, in Ontario, will be the official host of the meet, but Detroit will play a major role as the athletes, coaches and officials will fly into the Detroit airport, and teams will use Detroit pools for pre-meet training. This is the first swimming world championships to be held in North America since 2005, when Montreal hosted the long course worlds. The United States was host to the 2004 short course worlds in Indianapolis.
Ryosuke Irie, the silver medalist in the 200 back in London, is moving to Australia to train with Michael Bohl in Brisbane. Irie said he is looking forward to the change in environment, and will swim alongside Korean swimming star Park Tae-Hwan, who has been working with Bohl for about five years. Irie will make the move south from Japan next month.
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