PHOENIX, Arizona, April 22. VLADIMIR Morozov closed out the Russian nationals with two wins in the 50 and 100 freestyles, putting up the first sub 48-second swim of the year in the 100 with a 47.93. We'll see this week if that time stands up to the challenge of Cesar Cielo, James Magnussen and others who will be racing for spots on their country's world championship teams. Morozov followed it up with a 21.74 in the 50 free semis and a 21.80 in the final. Morozov is fourth in the world in that event. Another Russian standing at the top of the world rankings is Evgeny Korotyshkin, who swam a 51.53 in the 100 fly. Korotyshkin tied Le Clos for the silver medal behind Michael Phelps last summer in the 100 fly at the Olympics.
Some other news briefly overshadowed the racing at the Russian nationals, as Arkady Vyatchanin announced that he was looking to switch his sport nationality in time for the 2016 Olympics. Vyatchanin has been fighting his native Russia for a couple years after he decided to skip the 2011 world championship trials. A hearing allowed Vyatchanin to swim in the meet last week, but today he said he "can offer nothing else to Russian swimming." Vyatchanin hasn't chosen a country to represent, but he'll have to live in that country for at least a year in order to satisfy FINA policies. He's been living in Gainesville, Florida, for about three years, but it's not known if he wants to swim for the Stars and Stripes in Rio.
Le Clos posted a 51.79 in the 100 fly at the South African nationals on Saturday to give himself the opportunity to race for medals in both butterfly events at the world championships. And Roland Schoeman improved on his 22.19 that he swam as a 50 free split during the 100 free with a 21.88 in the actual 50 free on Saturday. South Africa will be sending a small team to the world championships, as only four swimmers made the qualifying times ... all male. The country is sending 12 swimmers to the World University Games this summer, including University of Arizona freshman Michael Meyer.
The Bergen Swim Festival in Norway served as a memorial tribute to the late Alexander Dale Oen, who passed away almost a year ago. A few of his friends and rivals showed up to the meet, including South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh, who won the 50 and 100 breaststrokes. Daniel Gyurta and Michael Jamieson replicated their 1-2 finish in the 200 breast at the Olympics by going 1-2 in Norway. But the bigger story of the meet was Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, who won six races, as has been her usual style since reigning at the World Cup last fall. Simon Sjodin was just as impressive on the men's side, winning four races.
You can read about all three of these meets on our world channel at swimmingworld.com.
Starting today in Rio de Janeiro is the Maria Lenk Trophy Meet in Brazil, where the country will select its team for the world championships. Joao de Lucca, the NCAA champ in the 200 free, was supposed to race in that event today, but a snafu in the registration process is keeping him out of the final of that event, so he is only able to race for a spot on the 800 free relay, which could receive a big boost from de Lucca, as well as Nicolas Oliveira, who was an NCAA finalist in the event. We'll bring you results from finals later today on swimmingworld.com.
And finally, we want to congratulate Garrett Weber-Gale on what was a very big week for him. First, he got engaged to girlfriend Kara Dockery, then he was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in New York City. Now, he's in Israel, visiting the Western Wall and seeing the sights. He'll be back there in July to compete at the Macciabah Games.