PHOENIX, Arizona, July 8. I hope everyone in the United States had a great Fourth of July holiday weekend, where we saw some great racing in France to get us ready for the world championships.
James Magnussen definitely had all eyes on him after the 100 free final at the French Open in Vichy. Magnussen won with a 47.67, a time that only he has swum faster than in 2013. Magnussen is looking to defend his 100 free world title from 2011, and exact a little bit of revenge after losing the 100 free at the Olympics by one hundredth of a second to Nathan Adrian. Lauren Boyle of New Zealand, fresh off an altitude training camp, swam her fastest 800 freestyle of the year with a winning 8:23.08 for third in the world and a 4:04.24 in the 400 free for second behind Camille Muffat. Other great swims included a 52.52 in the 100 fly by Evgeny Korotyshkin and a great race in the 200 IM between Thiago Pereira and Laszlo Cseh, with Pereira winning with a 1:58.92 and Cseh third in 1:59.23. Three swimmers broke 22 seconds in the 50 free, with Florent Manaudou's 21.64 beating Cesar Cielo's 21.78 and Magnussen's 21.86.
In other world championships news, it appears that Sun Yang will only race the 400 and 1500 freestyles in Barcelona, according to reports from China. Sun was primed to challenge for four gold medals at worlds, but will not swim the 200 and 800. Sun just missed Paul Biedermann's world record in the 400 at the Olympics, and will have that on his radar, and seven days later, will chase his own record in the 1500 free.
Cameron van der Burgh might attend the world championships, but will do so with a bum knee. The reigning Olympic champion in the 100 breast injured his knee last week and had to withdraw from the French Open. He's back in South Africa getting medical attention, and we will know soon if he's cleared to compete.
Back here in the States, alumni of the University of Virginia's swimming and diving team are calling for a review of the reasons behind head coach Mark Bernardino's sudden retirement on July 1. Bernardino's retirement announcement was unusually sudden and sparked belief that there was more behind the announcement than simply the end of a 35-year career. Bernardino's career was highlighted just last year by putting two swimmers on the U.S. Olympic team.