PHOENIX, Arizona, September 9. WE'RE back in the Phoenix studio after a few days at the American Swim Coaches Association's world clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hundreds of coaches from around the world gathered to learn from the best in the business and are back at their home pools putting those tips and advice to use. On Friday evening, Bruce Gemmell was named the coach of the year on a vote from the ASCA board of directors. Gemmell took the reins of Nation's Capital Swim Club in mid-October and with it, the awesome task of continuing Katie Ledecky's rise in the sport. With Gemmell's guidance, Ledecky won four gold medals at the world championships, and broke the world record in the 800 and 1500 freestyles. Three coaches were inducted into the ASCA Hall of Fame, including Bob Groseth, most known for his years at Northwestern University; Penny Taylor, who coached Tom Jager when he was a teenager; and Don Swartz, who was Rick DeMont's coach.
Asia was big in the news of aquatic sports over the weekend, with the Chinese National Games continuing to showcase some fast times. Sun Yang won't win seven gold medals at the meet, placing third in the 100 free and apparently stepping out of the medley relay. Sun has won four gold medals and will not have to put much effort forward in the 1500 free to get an incredible fifth win. Jiao Liuyang was sixth at the world championships in the 200 fly with a 2:06.65, and last weekend in Shenyang won the event with a 2:04.54, which would have won the world championship title. Liu Zige, who won the event at worlds with a 2:04.59, placed second behind Jiao with a 2:04.78. Ye Shiwen was back on track in the 200 IM with a 2:09.28, and in what is believed to be his final meet, Wu Peng won the 200 fly in 1:55.19 and will swim the 100 fly final in a matter of hours.
On Saturday afternoon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tokyo was named as the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, beating out Istanbul and Madrid. Tokyo will use a few of the venues from their stint as Olympic host in 1964, and will build several new facilities on Tokyo Harbor, including a 20,000-seat aquatic center that will give the city a second world-class pool. Awarding the bid to Tokyo will no doubt help a country still cleaning up and moving forward after an earthquake and tsunami destroyed much of the northeastern part of the country.