By Emily Sampl
BOULDER, Colorado, July 3. WITH the Fourth of July holiday falling tomorrow in the United States, there are few major meets taking place on American soil this weekend. However, there are three meets to keep an eye out for overseas: Sweden’s national championships, Denmark’s national championships, and the French Open. Here are a few people and races to watch for at the five biggest meets of the weekend.
1. French Open
The French Open begins tomorrow in Vichy, France, and a lot of top European swimmers will be in attendance, as well as a handful of Brazilians and a couple Australians. Among those scheduled to compete are James Magnussen, Cesar Cielo, Florent Manaudou, Katinka Hosszu, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Camille Muffat. With the European Championships, Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships quickly approaching, a lot of swimmers will likely be using this meet as a final racing tune-up, which could produce some stellar times.
2. Swedish Nationals
Sweden’s national championships began yesterday in Boras, and a couple of meet records have already taken a tumble. Sarah Sjostrom, who’s already ranked first internationally in the 200 free this year at 1:55.04, swam a 1:56.56 yesterday to lower the nationals meet record in the event. Today, she matched her season-best 56.50 in the 100 fly with another meet record. Simon Sjodin is having a great meet so far as well after lowering the men’s 200 fly meet record to 1:58.52 yesterday and breaking the national record in the 400 IM (4:19.68) today. The meet continues through Sunday.
3. Danish Nationals
The 2014 Danish Long Course Championships began Tuesday in Odense, Denmark and will run through Saturday at the Odense University Indoor Pool. National record-holder Mie Nielsen will compete in the women’s 50 back, 100 back, 50 fly, 200 IM and 200 free, and on the men’s side, Andreas Schiellerup is ranked in the top five in numerous individual events and should contend for multiple titles. Nielsen is currently ranked second in the world in the 50 back (27.76), third in the 100 back (59.36) and second in the 50 breast (30.46).
4. Arizona Long Course Senior State Championships
Arizona’s top swimmers will gather this weekend in Tempe for the Long Course Senior State Championships, and there are a couple of high profile swimmers who will be worth following. South African Olympic gold medalist Roland Schoeman, who trains at Phoenix Swim Club, will race in the 50 and 100 free; Giles Smith of the University of Arizona will swim the 50 free and 100 fly, and Japanese masters swimmer Noriko Inada will compete in the 100 back. Several members of the University of Arizona swim team will compete for Tucson Ford as well.
5. Speedo Age Group and Senior Championships
Edmonton, Alberta will host a combined Canadian age group and senior championship meet beginning this evening as some of the top young swimmers in Canada try to make a name for themselves. At the halfway point between the London and Rio Olympic Games, the next generation of Canadian swimmers hoping to make national and international teams will be on the rise.