PHOENIX, Arizona, November 9. CHAD Le Clos won three more events at the Beijing stop of the FINA World Cup today, bringing his cash earnings up to $40,500.
With one more meet to go, the 19-year-old could return to South Africa with almost $50,000 in winnings, and that doesn’t include the $100,000 bonus he’ll get for winning in the overall standings. Le Clos handily won the 200 free, 100 fly and 200 IM, with the 200 free being his fastest time of the season, a 1:43.62 that put him closer to Paul Biedermann and Michael Phelps in the world rankings.
Ian Thorpe failed to make another final in Beijing, placing 13th in the 100 fly prelims with a time that was about the same as he swam in Singapore last week. Thorpe said he’s happy with where he is in his comeback, noting that he’s learning how to race again and will use that when he goes back to Switzerland to prepare for the Australian Olympic Trials.
Several young Aussies were impressive in Beijing. Emma McKeon won both sprint freestyles in China and could be a name to remember when the Australians hold their Olympic Trials in March. Cate Campbell, who is already a veteran at age 19, is returning to form after a couple of years out of the spotlight, and Blair Evans put together a fast 400 free to claim the top time in the world of 3:58.31.
China’s Jiao Liuyang and Zhao Jing tied for the win in the women’s 100 IM with a 59.50 and Omar Pinzon of Colombia, who trains with the postgrad team at Southern Cal, almost put up the fastest short course meters 200 back time in the world with a 1:50.46, just a tenth shy of Michael Phelps’ time posted in Berlin.
If you missed the recaps from Beijing, you can find them on our world channel at swimmingworld.com. There’s one more stop on the World Cup circuit, and it begins Friday night USA time in Tokyo.
The Washington Post is reporting that the University of Maryland is considering dropping men’s and women’s swimming and diving as part of budget cuts. Maryland has been operating in the red for a few years, according to the Post, and as is always the case, athletics takes a hit. The swimming and diving teams are just two of the many sports programs the Terrapins are reportedly planning to cut. An official announcement is expected before the end of the year.
Sergey Fesikov is looking like the man to beat at next month’s European short course championships. At the Russian nationals last night, Fesikov swam a 21.09, which is the fastest time in the world this year. Fesikov was 21.2 at the short course worlds last year for seventh place.
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