PHOENIX, Arizona, May 25. THE fifth day at the European championships in Debrecen, Hungary, wasn't as impressive as yesterday's swims, but the results still provided some interesting highlights. It starts with Norway, which won both women's finals today, a major step up for the country who is still grieving the loss of Alexander Dale Oen. Sara Nordenstam, who won bronze in the 200 breast at the Beijing Olympics, won the European title today in 2:26.91, which was just two hundredths of a second slower than the automatic Olympic qualifying time. The other women's gold was won by Ingvild Snildal in the 100 fly in a time of 58.04.
Laszlo Cseh continues to swim well, qualifying first in the semifinals of the 100 fly with a 51.95. Milorad Cavic was just out-touched by Cseh to qualify second with a 52.08.
Hungary's Peter Bernek moved up to third in the world in the 200 backstroke today with a time of 1:56.11 in the semifinals, and Filippo Magnini won the 100 free in 48.77, not a fast time in the scheme of things but good enough to keep Alain Bernard from defending his European title.
We've got a full report on today's competition at swimmingworld.com.
Swimming New Zealand CEO Mike Byrne officially resigned from his position today a week after an independent review of the organization recommended a complete overhaul that included his resignation. Swimming New Zealand has been plagued by four reviews in the last five years that have pointed out financial distress and managerial issues. This prompted Olympic butterflyer Moss Burmester to retire in 2010 and cause high performance manager Jan Cameron to resign last summer. About a dozen swimmers from New Zealand are going to the Olympics, hoping to swim fast in the middle of all this upheaval.
Yesterday Stanford officially announced that Ted Knapp will be the new head coach of the men's swim team in Palo Alto. The announcement may not come as much of a surprise to those who follow Stanford swimming, and we wish Ted all the best as he continues the legacy he and Skip Kenney started more than 30 years ago.
Besides the European championships, we've got our eyes on a couple of other meets this weekend, both of them in North America. The Speedo Grand Challenge in Irvine, California, will feature a lot of top swimmers from the Trojan Swim Club's elite team, and other top swimmers from the West Coast.
Tae-Hwan Park is just one of the big names scheduled to race this weekend at the Mel Zajac Jr. Invitational in Vancouver, Canada. This is also the first of a series of meets the Aussies are competing in around the world before final preparations for the Olympics. Among the Aussies scheduled to swim in Vancouver are Olympic champions Stephanie Rice and Leisel Jones, and freestyle relay member Kenrick Monk. Canada will have some Olympians in the meet as well, including Vancouver residents Brent Hayden and Ryan Cochrane.