PHOENIX, Arizona, September 10. THE International Olympic Committee’s annual session in Buenos Aires drew to a close today with the election of Thomas Bach as the new president. Jacques Rogge had led the IOC for 12 years, the longest anyone can hold the office of IOC president. Bach has been a part of the IOC in various capacities since 1991 and, like Rogge, comes to the position with previous Olympic competition experience. He won a gold medal for Germany in the team foil fencing event at the 1976 Olympics, and is the first IOC president to have won a gold medal. He’s the ninth IOC president, and seven of the past eight all came from Europe. Bach said his term as president will be primarily to serve for all stakeholders in the Olympic movement, saying “my door, my ears and my heart are always open for you.” Rogge had been a huge force for change in the IOC, and Bach said he’s looking to continue that in his reign.
While we were sleeping in North and South America, the Chinese National Games witnessed the fastest 800 freestyle by a woman from an Asian country. Xin Xin swam an 8:19.43 to dip under 8:20 for the first time, breaking a techsuit Asian and national record held by Chen Qian. That put Xin fifth in the world in the event after not qualifying to swim it at the world championships. Also today we saw the likely final individual race for Wu Peng, who had announced that the Chinese National Games were to be his final meet. Wu placed third in the 100 fly with a 52.10. Another surprisingly fast swim came in the women’s 200 back. Zhao Jing, who has been primarily a sprint backstroker, won the longer distance with a 2:07.94 for sixth in the world. Zhao was the 2011 world champion in the 100 back and won the 50 back this year in Barcelona.
The college swimming recruiting season heated up big time last night with three females making their college choices. Gillian Ryan will be headed to Michigan in the fall, likely to amp up the Wolverine’s women’s program there. Ryan is a national champion in the 800 freestyle from the 2011 summer nationals. Another distance swimmer made a commitment to a Big 10 school as well, with Teddy Kalp adding to Indiana’s men’s team next fall. Kalp is a Canadian who was in the top eight in the 400 and 800 free at the world junior championships last month. And Stanford women’s head coach Greg Meehan secured another big commitment from Alexandra Myers, who could help the Cardinal in just about any freestyle event, though the 200 freestyle looks to be her strongest event.