PHOENIX, Arizona, August 29. RUTA Meilutyte was the star of the day at the world junior championships, picking up two gold medals in Dubai. After swimming in the 50 backstroke semifinals, she cruised through the 100 breast final to win with a 1:06.61, more than two seconds off the world record she set in the world championships a month ago. Her primary focus tonight seemed to be the 200 IM, which she won with a 2:12.32. The time beat the record set by Dagny Knuston at the 2008 meet and gave Meilutyte three gold medals with two days remaining.
The Tennessee swim team was likely cheering loudly for Luke Percy as he won the 50 free with a 22.14. Percy, an Australian, is coming to Knoxville when the meet is over, but first, he’ll have the 100 free semifinal tomorrow and the final on Saturday. Caeleb Dressel notched a lifetime best of 22.22 to take bronze behind Russia’s Evgeny Sedov, a time that establishes a new 17-18 national age group record that had been held for a couple of weeks by his Bolles School teammate Santo Condorelli.
The race in the boys 800 free relay was supposed to be between the United States and Australia, but it was Great Britain who stole the gold medal with the country’s first win of the meet. Aided by a superb 1:46.39 anchor leg from James Guy, the Brits were able to surge ahead in the final leg and hold off a surge from 200 free winner Mack Horton from Australia. The United States finished third.
You can read the full recap of today’s races on swimmingworld.com.
Diana Nyad is at it again. Almost one year after major jellyfish stings and a nagging shoulder injury forced her to end her fourth attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida, Nyad announced today that she’s going to try again … and that it will be the absolute last time she’s going to try to complete the 103-mile swim. Nyad will be equipped with a special mask that will protect her from jellyfish stings, though she said the mask makes it hard to breathe comfortably. Nyad is on her way to Cuba tomorrow, and will judge the weather to determine a good day to start the swim.
Yesterday evening Tom Luchsinger announced that he’s moving from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to work with Bob Bowman and his elite team at North Baltimore Aquatic Club. After four years of relative success at North Carolina, Luchsinger broke through this summer, winning his first national title in the 200 fly and making the world championship team. Bowman, of course, knows a thing or two about training butterflyers, having worked for more than a decade with Michael Phelps.
As the college swimming season kicks into gear, a number of universities are hiring coaches to fill their staff rosters. You can read about the latest hires by going to our college channel at swimmingworld.com.