PHOENIX, Arizona, May 24. RICK Curl was sentenced to seven years in prison for sexually abusing one of his former swimmers back in the 1980s, a charge that came to light in July last year and resulted in Curl's lifetime ban from the sport and a complete name change of the club he founded in 1978. Along with the seven-year prison term, Curl will get five years probation. Kelly Davies Currin, the woman who accused Curl of sexual abuse when she was a teenager, said she was happy with the sentencing and that she hoped an investigation into USA Swimming would take place, specifically those who she believes knew about Rick Curl's sexual abuse for years, yet did nothing about it.
Back to news in the pool, and the Japan Open is showing the world that Japan means business this summer at the world championships. Many of the country's top swimmers posted times today that were as fast as they swam last month at the world championship trials. Ryosuke Irie had a great swim in winning the 100 back. His 53.36 was just three hundredths slower than he swam last month, which is not surprising for Irie. Aya Terakawa is also a consistently fast swimmer, and she swam a 59.50 in the women's 100 back, just a few tenths slower than her world-leading time of 58.84. Another swimmer to watch this summer is Natsumi Hoshi in the women's 200 fly. She swam an impressive 2:06.43 today, which only one other person has swum faster than in 2013.
You can read the full report on the first day of competition in Kanagawa on swimmingworld.com.
Ryan Lochte and Elizabeth Beisel will headline the Mel Zajac International Meet in Vancouver, British Columbia, this weekend. It's the first meet the two will attend in their West Coast racing tour that will also include the Arena Grand Prix in Santa Clara next week. As we know, Lochte has not been in full training gear for very long since the Olympics, and he said these two meets are a way to get him into racing shape. As for Beisel, she'll be looking to make the world championship team this summer with the hopes of defending her 2011 world title in the 400 IM.
Some of the best swimmers in southern California will be in Irvine this weekend for the Speedo Grand Challenge, also the first meet in a two-week racing schedule that will include the Arena Grand Prix for some. We'll see Olympians Jessica Hardy in the 50 free and 100 breast finals tonight, and USC's strong group of 200 freestylers, led by Nikita Lobintsev and Alexander Sukhorukov, in the meet's unique super final that pits the top four swimmers against each other. This will be an opportunity to see Vlad Morozov in action in the sprint freestyles, and Haley Anderson in the distance freestyles a week after making the world championship team in the 5K.
It's going to be a great weekend for swimming fans, and we invite you to visit swimmingworld.com throughout the weekend for recaps from all these meets around the world. Streamlined News will be back here on Tuesday to recap the headlines from aquatic sports around the world. If you're in the United States, enjoy the Memorial Day weekend, and we'll see you next week.