PHOENIX, Arizona, August 12. WHAT an amazing weekend of swimming we’ve seen around the world, from all different levels of the sport. The best in the world raced at the FINA World Cup in Berlin and set multiple world records. Masters swimmers were on fire at the U.S. long course nationals, and the future of American swimmers was on display at the junior national championships.
We’ll go through the highlights from each on today’s Streamlined News, and you can find complete recaps of each meet on swimmingworld.com. At the first two stops of the FINA World Cup circuit in the Netherlands and Germany, an amazing 10 world records fell in short course meters racing. Katinka Hosszu was responsible for six of those, all in the individual medleys. She broke the 100 IM world record an amazing three times, the 200 IM record twice and the 400 IM record once. FINA was offering a $10,000 bonus to all world record swims, which netted the Hungarian Energizer Bunny a cool $60,000 in addition to the prize money she got for getting top three in all of her races. Also breaking a world record was Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who swam a 23.24 in the 50 free to break the record by one hundredth of a second, and Chad Le Clos, who swam a 1:49.04 in the 200 fly.
Many of the top stars from the world championships held on to their tapers for the chance to win some much-needed cash, but one of the top stars in the World Cup so far was unable to secure a spot on the American team to Barcelona. Tom Shields made the most of that with some great swims at the U.S. Open and continued that with American records in the 100 and 200 butterfly events at the World Cup meets. USA Swimming isn’t offering bonuses for American record swims, but it is offering Shields, who recently completed his collegiate eligibility, a chance to kick off his professional career with a nice paycheck for top three finishes.
The World Cup is on hiatus for a while and will resume in mid-October in Moscow, where Hosszu will continue her run of success, and likely add to her world record bonus tally.
The USA junior nationals in Irvine, California, carried a little more importance for the 18-and-under swimmers racing there, as spots on the world junior championship team were on the line. This was the third opportunity for swimmers to get their names on the roster, with the USA nationals and US Open also available for qualifying. The world junior championships begins two weeks from today in Dubai, so USA Swimming should be releasing the names of those who accept the invitation to travel and race the best junior swimmers in the world. Swimmers such as Caeleb Dressel, Michael Andrew and Andrew Seliskar broke national age group records at the meet and could do some serious damage in Dubai.
And in Mission Viejo, California, the U.S. Masters long course nationals featured a few Olympians in the pool alongside a lot of first-time racers and established names in the Masters community. Clark Burckle, a 2012 Olympian in the 200 breast, set two of the 31 world records at the meet. Burckle swam a 1:02.18 in the 100 breast and 2:11.78 in the 200 breast to set new marks in the 25-29 age group. On the other end of the age spectrum, 95-year-old Rita Simonton set three world records in the 800 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 50 backstroke. In between was David Guthrie, who was coming off a successful season that saw him break the Masters world record in the 200 breast four times before nationals and 100 breast twice. In addition to lowering his 100 breast world record in the 50-54 age group to 1:07.16, Guthrie added the 50 breast to his record tally with a 30.48. Unfortunately, Guthrie wasn’t able to officially lower his 200 breast world record, as he was disqualified for apparently executing his dolphin kick in the underwater pull before initiating the arm pull. You can read our full recaps on our Masters channel at swimmingworld.com.
The International Paralympic Committee’s world swimming championships began earlier today in Montreal, but the biggest headline is coming from Exeter, New Hampshire, where Victoria Arlen is forced to watch the results of the meet rather than participating in it. On Sunday, Arlen received word from the IPC that she would not be allowed to compete in the meet because her paralysis has a chance of being cured, and therefore is not a permanent disability. Arlen was struck with a viral infection in 2006 that paralyzed her from the waist down, but Arlen and her family have been working to find treatments that could allow the 18-year-old to walk again. The IPC released a statement saying the lack of evidence to prove “permanent eligible impairment” was the organization’s ground from banning Arlen from the meet.
The IPC world championships started with three world records this morning in the heats. Konstantin Lisenkov of Russia was the first record breaker, swimming a 1:04.12 in the 100 back in the S8 division. About a half hour later, Mexico’s Nely Miranda Herrera posted a 41.72 in the 50 free for the S4 division. The morning session also featured an amazing swim by Olga Sviderska of Ukraine in the 200 free for the S3 bracket. Her time of 3:46.04 took 28 seconds off the world record. All three of these swimmers race in tonight’s finals for the chance to lower their records even further, and we will bring you a recap of today’s races on swimmingworld.com.