PHOENIX, Arizona, August 13. MIKE Alexandrov joined Megan Romano as the two swimmers at the US Open last week who swam times that would have put them on the Olympic team. You may remember that Romano would have won Olympic Trials in the 100 free with the time she swam last Tuesday, and Alexandrov's winning time of 1:00.03 in the 100 breast on Friday would have been good enough for second in Omaha. Alexandrov had to hold off the rapidly-improving Kevin Cordes, who was four tenths back with a lifetime best of 1:00.47. Romano was the MVP of the meet, winning four events. In addition to the 100 free and 200 back, the Georgia senior won the 200 free and 100 back on Saturday.
Plenty of other swimmers also made good on their second chance at fast swimming after Trials in Indianapolis last week, and you can read our complete recaps of the meet at swimmingworld.com.
Today the 18-and-unders take to the IU Natatorium for the start of the junior national championships. This is a major breeding ground for future Olympians. Missy Franklin, Rachel Bootsma and Lia Neal were all standouts at the junior national level shortly after the 2008 Olympics before moving up the ranks to find themselves on this year's Olympic team. We'll be keeping an eye on the future swimming stars to come out of the meet, and you can get recaps from juniors on swimmingworld.com.
The diving portion of the Olympics closed out in thrilling fashion, as David Boudia won the men's individual platform by just two points over China's Qiu Bo. Tom Daley excited the home crowd with a bronze medal after successfully appealing for a re-dive in the first round when he was distracted by flashes from cameras in the stands. Boudia's gold is the first diving gold for USA Diving since Laura Wilkinson in 2000. The United States made big improvements in diving in London, winning four medals, as opposed to zero in 2004 and 2008. It's likely that one of the mainstays of American diving, 32-year-old Troy Dumais, will retire now, having won that elusive Olympic medal, a bronze in the men's three-meter synchro event.
The United States won 36 medals across all aquatic sports, medaling in each discipline except for synchronized swimming. China won 22 medals, including 10 in diving and 10 in swimming. Japan took third in the medal rankings with 12.
Michael Phelps has his first post-swimming gig lined up with an appearance on the Golf Channel show “Haney Project.” Phelps will be working with the show's host, Hank Haney, to improve his golf game, though it's unclear if Phelps will be working toward being a celebrity golfer at tournaments, or just wanting to be good at yet another sport. Production of the series begins in September.
Many Olympians from the United States are returning home today, and while many of the postgrads can enjoy a little rest and relaxation, the younger swimmers are getting ready for back to school. Missy Franklin starts her senior year at Regis Jesuit on Thursday, while the other two high school-age swimmers on the team, Katie Ledecky and Lia Neal, still have a couple of weeks before they start school. And the college swimmers on the team are likely headed to their campuses to start registration for classes and first workouts with their teams.