The Week That Was: Drama In and Out of the Water For Top Five Swimming Headlines

PHOENIX, Arizona, June 16. LOTS of news in swimming took place around the world, both in and out of the pool, and it got the swimming community talking. We’re counting down the top five swimming headlines from the past week on the show today, and we’ll start with number five.


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Nathan Adrian was just one of the stars on the three-meet Mare Nostrum circuit that traveled through southern Europe, and he was extremely dominant in sprint freestyle, winning all of the 50 and 100 freestyle events. Adrian’s best swim might have been that 48.08 100 free in Barcelona, which tied the best in-season swim of his career. There are way too many exciting swims to mention here on the show, but we’ll point out a couple of them. Adam Peaty set a British national record in the 100 breast with a 59.25 to move up to second in the world and make himself a major medal contender at the Commonwealth Games. Siobhan O’Connor also primed herself for a great showing at the Commonwealth Games with a 2:09.63 in the 200 IM, also second in the world, and Ryosuke Irie continued to show off his consistency, winning all of the 100 and 200 backstrokes on the Mare Nostrum tour. Many of these athletes are headed back to their training bases for a final stretch before the big championship meets, and based on the swims we saw in Europe, we’re in for a great championship portion of the long course season.

On Thursday, the U.S. Olympic Committee officially announced the four cities that are in the final running to be named as a candidate city for hosting the 2024 Olympics, and that comes in at number four on our countdown. While Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., are now turning on the charm in these next few months, the USOC has said there’s no certainty the organization will present an official candidate city to the International Olympic Committee. But, should the USOC name one candidate city, they will do so by the end of this year to give that city time to create a strong bid presentation for the IOC. Los Angeles is the only city among the four that has previously hosted an Olympics, doing it twice in 1932 and 1984. San Francisco was on a previous shortlist for the 2012 Olympics, but was dropped in favor of New York City. Boston and Washington, D.C., have never been a part of an Olympic bid before. I’m sure you’ve picked a city you’d like to see host the Olympics, and we’d like to hear from you by voting in our poll found on our home page at swimmingworld.com.

On a clear Saturday morning in southern California, four men and four women were named to the United States’ team that will participate in the 10K swim at the Pan Pacific championships. Becca Mann, just 16 years old, won her first-ever national title with a flourish in the final 1000 meters to overtake a lead pack that included runner-up Haley Anderson, third-place finisher Christine Jennings and fourth-place finisher Eva Fabian. For Jennings, it’s an opportunity to defend her Pan Pac 10K title from 2010, and Fabian will have a chance to defend or improve on her silver-medal finish from that 2010 race. On the men’s side, it looked like Ryan Feeley was going to win the 10K with no trouble, but was caught about two-thirds of the way through the race by Sean Ryan. Andrew Gemmell was swimming in the back of the pack for a while but took control in the final 1000 to win his second 10K title in three years and qualify for Pan Pacs. Also making a big burst at the end of the race was Jordan Wilimovsky, who got on the Pan Pac squad when he finished second. And in a rarity for marathon swimming, Sean Ryan and Alex Meyer tied for third place to get on the Pan Pac squad. Meyer and Anderson won the 5K events, though no senior-level teams were picked from that race. Members of the junior Pan Pac and junior worlds squad should be made official soon by USA Swimming based on the top 18-and-under finishers.

Editor’s note: Jordan’s finish in the 10K was incorrectly stated as his first placement on a senior-level international squad. He competed at last summer’s world championships.

On Thursday afternoon, the final leg of the Arena Grand Prix takes off in Santa Clara, California, and it’s going to feature a lot of stars in the final big in-season meet before nationals. That’s our number two headline of the week. The release of the psych sheet revealed that Michael Phelps is entered in four events: 100 and 200 free, 100 fly and 200 IM. Ryan Lochte is staying in Charlotte to continue rehab on his knee, but Nathan Adrian will be there, probably feeling a bit jetlagged after returning from Europe. On the women’s side, Missy Franklin will race her first long course meet in the United States with the Cal team, and she’ll face off against Allison Schmitt in the 200 free, which is bound to be one of the highlights of the meet. We’ll bring you lots of coverage from the deck of the George Haines International Swim Center, so be sure to be plugged into your social media on Facebook and Twitter for updates, as well as swimmingworld.com for race recaps.

We’ve reached the number one swimming headline of the past week. Swimming South Africa has long had issues with swimmers based in the United States, and that was made public once again in an email that mentioned that the six U.S. based swimmers who made the Commonwealth Games team would have to pay for part of their airfare to the meet. Those six swimmers — Brad Tandy, Roland Schoeman, Dylan Bosch, Sebastien Rousseau, Marne Erasmus and Tara Lynn-Nicholas — were called “breakaways” by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and told that only about $1000 of their airfare would be covered. That was on Thursday. Over the weekend, Swimming South Africa said all expenses for these six and the other 14 swimmers on the Commonwealth team would be fully covered, but as of today, those six swimmers had not been notified. With one month to go before the South African team is set to arrive in Glasgow, it’s great to see that the situation appears to have been resolved, but it is an unusual turn of events for a major swimming country. You might recall that South Africa initially said it couldn’t completely pay for its athletes to travel to Barcelona for last year’s world championships, but then an unknown money source came in, and finances were rectified.

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Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the host of several shows on SwimmingWorld.TV, including "The Morning Swim Show," which features interviews with people making headlines in aquatic sports. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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