The Week That Was: Records Tumble At Sette Colli Trophy

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

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This week saw no shortage of fast swimming, the stars converging at the 2018 Sette Colli Trophy in Rome and Australians gearing up for the Pan Pac Championship Trials Down Under. Read about all the fast swimming at those meets and the other biggest stories of the week in the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – Park Tae Hwan Out Of Asian Games

June 18, 2011; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Tae-Hwan Park (KOR) prepares before the men's 200-meter freestyle finals in the Santa Clara international grand prix at the George F. Haines International Swim Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Just two days after earning an official selection for his fourth straight Asian Games, South Korean Olympian Park Tae Hwan announced he was withdrawing from the competition and that he is considering retirement. The 28-year-old Olympic gold medalist told the press that he was “in no shape to post good records” and that “rather than saying I am retiring, I’d like to take some time to think about my future.” Park has had a long career that includes an Olympic gold medal in 2008, but most recently he has been known for his failed drug test in 2015 that stripped him of all medals from the 2014 Asian Games and caused him to miss the 2015 World Championships. Following that incident, Park has been working his way back internationally, most recently finishing fourth in the 400 free at last summer’s World Championships.

The Week That Was #4 – Western Kentucky Announces Swimming & Diving Will Not Return After Five-Year Suspension

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold

The Western Kentucky Swimming and Diving program will not be making a return once their five year suspension is up. The program was initially suspended for five years back in 2015 following an investigation that revealed sexual misconduct and harassment on the team, with the team set to be reinstated in 2020. However, Western Kentucky’s athletic department lost $1.14 million dollars over recent months, with cuts including funds that had been allocated to the swimming and diving program. Western Kentucky had won 15 conference titles since 1970, and most notably was the home base of 2012 Olympian Claire Donahue. To read the full report from Bowling Green Daily News that broke the story, click here.

The Week That Was #3 – Simone Manuel Wins 2018 Honda Cup

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Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

Olympic Champion Simone Manuel was officially named the Class of 2018 Honda Cup Award winner on Monday night. Manuel was announced as the winner in a ceremony that was broadcast on the CBS Sports Network from downtown Los Angeles, CA. Manuel was one of the five Honda Sport Award winners from the Pac-12 who were nominated for the Honda Cup, which recognizes the top female student-athlete across 12 different NCAA-sanctioned sports. Each Honda Sport Award winner is then eligible to win the Honda Cup. Manuel was one of four swimmers to be nominated for the Sport Award this year, beating out teammates Katie Ledecky and Ella Eastin as well as Olympic champion and world record holder Lilly King. Ledecky herself won the award in 2017, which gives the Stanford women’s swimming and diving team two back to back winners.

The Week That Was #2 – McEvoy, Magnussen, And Campbell Out As Aussie Pan Pac Trials Start

swims in the 2016 Australian Swimming Championships, Day 3 at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre in Adelaide on Sunday, April 10, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Steve Christo)

Photo Courtesy: Steve Christo/Swimming Australia

The 2018 Australian Pan Pacific Championship Trials are underway in Adelaide this week without two of Australia’s biggest stars. Sprinters Cameron McEvoy, James Magnussen, and Bronte Campbell announced they would both be pulling out of the trials just days before the meet. All three cited long-term thinking for the 2020 Olympics in mind, with McEvoy now searching for a new training base and Magnussen and Campbell taking time to devote energy to developments outside of the pool. It was a quiet start to the Australian Trials in the first few days, although Kiah Melverton did become just the second Australian woman under 16:00 in the mile with her win in the 1500 free on the first night of the meet. You can see recaps and results from the first three days of the meet here, and check back during the week to see results from each of the sessions.

The Week That Was #1 – Records Tumble At Sette Colli Trophy

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Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 Sette Colli Trophy featured some of the fastest swimming we have seen yet this year, with many European athletes, including sizable teams from Italy and Great Britain, breaking national records and climbing the world rankings. Ukrainian Andriy Govorov was the highlight of the meet, smashing the world record in the 50 fly (22.27) after coming up short earlier this year during the Mare Nostrum tour. Danish Olympic gold medalist Pernille Blume was one of the top swimmers at the meet, setting a new national record in the 50 free (23.92) to break through the 24-second barrier and become the second fastest woman so far this year. She also came out victorious against world record holder Sarah Sjostrom in the 100 free, touching just over her best time in 52.72. Great Britain’s Ben Proud was also on fire this meet, storming his was to a new Commonwealth record in the men’s 50 free with a 21.16 to become the fourth fastest performer of all time. Other notable swims included Yulia Efimova moving to #1 in the world in the 100 breast (1:04.98) and 200 breast (2:20.72), while Adam Peaty was just .02 off his #1 time in the world in the 100 breast (58.61) from the Commonwealth Games. To see all recaps and results from the meet, click here.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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