December’s Voice for the Sport Explains World, Regional Swimmer of the Year Voting

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 4. THIS month's Voice for the Sport addresses the entire Swimming World World and Regional Swimmers of the Year process.

It's that time again, where we honor and celebrate the past year with our annual awards for the best and brightest in aquatic sports. As we leave our 50th year of publication as a monthly magazine (see the January 2009 issue for a detailed explanation of our early years), we're excited to award our 44th and 46th World Female and Male Swimmer of the Year honors.

While Michael Phelps set the record for the most World Swimmer of the Year titles last year when he won his fifth honor overall, this year he broke a tie with Debbie Meyer (1967-69) for the most consecutive victories with his fourth straight win to bring his career title to six.

While Phelps won in a landslide among the men, Italy's Federica Pellegrini fought off Germany's Britta Steffen for the women's accolade. Since Natalie Coughlin won the award in 2002, Australia and Europe have traded the honor several times. Pellegrini, however, did become the first Italian to win a World Swimmer of the Year honor either for the men or women.

As always, there are interesting tidbits gleamed from the way people voted. Although Jessica Hardy's doping suspension reduction is still being appealed at press time, many members of our expert panel recognized the credibility of her swims at the U.S. Open – enough to rank her fifth in the world. However, due to the fact that our panel votes on the regional and world rankings separately, Hardy wound up fourth overall in the American region. To sum up, those that voted for Hardy high in the regional voting also voted her high in the world voting. While those that voted for Ariana Kukors and Rebecca Soni (co-winners) in the regional voting did not vote them high in the world voting.

Swimming World Magazine also awarded end-of-the-year honors to the other aquatic sports. Germany's Thomas Lurz and Great Britain's Keri-Anne Payne won the Open Water Swimmers of the Year. Speaking of open water swimmers, the sport has gained much respect with Lurz finishing among the top 10 in the World Swimmers of the Year rankings, while other open water swimmers picked up spots in the top five for their regions.

Russia's Natalie Ischenko won the Synchronized Swimmer of the Year award, while China's Guo Jingjing and Qin Kai took home the Divers of the Year kudos. Betsey Armstrong of the U.S. and Serbia's Adrija Prlainovic snagged the Water Polo Female and Male Players of the Year. The Disabled Swimmer of the Year will be awarded in the February 2010 issue.

Swimming World Magazine thanks the members of its panel for generously donating their valuable time and expertise:

Asia: Hideki Mochizuki, writer for Japanese Swimming Magazine and Swimming World Magazine's Japanese correspondent.

Australia: Nicole Jeffery, senior sportswriter for The Australian; Ian Hanson, owner of Hanson Media Group; Ralph Richards, chief executive officer of the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association, Inc.

Central Europe: Camillo Cametti, editor Nuoto.

Eastern Europe: Norbert Agh, Swimming World Magazine's European correspondent from Hungary, Ivan Tsanov, editor of Bulswim.info in Bulgaria.

Middle East: Buky Chass, swimming commentator for Israeli TV and former national technical director.

North Africa: Chaker Belhadj, swimming writer for Le Temps.

Northern Europe: Oene Rusticus, Swimming World Magazine's European correspondent from The Netherlands.

South Africa: Neville Smith, Swimming South Africa.

South America: Jorge Aguado, Swimming World Magazine's South American correspondent from Argentina; Alex Pussieldi, senior writer of Bestswimming.com.br of Brazil.

United Kingdom: James Hickman, director of Made in Manchester TV.

Swimming World Magazine: Jeff Commings, SwimmingWorld.TV associate producer; Bob Ingram, senior editor; Judy Jacob, production assistant; John Lohn, senior writer; and myself, Jason Marsteller, managing editor.

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December 2009 Issue
Contents of The December issue:


7 10 BEST PERFORMANCES OF 2009 by John Lohn
10 2009 WORLD BEST BY EVENT by Bob Ingram
12 WORLD SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR: Federica Pellegrini and Michael Phelps
14 FEMALE AMERICAN SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR: Ariana Kukors and Rebecca Soni
15 MALE EUROPEAN SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Paul Biedermann
16 PACIFIC RIM SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR:
Jessicah Schipper and Zhang Lin
18 AFRICAN SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR:
Kirsty Coventry, Ous Mellouli and Cameron van der Burgh
20 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR:
Keri-Anne Payne and Thomas Lurz
22 WATER POLO PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
Betsey Armstrong and Andrija Prlainovic
24 SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER OF THE YEAR:
Natalia Ishchenko
25 DIVERS OF THE YEAR: Guo Jingjing and Qin Kai
26 CELEBRATING 50+ YEARS IN AQUATICS: 2001-08 by Jeff Commings
As we celebrate 50+ years in aquatics, Swimming World Magazine will be taking a trip through history, highlighting some of the top moments of the magazine's existence.
28 THEN AND NOW by Jeff Commings
Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps, two of the greatest swimmers of all time, shared that extra something called "The X-Factor."
56 WORLD AND AMERICAN RECORD PROGRESSION

DEPARTMENTS:
6 A VOICE for the SPORT
30 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
54 FOR THE RECORD
59 CALENDAR
62 PARTING SHOT

In the Swimming Technique portion of the magazine you will find the following:

40 Q&A WITH COACHES DAVE AND BOB HAUCK OF ST. OLAF COLLEGE
by Michael J. Stott
42 BOOK REVIEW: "Swimming Anatomy" by Ian McLeod reviewed by Michael J. Stott
44 HOW THEY TRAIN: Nelson Westby, St. Olaf by Michael J. Stott

In the SWIM portion of the magazine you will find the following:

36 THE POOL'S EDGE: Train Like a Swimmer! by Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen
Here are nine tips for triathletes to help improve their performance.
37 LANE LEADERS: Kristin Gary
38 DRYSIDE TRAINING: Getting Off the Blocks…FASTER! by J.R. Rosania

In the Junior Swimmer portion of the magazine you will find the following:
45 NATIONAL AGE GROUP RECORD SETTER: Olivia Anderson, Aquajets Swim Club
47 AMERICAN RELAY by Judy Jacob
48 TYR AGE GROUP SWIMMER OF THE MONTH:
Sara Giberson, Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics
49 GOLDMINDS: Holiday Training—Taking a Break from Taking a Break
by Wayne Goldsmith

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