2019 Splashbacks – May-June: Kyle Chalmers Picks Up The Pace, Ruta Meilutyte Calls It A Day


This year has been another stacked with thrills and spills in the aquatics world. It included the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, and the debut of the International Swim League (ISL). Swimming World had our readers covered every step of the way. During the final days of the year, we’re looking back in “Splashbacks” to some of the most read stories of 2019.

The top stories for May and June 2019 are…

1. Kyle Chalmers Swims Fastest 100 Free in World of 2019 (Race Video)

In June, Chalmers posted what was then the fastest 100 free in the world for 2019 at a 47.35 while swimming at the 2019 Australian World Swimming Trials. Chalmers’ swim improved upon his April best time of 47.48, which had previously had him ranked second in the world.

2. Olympic Champion Ruta Meilutyte Announces Her Retirement from Swimming

Lithuanian Olympic Champion Ruta Meilutyte announced in late May that she would not be pursuing a third Olympic Games, but would instead be focusing on her education and life outside of the pool.

3. Emily Seebohm Finishes Third in 200 Back at Australian Swimming World Trials; Out of World Championships for First Time Since 2005

In a shocking twist of events, Australian stalwart Emily Seebohm failed to qualify for the World Championships in the 200 back for the first time since 2005. Seebohm finished third in the event at the 2019 Australian Swimming World Trials and finished fourth in the 100 back earlier in the meet, effectively keeping her from the 2019 World Championships.

4. Luca Urlando Breaks Michael Phelps’ 17-18 200 Fly NAG Record at TYR Pro Series Clovis (Race Video)

17-year-old Luca Urlando etched his name in the record books in June when he took down the 17-18 200 Fly National Age Group record of none other than Michael Phelps. Urlando delivered a sizzling 1:53.84 to become the third fastest American ever in the 200 fly.

5. 9 Types of Competitors at Swim Meets

Swimming World college intern, Jennifer Yoo, took people watching to a new level by profiling the “9 Types of Competitors at Swim Meets.” We’ve all seen them and we’re all at least one of them at some point in our career. Check out the list to see which one best fits your personality! ols

6. The Swimming Crisis in West Virginia

West Virginia is known for a lot of things, however, access to swimming pools is not one of them. This becomes problematic in a state where swimming is gaining momentum. In “The Swimming Crisis in West Virginia, Swimming World college intern, Sarah Noll, laid out the bare facts of the situation in West Virginia and pointed to some possible solutions.

7. 12 Quirks of Competitive Swimming

Swimming World college intern, Rachel Helm, spoke to all our hearts in May when she penned “12 Quirks of Competitive Swimming.” The list counts a mere 12 items/sayings that set swimmers apart from the rest.

8. LeBron James Launches Swim Camp with Help from Simone Manuel

LeBron James paired with Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel to create a swim program as part of his I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. The program had a group of 140 third and fourth graders participate, with 125 of the kids having never been in water before. The aim of the program was to increase water safety and awareness by teaching children how to swim and save lives.

9. Re-Ranking the Best NCAA Women’s Swimmers in Division I from 1-25

At the beginning of the 2018-19 NCAA season, Swimming World ranked the top 25 women’s swimmers in a pre-season ranking. Following the conclusion of the season, Swimming World re-visited the list and updated it with results from the 2019 Women’s NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships.

10. Fort Lauderdale Unveils Iconic High Diving Tower as Possible Addition to Hall of Fame Aquatic Center

At the end of May, the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced plans to evaluate the construction of a possible high dive tower to add to the new aquatic center that is being renovated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. High diving is currently an approved diving event for the FINA World Championships and is set to become an Olympic event with the 2024 Olympic Games, so the new addition would serve as a training beacon for the sport.

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