The Soak: Adam Peaty Urges Swimmers To ‘Keep Your Soul In Order’ During Lockdown

Adam Peaty of Great Britain celebrates after winning in the men's 100m Breaststroke Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 22 July 2019.
Adam Peaty: Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

The Soak – Swim News In Brief

Swimming World soaks up snippets from the realm of water sports around the world in a one-stop digest updated each day of every passing week.

If you have a snippet of news for us, let us know:

The Week of March 23-29, 2020

Sunday March 29


Adam Peaty: Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse

Peaty Keeping Fit In Body And Mind

Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Adam Peaty believes “keeping your soul in order” is essential for all competitive swimmers with lockdown in Britain and many countries across the world meaning there is little or no access to training facilities.

Peaty will have to wait one more year if he is to become only the second swimmer, male or female, to defend the 100m title and move alongside four-time Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima following the postponement of Tokyo 2020.

The Briton is maintaining his physical fitness by using an indoor cycling trainer as well as an exercise routine to keep himself active and to guard against de-training.

In a film for governing body Swim England, Peaty said:

“Obviously we are going to go back to training eventually but making sure when I go back I am not overweight and it takes me a long time to get back into shape because ideally we need to be in decent shape.

“Keeping your physical state, mental state, keeping your soul in order and making sure you are ticking over in the right places.

“You can do all the physical stuff but not really look after your mind and for me at this moment I’m using this as momentum to build into next year.”

Peaty has retained a routine and structure, albeit less rigid than would normally be the case.

He said:

“(I’m) Enjoying this period and time in my life where we very rarely get time to just spend at home and do things we wouldn’t really have time for.

“So, don’t stress, don’t worry, everyone is in the same boat around the world but really the best ones in the world will be doing stuff at home to make sure you’re ticking over.

“Enjoy it, enjoy the food, enjoy your family company and stay safe.”

Saturday March 28

Sun Yang’s Appeal Period May Be Extended Due To Coronavirus Pandemic


Sun Yang – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Sun Yang’s appeal period against an eight-year ban for tampering with a blood sample after it had been signed into the chain of custody in 2018 runs out today.

Legal sources could not confirm whether Sun has actually lodged an appeal but believed that the 30-day period might be extended “by a few weeks” to take account of the difficulties presented by containment conditions in place in many countries due to the pandemic.

The Chinese swimmer had until today to lodge an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) on narrow legal grounds including human rights and any challenges Sun’s entourage may have to the legal procedures of the Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing that sided with a call from the Word Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to overturn a FINA decision to impose no penalty on Sun despite the events of an acrimonious anti-doping test mission to his home in September.

Switzerland, in common with other European countries, is operating in lockdown conditions at the moment due to the pandemic. Legal sources linked to the case are awaiting news from the SFT as to whether Sun will be given an extension to the 30-day appeal if he has not yet filed a valid appeal. “We’re awaiting clarity. That’s all we know right now,” said the source.

Friday, March 27

George Corones, Australia’s Grand Old Master Of The Pool, dies aged 101

George Corones, the remarkable Australian centenarian, who captured the hearts of the world with his 2018 record breaking swimming feats was laid to rest on the Gold Coast today, after passing away peacefully, aged 101.

Queensland Masters Swimming has announced that “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of (our) Masters Swimming legend, George Corones.

“George has left us…sound of mind and peaceful…only a few weeks short of his 102nd birthday.

“Vale, George, you were an inspiration to us all. Your stories of life and your passion for our community will always be remembered. George, you inspired people of all ages and your zest for life is one that we all wish to achieve.”

George Corones - Getty Images

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

The grand old man of swimming shot to stardom when he set world records at the 2018 Australian Championships.

Aged 99. And he then repeated the dose – and thrilled the packed crowds at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre during the Australian Commonwealth Games Trials.

News services from around the world, including the BBC, ran stories on the grand master of the pool, as he showed what swimming till the ripe old age of 100, could do for your heart and soul – inspiring so many.


Video Courtesy Brett Frawley (Swimming Australia)

Asked on the night of his 100m world mark on the Gold Coast, George said: “I just jumped in and went, that’s all. If you just keep doing something every day, you just keep repeating it, you can keep doing it.

“It’s kept me alive….here I am….knocking on the door at 100… and they tell me I don’t look a day over 70.”

George Corones GCB

Photo Courtesy: Gold Coast Bulletin.

Although living in Brisbane, George was a proud member of Twin Towns Services Masters Swimming Club (on the Gold Coast) and clocked a remarkable 56.12 seconds for the 50m freestyle WR before his and 2:24.21 to set a new world mark for the 100-104 age group in the 100m.

“I could feel the vibration of the place while I was swimming,” he said. “(The crowd) was going mad.”

Because of funeral attendance restrictions in Australia surrounding COVID-19, the family arranged a live streaming of the service and Masters Swimming Queensland will post the link and will announce details of a celebration of George’s life for all the swimming community at a later date. RIP to a great Australian.

At A Time Of Pandemic, USOPC Asks For $200m Handout


The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee has asked Congress for a $200 million relief handout for for National Governing Bodies.

The move came yesterday as Congress announced a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, USOPC stated that the money it asked for was for the 50 national governing bodies, such as USA Swimming, because they stood to lose up to $800 million of income, combined, from event entry fees and other revenue sources at a time when the sports calendar has been wiped out by cancellations and postponements.

“During this crisis, the USOPC plans to continue to provide resources to the athletes and the NGBs,” an email from the USOPC to lawmakers said. “While an important source of revenue, the USOPC’s resources are not enough to keep the system afloat.”

USOPC stated that more than 800 events had been wiped out up to and including June. Athletes stood to lose $25 million, mostly from lost sponsorship opportunities and prize money.

USA Swimming’s total revenue in 2016, the last Olympic year, was $45.8 million, including membership fees, which continue to be paid this year.

USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland told the Wall Street Journal that the numbers are “a little bit imperfect”. She drew criticism for that from big-named athletes, 1984 Olympic 100m freestyle champion Nancy Hogshead Makar to the fore, who pointed to a period in which the USOPC has been wrapped up in sex abuse scandals stemming from its NGBs, including USA Gymnastics and USA Swimming.

The USOPC is moving to decertify USA Gymnastics in the face of hundreds of lawsuits related to Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse of athletes. Nassar is serving a life-term in prison.

Meanwhile, athletes have signed a petition to have the USOPC leaders resign en masse:


The petition signatures calling for USOPC leaders to resign

Thursday, March 26

Daiya Seto Keeps His Golden Tokyo 2020 Ticket

Foto Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse 21 Dicembre 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport nuoto 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. Nella foto: SETO Daiya Photo Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse December 21, 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport swimming 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. In the picture: SETO Daiya

Daiya Seto – nailed it – Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia D’Alberto/LaPresse

Daiya Seto‘s ticket to a home Games for Tokyo 2020 will survive the postponement of the Olympics until 2021, according to the Nikkei newspaper today.

On the back of his World titles over 200 and 400m medley at Gwangju last year, let alone the sizzling form that saw him crack the World 400m medley short-course world record in December,  the Asian 200m butterfly record a month later and start this year with a 4:06 sizzler over long-course 400IM, Seto is to be honoured with a golden ticket to the re-arranged Games, which are expected to be held sometime between April and July next year.

The Japanese Swimming Federation (JASF) did not confirm what the papers said but a day after suspending national team activities, the Olympic trials having been washed away by events, as the coronavirus pandemic starts to take an upward curve the national federation direction Tsuyoshi Aoki issued a statement to say:

“We express our sincere condolences to those who died and their families due to this new coronavirus infection. I pray that all affected individuals will recover as soon as possible.”

As the numbers of coronavirus cases triple in three days in Tokyo, Aoki said that the safety of athletes, their families and the wider swimming family of fans and sponsors, coaches and programs was paramount. He gave thanks to all for “your understanding of the difficult” cancellation of Olympic trials, adding:

“It’s not easy to reset your mind and body, but we want you to switch your mind and practice again without losing your big goals … we, the Japanese swimming family, will continue to make progress in order to raise the Japanese flag up the highest pole at the Tokyo Olympics.”

A new selection criteria for the Games is being worked on, he confirmed.

Fear of sharks will keep Ariarne Titmus out of the ocean during isolation

Ariarne Titmus, Australia’s rising freestyle star and only individual world champion from Gwangju last year has revealed her “fear of sharks” will keep her out of the ocean during the enforced COVID-19 isolation shut down which will see her in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

Titmus lives at home in Brisbane with her mum and dad and sister and has reached out to her fans on Instagram giving them the chance to ask her some pertinent questions as we all prepare for life at home.

The youngster, who is at the forefront of an emerging women’s freestyle resurgence in Australia, said postponing the Olympics “was the best decision for everyone all over the world. Saving lives is 100 percent the most important thing right now; as long as the dream is still alive it doesn’t affect me that much.”

Q: Do you have any goals whilst in isolation. What are you planning to do? A: “I’m planning on doing lots of cooking and making up new recipes; keeping a routine while at home; try and read more; do lots of colouring and puzzles; Re-assess my goals for next year and be grateful every day.”

 Q: How are you going to stay fit/motivated with time off? A: “I will try and keep as active as I can by running and doing home work outs! I will stay motivated – the race isn’t finished – the goal post just got moved.”

Q: How are you still training at this time? A: “I’m going to run and be creative with what I can do at home!! “(in a very short course backyard pool)

But part of her isolation training won’t be spent in the ocean.

Asked? Have you ever done open water ? Ariarne replied: “I swam in the ocean at Noosa on our (National) relay camp this year, other than that I haven’t….I’m actually really scared of sharks!

Titmus food

Photos Courtesy: Ariarne Titmus Instagram/Google.

And on onto the important stuff? Q: What’s your favourite after training snack? A:

Yoghurt, fruit and muesli;

peanut butter and banana on rice cakes;

homemade protein balls, slice or pancakes;

tomato, cheese, with pepper and salt on Cruskits and my go to breaky after morning training is oats with fruit and yoghurt.”

And finally….how much use is your coffee machine getting right now? A: “An unhealthy amount!”

Wednesday, March 25

Champion Minds Reset

Tokyo 2020 may not be happening this year but minds and goals were immediately reset by Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Ferry Weertman, Chad le Clos and Sarah Sjostrom.

The quartet – who boast six Olympic titles between them – reacted to the postponement of Tokyo 2020 by looking ahead to 2021, when the Games will now take place.

Kromowidjojo made her Olympic debut aged 17 at Beijing 2008 where she won 4×100 freestyle gold with the Netherlands and she will be 30 by the time Tokyo comes around.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo

Photo Courtesy: Ranomi Kromowidjojo Instagram Account

The 17-time world medallist announced her engagement to partner Weertman – winner of the 10k open water at Rio 2016 – last December.

The pair welcomed the clarity the IOC’s Tuesday announcement brought and echoed the words of all that health is paramount.

Kromowidjojo told Swimming World through sponsors Arena:

“We are fine. We are staying fit in and around the house and luckily we are still allowed to go outside (as long as we keep distance to others).

“Ferry and I are both content with the postponement of the Olympics. We are happy that there is clarity right now, and that health is the first priority and not sports. But we’re still very keen on showing our best performances in the Olympics, even if it’s in 2021

“Now, first we keep some days off to relax and clear our minds, and then we will continue our training (hopefully in the pool soon again when that is safe again) and be our best in 2021.”


Sarah Sjostrom – Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia D’Alberto/LaPresse

Sjostrom, who won 100 fly gold at Rio 2016, echoed Kromowidjojo’s sentiments and said;

“I was not surprised with the IOC’s decision. It was necessary at this point because the health and safety for the athletes and the general public is more important now. And all athletes around the world need to have a chance to prepare properly for the Olympics.

“I’m going to start to plan my preparations for Tokyo 2021 together with my team (coaches/manager etc) as soon as we know when the Olympics will take place.”

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 15: Chad le Clos swims the qualifying time swim in the 100m time trail medley relay during the finals session on day 6 of the SA National Aquatic Championships and Olympic Trials on April 15 , 2016 at the Kings Park Aquatic Center pool in Durban, South Africa. Photo Credit / Anesh Debiky/Swim SA

Chad le Clos: Photo Courtesy: Anesh Debiky/Swimming South Africa

Le Clos, winner of the 200 fly gold at London 2012, added:

“I think it’s absolutely the right decision for the safety of everyone involved.

“Obviously there is disappointment, as I’m sure any athlete hoping to go to Tokyo will feel right now, but these circumstances are far greater than that and I’ll refocus on Tokyo 2021 when the time is right.

“We now all need to stay safe and healthy so we can beat this together.”

Monday March 23

Cate Campbell’s Words Of Wisdom

Cate and Bronte on the rocks

Games on the Rocks: Sister Act Cate and Bronte Campbell eyeing Tokyo 2021 – Photo Courtesy: Ragout from Australian Daily Telegraph – image by Phil Hillyard

Australia’s first ladies of the pool, Cate and Bronte Campbell feature prominently in Australia’s News Limited papers today following the not unexpected but stark reality of the news that Tokyo 2020 will now become Tokyo 2021.

The Australian, Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail and the Gold Coast Bulletin have all published the stunning images taken by one of the country’s leading sports photographers, award-winning Daily Telegraph photographer Phil Hillyard.

The sisters, who shared Olympic gold in Rio in the 4x100m freestyle relay have become the faces of swimming Down Under and the Olympics, in this sports-mad country, like the rest of the world, shut down in these devastating times.

Here is Cate Campbell’s Instagram post…

“Heartbroken but not surprised. This virus has swept the world, shattering so many peoples’ dreams and visions of the future. Yesterday it was Olympic athletes turn to have their worlds turned upside down. The news that the Games would be postponed indefinitely (but hopefully until 2021) came as no great surprise but still sent shock waves through the Olympic community. To be honest, I’m left reeling and feeling a little lost. But the goal posts haven’t disappeared – just shifted. It’s time to recalibrate and fire up for the next challenge. Thank you to everyone who has sent me messages, the outpouring of support makes me proud to be Australian. I’m thinking of everyone who has been affected by this pandemic, let’s stick together through these times and come out a stronger more united community. We are all in this together…”

And the back page of the Gold Coast Bulletin sums up the world as we know it…. “It’s Bigger Than Sport.”


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