The Week That Was: 2018 FINA World Cup Off To Fast Start In Kazan

Photo Courtesy: Singapore Swimming Federation

While we are past the traditional competition season that did not stop swimmers from throwing down some fast times at the first stop of the 2018 FINA World Cup in Kazan this week. Read below to get a recap on all the major swims from that meet and the biggest stories from the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – USA Swimming Announces 2018-19 National Team

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week USA Swimming announced the 111 athletes who will make up the 2018-19 National Team. The National Team roster is comprised of the top 6 finishers in each Olympic event from US Nationals, Pan Pacs, and Junior Pan Pacs. Benefits offered to USA Swimming National Team members include travel to USA Swimming TYR Pro Swim Series meets and training camp opportunities. Select athletes are eligible for monthly assistance and elite athlete health insurance.You can see the full list of the 2018-19 US National Team here.

The Week That Was #4 – Two European Olympians Announce Retirement

Chris Walker-Hebborn Doha 2014

Photo Courtesy: FINA Doha 2014

Two European Olympians, Great Britain’s Chris Walker-Hebborn and France’s Clement Mignon, announced their respective retirements this week. Mignon, who is an Olympic silver medalist as part of France’s 4×100 freestyle relay in Rio, posted a message on his Facebook Page announcing his decision, partly citing his plateau since 2015 as a major reason to be done with the sport. Walker-Hebborn made a similar announcement on his Twitter page. The 28-year-old was a major player on Great Britain’s medley relays in the last two Olympic cycles, and also has an Olympic silver medal as part of Britain’s 4×100 medley relay team in Rio.

The Week That Was #3 – 2020 Olympic Torch Will Be Lit In March

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Photo Courtesy: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), announced this week that the Olympic flame lighting ceremony will take place on March 11, 2020. That date will be the ninth anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan. By coinciding the lighting with that date and region, Bach said he hoped that they would be able to continue to bring attention to the rebuilding and restoration of the area. The flame will be displayed in Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi on it’s way to Tokyo, three areas that were heavily affected by the 2011 natural disaster.

The Week That Was #2 – Russian Doping Cases Almost Double From 2017

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Russian doping cases have nearly doubled in the last year, according to Russia’s own Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). The group has detected 113 potential breaches of doping rules since January, which is significantly higher than the 59 cases found in 2017. WADA’s executive committee has schedule a vote for September 20 on whether to lift RUSADA’s suspension, which was put in place because the RUSADA had been found to be routinely covering up positive samples from Russian athletes. The RUSADA has since had a major overhaul in staff. Given the number, Yuri Ganus, the agency’s director, does not forsee WADA lifting the ban on the RUSADA.

The Week That Was #1 – 2018 FINA World Cup Kicks Off In Kazan

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Photo Courtesy: Singapore Swimming Federation

The first stop of the first cluster of the 2018 FINA World Cup kicked off this week in Kazan, and while the number of competitors was a bit limited that didn’t stop those who did show up from breaking some records and starting this year’s circuit off with some great racing. Sarah Sjostrom broke three World Cup records over the weekend, crushing the old standards in the 50 free (23.83), 50 fly (25.39), and 100 fly (57.42). Sjostrom also picked up wins in the 100 free (52.99) and 200 free (1:55.98). Russian Anton Chupkov also had a monster swim of his own in the 200 breast, clocking a 2:07.59 to demolish Marco Koch’s old record. Russian teammate Vlad Morozov also took down a World Cup record of his own in the 50 free (21.49), while world record holder Andrii Govorov did the same in the 50 fly (22.83). You can see all the results and recaps from the 2018 FINA World Cup 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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