The Week That Was: Chalmers Takes Down 13-Year-Old World Record

Jul 27, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Kyle Chalmers (AUS) after the men's 100m freestyle heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

After he came within a tenths of the mark one week earlier, Kyle Chalmers has finally broken the 13-year-old world record in the short course meters men’s 100 freestyle. At the final stop of the FINA World Cup in Kazan, Russia, Chalmers swam a 44.84 to beat out Amaury Leveaux’s 44.94 from all the way back in 2008. Meanwhile, news of the U.S. roster for the Short Course World Championships led to some controversy as a world-record-breaker from earlier this year was left off the squad.

Read the five biggest stories of the week in The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #1: Chalmers Breaks WR as World Cup Circuit Wraps Up

kyle chalmers

Kyle Chalmers — Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia

By Matthew De George

Aussie star Kyle Chalmers has taken down the world record in the men’s short course 100-meter freestyle Friday at the FINA World Cup in Kazan, Russia.

Chalmers won the event in 44.84 seconds. It erases the near 13-year-old record set by Frenchman Amaury Leveaux at 44.94 seconds.

    • Chalmers’ splits: 21.40 – 23.44 – 44.84
    • Leveaux’s splits: 21.72 – 23.22 – 44.94

The world record is Chalmers’ first. It’s the second short course world record set this season, joining Coleman Stewart’s mark in the 100 backstroke from the International Swimming League season. Chalmers set the Aussie record in the 50 free on Thursday. He had downed the 100 free national record last week, going 45.03 in Doha at the World Cup stop.

It seemed only a matter of time before he got there. To get there, he blew away the swimmer with the second fastest time and World Cup record, Vladimir Morozov at 44.95. Morozov was second Friday in 46.32 with Kliment Kolesnikov third.

Among those weighing in on Chalmers’ accomplishment is the man whose record he took down, via Twitter:

Meanwhile, the World Cup circuit concluded in Kazan with more impressive performances from Japan’s Daiya Seto (including a World Cup record) and Chalmers’ Australian teammate Emma McKeon. The overall winners of this year’s circuit were McKeon, who narrowly edged out the Netherlands’ Kira Toussaint for the women’s honor, and 18-year-old South African Matt Sates. Sates was followed closely by the USA’s Tom Shields and the Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga.

World Cup Kazan Recaps:

#2: USA Swimming Announces Team for Short Course World Championships; World-Record-Breaker Coleman Stewart Left Off

Jul 25, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Torri Huske (USA) in a women's 100m butterfly semifinal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Network

Torri Huske — Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

USA Swimming announced its list of athletes who will represent the U.S. at the 2021 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and the 2021 FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series.

Twenty-eight U.S. swimmers will represent the U.S. at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), which will take place December 16-21 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Fifteen U.S. swimmers who competed at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be taking the stage, including Olympic gold medalists Lydia Jacoby (Seward, Alaska/Seward Tsunami Swim Team) and Zach Apple (Trenton, Ohio/Mission Viejo Nadadores), among others. American-record holders Torri Huske (Arlington, Va./Stanford University) and Michael Andrew (Encinitas, Calif./MA Swim Academy) will also make the trip.

Katie Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada) comes in as the youngest rostered U.S. swimmer at just 15 years old, while Melanie Margalis (Clearwater, Fla./St. Petersburg Aquatics/MAAC) and Tom Shields (Huntington Beach, Calif./California Aquatics) are the lone 30-year-olds on the list.

• Check out the full roster here

All but six individuals on the U.S. roster will be making their FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) debuts. Andrew, Margalis, Zach Harting (Huntsville, Ala./Huntsville Swim Association/Cardinal Aquatics), Ryan Held (Springfield, Ill./New York Athletic Club/Sun Devil Swimming) and Kieran Smith (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield Aquatic Club/University of Florida) will all make an appearance after competing at the last championships, which took place in 2018.

Coleman Stewart Left Off Team Due to Selection Procedures

By David Rieder

In his first ISL match of the season, Coleman Stewart crushed the world record in the short course meters 100 backstroke. But despite all that, he was not named to USA Swimming’s team for the Short Course World Championships in December in Abu Dhabi, and Stewart is not being shy about his frustrations with the process that left him without a chance at a world title.

After USA Swimming’s announcement of the teams bound for Abu Dhabi Thursday afternoon, Stewart posted about his disappointment to Twitter and Instagram. He wrote, “I was not offered a spot on the short course worlds team by USA Swimming. As the current world record holder in a short course event, I cannot understand USA Swimming’s reasoning behind the decision.”

Stewart went on to criticize USA Swimming for picking short course teams based on long course results, calling it “an outdated selection process that has worked in the past, and may continue to work due to the depth of our swimmers, but it leaves off some of the best swimmers America has to offer. USA Swimming has a history of only caring for their top-tier long course swimmers, and leaving multiple short course American record holders off the team has only solidified this in my opinion.”

The Week That Was #3: Florida Sweeps Georgia in Top College Dual Meet of the Week

talia-bates-florida-

Talia Bates — Photo Courtesy: NCAA Media

By Matthew De George

Talia Bates won the women’s 100 backstroke, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle as Florida eked out a 153-147 win over Georgia on Friday afternoon. That competed a Gators sweep, with the men claiming a 180-120 win.

Bates clocked in at an NCAA B cut of 22.63 to win the 50 free. She also tallied a B cut in 48.82 in the 200 free. Her spring wins came on either side of Elizabeth Perez’s win in the one-meter diving, to augment her earlier three-meter win and help the Gators rip off a streak of wins. Mabel Zavaros followed by winning the 200 back. Elise Bauer won the 1,000 free for Florida.

Georgia split the women’s events down the middleZoie Hartman led the way with wins in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM. Dakota Luther prevailed in the 100 fly and 200 fly. Abigail McCulloh was first in the 500 free, and Dune Coetzee took top honors in the 200 free. Hartman and Luther were also on the winning medley relay squad.

The Florida men left no doubt, led by their breaststroke depth. Dillon Hillis won both the 100 and 200 breast in 1-2-3 sweeps, with Raphael Rached Windmuller in second both times. Hillis also swam a leg on the winning 200 medley relay that was led off by Adam Chaney, the winner of the 100 back.

Chaney and Eric Friese were on both winning relays. They were joined on the victorious 400 free squad by Will Davis, who won the 50 free. Gerry Quinn claimed the 100 free, and Trey Freeman won the 200 free. Leonardo Garcia swept the men’s diving events.

Georgia’s stroke depth wasn’t quite enough. Luca Urlando did his bit, winning the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM. He posted the top time in the NCAA this season in all three events: 45.61 in the 100 fly, 1:42.09 in the 200 fly and 1:45.12 in the 200 IM.

Jake Magahey was tops in the 500 and 1000 free in nation-leading 4:16.95 and 8:55.24, respectively. Ian Grum won the 200 back.

During the meet, Katie Ledecky competed as an exhibition swimmer in the men’s 200 and 500-yard freestyle events. Ledecky, who recently relocated to train in Gainesville, Florida, under coach Anthony Nesty, only swam the 12th-fastest time of the meet in both events, but she beat some of the men and ended up recording times not far off her best.

Ledecky swam a 1:42.80 in the 200 free, beating one male swimmer and coming in about 2.5 seconds off her best time of 1:40.36 from the 2017 NCAA Championships. That time actually would have placed second in the event at last year’s NCAAs, just a half-second behind Virginia’s Paige Madden.

Ledecky then recorded a 4:30.55 in the 500, beating four other swimmers in the race. While she was nowhere close to her 2017 best time of 4:24.06 that is the American and NCAA record, she swam a time that only two other women (Leah Smith and Katie Hoff) have ever surpassed. The time would have won every NCAA title since Ledecky left college swimming in 2018.

Ledecky finished more than 14 seconds behind the 500 free race winner, Georgia’s Magahey (4:16.95), but Magahey was last year’s men’s NCAA champion in the event. She was about six seconds behind winner Freeman in the 200 free.

More NCAA dual meets:

#4: Mark Schubert Becomes Head Coach of Swim El Toro Swim Team

mark-schubert-set-swim-team

Just weeks after departing as head coach of the Mission Viejo Nadadores, Mark Schubert has been named the head coach of the SET (Swim El Toro) Swim Team. Schubert, one of the most accomplished coaches in U.S. swimming history from his stint in the 1970s and 1980s at Mission Viejo and later college roles at Texas and USC, stepped down from Mission Viejo in September following the Olympic Games. He was expecting to leave for good at the end of 2021 but chose to stop coaching for the Nadadores this month.

Now, Schubert has a new coaching role with the SET Swim Team, owned by 1996 U.S. Olympian Brad Schumacher. Schumacher won gold medals as a member of the 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams at the Atlanta Games, and he later participated on the U.S. water polo team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The current staff of the club is listed as Schubert, head coach emeritus and executive director Tim Teeter and assistant coach Barrett Tester.

When contacted by Swimming World, Schubert expressed enthusiasm about his new opportunity. “I am so excited! The swimmers are very enthusiastic and fired up about this new team. We are gettign new swimmers every day that want to be fast!” he said.

Regarding his quick return to coaching after leaving Mission Viejo, Schubert said that Schumacher “gave me a deal I could not refuse. I was looking into opportunities but did not know it would happen so fast. Brad is a great guy to work for!”

The Week That Was #5: THEMAGIC5 Founders Land Multi-MIllion Deal on ‘Shark Tank’ With Innovative Goggles Technology

themagic5-shark-tank

Photo Courtesy: Christopher Willard

By Dan D’Addona

THEMAGIC5 founders Rasmus Barfred and Bo Haaber made the most of their appearance on Shark Tank, entering the studio for the TV show with big dreams and leaving with a big deal.

Barfred and Haaber, who lead the company along with former Danish professional swimmer Niklas Hedegaard, asked the Sharks for a $500,000 investment for 2.5 percent equity to open the segment, but after the duo explained that their robotics technology that creates custom-fitted swimming goggles could be applied to other types of sportswear, the Sharks were sold and began bidding on the investment opportunity.

Robert Herjavec had a personal connection to this product. His daughter is a competitive swimmer in Canada. He said he couldn’t let the deal slip away and offered $1 million for a 6.5 percent equity share. Barfred and Haaber accepted the offer, one of the biggest in the history of the show.

“It was crazy. I don’t know what we expected, we were taken into this massive hangar and my feeling was like there were 50-100 people on set and it looked like a set from a Hollywood movie. It was really something — making the pitch and seeing their reaction,” Rasmus Barfred told Swimming World. “We had a range of speaking attacks where we were ready to jump in and respond. They quickly saw that the core is the technology and how we have developed it.”

After the on-air portion of the show ended, Mark Cuban joined Herjavec as a partner in the deal. All of the Sharks bid on the product with some trying to combine with others to be part of the right deal.

“Shark Tank was an incredible experience, and we landed a deal beyond our expectations,” Haaber said. “Having Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec invest in our company will help us grow and make the best strategic decisions for the future of THEMAGIC5. Because at our core we are a technology company, we had hoped to work with either Mark or Robert. We never dreamed of having them both, and are absolutely thrilled with the outcome.”

The company has sold more than 55,000 goggles so far and has signed deals with notable swimmers and triathletes.

“The next step is to sell more goggles,” Barfred said. “We believe we can sell 5,000 goggles a day in Europe and in the U.S. That is the target that we are running after. Then down the line, we think we have an amazing technology that we could try to use in other products and industries, it could be other sports products. That was the narrative that the Sharks fell into.”

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