The Week That Was: Dean Boxall Hopes For a Return to Pool by May For Olympic Hopefuls

Dean Boxall - Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia/Delly Carr

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The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and leaves everyone stranded in their own homes, many coaches and athletes are starting to question when it will be safe to return to normal training. With the Olympics set for July 2021, Australian coach Dean Boxall believes that time should be soon, and if it is not, then elite swimmers should be given access to safe training environments.

Meanwhile, the Chinese National Team has been training, but had to send world record holder and reigning 200 free Olympic champ Sun Yang home from the camp. Sun is currently serving an eight-year suspension and is ineligible under the rules of his suspension.

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

The Week That Was #5: Andreas Vazaios, Louise Hansson to Move to Loughborough to Study & Train


Louise Hansson. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

By Dan D’Addona

Louise Hansson will continue her post-grad swimming career as part of the Loughborough University postgrad group in the United Kingdom.

Loughborough coaches confirmed the move.

Hansson is a Swedish Olympian, three-NCAA champion, 12-time All-American and second-year USC captain, is a 2020 senior and the defending NCAA champion in the 100y and 200y fly, though like all college seniors, did not have the chance to participate in the NCAA championships in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Louise Hansson is the second big-name swimmer to join Loughborough, joining Greek national record holder Andreas Vazaios.

“This is all part of a new strategy by us to recruit postgraduate students that have graduated from the NCAA system and are keen to continue their studies in the UK alongside developing their swimming careers both for the university at BUCS and also internationally. It is underpinned by a revamped scholarship system that is unrivaled in the UK,” Loughborough coach Andi Manley said.

#4: Swimming Canada Finalizes 2021 Olympic Trials, Hoping For December 2020 Return


Photo Courtesy: Joseph Kleindl

By Dan D’Addona

In light of the continuing global situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, Swimming Canada is making contingency plans and updates to its competition calendar for the coming year.

With an eye toward the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games being held July 23-Aug. 8, 2021, followed by the Paralympic Games Aug. 24-Sept. 5, the organization plans to reschedule its Olympic and Paralympic Trials for April 7-11, 2021 at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

The meet would be condensed into a five-day program from the seven days originally scheduled for 2020. Specific selection and nomination policies for teams that would be chosen from the Trials will be developed with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. These will be published once qualification processes are confirmed by partners such as FINA, the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee.

The Week That Was #3: Anton Chupkov Named as Finalist For Russian Forbes 30 Under 30


Anton Chupkov; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Andy Ross

World Champion and world record holder Anton Chupkov was named as a finalist to the 30 under 30 list by Russian Forbes Magazine. Forbes nominated ten people in ten categories formed by rating editors with the help of experts – entrepreneurs, managers, investors, consultants. Voting started this week and will close on April 28 when the names of 30 nominees (three from each of ten categories), who will receive the largest number of readers, will be published on the Forbes website.

The top 30 representatives of the rating will be published on the Forbes website in the second half of May and in the June issue of Forbes magazine.

#2: Sun Yang Dropped From Olympic Training Squad Despite 8-Year Suspension


Sun Yang and the letters inviting him to join China’s Olympic swim training and then withdrawing that offer – Main Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

By Craig Lord, Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

Sun Yang, the Chinese swimmer banned from sport for eight years from February 28, has had an invitation to join the Olympic swimming team for Tokyo 2021 training withdrawn by the Chinese Swimming Association (CSA) after we alerted World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to the potential breach of rules.

Swimming World was alerted to an official notice showing that Sun was among swimmers, coaches and others invited to take part in three-month Olympic training plans from April to June. National swimming team members were informed of the invitation from the CSA (technically the ‘Swimming Management Center of the State General Administration of Sport’, under which the CSA operates), via provincial authorities.

Within hours of Swimming World alerting WADA to the situation today, the CSA issued a new document stating that Sun is serving a suspension and that the previous invitation to Olympic training was void.


The invalidation notice

“Notice No49” was invalidated in a further notice from the CSA, dated April 23, which read:

“Based on the WADA Code, Sun Yang has been banned from competition after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) made the decision. That won’t change during Sun Yang’s appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal against the CAS decision. The previous No49 document is therefore invalid.”

In a reply to Swimming World, WADA confirmed that it would contact the Chinese authorities for the avoidance of doubt:

“When an athlete has been declared ineligible, the terms of Article 10.12.1* of the World Anti-Doping Code apply. We are following up with the relevant authorities to establish the facts in this matter.”

The Week That Was #1: Dean Boxall Urges Australia to Get Olympic Swimmers Like Ariarne Titmus Back in May

Dean Boxall and Ariarne Titmus

Dean Boxall with Ariarne Titmus – Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia/Delly Carr

By Craig Lord, Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

Dean Boxall, coach to World 400m freestyle champion Ariarne Titmus and 2015 double World backstroke champion Mitch Larkin, has voiced what elite programs across the world are planning for: a return to the pool for excellence programs working in controlled environments long before public and leisure pools open the doors when its safe to do so as the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control.

Boxall has called for Australia’s elite swimmers to be allowed access to a training pool in “the next two weeks”, saying they need to return “very soon” to prepare for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games. He believed that if his swimmers only get back into full training by September, they will struggle to get back to best form in time for a Tokyo Games in July 2021. A return in July and August this year would still make things “difficult”.

His wish is one to be found far and wide on the wind across the world of water.

“I don’t want to be seen as someone who is not in touch with what is happening,” he told reporter Laine Clark of The Australian Associate Press (AAP). Dean Boxall added:

“I get it, people are dying. It is a terrible crisis. But you go to parks and you see stacks of people but we can’t get elite swimmers to swim in a pool. We want to get back in the water but we can’t, we are hamstrung. I am not talking about the whole swimming community in Australia returning to pools, just the elite guys.”

The longer Australia’s elite swimmers spent out of the pool, the longer it would take for them to get back in shape, the coach said, adding:

“They need to be in the water very soon, like the next two weeks, just to get the body back into a rhythm. Usually if you have a month off, it takes you two months to get back into it – it’s normally double. If you call it (pool training return) in September it is going to be a struggle. If you call it in July, August, it is still difficult – they need to get back in the water.”

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1 comment

  1. avatar
    Linda Hyslop

    I do agree and hope Canada will do the same. Surely a safe environment for the small number of elite swimmers can be arranged.

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