The Week That Was: Katie Ledecky Posts World Leading 800 Free To Kick Off TYR Pro Swim Series in Richmond

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Katie Ledecky at the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series in Richmond, Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The TYR Pro Swim Series continued this week in Richmond with one of the most star-studded rosters of the 2019 circuit thus far, including Olympians Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel. Check out who moved up in the world rankings and the other biggest stories of the week below!

The Week That Was #5 – Alabama’s Dennis Pursley Announces Retirement

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Photo Courtesy: Robert Sutton/Alabama Athletics

Dennis Pursley, the head coach of Alabama swimming and diving since 2012, announced his retirement this week. Pursley has been in coaching for 47 years, and said that being able to end his career at his alma mater was something that was “a very special honor and privilege.” Under Pursley’s direction, the Alabama men have placed in the top-10 at NCAA’s four times while the woman have scored at the last six NCAA Championships. The Tide men most recently finished seventh at the 2019 National Championship, including a Championship title in the 200 medley relay. During his career, Pursley has coached in England, Canada, and Australia and was the Head Coach for the 2012 Great Britain Olympic Team. Pursley also served at the first National Director for USA Swimming for 14 years, starting his tenure in 1989 and overseeing a USA team that won 33 medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

The Week That Was #4 – Russians Attack World Rankings At 2019 Russian Nationals

(140820) -- Nanjing, Aug 20,2014 (Xinhua) -- Evgeny Rylov of Russian Federation celebrates after the final of Men's 50m Backstroke of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China?s Jiangsu Province, on August 20, 2014. Evgeny Rylov won the gold. (Xinhua/Yue Yuewei) (lyq)

Photo Courtesy: Xinhua/Yue Yuewei

This week the 2019 Russian Nationals featured plenty of fast swimming in Moscow, moving the Russians up in the world rankings. There were six world leading times posted at the meet, including Evgeny Rylov in the 200 back (1:54.00), Anna Belousova in the 100 breast (1:06.34), Anton Chupkov in the 200 breast (2:07.00), Vladislav Grinev in the 100 free (47.43), Martin Malyutin in the 200 free (1:45.46), and Oleg Kostin in the 50 fly (22.74). Vlad Morozov also had top-3 times winning the 50 (21.55) and 100 free (48.04). You can check out a recap of the top swims from the meet here.

The Week That Was #3 – ISL Announces Four American Teams

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Photo Courtesy: isl.global

The International Swimming League (ISL) announced the addition of four US based teams to their professional circuit: the New York Breakers, the Los Angeles Current, the DC Trident, and the Cali Condors. The U.S. based teams will be managed by Lenny Krayzelburg, Kaitlin Sandeno, Jason Lezak, and Tina Andrews. Among those competing for the U.S. teams will be Olympic gold medalists Katie Ledecky, Ryan Murphy, and Nathan Adrian. These teams will be part of a series of U.S. and European-based competitions that will kick off in October and culminate in a global championship at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas in December.

The Week That Was #2 – Ariarne Titmus Breaks Commonwealth Records At 2019 Australian Swimming Championships

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Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia/Delly Carr

The 2019 Australian Swimming Championships were underway in Adelaide last week, with some of Australia’s biggest names competing for national titles. Kyle Chalmers was a big star of the championships, posting a lifetime best in the 100 free (47.48) that was faster than his gold medal swim in Rio. Chalmers also won the 50 free (22.07), 200 free, and 100 fly over the weekend. Ariarne Titmus also had a successful weekend, breaking the Commonwealth record in the 200 free (1:54.30) and tying her record in the 400 free (3:59.66). Titmus also had a strong 800 free (8:18.61) to open the meet. Matthew Wilson also posted the #1 time in the world in the 200 breast (2:07.16). You can see all the recaps of the 2019 Australian Swimming Championships here.

The Week That Was #1 – Katie Ledecky Posts World Leading 800 Free To Kick Off TYR Pro Swim Series in Richmond

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The third stop of the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series was underway this week in Richmond, VA. Katie Ledecky was back in the pool after skipping last month’s stop in Des Moines, posting best times for the year in the 400 free and 800 free, the latter of which was good for the #1 time in the world this year. Leah Smith also cranked out a personal best time in the 800 free, posting a 8:16.33 to take a second off her best time and move up third in the world rankings. Olivia Smoliga also had a best time winning the women’s 100 back (58.73), as did Michael Andrew in the 200 IM (1:57.49). Caeleb Dressel, Annie Lazor, and Hali Flickinger also had some strong swims to move up in the world rankings. You can see all the recaps from the 2019 TYR Pro Swim Series in Richmond here.