Russian youngster Kilment Kolesnikov closed out 2017 with one more record breaking swim, slipping by the world record in the short course 100 back at a meet in St. Petersburg. See all the stories from the last couple weeks of 2017 in this week’s edition of The Week That Was.
The Week That Was #5 – Nation’s Capital Wins USA Swimming’s Top Club Excellence Award
Nation’s Capital Swim Club (NCAP) of the Washington, D.C., area continued it’s reign as the top club team in the United States, earning the No. 1 spot in USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program for the fourth year in a row. NCAP tallied 91,597 points to finish more than 30,000 points ahead of runner-up SwimMAC Carolina. Now in it’s 17th year, the Club Excellence program identifies strong club programs around the country, with the top 200 earning bronze, silver or gold rankings. Clubs are ranked based on the FINA Points Table that assigns point values to swimming performances based on time standards. You can see a full list of 2018 ranked clubs here.
The Week That Was #4 – Sun Yang Honored as China’s Best Male Athlete
Sun Yang was named as the best male athlete of 2017 at the China Laureus sport award ceremony. The honor was Sun’s second after previously winning the award in 2011. He won the award alongside female recipient and table tennis star Ding Ning. Sun won gold in the 200 and 400 free at the World Championships in Budapest last year. Also honored were Li Bingjie, who was named Rookie of the Year after winning three medals at Worlds, and the Chinese national synchro team won team of the year after winning gold at the World Championships.
The Week That Was #3 – Taylor Ruck Ties Canadian Record in England
Taylor Ruck was one of a handful of Canadian swimmers from the High Performance Center Ontario who swam at Swim England’s Winter Nationals in Sheffield. Ruck put up some solid performances at the meet, winning three events and tying a Canadian national record over the course of the meet. The 17-year-old tied Brittany MacLean’s national record in the 200 free from last year, touching the wall in 1:56.94 to finish second. Ruck also posted three wins during the meet in the 100 free (52.96), 100 back (1:00.09), and 200 back (2:06.76). Her 200 back time was a Canadian 15-17 age group record and was just a tenth off of the world junior record in the event. Ruck would go on to set three more short course records at the Lausanne Swimming Cup just a few days later.
The Week That Was #2 – Katie Ledecky Named Female AP Athlete of the Year
Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, the eighth female swimmer to win the award and the first swimmer to take the honor since 1996, when Amy Van Dyken was named athlete of the year. Ledecky was named the winner after balloting by U.S. editors and news directors where she received 351 points, just beating out tennis star Serena Williams who earned 343. Olympic track star Allyson Felix was third with 248. Over her career Ledecky has won five Olympic golds, claimed 14 World Championship titles and broken 13 world records. This summer she left Worlds with six medals (5 gold, 1 silver), her biggest ever haul at an international meet and this fall set a new American record in the 1650 freestyle at the Art Adamson Invite. You can read the original report from NBC Washington detailing Ledecky’s award here.
The Week That Was #1 – Kliment Kolesnikov Closes 2017 with World Record
Russian phenom Kliment Kolesnikov closed out 2017 with another record, this time lowering the world record in the short course 100-meter backstroke at the Vladimir Salnikov Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia. The 17-year-old posted a time of 48.90, clipping the previous record of 48.92 set by Matt Grevers at the 2015 Duel in the Pool. Kolesnikov had just set a world junior record in the 100 back just the week prior at the European Short Course Champs, winning the title in 48.99. Kolesnikov came home in a blazing fast 24.81 after an opening 24.09 first 50, just getting him under the old world record to end 2017 with a bang.