The Week That Was: Kyle Chalmers Narrowly Misses 100 Free SCM 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: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Chalmers -- Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports

The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

This week, the FINA World Cup continued with a three-day event in Doha, Qatar, and the standout performer was Australian star Kyle Chalmers, who came up just short of a 13-year-old world record in the 100 freestyle (SCM). Meanwhile, a report from the Sydney Morning Herald suggested that some International Swimming League (ISL) swimmers are concerned about missed payments from the league and that at least one team is considering a boycott of the playoffs.

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

The Week That Was #1: Kyle Chalmers Scares World Record in 100 Freestyle (SCM) With Aussie Standard

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

Kyle Chalmers at the Tokyo Olympics — Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

By Liz Byrnes

Kyle Chalmers was 10 when Amaury Leveaux set the 100 free short course world record of 44.94 at the 2008 European Short-Course Championships in Rijeka, Croatia.

It was one of four world marks for the Frenchman at the December meet where leading European coaches revolted against the shiny suits after the number of world records set in 2008 reached 105.

Fifteen of the 17 top European nations signed a protest to be presented to FINA after records had started to fall immediately after the introduction of the Speedo LZR Racer suit in February that year.

Within six weeks more than 15 world records had fallen and in Rijeka nine marks went, including those four to Leveaux alone as he became the first man to break the 45-second barrier.

The pool in Rijeka was awash with suits of different colours little more than a fortnight before 2008 drew to a close.

Come 2009 and further technological advancements culminated in 43 world records at the World Championships in Rome at which point FINA agreed the suits would be banned from 1 January 2010.

With his thundering 45.03 at the FINA World Cup in Doha, Chalmers is now just 0.09 off that world record and stands third all-time.

Vladimir Morozov is the only other man to have gone faster than the Australian with 44.95 at the 2018 World Cup in Singapore.

It destroyed the Australian record of 45.46 held by Matt Abood since the Singapore World Cup stop in 2009 and took 0.47 off his personal best from Budapest exactly a fortnight earlier.

World Cup Doha Recaps:

#2: Report: Athletes Considering Boycott of ISL Playoffs Over Missed Payments

(photo: Mike Lewis) - ISL

Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

By John Lohn

According to a report by veteran journalist Phil Lutton of the Sydney Morning Herald, athletes competing in the International Swimming League (ISL) have discussed the possibility of a playoff boycott due to unpaid wages dating to the 2020 season. The eight-team postseason is scheduled to begin in Eindhoven in early November.

Since the start of the ISL in 2019, there have been repeated statements of financial difficulties within the ISL, most notably the lack of payment to the men and women who are the centerpiece of the league. Now, there is word that some athletes are considering pushing back and may take a stand against the league for what they are owed ahead of the biggest meets of the season.

In addition to missed payments to athletes from the previous season, in which the Cali Condors captured the team championship, the ISL reportedly owes money to its staff and contractors. According to Lutton, who is one of Australia’s top journalists, some venues in the United Kingdom and Hungary will not allow for an ISL return to their facilities until financial obligations are met.

The Week That Was #3: Caeleb Dressel Announced as Co-Recipient of James E. Sullivan Award; Shares Honor With Simone Biles

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Caeleb Dressel at Friday’s Orlando Magic game after he was announced as a winner of the James E. Sullivan award

By David Rieder

The James E. Sullivan award recognizes the top athlete in the United States in any sport, and one of this year’s recipients is Caeleb Dressel. Dressel was named a winner of the award at a Friday luncheon, and then he was announced publicly at the Orlando Magic’s evening home game against the New York Knicks.

The 25-year-old from Florida has been considered the top male swimmer in the world since 2017, when he burst onto the international scene with seven gold medals at the 2017 World Championships. Dressel followed that up with six golds and eight total medals at the 2019 Worlds, and at his second Olympics in Tokyo, he won five gold medals. Three of those golds were in individual events (the 100 free100 fly and 50 free), making Dressel just the third man (following Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps) to win three individual golds at a single Games. He also led the United States to gold medals in the 400 freestyle and 400 medley relay.

Dressel was one of two recipients of this year’s award, which was the 91st time it was given. Gymnast Simone Biles, who overcame significant mental health obstacles to win two medals in Tokyo, was named a co-recipient of the award. The award was not given in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic while basketball star Sabrina Ionescu and wrestler Spencer Lee were the co-winners in 2019.

Dressel is the first swimmer to win the Sullivan award since 2012, when Missy Franklin won following her four-gold-medal performance at the London Olympics. Previously, Paralympian Jessica Long won in 2006 and Phelps was the winner in 2003 after he won four gold medals at the World Championships and broke world records in four different individual event.

#4: Report: Australian Swimming League Left Floundering As Founding Project Manager “Convicted of Tax Fraud”

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While Australia enjoyed its best Olympics ever in the pool the state of the sport both domestically and internationally is undergoing a dramatic chain of events with troubling reports surfacing that continue to rock the sport.

Hot on the heels of a threatened walk out by competitors contesting the International Swimming League (ISL) over money owed to teams and contractors comes more news today from the The Age and Sun Herald newspapers that Australia’s own planned Swim League could well be struggling to stay afloat before it even gets to the starting blocks.

The report claims that he project’s founder and principal investor David Brandi, a prominent Melbourne business owner and property investor “was convicted of tax fraud and banned from serving as a company director.”

Brandi first approached Swimming Australia with the idea of a teams-based Australian Swimming league (ASL) last year and it was launched before Tokyo and then delayed because of COVID.

Melbourne-based Brandi is serving a two-year, wholly suspended jail term after pleading guilty to dishonestly obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth. He was disqualified from managing a corporation for five years.

“Mr. Brandi’s guilty plea was entered in the Victorian County Court on July 26 — seven days after Swimming Australia and the ASL issued a joint release announcing their “ground-breaking” new league. It was originally planned to launch this month but has been postponed for 12 months,” writes respected investigative reporter Chip Le Grande.

The Week That Was #5: University of Georgia Highlights Week in NCAA Dual Meet Action With Carolina Sweep

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Georgia’s Dakota Luther — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By David Rieder

This week, the University of Georgia Bulldogs hosted North Carolina and then South Carolina in dual meets and emerged undefeated. Against UNC Friday, the Bulldogs’ veteran stars were out in full force as Gabi Fa’AmausiliDakota Luther and Zoie Hartman all won multiple events for the women in a 175-120 victory, and freshman Abigail McCulloh was very impressive in winning the 1000 free and 500 free. For the UGA men, Jake MagaheyLuca Urlando and Andrew Abruzzo led the way as Georgia won 164.5 to 130.5, desptie exhibitioning the last few events.

McCulloh put up times of 9:44.84 in the 1000 free and 4:47.25 in the 500 free as she cruised to victory. Fa’Amausili led off Georgia’s 200 medley relay that also conisted of Hartman, Luther and Maxine Parker, and that group won in 1:39.23. Fa’Amausili then won the 100 back (54.43) and 100 free (49.77), while Luther swam a swift 1:56.93 in the 100 fly and 54.23 in the 100 fly. Hartman won the 100 breast (59.82) and 200 breast (2:11.82), and then team of Fa’Amausili, Parker, Hartman and Eboni McCarty touched first in the 400 free relay in 3:20.17.

In the men’s meet, Georgia’s 200 medley relay kicked off with a three-second win behind Wesley NgHarrison Wayner, Urlando and Dillon Downing (1:26.32), and then Magahey won the next two events. He pulled the dreaded 1000 free-200 free double quite successfully with a 9:02.97 to win by almost five seconds in the 40-length race and then a 1:36.37 to overtake teammate Zach Hils (1:36.55) in the eight-lapper. Hils later won the 100 free in 44.17.

Urlando, who finished a heartbreaking third place in the 200-meter butterfly at Olympic Trials, opened his sophomore campaign with a 1:43.37 for a convincing win in the 200-yard fly, and he added a 46.43 in the 100 fly to pull off another win there. Meanwhile, Abruzzo took second to Urlando in the 200 fly (1:45.31) before winning the 500 free (4:22.44) and taking first place (as an exhibition swimmer) in the 200 IM (1:47.56).

Read about Georgia’s wins over South Carolina Saturday.

More NCAA dual meets:

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