The Week That Was: Luca Urlando Dislocates Shoulder, Sun Yang Races in FINA Champions Series

Luca Urlando dislocated his shoulder and will need a couple of months to recover. Photo Courtesy: FINA / Budapest 2019

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The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

There was some devastating news this week for 2020 Olympic hopeful Luca Urlando who announced he dislocated his shoulder at a swim workout last weekend. He will need to take a couple of months to recover as we are about six months away from the 2020 Olympic Trials where he is looking to be the first high school male to make the US Olympic team since 2000.

Chinese superstar Sun Yang was also the subject of conflicting reports as he was one of the original stars to swim in the FINA Champions Series in China this week, but it was then reported that he was not going to compete. However, Swimming World was able to obtain confirmation that he was to compete in China this week. It could possibly be the last competition Sun swims in his career, pending a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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

The Week That Was #5: Brendan Hansen to be Inducted into International Swimming Hall of Fame


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Meg Keller-Marvin

Brendan Hansen is a six-time Olympic medalist, and also a former world record-holder in both the 100 and 200m breaststroke events (long course).

He has won a total of 25 medals in major international competition; 18 gold, four silver, and three bronze – spanning the Olympic Games, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships.  Hansen swam for ISHOF Coach Eddie Reese at the University of Texas, 2001-2005, where he was a 16-time All-American and won 14 NCAA National Championships.

Hansen will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame on Saturday April 25, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

#4: Asbestos Found at Olympic Water Polo Venue


Photo Courtesy: Tokyo Sports Benefit Corporation

By Michael Randazzo

After multiple reports cited that the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, venue for men’s and women’s water polo at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, contains asbestos, organizers are vowing to take “emergency countermeasures.”

The Asahi ShimbunThe Japan Times and Reuters, among others, have cited asbestos-containing insulation in at least two locations, including sealed in the building’s roof. But, due to difficulties of extraction, as well as the amount involved, it was decided to leave well enough alone when the arena was renovated in 2017.

Now, this unresolved health situation is causing headaches for the organizers of the Tokyo Games.

The Week That Was #3: Federica Pellegrini Wins Lion of Venice Award

By Craig Lord, Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

Federica Pellegrini, the Italian superstar swimmer of the past two decades, raised the possibility of a sixth Olympic campaign beyond Tokyo 2020 as she received the “Leone del Veneto 2019” – Lion of Venice – award at the magnificent Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista at the weekend.

Dubbed the Lioness of Verona (because she hails from Venice, with the Lion of St Mark in its coat of arms, but trained in Verona), Pellegrini is the first athlete and the first woman to receive the Lion of Venice, which honours excellence and the region’s biggest achievers and contributors on a global stage. On receiving her prize, Pellegrini said: “I’ve always felt a lioness, now I have it confirmed…”

The Olympic 200m freestyle champion of 2008 who claimed her fourth 200m World title and eight podium in that event at the global gathering in Gwangju last July, had said on several occasions that the 2020 Olympic Games would mark the end of her racing days. Now, she’s not so sure:

“Tokyo 2020? It is said to be the last Olympics for me but… It may not be my last Olympics.”

#2: Sun Yang Arrives in Shenzhen to Race at FINA Champions Series, Despite Conflicting Reports Saying He Wasn’t


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

By Andy Ross

The Sun Yang Fan Club in China has announced on social media that the swimmer has had yet another change of heart and will now race the 200m and 400m freestyle at the FINA Champions invitational event in Shenzhen on January 14 and 15. There is no official confirmation of the fan club message on Weibo after FINA announced Sun as part of the show this week only for Sun to say he would not be racing, his focus on Tokyo 2020.

Sun was spotted in the Shenzhen airport on January 11.

decision on Sun’s future is due anytime now from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after a hearing last November into controversial events surrounding a visit from out-of-competition anti-doping testers in September 2018.

The Week That Was #1: Luca Urlando Dislocated Left Shoulder in Workout; Recovery to Take Couple of Months


Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

By Andy Ross

17-year-old Californian Luca Urlando announced late Monday night in an Instagram post that he dislocated his left shoulder during a swim workout last Saturday. He wrote:

“Not the way I was hoping to start an Olympic year, but I dislocated my left shoulder during a swim workout last Saturday. Recovery will take a couple of months, but with the resources available to me in Colorado Springs I am optimistic that I will be able to reach my goal of swimming well at Olympic trials. I appreciate all the support as I focus to getting back in the pool competitively.”

Luca Urlando was the top 200 butterflyer in the United States in 2019 with his 1:53 at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Clovis as he broke the 17-18 national age group record held by Michael Phelps. Urlando was a popular pick by many to make the 2020 Olympic Team in the 200 butterfly as the rising star was third in the world in 2019 in the 200 fly behind the Hungarian duo of Kristof Milak and Tamas Kenderesi. He also had an outside shot to make the Olympic team in the 4×200 free relay with a 1:46.51 best time.

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