The Week That Was: Olympic Gold Medalist Natalie Coughlin Gives Birth To Daughter  

Photo Courtesy: Azaria Basile

With a break in international meets and the college season still ramping up, the biggest story of the week was a former Olympic gold medalist giving birth to her first child. Check out that story and the biggest news from the week that was!

The Week That Was #5 – Cate Campbell Wins Two Australian Women In Sport Awards

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Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia Ltd.

Olympic gold medalist Cate Campbell was honored with two awards this week at the Women’s Health Women in Sport Awards in Sydney this week. Campbell received the “Sports Woman of the Year” and the “Comeback of the Year” awards at this year’s event. Campbell’s rise back to prominence after a disappointing Rio Olympics has been well chronicled this year, with these two awards further cementing the Australian sprinter’s successful return to the international stage after more than a year away from competition. Campbell arguably had one of the strongest summers of any swimmer in the world, winning three golds at the Commonwealth Games (including an incredible anchor on Australia’s world record 4×100 free relay) and five more golds at the Pan Pacific Championships in Japan.

The Week That Was #4 – Filippo Magnini Doping Decision Postponed

MAGNINI Filippo ITA PONSELE' Aurora ITA Nation Ranking First Place 32nd LEN European Championships Berlin, Germany 2014 Aug.13 th - Aug. 24 th Day12 - Aug. 24 Photo G. Scala/Deepbluemedia/Inside

Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala

Italian swimming World Champion Filippo Magnini is going to continue to wait to learn his fate in an ongoing doping case. Magnini, who won the 100 free at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships, is facing a possible eight-year ban, although he is retired. The Italian Olympian appeared in court before Italy’s anti-doping agency for a four hour hearing, after which judges ruled they needed until November 6 to make a decision for him and teammate Michele Santucci, who is also accused of using banned substances.

The Week That Was #3 – Ning Zetao Pulls Out Of Chinese Nationals

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Photo Courtesy: Maria Dobysheva

Just one week after announcing his return to competition, World Champion Ning Zetao was forced to pull out of the 2018 Chinese National Championships, putting a hold onto his short-lived comeback. Ning announced he would be withdrawing from the meet on Tuesday, October 16, citing a finger injury as the cause. According to Ning, he broke fingers in his right hand two days before the start of the meet. The 2015 World Champion in the 100 free did compete in the heats of that event, clocking a 49.06 before scratching from the final. Just repeating that time would have earned Ning the win in the final, which was won by Hou Yujie in 49.30. Ning was scheduled to compete in the 50 fly as well as the 50 and 100 freestyles.

The Week That Was #2 – Michigan Freshman Maggie Macneil Breaks 100 Fly Record

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Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

This week was another big week in college swimming, with the Division II and Division III preseason polls being released while schools across all three divisions continued their return to the competition pool. Michigan freshman Maggie Macneil may have had the swim of the week in the 100 butterfly, posting an pressive 51.49 — unsuited — to break Michigan’s school record (51.71, Vanessa Krause, 2017) and pool record (51.72, Zhesi Li, 2016). That was within half a second of the NCAA A cut and makes her the fastest woman in the country so far this season. Alabama men also upset Texas A&M in their opening SEC meet, while the Aggie women posted a strong win to open their SEC schedule. You can catch up on all of the college meets from the week here.

The Week That Was #1 – Olympic Gold Medalist Natalie Coughlin Gives Birth To Baby Girl

Natalie Coughlin(2)

Photo Courtesy: Azaria Basile

Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin has given birth to her first child, a baby named Zennie Mae Hall. Coughlin and husband Ethan Hall named the newborn after Coughlin’s mother, and the Olympic swimmer shared photos of the newborn on social media this week. The couple had announced their pregnancy back in June, along with the launch of their new wine. Coughlin’s long list of swimming accomplishments includes being the first woman to swim under 1:00 in the long course 100 backstroke, something only she accomplished between 2002 and 2007. She is also the only woman to have successfully defended the 100 backstroke at two consecutive Olympiads, winning in both 2004 and 2008. Coughlin, who is now 36-years-old, is tied with Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson as the most decorated female U.S. Olympic swimmer with 12 medals, and is the only American Olympian to win 6 medals at a single Olympic Games.

 

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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