The Week That Was: Records Galore at European Short Course Championships

Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

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Records came tumbling down this week in Copenhagen at the 2017 European Short Course Championships, with many of Europe’s biggest stars hitting the short course pool in Denmark. Check out all of the biggest stories in The Week That Was.

The Week That Was #5 – South Africa Commonwealth Games Trials Begin

KAZAN, RUSSIA - AUGUST 04: Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa competes on the way to setting a new world record in a time of 26.62 in the Men's 50m Breaststroke heats on day eleven of the 16th FINA World Championships at the Kazan Arena on August 4, 2015 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Photo Courtesy: Matthias Hangst

The qualification meet for South Africa’s 2018 Commonwealth Games roster began in Durban this week, with the usual South African stars already posting qualification times. Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos qualified handily in the 100 breast and 200 free, respectively, through the first two days of the meet. Van der Burgh posted a 59.89 win in the 100 breast, while le Clos was 1:48.28 to win the 200 free. The meet will continue in Durban through December 22, and you can see a list of qualification standards here. In total 14 swimmers have hit marks qualifying them for the Commonwealth Games. You can see recaps of the first two days of the meet here and here.  

The Week That Was #4 – Cierra Runge Headed to Arizona State


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

After leaving the Wisconsin swimming and diving program last month, Cierra Runge will be heading to will be heading to swim at Arizona State University with coach Bob Bowman. Runge has previously spent time in Tempe, spending the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympics training with Bowman’s post-grad group, which ultimately led her onto the Olympic Team as part of the U.S. 800 free relay. Runge has also been part of the U.S. roster for the 2015 and 2017 World Championships. ASU will be the third school that Runge has competed for collegiately: as a freshman she competed for Cal (2014-15) and as a sophomore for Wisconsin (2016-17). Runge will have to wait until January of 2019 to compete for ASU.

The Week That Was #3 – Two Canadian Olympians Announce Their Retirement

Jul 17, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chantal Van Landeghem splashes water on herself before the women's swimming 50m freestyle preliminary heats during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

Two major Canadian swimmers announced their retirements this week: Chantal Van Landeghem and Dominique Bouchard. Both swimmers were key parts of a Canadian team that was very successful at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with Van Landeghem playing a critical role in Canada’s bronze medal performance in the 400 freestyle relay. That was the first women’s relay medal for the Canadian women in 40 years. Just 23, Van Landeghem has nonetheless had a storied career with the Canadian National Team which she first appeared on in 2011. She graduated from the University in Georgia in 2017. Bouchard, 26, led the backstroke events for the Canadian women for almost a decade, with a spot on the national team from 2008 through 2017. She cites 2015 as the highlight year of her career and also had a storied NCAA career at Missouri where she finished as high as 2nd in the 200 back at NCAAs. You can read about the retirement of both swimmers here.

The Week That Was #2 – USA Diving Nationals Begin in Greensboro

KNOXVILLE, TN - August 16, 2014: Michael Hixon during the 2014 USA Senior Diving National Event at Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria

Photo Courtesy: Matthew S. DeMaria

The USA Diving Winter National Championships began this week in Greensboro, N.C. Meme Sharp won a close battle on the women’s 1-meter springboard, while Briadam Herrera won by a much wider margin on the men’s side. Olympian Michael Hixon made his first appearance at the meet when he won the men’s 3-meter springboard. Other winners included Brooke Schultz (3-meter), Zhipeng Zeng (men’s platform), and Tarrin Gilliland (women’s platform). The meet runs through December 19, and you can find full results here.

The Week That Was #1 – Records Tumble at Euro Short Course Champs


Photo Courtesy: Brent Rutemiller

The 2017 European Short Course Championships were underway this week in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the meet coming to a conclusion this Sunday. More than 30,000 tickets were sold to the event, with multiple national, European, and world records coming down during the competition. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu left as the most decorated female athlete of the meet with six golds, while Russian Kliment Kolesnikov was the most decorated male athlete with four golds and five total medals. Kolesnikov had a breakout meet, sweeping the backstroke events and coming just .09 away from the world record in the 100 back in addition to lowering the world junior records in the 50 free, 50 back and 100 back and 200 back multiple times over the course of the meet. Sarah Sjostrom faltered a bit at the beginning of the meet, missing the final of the 50 butterfly, but finished strong with three gold medals on the final night of the meet. Other notable swims included Brit Adam Peaty narrowly missing a world record in the 100 breast (55.94) to lower the European record and Vlad Morozov doing the same in the men’s 50 free (20.31). You can see full recaps and results from the 2017 European Short Course Championships here.

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Author: James Sica

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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