This week saw some of the major swimming nations around the globe begin their World Championship qualifying process, including Canada and Italy. Meanwhile, we learned of Ryan Lochte’s return to the pool, another prominent NCAA swim team was cut, and FINA proposed a radical change to the Olympic schedule. Read all about these stories in The Week That Was!
The Week That Was #5 – Pelligrini, Paltrinieri Win At Italian Nationals
Italy held their World Championship qualifier this week with some familiar names working their way to the top of the world rankings. Olympic bronze medalist Gabriele Detti opened the meet with an Italian record in the 400 free, knocking down Massimiliano Rosolino’s long time record of 3:43.40 from 2000 that earned him an Olympic gold medal in Sydney. Detti touched in 3:43.36 to pass by the record by just .04 and was a hair faster than his bronze medal performance from this summer. Detti also posted world leading times in the 200 and 800 free during the meet. World record-holder Federica Pellegrini secured her spot on Italy’s World Championship roster with a win in the 200 free (1:55.94) and 100 free (53.92). That 200 free time makes her the fastest in the world so far in 2017, while Gregorio Paltrinieri did the same in the men’s 1500 free with his winning time of 14:37.08. You can keep up with all the recaps from the 2017 Italian Nationals on our Event Landing Page.
The Week That Was #4 – FINA Proposes More Events For 2020 Olympic Games
FINA put forward a proposal this week that advocated for expanding the swimming program at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by adding 50’s of each stroke, the men’s 800 free, women’s 1500 free, and mixed 400 medley and 400 free relays. That would increase the total number of swimming events from 32 to 42, matching the schedule of the FINA World Championships that are currently held every other year. This is not the first time that FINA has proposed to increase the event schedule for the Olympics. Prior to 2016 Rio Games, the organization proposed adding a similar number of events to the schedule, none of which were ultimately adopted. While it is unlikely the International Olympic Committee will accept the entirety of FINA’s proposal, they could choose to add a few specific events to the program. FINA is also recommending adding new diving events, expanding the water polo tournament and creating a mixed synchro event. You can read the full proposal, originally reported by InsideTheGames, by clicking here.
The Week That Was #3 – Lochte To Compete At Masters Nationals
While Olympian Ryan Lochte is still under suspension from competition by USA Swimming and the USOC, it was announced this week he will return to the competition pool for the first time in 2017 at the U.S. Masters Nationals in Riverside, Calif. Lochte was suspended following an incident at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro following the completion of the swimming events at the 2016 Olympics, leaving him ineligible to compete at U.S. Nationals or the World Championships this summer. Lochte was subsequently dropped by many of his sponsors, including Speedo, but has since signed with TYR, appeared on “Dancing With The Stars,” and gotten engaged. Masters Nationals will be held from April 27-30 in short course yards. You can see a complete entry list for the meet here.
The Week That Was #2 – University Of Buffalo Cutting Men’s Swimming
This week the University of Buffalo announced that they would be cutting men’s swimming along with four other sports at the end of the spring semester. This announcement came less than a week after the University of North Dakota cut both of their swim programs this spring despite reports that they would be keeping the programs back in the fall. The decision to cut men’s swimming at Buffalo was made to address “financial challenges” of the university and to “better align” the school within the Mid-American Conference. The school will still maintain a women’s swimming and diving program. The UB men were third out of seven MAC schools this past season, while sophomore Mason Miller was named the conference’s Most Outstanding Swimmer for the season. You can read the full press release from the university here.
The Week That Was #1 – Kylie Masse Posts Fastest Textile 100 Back At Canadian Trials
The Canadian Swimming Trials took place this week in Victoria, with over 400 Canadian swimmers vying for spots on Canada’s World Championship roster for this summer. Olympic bronze medalist Kylie Masse was the star of the meet, sweeping the backstroke events while breaking her own Canadian record in the 100 back and moving up to third all-time in the event. Masse started with a 58.42 in prelims that demolished her own national record before posting an incredible 58.21 in finals for the win. That makes Masse the third-fastest performer of all-time and gives her the fastest performance ever recorded in a textile suit. She also won a tight 200 backstroke race over national record holder Hillary Caldwell, 2:07.23 to 2:07.29. Other notable performances included wins in the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle for Olympic gold medalist Penny Oleksiak and a new national record in the 200 IM (2:09.56) for Sydney Pickrem. For full recaps from the 2017 Canadian Swimming Trials head over to our Event Landing Page.