The Week That Was: U.S. Olympic Trials Conclude; Swimming Australia Names Olympic Team

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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As the countdown to the Olympic Games reaches 32 days, the United States and Australia finalized their teams for Tokyo, while Canada and France also held their selection trials ahead of the June 27 qualification cut-off date.

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

The Week That Was #1: USA Swimming Concludes Olympic Trials

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Swimming World

With the eight-day U.S. Olympic Trials coming to a close on Sunday night in Omaha, Nebraska, USA Swimming officially finalized and announced its team to go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. With 32 days remaining until swimming begins in Japan, the United States will be sending a total of 25 men and 28 women to the Games.

The team will head to Hawaii for its first part of training camp before they head off to Japan to race at the Games.

Allison Schmitt will be on her fourth Olympic team while Katie Ledecky is on her third team.

#2: Swimming Australia Names Olympic Team

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Australia Team: Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia

By Liz Byrnes

Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman said tonight’s announcement was a great milestone for all 35 athletes.

“Tonight’s selection caps a special week in the pool, with exceptional achievements from our athletes,” Mr Chesterman said. “Swimming has such an incredible Olympic history for our country and this Team is ready to build on that legacy with their own inspiring performances in Tokyo.

“Congratulations to all of the athletes, the coaches, support staff, friends and family who have been there every step of the way to help them realise their Olympic dream.”

“I want to highlight Cate Campbell and Emily Seebohm in particular – achieving a feat of four Olympic Games, only reached by one Australian swimmer in history, is testament to their persistence, character and talent and I am thrilled to have such fantastic ambassadors on the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo.”

Taylor congratulated the athletes on their selection, saying:

“I’ve been really pleased with the performances this week.

“It’s so great to be able to get back to a full meet like this and see our team perform so well. This is a strong team, and I’m particularly pleased with the strength of our relays, it shows the fantastic depth in this squad.

“Getting selected to the Olympic Games is a real team effort. These athletes have great support behind them, congratulations and thank you to the coaches, support staff and supporters who have helped make this happen.

“We have a big five weeks ahead of us.

“Now it’s about preparing our athletes for what they’ll experience and get them ready to perform on the biggest stage in the world in Tokyo.”

The Week That Was #3: Brent Nowicki Begins New Era as FINA Executive Director

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Photo Courtesy: FINA

By Dan D’Addona

Eight days into becoming FINA Executive Director, Brent Nowicki had to hit the ground running.

A global pandemic, a postponed Olympic year, postponed international events, plus perpetual issues like doping within the sport have plenty on Nowicki’s plate.

“I sat in my chair on June 8, in one year, on June 7, 2022, I will have taken over an office and gone through a COVID-19 pandemic Games and two World Championships. It doesn’t give me a lot of time to come up for air,” Nowicki told Swimming World. “It is all about setting goals and attaining them. The more goals I have, the stronger I get. That comes from wanting to make a team, wanting to get into law school. I am driven and that is the athlete in me.”

Nowicki’s appointment was confirmed on June 5, after the election of Husain Al-Musallam as FINA President in Qatar.

“When I took this job, it was a multi-faceted decision,” Nowicki said. “ I was really pushed and guided by our president. I believe he has a vision that mirrors mine (it’s about the athletes). As someone who has kept the mentality of an athlete, to hear someone who cared about those things was nice. That is what launched me into the idea that this is a guy I want to be led by. Being from a sport that has a nicer historical presence in my mind is what drove me to do this.

“My career started with swimming. I grew up in upstate New York and was involved with the Star Swimming Club. I had modest success at Zones. That is where my competitiveness started.”

Nowicki was an attorney with the law firm Hodgson Russ for seven years, then served as the head of the CAS Anti-Doping Division for the Olympic Games at both Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018. He also played lacrosse at Fairfield University and on the national team in Switzerland.

#4: Swimming Canada Opens Trials With National Record From Josh Liendo

Joshua Liendo

Photo Courtesy: Scott Grant/Swimming Canada

By Matthew de George

Joshua Liendo got Canadian Olympic Trials off to a flying start Saturday morning by going 51.40 in prelims of the men’s 100 fly, a Canadian record and an Olympic A cut.

The 18-year-old will be the top seed in finals Saturday night, the first day of the four-day meet. He cut seven tenths off his seed time to get under the Olympic A standard. He also downed the time of 51.83 set by Santo Condorelli at the Rio Olympics that had been the Canadian record.

The Week That Was #5: Leon Marchand Blasts 4:09 400 IM at French Nationals

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Leon Marchand: Photo Courtesy: KMSP/Stéphane Kempinaire

By Liz Byrnes

Leon Marchand sliced a mighty 5.32secs from his national 400IM record in 4:09.65 at the French Olympic Trials in Chartres.

The 19-year-old set the previous mark of 4:14.97 at the FFN Golden Tour in Marseille where he booked a trip to Tokyo in the 200IM.

Splits: 56.74; 2:02.90 (1:06.16); 3:11.84 (1:08.94) 4:09.65 (57.81)

Marchand will continue a family Olympic tradition when he competes in the Japanese capital.

His father, Xavier, represented France at the 1996 Games in Atlanta and four years later in Sydney in a career that brought world and European 200IM medals and mother, Celine Bonnet, competed at Barcelona in 1992.

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