The Week That Was: World Record Scare In China As Qualifying Meets Continue

Photo Courtesy: Melissa Lundie

Swimmers around the globe continued to battle for spots on their home country’s roster for the 2017 World Championships, with swimmers in Russia, Australia and China finalizing their Worlds rosters this week. Catch up on the fast time getting posted around the globe in this week’s edition of The Week That Was!

The Week That Was #5 – Fast Times at Russian Nationals Championships

Vlad Morozov Arena

Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia Dalberto/Lapresse

Russian stars put up some fast times at their national qualifying meet for the 2017 World Championships this summer. Olympic bronze medalist Evgeny Rylov was a big performer for the Russians, sweeping the backstroke events while also moving to first in the world for the 200 backstroke (1:53.81). That time clipped his own national record from this summer and established a new European mark in the event. Breaststroker Yulia Efimova was dominant in her events, winning the 100 (1:05.90) and 200 (2:21.35) in world-leading times. Vlad Morozov was also a big winner, finishing the meet of with a new national record in the 50 free (21.44). He also won the 100 free (48.28) earlier in the meet. For complete recaps from the 2017 Russian National Championships, head over to our Event Landing Page.

The Week That Was #4 – Olympians Return To Pool With A Vengeance Down Under

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Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia

Australia came out in force for their 2017 National Championships that served as their qualifier for the 2017 World Championships this summer in Hungary. Several Olympians made their return to the competition pool this week in an attempt to qualify and, for many, rebound from near misses at last summer’s Olympic Games. Emily Seebohm was a prime example of this — after failing to medal individually this summer and undergoing surgery earlier this year, the 24-year-old won the 100 back (58.62 — an All-Comers record), 200 back (2:07.03), and 200 IM (2:11.89) to qualify for her sixth World Championship team. Cameron McEvoy also took down Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers in a much hyped contest in the 100 free, with McEvoy coming out with the top time in the world (47.91). And Cate Campbell, while publicly stating she won’t be competing in Hungary this year, vaulted herself to the top of the world rankings in the 100 free with a smooth 52.78. For complete recaps of all the sessions from the 2017 Australian Championships head over to our Event Landing Page.

The Week That Was #3 – Americans Prep For World Champ Trials In Mesa

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Photo Courtesy: Brooke Wright

Many Americans came back to the pool this week for the continuation of the Arena Pro Series in Mesa, Ariz. Many Olympians and NCAA stars were on hand as they continued their preparation for the U.S. World Champs qualifier in a couple months. Chase Kalisz was one of the many college swimmers making a quick turn around from NCAA’s and making the most of the meet, snagging first in the 400 IM (4:11.01) to move to fourth in the world while also posting winning the 200 fly and 200 IM on the final day of the meet. His times in the 200 fly (1:55.92) and 200 IM (1:57.71) were both personal bests. The Stanford women were also out in force after winning NCAA’s just a few weeks ago. Katie Ledecky put up the fastest time in the world in the 400 free (4:01.01) and 800 free (8:15.44), while Simone Manuel won the 50 free (24.66) and 100 free (53.66) in her first long course meet since Rio. Nathan Adrian also continued his impressive run following the Rio Olympics, winning the 100 free in the second fastest time in the world this year (48.18). And Olympian and expecting mother Dana Vollmer announced that she was expecting another boy by way of choosing a green suit for her 50 free. For all the recaps from the Arena Pro Series stop head over to our Event Landing Page.

The Week That Was #2 – Sarah Sjostrom Throws Down World Leading Times In Stockholm

sarah-sjostrom-2016-austin-apss

Photo Courtesy: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

While swimmers across the world were battling it out against their country mates for spots at this summer’s World Championships, Swedish Olympian and world record holder Sarah Sjostrom was quietly throwing down some of the fastest times in history at the 2017 Stockholm Cup. Sjostrom posted four world leading times in as many days, winning the 50 fly (24.96). 100 fly (56.26), 50 free (23.83) and 100 free (52.54). That 50 free time not only makes her the fastest this year, it makes her the second fastest all-time and the fastest performer ever in a textile suit. Only Germany’s Britta Steffen, the current world record holder, has been faster with her 23.73 from 2009. Sjostrom walked away from the Rio Olympics with three medals, one of each color, and seems to be on track to increase her haul this summer at World Champs.

The Week That Was #1 – World Record Scare At 2017 Chinese Nationals

xu-jiayu-2017-indy-pro-series

Photo Courtesy: Melissa Lundie

The biggest story from this week had to be the 2017 Chinese National meet, where the swimming world almost saw a long course world record go down. That near miss came from backstroker Xu Jiayu, who missed the world record by .01 en route to winning the 100 back in 51.86. That broke Ryosuke Irie’s Asian record of 52.24 and makes Xu the biggest challenger to world record holder Ryan Murphy at this summer’s World Championships. Many of the same Chinese stars were on hand during the meet, including Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang, who posted two world leading times and four event wins during the meet. Sun took home wins in the 100 (49.27), 200 (1:44.91), 400 (3:42.16), 800 (7:48.33) and 1500 free (15:04.10), with his times in the 200 and 400 putting him as the fastest in the world so far this year. Wang Shun, the Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 IM, also broke his own national record in the event (1:56.16) to move to No. 1 in the world. You can see full results from the meet in Chinese here.

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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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