Wednesday, 31 March 2010

British Gas Swimming Championships 2010 - Day 3 Finals

Finals get underway at 6pm British time. Reports will be up a few minutes after the races finish.

Mens 200m LC Backstroke Final

James Goddard took victory in a tight 200m Back duel. Goddard did not lead second placed finisher Christopher Walker-Webborn by more than 0.17 during the race and took victory in 1:57.06. Walker-Hebborn finished second in a strong time of 1:57.39. The times put Goddard and Walker-Hebborn second and third in the world this year, both faster than Australian champion Hayden Stoeckel (1:58.04). Scott Hathaway took third in 2:00.57.

Womens 100m LC Freestyle Final

Fran Halsall was made to fight for her win in the 100m Free holding off a strong challenge from Amy Smith. Halsall took the victory in 54.71 with Smith second in a personal best time of 54.86. Lucy Ellis took third in 55.76.

Halsall has a busy few minutes with the 100m Fly semis coming up in just a few minutes.

Mens 100m LC Freestyle Semi-Finals

Arizone based Simon Burnett qualified fastest for tomorrow nights final in a time of 49.46. Ross Davenport goes into the final ranked second with a time of 49.97. Winner of the first semi-final Craig Gibbons qualified third fastest in a time of 50.19. Gibbons overhauled Adam Brown, fresh from his third place finish at NCAA's, who qualified fifth fastest in a time of 50.36.

Womens 100m LC Butterfly Semi-Finals

Ellen Gandy looked in top form as she qualified fastest in the 100m Fly with a time of 58.91. Florida Gator Jemma Lowe qualified second in a time of 59.35 with Rachel Kelly third fastest. Kelly broke the 1-minute barrier for the first time with her 59.86 effort. Fran Halsall, who was late to the blocks after believing she would have more time before her swim, qualified safely in sixth with a time of 1:00.93.

Womens 200m LC Breaststroke Final

Stacey Tadd caused an upset in the 200m Breast with a come from behind victory over Hannah Miley. Tadd was 0.88 down on Miley at the 100m mark before coming back to win in a time of 2:29.66. Miley took second in 2:30.27 with Kate Hutchinson third in 2:31.09.

Mens 50m LC Butterfly Final

Ian Hulme won the 50m Fly in a time of 24.22. James Doolan took second in 24.51 with Jamie Thorpe third in 24.65. Hulme's time puts him 15th in the world this year. Should he make the Commonwealth team and swim this event he will come up against Geoff Huegill who leads the world this year with his time of 23.46.

Womens 100m LC Backstroke Final

The women's 100m Back was the night's most anticipated event with world champion and world record holder Gemma Spofforth taking on world ranked no.2 Lizzie Simmonds. Simmonds had the better start and led at the 50m. Spofforth came back strongly on the second 50m but came up just short with Simmonds winning in 59.43 and Spofforth second in 59.46. Simmonds remains number 2 in the world with Spofforth moving up to 3rd. Both women remain 0.2 seconds behind Emily Seebohm's 59.21 set at the Australian trials. Stephanie Proud took third in 1:01.30.

Interestingly Seebohm and Simmonds both split 28.99 at the 50m mark on the way to their best times this year. Spofforth came back faster than both of them. The 100m Back at Commonwealths is shaping up to be one of the stand-out races with three of the strongest female backstrokers in the world right now.

Seebohm - 28.99 - (30.22) 59.21
Simmonds - 28.99 - (30.44) 59.43
Spofforth - 29.31 - (30.15) 59.46

Mens 100m LC Breaststroke Final

Kris Gilchrist caused a shock in the 100m Breast final with a strong finish to win in a time of 1:01.22. Michael Jamieson made it a Scotland 1-2 finishing second in 1:01.24. Richard Webb took third in 1:01.37. Pre-race favourites Darren Mew (1:01.51) and Daniel Sliwinski (1:01.66) took fourth and fifth respectively.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

British Gas Swimming Championships 2010 - Day 2 Finals

Womens 50m LC Butterfly Final

Amy Smith took victory in the 50m Fly in 26.88. Smith was the only women to dip under 27 seconds with Ellen Gandy second in 27.20 and Louise Pate third in 27.42. Jemma Lowe took fourth in 27.45 and both her and Gandy will have their main events later in the competition.

Mens 50m LC Backstroke Final

Liam Tancock decided to sit out the final of the 50 Back to concentrate on the 100 Back and 100 Free. This left a wide-open final and Luke Wood stepped up to take victory in 26.17. Scott Hathaway took second in 26.20 and David Gregory third in 26.70.

Womens 50m LC Breaststroke Final

Achieng Ajulu-Bushell, who aims to switch nationalities from Kenya to Britain and England, took victory in the 50m Breast in 31.18. The time was slightly slower than her semi final effort of 31.04. Ajulu-Bushell turned 16 last week and looks to be one of the rising stars ahead of London 2012.

Stephanie Slater took second in 31.93 with Lowri Tynan third in 31.96.

Mens 50m LC Butterfly Semi-Finals

Antony James leads the qualifiers for the men's 50m Fly with a time of 24.41. James Doolan qualified second in 24.44 with Ian Hulme third in 24.56.

Geoff Huegill leads the Commonwealth this year in 23.46.

Mens 100m LC Breaststroke Semi-Finals

British record holder Daniel Sliwinski, 19, took victory in the 100m Breast in 1:01.45. The time puts Sliwinski 7th in the world this year, 0.01 ahead of Mike Alexandrov (USA). After the race Sliwinski spoke of his confidence that he'll go faster than last year (59.55) despite the new suit laws. Darren Mew, 30, qualified second in 1:01.74. Star of the GBRvGER duel Michael Jamieson qualified third in 1:01.76.

Womens 100m LC Freestyle Semi-Finals

Fran Halsall leads the field into tomorrow's 100m Free final. Halsall swam 54.98 after clearly easing down on the second 50m. Amy Smith continued her impressive evening's work with a strong 55.13 to qualify second fastest. Lucy Ellis goes in third fastest with a time of 55.98.

Mens 200m LC Freestyle Final

Robert Bale took some major scalps in the final of the 200m Free winning in a time of 1:47.82. The time was a new personal best and ranks Bale 7th in the world this year. Robbie Renwick took second in 1:47.96 with Ross Davenport third in 1:48.06. David Carry just missed out on the podium with a time of 1:48.17.

The men's 200m Free looks set to be a great battle at the Commonwealth Games in both the individual and relay. Australian's Nicholas Ffrost (1:47.50), Thomas Fraser-Holmes (1:47.66), Kenrick Monk (1:47.83) and Patrick Murphy (1:48.30) mean that the top 8 men this year are all within 0.80 seconds of each other.

Womens 100m LC Backstroke Semi-Finals

Lizzie Simmonds qualified fastest for tomorrow's night final in a time of 59.84, the only swimmer under 1-minute. Gemma Spofforth, fresh from leading the Florida Gators to the NCAA title, eased back in the final 50m to qualify second in 1:00.62. Stephanie Proud was third fastest in 1:01.41.

Splits from both swimmers.

Simmonds - 29.17/59.84
Spofforth - 29.39/1:00.62

Simmonds remains second in the world this year, behind Australian Emily Seebohm's textile best time of 59.21.

In an interview with Steve Parry before the semi finals Gemma Spofforth spoke about how important leading the Gators to their NCAA success was claiming that it was more special to her than the world record last year in Rome.

Tancock pulls out of 50m Back Final

This just in from Twitter

LiamTancock - "Not swimming in the 50m Backstroke tonight, looking at the bigger picture & focusing my efforts to later in the week & the rest of the year!"

Tancock went 24.52 last night in the semis to set a new textile best time. Swimmers can't qualify for the 50m Back at these trials. They need to qualify for the team on Olympic events.

By skipping the final tonight it will give Tancock a full day's rest to prepare for the 100m Free heats tomorrow and 100m Back which starts on Thursday. Scratching the final seems to show the added importance the 100m Free (and 4 x 100m Relay) has taken on for Tancock this year.

Monday, 29 March 2010

British Gas Swimming Championships 2010 - Day 1 Finals

Women's 200 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Rebecca Adlington returned to form in the 200m Free with a strong time of 1:57.87. The time puts her fourth in the world this year behind the Australian trio of Blair Evans (1:57.38), Bronte Barratt (1:57.46) and Kylie Palmer (1:57.69). Jazz Carlin took second in 1:58.51 with Jo Jackson third in 1:58.93. Fran Halsall took the race out in a rapid 27.48 at 50m and 57.27 at the 100m mark before Adlington, Carlin and Jackson took over control of the race.

Adlington was clearly pleased after the race with her swim and especially with the fact that she gets to swim on the 4 x 200m relay.

Jo Jackson was seen coughing heavily after her race. Jackson has been battling acute asthma in recent months. Fortunately her treatment which costs £6000 per year will now be paid for by British Swimming.

UPDATE - Despite being announced live on BBC Radio, this comes from Nick Hope on Twitter 'GB press officer confirms to me that they have NOT agreed to fund the special asthma drugs being considered for Jo Jackson's condition'.

Men's 50 LC Meter Backstroke Semi-Finals

World Champion Liam Tancock set a new textile best time in the semis of the 50m Back. Tancock's time of 24.52 was 0.2 seconds faster than Matt Grevers effort at the Austin Grand Prix. The time is just 0.6 seconds slower than Tancock's world record set last year in Rome and will set him up nicely for the 100m Back later in the week. Luke Wood (26.07), Ryan Bennett (26.20), Scott Hathaway (26.38) and Craig Gibbons (26.62) completed the top 5 qualifiers for tomorrow's final.

Women's 50 LC Meter Butterfly Semi-Finals

Amy Smith set the pace in the women's 50m Fly leading the field in 27.34. Louise Pate qualified second in 27.44. Jemma Lowe, fresh from Florida's NCAA success, qualified third in 27.47.

Men's 400 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Robbie Renwick (3:50.32) and David Carry (3:50.55) duelled it out in the final of the 400m Free swimming the sixth and seventh fastest times of the year. Carry took the race out before Renwick took over just after the 300m mark. It looked like Carry would be dropped once Renwick went past but he battled back to set-up a grandstand finish. Both men will be representing Scotland at this year's Commonwealths. Robert Bale, 20, took third in 3:51.58, a huge lifetime best. British record holder David Davies ended up ninth in 3:59.07. Davies is already pre-selected for the Commonwealth games and will hopefully return to his very best form in time for Delhi.

Women's 200 LC Meter IM Final

Scotland's Hannah Miley took another national title in the 200m IM in a time of 2:12.32. The time puts Miley sixth in the world this year and comes just 30 minutes after swimming 1:59.52 in the 200m Free final. Aimee Willmott qualified for England with a time of 2:14.25 with Anne Bochmann taking third in 2:15.79.

Miley's splits compared to the top 3 in the world this year

Miley 29.50 - 1:03.05 (33.55) - 1:41.22 (38.17) - 2:12.32 (31.10)
Kukors 28.80 - 1:01.87 (33.07) - 1:39.56 (37.69) - 2:10.34 (30.78)
Rice 27.85 - 1:01.17 (33.32) - 1:39.45 (38.28) - 2:10.07 (30.62)
Seebohm 27.21 - 59.89 (32.68) - 1:39.17 (39.28) - 2:10.75 (31.58)

Men's 200 LC Meter Butterfly Final

Michael Rock led from the start in the final of the men's 200m Fly winning in a time of 1:56.86. Roberto Pavoni, 19, took second in a strong time of 1:57.29 with Joe Roebuck, 25, third in 1:57.38. The time puts Rock fourth in the world this year, Australian Nick D'Arcy leads the world in 1:54.61.

Women's 50 LC Meter Breaststroke Semi-Finals

Achieng Ajulu-Bushell, 16, continued her strong day with victory in the 50m Breast in a rapid time of 31.04. The time puts her second in the world this year behind only Leisel Jones' 30.87 effort from the Australian Trials. Stephanie Slater qualified second in 32.14 with Georgia Heyn and Lowri Tynan equal third in 32.30.

Ajulu-Bushell, who was born in Manchester, represented Kenya at the World Championships last year but intends to switch nationalities in time for the Commonwealth Games.

British Championships Start Today

Live Results can be found here.

Today's schedule

Womens 200m Freestyle
Mens 50m Backstroke
Womens 50m Butterfly
Mens 400m Freestyle
Womens 200m IM
Mens 200m Butterfly
Womens 50m Breaststroke

Live television coverage of swimming in the UK still remains less than adequate, however the BBC are starting to offer some digital services. Live audio coverage and highlights will appear for finals.

"The championships, which double as trials for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, this October, take place from 29 March to 3 April and Radio 5 live sports extra will have live coverage.

Expert analysis comes from the BBC team of Steve Parry, Bob Ballard and Karen Pickering.

Commentary begins at 1755 BST on Radio 5 live sports extra and online.

Plus, watch highlights from each day's events and interviews with top British names each day on the BBC Sport website."

Commentary of the event here (possibly only for UK users)

Ranomi Kromowidjojo

Ranomi Kromowidjojo sent shockwaves through the world of swimming last weekend with two stunning sprint freestyle swims at the Amsterdam Swim Cup. Her times of 24.40 and 53.44 put her well clear of the rest of the world this year (by 0.54 in the 50m Free and 0.86 in the 100m Free).

Kromowidjojo, 19, could be set to take over the mantle as Holland's next great female sprint Freestyler. Last year in Rome she finished 6th in the 100m Free final in a time of 53.37 having been 53.31 in the semis. She also put in a stunning relay split of 52.30 helping the Dutch to Gold and a new World Record. The loss of the techsuits clearly hasn't affected her too much.

The world records before the introduction of non-textile suits in Feb 2008 were 24.13 in the 50m Free (Inge de Bruijn) and 53.30 in the 100m Free (Britta Steffen). To be so close to these marks is great news for Kromowidjojo and the Dutch relay team who will battle Germany once again at the European Champs this year.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Matt Grevers

Great video on showing Matt Grevers doing a stand-up 50 yard Free in practice. Grevers went 19.96 after taking 6 days off.

Grevers went on to say that his main event was becoming the 200m Back and that he was better at long course than short course. This is coming from the man who went 1:48.74 at last December's Duel in the Pool (SC Meters). Considering Grevers had just gone 24.72 and 53.05 at the Austin Grand Prix it was amazing to hear him talk up the 200 Back. Expect big things in that event in 2010.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Australian Championships - Day 5 Finals

Men's 50 LC Meter Freestyle

Ashley Callus, 31, proved himself to be Australia's fastest man in water as he took victory in 22.09. Callus' time moves him above Cesar Cielo (22.13) in the world rankings but just shy of Fred Bousquet (21.95) who remains the only man under 22 seconds this year. Callus finished well clear of the chasing pack with Cameron Prosser taking second in 22.36 and Eamon Sullivan third in 22.38.

Women's 200 LC Meter Butterfly

Commonwealth record holder Jessicah Schipper had to wait until the final evening's competition to take her first title of the meet. Schipper didn't have it all her own way though as she was pushed hard by Samantha Hamill. Schipper won in a time of 2:07.66 with Hamill second in 2:07.75 and Felicity Galvez third in 2:08.83. Both women move ahead of Britain's Ellen Gandy (2:07.77) into the top 2 spots in the 2010 world rankings. Gandy, who trains in Australia, will hope to come out on top at this year's Commonwealth Games where she will represent England (assuming she qualifies).

Men's 200 LC Meter Breaststroke

Brenton Rickard continued to make a strong case for swimmer of the meet as he completed the sweep of the Breaststroke events. Rickard won in 2:09.71 and became the first man under 2:10 in 2010. Craig Calder took second in 2:12.33 with world record holder Christian Sprenger a surprise third in 2:12.71.

Rickard wasn't too far away from Brendan Hansen's 2:08.50 textile best time. Hansen's mark could well be under threat at Pan Pacs or Commonwealths with Eric Shanteau (USA), Kosuke Kitajima (JAP), Rickard and possibly Sprenger in contention.

Women's 400 LC Meter IM

Stephanie Rice continued her excellent competition with victory in the 400 IM. The Olympic Champion and world record holder recorded a strong 4:35.04. Rice took victory by a full 5 secs from Samantha Hamill (4:40.44) and Blair Evans (4:40.49). The time also puts her 2 seconds clear of the rest of the world this year with Ariana Kukors currently ranked second with 4:37.63 set at the Austin Grand Prix.

Rice vs Kukors and Katie Hoff at Pan Pacs will be an excellent contest and Rice has established herself as the early favourite.

Men's 1500 LC Meter Freestyle

Robert Hurley was just 0.97 seconds shy of being the first man under 15 minutes this year. Hurley took victory in 15:00.96 ahead of Ryan Napoleon in 15:14.96 and Chris Ashwood in 15:19.39.

Hurley completes an excellent meet after victory in the 400 Free on day 1.

Women's 1500 LC Meter Freestyle

The most emphatic victory of the competition went to Melissa Gorman who won the 1500m Free in 16:03.24. She broke the Australian and Commonwealth record in the process. Second went to Kylie Palmer in 16:41.71, a full 38 seconds behind. Danielle DeFrancesco, 17, took third in 16:46.58.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Australian Championships - Day 4 Finals

Men's 100 LC Meter Butterfly Final

Andrew Lauterstein put in an impressive performance in the 100m Fly with a world leading time of 51.79. Christopher Wright, 21, moves into second in the world rankings after his 52.49 effort. Adam Pine, 34, took third just behind Wright in 52.57.

Lauterstein, 5th in the Rome World final last year with 50.85, was clearly fired up for the final. Just before the 100 Fly event began he posted on Twitter '...I'm ready to let loose in the 100 fly.'

Women's 50 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Yolane Kukla continued her breakout meet in impressive fashion with victory in 25.08. The 14-year-old beat out Alice Mills (25.13) and Cate Campbell (25.15) for the top spot. Campbell, 17, who was widely tipped to win the 50 and 100 events here will at least have a chance to impress at the Pan Pacs and Commonwealths following her third place here and may even be able to get onto the Aussie 4 x 100 Free relay.

Men's 50 LC Meter Breaststroke Final

Brenton Rickard won the 50 Breast in a lightning fast time of 27.40. The best time swum in a full textile suit was set by Oleg Lisogor in 2002 with his effort of 27.18. Rickard will now have 2 major meets to have a shot at that time and will benefit from strong competition. At the Commonwealths he will potentially face world record holder Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) and at Pan Pacs he may face Kosuke Kitajima (JAP) and Mark Gangloff (USA). Christian Sprenger (27.93) and Karl Wurzer (28.40) rounded out the top 3.

Women's 200 LC Meter Backstroke Final

Belinda Hocking broke Emily Seebohm's dominance in the Backstroke events at this meet with a strong victory in 2:07.89. In a tightly contested final Meagan Nay, 21, took second in 2:08.02 with Seebohm third in 2:08.19.

All three women will go to the Commonwealth Games with high hopes but will have a tough time up against England's Elizabeth Simmonds (world leading 2:06.90 this year) and Gemma Spofforth (fourth in Rome in this event).

Men's 50 LC Meter Freestyle Semi-Finals

Ashley Callus set his fastest time of 2010 with a strong effort of 22.16 in the semis of the 50m Free. Cameron Prosser (22.36) and Matthew Abood (22.39) qualified second and third fastest respectively. 100 Free winner Eamon Sullivan qualified fifth for the final in 22.61.

Women's 100 LC Meter Breaststroke Final

Leisel Jones chipped 0.06 seconds off her world leading time this year with victory in the 100 Breast. Jones set a time of 1:05.79 to beat out Samantha Marshall (1:07.45) and Sarah Katsoulis (1:07.89). Jones is now 0.64 seconds faster than second ranked in the world Rebecca Soni (1:06.43 at the Austin Grand Prix). The 100 Breast at Pan Pacs is shaping up to be fantastic contest with Jones, Soni and Jessica Hardy all in with a shot at the title.

Men's 100 LC Meter Backstroke Final

Hayden Stoeckel completed a clean sweep of the Backstroke events with victory in the 100 Back. Stoeckel posted an impressive 53.61, though still a little way off Matt Grevers world leading (and textile best) time of 53.05. Ashley Delaney took second in 54.07 with Ben Treffers, 18, taking his second third place finish of the meet in a time of 55.00.

Women's 400 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Bronte Barratt took victory in the 400m Free in a time of 4:05.50. The time puts Barratt at the top of the world rankings and also ensured that there have been different winners in each of the women's 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 Free events at this meet. Kylie Palmer took second in 4:06.36 with last night's revelation in the 800 Free, Katie Goldman, taking third in 4:07.12. Barratt, Palmer and Goldman may well be up against England's Rebecca Adlington and Jo Jackson, Wales' Jaz Carlin and Scotland's Caitlin McClatchey at the Commonwealth Games as well as USA's Chloe Sutton, Katie Hoff and Allison Schmitt at Pan Pacs. This event is definitely one to watch at both Commonwealth's and Pan Pacs this year.

Women's 50 LC Meter Backstroke Final

Emily Seebohm bounced back from her third place in the 200m Back earlier tonight to win the 50m Back in a new textile best time of 27.95. Seebohm becomes the first women under 28 seconds in a 100% textile suit. Li Yang's 28.09 held the world record on the eve of the techsuit era. Sophie Edington took second in 28.20 with Grace Loh third in 28.52.

Men's 200 LC Meter IM Final

Leith Brodie joined Eric Shanteau as the only men under 2 minutes in 2010 recording a time of 1:59.60. Teenagers Thomas Fraser-Holmes, 18, and Tommaso D'Orsagna, 19, took second and third in times of 2:00.84 and 2:00.90 respectively.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Australian Championships - Day 4 Finals

Women's 100 LC Meter Butterfly Final

Stephanie Rice beat a high-class field to come away with victory in the 100 Fly. Rice used a strong final 50 to win in a world leading 57.71. Felicity Galvez was second in 58.20 with World Silver Medallist from Rome Jessicah Schipper finishing a surprising third in 58.41. All three women took the top three spots in this year's world rankings.

This victory shouldn't come as such a surprise given the 27.85 split Rice had in the Fly leg of the 200 IM final.

Men's 50 LC Meter Breaststroke Semi-Finals

Brenton Rickard continued his strong meet with yet another world leading time. His 28.02 clears the effort of Frenchman Hugues Dubosq set last weekend. Christian Sprenger is once again the man in pursuit of Rickard with a time of 28.28. Despite missing out on the final, 16-year-old Buster Sykes had a good showing in 11th with 29.39.

Women's 50 LC Meter Backstroke Semi-Finals

Emily Seebohm came within 0.02 seconds of breaking another textile best time in the 50m Back. The 17-year-old qualified fastest for the final in 28.11. China's Li Yang held the world record before non-textile swimsuits were introduced in February 2008 with a time of 28.09. Seebohm has already beaten the 100m mark and is on the verge of doing it again in the 50m tomorrow night. Grace Loh (28.67) and Belinda Hocking (28.71) qualified 2nd and 3rd fastest.

Men's 100 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Eamon Sullivan showed the rest of the world that he is still a force to be reckoned with in sprint freestyle. Sullivan turned on the burners in tonight's final winning in a time of 48.52. The time takes him to the top of the world rankings, a full 0.61 seconds clear of second ranked Cesar Cielo. Sullivan's time was set up with a blazing fast 23.02 first 50m and a solid 25.50 coming home. Tommaso D'Orsagna, 19, took second in 49.35 and James Magnussen, 18, took third in 49.43. Last year's representative in Rome Matthew Abood had to settle for seventh in 49.73. His chances of a relay spot will now have to rely on making the team in the 50m Free and forcing his way onto the team.

For some context on Sullivan's time, the textile best time was set by Pieter van den Hoogenband at 47.84. However, in 2006 Sullivan's time would have ranked him at the top of the world lists.

Women's 100 LC Meter Breaststroke Semi-Finals

Leisel Jones heads into another national final ranked fastest as she cruised through her semi-final in a time of 1:07.76. Samantha Marshall (1:07.85) and Sarah Katsoulis(1:08.22) qualified 2nd and 3rd fastest for tomorrow night.

At the NSW Champs where Jones set her world leading mark of 1:05.85 she went out in 31.11 before coming back in 34.74. Tonight Jones went out in 31.66 and came back in 36.10. Expect the second 50 to improve drastically tomorrow night in the final.

Men's 100 LC Meter Backstroke Semi-Finals

Hayden Stoeckel (54.09) and Ash Delaney (54.11) hold almost a second lead over the rest of the competition heading into tomorrow night's final. Delaney will be trying to spoil Stoeckel's attempt at a backstroke clean sweep after winning the 50 and 200 Back previously.

Women's 50 LC Meter Freestyle Semi-Finals

Cate Campbell made sure there were no mistakes in qualifying for the 50m Free final tonight taking top spot in a time of 25.13. Campbell was heavily tipped for the 100 Free crown but missed out on a final spot. Sally Foster, 24, was second in 25.21 with Yolane Kukla, 14, qualifying third in 25.26. Tomorrow's final promises to be an exciting race.

Men's 100 LC Meter Butterfly Semi-Finals

Nick D'Arcy continued his strong meet by taking top spot in the 100m Fly Semis. His time of 52.72 just missed Ryan Pini's world leading time of 52.66 set in the heats earlier in the day (Pini is ineligible to swim in semis/finals as he represents Papua New Guinea). Mitch Patterson (52.85) and Chris Wright (52.90) are second and third fastest respectively for the final with comeback king Geoff Huegill qualifying 4th in 52.94.

Men's 400 LC Meter IM Final

Thomas Fraser-Holmes, 18, took victory in a quick 400 IM final dominated by a new crop of Australian youngsters. Fraser-Holmes time of 4:16.81 missed Justin Norris' Aussie record by just 1.61 seconds and put him at the head of the world rankings this year. Second and third went to a pair of 16-year-olds with Jayden Hadler taking second in 4:20.79 and Mitch Larkin third in 4:21.54. With three world class distance Medley swimmers at 18 or under the future looks bright for Australia at this event.

Women's 800 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Katie Goldman, 17, announced herself to the rest of the swimming world with a superb 8:22.83 victory in the 800 Free. The time just missed Kylie Palmer's Australian record by 0.02 seconds. The time would have been good enough for 7th in the world in both of the last two years. Blair Evans took second in 8:25.74 and Kylie Palmer third in 8:29.57.

The Commonwealth Games should provide a stern test for the Australian contingent with a likely race with World Record holder and Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington, World Champs Bronze medallist Joanne Jackson and new star of British Swimming Jaz Carlin.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Australian Championships - Day 3 Finals

Men's 200 LC Meter Backstroke Final

Hayden Stoeckel won his second event of the meet taking the Men's 200m Back. Stoeckel (1:58.04) beat last year's winner Ashley Delaney (1:58.56)into second. Braiden Camm, 19, took third in 2:00.51. Stoeckel will try to complete the clean sweep of the Backstroke events with the 100 Back heats starting tomorrow.

The 200m Back and 200m Fly (minus Nick D'Arcy) were the only men's events Australia didn't have someone make the top 16 at last year's worlds at Rome. Stoeckel's time puts him 2nd in the world this year, behind Ryosuke Irie's stunning 1:55.11 in February.

Women's 100 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Revelation of the meet, Yolane Kukla, touched first in the 100m Free with a quick time of 54.50... only to be disqualified for a false start. The victory ended up going to Emily Seebohm with a time of 54.70 with Alicia Coutts second in 54.86. Alice Mills (55.32) and Angela Bainbridge (55.40) took the relay spots, however with Kukla already on the team she should be able to get on the relay. It remains to be seen if Cate Campbell can still make the team to Delhi to give her a chance to make the relay team.

Men's 100 LC Meter Freestyle Semi-Final

After a blazing 49.06 in the heats this morning, Eamon Sullivan followed it up with a 49.35 in tonight's semis. The time was good enough to put him fastest into the final tomorrow. James Magnussen, 18, who starred in Macquarie Uni's relay win earlier in the competition took second in 49.54. Matthew Abood qualified third fastest with 49.59.

Last year's semi finalist from Rome in this event, Matt Targett, missed out on the final. Targett finished 14th in 50.77.

Women's 100 LC Meter Butterfly Semi-Final

Stephanie Rice leads the field ahead of a final stacked with talent. Rice clocked 58.55, good enough for third in the world this year. Jessicah Schipper (58.85) and Felicity Galvez (59.06) rounded out the top three qualifiers. Also qualifying for the final was Yolane Kukla, 14, who had earlier won and then been disqualified from the 100m Free final. She did well to get over the physical and mental exertions to qualify for the final 6th in 1:00.31. Marieke Guehrer (1:00.68) will line-up next to Kukla in lane 8 for tomorrow's final.

Women's 200 LC Meter Breaststroke Final

Leisel Jones put in a usual dominating performance in the 200m Breast. Jones led from reaction time to the end of the race winning in a time of 2:23.45. Sarah Katsoulis was second in a strong 2:25.35 with Tessa Wallace, 16, third in 2:28.67.

Jones' time puts her second in the world this year behind Rebecca Soni's 2:22.91 from the Austin Grand Prix. Interestingly the splits show two very different approaches to the race, Jones went out nearly 2 seconds faster than Soni on the first 50m, Soni then took 0.5 seconds from Jones on the second 50m. Both women's splits were almost identical on the third 50m before Soni brought the race home 1.95 seconds quicker on the final 50m.

Soni r:+0.77 33.84 - 1:09.70 (35.86) - 1:46.70 (37.00) - 2:22.91 (36.21)
Jones r:+0.73 31.97 - 1:08.35 (36.38) - 1:45.29 (36.94) - 2:23.45 (38.16)

Soni vs Jones will be a tremendous race at Pan Pacs.

Men's 50 LC Meter Butterfly Final

Geoff Huegill completed one of swimming's most remarkable comebacks with victory in the 50m Fly. After retiring from swimming Huegill's weight rocketed up to 138kg. It was then that he announced his two aims. Get under 100kg and qualify for the Commonwealth Games. Weighing in at 93kg tonight he acheived his second aim. His winning time of 23.46 is the fastest in the world by a clear 0.25 seconds and is only 0.02 seconds slower than his world record from 2001. Given the speed Huegill has right now, he has to be favourite for the Commonwealth Games later this year. Huegill said after the race, "Without a doubt I reckon it's better than making my first ever team. The emotions I feel today are well and truly on par to when I stood up behind the blocks at the Sydney Olympics," added Huegill, who won bronze in Sydney in the 100 butterfly."

Andrew Lauterstein (23.82) and Mitch Patterson (23.89) took a distant second and third.

Women's 100 LC Meter Backstroke Final

Emily Seebohm continued an impressive night of swimming by breaking her own textile best standard in the 100 Back. Seebohm took first in 59.21, a 0.04 improvement on her mark from the NSW Championships in February.

Belinda Hocking took second in 1:00.11, a long way behing Seebohm, but still good enough for third in the world this year. Sophie Edington took third in 1:01.20.

Seebohm has been one of swimming's stars of 2010. At just 17 there is still a lot to come from her. She will have some intriguing duels this year taking on England's Gemma Spofforth and Elizabeth Simmonds at the Commonwealth Games and USA's Natalie Coughlin at the Pan Pacs.

Men's 100 LC Meter Breaststroke Final

Brenton Rickard became the first man in 2010 to get close to breaking the 1:00 barrier. Rickard took the title in 1:00.19 with Christian Sprenger second in 1:00.91. Both men moved into first and second on the world ranking list this year. Nicholas Schafer, 18, was third in 1:02.40.

Rickard looks like he's hit the ground running after a great World Championships last year. He will get his toughest test at Pan Pacs this year when he lines up against Kosuke Kitajima and Eric Shanteau amongst others.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Australian Championships - Day 2 Finals

Women's 50 LC Meter Butterfly Final

Yolane Kukla, 14, completed her emergence as a new star of the swimming world. Kukla clocked 25.92 beating World Champion Marieke Guehrer into second by 0.36 - a huge margin in a 50 race. Guehrer was not the only big name scalp that Kukla collected - the rest of the final read like a who's who of Australian Women's swimming - Emily Seebohm (26.47), Felicity Galvez (26.49), Alice Mills (26.65), Jessicah Schipper (27.09), Ellese Zalewski (27.68) and Amy Smith (27.69).

Kukla now lies second in the world rankings behind Therese Alshammer's 25.60 and would have been good enough for 14th in last year's suited world rankings.

Men's 50 LC Meter Backstroke Final

Hayden Stoeckel won a tight 50 Back final in a quick time of 25.06. Daniel Arnamnart was just 0.02 seconds behind with Ben Treffers a further 0.01 seconds back. 0.03 seconds split the top three and just 0.10 seconds split the top 5.

All three men will have their work cut out for them at both Commonwealths and Pan Pacs with England's World Record Holder Liam Tancock and USA's World No.1 this year Matt Grevers lying in wait for them.

Women's 50 LC Meter Breaststroke Final

Leisel Jones continued her strong start to 2010 with victory in the 50m Breast. Jones took victory in 30.87 with Leiston Pickett second in 31.06 and Sarah Katsoulis third in 31.12.

Jones was already ranked no. 1 in the world this year with 30.99 and has now extended her advantage over the rest of the world. She remains the only woman to have broken 31 seconds this year.

Men's 200 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Nicholas Ffrost caused somewhat of an upset by taking the 200m Free title in a time of 1:47.50. Thomas Fraser-Holmes, 18, continues his rise up the ranks of world swimming with a strong second place time of 1:47.66. Kenrick Monk, 5th at the Worlds in Rome last year, had to settle for third in 1:47.83. Patrick Murphy, Australia's other representative in Rome, took the final relay spot with 1:48.30.

Men's 50 LC Meter Butterfly Semi-Final

Geoff Huegill's remarkable comeback has just one more step to go. Huegill qualified fastest for the 50m Fly final with a time of 23.60. He goes in 0.29 seconds ahead of Andrew Lauterstein with Matt Targett and Adam Pine also joining him in the final.

Men's 100 LC Meter Breaststroke Semi-Final

Brenton Rickard posted the world's fastest time this year to qualify first for tomorrow's final in a time of 1:00.80. The final looks to be a head to head with Christian Sprenger who qualified second in 1:01.18 (4th in the world this year).

Women's 100 LC Meter Freestyle Semi-Final

The 100m Free semi's were more notable for the big names missing out on the final than for the times swum. Cate Campbell and Felicity Galvez tied for 9th place on 55.47 and Marieke Guehrer was 11th with 55.48. That's not to say the final is lacking in talent with Alicia Coutts (54.95), Emily Seebohm (55.01) and star of the night Yolane Kukla (55.06) qualifying in the top three spots.

Women's 100 LC Meter Backstroke Semi-Final

Emily Seebohm will go into tomorrow's final ranked first and heavy favourite for the title. Seebohm, 17, swam 1:00.26 in tonight's semi. Belinda Hocking (1:00.79) and Sophie Edington (1:01.16) rounded out the top three qualifiers.

Seebohm is ranked first in the world this year with a stunning 59.25 from the NSW Championships in February. That was the first textile best time to be recorded in 2010. Seebohm's best time, recorded at Worlds last year, was 58.88.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Australian Championships - Day 1 Finals

Women's 200 LC Meter Freestyle Final

Blair Evans, 18, won a tight 200m Free in a time of 1:57.38 after a great duel with Bronte Barratt (1:57.46) and Kylie Palmer (1:57.69). Evans showed tremendous back end speed coming home with the fastest final 50 of the race in 29.38. This allowed her to overhaul Barratt who had led for most of the race. Evans is now the fastest in the world this year taking over from Federica Pellegrini's 1:58.13 set earlier this month in Berlin.

Stephanie Rice took the 4th relay spot in 1:58.13. Felicity Galvez (5th in 1:58.23) and Megan Nay (6th in 1:58.62) make up the reserve members of a very strong looking Australian 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay.

Great Britain has a team that could challenge the Australians (Rebecca Adlington, Joanne Jackson, Caitlin McClatchey and Jazz Carlin), however at the Commonwealths this team will be split up with Adlington and Jackson swimming for England, McClatchey swimming for Scotland and Carlin swimming for Wales. There is strength in depth in the 200m Free in Britain but I'm not sure one home nation can put together a team of 4 women at or under 1:58. We will have a clearer picture after the British Championships later this month where we will get to see what sort of progress Fran Halsall, Lizzie Simmonds, Rebecca Turner (all England), Hannah Miley and Lucy Ellis (both Scotland) have made in this event.

Men's 50 LC Meter Backstroke Semi-Final

2008 World Youth Champion Ben Treffers, 18, showed that he has made the jump to senior level qualifying equal first for tomorrow's final in a time of 25.18. Hayden Stoeckel joined him on the same time with Ash Delaney qualifying third in 25.37.

Women's 50 LC Meter Butterfly Semi-Final

Marieke Guehrer leads the field into tomorrow's final with her effort of 26.34. Most exciting from the semi-finals though was the second fastest qualifier, Yolane Kukla, who at only 14 is a huge talent for the future. Kukla carved 0.5 seconds off her heats effort with a time of 26.51. Emily Seebohm, Alica Mills, Jessicah Schipper, Felicity Galvez (after just swimming the 200m Free final), Ellese Zalewski and Amy Smith make up a stacked final.

Men's 400 LC Meter Freestyle

Robert Hurley continued his good 2010 form with victory in the 400 Free. Hurley's time of 3:47.67 was 2 seconds faster than his effort at the NSW Champs and brings him closer to the world's fastest time this year, Tae Hwan Park's rapid 3:45.03. Ryan Napoloen and Patrick Murphy took second and third with 3:48.70 and 3:49.43 respectively to move up to third and fourth in the world this year.

Canada's Ryan Cochrane, Wales' David Davies and South Africa's Jean Basson should be in Delhi to challenge Hurley and the Australian's for the Commonwealth title.

Women's 200 LC Meter IM

Stephanie Rice proved that she is back to her best with a superb 2:10.07 in the 200m IM. After Ariana Kukors impressed in the Austin Grand Prix with her world leading time of 2:10.34, all eyes were on Rice to see how she could respond and she didn't disappoint. Rice didn't have it all her own way though with Emily Seebohm, 17, announcing herself as a real threat to both Kukors and Rice in the event. Seebohm has taken her swimming to a new level in 2010 and is consistently beating her techsuit times this year. Take a look at the splits of the three women below:-

Kukors v Rice v Seebohm splits

Kukors 28.80 - 1:01.87 (33.07) - 1:39.56 (37.69) - 2:10.34 (30.78)
Rice 27.85 - 1:01.17 (33.32) - 1:39.45 (38.28) - 2:10.07 (30.62)
Seebohm 27.21 - 59.89 (32.68) - 1:39.17 (39.28) - 2:10.75 (31.58)

Seebohm has the beating of the Rice and Kukors over the first 100m. She is a full 1.28 seconds clear of Rice and 1.98 seconds ahead of Kukors. However, she suffers on the back half of the race. With an improved breast and free she may be able to get the upper hand on the other women.

Rice and Kukors are superb all around swimmers and have no real weaknesses, although it is interesting to see the difference in the Butterfly and Breaststroke. Rice seems to have more early speed whereas Kukors has the stronger Breaststroke.

2010 is shaping up to be a vintage year in the Women's 200m IM with Yanyan Wu's tainted textile best time of 2:09.42 under serious threat.

Men's 200 LC Meter Butterfly

Nick D'Arcy booked his ticket to Delhi with an impressive victory in the 200m Fly. D'Arcy's time of 1:54.61 just missed his Aussie record of 1:54.46 set in 2009 (and a techsuit). The time also puts him fastest in the world this year clearing Yuta Kimura's previous leading time by over 2 seconds. Chris Wright was second in 1:56.23 and talented youngster Jayden Hadler, 16, took an impressive third in 1:57.07. Hadler certainly is one to watch over the next few years.

South Africa's Sebastien , England's Michael Rock and New Zealand's Moss Burmester will challenge D'Arcy for the Commonwealth crown.

Women's 50 LC Meter Breaststroke

Leisel Jones paced the field in the 50 Breast with the fastest qualifying time of 30.99. Jones becomes the first woman in 2010 under 31 seconds. Sarah Katsoulis, Leiston Pickett, Samantha Marshall and Sally Foster all came in under 32 seconds.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Bousquet first man to break 22 seconds in 2010

Fred Bousquet continued to show great early season form tonight with a superb 21.95 in the 50 meter LC Free at a high class meet in Nancy, France. This time makes him the first man to go sub-22 seconds this year and moves Cesar Cielo's 22.13 effort down to second in the world. For some perspective, Bousquet's time tonight would have ranked in the Top5 in the world in every year dating back from 2006. In 2007, the last year before techsuits were introduced, his time would have put him 6th on the world list. Australian sprint duo Ashley Callus and Eamon Sullivan will get their first shot at Bousquet's new leading time at the Aussie Commonwealth Trials starting next Tuesday.

Now that the 22 second barrier has been broken the next milestone for Bousquet and the rest of the top sprinters is Alexander Popov's brilliant 21.64 former world record set in 2000 (and a pair of Arena briefs).

Friday, 12 March 2010

2010 Telstra Australian Swimming Championships

The start list is out for the Australian Commonwealth Trials. The competition runs from March 16th - 21st.

The world leading times should be in for a big shake up at the end of the competition. The Australians will want to set the bar high before the other Commonwealth nations have their own trials.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

10. Schwimmfest des SV Halle - Results

Results from 10. Schwimmfest des SV Halle



Paul Biedermann - 23.18 (50m Free)
Paul Biedermann - 1:48.53 (200m Free 53.88/54.65) - Trademark strong finish from Biedermann.

Steffen Diebler - 23.98 (50m Fly) - Diebler could do better in 2010 without the suits, not a huge guy.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

London 2012 - Aquatics Centre

Watch the progress of the 2012 Aquatics Centre over the last year. The roof is looking good. Not sure its going to be able to challenge Beijing's Water Cube though...

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Matt Grevers just misses Peirsol's textile best time in 100 Back, breaks Rupprath's 50m mark

The swim of the Austin Grand Prix so far for me has been Matt Grevers stunning 53.05 in the 100 Back. Grevers' time is just 0.07 seconds outside of Aaron Peirsol's textile best time set at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne. Grevers had an outstanding start and was even ahead of underwater maestro Nick Thoman at 15m.

Comparison of Peirsol's 52.98 from Melbourne and Grevers' 53.03 from last night.

Peirsol - 50m Split 25.80, second 50m time 27.18
Grevers - 50m Split 25.57, second 50m time 27.48

Despite missing out on the 100m Back, Grevers didn't have to wait long to set a textile best time. He returned later in the evening to lead off the Men's 200 Medley Relay with a split of 24.72. This breaks Thomas Rupprath's 24.80 set at the 2003 World Championships.

A full list of pre-techsuit times can be found here.

Friday, 5 March 2010

10. Schwimmfest des SV Halle

Whilst Berlin hosts many of Europe's elite swimmers this weekend, Germany's top swimmers will be for the most part absent as they've chosen to swim at the 10. Schwimmfest des SV Halle. The meet marks the first competition for Britta Steffen in 2010 after suffering from illness for the early part of this year. Steffen is down to compete in the 50, 100 and 200m Free.

Paul Biedermann goes in the 50, 100 and 200m Free as well as trying his hand at 200m Fly.

It also features the majority of the German team from last month's duel vs. Great Britain.

Results should appear here. Psych Sheet is here.

Haka Friday

I've always been impressed with swim meets in the US. The atmosphere and team spirit beat most of the European events I've been to. What has always impressed me particularly though is the atmosphere at college meets which leads me to....

.... The University of Hawai'i men's team. These guys really know how to get a session started.

Great effort from the Hawai'i guys... still have a bit to catch up with these classic rugby moments.

Austin Grand Prix - First Night Impressions

Things that caught my eye on the first day of finals...

Chloe Sutton continued her great start to 2010 by winning the 400 Free in 4:07.41. The time puts her 2nd in the world this year behind only Jazmin Carlin (4:06.41 from GBR vs GER Duel). Sutton is clearly improving. Last year her best time was a suited 4:07.20. Once again she was the fastest swimmer in the water tonight but Katie Hoff showed how much Sutton can improve on her turns. A rough estimate would put her losing 0.4-0.5 seconds per turn in the early stages of the race, if Sutton can improve her turns (she comes up too early and loses all momentum from the wall) she could challenge anyone in the world.

Very impressed with Ariana Kukors in the 200 IM. Kukors doesn't have any obvious weaknesses. Her turns/underwaters are great. Stroke technique looks solid. A rematch with Steph Rice will be fascinating. If I had to choose between the two I'd be siding with Kukors at this stage. Julia Smit has yet to make her LC debut in 2010, but is tearing it up at the college meets and will be a threat to both Kukors and Rice this year.
I'd also love to see what Jessica Hardy could do on a 200 IM these days. Hardy clearly has an incredible breaststroke, but add to that her world class freestyle speed (winner of the 50m Free tonight in 25.09) and an impressive butterfly (sub 60 seconds tonight) she nearly has the whole set.

Cesar Cielo looked sharp and very, very fast tonight. As did Garrett Weber-Gale. From the video I was watching Cielo had a clear lead, it then cut out so I missed the finish. I caught the times though with Cielo winning in a world leading 22.13 and Weber-Gale posting the third quickest time this year with a 22.24. Either Weber-Gale had a great finish or Cielo didn't have the best of finishes because there looked like there was more than a tenth between them with 15m to go.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

International Swim Meeting - Berlin - March 5th-7th

Some of Europe's top swimmers will descend on Berlin this weekend for the International Swim Meeting being held at the 'Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im Europapark'.

Amongst them will be Federica Pellegrini making her 2010 LC debut. Pellegrini will be competing in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 Free. Italy boasts a close to full strength team with Filippo Magnini, Francesca Segat, Luca Marin, Federico Colbertaldo, Massimiliano Rosolino, Emiliano Brembilla, Alessandro Terrin, Mirko Di Tora and Ilaria Scarcella also competing in Berlin.

Other European stars competing include Ingvild Snildal (DEN), Radoslaw Kawecki (POL), Dorothea Brandt, Janne Schaefer(both GER), Nikolay Svortsov (RUS), Jessica Dickons, Ian Hulme, Matt Clay, Michael Jamieson, Darren Mew (all GBR).

(Look out for Michael Jamieson in the Breaststroke events this weekend; he looked excellent at the GBR vs GER Duel a fortnight ago.)

Psych sheet can be found here. Live results can be found here.

Austin Grand Prix - Races to look forward to...

Women's 400 LC Meter Free

Katie Hoff vs. Chloe Sutton Part II

The 500yd final at the SoCal Grand Prix in January was one of the races of that meet with Sutton winning in 4:36.76. Hoff has the better turns of the two, although Sutton was quicker between the walls when they last met. Sutton has been dominating the Grand Prix series so far and has already posted a 4:11 400 LC Free this year. It will be interesting to see what kind of shape Hoff is in this weekend as she posts her first LC times of the year. With the final being swum in LC meters we could be in for a great final. Hoff's FAST teammate Caroline Burckle, Sarah Henry and Samantha Tucker should also be in the mix for podium spots.
World leading time in 2010 - Jazmin Carlin - GBR - 4:06.41

Women's 200 LC Meter IM

Ariana Kukors was one of 2009's stand-out swimmers. Her stunning 2:06.15 WR from Rome last year in this event is one of those records that could remain for many years with the new suit laws. Whilst it is still early in the season it will be fascinating to see what time Kukors will post; leading the world this year is one of 2010's best performers, Emily Seebohm. Her challenge in Austin will come in the form of Whitney Myers, Erika Erndl, Justine Mueller, Sarah Henry and Megan Jendrick.
World leading time in 2010 - Emily Seebohm AUS - 2:11.80

Men's 50 LC Meter Free

Olympic Champion, World Champion and World Record holder in this event, Cesar Cielo, goes into this event as clear favourite. However, the rest of the field is stacked with talent. From 2009's LC world rankings we have No.1 (Cesar Cielo), No. 4 (George Bovell), No. 8 (Cullen Jones), equal No. 12's (Nicholas Santos and Garrett Weber-Gale) and equal No. 17's (Nicholas Brunelli and Bryan Lundquist). Also in the mix are the in-form Matt Grevers, Jakob Andkjaer, William Copeland, Masayuki Kishida, Simon Burnett and a 50 Free cameo from Nick Thoman.

Ashley Callus leads the world with a quick 22.22 but with the talent assembled in Austin this mark is under serious threat. I've recently looked at the average world leading times over the last decade and have predicted that the average Top 5 time in the world this year will be around 21.88. Whilst the average Top 25 time might be around 22.18. This meet should give me a good indication how close those predictions might be.

World leading time in 2010 - Ashley Callus AUS - 22.22

Women's 100 LC Meter Breaststroke

The only two women ever to swim under 1:05 in this event, Rebecca Soni and Jessica Hardy, renew their rivalry with what promises to be an epic 100 Breast battle. Australian Leisel Jones has been on fire in 2010 already posting 1:05.85 this year and the pressure is on Soni and Hardy to answer Lethal Leisel's early season speed. Soni swam 1:04.85 SC Meters at a meet in Uster, Switzerland already this year and clearly is in good form. Hardy was second at that meet in a time of 1:05.81, however has looked sharp in all of her competitions this year. Amanda Reason, Megan Jendrick, Keri Hehn, Justine Mueller and Corrie Clark will all likely be battling it out for 3rd spot. Expect Jones' world leading time to come under serious scrutiny this weekend.

World leading time in 2010 - Leisel Jones AUS - 1:05.85

Men's LC Meter 100 Backstroke

Aaron Piersol starts his LC 2010 season this weekend and the 100 Back looks like one of the races of the meet. Olympic Champion, World Champion and World Record holder Piersol comes up against Olympic silver medallist Matt Grevers and USA's rising backstroke star and SC World Record holder Nick Thoman. This event will also give the swimming world a rare chance to see Cesar Cielo racing backstroke.

World leading time in 2010 - Ryosuke Irie JAP - 53.32 (must have missed this swim, 53.32 is seriously quick and not too far from Piersol's own textile best time of 52.98)

All results can be found here and live video with the excellent Mel Stewart calling the finals here. Psych sheet here.

Monday, 1 March 2010

What to expect in 2010: Men 100 meter LC Freestyle

Following on from the look at the Men's 50 meter LC Freestyle, here is the same study into the Men's 100m event.

Once again the techsuits showed what an advantage they provided for sprint freestylers. The average Top 25 time of 1999-2007 was 49.13, whereas in 2008 and 2009 the average times were 47.99 (drop of 1.14 seconds) and 47.78 (drop of 1.35 seconds) respectively.

The fastest time of the period 1999-2007 was Pieter van den Hoogenband's Sydney Olympic winning time of 47.84. In 2009 this would have only been good enough for 15th in the world rankings.

Of the average Top 5 times the year 2000 stands out as being particularly fast for its time; the average Top 5 time for that year was quicker than all other textile years apart from 2007. Another year that stands out is 2006 where the fastest time in the world (48.57) was the slowest of all the world's fastest times over the period 99-09, however the 25th fastest time (49.32) in 2006 was faster than all years with the exception of 2007-2009.

The average Top 25 swims were at their fastest (excluding the techsuit era) between 2004 and 2007. So when trying to predict 2010 standards this must be taken into account, however it is also fair to assume most of the times from 2004-2007 would have been set in textile shoulder suits or full legs which complicates things slightly as they are now also banned.

I predict the average Top 5 time in the world this year will be 48.35 and the average Top 25 time will be 48.91.


Mens 100 LC FreeTop5 AverageTime%age change from 99Top25 AverageTime%age change from 99
























Avg 1999-200748.520.629%49.130.814%


Avg 2004-200748.410.846%48.941.197%


2010 Predictions48.350.868%48.911.241%

* I've gone back as far as 1999 and used that as the start date for my comparisons; had I gone back any further there would have been a big drop off in times. From all 275 Top 25 times in the world between 1999 and 2009 there was only one swim over 50 seconds. However in 1998 there were only 15 sub-50 second swims.


Writer: Tom Willdridge - Email

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