Thursday, 30 June 2011

This Week's Racing

Scottish Nationals - June 30 - July 3

Feat. Rebecca Adlington, Hannah Miley, Mireia Belmonte, Robbie Renwick, Rafa Munoz, Michael Jamieson, Judit Ignacio, Mercedes Peris, Claudia Dasca, Marina Garcia, Henrique Barbosa

Draft Programme

Australian Short Course Championships July 1 - 3

Feat. Libby Trickett, Brendan Rickard, Christian Sprenger,  Leisel Jones, Nick D'Arcy, Robert Hurley, Yolane Kukla, Marieke Guehrer, Eamon Sullivan, James Magnussen, Kylie Palmer,


Swedish Championships June 29 - July 3


Canada Cup June 30 - July 3

Live Webcast

Monday, 27 June 2011

Libby Trickett Gets Her Chance to Make Aussie 4 x 100 Free Relay Team

Things Australia do well: Cricket, Aussie Rules, Rugby League, Surfing, their version of Masterchef, coming up with a way to give Libby Trickett a chance to compete in Shanghai.

On June 29, two days before the Australian Short Course Championships begin, Libby Trickett will get the chance to qualify for the Australian 4 x 100 Free relay team. In a masterstroke from performance director Leigh Nugent he decided to leave the 6th spot on each relay team open, to be decided by time trial. Although the ruling was designed largely for Trickett, it should also help Australia by getting the in-form swimmers onto their relay teams.

The task will not be an easy one for Trickett as she faces competition from Cate and Bronte Campbell, Alice Mills, Melanie Schlanger and Marieke Guehrer.

To gain selection for the relay Trickett will need to a) win the race and b) finish faster than the 5th place finisher at nationals, a time of 54.99.

The times for the other relay spots are as follows: Men's 100 Free - 48.95, Men's 200 Free - 1:48.50, Women's 200 Free - 1:57.59

Laure Manaudou Comeback: Official

 After breaking her return to competitive swimming last week, it was only a matter of time before Laure Manaudou made it official. She is back.

Interestingly, she registered for drug testing 9 months ago so is free to compete right away. This should give her plenty of opportunities to get some racing practice under her belt before next year's Olympic trials.

Manaudou said that she had gained weight in her time out of the sport, however from the shots of her at the Open EDF it didn't look like it was still there.

Responding to the news, Federica Pellegrini stated that she was curious to see what levels her French rival could get to and that she would treat Manaudou's comeback with 'respect'. Manaudou has earnt that respect, given that she has 3 of the top 4 textile suit times in the 400 Free (3 of the top 5 if you include Pellegrini's 4:01.53 from 2008's European's).

Pellegrini's current coach, and former mentor to Manaudou, Phillippe Lucas believes that her return 'is a plus for everyone, for women's swimming, but also for swimming in general and for  French sport' and that she has 'very big potential in the 100 backstroke.'

Should Manaudou return to a high level (1:56 or 1:57) on the 200 Free, it leaves France with a pretty strong 4 x 200 Free relay. The team could look like Camille Muffat, Laure Manaudou, Coralie Balmy & Ophélie-Cyrielle Etienne. 16-year-old Charlotte Bonnet (1:59.10 this year) also looks like an intriguing prospect.

Update: This also just in from Pellegrini's twitter. (Best to assume the spelling mistake on Manaudou's name wasn't intentional).

(Translation: Hello friends, how are you? Sorry for writing little, but the workouts are intense. And now, Manadou is also back :-) Greetings to all!)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Caption Contest

Alain Bernard: "Ok, Ian.. run that by me again. On the last leg of a relay, you're saying it is possible to beat an American?" 

Friday, 24 June 2011

This Weekend's Racing

Hungarian Nationals (22-25 June)


TYR Fran Crippen Memorial Swim Meet of Champions (23-26 June)


5e. Open EDF de Natation (25-26 June)


(Not strictly this weekend but worth including...)

Scottish Nationals (30 June - 3 July)

Featuring many of the British (and Spanish) World Championships team. Watch out for Hannah Miley v Mireia Belmonte in the 400 IM.


5e Open EDF de Natation

WATCH LIVE (kind of. Sunday's finals are 'live' on Eurosport 2 from 16:15 -17:30 BST London time. That's a delay of 45 minutes)

The Open EDF, one of Europe's premier race meetings gets underway this weekend. Prestigious in its own right, this year has the added bonus of serving as a superb tune-up meet for Shanghai.

Races To Watch


Sprint Freestyle
Cesar Cielo v Fred Bousquet v Nathan Adrian (50m)
Cielo v Adrian v Fabien Gilot v Marco Di Carli (100m)

There is something about France and sprint Freestyle that goes well together. The meet organisers have pulled off a coup by attracting some of the top freestylers in the world. In both the 50 and 100 Free, 6 of the world's top 10 this year are competing.

Monday, 20 June 2011

British Squad announced for World Championships

Britain are sending a 40-strong squad to next month's World Championships in Shanghai. According to Performance Director Michael Scott, this is 'one of the most competitive British teams ever assembled'.

It is great to see a big squad going to Shanghai as well as a nice mix between youth and experience. It won't be impossible for those not selected to come straight into the team for London and do well, but it will surely help to get some senior international racing under your belt first. Nice to see Georgia Davies get selected for the 50 Back after blasting a 59.60 on the first 100 of her 200 Back. I wonder if they might put her on the Back leg of the medley relay heats.


Adam Brown - Hatfield/Auburn
Simon Burnett - Windsor
David Carry - British Gas ITC Stockport
Ross Davenport - British Gas ITC Loughborough
James Disney-May - Millfield
Daniel Fogg - British Gas ITC Loughborough
Kristopher Gilchrist - British Gas ITC Bath
James Goddard - British Gas ITC Stockport
Antony James - Plymouth Leander
Michael Jamieson - British Gas ITC Bath
Roberto Pavoni - British Gas ITC Loughborough
Robbie Renwick - City of Glasgow
Michael Rock - British Gas ITC Stockport
Joseph Roebuck - Loughborough University
Jak Scott - British Gas ITC Stirling
Liam Tancock - British Gas ITC Loughborough
Grant Turner - British Gas ITC Loughborough
Chris Walker-Hebborn - British Gas ITC Bath
Joshua Walsh - British Gas ITC Stirling
Andrew Willis - British Gas ITC Bath


Rebecca Adlington - Nova Centurion
Jazmin Carlin - British Gas ITC Swansea
Georgia Davies - British Gas ITC Swansea
Ellen Gandy - Beckenham
Francesca Halsall - British Gas ITC Loughborough
Kate Haywood - Loughborough University
Joanne Jackson - British Gas ITC Loughborough
Jemma Lowe - British Gas ITC Swansea
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor - British Gas ITC Bath
Caitlin McClatchey - Loughborough University
Hannah Miley - Garioch
Keri-Anne Payne - British Gas ITC Stockport
Stephanie Proud - Chester-Le-Street/University of Florida
Molly Renshaw - Derventio
Elizabeth Simmonds - British Gas ITC Loughborough
Amy Smith - Loughborough University
Gemma Spofforth - Portsmouth Northsea/University of Florida
Stacey Tadd - University of Bath
Rebecca Turner - City of Sheffield
Emma Wilkins - Plymouth Leander

Laure Manaudou Wins On Her Return To Competitive Swimming

Displaying all of that easy speed she was famed for before retiring, Laure Manaudou destroyed the field on her comeback to the sport. Admittedly she will come up against stronger fields than the one she faced in the 4 x 50m Relay in Carcassone, but a win is a win.

See the video below.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Poll Result: Which Men's Event Are You Most Looking Forward to in Shanghai?

The Blue Ribbons

100m Free (57 votes, 22%) - At first glance it is a surprise to see a non-Phelps/Lochte event at the top of the pile, however, history has proven over time that the 100 Free is truly swimming's blue ribbon event. Also one of the most open races we'll see in Shanghai with no clear favourite.
200m Free (50 votes, 19%) - The event I thought would end up on top. Swimming's Hollywood event.  Lochte v Phelps. Phelps v Biedermann. Agnel v Biedermann. USA v Russia. East v West. Youth v Experience.

The Hot List

200m Breast (27 votes, 10%) - Another surprise to see this event so high, but then it does have one of the sport's global superstars trying to hold off the challenge from his young Japanese compatriot, and an even younger German who could upset them all.
200m IM (27 votes, 10%) - One for the Phelps v Lochte fans. Also one for those on World Record watch. The turning point in this event... last year's US Nationals when Lochte beat Phelps.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Swimming at the 2012 Olympic Games - Day 5 Roundtable (Women's)

With the recent announcement of an unchanged Olympic Schedule for London 2012, what better time to go through some of the talking points. I sat down with two esteemed swim bloggers, Braden Keith of The Swimmers Circle(BK) and David Rieder of (DR) to hack, dig, crawl, and otherwise muddle our way through the Olympic Schedule.

Women's 100m Free
Which two Dutch women will earn the individual spots here? Might Coughlin's medal chances be better here than in her signature backstroke?

Braden Keith - I think whoever emerges as the Dutch National Champion will eventually win the Olympic gold, and at this point all signs point towards a battle of the 1990 babies in London: Hometown girl Fran Halsall and Ranomi Kromowidjojo. Kromowidjojo should be out a little bit faster, and I think she's going to carry that lead through the turn and into the final wall. She went a 53.44 last year for the top time in the world, and that was in a March meet after she missed most of the big long course meets following a summer battle with Meningitis. She'll definitely clear the textile WR of 53.30, and could have as low as a 52 in her. Halsall's second, with the UK having to rely on their backstrokers and IM'er to earn gold for the home crowd.

I think Coughlin's chances of winning a medal, if not making the team, are way better here than in the 100 back. The domestic and international backstroke competition has gotten absolutely brutal for her, whereas the freestyle is much more wide open. It should be a diverse final, with a good possibility that 7 or 8 different countries will be represented.

Belarus' Aleksandra Herasimenia is intriguing to me. She had limitless potential prior to a doping suspension back in the mid-2000's, but she's not back at the top of the world rankings. She was the runner-up at Euro's last year, only losing to Halsall. At the Olympics, she'll be able to really focus on two individual races (the 50 and 100 freestyle) without having to worry much about relays or the backstroke (at World Champs, she's a favorite in the 50 back). I think that she sneaks in for the bronze.

Prediction - 1) Kromowidjojo 2) Halsall 3) Herasimenia

Darkhorse: Yi Tang - Last year, the Chinese women had a top-8 swimmer in every Olympic event, except for the two sprint freestyles. I can't believe that's going to last very long, and at only 18, Yi Tang is already the best the country has. In 2010 alone, she won 7 medals at the Asian Games (5 gold), and went 6-for-6 at the Youth Olympic Games. She made her first Olympic appearance in front of her home crowd at 15, and her second could result in some huge fireworks.

This Weekend's Racing

Santa Clara Grand Prix


Live Video

Stream videos at Ustream

Feat. Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Park Tae-hwan, Peter VDK, Dana Vollmer, Stephanie Rice, Emily Seebohm, Ryan Napoleon, Ryan Cochrane, Nick D'Arcy, Conor Dwyer, Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, Missy Franklin, Meagan Nay, Ariana Kukors, Allison Schmitt, Katinka Hosszu

48. Trofeo Sette Colli (Rome)


Feat. Federica Pellegrini, Fran Halsall, Milorad Cavic, Dara Torres, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Therese Alshammar, Lotte Friis, Sophie Edington, Liam Tancock, Joanne Jackson, Silke Lippok, Cameron Van der Burgh, Roland Schoeman, Zsuzsanna Jakabos, Amaury Leveaux, Sebastiaan Verschuren.