Monday, 31 October 2011

Ian Thorpe's Return Imminent: 5 Things to Watch & Predictions

Australian legend Ian Thorpe will return to the competition pool on Friday for the first time since 2006. Choosing to swim the 100m Fly and 100m IM, Thorpe will give us just 25 tantalising metres to judge his Freestyle in Singapore.

5 Things to Watch Out For

1) New Freestyle technique - Watch out for a new technique with higher elbows and increased hip rotation.
2) Butterfly speed - Geoff Huegill is nervous about racing Thorpe in the 100 Fly, highlighting Gennadi Touretski's love of training his swimmers with an emphasis on butterfly.  For more, read David Rieder's article.
3) Physique - Thorpe has never had a typical swimmers physique and always had a big frame, not that you could ever see it in his black suit. In Singapore we will see what kind of physical shape Thorpe is in.
4) Technical aspects - Potentially the X Factor that will determine if his comeback will be a success. The world has moved on since 2006 on starts, turns and underwaters. Thorpe will need to catch up quickly to be competitive on the biggest stage.
5) Mentality - Thorpe fell out of love with swimming but has recently spoke of his love for the sport returning. Touretski wants him swimming with freedom in Singapore, so look for Thorpe to be enjoying racing again.


100m Fly - 51.95
100m IM - 53.50

Heats starts at 9am Singapore time (1am London time). Finals begin at 5:30pm Singapore time (9:30am London time).

Live Video Here or Here
Start Lists & Results

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

British Stars Get Their Season Underway

A group of top British swimmers got their Olympic seasons underway in a low-key manner at last weekend's Lincoln Vulcans Open Meet (long course metres). Despite being in heavy training, Elizabeth Simmonds and Fran Halsall managed to put together a world class duel in the 100m Backstroke.

Notable performances

Elizabeth Simmonds - 100m Back - 1:00.70 (split 29.61)
Francesca Halsall - 100m Back - 1:01.15 (split 29.76)
Francesca Halsall - 50m Free - 25.13
Francesca Halsall - 100m Fly - 59.63
Liam Tancock - 100m Breast - 1:04.18 (split 30.25)
Rebecca Adlington - 200m IM - 2:18.70
Rebecca Adlington - 200m Back - 2:15.71
Jo Jackson - 100m Free - 56.51

Full results

Monday, 17 October 2011

Cesar Cielo 47.84 100m Freestyle, 47.07 Relay Split (With Video)

Apparently 2011 still has more fast long course swimming to offer. At the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Cesar Cielo posted a smoking 47.84 in the 100m Freestyle. If the time looks familiar it is because Cielo equalled Pieter Van den Hoogenband's previous long standing world record (and former textile best time).

Cielo remains 0.35 seconds shy of James Magnussen's 47.49 relay lead-off leg from Shanghai, but his swim serves as a reminder that he will be a major force in London after a disappointing 4th place at the World Championships.

It seems like Magnussen's way of the racing the event (conserving energy on the first 50 and blowing past the competition on the 2nd 50m) has changed the way Cielo is swimming the race. In Shanghai Cielo went out in 22.63 and came back in 25.38. In Guadalajara he turned in 22.84 and came back in 25.00. It's a smart move from the Brazilian. Magnussen currently enjoys a mental edge over the competition, knowing that he can catch and pass the field. When you can see that you are catching and passing other swimmers it gives you a huge lift, a "second wind" if you like. Think of how many races you see seemingly unsurmountable leads overcome with a stunning last 50m split. If Cielo is able to limit the rate at which the Australian catches him, we're yet to see how it will affect Magnussen's sprint to the wall.

Cielo's relay split of 47.07 further highlights this new race pace. He turned in 22.54 (with the aid of a relay start this probably converts to a 23.0/23.1 from a flat start), before turning on the jets on the second 50m with a split of 24.53. If you watch the video below (starting at 7:25) you can clearly see Cielo increase his stroke rate and leg kick at 45m going into the wall, before going all-out on the second 50m. Reports coming out of Brazil are that Cielo is doing a lot more metres in his training than he did at Auburn. This seems to be paying off with his new found endurance on the second 50m of races.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

British Olympic Trials Ticketing Update

From British Swimming:

British Swimming has appointed leading ticket agency Ticketmaster as its new ticket vendor for the British Gas Swimming Championships 2012 (Selection Trials) and arranged new dates for people to buy tickets.
Preregistered customers can now buy tickets for the event from 10am on Tuesday 1 November. This is the start of an exclusive three day purchasing period for the 3-10 March competition that closes 10am on Friday 4 November. Tickets will then go on general release.
Following issues experienced with online and phone ticketing systems last week, British Swimming concluded that its original vendor was unable to provide the level of service required for this event.
Customers who have already purchased tickets for the event can be assured these tickets remain valid and will be delivered on time.
There are still tickets available for all sessions, no sessions have sold out and pre-registered customers will still have the first opportunity to purchase tickets.
Preregistered customers will be sent a unique passcode and link to the Ticketmaster website to purchase tickets and will also have the chance to buy over the phone, again quoting their passcode.

This Week In Swimming

FINA Swimming World Cup - Stockholm - Oct 15-16

Results & Start Lists

Live Video

Pan American Games - Guadalajara, Mexico - Oct 15-21

Results & Start Lists

British National County Team Championships - Ponds Forge, Sheffield - Oct 16

Division 1 - Results & Start Lists
Division 2 - Results & Start Lists

Lincoln Vulcan Open Meet - Ponds Forge, Sheffield - Oct 15

Start Lists

International Swimming Festival - Aachen - Oct 14-16

Start Lists

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Olympic Trials Ticket Website Crashes

The demand for British Swimming Olympic Trials tickets has caused TheTicketSellers website to go down.

Frustratingly you could select your seats, but when it came to going to the Checkout page the website timed out. The site should be back up later on today to try all over again. As always there are winners and losers:

Winners - Nobody

Losers - British Swimming, British Gas, The Ticket Sellers, Everybody else