ROME, July 29—Michael Phelps plans to provide quite a holiday treat to Baltimore-Washington swim fans this year. He said after winning the 200-meter butterfly final Wednesday night that he intends to compete in some local meets in 25-yard pools just to “see how fast I can go.”
Already tentatively on his calendar is the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) Christmas Meet, which takes place Dec. 12-14 at the Naval Academy.
“I have some things I’d like to do in short-course yards,” said Phelps, who has rarely swum short-course events of any kind. He is now a part-owner of NBAC
Phelps’s coach Bob Bowman said Phelps also had been planning on swimming two short-course world cup events in Stockholm and Berlin in November, but might reconsider because of projected delays in putting a ban on long-length, non-textile suits into effect.
Bowman, the chief executive at NBAC, said Tuesday night he would advise Phelps to sit out international competition until the new rules were in place. The sport’s world governing body, FINA, said Tuesday it might not be able to put a ban on long-length, non-textile swimsuits into effect until May 2010.
“I’m selfishly thinking about what I’m going to do with another season of these suits in age-group meets,” Bowman said, “when I have to go back and I have to tell people we should wear jammers, textile jammers, for our team so we can get ready for what’s coming. [And then someone says] ‘Well, the team next next door, this kid’s wearing a Jaked.’”
Meantime, USA Swimming said it intends to participate in an international meet in December that enforces its own high-tech swimsuit ban, and will consider banning suits for domestic meets if FINA does not have a suit ban in place by January.
The United States will compete in a four-nation meet with France, Russia and Britain that is expected to allow only short suits whose fabrics date from 2007 (think Speedo FS-Pro), USA Swimming National Team Director Mark Schubert said Wednesday morning. The meet will take place Dec. 19-20 in Manchester, England.
“Those four countries will make up our own rules,” Schubert said. “We’re going to have a meeting in two days to finalize those discussions, but we’re going to be using all-textile suits.”
USA Swimming President Jim Wood said by phone from New Jersey that the national governing body’s house of delegates could pass legislation at its next meeting September 19 in Chicago to enact an immediate suit ban at all USA Swimming sanctioned events, from the age-group to elite level.
DeScenza Stuns in the 200 Butterfly
Mary DeScenza’s jaw dropped as she stared at the scoreboard. She didn’t even know what the world record was in the 200-meter fly and yet she had just broken it. In a preliminary swim at the swimming world championships. By dropping nearly three seconds off of her best time in the event.
Descenza, an Illinois native and 2007 graduate of the University of Georgia, has never won an individual medal in a long-course world championship meet and never made an Olympic team, touched the wall in 2 minutes 4.14 seconds. She topped the previous mark of 2:04.18 set by China’s Liu Zige.
Descenza’s world record was the 16th of the meet and the first broken in the morning.
Descenza, a Tyr-sponsored athlete, switched to the acclaimed Jaked speedsuit, but attempted to be discreet about the switch. She blacked out the Jaked label, then tucked her swim cap underneath the suit so it hung over the label as she addressed reporters Wednesday.
“Oh my God, I didn’t even think I was going that fast,” said Descenza, who finished second in the night’s semifinals with a time of 2:04.33. “It was a very big surprise, an awesome surprise … Moments like this here are the ones I live for.”
Pelton Wins 50 Back Heat, Doesn’t Advance
Despite winning her heat in the 50 backstroke in 28.86 seconds, Towson’s Elizabeth Pelton failed to advance to the semifinals. She posted the 22nd-best time overall.
“I’m kind of mad I didn’t make it back,” Pelton said. “It’s a 50; it’d be fun to swim again tonight. But no big [deal].”
Pelton has the 200 back and 4×100 medley relay left. Pelton said she expects to swim in the preliminaries of the relay.
The U.S. team got four medals Wednesday: Phelps’s gold in the 200 fly; a bronze in the 50 breast by Mark Gangloff; and a silver and gold in the women’s 200 free by Allison Schmitt and Dana Vollmer, respectively.