Posts from ‘International’
Katie Ledecky earns 2013 FINA Athlete of the Year honor.
Katie Ledecky and Team USA rebounded from a 14-point deficit to win their sixth straight Duel in the Pool.
Bethesda-native Katie Ledecky finishes off the podium for the first time in her international career. Team USA trails Europe, 68-54, after the first night in Glasgow.
World records on the line at the 2013 Duel in the Pool.
Katie Ledecky, Matt McLean in Glasgow, Scotland for 2013 Duel in the Pool. Events begin Friday at 2 p.m. ET.
Date and location set for the 2014 Duel in the Pool between Team USA and the European all stars.
City overcomes concerns that arose from Japan’s 2011 nuclear plant disaster and beats out Istanbul and Madrid.
Andrew Seliskar earned his first gold medal on the final day of competition at the 2013 FINA junior world championships.
United States continues to pull away from the international field in the medal count with another impressive day at the 2013 FINA world junior championship.
Andrew Seliskar reset his own national age group record twice in the 200 IM on day two at the 2013 FINA world junior championships. Team USA claimed five more medals.
Kevin Cordes jumped early, handing gold to the French relay.
Missy Franklin joined the likes of Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Ian Thorpe and Kristin Otto on Sunday with a historic sixth gold medal at worlds.
Bethesda’s Katie Ledecky sets world record in 800-meter freestyle, wins fourth gold medal of world championshipsSaturday, August 3rd, 2013
Bethesda’s Katie Ledecky, 16, sets world mark in 800 freestyle for her fourth gold medal at world swimming championships in Barcelona.
Ryan Lochte picked up his second and third gold medal at worlds on Friday, his 13th and 14th of his illustrious swimming world championships career.
Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky, and the U.S. women defend 4×200 freestyle relay title at worlds. Watch the post-race interview here.
Teenagers Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky each pick up another gold on Thursday in Barcelona. Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen took down a world record in semifinals. [gallery]
Ryan Lochte returns to the top of the podium on day five at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona. James Magnussen reclaims sprint crown. Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin win gold.
Watch video footage of the women’s 200-meter freestyle (Franklin), men’s 200 butterfly (Le Clos), 50 breaststroke (Van Der Burgh), and 800 freestyle (Yang).
Missy Franklin, Chad Le Clos, Cameron Van Der Burgh, and Sun Yang took home gold on day 4 in Barcelona. Watch their post-race interviews here.
Missy Franklin won her third gold in four days to lead Team USA on another successful day at worlds. Michael McBroom earned silver in 800 free.
[GALLERY] Missy Franklin continues her quest to stay perfect in Barcelona. South Africa dominates on day four.
Full video of Katie Ledecky’s 1,500-meter freestyle world record.
Bethesda teen Katie Ledecky shatters world record in 1,500 meters to take gold at world championships.
Katie Ledecky takes down world mark in 1,500-meter freestyle. Missy Franklin, Matt Grevers add to U.S. gold medal haul on day three of 2013 FINA world championships.
[GALLERY] Katie Ledecky, Missy Franklin, and Matt Grevers each took home gold for the U.S. on day three at the 2013 FINA world swimming championships.
On hand in Barcelona for the 2013 FINA world championships, Phelps says he doesn’t know what the future holds.
No gold medals for the United States on day two of the pool portion of the 2013 FINA world championships. Katie Ledecky, Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, and Matt Grevers advance. [Gallery inside]
Team USA is off to a strong start to the 2013 FINA world championship games in Barcelona. [Gallery inside]
No swimmer has won eight gold medals at a world championships — not even Phelps. Beginning Sunday, Missy Franklin takes her shot at history in Barcelona.
As the post-Phelps era kicks off this week in Barcelona, questions remain as to whether the 18-time gold medalist will return for one last push in 2016.
The pool events begin on Sunday night. Find all the information you need to catch the action from Barcelona within.
Teenage superstars Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky poised for big showing at swimming worlds.
The 2013 FINA swimming world championships begin on Saturday in Barcelona.
FINA officials met to discuss water temperature standards nearly three years after the death of U.S. swimmer Fran Crippen.
Machine Aquatics’ Jack Conger blasts field in 200-meter backstroke for first gold at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
NCAP’s Katie Ledecky scratches 200 free at world championships. National team roster updated.
Swimming and gymnastics were promoted into top revenue-sharing group by the IOC joining track and field.
Ryan Lochte won two more medals on the final day of competition at the 2012 FINA Short-course World Championships in Istanbul. [Large gallery]
Ryan Lochte earns his second world record of the week at the 2012 FINA short-course world championships in Istanbul.
Matt McLean anchored the 4×200 freestyle relay for team USA on a dominant day two of the 2012 FINA Short-course World Championships.
Former U.S. Navy lieutenant wins Paralympic swimming gold a year after losing his site in Afghanistan.
Bradley Snyder, a former captain of the U.S. Naval Academy’s swim team who lost his sight in a blast in Afghanistan, never imagined he would be in this meet.
Conger earned an individual and relay gold on Saturday night at the 2012 Jr. Pan Pacific championship meet in Honolulu.
Jack Conger earned his second medal of the week in the 100 freestyle at the 2012 Jr. Pan Pacific championships.
Jack Conger blasts field at Jr. Pan Pacs for gold in a new national age group record.
Jack Conger, Sarah Haase, and Andrew Seliskar to represent PVS at the 2012 Jr. Pan Pacs in Hawaii. Meet begins Thursday, Aug 22.
Louis Vuitton ad featuring Michael Phelps brought the 18-time gold medalist under scrutiny for potentially violating an IOC rule.
Missy Franklin shows off her new Olympic rings.
American David Boudia looks like a beautiful gull plunging into the water as he wins gold in 10-meter platform diving.
Tunisian swimmer adds open-water gold medal to bronze won in the 1,500-meter pool event.
Tunisian Olympian wins in the pool and open water.
American marathon swimmer out-touched despite surge in final 50 meters.
Katie Ledecky was surprised by her gold-medal success, but her Bethesda family of high achievers believed in her all along.
In his final Olympic race, Michael Phelps helps U.S. medley relay win gold.
The most decorated athlete in Olympic history capped his illustrious career with one last riveting race and one final gold medal.
Bethesda’s Katie Ledecky, 15, pulled a stunner Friday, winning gold in the 800 meters and breaking Janet Evans’s 23-year-old American record.
Michael Phelps wins final individual gold on same day teenagers Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky do the same.
Reactions from fans at school Stone Ridge School watching the hometown swimmer Katie Ledecky in the Olympic final of the women’s 800 freestyle.
Results and summaries from day 7 of the action from the pool in London.
Ryan Lochte takes silver in the 200 IM and bronze in the 200 backstroke, but he doesn’t have the gold rush he expected.
American Rebecca Soni wins gold and repeats as Olympic champion in the 200-meter breaststroke.
The most decorated athlete in Olympic history added yet another gold medal to his career haul with his third straight gold in the 200-meter individual medley.
In his final Olympics, Michael Phelps has displayed his dedication as much as his talent.
Live updates from the pool in London: swimming, water polo, and diving.
Allison Schmitt’s stellar anchor leg overtakes Australians has Americans thinking big.
Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen win synchronized diving bronze for U.S.
Michael Phelps historic 19th medal brought high praise from even those at the very top.
Live updates from the action in the pool in London.
Michael Phelps can’t match Beijing, but he’s showing a refreshing human side in London — looking for Mom in the stands, finishing in places other than first.
Michael Phelps’ record 19th Olympic medal is a gold for anchoring the Americans’ 4×200 relay.
The Americans are determined to take a medal in London.
With two more medals Tuesday, Michael Phelps became the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.
Highlights from day 4 of the swimming competition from London.
After another disappointing day in the pool, Lochte needs to stop focusing on matching Phelps’s achievements in Beijing, and just win races.
American swimmers win two golds and two silvers after Ryan Lochte misses the podium early.
Don’t be fooled by Missy Franklin’s youthful demeanor; her fierce competitiveness landed her gold.
Missy Franklin, 17, wins her first gold medal; Ryan Lochte finishes a disappointing fourth.
Highlights from day 3 of competition from the London Aquatic Centre.
Lochte unable to hold lead for Americans during last leg of 4×100 freestyle. U.S. settles for silver.
Dana Vollmer, who failed to qualify for Beijing Games, set world mark in winning 100-meter butterfly gold.
Highlights from day 2 of Olympic swimming coverage: two world records set; Lochte, Franklin advance; USA water polo takes on Montenegro; USA relay chased down
Loss in 400 IM shows a diminished Michael Phelps still boosting the sport of swimming.
Ryan Lochte makes bold opening statement in effort to supplant Michael Phelps as king of the pool.
It was an surprising day one in London during the swimming finals. Read excerpts from The Post’s live blog from London.
Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte both advanced to tonight’s 400 IM final, but neither put on the show in prelims that many expected.
This year, things promise to be much more challenging right from the start for Michael Phelps, who has a showdown with Ryan Lochte on Saturday.
Missy Franklin heads to London dodging comparisons to Michael Phelps and seeking as many medals as he seeks: seven.
American Alex Meyer relishes the skill, stamina and fortitude required for the little-known Olympic sport of marathon swimming.
Swimsuit makers have long sought inspiration in the oceans, where evolution spent about 500 million years sculpting bodies shaped to cut through the water with the least drag or studded with features that increase speed.
Just 17, the swimming star soon could be the face of the U.S. Olympic team. She seems ready to handle it.
USA Swimming reveals 2012 U.S. Olympic roster.
Dara Torres, who has won a total of 12 swimming medals over five Olympic games, narrowly misses a spot on the 2012 U.S. team.
The U.S. swimmer drops 200-freestyle from his Olympics program.
Swimmer Michael Phelps has won 14 Olympic gold medals and is the face of his sport. The mental toughness he has shown in the pool is as important to his success as his prodigious talent. He will need every bit of that toughness as he enters his fifth Olympic Games this summer.
Still, mirroring the anarchy that seemingly ruled at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2009 world championships, swimmers are now shedding suits provided by their sponsors to wear apparel perceived to be faster. Teams are jockeying to make sure their athletes have the best suits available — no matter who is their official supplier.
Installation of the U.S. Olympic Trials pool began on Wednesday in Omaha, Neb.
Ryan Lochte made history this month as the first male to be featured on the cover of Vogue without a female model.
Attempting to make her sixth Olympic team at age 45, Dara Torres has had to combat the inexorable tolls of time.
Michael Phelps sat with coach Bob Bowman to answer questions at the United States Olympic Committee media summit Sunday in Dallas.
Norwegian Olympic medalist Alexander Dale Oen died Monday while training in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Promising young stars raise hopes in every four-year Olympic cycle, but rarely does one come along quite like Franklin.
Missy Franklin continued to shine in international competition, as did Ryan Lochte, who showed why he is the considered the best swimmer in the world, swimming unrested.
2011 Duel in the Pool: McLean and Ziegler set to compete for thirty-five member U.S. team against European All-StarsThursday, December 15th, 2011
The U.S. team has never lost in the event’s five-year history. Area stars Matt McLean and Kate Ziegler will be joined by Ryan Lochte, Natalie Coughlin, Missy Franklin and others against a fast group of forty-one brought by Europe.
When he was winning medals at the 2000 Olympics, Virginia swimmer Ed Moses (shown in 2004) measured success in record times and first place. Now, as he aims to make the 2012 Olympic squad, Moses measures his progress by different standards.
Fairfax native Amanda Kendall earned four gold medals at the 2011 Pan American, which took place October 15-22 and were held in Guadalajara, Mexico at the brand new Scotiabank Aquatics Center.
Ryan Lochte finishes as the undisputed star of the swimming world championships in Shanghai, hauling in five gold medals.
Not only is 16-year-old Missy Franklin the breakout swimmer for the United States, she’s also the top U.S. female competitor in the last major tune-up for the 2012 Summer Games in London.
With an overpowering anchor leg in the 800 free relay and a stellar performance in the 200 back on Friday, Ryan Lochte continued his remarkable run at the world championships.
Sixteen-year-old American Missy Franklin wins bronze in 50-meter backstroke, kickstarts 800-meter relay with blazing opening leg.
Ryan Lochte tops Michael Phelps for the second time at the world championships, posting a world record in the 200 IM.
Michael Phelps shows the will and late-race stamina that have been his trademark to claim the 200 fly gold medal 10 years after winning his first world championship.
Tuesday’s victory bolsters Ryan Lochte’s burgeoning reputation, hinting that he no longer is merely a capable rival for the world’s best swimmer, but perhaps a true challenger to that title.
Ending a streak of six straight gold medals in major events, the U.S. men put forward a disappointing third-place performance in 4 x 100-meter relay at the swimming world championships.
Ryan Lochte, not Olympic golden boy Michael Phelps, enters this week’s world swimming championships in Shanghai in peak form.
Michael Phelps’s performance this week at the Pan Pacific Championships has reflected his sporadic attention recently to his sport.
Ryan Lochte won a gold medal in the 200-meter individual medley, touching the wall in 1 minute 54.43 seconds, 0.33 seconds short of a world record time.
Only two U.S. women competed in Friday night’s 400-meter final at the Pan Pacific swimming Championships. But a total of four Americans had a huge stake in the outcome: A spot in next year’s world championship meet in Shanghai.
Just two weeks after a convincing victory in the 400-meter freestyle at the U.S. championships, Katie Hoff failed to advance to Friday’s final in the event at the Pan Pacific Championships when she was outraced to wall in her heat by Great Fall’s Kate Ziegler.
Though he’s focused on his current races at the Pan Pacific Championships, U.S. swimmer Jason Lezak is happy to talk about past accomplishments, including his relay-winning moment in Beijing.
UPDATED (8/20): Michael Phelps watched U.S. teammates Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary put up sizzling times in a preliminary heat of the 400-meter individual medley Thursday morning at the Pan Pacific Championships. For Phelps, there was no doubt. He knew he couldn’t beat either of them in his heat minutes later. Also, Rebecca Soni nearly sets a world record and Natalie Coughlin wins twice.
Michael Phelps easily wins his first final of the Pan Pacific Championships, but Ryan Lochte also dominates his first event and threatens to put a dent in Phelps’s reputation as early as Thursday night.
Several local swimmers competed this past weekend at the Irish Long Course National Championships in Dublin. Swimming as part of the NCSA All-Star team, which was selected based on athletes’ performances at the NCSA Junior National Championships in March, the six PVS attendees, Janet Hu (CUBU), Jack Conger (RMSC), Sarah Haase (RMSC), Elizabeth Pepper (RMSC), Chuck Katis (CUBU), and Nick Tremols (CUBU) all placed in the top ten in at least one event.
There were several notable events that took place across the country. Here are the best from the past week. Rebecca Soni sets a meet record in Switzerland. Rebecca Soni, a New Jersey native, set an impressive meet record at the Uster International meet held in Switzerland on the last day of January. Her time of [...]
The world swimming governing body (FINA) released a complete list of the 2010 allowable swimsuits Monday. The list of more than 250 suits does not include any from adidas (known for its speedy Hydrofoil), but Nike makes a return and Jaked and Blueseventy scored legal suits. Companies called Mad Wave and Way Funky also made the list.
As American Jessica Hardy capped a fabulous fall with a big payday (which might at least make a dent in her extraordinary legal fees), Michael Phelps lost for the second weekend in a row (and he even shaved this time).
If you are surprised about the fact that Peter Marshall has been tearing up the World Cup circuit, winning races week after week and setting occasional world records, you’re not the only one. So is he.
Most swimmers tried to take advantage of the new starting blocks with the sloped backs introduced at the World Cup meets last week, using their back legs to push off the elevated part to generate more power at the start. But there were a few notable exceptions — including Germany’s Paul Biedermann and Australian Leisel Jones. Both set world records.
There has been something different on the pool deck this World Cup season that might be providing an additional speed boost: the long-awaited new starting blocks with a sloped back, which officially debuted last week.
The highly anticipated Michael Phelps-Paul Biedermann meeting in the 200-meter freestyle in Berlin didn’t happen after all Sunday. Even if it had, it probably wouldn’t have been much of a race.
Michael Phelps made it to the 200-meter butterfly final in Berlin Saturday but couldn’t get to the medal stand at his second World Cup this week, as Germany’s Paul Biedermann obliterated another hallowed world record.
At this two-day FINA/Arena World Cup in Stockholm, Michael Phelps faced some – but not nearly all – of the world’s best swimmers. He finished with one silver (in a race he lost by more than two seconds), one bronze, an 11th, a 16th, and a 15th place that got wiped out by a disqualification.
Michael Phelps did it again. Wednesday morning’s failure was arguably more spectacular than Tuesday’s double debacle, and it offered increasingly compelling evidence that the sport’s controversial technical suits — at least for the moment — do make the swimmer.
Michael Phelps had the strangest thought as he walked out to the starting blocks for his third morning preliminary race at this FINA/Arena World Cup in Stockholm: He was performing so poorly, it was possible that he might not advance to the meet’s evening finals, something he hadn’t done in more than 10 years.
Wearing a short suit and not in top shape in his first major meet since this summer’s world championships, Michael Phelps knew it would be difficult to win races at the FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup in Stockholm. But he surely didn’t expect to get left out of the night’s finals. He earned a spot in only one of three events Tuesday morning.
More than three dozen kids from USA Swimming’s youth national team were looking to Olympic star Michael Phelps for mentorship even as he prepared for his first major competition since he won five gold medals at this summer’s world championships in Rome.
U.S. stars Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff and Ariana Kukors have decided to throw out their long, technical swimsuits before the items are officially banned in January. But will they do anything other than make a statement?
Five high school girls — one just out of eighth grade — will try to help Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and other U.S. veteran stars beat Great Britain, Italy and Germany in a made-for-television meet in Manchester, England. And Katie Hoff and Ariana Kukors will be there, too, donning short, 2010-model suits.
Jessica Hardy loudly announced her return to the sport this weekend. In her first international meet since serving a one-year suspension — and missing the 2008 Summer Games — for taking a contaminated supplement, she set a world record and won a trio of gold medals.
The suit rules unraveled, the competing countries changed, and small details continue to flummox organizers, but a USA-vs.-Europe meet slated for Dec. 18-19 in Manchester, England, will go on as scheduled — if not nearly as planned.
The world swimming governing body on Thursday put out a list of approved suits for the 2010 competitive season. Click here to see which suits made the cut, and which did not.
Will German sensation Paul Biedermann be a superstar next year, after the new suit rules have kicked in? What about Americans Ariana Kukors, Tyler Clary, David Walters and Eric Shanteau? Were their breakthrough seasons coincidental to the suit revolution, or spurred by it? What do you think?
Michael Phelps yanked himself out of the pool at Loyola College late last week and pronounced himself exhausted, hurting and, by his standards, out of shape.
But he wasn’t in too much pain to throw down a little challenge.
Austrian world-record holder Markus Rogan, who attended Mount Vernon High, decided to postpone his planned retirement from swimming this summer because he didn’t want to leave the sport shrouded in humiliation.
Australian coaching legend Forbes Carlile arrived in Washington Monday and opined on swimming’s leadership, suits, the Australian program and records as he prepared for a trip to the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, Michael Phelps’s training home.
USA Swimming is devoting unprecedented resources to its youth national team, but you won’t see a single U.S. swimmer in Singapore next August for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, a grand, global event designed to mimic the real Olympic Games for boys between ages 16-18 and girls 15-17.
Just weeks after adopting new rules designed to end the controversy over high-tech, full-body suits, the world swimming governing body (FINA) is having second thoughts and considering tinkering with its swimwear regulations as early as January, several U.S and international officials said.
When it was all over, when the last of the 43 world records had fallen at the Foro Italico during the eight-day swimming world championships, it was remarkable how little anybody actually learned. As swimmers in glossy polyurethane bodysuits obliterated virtually all of the sport’s records, times became meaningless, and achievements hazy and unclassifiable. This “will be remembered,” USA Swimming National Team Director Mark Schubert said, “as the plastic meet.”
Michael Phelps set another world record and won his fifth gold medal in the last event of the swimming world championships Sunday, swimming the butterfly leg for the U.S. 4×100 medley relay team that scored a dominant victory in 3 minutes 27.28 seconds. Earlier, Ryan Lochte hung on for victory in the 400-meter individual medley final on the last day of competition at the swimming world championships, giving him gold medals in both medleys. American Tyler Clary overtook Laszlo Cseh to get the silver.
Michael Phelps ran down Serbian Milorad Cavic from behind again, setting a world record in the 100-meter butterfly with his finish in 49.82 seconds at the swimming world championships. After the race, Phelps ripped off his cap and raised his arms with defiance. Cavic, who led after 50, also went under the world record he set Friday, touching the wall in 49.95.
Towson’s Elizabeth Pelton, 15, finished sixth in her first world-championship final, the 200-meter backstroke, hours after a huge disappointment, leading off a the U.S. 4×100 women’s squad that failed to advance to Saturday night’s final at the swimming world championships. In other news, Dara Torres changed suits and squeezed into Sunday’s 50 freestyle final; and Brazil’s Cesar Cielo added the men’s 50 free title to go with his world championship in the 100 free.
Michael Phelps earned his third world championship gold medal Friday night, but as far as days go, there have been plenty better. Phelps lost a lead-off leg and a world record, and was subjected to an unexpected verbal attack.
More rested, more motivated and more focused. Aaron Peirsol figured he might have been all of those for Friday’s 200-meter backstroke final after a miscalculation kept him out of the 100 backstroke earlier this week.
Peirsol didn’t merely go under the world record he set wearing the same swimsuit three weeks ago, he completely demolished it, finishing in 1 minute 51.92 seconds at the swimming world championships.
Serbian Milorad Cavic, who earlier this week claimed a timing error cost him a victory against Michael Phelps in last year’s photo-finish Olympic 100-meter butterfly, said he would buy Phelps a faster suit for Saturday’s 100 fly final if Phelps couldn’t get one for free.“I think in the media, it’s been portrayed that he has no options,” Cavic said after posting the fastest qualifying time in the 100 fly heats Friday morning. “He does. It’s a complete lie.”
UPDATE: As Michael Phelps watched from the stands, Ryan Lochte got a chance to shine in an event Phelps has dominated. Lochte didn’t merely win the gold in the 200-meter individual medley at the world championships in Rome, he broke Phelps’s world record, touching the wall in 1.54.10. Phelps’s record set at last year’s Olympics was 1:54.23.
After failing to qualify for the 100-meter backstroke final, Aaron Peirsol sailed through Thursday’s qualifying round of the 200 backstroke at the swimming world championships. In other news, Amanda Weir broke Natalie Coughlin’s American record in the 100 freestyle, Ariana Kukors swam fast again in the 4×200 relay heats and American Eric Shanteau topped all qualifiers in the 200 breast.
UPDATE: Michael Phelps rebounded from his shocking defeat in Tuesday’s 200 freestyle by beating his own world record in the 200 butterfly by almost half a second. Phelps touched the wall in 1 minute 51.51 seconds.
Michael Phelps surprised reporters when he said he plans to swim in some local, 25-yard meets this fall and winter, as USA Swimming official said they would consider banning long-length, non-textile suits at national competitions for all ages next year if FINA doesn’t act quickly enough. In other news, the U.S. team won four medals at the world swimming championships Wednesday night, hours after Mary DeScenza stunningly set her first world record.
Perhaps more than anything, German Paul Biedermann’s resounding defeat of Michael Phelps Tuesday in the 200-meter freestyle in 1 minute, 42.00 seconds — 0.89 under Phelps’s world record and 1.22 faster than Phelps — offered evidence that the sport’s controversial high-tech speedsuits haven’t really done anyone, least of all Biedermann, any favors.
Sally Jenkins on Michael Phelps vs. Paul Biedermann: Score one for laminates. The human got crushed. The nature of the confrontation was clear: Michael Phelps, the amphibious freak of nature, against the Arena X-Glide body suit, an artificial swim shell with a science fiction title worn by German Paul Biedermann. It was man against thermoplastic, basically a case of Phelps trying to swim faster than a guy wearing the hull of a spacecraft. We all know who won. The Suitmakers, of course.
After the world swimming governing body (FINA) said its promised ban on long-length swimsuits beginning in January of next year might not be implemented until April or May, Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps’s coach, said he would advise his star to refuse to swim until the ban is in place. In other news, two American women get medals in the 100 breast at the swimming world championships, and a British backstroker thrives in an old suit.
Michael Phelps posted the second-best time in the heats of the 200-meter butterfly (1 minute, 54.33 seconds) Tuesday morning, and then immediately turned his attention to that evening’s 200 freestyle final — his first individual final at the swimming world championships.
A mental error cost U.S. world-record holder Aaron Peirsol a spot in the final of the 100-meter backstroke at the world championships in Rome Monday night; later, Towson’s Elizabeth Pelton faltered after advancing to the semifinals of the women’s 100 back. Little-known U.S. swimmer Ariana Kukors, meantime, continued her incredible run, setting arguably the most remarkable of the five world records posted Monday.
With another unfathomable number of world records — five Monday night — falling at the swimming world championships, and surprises lurking in every heat, it was easy to be distracted from one of the most engrossing storylines here, one not to be missed: Michael Phelps is under assault. The man at the sport’s epicenter is feeling the heat from fast-charging men in superfast speedsuits, even in individual events he is accustomed to dominating.
On Monday morning at the U.S. swimming world championships, Michael Phelps announced he was giving up his experiment with a new freestyle stroke; Towson’s Elizabeth Pelton, 15, set a personal best in the 100 backstroke heats to advance to the semifinals; and another suit malfunction “exposed” backstroker Matt Grevers. But no world records were set. Meantime, Sunday night, Ryan Lochte left Phelps speechless with his choice of words.
On a night an astonishing six world records fell at the swimming world championships in Rome — unleashing the now-customary tirades against the high-tech suits believed to be behind them — the only final that did not produce a world record provided the biggest shock. The U.S. 4×100-meter freestyle relay team claimed an unlikely gold medal in 3 minutes, 9.21 seconds, coming from behind to, once again, beat the French.
After breaking Ian Thorpe’s hallowed 400-meter freestyle world record by .01 seconds at the world championships in Rome, Germany’s Paul Biederman credited his superfast Arena X-Glide suit for a gain of about two seconds in the race, then said the suits were destroying the sport. On the opening night of the championships at the Foro Italico as six world records were set, many agreed.
Michael Phelps’s quest for six gold medals at the world championships in Rome almost ended before the U.S. men’s relay squad even got in the pool for Sunday morning’s qualifying round. As Ricky Berens, scheduled to swim third for the U.S. morning squad, bent over on the pool deck for a drink of water moments before the race, his suit — a Jaked01 — split significantly in the back. U.S. anchor leg Cullen Jones urged Berens to forget the gaping hole and swim for the team. And he did.
FINA finally figured out the way to determine which of the controversial long-length, high-tech swimsuits to restrict. It banned every last one. On Friday, FINA’s member nations accepted a proposal to allow only waist-to-knee suits for men and shoulder-to-knee suits for women, beginning in competition next year.
USA Swimming will attempt to rally international support for an immediate ban on full-body, high-tech suits unless FINA in the next two weeks produces a solid plan for reining in the technology, USA Swimming President Jim Wood said Wednesday night.
Michael Phelps’s longtime coach Bob Bowman says the decision not to restrict high-tech swimsuits at the world championships will put Phelps and other athletes at a “disadvantage” against “people who just put on a polyurethane suit and call it progress.” Bowman said Phelps might alter his plans to swim the 100-meter free because of the decision.
The debate over when acceptable technological advancement crosses the line into inappropriate performance-enhancement grew fierce Monday when FINA, the world governing body of swimming, ruled that competitors at this summer’s world championships will face virtually no restrictions on controversial high-tech suits. Many blame the suits for an explosion of world records over the last 18 months and say they are nothing short of technological doping. FINA seems to agree, but the organization said the short time frame for studying the suits made it impossible to take action.
Great Falls’ Kate Ziegler, 20, lost four times to a former training partner in four races at the Mission Viejo Tyr Swim Meet of Champions this weekend. In her first competition since Beijing, Ziegler swam significantly slower than her personal bests in the 200, 400, 800 and 1,500 freestyle, finishing second in every one to Chloe Sutton, 17.