Small country is no hurdle to big feat, says Moravcova
Martina Moravcova came a long way from small town Piestany in her native Slovakia to making her mark on the international swimming stage for no less than 16 years.
Addressing a 380-strong audience at the Aspire Zone's swimming pool on December 4, 2014 where the FINA / Doha 2014 Youth programme is taking place, the FINA Athletes Commission member delivered an important message to the young swimmers and their coaches, representing more than 130 countries.
Doha 2014, Day 3: Five WR in glorious evening for Hungary
After skipping the heats of the 400m free in the morning, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) was the protagonist of the third day of the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Doha (QAT). The FINA Best Female Swimmer of 2014 strategically decided to be in top shape for her two evening finals, the 200m backstroke and the 100m IM and the choice paid off: in both events, the Magyar great established new World Records! In the backstroke race, she clocked 1:59.23 (improving Missy Franklin’s WR of 2:00.03 from 2011) and became the first woman to swim under the two-minute mark; in the medley event, she touched home in 56.70, bettering her own best time of 56.86 from the Swimming World Cup action last September. After setting also a global best mark in the 100m backstroke on Day 2, Hosszu has now three gold medals and three WR, plus two silver medals in the 200m butterfly and 400m IM.
But the Hungarian saga in this third night continued with her compatriots Daniel Gyurta and Peter Bernek. In the men’s 200m breaststroke, Gyurta controlled the race and got the gold in 2:01.49, while Bernek dominated the men’s 400m free, with a victory in 3:34.32, a new Championships record (CR), the oldest one in the charts (the best previous mark of the competition had been established by Australia’s Grant Hackett in 1999, in a time of 3:35.01).
Greg Louganis . . . on the childhood skillset which turned him into an Olympic icon
Greg Louganis remains an icon of aquatics even though he dived to win his last Olympic gold medal back in 1988, despite famously hitting his head on the springboard in the preliminaries. Now 54, Louganis won his first Olympic medal at 16 in Montreal then, eight years later in Los Angeles, became the first man in 56 years to win two diving golds at the same Games.
Winning two more golds in Seoul secured his status in the sport in which he remains involved as a diving referee and a mentor for young competitors. Louganis was invited to attend the FINA World Aquatics Convention but could not be present in Doha. He reviewed both his career and remarkable life for AIPS Young Reporters via a Skype interview.
Kenya's young sensation sets her sights on Kazan
At just 16, Emily Muteti is the latest Kenyan swimming sensation, after the famous Dunford brothers, David and Jason.
Muteti, a student at the Visa Oshwal Academy in Mombasa in the Kenyan coastal strip, is targeting at least one final when the world gathers for the long course swimming championships in Kazan, Russia, next summer. Voted the most promising personality at the Kenyan Sports Personality of the Year awards last December, Muteti believes she has what it takes to put the East African country on the swimming map.
Doha 2014, Day 2: Brazil rejoices, Hosszu gets WR consolation
The satisfaction of Katinka Hosszu (HUN) and of her coach at the end of the women’s 100m backstroke is the image of Day 2 at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), taking place in Doha (QAT) until December 7. After an initial day where she lost two races (200m butterfly and 400m IM) to Mireia Belmonte (ESP), the Magyar swam with all her energy for the gold in the backstroke event, highlighting her effort with a new World Record of 55.03 – Hosszu swam 0.20 faster than Shiho Sakai (JPN, 55.23) in 2009. When looking at the scoreboard, the FINA Best Female Swimmer of 2014, strongly beat the water, and screamed her joy, meaning to whoever doubted on her shape that she is one of the swimmers to beat in the Qatari capital.
But this consolation was not enough to win the third direct duel with Mireia Belmonte, this time in the 800m free. The Magyar champion looked tired throughout the final, and Belmonte, WR holder since 2013 in 7:59.34 easily managed to control operations: she got her third gold in Doha, winning in a new Championships record of 8:03.41 (almost five seconds faster than the 8:08.25 clocked in 2008 by Rebecca Adlington, from Great Britain). Hosszu was fifth (8:20.71) of the fastest heat and ninth in the overall ranking of the event.
Korotyshkin already resigned to a record farewell
Russia's swimming veteran Evgeny Korotyshkin will be the least surprised rival if Chad Le Clos of South Africa not only beats him in Doha but deprives him of his world record in the men's 100m butterfly as well.
In the semi-finals at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Olympic champion Le Clos won his semi-finalin 49.25 ahead of Australia's Tommaso D'Orsogna (49.69) and third American Tom Shields (49.91).
Lochte out of luck as passion drives Le Clos to glory
The smiles and wide grins dissolved into a tearful medal ceremony as the South African National anthem rang out for newly-crowned FINA Male Swimmer of the year Chad le Clos at the Hamad Aquatic Centre in Doha. Le Clos had just won gold in the 200m freestyle on his international competitive debut at the distance.
He tapped the wall first in 1:41.45, beating defending champion Ryan Lochte of the United States who finished third in 1:42,09, with Russian Danila Izotov narrowly second in 1:41.67.
Doha 2014, Day 1: Belmonte, 2 – Hosszu, 0
The 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), staged in Doha (QAT) from December 3-7, 2014 couldn’t have started in a better way: after the initial day, three World Records and six Championships records were already established, with some races having unpredictable outcomes.
The hero of the inaugural evening session was undoubtedly Mireia Belmonte (ESP), winning the women’s 200m butterfly and the 400m IM in outstanding WRs of 1:59.61 and 4:19.86 respectively. And in both occasions, she defeated Katinka Hosszu (HUN), the dominator of the 2014 season in short-course pool. Chad Le Clos (RSA) won the men’s 200m free duel against Ryan Lochte (USA), France was first in the men’s 4x100m free, while the Netherlands totally dominated the women’s 4x200m free in a new global best mark of 7:32.85.
Hangzhou of China welcomes the world for 2018
Almost to tears, Luo Xuejuan, the 2004 Olympic gold medallist in the 100m breaststroke, was too excited when she witnessed her hometown Hangzhou, China win the bid of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and the FINA World Aquatics Convention in 2018, beating Lima (PER) and UAE.
"When I was an athlete, my dream was to compete in major international swimming events in China. I'm really proud of my hometown and I'll strive for promoting this championships," Luo, who acted as an ambassador for the successful bid, said.
Perfectionist Hosszu is aiming even higher
Katinka Hosszu has been on a winning track for the whole season. Now she is closing up 2014 with 10 individual starts in the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) here. "Ten golds is a lot but it is the ultimate goal," she told AIPS.
Before diving into the championships this week the 'Iron Lady' Hosszu was hailed as FINA World Female Swimmer of the Year with South African Chad Le Clos taking the men's award.
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