Montreal 2014: 1996 Olympic champion Claudia Poll still looking strong
Costa Rican swimmer Claudia Poll is one of the few Olympic champions to have made the trip to Montreal for the 15th FINA World Masters Championships. At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Poll won the country's only gold medal, in the 200m freestyle. Two years later in Perth, she was crowned World champion in the same event. She has tallied a total three Olympic and four World championships medals.
At 42, the standout, 1m91-tall swimmer is still an ever-looming threat in the distance freestyle and IM events. The Olympian and multiple national record holder is attending her third straight Masters Worlds. In Gothenburg, Sweden in 2010, she finished first in the 200m IM and second in the 200m freestyle, and picked up another silver in the 200m IM in Riccione, Italy in 2012.
Montreal 2014: Gold rush for France's swimmer Nicolas Granger
Since his first participation at FINA World Masters Championships exactly 20 years ago, in Montreal in 1994, Frenchman Nicolas Granger had but one idea in mind: to come back. The 47-year-old Masters swimmer, who has broken a total 21 World records, pocketed two titles today, August 4, at the Parc Jean-Drapeau pool, the 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke, and is clearly on track for more medals this week.
You can tell from the first look that Granger is no stranger to racing. In the line-up for the 100m breaststroke, the man stayed focused despite the surrounding hurly-burly, relaxing his long arms, his mind set on a clear goal: win this race. And so he made it happen, obliterating the field to post a remarkable 1:06.66, rattling Vladimir Pylypchenko's world record of 1:06.35, and claiming his 21st Masters world title to date.
Final countdown in Kazan (RUS)
Things are getting ready in Kazan (RUS) to welcome the participants for the first edition of the FINA High Diving World Cup, taking place on August 8-10, 2014.
One year after the successful staging of this new FINA discipline at the World Championships in Barcelona (ESP), a temporary tower is near completion on the Kazanka River, which will be used for the 2015 FINA World Championships in the capital of Tatarstan, as well.
Masters Worlds gather a record 97 countries!
More than 3'000 athletes, coaches, officials and FINA family representatives gathered to the 1976 Olympic Park in Montreal, Canada for the opening ceremony of the 15th and last stand-alone FINA World Masters Championships on August 2, 2014 for a memorable celebration of the Masters movement.
While Swimming events start today, August 3 at the Parc Jean-Drapeau, this edition proves already a success, with a record 97 member federation taking part in the 14-day event!
Helsinki 2014: Japan breaks Russia’s dominance in Combination final
Japan broke Russia’s dominance sweeping all four gold medals three times consecutively at the FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships in Helsinki. The ten-member Japan team won the spectacular and lively free combination final, full of youthful joy, scoring 90.4 points as the last team out. The Russians, who had performed just before stayed on 90.3 points - the deciding margin a mere 0.1 points.
There were a lot of Japanese tears and laughs to be seen around the podium and a triumphal piece of collective joy as the girls grabbed head coach Risako Takita below the podium and threw her in the pool.
Montreal 2014, Water Polo: "We are here for the camaraderie and love of the game!"
Today August 2 successfully concluded the men's and women's water polo competitions at the 15th FINA World Masters Championships, where a total 950 players, representing 15 countries and more than 60 clubs, took part. It was a hot Saturday afternoon at the Parc Jean-Drapeau's aquatic complex with enthusiastic cheering from the crowds in the stands as finals for men and women were underway.
After an intense bronze-medal match in the men's 50+ age group, which they won, James Bates and Eugene Dafoe from the Kaos club (USA) shared their impressions, still panting: "That's the best we've done here," said Dafoe. Does that mean we get better with age? "I guess so!" they both replied, laughing.
Helsinki 2014: Japanese duo close to upend top favourite Russia
Perennial favourite Russia added two more to its multitude of titles in juniors’ synchro swimming (15 to 18 years), but it won Saturday’s first event at the 14th FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships in Helsinki, Finland, the duet only with a very slight margin ahead of Japan. Two 17-year-old twins from Moscow, Anastasia and Daria Bayandina edged out Japan’s duo of Kano Omata and Asuka Tasaki by a hair’s breadth, 0.13 points.
Russia later took the team event title with the Bayandina sisters picking up a second gold medal for the day, while Omata and Tasaki added silvers of their own.
MSWC 2014: Meyer (USA) and Cunha (BRA) dominate Magog race
Alex Meyer (USA), 2010 world champion in the 25km event, won a hard-fought race in Lac Magog, Canada on August 1, the fifth stop of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2014.
In the last meters, a strong pack of more than a dozen swimmers was heading for the finish line. 18 out of 25 swimmers touched home within the same minute. A photo finish decided the winner and it was Meyer, who edged German veteran Thomas Lurz by 27 hundredths of a second, clocking 1h55m10s63. Brazil's Allan do Carmo took third in 1h55m12s94.
Heading to Kazan: a closer look at DDs
With the development of high diving, FINA officially adopted at the beginning of 2014 the list of Degrees of Difficulty (DD) for this discipline. As in pool diving, it establishes all the possible combinations from the 27m board for men and 20m for women. To each kind of dive and position a DD is given and this coefficient will then be taken into account when calculating the scores of the divers. Going through the list, it is easy to understand the wider variety of combinations that high diving allows compared with pool diving, where a DD over 4.0 is already considered of extreme difficulty.
In high diving, things start to be complicated with a Degree of Difficulty over 6.0, with a theoretical maximum at 7.0 for a reverse 5 somersaults, piked. Taking into account that a high dive takes many months to prepare and stabilise, the strategy behind the choices of DD (as in pool diving) remains at the heart of the performance’s success.
Montreal 2014, Synchro: Olympian Paola Tirados makes joyful debut at Masters
Six years ago, she was claiming Spain's first Olympic silverware at the Beijing Games in the team event. Today, world-class synchro swimmer Paola Tirados also climbed the podium for a second-place finish in the solo at the 15th FINA World Masters Championships in Montreal, Canada, and that medal tasted no less sweeter.
The three-time Olympian from 2000, 2004 and 2008, whose remarkable tally include nine world medals (six silver and 3 bronze), retired in 2009, before the FINA World Championships in Rome, and never dipped a toe in a pool again... until three weeks ago.
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