Discover Masters World: Bernice Orwig (USA)
2000 Sydney Olympics. Women’s water polo is played for the first time at the Olympic Games. Atop the podium stands Australia, second is the USA and third Russia. American silver-medallist Bernice Orwig was among those to write the first page of water polo Olympic history.
Ten years later, we meet her at the FINA Masters World Championships in Boras (SWE, for water polo only), where she takes some time to talk about her fantastic Olympic experience and how her passion for the sport has continued to exist since.
Discover Masters World: Lori Crawford & Penny De Meules (USA)
“I learned to swim on the Internet”
Five years ago, Lori Crawford did not know how to swim. Today she is 33 and is competing in synchronised swimming at a World Masters championship for the second time! How did she go from zero swimming skills to performing synchro routines? Here is the story.
It all started with a free gym membership. Where Lori used to live at the time there was a gym with a pool. One day, she decides to take it to the water and soon realise that she does not know how to swim. “Ok, I have to fix this,” she tells herself.
Discover Masters World: Olga Larissa Vargas (MEX)
Two months ago, Olga Vargas from Mexico did not know whether she would be able to compete at the FINA Masters World championships or not. Like some others, the economical aspect almost jeopardised her Masters participation. Today, the 30-year-old leaves with happy memories from Gothenburg having bagged two gold medals, one in Solo and another in Duet, with swimming partner and long-time friend Nara Lorena Falcon.
Background: an early start
As a matter of fact, Olga’s success finds its roots in a former elite career, which stretches from 1997 to 2004. Before getting started with synchro at 11, Olga had already six years of gymnastics under her belt!
YOG Singapore 2010, Day 11: Aquatics programme closes with last gold for China in diving
China closed the Aquatics programme of these Youth Olympic Games with the gold of Bo Qiu in the men’s 10m platform. If we consider Swimming and Diving (the only FINA disciplines represented in the competition), it was China’s 15th gold, after earning 11 titles in the pool (out of 34 races at the Singapore Sports School) and all the four events contested in Diving (at the Toa Payoh Swimming Complex). Following his triumph in the men’s 3m springboard (China brought the same athletes for the 3m springboard and 10m platform: among men, Bo Qiu, and in the women’s field, Jiao Liu, also victorious on two occasions), Qiu got an easy win in the 10m platform, concluding first with a total of 673.50. The final was marked by a 20-minute break due to a malfunctioning in the lighting towers (between the fourth and fifth round of dives).
Discover Masters World: Lucia Molnarova & Veronika Strapekova (SVK)
One of these 13th FINA Masters World Championships’ latest sensations was revealed with Slovakia making its first appearance in the Team and Combination events at world level. Overall, the Slovakian ‘mermaids’ proved themselves tremendous performers, picking up three golds in Solo (swum by Lucia Molnarova), Team and Combination and one silver medal in Duet (swum by Lucia and Veronika Strapekova) in Gothenburg (SWE).
Lucia, 26, and Veronika, 32, who both swim for the Iuventa Bratislava in Slovakia, explain what lies behind their success: “Some teammates have swum at very high level”, says Veronika, who represented Slovakia at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. As to Lucia, she swam at Open level until 2006.
YOG Singapore 2010, Day 10: Rain is no pain for unstoppable Jiao Liu (CHN)
It was theoretically not an easy final for Jiao Liu. The Chinese star had won the 10m platform in Day 1 of the diving programme at the Toa Payoh Swimming Complex of these Youth Olympic Games, and surely wanted to demonstrate that she was the best female diver of the competition by triumphing also in the 3m springboard. Then, came the natural elements, a pouring rain during the final’s time, which is always something that disturbs in a variable extent the athletes. Finally, Liu was under the direct scrutiny of her compatriot and best female diver of history, China’s Jingjing Guo, witnessing the competition from the stands.
Discover Masters World: Mayumi Ochiai (JPN)
Finding a pool nearby in Japan is quite a challenge and Mayumi Ochiai is a case in point. Living in the crowded centre of Tokyo, the 28-year-old takes half an hour in her car to get to the pool where she practices synchronised swimming twice a week, between two and four hours, with her coach.
But distance is no obstacle for Mayumi, who came all the way to Gothenburg (SWE) to compete and enjoy her third World Masters experience, after Stanford (USA) in 2006 and Perth (AUS) in 2008.
Women's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 6: USA adds FINA World Cup to World and World League crowns
The United States of America won an incredible game of women’s water polo to secure the FINA World Cup for the first time since 1979 at the QEII Park complex in Christchurch today. The incredible part is that Group B winner Australia, defending its crown won in Tianjin, China, four years ago, went 6-0 down by halftime, stunning the packed arena.
The USA scored three goals in each of the two quarters and totally stymied Australia’s attack. It was a sublime effort by the team that now adds the World Cup to last year’s World title won in Rome and the World League title retained in La Jolla, California last month.
Women's Water Polo World Cup 2010, Day 5: Australia to defend FINA World Cup crown against world champion USA
Australia will defend its FINA Women's Water Polo World Cup crown against the United States of America at the QEII Park Pool in Christchurch tomorrow. Australia survived a late onslaught by Russia, twice having three-goal leads trimmed to one, to win 11-10.
In the other semifinal, the World and World League champion USA beat China 10-8 to set up yet another face-off between the two best teams currently on the planet. The USA won the FINA World League Super Finals gold-medal clash in a penalty-shootout win over the Aussie Stingers in July.
YOG Singapore 2010, Day 9: Bo Qiu earns second gold for China, Tom Daley (GBR) finishes ninth
The second event of the diving programme of the Youth Olympic Games – the men’s 3m springboard – created an enormous expectation from the moment it was announced that Tom Daley, from Great Britain, would be one of the participating athletes. Daley, 16, and 2009 world champion in 10m platform, has an injury in the right triceps muscle and decided to skip his pet event, favouring a less-demanding (from a physical point of view) 3m springboard. Adding to this last-minute change, Bo Qiu (from China), silver medallist behind Daley in the Italian capital, was also in the list of 15 boys contesting the preliminaries of the event.
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