World Trophy 2009: Riding the wave of success to Montreal
Last December in Madrid, the world of synchronised swimming entered into a new era with the introduction of thematic routines at the FINA Synchronised Swimming World Trophy. These routines also allowed participants to perform using accessories and additional equipment – something not permitted at the World Championships or Olympics. This new creative dimension brought added-value to the show and helped seduce spectators, TV viewers and judges. From November 27-29, when the 4th FINA Synchronised Swimming World Trophy 2009 takes place in Montreal (CAN), the innovative trend of this competition will continue. Even more new concepts aimed at improving and promoting the artistic side of synchronised swimming will be introduced, with the aim of boosting the sport’s popularity overall.
Portrait of a Master: Mohamed Diop (SEN)
Mohamed Diop is not only a Masters enthusiast with an impressive amateur career behind him, but also a genuine swimming leader who diligently promotes the sport in Senegal. “I stopped my [amateur] swimming career in 1999 at 35 years of age at the time of the African Games in Johannesburg (RSA),” he recalls. “From that moment, I decided to continue swimming as a Master for two reasons. The first is because I adore the sport, and the second is because I have a tendency to gain weight if I do not regularly engage in sport.”
In reality, Diop’s affiliation with swimming extends much further. Currently he is not only President of the Fédération Sénégalaise de Natation et de Sauvetage, but also a Bureau Member of the Confederation Africaine de Natation Amateur. Also, his positive experiences with swimming have made him particularly interested in engaging young people to get involved.
Mexico prepares for FINA OWS GP in Sumidero Canyon
The promotion of open water swimming in Mexico is very important and in 2009 two international FINA events will be held in the country: a leg of the Open Water Swimming Grand Prix will take place at the Sumidero Canyon on April 18, and a stage of the Marathon Swimming World Cup will be held in Cancun on September 12.
The first open water international competition in Mexico for 2009 is the fourth date of the Grand Prix with a distance of 15km, which will double as the XX Sumidero Canyon Marathon.
Portrait of a Master: Beth Eldridge (USA)
National Masters swimming champion Beth Eldridge (USA) has a moving story to tell about how love and devotion to a sport can literally save your life. She recovered from extreme treatments for successive brain tumours without ceasing to practice, compete and coach swimming; a lifestyle choice she believes allowed her to overcome her illness.
Getting hooked on Masters
In 1992, immediately after Eldridge (USA) completed her college swimming career, she started coaching age-group kids in South Dakota. But it wasn’t long before she missed competing herself and started swimming in the open lanes at the age group meets. Eventually, when she heard about Masters swimming she started a team in Idaho in 1997. Two years later she competed at the national championships (50m) in Minneapolis in 1999 while completing a Graduate degree in Exercise Science.
FINA 10km MSWC 2009, Overview of Race 1 (Santos, BRA): Great season opener!
The first race of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2009, which was held in Santos (BRA) on January 24, has been hailed as a resounding success by organisers and in global open water swimming circles.
The competition doubled as the widely popular Maratona Aquatica Internacional de Santos / Travessia Renata Agondi and the event included festive amateur races in the distances of 1km, 2km and 4km in addition to the premier 10km. More than 1000 athletes participated in front of thousands of spectators.
Monterrey 2008: Sokolova (RUS), Knutson (USA) and Bell (NZL) most titled swimmers with three each
Eleven finals were contested in the last championships session. Italy’s Luca Dotto (1990) and Luca Leonardi (1991) went 1-2 in the men’s 100m freestyle final to clinch, respectively, the gold and the silver medal. Dotto won the title in 50.06 - a Championships record, 0.23 seconds faster than that set in the preliminaries by Orinoco Faamausuli - swimming from lane 1, while Leonardi’s second place, with 50.11 (his personal best) came from lane 4. Both swimmers come from Northern Italy, Dotto from near Padua, Leonardi from near Milan. For the bronze medal, Russia’s Oleg Tikhobaev (1990) had a swift final hand touch and conquered the bronze in 50.33, just 0.01 seconds ahead of Germany’s Dimitri Colupaev (1990).
Monterrey 2008, Day 5: 3rd individual gold for Sokolova (RUS) & Bell (NZL); Knutson (USA) wins 4th gold (2nd relay)
The most relevant news from the preliminaries on Day 5 of the 2nd FINA World Junior Swimming Championships taking place in Monterrey from July 8-13, 2008, concern Orinoco Faamausli, the New Zealand swimmer who on Day 4 dominated the 50m freestyle final. This morning he did not swim the 100m freestyle he wanted so much to win and that he would have probably have won seeing that he had set the Championships record in 50.29 swimming the lead-off leg of the 4x100m freestyle relay in the preliminaries of the first day of the Championships. Orinoco was compelled to scratch because of a stomach sickness overnight, which left him in frustration.
For the first time no Championships record was set in the preliminaries.
Monterrey 2008, Day 4: Russia joins USA at top of medals table with five gold; amazing win for Sokolova in women's 400 free
On Day 4 (July 11) of the 2nd FINA World Junior Swimming Championships being held in Monterrey (MEX) from July 8-13, 2008, Russia joined the USA at the top of the medal tally with five gold. As described below, Elena Sokolova (RUS) winning the 400m freestyle in an amazing time, was among the day's highlights.
Seven Championships records were set in the morning session. In the women’s 50m backstroke both the two fastest semi-finals qualifier, Elizabeth Pelton (USA, 1993) and Etiene Medeiros (BRA, 1991) swam under the previous mark, respectively in 29.18 and 29.29. Same thing in the men’s 50m butterfly for Ivan Lendjer (SRB, 1990) and Daniel Bell (NZL, 1990), who swam the distance in 24.12 and 24.17 respectively.
Monterrey 2008, Day 3: Bell rings 2nd bell : After winning the 100 back the Kiwi takes gold in the 100 fly
Italy’s Silvia Di Pietro (1993) was fastest in the women’s 50m butterfly preliminaries on Day 3 of the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Monterrey (MEX), with a time of 26.99. In the semi-finals, in spite of a slow start, she improved her mark to 26.83; the only swimmer to go under 27 seconds and obviously the fastest qualifying time. Both times were FINA World Championships records.
In the men’s 50m freestyle another Italian, Luca Leonardi (1991), posted the fastest time with 22.66, another Championships record. Curiously the 2nd , 3rd , 4th and 5th qualifiers were, respectively, the surprising Virdhawal Vikr Khade (IND, 1991, 22.69), Orinoco Faamausili (NZL, 1990, 22.71), Oleg Tikhobaev (RUS, 1990, 22.73) and Luca Dotto (ITA, 1990, 22.75). A heated final is easily predictable.
Monterrey 2008, Day 2: Izotov (RUS) And Ayoama (JPN) the best
July 9th meant another good day at the 2nd FINA World Junior Swimming Championships. Three Championships records – out of five events contested - were set already in the preliminaries: New Zealand’s Daniel Bell (1990), who is poised to win the 100m backstroke and will possibly end-up as one of the most prominent swimmers of the meet, was the fastest qualifier in the 100m butterfly with 53.73; Japan’s Natsuki Akiyama (1991) was on top of the women’s 200m butterfly ranks with 2:09.69, just 0.40 seconds faster than her compatriot Yui Miyamoto, who, before Akiyama, had also set a short lived Championships record, in a time of 2:10.09; Robert Bale (1990), of Great Britain topped the men’s 200m freestyle qualifiers with 1:50.23, ahead of yesterday’s 400m freestyle gold and silver medallists, respectively Danila Izotov (RUS, 1991) and Alex Di Giorgio (ITA, 1990).
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