6th European title for Sascha Klein - Russia tops medal table once more
Russia once again proved the best nation at the Arena European Diving Championships in Turin with three gold, five silver and two bronze medals in the altogether ten events, but was closely followed by Germany (3-3-2) and the host country, Italy (3-0-1). Russia also won the Team Trophy with 191 points ahead of Germany (175), Ukraine (138) and Italy (124).The four quota places for next year’s Olympic Games at stake in Turin went to Germany (2/men’s 3m and 10m), Italy (women’s 10m) and Sweden (women’s 3m).
Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape made the fans cheer again in the final event on Sunday, when the Italians won their third successive title in the women’s 3m synchro springboard practically with their last dive (320.40 points), defeating until then leading Russians Nadezda Bazhina-Svetlana Philippova (317.13 points). Germans Katja Dieckow-Uschi Freitag took bronze (295.90 points). Cagnotto said afterwards: "Naturally I'm happy, even though I failed to win the 3m springboard title, but I gained three medals again just like two years ago in Turin. The crowd here is just fantastic !"
Hausding retains 3m springboard title – Koltunova with second gold for Russia
Patrick Hausding, the “World Diver of the Year 2010”, retained the first of his two 2010 titles in the 3m springboard at the Arena European Diving Championships in Turin, Italy, on Thursday. In a close competition, the German won with 499.40 points ahead of the two Russians, Ilya Zakharov (493.85) and the new 1m European Champion Evgeny Kuznetsov (482.35). After the fifth round Hausding and Zakharov were still joint leaders.
“My first dive could have been a little better. But after everything went well. You simply have to put your best dives at the end”, said the German who had gained medals in all five competitions in Budapest 2010. Patrick Hausding also achieved the second quota place for the 2012 Olympic Games in London after Noemi Batki (ITA) had ensured the first one by winning the women’s 10m platform on Wednesday.
Kuznetsov snatches title from Kvasha – Italy rejoices
Ukrainian Illya Kvasha’s dominance of the 1m springboard event ended on the opening day of the Arena European Diving Championships in Turin, Italy, taking place from March 8-13. The 23-year-old was striving for his fourth successive title since 2008, but Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov snatched the primacy from him. The 20-year-old from Stavropol, who finished fourth in this competition in Budapest last year, received 427.05 points, Kvasha 419.65.
“A medal is not bad, but I’m a bit disappointed as I wanted to win my fourth title in a row. My second and third dives were the problem, when I didn’t perform perfectly”, commented the defeated champion. Kuznetsov admitted that he was sure of gold before his last dive: “There wasn’t much that could go wrong anymore.”
Kitajima gears up for Japan Nationals
Japan's swimming hero and breaststroke specialist Kosuke Kitajima is ready for the Japan long-course Nationals and the trials for the Shanghai FINA World Championships to be held at the Tokyo-Tatsumi International Swimming Center from April 5-10.
He is now in the USA and training well for the upcoming important trials. Kitajima did a good job last month on February 26 and 27 at the Japan s/c Nationals. His confidence to swim fast is back. He won all his breaststroke events, clocking 26.68 in the 50m, 57.34 in the 100m, and 2:02.95 in the 200m, setting new national records. In all, six national records, eight high school records and four junior high school records were established at the short-course Nationals.
Christchurch earthquake shakes QEII Stadium's future
New Zealand’s iconic QEII Stadium could become another victim of the horrific Christchurch earthquake. Shut since the February 22 quake, which devastated the city and left thousands of people homeless and a third of the central business district’s 1500 buildings destroyed or set for demolition, QEII’s future is uncertain.
All Christchurch’s sporting facilities have been closed and the newly erected Deans Stand at the city’s main rugby stadium in also under a cloud. The stadium is slated to host round matches, quarter-finals and a semifinal of this year’s Rugby World Cup.
QEII is close to the hearts of FINA folk since its emergence in the early 1970s as the athletics and swimming venue for the 1974 Commonwealth Games. Millions of people have flowed through the gates to the aquatic venue, which underwent a major rebuild in the early 2000s to host the FINA World Masters Championships in 2002.
Pellegrini confident after record-breaking performance
Italy's best swimming clubs were in Ostia (Roma) for the "coppa Brema" on March 5-6. Federica Pellegrini's club, "Aniene", won both team titles (men's and women's), repeating their 2010 double success. The meet was the year's first competitive event for Pellegrini, since the beginning of her French "adventure" with coach Philippe Lucas early February.
On the last day, a lightning illuminated the "coppa Brema"'s final: her name is Federica Pellegrini. The Italian swimming diva, in a brief appearance in Rome (in the same evening, she had returned from the race to Paris to resume training) was able to bring the winning support to her club "Aniene", thus not only reconfirming their 2010 double success, but also overturning Alessia Filippi's domination in the 400m freestyle.
Iran's National Academy and West Asia Development Swimming Center opened
On February 24, 2011, Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the National Academy and West Asia Development Swimming Center.
This complex contains two 50-meter swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor with warm water, a diving pool, a 25-meter warm-up indoor pool, ten saunas (steam and dry), ten jacuzzis, ten hydrotherapy swimming pools as well as a dormitory for 300 persons, a restaurant and meeting room for up to 400 persons. The complex was completed with US$20m only in ten months and it is a record-time in Iran.
Mr. President Ahmadinejad expressed his satisfaction in front of the I.R. Iran Swimming Federation and the sport family during the opening ceremony: "Every day we hear good news from Iran swimming and it is our pleasure."
Junior synchro team prepare for South American Championships
Coomeva Colombia junior synchronised swimming team, under the guidance of coach Paula Garcia, whose 10 synchro swimmers will represent Colombia at the South American Championships in Lima, Peru, from March 14-20.
Garcia said: "The training processes are being upgraded to organise and improve those routines that have a higher degree of difficulty. The training is five hours from Monday to Saturday, where it is intended that the athletes achieve their best performance for this important international competition."
The Coomeva Colombia junior Selection will compete in solo, duet, team and combination events. Brazil and Colombia are expected to be fighting for the first place.
Pellegrini: first month with Lucas
It has been a month since Federica Pelligrini’s first training in Paris under the guidance of Philippe Lucas and the Italian swimming diva appears more and more quiet and confident at this time of year. Just back in the French capital after a two-week rally in Cyprus with fiancé Luca Marin and new teammates Leveaux, Stasiulis and Potec, the World and Olympic champion is eager to take to the water for the year’s first contests.
Next week-end she will be in Rome for the “coppa Brema”, a competition which awards the national title per club. After this Italian stop, she will be back in Paris before taking part in the Italian Championships in Riccione from April 13-17, a very important test in sight of the FINA World Championships in Shanghai next July: there, Pellegrini will be at the start of the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle.
Tom Daley in London 2012 new mascot film
Team GB diver Tom Daley stars alongside Olympic mascot Wenlock in the new animated film, ‘Adventures on a Rainbow’, with Olympic mascot Wenlock and Paralympic mascot Mandeville, which are continuing their journey around the UK, trying out new sports and discovering British icons. It follows the first film, Out of a Rainbow – both written by children’s author Michael Morpurgo.
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