French Olympic 400m freestyle champion Camille Muffat caused a stir when she announced her retirement from swimming at 24 last July.
Like her, a dozen Olympic medallists from the 2012 London Games, including Leisel Jones, Alain Bernard, Rebecca Soni, Brent Hayden and Rebecca Adlington, have deserted the training pools since then. With less than two years to go to the next summer Olympics in Rio, is this wave of retirements in swimming merely post-Games blues-related or is there something underneath the surface?
Swimming top guns gear up for Doha
The highlight of the aquatic season, the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), is about to start in the magnificent Hamad Aquatic Complex. Featuring a handful of the greatest stars and offering a massive sum in prize money, the showcase in Doha is going to be another hit, watched by hundreds of millions around the world.
FINA’s decision to move the event from its spring date to December proved to be a wise move. It attracts more top swimmers and it crowns the short-course season, while in the spring when everyone was preparing for the summer long-course events, it was like an unexpected guest at a party.
SWC 2014, Singapore Day 2: Hosszu and Le Clos, uncontested dominators of the season!
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu and South Africa’s Chad Le Clos were the overall winners of the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup 2014 which concluded today November 2 in Singapore. The winners sparkled champagne to celebrate their victory and the prize money of 100,000 USD associated to it.
Today Hosszu added two more gold medals to her tally, bringing her total to an unprecedented 51 gold, a kind of world record in itself. She won also eight silver and nine bronze: 68 medals overall.
SWC 2014, Singapore Day 1: Hosszu and Le Clos towards the final act
For the first time, Singapore is hosting the final leg of the FINA World Cup Series, the seventh this year, in the brand new OCBC Aquatics Centre, inaugurated in June. The magnificent indoor venue with a capacity of 3,000 spectators is the perfect stage for the final act of the recital from the World Cup’s leaders Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and Chad Le Clos of South Africa, as well as of the others world elite swimmers whose presence was pregnant in the circuit, such as Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, Germany’s Steffen Deibler, Dutch Inge Dekker, Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes, and more.
Hosszu was going into this meet with 59 medals: 46 gold, 5 silver, 8 bronze - and 5 world records, all of them in the medley events (twice in the 100m and 200m and one in the 400m) - from the previous six legs. At the end of the first day Hosszu’s medal count was of 64 overall: 49 gold, 7 silver and 8 bronze.
SWC 2014: Tokyo Day 2: Kosuke Hagino sets the 200m IM World Cup record
Japan’s ace Kosuke Hagino won the 200 metres individual medley in a World Cup record of 1:51.27 (24.22, 28.11/52.33, 32.50/1:24.83, 26.44/1:51.27). Earlier in the session he had won also the 200m freestyle. Today, Katinka Hosszu won four more gold medals, while Chad Le Clos swept the butterfly events winning also the 100 metres. The Hungarian and South African were the best performers of the meet, respectively with 985 points in the 100 individual medley and 982 points in the 200 butterfly. In this meet Hosszu won 10 medals, of which seven gold, two silver and a bronze. Overall, the “Iron Lady” has now a collection of 49 gold medals.
Chad Le Clos (RSA) and Katinka Hosszu (HUN)
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