Brazil in top shape at South American Swimming Championships
Brazil won 72 medals at the South American Swimming Championships taking place in Belem (BRA) from March 11-25, 2012. The biennial aquatics championships bring together all nations from the CONSANAT, the South American Swimming Confederation tom compete in Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Open Water Swimming.
Brazilians swimmers captured 51 medals (26 gold, 19 silver and six bronze medals). Home hero Cesar Cielo brought more gold to his name, winning five events and posting this season's best time in the 50m butterfly: 23s26.
FINA in mourning - Prof. Winton Arthur Hawksworth (RSA)
FINA announces with great sadness the loss of Prof. Winton Arthur Hawksworth (RSA), member of the FINA Doping Control Review Board (DCRB) since its creation in 1999. After a short illness, Prof. Hawksworth passed away on March 26, 2012. He is survived by his wife Pauline, his four children and five grandchildren.
In a message addressed to FINA, Dr. Andrew Pipe, Chairman of the DCRB, recalled a “wonderful friend and colleague, a superb scientist, and an educator who influenced the lives of thousands of students in South Africa and so many others who were touched by his generosity of spirit. His warmth and gentle good humour will be missed by all on the FINA DCRB and his many other friends in the FINA family”.
To his family and friends, FINA addresses its sincere condolences.
Swimmer Spyros Gianniotis (GRE) will be the first torchbearer
10km open water swimming world champion Spyros Gianniotis (GRE) will have the honour of being the first torchbearer of the Olympic flame for the 2012 Olympic Games in London (GBR). On the traditional ceremony, to be held in Ancient Olympia, on May 10, Gianniotis will receive the flame from the High Priestess, after it has been lit by the sun’s rays, and will initiate the 3000km relay of the flame within Greece.
In an announcement made by the Hellenic Olympic Committee, it was also revealed that the flame will be passing through 43 cities in the country where the Olympic Games were born, and will be carried by approximately 500 torchbearers. After a final ceremony on May 17 in the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens (where were held the first modern Games, in 1896), the flame will be given to the LOCOG delegation before flying to Great Britain.
First impressions and blistering marks at London Aquatics Centre
Many outstanding swimmers competed in the prelim heats of the British Nationals and the top 8 were seeded directly to an international finals session at the Olympic test event in the London Aquatics Centre, the venue for the 2012 Olympic Games. Most of these athletes came to see the venue and to familiarize themselves with the iconic new venue that will be the highlight of most of their careers.
Day 1, Saturday (March 3, 2012) - World record holder Paul Biederman (GER) easily won the 400m freestyle event in a time of 3:50.95 easily defeating Velimir Stjepanov (SRB) who finished 2.29 seconds back. Biederman's time is the 18th fastest of the new year and a far cry from the 3:44.14 time he posted at the FINA World Championships last summer in Shanghai. Veteran Olympian Markus Rogan (AUT), currently training in the USA with Coach David Salo swam to a first place finish in the 400m IM, about 14 seconds off the world record set by Michael Phelps in this event. Ryan Lochte (USA) won the world championships last summer in a time of 4:07.13 but has yet to swim the event in 2012. Rogan's prelim time of 4:17.18 was faster than his finals posting of 4:17.60 and he now has the 9th & 10th fastest performances of the new year. German's Hendik Feldwehr looked smooth in his race against LI Xiayan of China cruising to a 1:00.48 and collecting his FINA A qualifying time. His swim is the 4th fastest of the year, but some distance from Alex Dale Oen's (NOR) fastest time of 2011, 58.71 set at the summer world championships.
A renaissance for British Swimming is underway at the London Aquatics Centre
London Aquatics Centre is the gateway to London's Olympic Park
With its distinctive architecture and curved roof, the London Aquatics Centre will be the first venue visitors see upon entering the Olympic Park. Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Organising committee, and an Olympic track legend in his own right explains "we thought it was really important to present this iconic venue for the Summer Olympic Games". More than two thirds of all Olympic spectators will enter Olympic Park via a vast bridge that runs over a section of the aquatics Centre.
The venue was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid in 2004 before London was even awarded the summer's Olympic Games. It is certainly one of the most impressive venues constructed for the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Paralympics.
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