SWIMNEWS ONLINE: January 1996 Magazine Articles

Shopping Media Kit Trial Issue Swim Camp Directory


Nick Thierry

RIO DE JANEIRO - Joanne Malar had two gold medals after the first day of swimming at the Second Coca Cola World Short Course Championships. It was to be the highlight of a successful Canadian team that won seven medals, placing fourth overall.

The 12-member Canadian team of nine women and three men were ready and, with everyone's personal coach on deck (except Guylaine Cloutier's coach Stephane Bedard), personal attention must have helped.

The championship venue, was a portable temporary complex that included a racing pool and a separate warm-up tank with surround seating for over 8,000 spectators. Erected on famed Copacabana Beach, it was truly spectacular. The cost was U.S. $750,000 and the overall championships budget was just over one million dollars. Coca Cola the meet sponsor, picked up most of the costs, allowing for free spectator entry.

The spectacular site for the championships on the famed Copacabana Beach. For larger 50k photo click on image. Photo © Ari Gomes

Other highlights:
  • Australia won the championships with 26 medals (12-7-7).
  • Four women's world records were established:
  • The Canadian women won the gold in the 4x200 free relay, beating perennial rivals Australia by almost three seconds.
  • New Zealand won the men's 4x100 medley relay, and beat Australia for the first time ever.
  • American swimmers picked up three medals, one of their poorest ever international showings. They only decided to attend in late September and none of the leading swimmers were interested, as the U.S. Olympic trials will be in early March.

    With a short course world championships scheduled every two years, it's still not attracting the world's very best swimmers. Two of the very best were in Rio but didn't perform.

    Veteran Anders Holmertz, SWE, came down sick just before the start of the meet and spent his time in Rio in bed at his hotel.

    Franziska van Almsick, GER, was ejected from the final of the 100 free for what was deemed to be an intentional false start. She was a no-show in the 200 free, losing her world record. She did swim relays, but her two-week bout with the flu prior to coming to Rio left her unprepared for the level of the competition.

    Canadians bettered national records in five events, two individual and three women's relays, with the medley relay in the heats and again in the finals.

    Head coach Dave Johnson was pleased as 11 of 12 swimmers had at least one personal best time and 10 out of the 12 team members came home with a medal.

    Home | E-Mail | Top of Page | Jan 96 Contents | Magazine
    Mag Archives | Calendar | World Rankings | Meet Results | Links to Sites
    Photo Library | Biographies | Forums | Shopping | Classifieds

    COPYRIGHT © 1995-1998 SWIMNEWS MAGAZINE, All Rights Reserved.
    URL: http://swimnews.com