Africa: Tunisia's California-based Olympic and world short-course champion Oussama Mellouli has been voted the best sportsperson in the Maghreb in 2011 after consideration by 27 newspapers in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Mauritania. The Dave-Salo coached Olympic 1500m free champion finished his 2011 season with 15 medals while racing injured at the Pan Arab Games in Doha in Qatar, his efforts ensuring that Tunisia was the top Arab country at the event.
France: on camp in Pretoria, South Africa, until January 27, the team of Gaul (minus some back in Marseilles and off in Martinique), will be honoured with a reception at the French Embassy next week. L'Equipe reports all teamsters to be in great shape, apart from Amiens swimmer Hénique Melanie, who has tendinitis in her right shoulder and took time out of the water. She returned to her element last Tuesday.
Switzerland: Swiss Swimming launches its Olympic year on January 14 with a gala entitled "Meet the Olympians" at Hotel Bern in the city of the same name. Swann Oberson (world champion 5km in Shanghai last year), Flori Lang (50 backstroke finalist at world titles in Shanghai last year) will join the likes of former national team members Dano Halsall and Stefan Volery to get the party started.