France: French breaststroke Olympic medallist Hugues Duboscq has finally parted company with mentor and coach of 15 years, Christos Paparradopoulos. Duboscq is a reserve for the 4x100m medley for France at London 2012, his presence in heats or finals dependent on whether he is considered by French team leaders to be the best Frenchman for the job on the day. Yves Guerniou and Benedict Masclaux are now guiding the swimmer. Duboscq had been working with all three coaches since the start of the year but after disappointing results at the French Olympic trials in Dunkirk last month (3rd in the 100m and champion over 200m but far outside the London 2012 cut for a solo swim) he decided that the partnership arrangement had not worked. The reason to cut out his long-time mentor wads clear, Duboscq telling L'Equipe: "I hardly saw Christos in Dunkirk … after the races, he disappeared. Just like last year in Shanghai [world titles], where after the 100 breaststroke, I didn't hear from him for three days. For years, after each of my performances, I was left to myself. The role of a coach is to be there no matter what. He must be present at the pool and afterwards. The swimmer who fails always turns to self-reflection - but he also needs to talk." Duboscq, of Le Havre, will race at the European Championships in Debrecen next month.
USA: Caitlin Leverenz, who helped University of California, Berkeley to the (NCAA) 2012 national collegiate championship, noted the Olympic prize in her sights as she accepted the Honda Sports Award for swimming and diving. Her selection by the Collegiate Women Sports Award Program recognised Leverenz for having "rallied from a disappointing collegiate debut" to play a leading role in the Cal success story at the squad guided by coach Teri McKeever. "I'm so honoured to have been selected from among such amazing swimmers," said Leverenz through award organisers. "What happened at the NCAAs this year is a testament to how hard I've worked and to the staff. There are a lot of good swimmers coming out of high schools, but coach Teri McKeever has what can make them great. From the time I started at Cal I told her I wanted to make the Olympic team, and she has held me to those standards." US trials start June 25 in Omaha.
Australia: Victoria's Nicholas Groenewald broke Ian Thorpe's boy’s 14yrs 200m medley record on the opening night of the 2012 Australian Age Swimming Championships in Brisbane in 2:06.01. The time shaved 0.25sec off Thorpe's 1997 standard. "I saw my time was 1:35.9 at the 150m mark and I knew that I would have to go faster than I normally do to get the record, so I was really happy," said Groenewald, coached by Dean Bryant at Rohan Taylor's Nunawading squad. "I know a lot of people around the world including myself think that he (Thorpe) is one of the biggest swimming inspirations ever and to break one of his records is a huge achievement for me, and really motivating to keep going and keep striving for better and better things. I remember watching him swim in 2004 on TV (at the Athens Olympics) thinking that I want to meet him one day and I finally did get to talk to him at Trials this year and that was a huge thing for me." Groenewald also won the 200m backstroke in 2:05.36. In other action, Gold Coast teenager Cameron McEvoy, at 17 already on the London 2012 team for Australia, set an age record of 22.36 in the 50m freestyle; in the boy’s 12/13yrs 200m freestyle South Australian Kyle Chalmers knocked 2secs off his personal best to steal the age record and claim the title in a time of 1:57.48, and on day 2 of the meet took almost 1sec off the 100m butterfly mark, which] had stood to Olympian Jayden Hadler, with a 55.93 victory; and West Australian Damian Fyfe clocked an age record of 55.19 in the boys 14yrs 100m butterfly final. In today's finals, Victoria's Mack Horton picked up a third gold medal in as many days, with a 3:56.49 victory as the only 15-year-old under 4mins in the 400m freestyle. Horton, having already won the 100m and 1500m free, was one of four swimmers to collect their third title in three days.