USA: On the first evening of finals at the Santa Clara meet in California, Olympic 400m champion Park Tae Hwan (KOR) clocked a 7:52.07 meet mark over 800m to get the better of Olympic 1500m medallist Ryan Cochrane (CAN), on 7:57.19, and Ryan Napoleon (AUS), on 7:59.10. Much of the damage had been done by 200m, Park on 1:55.68, his closest challengers on 1:58s. Today all three podium finishers will race the heats and finals of the 400m, Saturday the 200m free - but none of them are entered in the 1500m on the last day of the met on Sunday. In the women's 1500m, Lauren Boyle (NZL) took the race in 16:21.73 ahead of Emily Brunemann (USA), on 16:23.36, and Andreina Pinto (VEN), 16:24.16
USA: In heats at the Austin meet that started today, Miss Franklin led the easy in the 100m free on 55.26 (before swimming into the 400m free B final in 4:16.53). Michael Phelps made a couple of finals, on 50-plus in the 100 followed by a 53.41 in the 100 'fly. The meet also features former world record holder Brendan Hansen, on the comeback trail and on 2:14.31 over 200m breaststroke this morning.
Oceania Championships: Kenneth To (AUS) and Ami Matsuo of Australia bagged themselves a third gold of the meet each, To, on 2:01.35 over 200m medley and Matsuo on 26.00 in the 50m free. Their teammate Kyle Richardson clocked 22.83 in the 50m free. Check out the SwimNews world rankings for the most up-to-date information on how these swims and others compare to the rest of the world and last season's efforts.
Australia: The woes of Aussie distance freestylers deepened today with the news that the marriage of Kieren and Symantha Perkins has broken down. The couple, who have three children from their 15-year partnership, will go their separate ways, Perkin's management confirmed after the swimmer was seen at a function without his wedding ring. At a different function this week to celebrate Australian's distance freestyle tradition, Perkins spoke about the responsibilities of great athletes to set a good example, with reference to the cases of Nick D'Arcy and Grant Hackett. Hackett suffered another blow in the past 24 hours when Westpac dropped the 2000 and 2004 Olympic 1500m champion as the public face of the bank. Hackett will remain an employee. The bank confirmed that its contract with Hackett had not been renewed at the end of February, four months after he was involved in what the Australian media allege was "a drunken post-Derby Day rampage".
Scotland and The Brave: British freestyler Robbie Renwick is a man of the pool but of late, he reveals in a diary for a Scottish paper today, he headed out into the chilly open waters of Loch Lomond with training partners Alasdair Stirling, Jamie McKinley and Stephen Lamb. "We got some funny looks when we pulled up in the car park and jumped into the loch with our shorts on," he writes. "We swam out to the buoys and it was beautiful, especially because we were still warm for a lot of the way. It was around that point we had to keep an eye out for the jet skis that were flying about all over the place. We must have swam about three kilometres just having a laugh. It’s not often you can do that in Scotland." It was warmer [relatively speaking…] this year than the "Baltic" chill that had given him "head freeze" a year ago. After the dip in the big pond it was back to the little pond. "We headed straight from the loch to evening training so I must have swam about 16,000m that day, it was pretty brutal."