The latest SwimNews Magazine is out - just in time for the London 2012 Games and that clash of clashes between Americans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. We consider the roads down which both men are travelling and speak to their coaches about how it panned out and what it all means.
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On the weekend of 9-10 June, in Setubal (POR), FINA held the final 10K open water qualification meet. Canadians finished very well, placing 6th and 11th in the women's race, and 2nd and 20th in the men’s. Only one swimmer per country earned an Olympic qualifying spot in each of the two races. Read the report from coach Ron Jacks, a very experienced hand in open water and a man who coached Greg Streppel to the 1994 25km world title. Conditions in London will be similar to those in Portugal temperature wise - but no tides or currents.
Julia Wilkinson writes about her teammate Alexa Komarnycky, who made the 2012 Olympic Team in her last race on the final day of the Trials. After missing in the 400 free, 200 IM, and 400 IM, she then earned selection in the 800 free, finishing second but making the FINA “A” time. It was a case of “if at first you don't succeed, try, try again…".
Craig Lord travelled to Florida to interview Ryan Lochte and his coach at the University of Florida, Gregg Troy. Lochte is the only man to beat Michael Phelps twice, and Troy explains that Lochte's success is due to the “consistency of effort.”
Bob Bowman also spoke with Craig Lord, who compared Bowman’s work with Phelps to a symphony about to be brought to its fourth and final movement. The comparison is apt as Bowman knows much about music, and his approach in translating to sports coaching the rigour and repetition drummed into him as a music scholar. His college degree is in developmental psychology (minoring in music composition). Bowman reveals what the four Games of Phelps - Sydney to London - meant and mean to the partnership with Phelps.
Nine clubs took part in the final TOP (Tiny Olympic Prospects) for the year with 435 participants.
Joanne Malar writes about the hurdles ahead when finally retiring. She was a successful international-class swimmer for 12 years and competed in three Olympics. She was looking forward to entering the “working world” and starting a new life. It was a lot harder than expected. She even returned to train for the 2004 Olympic Games, but that was not to be. She had to learn to deal with post-Olympic depression. She sought help from an old professor at McMaster and took an eight-week Healing Voyage course that changed her life. She will be in London with CTV Sports as a swimming commentator.
Craig Lord comments on the much-devalued European Championships. The meet was scheduled for Antwerp (BEL) in late May, but in March, Antwerp withdrew claiming economic difficulties. Debrecen (HUN) offered to run the seven-day meet. The scheduling of these continental championships just two months ahead of the Olympics affected the entries. Less than half of the top Europeans were present. The Brits, hosts next Olympic year, sent only five swimmers. There were some world-class results, with Hungarians Katinka Hosszu and Laszlo Cseh winning three golds each. In fact, Hungary, hosting its third Euros in six years, won the meet with 26 (9-10-7) medals. The Euros should return to a four-year cycle like the Pan Pacifics have.
Karin Helmstaedt reminds us about the spectre of East German sports and invited those in London this summer to visit a video exhibit at the German Historical Institute dealing with East German athletes who fled the country's repressive regime.
There is no article from Cecil Colwin, who is ill. His daughter and son have been in touch, and the prognosis is not good.
TAG times are up to 18 June. And thanks to Kristy Hahto at Swimming/Natation Canada for helping with access to the results database. Hahto explained that “access was restricted…meet result files from Canadian meets, available on the SNC website, and the information contained within, are possibly being used by anonymous and unidentifiable parties on social networking sites. We are in the process of securing the result files behind a username and password access process. Our intention is to prevent the misuse or incorrect use of our members’ personal information”.