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Vollmer In Vogue Down Under

Sep 10, 2012  - Craig Lord

News Round-Up:

Australia/US: Olympic 100m butterfly champion and sub 56-sec pioneer Dana Vollmer today features in an Australia documentary "On Bicheno Beach" alongside The Water Whisperer Milt Nelms and his wife, living legend Shane Gould. Coached by Teri McKeever in California, Vollmer, one of several world-class swimmers who spends time in the ocean off the Tasmanian coast, features as part of the "Australian Story" series on ABC1. In publicising the documentary, Gould, the only woman ever to win five solo gold medal at one Games, back in 1972 (three of them gold), said she had been thrilled to see Vollmer succeed four years after the American missed the cut for the 2008 Games. "It was so exciting," said Gould. "I was so pleased for Dana and for Milt as well, because I know how much time he's put in thinking about how to get a good swimmer to become better … than anyone else." Nelmsing  places huge emphasis on the individuality of experience when a swimmer interacts with water and attempts to harness the element's immense energy. Ocean swimming provides a birthing pool for experience. Says Gould: "The athletes mostly use the waves and swell … It's very special training and it works well in conjunction with dry land training and pool training." Vollmer, gold medallist too in the 4x100m medley and 4x200m freestyle, paid plaudits to McKeever and Nelms after her London 2012 victories and spoke of the benefits of rooming with 200m breaststroke champ and sub 2:20 pioneer Rebecca Soni: "She's one of the few people I'm willing to open up to about things like being nervous," Vollmer said. "We work the same way. We process swimming the same way. It's just been awesome." The night before Vollmer's 100m butterfly final, the roommates spoke of feeling fatigued but in talking the issue through concluded that it was normal and that they would be fine come the moment because they had done all it takes to be at your best come the biggest moment of a swimmer's career. "She helped through that," Vollmer said. "It was a total confidence booster."

English Channel: Australia's Trent Grimsey has broken the record for an unassisted solo crossing of the English Channel by 2min 50sec. The 24-year-old Queenslander swam the 34km from Dover in England to Cap-Gris-Nez in France in 6hr 55min later, breaking Bulgarian Petar Stoychev's record. 

Ireland: Belgian coach Ronald Claes, the the man behind Grainne Murphy's success, says Swim Ireland lied when the federation issued a statement saying that he had left his job at the nation's high performance centre at the University of Limerick by mutual agreement. "I'm disappointed, I wanted to stay," he told reporters in Ireland. "My goal was to do another four years in Ireland, I was at the end of my contract and I didn't get a new one." The decision not to renew his contract has left swimmers at UL in the lurch , he says: "For them everything is up in the air and they are left as the biggest victims of it all. I don't have a job, but they are supposed to be getting back in the pool now and they don't know what's going on. Chris Bryan (Ireland's top open-water swimmer) has his European Championships and two weeks before that he's without a coach. The timing of it is far from perfect." The Irish federation acknowledged that Claes had "worked very hard and been extremely dedicated and committed to the programme and has contributed immensely to the building of a strong performance centre at the University of Limerick". Performance director Peter Banks, currently back home in the US, will reassess centres with a view to Rio 2016 when he returns to work, according to the Irish media.