Italy: Sebastiano Ranfagni, the Italian backstroke ace who underwent extensive medical examinations this week in Padua, is optimistic that he will be able to train and compete once more after the last in a series of examinations is complete. In Italy, only those who have been passed fit for elite sport may be registered competitors. Dr. Domenico Corrado, after blood analysis and the results of electrocardiography and echocardiography, ruled out the ventricular dysplasia that had been suspected. "I am relieved by this news: now I know that there is no risk to my health and I can better deal with the wait for the next visit to be eligible for racing," Ranfagni told La Gazzetta Dello Sport today. The swimmer may know by tomorrow whether he the rest enforced on him will continue or whether he has been passed "fit for the elite pool".
Denmark: Jeanette Ottesen, the joint 100m free world champion of 2011, is having to put her foot on the break after breaking a bone in her foot when doing jiu-jitsu, a martial art, while on holidays. She faces 4-6 weeks of recovery, during which time her training will be adjusted to take account of her injury.
Winter Olympics: FINA pool partner Myrtha is to extend its scope to the winter sports arena at the Games in Sochi next year: the Italian firm will build an Aquapark pool as a local attraction during the Olympics.
Spain: The Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN) has signed a deal with the travel department of leading department store El Corte Ingles that will see all those attending national championships housed in good hotel accommodation. Viajes El Corte Ingles has provided "bargain" rates for the federation at its hotels close to the venues that will host national meets. The first competition at which the deal will apply will be Spanish nationals in Madrid from February 1-3.
Synchro switch: Anna Tarrés, the synchro coached who denied claims by a shoal of athletes that she had verbally abused them during her reign in Spain, is poised to lead the Mexican programme ahead of the 2017 FINA World Championships set to be staged in Guadalajara. The Catalonian native is reported to be on the cusp of signing a deal with the Mexican federation.
Great Britain: Chief Executive of British Swimming and Bureau member of the European Swimming League (LEN) David Sparkes is roasted in a British tabloid today after he questioned diver Tom Daley's dedication following the Olympic 10m bronze medallists commitments to a "Splash" TV show in which a range of domestic celebrities make themselves look daft by falling into the water from various heights. The show, which started last week, has been slammed by critics but the headline that caught the attention of Debbie Daley, Tom's mum, was the one in which Sparkes said he'd be having a word with the diver's agent about commitment. It was Tom's bronze, one of only four medals from five aquatic sports for Britain at a home Olympic Games, that had kept Sparkes in his job, she suggests alongside some other points that many will find reasonable. You can read what else mum had to say about it all here. Ouch!