Friday, May 30, 2008

Swimming World - Open Water Test Event: Chloe Sutton Wins 10K, Qualifies for Olympics

Chloe Sutton of the left after scoring a gold medal in 10k open water test event. From Swimming World: "... BEIJING, China, May 30. ACCORDING to unofficial on site reports from Steven Munatones, Swimming World's special correspondent in Beijing, Chloe Sutton of the United States has won the 10K test event and the Olympic roster spot that goes along with it.

After faltering at the initial World Championships Trials in the U.S. and not qualifying for a shot to make the Olympics while in Seville, Spain, Sutton made the most of her second chance, available because neither Kirsten Groome nor Micha Burden qualified in Spain. ..."

Olympic open water qualifier venue was today!

I couldn't post any of this sooner since I was stuck at work.

You can click on the above images to enlarge them. The venue almost looks like an enlarged swimming pool and Steve Munatones of is there and gave hourly reports at his Twitter page. If you sign up for a Twitter account you can read his play-by-play from beginning to end of the 10k event: [Link]

All of the above photos/maps were sent to me from China.

Now Steve is havng internet troubles in China accessing his blog hence the Twitter account which has worked out to be a great solution. Here is what Steve sent me this morning:

Dear All,

I emailed you via Twitter because I thought you might be interested in receiving live updates from Beijing on the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim qualification race.

I will be at the race “twittering” on my Blackberry to anyone who chooses to opt-in at That is, I will be writing online updates of the race as it happens so you can follow the race stroke-for-stroke. These updates will be posted a few seconds after I write them on my Twitter and Facebook pages. The updates can also be sent directly to your cell phones via text messages, if you so chose.

Because the race is not televised outside of China and there is no live online streaming of the race, these “tweets” are one alternative to learning about the race as it happens.

My “tweets” (i.e., a text message of less than 140 characters sent via Twitter) will be sent 5-10 minutes apart during much of the 1 hour and 55 minute race. I will send the tweets more often as the race develops and gets closer to the finish or anything interesting happens like a race feeding or yellow card.

Please note that if you do not have an unlimited text messaging plan on your telephone, then you may not want to participate in this test. That is, if I sent you 20-25 messages, this might cost you some money (usually 15 cents per message for many plans in the U.S. ).

You must opt-in to receive this service. If you do not want to participate, no problem.

Please note that this is a test. If Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law or “if anything can go wrong, it will”) shows up in Beijing tomorrow, then I apologize in advance if the test fails. Fortunately, I tried it out today at the Olympic venue, and all systems seem to be a go.

The women’s race will start at 6:00 pm PT on Friday (or 9 am on Saturday in China ) – I will start sending tweets around 5:00 pm PT on Friday. The men’s race will start at 6:00 pm PT on Saturday – I will start sending tweets around 5:00 pm PT on Saturday.

The women’s race is particularly interesting for the American team because only one young, talented American swimmer will qualify – and Chloe Sutton and Kirsten Groome are tough courageous competitors. If you have time or interest, I wrote a blog about this featured match race between Chloe and Kirsten at It is truly a “race-within-a-race”. It can be viewed as a “swim-off” for a coveted spot in the Olympic 10K finals.

If you know of others who may be interested in participating in this experiment, please feel free to inform them.

Please note that I will not send you non-swimming related tweets. The purpose of this experiment is simply to inform you of some of the most exciting and pressure-packed races in the annals of open water swimming history.

Lastly, the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim venue is beautiful. Under bright blue skies, the water temperature is between 68-72°F (depending on the depth of the water) and the venue looks gorgeous. Supposedly, the venue will be sold out for this weekend’s races.

Steven Munatones in Beijing

Tofua Island - Largest swimming pool in the world and it has a volcano to keep the water "heated" as well.

Forget that swimming pool in Chile, this beast makes it look like a Wham-O Slip n' Slide. According to my estimates the pool in the center is 6 kilometers wide! And note the volcano at the upper portion of the pool. Simply epic! [Link]

This island looks like it was the set for a James Bond Movie circa 1967.

An "anonymous" comment regarding "Textile World" delivering its "Fabric of the Month" award to the Speedo is well worth a post!

I will be putting Textile World on my radar especially after reading this comment regarding the Speedo LZR material and it's mention of other materials out on the horizon, I feel Textile World is a worthy read since new fabric materials are at the forefront of our sport.

The image at the right features an athlete wearing a new material called Holofiber as mentioned in the below comment.

"... Tony, thanks for reading Textile World! I would, however, have to disagree. [Regarding my belief that the plasma process merged the fibers of the LZR into a solid state.]

The [LZR] fabric, as stated in Janet’s article, is a tightly woven 2-way stretch fabric. I found that unusual, because knit structures are much more common in swimwear. There is no doubt this is a highly engineered system. The fact that it is a woven seems to let the garment designer control where and in what directions the stretch is applied there by compressing certain parts of the swimmer’s anatomy.

Plasma doesn’t melt or merge anything; it changes the surface properties of the fabric, in this case making the fabric more water-repellent. Plasma is thought to be a more eco-friendly way of treating the fabric because a more traditional method would use water-repellent chemicals, like Scotchgaurd or Teflon, that are applied to the fabric for a similar result. The plasma treatment is dry, no chemicals, no effluent, etc.

I can see why your sport may be concerned about the leap these garments take. Competitive swimmers have gone from wearing high-coverage wool or cotton garments to wearing as little as possible, and now to wearing highly engineered garments that cover the majority of the swimmer’s body. With the way technology is changing, I am sure the next generation of garments will make you questions things further. But that is just the beginning. There are technologies at the fiber level, not used in this garment, like Holofiber from Hologenix LLC, that are said to raise the oxygen level in the wearer’s blood, this can help in training and in recovery after training or competing. It also is said to help with jet lag or help people with circulation problems. ..."

Could Holofiber be the next swimsuit material? Here is a link to the Hologenix LLC site: [Link]

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Diana, Arena and Nike are submitting suits to FINA for approval on June 3rd.

From the Canadian Press: "...Our new suit is ready. We're just doing the final tests. It will be distributed to our top athletes soon," Diana Area manager Francois Bertonazzi said. "If Speedo's was approved, there's no reason why ours won't be."

Nike is also expected to submit a new suit for approval.

Marculescu said that FINA recently rejected a suit from an Austrian manufacturer that was new to swimming, although he wouldn't name the company.

"They didn't know the rules, and we explained them so they could go back and try again," he said. ..." [Link]

Swimming World Article: "Andrew Bree Gets Out of Doping Charges"

At first I thought, "what a snotty title, the guy is either innocent or guilty," but then I read the article. Here is a snippet:

"The positive test occurred at the European Championships in Hungary in December 2007. Bree admitted to the use of an over-the-counter Vicks Nasal Inhaler, which he purchased in the U.S. This version of the product contains the banned substance of Levmethamfetamine.

FINA explained that the doping panel was convinced that the use of the drug was not intended to enhance performance and that Bree had gone to "all possible lengths to check that the medial product that he was using contained no such banned substance. ..." [Link]

It is Bree's responsibility to read the WADA banned drugs document.

Below is one of my first blog posts regarding 'meth' within the Vicks product - What I didn't include is that I actually wrote the company an email asking why L-methamphetamine is not listed as an ingredient to which they never responded. I even called them on the phone and still no confirmation. If the product does contain meth, well, that's a lawsuit waiting to happen. Here is the post:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The US Anti Doping Agency [USADA] has added some new drugs, and modified the permissions on some older ones.

Lane 9 News at Swimming World has a link to a PDF document that list the new changes in their banned drugs document. What struck me in the face like a flying mallet was that Vicks Vapor Inhaler is prohibited; (and rightfully so), because the USADA states it contains L-methamphetamine.

I went to the Vicks Vapor Inhaler Website and their page never once mentioned in the ingredients that it contains meth or its analog, L-desoxyephedrine.

Steve Munatones is in Beijing ready to cover the final FINA open water qualifier

Steve wrote me this morning telling me he is in Beijing at the Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park but he cannot get through the internet firewall of China to access his blog. He does have access to email and may set up a twitter account or he may have another solution for hourly updates. He will let me know when he can.

Today he mentioned that the weather is windy but the water surface is remarkably flat. He did mention that the air quality is a bit sketchy.

Kirsten Groome and Chloe Sutton will be swimming to see which American will qualify for Beijing.

These wonderful renderings come from the official site of the Beijing games. The above renderings feature the main stands and the terminal tower where the rowing and the open water event will take place. [Link]

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Textile world awards Speedo, "Fabric of the Month" award.

I think the definition of fabric is evolving so fast these days that it it has become just as archaic and just as absurd a concept as using the word "horsepower" to describe how powerful a formula-one engine is. (I am using a little Carl Sagan here in my analogy.)

Nonetheless, imagine a team of 1,250 horses lined up by twos pulling a stage coach as fast as they could? I think the Formula-one car would win. Consequently, see how inaccurate the term horsepower has become?

Read this snippet from Textile World describing the material of the Speedo LZR: "...Mectex applied an exclusive water-repellent and other treatments using its newly developed Plasmaterial™ technology, an eco-friendly nanotechnology using the energy of cold plasma and no chemicals or water to permanently modify the fabric surface. Isaac said the treatments reduce water absorption to only 2 percent of fabric weight, as opposed to 50 percent absorption in the Fastskin fabric. ..." [Link]

That is not a fabric, that is a woven, solidified, chemical of some kind. There is nothing really organic here or am I wrong? I am guessing that the suit started out as a fabric and then is altered by having the threads merge during this plasma process.

Tickets to the Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies will contain an embedded chip with the owners personal data.

Each ticket to the opening and closing ceremonies will contain a RFID chip that has the owners, passport info, their photo, address, telephone numbers, and email address as a security measure to prevent disruptions during the ceremonies.

These $720 tickets are the most expensive Olympic ticket and the Canadian Press list some good arguments as to why this is not only a lame idea but rather sets up the ticket owner for potential identity theft. Here is what Security Australian security expert, Roger Clarke, had to say :

"... The way in which you recognize an evildoer, somebody who wants to throw a bomb, somebody who wants to unfurl a Tibet flag is not on the basis of their identity," Clarke added. "It's the act that they perform and it's the materials they carry with them. ..." [Link]

Transfers of these tickets to a family member or friend would be next to impossible and potentially create long waits as officials at the gate try to figure out why a 30-year-old white male has the passport data of a 65-year-old Japanese woman. (Simply answer, she was a ticket scalper.)

The photo above came from Xinhuanet as part of a ticket unveiling ceremony. The artwork is very attractive is and the RFID technology therein advanced to a point of Orwellian dimensions: [Link]

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's morning in Australia - Today Nick D'Arcy will receive his verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport!

On April 18th, Nick D'arcy was charged with grievous assault which left former swimmer Simon Cowley severely injured with several broken bones to the face, eye socket, jaw lost several teeth in the alleged incident as well. Soon thereafter D'Arcy was removed from the Australian Olympic team which also received the vocal support from the IOC. D'Arcy later filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to be reinstated. Today his verdict will be rendered.

If he is reinstated, I am curious as to what the reaction from the IOC will be?

From ABC down under: "...Swimmer Nick D'arcy will find out this afternoon whether his appeal to be reinstated to the Australian Olympic Swimming team has been successful. ..." [Link]

UPDATE: "... The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) published its decision in the case on its website at 2pm (AEST) and the Seven reports D'Arcy bid to be reinstated has failed. ..." [Link]

Monday, May 26, 2008

16-million gallons of oil were consumed to make the plastic water bottles we drink from.

I have been drinking most of my fluids from either glass, ceramic, stainless steel cups or a stainless steel thermos as of late. I saw an article out of Europe regarding "load testing" studies conducted on toddlers' who have been discovered to be full of all sorts of plastic, rubber and metals due to the materials of their toys and those important delivery systems such as plastic bottles, diapers, rubber nipples and polyvinyl teething toys.

Hence, my decision to drink liquids via more organic means has made my water taste better, and fewer; hopefully fewer, PVCs entering my body. Swimming in chlorine; (a nasty biocide), 3-5 days is bad enough.

This ad from DDB in San Francisco and art directed by a talented guy named Dustin Smith reminded me why plastic is really bad for you

Originally found at and the ad is for a website called

Go Swim Breaststroke with Brendan Hansen trailer.

I didn't even know this existed and it's awesome. I wish I was on Glenn Mills' radar. How about that glide phase and that snappy kick! Not a bad dance sequence at the end of the trailer as well.

Swim movie: "On a Clear Day"

This was sent to me by Daniel; On a Clear Day is a movie about a guy named Frank who ".... determines to salvage his self-esteem and tackle his demons by attempting the ultimate test of endurance - swimming the English Channel. ..." -- IMDB

Sunday, May 25, 2008

These are the muscles groups related to freestyle

A cheesy video illustrating the primary, supporting and auxiliary muscle groups used in freestyle

Ian Thorpe meets "The Matrix"

I bumped into this a You Tube and it uses the "Bullet Time" effect to illustrate Ian Thorpe jumping off the blocks. They have a flip-turn video of Ian at You Tube as well but to be quite frank, I don't think his turns are that good when you compare him to Phelps, Coughlin, or a Rada Owen.

An eclectic bunch of open water events coming up in New York!

I like doing open water races where national landmarks or locations dear to my heart are involved. For instance, I learned how to surf at Manhattan Beach so I like to do the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier race in August. I have always been fascinated with Alcatraz and had to experience what it would be like to swim from it to the city so I do the Alcatraz Sharkfest each year.

Randy sent me some info regarding some nifty open water races in New York City area that are landmark centric. Swims include:

Brooklyn Bridge Swim: [Link]
The Lady Liberty Swim: [Link]
The Governors Island Swim: [Link]

They are even more New York City swims here at the Manhattan Island Foundation: [Link]

Friday, May 23, 2008

Open water swim vacations article in the 'New York Times'

The article has a 'swim vacation' slant to it discussing how swimmers are centering their vacations around open water swimming. (I'm thinking about it.)

"...In London, SwimTrek bills itself as the world’s only swimming vacation operator. Its most popular destinations are the Greek Islands and Croatia. The latest addition is a series of two-day swims along the Thames in June, July and August. Beginning in the village of Lechlade, in the Cotswolds, participants swim a little over four miles a day downriver, cruising from pub to pub (giving new meaning to the term “pub crawl”). The finish line is the Trout Inn near Oxford, where the stone Tadpole Bridge crosses the Thames. Most tourists to the area drive, walk, bike or boat along the country waterway. But who wants to join the masses? With a swim, the reward is a sense of place that’s uniquely memorable. ..."

Four links to various swim vaction sites are provided.

See Erik Vendt and Chloe Sutton in the "Tiburon Mile" in these 'FOX Sports Network' clips from 'You Tube'

Higher resolution versions are available at You Tube.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bad bulkhead placement - 'A&M pool length could effect records'

Keep in mind that 3 centimeters equals just 1.2 inches. I suspect that could only be a few thousandths of a second. From Sports Day Top Stories: "... In this case, they could prevent some swimmers from records and Olympic and Olympic Trials dreams. And they're causing Texas A&M embarrassment.

The university hosted a Texas Senior Circuit meet at its Student Recreation Center Natatorium last Friday through Sunday, completing five of six sessions before meet organizers determined bulkheads in the pool were incorrectly placed and the course was three centimeters too short – measuring 49.97 meters instead of 50. ..." [Link]

Photo from the official website of Texas A&M athletics: [Link]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

See Vladimir Dyatchin out-touch David Davies

See Vladimir Dyatchin out-touch David Davies at the FINA 10k Open Water Championship in Sevilla, Spain. Originally found at 10kSwimmer: [Link]

Steve Munatones has entered the building and he's got a blog now

Steve Munatones of has started a blog and I promise you I will reading it often. His first post is called: Famous Pools vs. the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim Venue. He contrasts the Beijing open water venue with the largest swimming pool in the world; (1000 meters long and covering about 19 acres), located at the San Alfonso del Mar resort at Algarrobo, Chile. (I guess a 10k race there would only have 10 flip turns? ;-) [Link]

More on the San Alfonso del Mar resort pool in the Daily Mail: [Link]

I m also putting in a link to Steve's blog in the right hand navigation. :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Scary paragraph from the USMS minutes circa 2007

This snippet comes from the USMS Convention Report from 2007. The topic at hand was how well the USMS LCM Nationals in the Woodlands, Texas went. The delegate who took these minutes was Cathy Kohn, an Ozark delegate:

"...In the Championship Committee meeting I attended, 2007 Nationals were reviewed. LCM Nationals at The Woodlands had lower attendance than expected; the meet director felt that their attendance was adversely affected by many LMSC and Zone championships, which encroached on their dates. Nevertheless, the meet was a success in that it saved their facility from demolition and was very well run. (As an aside, they said that all but 100 of their almost 1000 attendees entered on-line, making their job a lot easier.) ..." [Link]

Demolition?! 0_o

Please go to swim meets! Meet some people, get a ribbon, keeps you goal oriented too.

The 2009 USMS LCM Nationals will be held in Fresno, California.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Brendan Hansen is in the "lab" and he is wearing every manufacturers' suit!

Look at all that water in Brendan Hansen's hands. It looks just like cracked ice.

Here is Lisa Dillman from the L.A. Times and this article is Gold! So much info about Santa Clara but I m going to focus on this revealing fact: Nike has given Brendan Hansen permission to experiment with any suit he wants. At Santa Clara he wore a Lzr, his next race a TYR.

Snippets from the L.A. Times as to why: "... So Hansen gave Speedo a test run in the final of the 200 breaststroke, which he won in 2 minutes 10.62 seconds. Peirsol did his experimenting under quieter circumstances. "I'm not going to lie to you, I did wear something this morning," Peirsol said. ..."

"... Hansen said Sunday he plans to also test TYR's high-tech offering. Peirsol said he would consider it too. ..."

"We want to exhaust every possible option that we have," Hansen said. "If I get on the blocks and if I swim against somebody with a TYR suit, I know I've worn that, and I know what that feels like. I don't want there to be any guesswork at all about what my competitors are wearing. ..."

". . . I'm really pleased with the Nike suit I wore in the 100, so that's up there. . . . That one feels most comfortable. The one I wore tonight worked really good as well. I don't want you to think that my time had anything to do with the suit that I'm wearing."

"... Hansen wants the suit issue off the table in the next two to three weeks. "I'll have to sit down and write down on a piece of paper which one I like better, which one is more comfortable," he said. "I don't want to be telling you guys 'I don't know what I'm wearing' two days before the trials...." [Link]

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Disgruntled winner! - Michael Phelps fuming after the 400 IM

Isn't that a lovely photo? What good sports they all are. I hope Cate Campbell enjoyed her stay.

So, Michael Phelps is mad! I think this is a good sign! When Phelps gets mad, he is like Michael Jordon sticking out his tongue just before going an airborne at the free-throw line to make an aggressive dunk. Michael will now go back to the "factory" and get busy and I can't wait to see what he does!

Here is a snippet from the Washington Post: SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 16 -- It was difficult to tell who won the gold medals here Friday. American Michael Phelps, the top male swimmer at the 2004 Summer Games, stalked around, fuming at himself and thoroughly, completely, utterly disgusted with his result -- which, by the way, was an easy victory by more than a second and a half in his specialty, the 400-meter individual medley.

U.S. teammate Natalie Coughlin, meantime, the top female swimmer at the 2004 Summer Games, proclaimed herself surprised and pleased with her performance in the women's 100 final -- a race she lost for the first time here in eight years. She broke her own American record despite finishing second to a shocked 15-year-old Australian by the name of Cate Campbell who has never competed at a major international meet.

Lots of stuff in there about Ziegler too: [Link]

'How Kate Ziegler became the world's top distance swimmer' - the title is misleading and the article is very nuanced.

Kate Ziegler is elusive and even ghost-like. Articles about her are rarely written, media is tightly guarded, and photographs are practically non-existent. My site is searched constantly for information regarding her and in fact, she is one of the top ten most searched for swimmers. The articled linked to is nuanced in that will you know more about Kate Ziegler when your done with it?

This San Jose Mercury News is regarding her thoughts about the 1500m, her pleasure in being a non-celebrity, and a very witty observation or a dig at FINA by proxy regarding the silliness of not having the 1500 in the Olympics: "... Ziegler's signature event, the 1,500-meter freestyle, is not included in the Olympics because of old-fashioned stereotypes about women being too weak to swim the longest event in the pool. "They have the 10K open water race," Benecki said. "But the 1,500 is too long?" ..." [Link]

More about Kate Campbell owning the 50m free at the Santa Clara meet!

From the Sydney Morning Herald: Australia's Cate Campbell has powered into contention for the 50m freestyle title at the Beijing Olympics with a superb swim at the Santa Clara grand prix meeting in California.

Campbell clocked the equal third fastest time in history - 24.13 seconds - to win from Americans Kara Lynn Joyce and Natalie Coughlin. ..." [Link]

Back from the meet: Erik Vendt's American record in the 1500m is safe! He out-touched me by 9-minutes or so.

Erik Vendt swam his 1500m in Santa Clara; I swam mine in Santa Clarita. His time in the 1500m was 14:54.89; mine was a punishing 24.00.02. (It's the .02 that really gets me. It's just so asymmetrical.)

We had some Masters world records set there today as well and I have to say that the Santa Clarita pool is a superb facility. In fact it is where I do my fastest swimming. (Well, as fast as I can.)

I set a personal best in the 50 LCM in a time of 29.87 despite being super fatigued from the 1500 LCM. (That is a meek explanation and I have to stop that.)

As to how formidable the 1500m is: What was I thinking? Obviously not much for I just don't have the degree of ability or concentration yet to swim that far or as well as I should. Also in the back of my mind I was thinking that I had to save something for the 50 and the 100 and you can't think that way. You have to approach each race as this existential moment in time and you have to just stick to your plan and then storm it.

It really makes you appreciate the "Zen, discipline" in such athletes as Evans, Hackett, Vendt, and of course, Kate Ziegler.

In the 50 I wore a wore a Nike Hydra and I have to say that I am very impressed with the Nike Hydra. It is far lighter than the Speedo Fastskin II, faster and much easier to get on. The compression is outstanding but your airways don't feel constricted in any way.

Every time I have worn the Hydra I have either set a personal best or swam practically on top of it. Don't think Nike is not player in the elite speedsuit category. The most underrated suit is faster than a Fastskin II. Who knew?

The photo above I took last year of the Santa Clarita Aquatic center. It was a during a SCY Regionals meet. I include the photo to give you and idea of what the pool looks like.

I am off to a long course meters swim meet this morning in Santa Clarita, CA!

I am going to be swimming the 1500 - I don't care what my time is. I am hoping to go a 29 in the 50, and if I have anything left I want to go a 1:08 or better in the 100.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Right now Dara Torres is the second fastest American woman in the 100 Free!

Yesterday in Texas, Dara Torres, stormed the 100 free. I am all over this paragraph from Lane 9 News: "...Dara Torres, 41, demonstrated she is well on pace to making history at the U.S. Olympic Trials with a winning time of 54.17 in the women's 100 free. That performance is tied for ninth in the world this year and is only behind Natalie Coughlin's newly-minted 53.39 as the second-fastest American this year. Martina Moravcova and Mustang teammate Jennifer Blackman took second and third in 56.07 and 56.37. ..." [Link]

Friday, May 16, 2008

Premier Management Group makes a statement!

Evan Morgenstein is the president of a company called Premier Management Group, They are a sports talent agency who represent everybody from Amanda Beard to Erik Vendt. Obviously their job is to negotiate the best deal they can for the athletes they represent and now they refuse to do business with TYR.

Morgenstein sent out an email to SwimNews which stated: "I felt like it was time as a company to make a statement. We will continue to work with our athletes who work with TYR and make sure they get what they need, but in the future we will not be pursuing them." [Link]

He goes on to say that Erik Vendt did NOT violate his contract by wearing a Speedo at the Long Beach Grand Prix while under contract with TYR and after hearing that I sincerely think that any sophisticated reader has questions about that statement.

Morgenstein predicts a backlash from the swim community over this treatment of Vendt and he couldn't be more right about a backlash but it isn't going to be about Erik Vendt. It is going to be, and has been, all about USA Swimming for-profit deals.

One such deal with the Wasserman Media Group led to the pulling of Flowswimming's Floswimming's media credential which annoyed not just the bloggers but just about every swimmer that has ever been to Flowswimming's Floswimming.

We're going to be seeing a backlash from swim suit manufacturers too; (starting with this TYR lawsuit), who do not appreciate a non-profit, National Governing Body favoring one brand over another due to the amount of cash that particular brand pours into the USA Swimming's coffers.

For instance USAS allows no other swimsuit company save for Speedo to advertise in their Splash Magazine. Speedo has banner ads on the USAS site, a Speedo branded tip of the week article and recently we have all heard the National team coach seriously pimp Speedo while never mentioning that he was on the Speedo payroll. (See TYR Brief).

The aforementioned is a big deal for legally, a non-profit is not allowed to profit from the subject of their non-profit. That is why teachers have bake sales instead of tutoring students in exchange for cash. Hence, USA Swimming can't let this go to court. If they do then a judge will tear into their bank account and neither Congress nor FINA would like that.

I suspect this lawsuit will be settled before Beijing or else the public will see how USAS does business. Though I am hoping we do!

So, unlike Swim Network which is owned by the Wasserman Media Group, or Swim News that is very pro Speedo, I am rooting for TYR since this isn't about Speedo, it's about the for-profit tactics of USAS.

Here is a Reuters overview: [Link]

Look at these splits from Kate Ziegler's 800m prelim

I am really impressed with Alyssa Anderson. Her splits so focused. Kylie Palmer's are pretty good too. Though Kate Ziegler won the heat, her splits are quite sloppy when you compare them to her past swims. She is usually like a Baum & Mercier timepiece! If fact that would make a great gift for her if she medals in Beijing. Now Kate, pretend you didn't read this! [Link]

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mark Shubert claims the 'Speedo LZR' would give a swimmer a 2% advantage over any other suit.

In the TYR lawsuit brief mentioned in the previous post, Mark Shubert is categorically quoted on page 8 - Line 6, stating that the Speedo LZR would give a swimmer a "2% advantage" over any other suit.

What does a "2% advantage" mean and how was that number quantified?

Will you finish all your races in a time that is 2% faster than ever before?

Does it mean that a Speedo Lzr is simply 2% more "slippery" or more hydrodynamic than any other suit on the market?

The math doesn't support it and there is no way that Mark Shubert was able to test a Tracer Light, Tracer Rise, blueseventy pointzero3, or an Arena Powerskin R-Evolution in a plume or wind tunnel.

Pieter van den Hoogenband's set a world record in the 100 LCM free at the Sydney games in a time of 47.84. If you then compare it to Alain Bernard's world record set at the European LCM Championships last month in a time of 47.50, that is not even a single percentage point faster but rather a 0.07% reduction. It's impressive but it is not 2%.

In the 50 free the time differential between Popov-2000 and Bernard-2008, we see a .98% reduction. Again, this is not a 2% differential. Michael Phelps dropped his 200 back time by the same percentage in just 4 years without a Speedo Lzr.

Shubert's 2% claim is an extraordinary one and it demands extraordinary proof.

LA TIMES: 'TYR' sues 'Speedo' and 'USA Swimming', Coach Mark Schubert and Erik Vendt

UPDATE: Here is the legal brief that TYR filed: [Link]

Thank you so much to the reader who sent it!

I am going to try and get the brief and post it. I am no lawyer but I think TYR has a case. A huge one and USA Swimming will be forced to capitulate or face the consequences of their "for profit" ventures presented to the public at large. Most notably that USA Swimming is not allowed to profit from the subject of their non-profit status and yet they are doing just that.

As for Mark Shubert who is coach of the USA Team - This snippet to me illustrates an ethically severe conflict of interest on Shubert's part if this allegation is true. Especially note the part in bold. Here is a snippet: "... before the LZR debuted, the court papers said. His enthusiasm extended to what was called a mandatory team meeting at the Short Course World Championships in Manchester, England in April, telling swimmers that they would "have a two percent advantage if they wore the Speedo LZR technology," according to the lawsuit.

"Schubert also arranged to have a fitting session during the mandatory team meeting where athletes were instructed on how to fit the Speedo LZR suit and position the LZR suit to the body," the complaint said. "TYR-sponsored athletes in attendance expressed discomfort at Schubert's unsolicited comments."

Speedo has long been linked to USA Swimming, in a commercial sense, and in court papers TYR maintains that Schubert "is a paid spokesman for Speedo. ..."

( Read as a PAID spokesperson for Speedo being PAID to tell the American team in Manchester, England during a mandatory meeting that the product he is being PAID to represent is 2% better than any other suit and that they should wear it.)

As for USA Swimming: Here are three reasons why they may be acting in economic interests rather than in the interests of producing good swimmers:

1) Wasserman Media Group "Marketing deal"
2) Speedo endorsement deal - Speedo Tip of the Week
3) Spanking Floswimming for actually promoting swimming.

As for Erik Vendt: If you promise to wear a suit in exchange for a salary; you wear it. Embarrassing your sponsor not only tarnishes their name, but makes you a potentially fatal brand investment down the line. Also, there is that breech of contract thingy!

Here is a link to Lisa Dillman's article at the L.A. Times: [Link]

Photo above came from non-governmental body, non-profit, USA

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Videos of Michael Phelps being interviewed and swimming over at the Baltimore Sun!

Here is a snippet from the article: "...Michael Phelps showed up at the Meadowbrook Aquatic Center last night and climbed into the pool.

But instead of a Speedo, he wore a tuxedo.

The club's outdoor pool, which had been drained and covered by a tent, was the site of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club's Countdown to Beijing, a catered black-tie fundraising event that might represent Phelps' last stop in Baltimore before the 2008 Olympics...." [Link]

I don't like how he couches swimming as something to escape from when he turns 30 though. It takes some of the fun out of watching him swim.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Japanese fabric to challenge Speedo: Biorubber Swim-SCS Fabric

The Japanese have a strict swimsuit rule for their athletes: You can wear any suit you want as long as it is made in Japan. So, not to be outdone by the Speedo LZR, AFP reports:

"... Now Japan's Yamamoto Corp., which has supplied a super-fast synthetic rubber fabric to wetsuit makers around the world, has come to the rescue with the Olympic Games just three months away.

The company has offered material, called the Biorubber Swim-SCS Fabric, to challenge Britain's Speedo, saying it is the "the world's fastest swimwear material."

"The decision is not aimed at all at business. It's aimed at helping Japanese swimmers fight to their heart's content in fair conditions at the Beijing Olympics," said the company's president, Tomizo Yamamoto. ..."

Note that the gentleman is holding up a blueseventy: [Link]

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Camelia Potec beautifully filmed with a surprise ending as well!

Featured above is Camelia Potec. She is the Romanian swimmer that soundly defeated Laure Manaudou in the 400 meter free at French Nationals last month. Manaudou was so devastated by this loss that she later capitulated in the 200 meter free and will not swim the event in 2008.

Like an ass, I thought Potec was a French swimmer and I had to be corrected by two readers. I should have looked her up immediately after that correction and I would have found this video.

She may even be the favorite to beat Kate Ziegler in this event at Beijing. Put her on your radar.

Amanda Beard has a nice freestyle! - Check out her PSA spot for "Save the Sharks"

If you didn't catch the Tara Kirk PSA for the same group, here is a link: [Link]

How 'Schweppes water' is marketed in France versus America

The French space apparently goes for water that is far more sensuous and colorful than the US whereas America prefers something more emotional or more of a spectacle.

I found the French ad spot at which linked me to a site called Shape-and-color, which is a fantastic site for cataloging for what I call the "industrious art complex." Therein I was hyper-linked to the American ad

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Well, Eamon Sullivan is about to get spanked over D'Arcy comments.

Sunday is almost over in Australia as I write this and I just read comments Eamon Sullivan made regarding Nick D'Arcy which are just sincerely outrageous.

Back ground info: On March 30th 2008, Nick D'Arcy viciously attack Simon Cowley after one report claimed that Cowley extended his hand out to Nick D'Arcy in a congratulatory gesture over his 200 butterfly win at Australian Nationals. While another says Cowley asked him to tone down his bragging.

In the ensuing seconds Cowley's life was irrevocable changed for the worse. He had lost most of teeth, suffered a broken jaw, a broken nose, a fractured eye socket, a crushed cheekbone and fractured palate in the attack and subsequently had to have five titanium plates screwed into his face to repair the injuries.

Of course large amounts of alcohol were involved; ("Fuelled by up to 12 drinks," was what the Daily Telegraph stated), and several members from the Australian national team were also there drinking with D'Arcy and most likely they all witnessed the beating of Cowley as well. Reports say that several members of the Australian team were questioned.

So, the next day the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) gets wind of this and in the ensuing week or so Chairman John Coates forcefully states that though D'Arcy deserves to be presumed innocent, this deed among others is so grievous that he brought not just himself into disrepute but Australian swimming as well. Therefore, he is effectively kicked off the National team. (Apparently D'Arcy had a history of this nonsense whereas he had broken the nose of an Australian triathlete some time before. The AOC does not have to legally presume innocence. They can send anybody they want to the Olympics.)

When Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge hears about Nick D'Arcy and the AOC decision, he backs the decision 100% and makes it clear he will support them.

Now, with all this in mind this is what Eamon Sullivan had to say regarding the beating of Simon Cowley; From the Herald Sun: [Link] "... He's quite young and already broken the record for the 200m 'fly. Sometimes mistakes happen, but I can't really say too much. ..."

"He's a great swimmer, so it would be a shame for that talent to give up..."

"It's unfortunate with a few things that have come up," he said. "But over the years, compared to some other sports in headlines every week, we spend 90 per cent of our time training, 5 per cent competing and 5 per cent having a break. ..."

Memo to Sullivan, when you get yourself into a hole and your coach says, "stop digging," or more accurately to not talk to the press, you do what he says. You have not only allowed yourself to tacitly dismiss D'Arcy's behavior just because he can swim a fast butterfly, but you have embarrassed your coach and yourself by taking a side in something contrary to the AOC, the IOC and have probably alienated at least half of the Australian public as a result.

D'Arcy could be sentenced for up to 10 years over this. His court day is June 17th.

When NASA goes swimming!

These images were sent to me from SCAQ swimmer Michael. Wish I could jump in and play astronaut but it would probably cost me a million dollars just to stand on the deck.

"The Magnificent 13" will compete in the 41st Toyota Santa Clara International Grand Prix, starting Thursday in Santa Clara

Bumped into this by accident and I am glad I did. From the Mercury News: "... U.S. national teams members expected to compete include Olympians Kaitlin Sandeno, Erik Vendt, Kara Lynn Joyce, Amanda Beard, Jason Lezak, Peter Vanderkaay and Margaret Hoelzer, USA Swimming announced today. The field also includes Kim Vandenberg of Moraga and world record-holder Kate Ziegler. ..." [Link]

Available Cowboys and Cowgirl include: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Natalie Coughlin.

Here we go: First open water practice this year

On the left is Hermosa Pier and on the right; 2 miles away, is Manhattan Pier. That is my swim workout today. Water temp is: 61 degrees and these photos were taken at 6:19 AM. I will be wearing neoprene because I am a So Cal wuss! I will be swimming it with both Anthony and Andrew. You can see all sort of webcam photos of So Cal beaches at Watch-the-water-dot-org.

UPDATE: The water was painfully cold and I emphasize it was painful. The water temp at Watch-the-water-dot-org siad it was 60 degrees, Surfline said 62. Well, I am telling you it was nowhere near 60 degrees.

Anthony, Andrew and I swam side by side and by the time we got out, every single one of us had numb feet. Anthony who swam it without a wetsuit was seriously cold when we got out. Took him longer to warm up than I have ever seen.

We all swam fast and Anthony and I worked together taking turns spotting since we were side by side the whole way. This way we could go 30-strokes or more before we had to spot for each other. Thus we swam the 2 miles well under and hour.

Andrew stormed it. His first open water swim this year and He was always a body length ahead the whole way. I am going to need at least six more of these swims before Alcatraz. It looks like I will be buying a T1 De Soto suit for it as well. When I do I am going to give away my Quintana Roo..

Friday, May 09, 2008

Steve Munatones on the cause of Grant Hackett's bloating.

Steve Munatones explains what happens to the human body post a 10K race. He poses the most logical reason to date as to why Grant Hackett appeared so plushy. From Lane 9 news: "... All of the causes of Hackett's bloating are common among open water swimmers and are more notable and noticeable based on the water salinity and duration of exposure.

"... As often happens in salt or brackish water, the body naturally swells from the prolonged exposure. This is why many English Channel and marathon swimmers look bloated and "soft" when they exit the water after a long swim. Many swimmers appear out of shape, especially around the stomach, hips and thighs, after long open water swims. ..." [Link]

He includes other reasons and discusses a concept called the "third spacing" effect. Here is a Wikipedia entry on "third spacing." [Link]

The situation is still saturating the Australian press. Before and after photo and article from the Sydney Morning Herald which blames "carbs" rather than the more likely explanation by Munatones: [Link]

Interesting Statistic: Records no guarantee of Olympic glory unless you're Janet Evans

From Australia's The Age: At the past five Olympics, more than half the swimmers who set world records in the months leading up to the Games did not win their events. Six swimmers set records before Seoul in 1988 but only one, American Janet Evans (800 metres freestyle), went on to win gold. [Link]

Thursday, May 08, 2008

This is so cool: Your favorite college swimmer has been databased and you can view their stats!

This site; secretly buried at Swimming World, allows you to search up mens rankings, womens rankings, college swimmers, and even allows you to enter you own data.

1) Go to the link: [Link]
2) Select "Search swimmers by college"
3) Select a school name or use the pull down menu: I chose "University of Texas" (Must 'ctrl' click for multiple schools)
4) Click all the preference boxes you are interested in
5) Click "Search" and then you can view the swimmers times, stats and more.

Go there before they bury it!!!

Floswimming Fallout: "Swim site conflict opens debate over sport's video rights"

Remember when Grant McCaffrey got spankd by USA Swimming and then the swim bloggers spanked back? This article covers the fallout.

Merritt of Merittr gets quoted as well. How cool is that? :-)

Here is a snippet from the Missourian: McCaffrey’s conflict has since become a rallying cry for issues those see in the online swimming community with USA Swimming’s new partnership with Wasserman Media Group.

“It’s not a situation ideal for a governing body to be in,” McCaffrey said. “It’s an issue larger than Floswimming. It’s a pretty layered battle, and Floswimming’s just at the tip of it.” [Link]

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Cullen Jones freestyle compared with Michael Phelps

I like Cullen's better.

Michael Phelps eats 8k to 10k a day commercial

Michael Phelps: A boy and his dog commercial

Love that dog though English bulldogs are very high maintenance health wise when they get old.

As seen on TV: Grant Hackett's 48 hour diet!

Wendy of off-the-deep-end sent me this article from The Age in response to that photo I posted of Grant Hackett's plushy belly. Here is what he had to say: "...Do I look like I'm really that overweight? I don't really think I am," said Hackett, who was publicly praised in March for his best performances in years at the Olympic swim trials.

"At the end of the day you carbo load, you have 3.5 kilograms of fluid before you start the race . . . (and) there were a whole set of circumstances and (that was) just an absolutely unflattering shot. ..." [Link]

Caught on film, a killer whale hunting a dolphin

In the ocean the Orca dominates all: Gray whales, sperm whales, great white sharks, dolphins, giant squids and anything else that swims are nothing more than menu items to them.

What has me completely astonished is that killer whales know that we are harmless to them and refuse to put us on the menu. In this article the writer recounts how a killer whale actually paraded it's baby for the divers to see after mauling a dolphin.

The image is attributed to The Herald in South Africa. Here is a snippet from the article: "...

“My four clients and I decided to join them in the water. While orcas in the northern hemisphere feed mostly on fish like herring, the species in the south focuses on mammals like seals and dolphins, so we were cautious.

“But they were just curious, and quite friendly. At one point the mother of the calf brought it towards us, shielded against her side as if to show us to it.”

Schimpf, who is also spokesman for the marine conservation lobby group Ocean Messengers, said the event was further evidence that “Algoa Bay offers the best dive opportunities world-wide.... and needs to be protected accordingly.

“It is a heritage of enormous tourism value and has huge potential to support eco-friendly business, for present and future generations. ...”

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

TYR Athletes talk about the new 'Tracer Light'

One of the athletes is Erik Vendt who recently decided to go Speedo perhaps even before he had a chance to race in the Tracer Rise? Currently he and Larsen Jensen are not sponsored as a result of their decisions to wear Speedo.

I sincerely wonder if their decisions to bail on TYR was a result of mass hysteria in the press regarding the LZR's "magic" or that the Speedo LZR is technologically rigged? I should go look at his times post TYR and LZR and compare them.

Monday, May 05, 2008

FINA's side of the Grant Hackett DQ

FINA is having none of the "they targeted Grant Hackett" excuse. Here is what they had to say: "... In the upset of the day, Hackett finished not only outside the top-ten who qualified for Beijing (he finished fifteenth), but was also disqualified based on the FINA Open Water Swimming Rule 6.3.1, which prohibits any one swimmer from interfering with another swimmer by making intentional contact. Hackett’s first infringement (yellow flag) came at 1hr27mins into the race, while the second was within the last 300m, when swimmers desperately scrambled to find the quickest path to the finish. The Australian team subsequently filed a protest, which was followed by meetings with the head referee Mr. Ronnie Wong, but the protest was not accepted, as both the infringements were confirmed by two other referees. “It’s unfortunate that any swimmer should be disqualified,” Mr. Stephen Cassidy, President of the Technical OWS Committee said about the issue, “but I have no doubt it was warranted and that the referees made the correct decision.” [Link]

Grant Hackett just 81 days away from Beijing

Alex Murdock quoting Ian Pope in The Herald Sun: "... He's in great shape. He hasn't missed a beat," Pope said in Melbourne yesterday.

"I'm only guessing here, because I haven't seen those photos, but after a distance race they do puff up a bit. He certainly wouldn't get pudgy unless he's had a lot of food while he was away and he's normally really good about those kinds of things."

Pope said he believed it was probably Hackett's choice of swimwear that had helped make his figure appear more rotund, giving him the dreaded muffin-top look. ..." [Link]

He looks strong & overweight to me.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Mark Warkentin finishing seventh at the FINA 10k Open Water World Championship

Mark Warkentin, pictured above finishing seventh today at the FINA 10k Open Water World Championship in Savilla, Spain has earned the right to represent the USA in the first ever open water Olympic event.

I was curious as to what suit Mark Warkentin was wearing so I emailed TYR, the suit is wearing is called the Tracer Light Open Water, a suit designed for distance swimming of this nature. The suit has what TYR calls "Energy Cell" pockets to store nutrition/gel packets and customized compression panels. I will try and get pictures of it. Getting food at the aid stations is quite an art and takes up time. The pockets sound like a good idea.

I was told that he was wearing the tights.

The Beijing Olympic Medals

I am surprised how western they are in nature. I like the design of the Olympic torch better. It captures Asia much better.

Australian Nick D'Arcy won't be going to the Olympics but a Drunk, Australian, driver who put a person into a 12-day coma will?

What are you guys thinking down under?

From the Sydney Morning Herald: "... CYCLING Australia admits they're heading for a Nick D'Arcy-style controversy with Chris Jongewaard likely to be selected for Beijing despite being charged over a drink-driving hit-and-run that left the victim in a coma for 12 days.

Cycling Australia will nominate its team on July 4 for ratification by the Australian Olympic Committee. President John Coates will have to decide whether Jongewaard, like D'Arcy, should be kicked off the Olympic team. ..." [Link]

I stand corrected on Olympic open water qualifying

I am the open water student, Munatones is the master. From Steve Munatones:

"... There are 11 remaining spots to fill in the men's 10K at the second qualifying swim in Beijing on June 1st. One of these spots will be allotted to the Chinese representative. The remaining 10 spots will be given to the first 10 finishers; but, each country only gets one spot.

Because Mark Warkentin placed in the top 10, the U.S. does not get any spot. In the same way, countries like Australia , Netherlands , Italy , Greece and Belgium also do not have the opportunity to qualify a second teammate at the Beijing race (because they also placed a swimmer in the top ten in Seville ).

Therefore, Chip Peterson will not be eligible to try to qualify again for the Beijing Olympics. That is, your second paragraph is incorrect (i.e., …if Chip Peterson is going to go…the selection will be up to USA Swimming).

If possible, please clarify this for your readers because this may lead to many misunderstandings and some of your readers will send me emails on this subject, accusing FINA and/or USA Swimming of making the process confusing, misleading, inappropriate or politically based. Like you, I am only trying to promote the sport, its heroes and participants, but I would rather focus on the positive vs. the negative.

In fact, the qualification explanation is quite clear – unfortunately, the entire explanation has not been adequately presented to the general public in a comprehensive manner. Therefore, when picking up bits and pieces of the qualification criteria, misunderstandings are often made. Please help me try to avoid this situation, if possible.

By the way, the only country on the men's side that has 2 swimmers in the Olympic 10K final is Russia . In the same way, the only two countries on the women's side that have 2 swimmers in the women's 10K final are Great Britain and Brazil . On the men's side, there will be 24 countries represented in the field of 25 male swimmers and 23 countries represented in the field of 25 female swimmers. ..." -- Steve Munatones

Go to for a primer on open water swimming

2008 FINA World Open Water Championships: Update on Grant Hackett's DQ

I should steal that "spinning siren" that Matt Drudge uses for stories like these. Anything Steven Munatones writes about open water is worth it In this update, Steven goes into specific details as to how and why Grant Hackett was DQed.

Swimming World update: "... The second infraction was committed with less than 250 meters from the finish in the mad dash to the finish. When the pace picked up with less than 1000 meters to go, Hackett was caught in the middle of the surging pack. With every stroke, unintentional collisions were made due to the close proximity of the swimmers to each other. As Hackett tried to create more space between himself and the swimmer alongside him, he apparently slowed down and tried deliberately to go over the back of Chip Peterson's legs. Apparently, the degree of separation between Hackett and Peterson was not enough. Unfortunately for both swimmers, Hackett swam over Peterson in a manner that three referees believed impeded the progress of Peterson. ..." [Link]

You would think that Grant Hackett would have swam like my favorite Russian, Larisa Ilchenko, by surging to the front and staying there. I bet Chip Peterson was pissed about the infraction but then again, look what it took to bring him down, the greatest distance swimmer of our time. Chip will still make it to Beijing I bet.

2008 FINA World Open Water Championships: Warkentin is going to Beijing, Grant Hackett got hammered and DQed!

The qualifying process for the Beijing open water races is awkward. For instance, according to the Steven Munatone's article at Lane 9 News, Chip Peterson did not finish in the top 10. He came close by placing 13th but that did not guarantee him a spot in Beijing. However, Saleh Mohammed, of Syria who placed 23rd will get to go; (rightfully so), since he has rated as the Asian continent's best finisher.

If Chip Peterson is going to go, he needs to race again on June 1st in Beijing in another qualifier race. If Chip does not qualify there, then the selection will be up to USA Swimming.

Here is a snippet from Steven Munatone's Lane 9 News article: "... SEVILLE, Spain, May 4. SIMILAR to the women's 10K championship yesterday, a British Olympic pool swimmer led the entire way until a savvy Russian surged at the end to claim the gold at the 2008 FINA World Open Water Championships. David Davies dragged the entire lead pack of over 40 men around four loops of the 10K course in Seville. Swimming consistently at 41-43 strokes per minutes, Davies lifted up his head every 20-50 strokes as he led the field. ..." [Link]

Above is how close the Open Water race was: David Davies got out touched by Russia's Vladimir Dyatchin by by an arm length. Photo from the BBC. [Link]

In this article by the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian teammate, Ky Hurst, said: "... A lot of the Europeans were rumoured to have said they would target Grant and they unfortunately did, ..."

"Two things came into play with Grant's swim, one he did not have the experience and two he is Grant Hackett and he was targeted big time. ..."

"They swam over him, bumped into the side of him, Grant has a large stroke and bumping into him every time is going to shorten his stroke up and going to hurt him and they were swimming over his legs,"

"That is what they do here, it is not the easiest sport in the world and unfortunately experience comes into play." [Link]

This article from the International Herald Tribune quotes Grant Hackett as to why is was disqualified: "... There were times when there were bodies everywhere — it was that kind of race," Hackett said. "I'm the first to admit that it was never going to be easy and, with 150 metres to go, another swimmer swam over the top of me and pulled me back and I swam over his legs and that's what I was supposedly disqualified for." [Link]

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Today was the women's portion of the 10K FINA Open Water World Championships

Larisa Ilchenko of Russia wins again to remain undefeated! Amputee Du Toit of South Africa is fourth - Steve Munatones has an excellent report over at Lane 9 News: [Link]

The Guardian has this report: [Link]
The Glob-and-Mail: [Link]

Above are British swimmers Cassandra Patten and Keri-Anne Payne having some sort of conference with one another. Here is a BBC News report: [Link]

With bridges as spotting targets, I bet this was a lot easier than an ocean swim hence they were a lot of surprises in the final results. [Link]

Though one of my favorites, Edith Van Dijk, will go to Olympics. Top American finisher, Kirsten Groom and Micha Burden did not fair to well in the standings which now makes it really complicated. I thought Chloe Sutton automatically gets to go but I think it is much more involved. I got an email that a test event of some kind may determine who gets go and that test event may only allow one swimmer instead of two to represent the United States. I am looking for a reference to see how it works. (Paging, Steve Munatones! White courtesy telephone please!)

Partial results copy/pasted this from Swimming World:

1) Larisa Ilchenko (Russia): 2:o2:2.70 - qualified for Beijing
2) Cassandra Patten (Great Britain): 2:02:05.8 - qualified for Beijing
3) Yurema Requena (Spain): 2:02:07.2 - qualified for Beijing
4) Natalie du Toit (South Africa): 2:02:07.8 - qualified for Beijing
5) Jana Pechanova (Czech Republic): 2:01:12.6 - qualified for Beijing
6) Poliana Okimoto (Brazil): 2:02:13.5 - qualified for Beijing
7) Angela Maurer (Germany): 2:02:13.6 - qualified for Beijing
8) Keri-Ann Payne (Great Britain): 2:02:14.1 - qualified for Beijing
9) Aurelie Muller (France): 2:02:14.2 - qualified for Beijing
10) Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil): 2:02:16.3 - qualified for Beijing
11) Edith van Dijk (Netherlands): 2:02:18.6 - qualified for Beijing, top European finisher
12) Yanqiao Fang (China): 2:02:23.3 - qualified for Beijing as top Asian continental finisher

17) Andreina Pinto (Venezuela): 2:02:39.8 (37.1 seconds behind) - qualified for Beijing Americas continental finisher

25) Melissa Gorman (Australia): 2:03:18.4 (1:15.7 behind) - qualified for Beijing as top Oceania continental finisher

Friday, May 02, 2008

A suave Frenchman who wears plastic and rubber clothes: HE FIGHTS CRIME!

Seriously, he does! Alain Bernard, French sprinter who held the world record in the 50 free for a short time has joined the military police: "... PARIS (AFP) — French Olympic swimming hopeful Alain Bernard, who broke three world records and won two titles at the European championships in March, has joined the French military police, the central administration for the national gendarmerie (DGGN) confirmed on Friday...."

"...Gendarmes in France are paramilitary personnel who carry out police duties among the civilian population.

Some 90 positions are reserved in the armed forces for top level sports stars, of which 18 are in the gendarmerie, which allows athletes to continue their sporting careers in the best conditions...." [Link]

Here is a link that allows you to steal story ideas for bad, "they fight crime!," television cop shows. Just click the "try Again" link if the cop show idea does not tickle your fancy. [Link]

Thursday, May 01, 2008

USA Today: More than half of black and Hispanic kids can't swim

USA Swimming did the study and here is the snippet from the report: "...COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A national, first-of-its kind survey found that approximately six out of 10 African-American children are unable to swim, nearly twice as many as their Caucasian counterparts. Similarly, 56% of Hispanic and Latino children are unable to swim. ..." [Link]

From USA Today: "...The survey found that "children do not buy in to the stereotype that minorities don’t or can’t swim. When asked whether they believed swimming was “just for white people,” over two-thirds of African-American and Hispanic/Latino children aged six to 16 disagreed (68% and 71% respectively), more than 40% of each group disagreed strongly. ..." [Link]

Caption to the photo: (Olympic freestyle swimmer Cullen Jones teaching Tavion Traynham and five other 8-year-olds at a YMCA in Omaha, Neb., in March. Photo by Daniel Johnson via AP.)

Steven Munatones is on the Sand in Sevilla and reporting for Swimming World!

Steven Munatones of, a former open water champion himself whose site has been reference in the Wall Street Journal is on the beach in Sevilla, Spain covering the FINA World Open Water Championships for Swimming World.

Here are some of his articles:

On Grant Hackett:

"At the pool during practice, they were just swimming at the hip, practicing how to draft and helping each other," said a coach who observed Grant Hackett and Ky Hurst of Australia prepare for Sunday's 10K Olympic qualifying race. "They looked pretty smooth together." [Link]

FINA World Open Water Championships: Pre-Press Conference Coverage
FINA World Open Water Championships: Pre-Race Swimsuit Check
FINA World Open Water Championships: Starting Positions Drawn

Steve if you are out there reading, why is it that the men don't appear to "attack" one another during the races like the women do?

blueseventy may be the suit of choice for open water swimming!

This article is from Lane 9 News and I really appreciate articles like these. They obviously have somebody on the ground there taking notice of what's going on rather than making drama out of the results page." Here is a snippet: "... teams from Russia, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Brazil, France and Mexico donned blueseventy's new PointZero3 suit. ..."

The article discusses water temps and pratice conditions: [Link]