Category Archives: Aquatic Sports

FINA ARTISTIC SWIMMING WORLD SERIES 2019 – HOSTS & DATES

The final calendar of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series 2019 has been announced, with eight hosts in Europe and Asia staging the event from February to June.

The event will kick-off in Europe with three hosts: Paris (FRA) from February 28 to March 3, Alexandroupolis (GRE) on April 4-7 and Kazan (RUS) from April 19-21.

Two Asian hosts, Tokyo (JPN) and Beijing (CHN) will then welcome the 2019 circuit on April 27-29 and May 4-5 respectively.

The artistic swimming competition will then move to North America as Greensboro (USA) will stage the sixth leg from May 24-26 and Quebec City (CAN) the seventh leg from May 30 to June 1.

Photo credit FINA

Finally the circuit will conclude in Barcelona (ESP) from May 31- June 2, before the first Super Final is organised in Budapest (HUN) from June 14-16, 2019.

Paris (FRA) : 28 February – 3 March
Alexandroupolis (GRE) : 4 – 7 April
Kazan (RUS) : 19-21 April
Tokyo (JPN) : 27 – 29 April
Beijing (CHN) : 4 – 6 May
Greensboro (USA) : 24 – 26 May
Quebec City (CAN) : 30 May – 1 June
Barcelona (ESP) : 31 May – 2 June
Super Final – Budapest (HUN) – June 14-16

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14TH FINA WORLD SWIMMING: “GRAND FINALE” FOR TEAM USA

USA clearly dominated the sixth and final day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Hangzhou (CHN), winning six gold medals out of the 10 finals at stake. In the three relays in the programme, the North Americans were the best with new Championships records, while in individual races they did the 1-2 in the women’s 200m breast and in the women’s 100m fly, with Caeleb Dressel also imposing his class in the men’s 100m free. Otherwise, Mikhailo Romanchuk (UKR) shone in the men’s 1500m free, Evgeny Rylov (RUS) was the best in the men’s 200m back, Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) won the last race of his career (50m breast), and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED, women’s 50m free) concluded in the best possible way a very successful participation in China.

Photo credit: FINA

Without surprise, USA was the “Best Team” of the Championships, while individually, Chad Le Clos (RSA) and Katinka Hosszu (HUN) were respectively the “Best Male” and “Best Female” athletes in Hangzhou. The South African star won four medals in the competition – gold in the 100m fly, silver in the 50m and 200m fly, and bronze in the 100m free -, while the Magyar great accumulated four gold (200m fly, 100m, 200m and 400m IM) and one silver (100m back).

During the six-day competition in Hangzhou, no less than nine World Records – six in relays (five by the USA and one for Brazil), and three in individual races: Ariarne Titmus (AUS) in the women’s 400m free, Kirill Prigoda (RUS) in the men’s 200m breast, and Daiya Seto (JPN) in the men’s 200m IM.

In the medal chart, USA is the clear leader, with a total of 36 podium presences (17 gold, 15 silver and four bronze), followed by Russia (6/5/3), Hungary (4/1/0), Netherlands (3/6/2) and China (3/5/5).

Starting the last session, the women’s 4x50m free relay consecrated the team of USA (Madison Kennedy, Mallory Comerford, Kelsi Dhalia and Erika Brown) winning gold in 1:34.03, a new Championships record. The previous best mark of the Championships had been achieved by the Netherlands in Doha 2014, in a time of 1:34.24. The Dutch quartet (led by very fast Ranomi Kromowidjojo, in 23.60) couldn’t do better in Hangzhou, clocking 1:34.55 for the silver, while Australia had to content for the bronze in 1:36.34.

Shortly after, in the men’s 1500m free, Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) fought an epic duel with Mykhailo Romanchuk, from Ukraine. The Italian star is the World Record holder in the event, in a time of 14:08.06 from December 2015, and swam all the race in the lead, but in the end he could not sustain the Ukrainian’s strong finish and concluded with a silver (14:09.87). Romanchuk got the gold in 14:09.14, a new Championships record, bettering the previous time of Tae Hwan Park (KOR, 14:15.51), from Windsor 2016. In a distant third place, Henrik Christiansen earned bronze in 14:19.39. It is the fourth consecutive medal for the Italian in this race, after winning in 2014, and getting two silver in 2012 and 2016.

In one of the most thrilling events of the evening, Caeleb Dressel (USA), Vladimir Morozov (RUS) and Chad Le Clos (RSA) were clear favourites for the medals, and they confirmed everyone’s expectations in the 100m free. The North American, swimming in lane 3, touched home in 45.62 for gold, while Morozov concluded in 45.64 for silver and Le Clos was third in 45.89. The Russian had won this race in 2012 and has the Championships’ record in this event from Doha 2014 (45.51). Morozov had won the 50m free, while Dressel was silver medallist in the 50m free and 100m fly.

FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: TITMUS (AUS) EXCELS AND RUSSIA COLLECTS GOLD

After winning the women’s 400m free in a new WR time, 18-year-old Ariarne Titmus (AUS) definitively became one of the revelations of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), being held in Hangzhou (CHN). In the fourth day of competition, the young Australian was the sole individual swimmer establishing a new global mark, but two more WR were set in relay events (by USA and Brazil). Other highlights included the third gold for Hosszu, the second individual win for Kromowidjojo, and the brilliant Russian performances by Kolesnikov, Morozov and Rylov. Finally, thanks to Shane Ryan (men’s 50m back, bronze), Ireland managed to have its first swimming medallist in the 25-year history of this competition.

In the first individual final of the day, Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) proved her excellent shape in Hangzhou, clearly dominating operations in the women’s 50m butterfly. The Dutch star touched home in 24.47, a new Championships Record (improving the mark of Sarah Sjostrom, 24.58, from Doha 2014). The minor medals went to Holly Barratt (AUS, 24.80, silver) and to Kelsi Dahlia (USA, 24.97, bronze). It was the second win for Kromowidjojo in China, after being also the fastest in the 100m free.

Another best mark of the event was improved in the men’s 100m individual medley, a thrilling duel between Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS) and Marco Orsi (ITA). In the end, the Russian was faster, touching the wall in 50.63 (0.03 better than the time of Markus Deibler, GER, in Doha 2014). It was also a new Junior WR for Kolesnikov (third in the 100m back), the star of the recent Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires (ARG), who improved his own best performance of 50.90. Orsi had to content with silver in 51.03, while Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori earned bronze in 51.53. Michael Andrew (USA), winner in 2016, was only fourth this time, clocking 51.58.

Hosszu earned her third gold (after the 200m fly and 400m IM) in Hangzhou, by convincingly winning the women’s 100m IM in 57.26, thus getting her fourth consecutive crown in this event. Her main challengers were far behind, with Runa Imai, from Japan, getting silver in 57.85 and Alia Atkinson (JAM) finishing third (the same result than in 2016) in 58.11. The two US representatives in the final, Melanie Margalis and Kathleen Baker could not reach the podium, touching in fourth and fifth respectively. Emily Seebohm (AUS), third in 2014 and second in 2016, also finished in a disappointing sixth place.

Photo credit: FINA

In the most interesting race of the day, the women’s 400m free, Australia’s Ariarne Titmus (already winner of the 200m free) was brilliant and did the perfect race against the recent World Record holder (3:53.97, since last October) in the distance, China’s Wang Jianjiahe. Taking an early lead in the race, Titmus (18 years old) never lost control of operations, touching home in a new global mark of 3:53.92. Wang, winner of the 800m free in Hangzhou and strongly “pushed” by the home crowd, could never seriously threaten the Australian prodigy, earning silver in 3:54.56. Her teammate Li Bingjie completed the podium in 3:57.99. Leah Smith, winner in 2016, had to content this time with the fourth position, in 3:58.58. It was the first female individual WR at these Championships, after successful efforts from Daiya Seto and Kirill Prigoda in the men’s field. Before Hangzhou, Titmus had been third in 4x200m free relay at the Budapest 2017 FINA World Championships and fourth in the 400m free of the same competition. At the 2016 edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) she swam three finals: 400m free (sixth), 800m free (fourth) and 4x200m free relay (fourth).

BLAKE PIERONI: “I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND OTHER SWIMMERS PARTICIPATE IN THE FINA SWC MEETS”

Currently fifth in the overall FINA Swimming World Cup 2018 ranking, Blake Pieroni of the USA is one of the swimmers, slowly but steadily, making his way up to the top of the Series.

Improving his times legs after legs, Pieroni, 22, is competing for the first time in the Swimming World Cup:

Admitting that he is having “more fun at this event than any other Series”, Pierioni keep his focus in mind:

“My goal is to keep improving on my times, I can’t control how other people swim, but I can control my attitude and my races. I’ve done my main races in yards hundreds of times but I’ve only done them in short-course a handful, so racing them more is a key for me.”

Despite long-course swimming being the norm in the USA where Pieroni grew-up, the Olympic gold medallist (4×100 freestyle relay, Rio 2016) admits he has in fact always been training in 25m-pool swimming pool.

“I’ve trained short course for most of my early swimming career, when I was in middle school and high school, we didn’t have a 50m pool so we trained in 25m all summer and I think it prepared me for meets such as the World Cup and the World Swimming Championships (25m)”

After completing the first two Clusters and four meets in total, Pieroni agrees that there are many attractive aspects to the 25m events.

“This is a more opinionated answer but for me, only racing 50m-pool gets a bit arduous and I get tired of it. I think racing short-course keeps things fresh and it’s just fun. What makes it fun and attractive is partially the use of underwater dolphin kicks.”

“Since the Olympics are long-course, people have always thought of the 25m event as not being as important, but for me I like them just as much, maybe even more!”

“I think that short-course prize money should be closed to the World Championships (50m) prize-money. It would help develop the popularity of these events and I would highly recommend other swimmers participate in the FINA Swimming World Cup meets!”, adds Pieroni.

Amongst the perks of the World Cup, Pieroni happily mentions: “Meeting new people who share the same passion that I have for the sport of swimming has been awesome and I get to visit cool new places.”

Both great freestylers, Pieroni considers Russia’s Vladimir Morozov, provisionally atop of the overall ranking, his biggest rival at the World Cup.

“I think it is pretty clear that Vladimir Morozov is the biggest overall opponent in the World Cup. We swim similar events and he is always near the World Records, which is extremely impressive. I think he is a great competitor, I look up to him and racing at all these meets makes both of us better.”

“This being the first time I have competed in a World Cup circuit, there were many swimmers that I did not know, but it was great to meet them and make friends with them. Now going to each meet is fun to catch up and see how they are doing.”

With the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) just around the corner, to be held in Hangzhou (CHN) from December 11-16, Pieroni confirmed his attendance and how he uses the Swimming World Cup meets to actually fine-tune his preparation.

“I will be taking part in the FINA World championships in Hangzhou in December and the World Cup circuit has been the majority of my preparation for the meet.”

“In my opinion, doing the race is the best practice a person can get, it’s the most specific and I feel that you learn the most.”

The FINA Swimming World Cup 2018 resumes on November 2-4 in Beijing, China, for the fifth leg of the season. The circuit will then move to Tokyo (JPN, Nov 8-10) and Singapore (SGP, Nov 15-17). Beijing Entry List

You can watch all meets LIVE on FINAtv and daily race reports are available on FINA website during competition.

SWIMMING WORLD CUP RESUMES IN EINDHOVEN

On the eve of the start of the FINA Swimming World Cup’s second Cluster, in Eindhoven (NED), Cluster #1 winners Chupkov (RUS) and Sjostrom (SWE) warm up for more action.

After Kazan and Doha, the Swedish star and the Russian ace are the provisional leaders of the 2018 ranking, with respectively 120 and 90 points.

They were the first beneficiaries of the US$ 50,000 prize money distributed to the best of each Cluster which concluded in Doha on September 15 as 5 new World Cup records highlighted the three-day event (against 7 World Cup Records in Kazan).

2017 Series overall winner Sjostrom has won 10 races so far, while Chupkov was the fasted in 3 races.

In the women’s competition, Olympic and World champions Katinka Hosszu (HUN) and Yulia Efimova (RUS) have kicked started the 2018 circuit with top performances in the two inaugural legs allowing them to secure the second (90) and third (78) ranking positions, while USA’s most promising young swimmer Michael Andrew won the 100m fly races as well as the 50 back in Doha. He is naturally second (87) in the ranking and last year overall runner up Vladimir Morozov of Russia is provisionally third (84).

With two days to go to Eindhoven (Friday September 28 to Sunday September 30), nearly 185 athletes are registered. Amongst them big names such as Mitch Larkin (AUS), Pieter Timmers (BEL), Yuliya Efimova (RUS), Laszlo Cseh (HUN), Felipe Lima (BRA), Katinka Hosszu (HUN), Emily Seebhom (AUS), Chad Le Clos (RSA), Blake Pieroni (USA), Alia Atkinson (JAM), Mehdy Metella (FRA), Anton Chupkov (RUS), Daiya Seto (JPN), David Verraszto (HUN), Sarah Sjostrom (SWE).

Ranomi Kromowidjojo leads the 48-strong home delegation.

FINA

2018 FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup: Host Germany Defeat World Silver Medallist Hungary

Group B

Victory for Serbia

Serbia opened the FINA Men’s Water Polo World Cup in Berlin with a goal festival. In the first match of Group B, the Olympic Champion outclassed the World Championships 16th South Africa 21:3 (4:1, 5:0, 7:0, 5:2). After just 47 seconds, Gavril Subotic scored for the first time. With six goals, the 22-year-old was also named the most successful shooter of the opening match, which was decided after the first quarter and peppered by hits in the minute.

For Serbia, four goals were scored by Nemanja Vico, while captain Dusan Mandic and Ognjen Stojanovic scored three times, Mateja Asanovic and Strahinja Rasovic scored twice while Dorde Lazic scored once. For outsider South Africa, Mark Spencer scored twice and Donn Stewart once.

Croatia prevails against the USA

In the second match of Group B, World Champion Croatia defeated the tenth of the Olympic Games USA with 15:10 (3:2, 4:2, 3:3, 5:3), but they had some difficulties. After a well-balanced first quarter, the Croatians had the lead with three goals however, lost their competitive advantage during the middle of the third quarter as the US-team caught up to a close 6:7.

With several goals within only a minute and a half, the favourite increased their lead and pulled away just before the last break and was unbeatable from there on. Top-scorer of the Croatian team was Ante Vukicevic with four goals, for the United States Alex Bowen scored three times.

Group A

Japan was defeated by Australia

In the first match of Group A, the seventh of the World Championships Australia did not waste any time against the tenth of the World Championships Japan and won confidently with 14:6 (3:0, 5:0, 5:5, 3:1). The Australians survived the first two quarters even with a clean sheet and led to the half of the game already with a sovereign 8:0. Captain Aaron Younger impressed with a remarkable strike-rate of 100% by scoring four out of four chances. On the other hand, Atsushi Arai was the most successful shooter with three goals for Japan.

Germany defeats runner-up to the World Champion Hungary

What a kick-off to the host: Facing the second place of the World Championships Hungary, the team of national coach Hagen Stamm managed the big surprise of the day. With the 12:10 success (1:2, 3:4, 4:2, 4:2), the German team turned up the heat at the Europasportpark (SSE) in Berlin and their spectators were chanting with them. They managed to finish the game in victory after lagging behind 4:6 after the first two quarters.

“There are 100 days of hard work behind us, including the European Championship and now the next tournament,” said German national coach Hagen Stamm. “The boys are just worth it and really deserve it today. The effort payed off and the audience was really terrific today. ”

At the beginning of the third quarter, the Hungarians even moved ahead to 7:4, but then the Germans turned the tables and started with a 8:8 tie in the last break. At the score of 9:9, the German team turned their power up even more with scores from Ben Reibel, Julian Real and again Reibel to 12:9 – the victory was clear.

Best scorers from the German point of view were Ben Reibel and Julian Real with three goals each, for Hungary Bence Batori also scored three times.

BIG SWIMMING NAMES READY FOR POOL ACTION AT SWC’S INAUGURAL LEG

With less than 10 days to go to the inaugural leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018, many swimming legends have shown interested in one of the most important events of the discipline.

With room for more entries, Russia’s Kirill Prigoda has confirmed his attendance to all seven stops of the World Cup, while Olympic bronze medallist and current World Record holder Vladimir Morozov and Olympic silver and bronze medallist as well as World champion Yuliya Efimova are amongst the other home nation athletes registered for Kazan.

While last year’s overall Series winners Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) and Chad Le Clos (RSA) are ready to make the headlines again, the famous Iron Lady of Hungary, Katinka Hosszu, who is a veteran of the World Cup is also set to take the plunge at the Kazan Aquatics Palace from September 7-9. Compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos and David Verraszto will also be there.

China will be represented by, but not only, Yifan Yang, Yuhang Wu and Zhiaho Zhang.

The U.S. delegation will be led by short-course World champion Michael Andrew.

Australia’s accomplished talent Mitch Larkin also confirmed attendance, as did Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Jesse Puts of the Netherlands.

CREDIT: FINA

Kazan hosts are organising a Speedo Swim Clinic & autograph session on September 4 as well as a formal World Cup presentation at the Kremlin on September 5. A press conference will be hosted on September 6 at the venue before the Opening Ceremony kick-off the event on Friday September 7.

In addition, the organisers have focused on a out-of-competition programme open to kids and amateur swimmers with two dedicated challenges on Saturday September 8.

The World Cup meets will count towards qualifying for the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) 2018 to take place from December 11-16 in Hangzhou, China.