This happened this week – only 38 days prior to the kick-off
The representatives of the aquatic sports are preparing for the 17th FINA World Championships – some are fighting to get into the roster, others as already World Championships participants are working at trainings or competing at races, some again have reached to point of mental tuning and are speaking about their targets, moreover others will not act in the pool, but on other field at the World Championships in July.
Schooling aspiring for world record in Budapest
Singaporian Joseph Schooling, who got to the headlines by winning men’s 100 m butterfly in Rio, likes to break his idol, Michael Phelps’ world record of 49.82 in Budapest. In an interview to the Channel News Asia he spoke about his plans with optimism: From my bottom of my heart I think that if I can do what I really capable of and I do everything perfectly, I will have good chance to break the world record this summer.”
The first Olympic champion of Singapore presently has his best time of 50,39 and he thrives for claiming the gold not only of 100 m, but the 200 m butterfly as well in Budapest. As of the latter he has not yet talked about record breaking.
Ukrainian and Spanish successes at the last stop of FINA Synchro World Series
The latest stop of FINA Synchro World Series was held in Las Palmas at the last weekend of May. The Spanish hosts could claim gold medals due to their world champion, Ona Carbonell. The 27-year old synchronised swimmer from Barcelona won the single and duet as well with partnering Paula Ramirez. Otherwise the Ukrainian swept the competition with three gold medals including team and combination, while in mixed duet the Japanese claimed gold. About the Hungarians’ result you can read here.
There will not be French relay teams in Budapest
The balance of the French National Swimming Championships held at the end of May became rather depressing, since only nine swimmers could get into the World Championships roster and there will not be any relay teams representing the blue-white-red colours in Budapest. The latter fact can be considered as especially painful, because the men’s 4x100 m freestyle relay team claimed gold at the two previous World Championships, won silver in the Olympics and for almost ten years have gained medals at all major international events. However, this year only Mehdy Metella could swim beneath the qualification time and the French leaders insisted on their previous principles and decided not to start relay at the World Championships.
In Kazan, two years ago, the French swimming team consisted of 29 members and claimed 6 medals including four gold finishing fifth at the nations’ medal table. For the 17th FINA World Championships 10 swimmers could reach the qualification level in 13 events, but since Aurélie Muller chose to compete in open water at the World Championships, only the following nine swimmers will represent France in Budapest: Geoffroy Mathieu (men’s 200 m backstroke), Anna Santamans (women’s 50 m freestyle), Charlotte Bonnet (women’s 200 m and 100 m freestyle), Béryl Gastaldello (women’s 100 m butterfly and 100 m backstroke), Mehdy Metella (men’s 100 m freestyle and 100 m butterfly), Camille Lacourt (men’s 50 m backstroke), Jérémy Stravius (men’s 50 m backstroke), Mathilde Cini (women’s 100 m backstroke), Mélanie Henique (women’s 50 m butterfly).
Florent Manaudou comes to Budapest as TV commentator
The Olympic champion Florent Manaudou competed at the ‘Legends’ Race’ on Sunday in Melun in France. He participated at this special meet with his also legendary teammates, Frédérick Bousquet and Fabien Gilot, but it does not mean that he is thinking of returning to swimming. Certainly, the French media immediately asked him about his plans in connection with swimming.
‘I came to this race happily, but really for fun’ explained Manaudou to Le Parisien. ‘I have not been in swimming since September, my sport is now definitely handball. My aim is at playing among the bests of the French championships, at least once in my life.’
Florent Manaudou has already indicated his intention to participate at the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest, although not as freestyle swimmer, but as TV-commentator. And however, he has not officially retired yet, it seems that swimming plays less important role in his future plans.
Youngsters excelled at the British Diving Championships
Edinburgh hosted the Brits’ diving championships between 1st and 4th of June. In women’s synchro 10 m platform Tonia Couch and Lois Toulson claimed the gold with 307.26 points, while in men’s synchro 3m springboard the Haslam-brothers, Jack and Ross finished first with excellent result, with all of their free-chosen jumps they received above 70 points.
Lois Toulson gained her third gold medal by winning the women’s 10 m platform with 327.90 points. The 17-year old diver from Leeds closed a great week and was even happier for her points than the championships title, since points show the real value of performance. In women’s 3 m springboard Katherine Torrance claimed the title with 328.65 point, that is the best ever result in her career.
In men’s 10 m platform the 19-year old Matty Lee became champion with 431.40 points.
Due to injury the three best male divers could not participate at the championships. Besides Tom Daley, Chris Mears and Jack Laugher also Daley’s mixed synchro pair, Grace Reid did not compete either and Tonia Couch started only in the synchro platform event, but certainly they may get into the World Championships team by the decision of the technical staff.
American swimmers are tuning up for National World Championships Trial at the Arena Pro Swim Series
The multiple Olympic and world champion Katie Ledecky performed the best time of 2017 with 1:55.34 in 200 m freestyle in Santa Clara-ban at the Californian meet of the Arena Pro Swim Series.
The American star, who arrives in Budapest as defending champion of five events, participated in 1500 m freestyle as well and certainly she won it. ‘I only focused at those points that I planned during this time of preparation, such as fine-tuning and trying some new things. I am really happy that everything went perfectly’ said after the race.
Another star of the meet, Olympic champion and world record holder Ryan Murphy after winning 200 m backstroke finished first in 100 m backstroke as well with the time of 53.48 ahead of the Olympic champion in London 2012, Matt Grevers, who swam 53.90.
‘It is obvious that only some of the biggest ones came to this race, but the best three of 100 m backstroke were here and if a previous Olympic champion is among the opponents, I have to take him seriously…’ Murphy said after his victory. ‘I am not worried about my time, now the tactics were important. I think it was succeeded, so I am satisfied.’
The Olympic champion Nathan Adrian won men’s 100 m freestyle with 48.55 ahead of his compatriot and relay teammates Caeleb Dressel. Adrian, who won the Olympics in the ‘star event’, such as many other swimmers tries to experiment new factors at the beginning of the new Olympic cycle. ‘Last year I prepared for each of the races with different strategies and philosophy, successfully. This year we returned to the base and re-planned my 100 m. It will be different, it is true, but an interesting and exciting change either’ said Nathan Adrian.
For the best American swimmers the next step of the World Championships preparation will be the National Championships to be held in Indianapolis between 27th June and 1st July.