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                             EUROPEAN           A Q U AT I C S H I G H L I G H T S


Suitable for the Occasion

                                                                                     Photos: REUTERS

 „Clash of the Titans‰ – not just
 Titanic Olympic Competitors but
 Modern Swimwear Manufacturers.
 The question is not only who will win at the
 Beijing Games but: what will they wear?

                                                                                                   Diving                                                                                                                                            At least everyone knows that both
                                                   Swimming                                                                                                                                                                                   Steve and Paolo are men. However, so
                                                                                                   Europe’s answer:                                                                                                                           many have no idea what LEN Magazine
                                                   Bodies and suits                        4                                                                                                                                                  might represent.
                                                   WRs thundering down while the suit-
                                                                                                   Thomas Daley                         82                                                                                                         These days an increasing number of
                                                   debate is on. And it’s just the end of the                                                                                                                                                 people rely on Internet search functions,
                                                                                                   Synchro                                                                                                                                    looking to find out what is worth reading,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              based on their own interests.
                                                                                                   Gemmology                            92                                                                                                         Fans of swimming would probably type
                                                                                                   Interview with Gemma Mengual.                                                                                                              in the word swimming, or search for terms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              related to water. Hardly anyone would start
                                                                                                   Open Water                                                                                                                                 with LEN when searching to find out more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              about this sport.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is advisable to clarify this matter, and
                                                                                                   The story of Thomas Lurz 96                                                                               TAMAS GYARFAS                    the question of why we are considering this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              now might arise here with good reason. The
                                                                                                   Water Polo                                                                                                                                 explanation, although not too sophisticated,
                                                                                                                                                   100 Years of Glory!                                      EDITORIAL                         is the following: we took on the editing of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              this publication after the first year. We
                                                                                                   Please, play in Malaga!            104                                                                                                     respected and continue to respect our pre-
                                                                                                   Manuel Estiarte’s hopes
                                                                                                                                                   FINA Centenary                           LEN? What’s that? We have to face facts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              decessors’ work and didn’t want to sudden-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ly change everything.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Although it may be of great importance to
                                                   I’m far from perfect                  10        LEN                                             Water is really our world.                                                                      But now the time has come. Naturally,
                                                                                                                                                                                            us, there are some who don’t even know
                                                   Pre-Games interview with Michael                                                                                                                                                           the decision is in the hands of the LEN
                                                                                                                                                   The huge Swimming Family will            what it stands for. The organisers allowed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Executive. It is clearly easier to cast aside or
                                                   Phelps. Seven gold medals? One would            LEN Family News                    107          celebrate 19 July 2008 in London.        us to sell LEN Magazines at the European
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              denigrate something than to create some-
                                                   make him happy!                                                                                                                          Swimming Championships in Eindhoven.
                                                                                                                                                   We are not sure whether to extend        As we all know, the cover of the latest edi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thing new in its place. So far only two pro-
                                                                                                   From the headquarters              110          our congratulations in the name of                                                         posals have emerged that merit considera-
                                                                                                                                                                                            tion showed a picture of the globe. “What’s
                                                   Beijing 2008                                    LEN’s leaders regarding the European            LEN, too – taking into account that                                                        tion, either of which could simplify the task
                                                                                                                                                                                            inside?” asked one interested swimming
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              of the LEN Bureau – Water Drop and Water
                                                                                                   prospects in Beijing                            in fact we are also celebrating our-     fan. Although he might well have guessed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              World. LEN’s noble initiative favours the first
                                                   Olympic predictions                   16                                                        selves: the eighty years old LEN is      from the photo (Michael Phelps during a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              version, since, in cooperation with UNICEF,
                                                                                                                                                                                            butterfly event with his head in the water)
                                                   Our grand preview for the Games –               Our friends                        113          a member of the one hundred years                                                          LEN is working to support the cause of
                                                                                                                                                                                            pictured on the globe, let’s be honest: he is
                                                   possible medal winners event by event,          What you can read in the other aquatic          old FINA.                                                                                  underdeveloped countries. It is an enor-
                                                                                                                                                                                            not the only one who doesn’t know the
                                                   discipline by discipline, and more: the         magazines.                                                                                                                                 mous task, but even if each of us gives just
                                                                                                                                                                                            answer. Because although the title is very
                                                                                                                                                   Nevertheless, being aware of this                                                          one drop of water, together we could save
                                                   greatest Olympic stories of all time!                                                                                                    revealing as far as we are concerned, this is
                                                                                                                                                   fact we do wish FINA lots of                                                               several thousand or tens of thousands of
                                                                                                   America could do better            118                                                   not the case for everyone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              children’s lives. This idea is also symbolised
                                                                                                                                                   happiness and an even brighter                Unfortunately, a lot of people are unsure
                                                   Men’s swimming                        18        Q&A with legendary Peter Daland.                                                                                                           by the Drop of Water pin, worn by many of
                                                                                                                                                   future. We will definitely do our best   about what the term LEN actually means.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              us, including swimmers, coaches and
                                                                                                                                                                                                 But before our friendly readers or any
                                                   Women’s swimming                      46        Back to the Paradise               120          in this respect, too...                  fanatic administrators or swimmers start
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              administrators of swimming federations.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   This positive intention may be rein-
                                                                                                                                                                                            criticising the communications and PR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              forced if the Water Drop symbol provides
                                                                                                                                                                                            activities of LEN, the European Swimming
                                                                                                                                                                                            Federation, please quickly tell us the abbre-
                                                      The election of the best athletes                                                                                                     viations that are used for the European
                                                      of the year by the 51 LEN member                                                                                                      Gymnastics Federation, or the European
                                                      countries is of huge importance.                                                                                                      Fencing or Table Tennis Federations, or
                                                                                                                                                                                            even the European Athletics Federation. On
                                                      Here you can see the awards
                                                                                                                                                                                            the whole, the acronyms of continental fed-
LEN Magazine                                          presented by LEN for outstanding                                                                                                      erations for different sports are not very well
III./2. issue                                         achievements of the year 2007.                                                                                                        known. Without wishing to hurt anyone’s
Published by:
Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN)                    The first Awards Ceremony for                                                                                                         feelings, I think the same can also be said
                                                      these prestigious trophies was held                                                                                                   of the abbreviations used for African or
                                                                                                                                                                                            Asian swimming federations.
Editorial Board:                                      in March this year in Eindhoven.
The LEN Bureau                                                                                                                                                                                    So… back to LEN Magazine, wouldn’t
CONSOLO Bartolo (LEN President, ITA),                 The leaders of aquatic sports will                                                                                                    it be better to call it by its name? Evidently
LUYCE Francis (LEN Vice-President, FRA),              honour the best of the year 2008 in                                                                                                   the 7th and, if we include this one, the 8th
ALESHIN Gennady (LEN Vice-President, RUS),
                                                      December of this year at the                                                                                                          edition now belong to the past. Is it time to
FOLVIK Sven Egil (LEN Secretary, NOR),
KRUCHTEN Nory (LEN Treasurer, LUX),                   European Short Course                                                                                                                 change the name? Is this not the same as
BLANCO PEREA Rafael (ESP), CLARKSON                   Championships in Rijeka.                  Filippo Magnini      Miho Boskovic           Thomas Lurz          Gemma Mengual             telling Steve that from now on he will be
Alan (GBR), DIATHESOPOULOS Dimitris (GRE),                                                                                                                                                  called Paolo? The answer to my question is
EBEJER Robert (MLT), GYARFAS Tamas (HUN),                                                                                                                                                   a definite “no, it’s not the same”.
Alberto Victor (POR), THIEL Christa (GER),                                                                                                                                                                                                    the title for our magazine. The other alter-
VAN HEIJNINGEN F.D. Erik (NED),                                                                                                                                                                                                               native, Water World, also sounds good, and
VLASKOV Andry (UKR) – members.                                                                                                                                                                                                                was made popular by a successful film. In
LEN Director: SZAKADATI Laszlo                                                                                                                                                                                                                terms of content, it conforms to the purpose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and intentions of LEN. It is impossible to
Editor-in-chief: GYARFAS Tamas
Editor: CSURKA Gergely Design: FABIAN Istvan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              write about European swimming without a
Advertising sales: LEN Magazine Office,                                                                                                                                                                                                       regular survey of the sport of swimming
Comm’Unity, Paris Language editor:                                                                                                                                                                                                            throughout the world.
RAMOS Carlos Coordinators: TAKACS Nikoletta,                                                                                                                                                                                                       Water Drop? Water World? (Naturally, the
NAGY Eva Photos: Reuters, SCALA Giorgio                                                                                                                                                                                                       fact that this is the official LEN magazine
Printing: Comorn Ltd., Budapest, Hungary                                                                                                                                                                                                      would be indicated under the title in any case).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Or should the present title, LEN Magazine, be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              retained? And then we can make sports fans
Views expressed in articles are those of the                                                                                                                                                                                                  learn what LEN actually means?
authors and not necessarily reflect those of the
                                                                       Laure Manaudou           Natalia Ilchenko     Blanca Gil Sorli        Yulia Pakhalina      Gleb Galperin                                                                    The choice will partly reflect the views
editors, the LEN Bureau or the LEN.                                                                                                                                                                                                           of the decision makers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LEN         3
                                                                                                                                   The 2008

                                     Bodies                                                                                        Bodysuited WR CLUB
                                                                                                                                   Nineteen world long-course records fell
                                                                                                                                   in the first six weeks from February 16,
                                                                                                                                   2008, the week of the launch of the

    The curtain closed on the
    European Championships in
    Eindhoven and, two weeks
                                        and                                                                                        Speedo LZR racer. And then there have
                                                                                                                                   been 22 world short-course records up
                                                                                                                                   to April 25. The sport has now entered
                                                                                                                                   an era in which we must refer to pre-
                                                                                                                                   February 2008 and post-February 2008

    later, the World Short-course                                                                                                  times, such has been the impact of per-
    Championships in Manchester                                                                                                    formance-enhancing bodysuits that have
    at the end of a sensational                                                                                                    changed the nature of swimming. The
                                                                                                                                   bulk of the new standards have been set
    six-week period that saw the
                                                                                                                                   in Speedo, while other brands have now
    tumbling of 19 World long-                                                                                                     been given the green light to catch up
    course records and                                                                                                             with the competition in the use of “high-
    22 World short-course records.                                                                                                 tech fabrics” that are not really fabrics at
    This has been the most                            And not only because of the times on                                         all in the traditional sense of the word.
    extraordinary pre-Olympic sea-                    the clock, but because of the official
                                                      explanations given. We live in a time
    son in history (yes, the stats                    when a fair few blazers, many a coach                                        Here’s how the sequence
    confirm it – and how!).                           and many a swimmer would like us all                                         has unfolded so far
                                                      to focus on and celebrate human                                              (bold denotes world records set at
                                                      achievement (and who would not wish                                          the European Championships in
                                                      to?) and the phenomenal performances                                         Eindhoven):
                                                      of the athletes who have thrilled us at
                                                      every start, turn and stroke as they gear                                    LONG-COURSE
                                                      up for the Olympic Games in Beijing.
                                                      The message has been clear: mention                                          16/02/08: 200m backstroke
                                                      the suit (from the suit makers) and                                          Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 2:06.39
                                                      please, whatever you do, DON’T men-
                                                      tion the suit (from federations and those                                    17/02/08: 50m freestyle
                                                      who wish to believe that every last hun-                                     Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 21.56
                                                      dredth of a second improvement is
                                                      down to their hard work and not what                                         17/02/08: 100m backstroke
                                                      they are wearing).                                                           Natalie Coughlin (USA) 59.21
                                                          Never before to such an overwhelm-
                                                      ingly obvious degree have events of the                                      08/03/08: 50m backstroke
                                                      calibre of Eindhoven and Manchester                                          Hayley McGregory (USA) 28.00
                                                      served as giant aquatic laboratories.
                                                      We’re not talking drug-testing, but suit-                                    18/03/08: 4x100m freestyle
                                                      testing. The official refrain that it is the                                 (NED) 3:33.62
                                                      athlete that counts and that the suit is                                     (Dekker, 53.77; Kromowidjojo,
                                                      not so significant, coupled with the sup-                                    53.61; Heemskerk, 53.62, and
                                                      posed lack of scientific evidence to                                         Veldhuis, 52.62)
                                                      prove that anything unusual is happen-
                                                      ing, rang truly hollow by the time Man-                                      21/03/08: 100m freestyle

                                                                                                     The 2008 Bodysuited WR CLUB
                                                      chester waved goodbye. If I had heard                                        Alain Bernard (FRA) 47.60
                                                      one more person ask me to show them
                                                      evidence of aberration, of performance-                                      22/03/08: 400m medley
                                                      enhancing properties, I would have felt                                      Stephanie Rice (AUS) 4:31.46
                                                      duty bound to scream back at them: ‘It’s
                                                      in the water, stupid’.                                                       22/03/08: 50m backstroke
                                                          I took 450 performances of swim-                                         Emily Seebohm (AUS) 27.95
                                                      mers wearing the LZR Racer, including
    Body and suit…
                                                      world record setters down to people fin-                                     22/03/08: 100m freestyle
    Swimming entered a
                                                      ishing in the top 20 of their event. More                                    Alain Bernard (FRA) 47.50
    new era which is more
                                                      than 400 of them were clustered in an
    similar to the world of
                                                      approximate range from 1.6% to 2.3%.                                         23/03/08: 50m backstroke
                                     Photo: REUTERS

                                                      I called a professor and friend who                                          Sophie Edington (AUS) 27.67
                                                      spends his life looking at probabilities. I
                                                      put the small test results to him.                                           23/03/08: 50m freestyle
                                                      Statistically significant? “Without a                                        Alain Bernard (FRA) 21.50

4   LEN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The 2008 Bodysuited WR CLUB
                                                                                                                            Photo: REUTERS
    HIGH SPEED                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            24/03/08: 50m freestyle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marleen Veldhuis (NED) 24.09
                                                                                                                                                                                             like a sapling in a sandstorm. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          24/03/08: 400m freestyle
                                                                                                                                                                                             world’s leading aquatic superpower, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Federica Pellegrini (ITA)
                                                                                                                                                                                             USA, has decided. As Mark Schubert,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4:01.53 Arena R-Evolution
                                                                                                                                                                                             head USA coach, put it: “My advice to
                                                                                                                                                                                             athletes is ‘you have a black and white
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          25/03/08: 200m medley
                                                                                                                                                                                             decision’ – the money or the gold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stephanie Rice (AUS) 2:08.92
    shadow of a doubt ... if you have that                                                                                                                                                   medal. And it’s going to be a real test of
    kind of result in a medical experiment,                                                                                                                                                  character as to what choice they make.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          27/03/08: 50m freestyle
    you’d be looking at ‘case proven”. I                                                                                                                                                     Schubert makes no bones about it:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 21.41
    looked at the gains made by others,                                                                                                                                                      “There is no doubt the suit makes a dif-
    such as Russians, in the Arena R-Evo-                                                                                                                                                    ference and there is no doubt that there
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          27/03/08: 100m freestyle
    lution. Solid improvements, no question                                                                                                                                                  is one manufacturer that’s put millions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Libby Trickett (nee Lenton)
    and there is no doubt that all bodysuits                                                                                                                                                 into research while the other manufac-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (AUS) 52.88
    have an impact on performance to a                                                                                                                                                       turers are more into fashion. If you take
    degree or another. But nothing has yet                                                                                                                                                   best times of world record holders and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          28/03/08: 50m freestyle
    come close to the evidence flowing                                                                                                                                                       their new times, the difference is 2 per
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 21.28
    from the widely worn LZR. There are                                                                                                                                                      cent. Nobody at this level [world-class
    only so many hours in a day, so I avoid-                                                                                                                                                 athletes] can afford to give up 2 per
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          29/03/08: 50m freestyle
    ed taking 450 performances from                                                                                                                                                          cent. It is not rocket science.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Libby Trickett (AUS) 23.97
    Indianapolis 2004, or Shanghai 2006,                                                                                                                                                         In one way, of course, it is rocket sci-
    say, or Barcelona 2003, or Perth 1991,                                                                                                                                                   ence: technology developed by NASA,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          02/04/08: 50m backstroke
    or Perth 1998, to see whether I could                                                                                                                                                    the space agency that worked with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Liam Tancock (GBR) 24.47
    find a cluster of improvement around                                                                                                                                                     Speedo on the suit’s evolution, is used
    the 2% mark. I think I know the answer:                                                                                                                                                  to bond the panels on the world’s first
    there wasn’t one.                                                                               are the rules on the use of the suit,                                                    seamless suit. If that has helped to pro-
                                                                                                    rules specific to any suit with specif-                                                                                                                               SHORT-COURSE:
         So why go on pretending? The new                                                                                                                                                    duce a smoother more streamlined gar-
    generation of suits – suits, because                                                             ic properties? The allowable safety                                                     ment, the big breakthrough has been in
                                                                                                     parameters are not the same for a                                                                                                                                    09/04/08: 400m medley
    after FINA gave the all-clear it is now a                                                                                                 Guarded bodies…                                compression and the positioning of
                                                                                                      Porche and a Smart Car. Given that                                                                                                                                  Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 4:26.52
    question of when, not if, Speedo rivals                                                                                                   Cycle-pants should go – and lighter stuff is   support panels around the girdle that
                                                                                                      biomimetics experts say that sen-                                                                                                                                   (two women, Hannah Miley, GBR,
    pull the polyurethane and neoprene out                                                                                                    affordable only on the beaches, no longer      provide a level of core stability for swim-
                                                                                                      sory perception and the chemical                                                                                                                                    and Mireia Belmonte, ESP, also raced
    of the bag – clearly aid performance.                                                                                                     in the pools (below: Beard, Phelps,            mers never present before. Swimmers
                                                                                                      signals that flow from brain to braun                                                                                                                               in LZR suits and inside previous
    The sport had a chance, a slim chink of                                                                                                   Thompson and Coughlin)                         emerge from races in which they have
                                                                                                       could well be being altered by the                                                                                                                                 world record) – both LZR
    light though it was, to consider the
    issues. It chose not to. The decision is                                                           bodysuits and their compression
                                                                                                       factors, where is the data to say                                                                                                                                  09/04/08: 4x100m freestyle
    made: there will be no return to briefs
                                                                                                        that no harm can be done to any-                                                                                                                                  USA 3:08.44 LZR and TYR*
    and human skin, at least not for the
                                                                                                        one, from the big juniors whose                                                                                                                                   Ryan Lochte, Bryan Lundquist,
    senior elite. The technological age is
                                                                                                         bodies and organs are still devel-                                                                                                                               Nathan Adrian and Doug Van Wie
    upon us and the suit makers that have
                                                                                                         oping to the pensioners in the                                                                                                                                   (* the last swimmer here wore
    a vested interest in diving deeper into
                                                                                                       masters pool who may well not care                                                                                                                                 the new Tyr suit). (The
    the world of fast ‘fabrics’ that aren’t fab-
                                                                                                 to mention to their doctor that they are                                                                                                                                 Netherlands also raced inside
    rics at all in the traditional sense that
                                                                                                going to race harder than they ever have                                                                                                                                  previous WR, all in LZRs)
    most people would understand have              Good old times… In the past it didn’t
    been given the pen with which to write         matter what you wore: Agnes Kovacs,          in a giant anti-thrombosis stocking.
                                                                                                    And then there is the issue of avail-                                                                                                                                 09/04/08: 4x200m freestyle
    the new rules of the game.                     Schoeman and Filippo Magnini could rely
                                                                                                ability. Not entirely a red herring, even                                                                                                                                 NED 7:38.90 LZR
         The process needs an independent          on their swimming knowledge
                                                                                                now. Michael Phelps went to Canberra                                                                                                                                      Inge Dekker; Femke Heemskerk;
    eye. FINA and the suit makers are
                                                                                                immediately after Melbourne 2007 to                                                                                                                                       Marleen Veldhuis; Ranomi
    working on it. They also need to look at
                                                   dence in FINA history to deal differently    test the LZR. They have been testing                                                                                                                                      Kromowidjojo.
    the ethical aspects of the new age of
                                                   with such matters: when the USA start-       and honing it ever since. Some are just                                                                                                                                   (the next two team home, GBR,
    swimming that have so far been ignored
                                                   ed to use three wave-breaker lanes           getting used to it. Some can’t get it.                                                                                                                                    7:38.96, and AUS, 7:39.01, also raced
    or overlooked. Junior swimming? All
                                                   ropes down each lane in the 1970s it         Others have been told that they cannot                                                                                                                                    more than seven seconds inside
    happy to have a big junior in the suit
                                                   was told to desist. Why? Because most        have an LZR because their torso to leg                                                                                                                                    previous world record). USA quartet
    that a smaller swimmer cannot wear?
                                                   of the world could never afford to do        ratio is out of range. For some it’s a no                                                                                                                                 also inside previous world record
    Happy to make swimming a sport for
                                                   that and, therefore, Americans would         because they are too short. Canadians                                                                                                                                     pace. All 16 women wore LZR
    those who can afford it? Emily See-
    bohm (AUS) gets hers free. Just as well:       gain an advantage (as if they needed         and Italians banned the LZR from their
                                                   one).                                        Olympic trials. Similar story at the                                                                                                                                      23/02/08: 200m backstroke
    she put her nails through five during
                                                       Masters swimming? All happy to           NCAAs in the USA, at least for this sea-                                                                                                                                  Reiko Nakamura (JPN) 2:03.24.
    Australian Olympic trials, according to
    reports. That’s Aus$800.00 a suit, with        have 60-year-old Mr Smith in a very          son. The gulf between the haves and
                                                   tight compression suit while he hap-         have nots – whether for financial or eth-                                                                                                                                 23/02/08: 200m butterfly
    an average shelf-life of six to 12 wears
                                                   pens to be taking tablets for blood-pres-    ical reasons – over the past two months                                                                                                                                   Yuko Nakanishi (JPN) 2:03.12
    (Leisel Jones says one wear is probably
    all she will manage to avoid waterlog-         sure problems? Silly question? Not           has widened significantly and schism
                                                   really. The rules are there to protect the   has resulted. Unhealthy.                                                                                                                                                  10/04/08: 50m breaststroke
    ging problems). The bill would run to
                                                   athletes but also the federations who            Swimming has reached a watershed                                                                                                                                      Jessica Hardy (USA) 29.58.
    many thousands for those who are not
    sponsored. Not quite in line with the all-     run meets and are liable for the well-       (past it, many would say). Time to de-
                                                   being of those in their car and under        cide which way to go as technological                                                                                                                                     11/04/08: 200m backstroke
    inclusive nature of a many-nationed
                                                   their control. No hiding from it. Where      advance takes hold of time and rattles it                                                                                                                                 Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 2:00.91
    international federation. There is prece-
6   LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LEN       7
    Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Magazine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               The 2008 Bodysuited WR
    HIGH SPEED                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          11/04/08: 50m butterfly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Felicity Galvez (AUS) 25.32.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11/04/08: 50m freestyle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Duje Draganja (CRO) 20.81.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11/04/08: 200m medley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ryan Lochte (USA) 1:51.56.
    out-performed themselves with tales of
    ‘the tightest suit I’ve ever worn’. The taut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11/04/08: 4x100m medley
    surface of the polyurethane panels look
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        USA 3:51.36
    like mini-surf boards capable of skim-
    ming the surface. The customary fa-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12/04/08: 100m medley
    tigue in legs and abdominal muscles is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ryan Lochte (USA) 51.25
    minimal. ‘I have massive legs and that
    can weigh heavy at the end of a race,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12/03/08: 200m medley
    but with this suit, I don’t feel that effect
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 2:06.13
    at all,’ said Rachel Komisarz (USA).
         This is NOT about buoyancy in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12/03/08: 4x100m freestyle
    strictest sense. It is about core stability,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NED 3:29.42
    the binding of the body from three parts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (Hinkelien Schreuder, Femke
    into one, the propping up of legs, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Photo: REUTERS                             Heemskerk, Inge Dekker and Marleen
    aid provided to soft tissues that hold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Veldhuis – 51.43 split, fastest
    back performance when a swimmer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        in history).
    starts to tire and stress and fatigue set                                                                                                      equiped by counterweights in order to          a federation that says there is no evi-
    in. That is what swimmers mean by                                                                                                              balance their over-floating in the water.      dence but we will take the money any-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        13/04/08: 50m backstroke
    floating: they don’t tire as much.                                                                                                             Which destiny should have results and          way, thanks. Such positions are unten-
                                                    the world, results in Australia and Britain                                                                                                                                                                         Sanja Jovanovic (CRO) 26.37
         But don’t try telling that to a fair few                                                   In synchro, the suits are all about beauty…    records if this effect of floating were sci-   able at a time of great change in swim-
    who govern the sport, even some who             stand out well beyond anything in the likes     But in swimming wearing a new type is a        entifically proved? Can a homologation         ming, a time when the sport has
                                                    of Germany or Canada, while in France                                                                                                                                                                               13/04/08: 200m backstroke
    take Speedo’s partnership/sponsorship                                                           must! Susie O’Neill models one of the new      be withdrawn?“                                 reached a technological crossroads just
                                                    there was Alain Bernard repeating new-                                                                                                                                                                              Markus Rogan (AUT) 1:47.84
    money. Indeed, there is a great rift                                                            revolutionary suits                                  Sudden change can jolt any com-          as professionalism and big bucks have
    between the official positions of federa-       found speed in his LZR but finding himself                                                     munity. So it has been with the LZR in         skidded into view, their trailers stacked
                                                    beaten as Amaury Leveaux gives Eamon                                                                                                                                                                                13/04/08: 100m medley
    tions and their suit sponsors. Take                                                             and FINA with something of a heavy             swimming. FINA, just like everybody            with opportunists and opportunity alike.
                                                    Sullivan’s LZR 21.28 world record in the                                                                                                                                                                            Ryan Lochte (USA) 51.15
    Britain, where the Chief Executive of                                                           heart. But it was also ready for the next      else beyond those who helped to devel-              US$400,000 in prize money was
    the federation, David Sparkes cajoles           50m freestyle a scare with a 21.38              battle, pulling out of the bag a prototype     op the Speedo LZR Racer, was caught            handed out in Manchester after a 2007
                                                    European record. He was wearing a TYR                                                                                                                                                                               13/04/08: 100m butterfly
    journalists for falling for “Speedo mar-                                                        of a newest new R-Evolution – or the           in the waves caused by the new tech-           season in which athletes earned more
                                                    Tracer light with its neoprene necking.                                                                                                                                                                             Felicity Galvez (AUS) 55.89
    keting”. Marketing? 18 world l/c records                                                        Arena Revenge, as I like to call it – with     nology but has now responded in time-          than $5 million from official prize
    in six weeks and 20 new global short-           And look at the LZRs that followed:             polyurethane panels plastered all over it.     ly fashion by agreeing to meet suit mak-       money. Great news. Great challenges
                                                    Bernard, 21.69, and Fred Bousquet                                                                                                                                                                                   13/04/08: 50m freestyle
    course marks within a month? Market-                                                            Filippo Magnini (ITA) now knows that the       ers ‘to examine issues in connection           too. What happens when a man with
                                                    (Marseilles) 21.72. The three sprint muske-                                                                                                                                                                         Marleen Veldhuis (NED) 23.25
    ing? More than 400 performances                                                                 battle is not lost, just yet.                  with the swimsuit approval ... however,        bulging pockets walks through the door
    across the board of talent, pace and            teers are now all-time No 2, 3 and 4 and             Diana had its plasticized look ready      to the best of our knowledge, there is no      and says ‘Hey, here’s a billion, let’s
                                                    racing a second and more up on their                                                                                                                                                                                13/04/08: 4x100m medley men
    capability in Manchester, all around the                                                        some while ago but it failed to win FINA       objective scientific evidence on the           shake it up – showtime! But I want ‘em
                                                    capabilities of the past 12 to 24 months.                                                                                                                                                                           Russia 3:24.29
    2% mark in improvement terms?                                                                   approval. In a letter to the federation,       alleged buoyancy advantage provided            all in flippers, scales and goggles that
                                                         Hands up all those who think that                                                                                                                                                                              (Stanislav Donets; Sergey Geybel;
    Marketing? If Sparkes and others are                                                            Diana wrote: “It is evident that some          by the Speedo LZR Racer or any other           light up the dark.’ Take away the carica-
                                                    the USA would say that something gives                                                                                                                                                                              Korotyshkin; Sukhorukov)
    right and Speedo claims are wrong,                                                              costumes of our competitors avail plas-        swimsuit approved by FINA’. Buoyancy,          ture and find a spot somewhere in the
    then why is the following message               them a big advantage and then advise            tic film ‘additioned’ on the normal fabric.    as stated above, is not the issue. It is for   middle. There lies reality, twixt the skin
                                                    their team to make sure they are wear-                                                                                                                                                                              25/04/08: 100m breaststroke
    allowed to appear on all official press                                                         We wonder why it has been authorized           all suit makers and FINA to ensure that        and the suit. Is swimming truly ready for
                                                    ing ‘the fast suit’ every time they rise to                                                                                                                                                                         Leisel Jones (AUS) 1:03.72
    releases that go out in British Swim-                                                           the use of plastic material on the normal      ‘objective scientific evidence’ is avail-      the challenge? The way the bodysuit
    ming’s name? “About Speedo: Synony-             their blocks in Beijing if they did not truly   fabric, in our opinion in violation of the     able. If you produce a Matchbox car for        battle panned out this spring suggests
                                                    know it was the case? Same question in                                                                                                                                                                              25/04/08: 100m butterfly
    mous with swimwear, the iconic brand                                                            forwarded guidelines? ... in the past, you     little boys, there are certain relatively      there is a long journey ahead.
                                                    an Australia context. Next question: can                                                                                                                                                                            Libby Trickett, (AUS) 55.74
    celebrates 80 years of dominance cre-                                                           refused us the use of similar materials        simple guidelines to observe. If you pro-           There has been a shift of seismic
    ating revolutionary new technologies,           you afford not to believe them? Next            and of same thickness of those current-        duce the fastest Porsche the world has         proportions in the sport this year but the
    designs and innovations... In 2008              question: if you lose a gold (or any)           ly approved to our competitors. FINA           ever seen, the specification had better        bodysuits may well soon cancel each
    Speedo redefines swimwear again with            medal by 0.3sec to a man or woman in            has the right to change its guideline on       be made available and had better be            other out and then it will be a case of
    Fastskin LZR RACER – the fastest                an LZR this week, this summer, this             the matter but, if this comes, it should       accurate. It better pass safety tests and      chasing the next eureka moment. For
    and most technologically advanced               year, next year, will you wonder? And           have to be known by everyone because           the data had better be able to stand up        now, only by Beijing will this odd tale
    swimsuit ever created ...”.                     will you wonder why you didn’t do some-         all the companies have same rights and         in a court of law when the widow of a          come to a more comprehensible con-
         What do you think? Do you think            thing about it when you could? These                                                                                                          clusion on the clock.
    Speedo or Sparkes is right? In Man-             are not my questions, they are the ques-
                                                                                                    duties towards the rules. ... you assert
                                                                                                    that no scientific objective evidences
                                                                                                                                                   crash victim comes calling.
                                                                                                                                                         And what of that apparent rift
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ...and the first half
                                                    tions swilling around the heads and
    chester, 16 women – four quartets –
    raced inside the world record in the            hearts of many athletes who feel torn. To
                                                                                                    subsist to prove that some costumes of
                                                                                                    competitors help to float. We permit to
                                                                                                                                                   between the federations and their suit
                                                                                                                                                   sponsors? In Manchester businessman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        by CRAIG LORD                                   of the year
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        swimming writer,
                                                    place athletes in that position at any
    4x200m freestyle. The foursomes from
    the Netherlands, Britain and Australia, in      time, but worse still months from an
                                                                                                    differ from your opinion since, for
                                                                                                    instance, an American competitor [Tyr]
                                                                                                                                                   Stephen Rubin wore two hats on –
                                                                                                                                                   chairman of Pentland, owner of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Times                                       is not over yet...
    that order, were more than SEVEN SEC-           Olympic Games, is unacceptable.                 utilises some parts of Neoprene to pro-        Speedo; and head of the organising
    ONDS inside the world record. The drug-              And the solution? Open the sport up        duce its swimsuit. Scientific tests, effect-   committee of the World short-course
    free sport has never seen the like. The         to more of the same but telling all suit        ed for the divers wetsuits made in             Championships. On one hand, his com-
    biggest margin of gain seen in the              makers that they can copy the LZR’s             Neoprene, are actually easily traceable        pany tells the world that his suit is
    4x200m world record had been tighter            properties. Arena accepted the conclu-          and they prove that Neoprene helps the         enhancing performance like no other
    than 2 seconds. At Olympic trials around        sion of the meeting between suit makers         floatation, in fact some divers must be        before it. On the other, he sits alongside
8   LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LEN       9
    Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Magazine

                                                  Michael Phelps on the seven gold medals                                               tough session to the morning. But basi-                       up – I hope that some day, as swim-

                                                                                                                                                                                     Photo: REUTERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               four years – what has your time
                                                                                                                                        cally I’ve got to say – these are the                         mers, we will be recognized on the       here given you? It’s coming to an
                                                  and the excitement of cooking at home                                                 Olympic Games, if you can’t get up
                                                                                                                                        early to swim there, you shouldn’t really
                                                                                                                                                                                                      streets, like the Australian swimmers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      We’re making progress. Who would
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               end soon, after Beijing you are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               returning to Baltimore, where
                                                                                                                                        be in Beijing.                                                have thought four years ago that we      Bob Bowman will become CEO at

     I’m far from perfect                                                                                                               Bob Bowman, your coach, told us
                                                                                                                                            your performance at the World
                                                                                                                                            Championships in Melbourne
                                                                                                                                            last year was the best ever by any
                                                                                                                                            swimmer – do you think it is still
                                                                                                                                                                                                      would have so many sponsors today?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      We are holding this interview in Ann
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Arbor, a university town near
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Detroit, where you have lived for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               North Baltimore Aquatic Club...

     An article has been hung on                                                                                                            possible to improve on that in
     the wall at Michael Phelps’                                                                                                            Beijing?
                                                                                                                                        Of course I believe that, otherwise I
     wardrobe. It’s an interview with
                                                                                                                                        should have quit on the spot. It might
     Ian Thorpe who says he can’t                                                                                                       sound a little crazy, but, as a leading
     see how it would still be possi-                                                                                                   sportsman, you should never set
     ble, with the semi-final regula-                                                                                                   boundaries. You should never talk about
     tions, to win seven golds at one                                                                                                   limits, and you have to be very open in
     Olympics. That’s a push for the                                                                                                    that respect.
     World’s No. 1. If someone says                                                                                                     What can you improve?
     he can’t do something, he                                                                                                          A lot of things. My starts, turns, breast-
     wants to achieve it all the more.                                                                                                  stroke swimming. I can also get
     In an exclusive interview with                                                                                                     stronger physically. There are small
     King Michael he reveals how                                                                                                        things, which make a big difference. I’m
                                                                                                                                        far from perfect – if that was ever the
     he learnt to cook at home,
                                                                                                                                        case, I really would have to quit.
     whether he remembers the
     defeats in the past and the                                                                                                        You don’t set any limits – not even in
     possible future clashes with                                                                                                           trying to improve the awareness
     Alain Bernard in the 100m free.                                                                                                        of swimming as a sport in the
                                                                                                                                        That really is a difficult project. As you
     Michael Phelps, the last time interna-                                                                                             know, swimming in the States can’t be
         tional long-course swimming                                                                                                    compared to swimming over in Europe,
         championships were held in Asia                                                                                                where there are some countries in
         was in 2001. Ian Thorpe surprised                                                                                              which swimming is very popular. That’s
         the public in Fukuoka back then                                                                                                not yet true in the US. But I’m not giving
         by flawlessly reciting and trans-
         lating 39 Japanese words at a
         press conference. Will you be do-
         ing something similar in Beijing?
     I won’t be as proficient as Ian. But, sure
     enough, I’ve been trying to learn
     Mandarin for a year. I’m far from being
     able to speak fluently, but hope I’ll be
     able to say a few words by August.

     A lot will be going on around you in
         Beijing – how do you prepare for
         the hype?
     Not at all. I don’t worry about it. I just
     think about my goals and nothing else.

     There have been so many world re-                Is this benchmark still your goal?      Do you think you could help me to
         cords already this year – what do        I have never said that my goal is to win    achieve them? Of course not. Only my
         you expect from Beijing?                 seven gold medals. I don’t talk about my    coach can support me along the way,
     Ah, what can I say? It’s the most impor-     goals. All I will say is that I would be    and perhaps my Mum. But only my
     tant competition, everyone will want to      happy to win one gold. Not many peo-        coach knows what my goals are.
     be fast and everyone will be fast.           ple win an Olympic gold, and I’ll be
     The Speedo contract from 2004, which         proud if, following on from Athens, I can   Have you thought about the fact that
         provides you with a million dollars      be among the winners again in Beijing.          the finals in Beijing are in the
         if you win seven Olympic gold                                                            morning?
         medals and thereby equal Mark            Why don’t you speak about your              No. Of course we’ve adjusted the train-
         Spitz’ record, also relates to 2008.       goals?                                    ing a little, now and then we moved the
10   LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 LEN       11
     Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Magazine
                                                                   I’m more relaxed than I used to be, I’m
                                                                   having more fun. I’m more experienced.
                                                                   Everything that I have achieved so far
                                                                   will help me in Beijing. I think in Sydney
     These have been good times. I remem-                          I didn’t have a clue what was going on.

                                                 Photos: REUTERS
     ber what it was like four years ago,                          I have no idea how things worked out
     shortly after the Games in Athens. I was                      so well at the time. In Athens it wasn’t
     here with my Mum, we looked at a                              much different, though I was a little
     house – I liked it and wanted to buy it                       older, the attention was also greater. I
     right away, only my Mum had doubts.                           was sent here and there – to the media,
     This is where I lived on my own for the                       to sponsors, and to doping controls, I
     first time, I had to cook for myself, and                     hardly ever got to bed before midnight –
     learn to eat properly, I had to clean the                     looking back at Athens I really don’t
     apartment and go shopping myself. It                          know now how I coped with it all.
     was good – I learned a lot.
                                                                   Bob Bowman has been your trainer
     You were 15 years old in Sydney in                                 since you were eleven years old –
        2000, two years before then you                                 how has your relationship with
        were still a young boy, enjoying                                him changed?
        your first kiss; in Athens in 2004                         I used to be afraid of him. Everything is
        you were 19 years old, and be-                             more relaxed now, including him. He
        came a six-time Olympic champi-                            can sometimes let me go, he has to, I
        on; and now, in 2008 in Beijing,                           have grown up and don’t always want to
        you’ll be 23 years old – how has                           listen to him anymore. He has realised
        Michael Phelps developed?                                  this and learned to take a step back

              Phelps’ coach thinks the 200m IM and the 100m fly will be the                                                                                                                                                                                   often seen Michael very satisfied with his
       toughest events for Michael. Bob Bowman talks about the differences
                    between preparing to Athens and Beijing and also about
      Michael’s unique mentality: what he most admiresis his ability to adapt.
                                                                                                                The best is getting better                                                                                                                    performance, even though he lost the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              race. You’ve got to have that ability.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Which race will be the easiest in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Beijing – and which will be the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  most difficult?
                                                                                                                Bob Bowman, will the Olympic Games            How far ahead are you with the plan-            enough time to rest at midday so we can         Michael won’t be very happy to hear me
                                                                                                                    in Beijing prove an even greater             ning for Beijing?                            be ready again for the evening trials.          say this, but I think the victories at 400m
                                                                                                                    success for Michael Phelps than           In my mind every minute is in place,                                                            medley and 200m butterfly should come
                                                                                                                    the World Championships in                every minute is fully planned.                  It seems like nothing would be a                relatively easily. On the other hand the
                                                                                                                    Melbourne one year ago?                                                                        problem to Michael – is that right?        200m medley and 100m butterfly races
                                                                                                                That’s our intention, yeah. We want to        Have you already spoken to Michael              It’s not that simple. But he has the kind       will be very difficult – he comes up
                                                                                                                get better and better, Michael has defi-           about it?                                  of ability I’ve never seen in anyone            against Ryan Lochte in one, and against
                                                                                                                nitely improved in a lot of ways. The good    No, there’s plenty of time for that after the   else: he is great at adapting to any-           Ian Crocker in the other.
                                                                                                                thing is we can simply try a few things       trials. I’ll have to give it some thought,      thing, even if he dislikes it. He can do
                                                                                                                out and if it doesn’t work Michael is still   because I need to know what is possi-           a good training session, even when he           Where have you placed the focus in
                                                                                                                the best swimmer in the world. I would        ble and not possible in Beijing.                doesn’t feel like it. He can turn up for           preparation for Beijing?
                                                                                                                say that Michael, as a candidate for the                                                      interviews and appear to be having fun          By comparison with the years leading
                                                                                                                medley relay, is now a threat to all ath-     Do you know already which races                 – when he doesn’t really want to. And           up to Athens, when we were primarily
                                                                                                                letes, except the breaststroke swimmers.          Michael Phelps will start?                  he deals with targets incredibly well.          concerned about distance, about long
                                                                                                                                                              I’ve known in my mind for a year.               He has learned to set goals for him-            sessions, the focus in recent years has
                                                                                                                What did you and Michael learn from                                                           self, to pursue them consistently – and         been more on technique and power, in
                                                                                                                     Melbourne?                               Why don’t you talk about it?                    to reward himself if the goal is                other words on specific issues.
                                                                                                                Whether or not Michael sets the bench-        Because something could change at               achieved. His mum used to reward him
                                                                                                                mark of seven gold medals is not entire-      any time. Although there have been no           with an ice cream, today he rewards             Michael Phelps wants to carry on
                                                                                                                ly in his own hands – it also depends on      changes to the plans so far, there are          himself with a car.                                 swimming until London in 2012 –
                                                                                                                the relay. And anything can happen, as        still a few days left until the US trials at                                                        will you stay the course for an-
                                                                                                                we saw in Melbourne. But Michael also         the end of June.                                Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Michael                 other four years of gruelling
                                                                                                                made great progress in Melbourne. This                                                            Phelps – can you put the three of               work?
                                                                                                                was the first competition in which he         If you know your intentions so pre-                 them in the same category?                  That’s the big question. It’s no coinci-
                                                                                                                really produced his best performances             cisely – what could go wrong still?         Absolutely. Apart from the fact that they       dence that I’m going back to Baltimore
                                                                                                                in the finals – prior to Melbourne there      We learned that lesson in Athens: how-          have been number one in great sports for        after Beijing. I’ll have to make some
                                                                                                                had been times when he swam world             ever good the plans are, unexpected             years, they all have the ability not to fight   changes, get some new incentives and
                                                                                                                records in the semi-finals.                   events can always come along.                   themselves rather than their opponents          set myself some new tasks. The next
                                                                                                                                                                                                              during competition. Just watch how they         four years will be different, more laid-
                                                                                                                                                              Are the morning finals a problem?               talk in interviews. None of them goes into      back. By comparison with what we’ve
                                                                                                                                                              No. Swimming fast in the morning is no          detail about the opponents’ race or game,       done so far, it will be much more a case
                                                                                                                                                              problem – the difficulty will be getting        each of them focuses on what he is able         of Michael deciding what he feels like
                                                                                                                Michael Phelps with Bob Bowman                                                                to change – his own performance. I have         doing. And so that’s what we’ll do.
12   LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         LEN        13
     Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Magazine
                                            Did the teasing disturb you?                     And then if you still lose, how do you
                                            Of course it did, it was bad.                        react?
                                                                                             I hate losing.
                                            And today?
sometimes. But I should point out that      Today such nonsense wouldn’t bother              Are you afraid of it?
it’s a very close relationship we have,     me – I would be able to see beyond it. I         No, I just don’t like losing. On the other
and that will never go away.                wasn’t able to do that before.                   hand I know that I have always learned
                                                                                             the most from defeats. In 2002, at the
What lessons has life taught you?           What are those kids who picked on                Pan Pacific Championships, over 200m
You don’t get anything without hard work.       you doing now?                               butterfly against Tom Malchow – or, bet-
Even as a young child I knew that noth-     I’ve no idea – they’re probably still in         ter still, at the 2004 Games over 200m
ing would come easily to me. I wouldn’t     Baltimore.                                       crawl against Ian and Pieter van den
be given anything overnight. I learned                                                       Hoogenband. I can remember every
this watching my Mum bringing up three      Probably not at the Olympic Games,               defeat in my career, even back to when
children, seeing how hard she worked.          wouldn’t you say?                             I was a ten-year old kid.
                                            No, probably not.
You had to go to school now and                                                              Can you remember all your victories
    again without being that popular,       A lot of things have happened in                     as well?
    is that right?                              recent years!                                No.
Yeah, you could say that. I was picked      Yes, sometimes I have to pinch myself.
on because of my sticking out ears. I       I’m living a dream. I used to beg my Mum         Beijing will be your third Olympics –
remember it as if it were yesterday. It’s   to buy me video games, now I can buy                  will you still find anything to mo-
strange thinking back to that time. I       any video game I want for myself. I can               tivate you after that, or will it all
almost can’t imagine that it was me.        also buy a car if I want to.                          be over?
                                                                                             I’m really convinced that I’ll be swimming
                                            Do you have room in your life for                until the 2012 Games in London and that
                                                video games and cars?                        will be my last major competition.
                                            Yeah, of course. As soon as I’m away
                                            from the pool, there’s nothing better            Let’s assume you win as many gold
                                            than simply hanging around. I could do               medals in Beijing as you did in
                                            nothing for days, nothing at all.                    Athens – what other goals will you
                                                                                                 have left then?
                                            Are you still studying psychology?               There’s quite a lot. I won’t be swimming
                                            No, I haven’t been in education for one and      the 400m medley much more, I’ll effec-
                                            a half years. Primarily because of swim-         tively be finishing this event in Beijing.
                                            ming, but then school didn’t really suit         Instead I’d prefer to concentrate more
                                            me. After Beijing though I’ll definitely start   on the shorter distances.
                                            studying again, I just don’t know what yet.
                                                                                             You’d rather be a sprinter?
                                            Do you read what is written about                Of course I wouldn’t rather be a sprinter!
                                               you in the newspapers?                        I’d like to build some speed in the next
                                            No, not a word.                                  few years, and then I could also compete
                                                                                             against Alain Bernard over 100m crawl,
                                            And yet you did hang one newspa-                 that would really give me an incentive.
                                                  per article up in your wardrobe!           When I swim the 400m medley 10 times
                                            Yeah, that’s right. The one in which Ian         in one lane during training in our pool,
                                            Thorpe says he can’t see how it would            and in the next lane the sprinter does 5 x
                                            still be possible, with the semi-final regu-     50m with 30 seconds break, then all I
                                            lations, to win seven golds at one               want to do is switch lanes.
                                            Olympics. Bob gave me the article – he
                                            knew that this type of thing would give          Is Bob Bowman stopping you from
                                            me an incentive. In 2003, before the                doing this?
                                            World Championships in Barcelona, the            For the time being at least, yes.
                                            Australian Don Talbot said that I still had-
                                            n’t achieved anything on an international
                                                                                                                   by CHRISTOF
                                            level. Believe me that got me mad – and
                                            at the same time incredibly motivated.
                                                                                                                   writer, Neue
                                                                                                                   Zürcher Zeitung
                                            If someone says you can’t do some-
                                                thing, then you want to achieve it
                                                all the more?
                                            That’s how it works. Bob knows that, he
                                            uses this very cleverly. He knows pre-
                                            cisely when to string me along with
                                            quotes like these.
                                                                                          Olympic Predictions
                  by Continents

                  The essential question is who the
                  Olympic champion will be in
                  Beijing, and of course it is not                     EUROPE                                           AMERICA                                       OCEANIA                                          ASIA                                     AFRICA
                  negligible either to know who will
                  come in second and third.                            by Stefano Arcobelli                           by Steven V. Selthoffer                                    by Ian Hanson                         by Wakako Yuki                          by Goodwill Zunidza
                  As a rule, LEN Magazine keeps an              Correspondent for La Gazzetta                          European correspondent                                     Media Director,         Vice Sports Editor, The Yomiuri                Senior sports reporter for The
                  eye on everything. Naturally, we                                 dello Sport                   for Swimming World Magazine                                  Swimming Australia                       Shimbun (Japan)                  Sunday Mail Harare (Zimbabwe)
                  deal with the best of the Masters,
                  we are concerned with the ideal
                  capacity of a swimming hall, we do
                  focus on both sides of the medal,
                                                                  I.                    America                    I.                  America                   I.                 America                 I.                   America                   I.                America
                  but now the Olympics sweep
                  everything away.
                                                                             19            11           4                    19          13           7                    15        11          7                     15          13          5                   12         13         7
                  Five continents’ excellent experts under-
                  took an impossible task: to put down the
                  medallists’ names in advance for all 32
                  swimming events. There is a lot to risk
                                                                II.                     Oceania                  II.                   Oceania                 II.                  Oceania               II.                    Oceania                 II.                 Africa
                  with these bets: on the one hand one
                  could easily make a fool of oneself after-
                  wards considering that malicious sages
                  will always show up after the Olympics
                                                                             7           6              2                    11           8          4                    11          13         6                    10           6            7                   11        8          11
                  boasting of their intelligence and knowl-
                  edge of the field while pretending to
                  have exactly predicted the winners well
                  in advance and yet, kept this information
                                                               III.                     Europe                  III.                   Europe                 III.                  Europe               III.                    Europe                 III.                 Europe

                                                                             3            11            23                   1            6          16                   3          4           16                    4           8           12                   5         8          11

                                                               IV. Asia                                         IV. Africa                                    IV. Africa                                 IV. Asia                                       IV. Oceania
                                                                                                                             1            1                                           1                                                                                                  1
Photos: REUTER

                                                                             2            2            3                                               2                  2                      3                    2            2            8                   2          2

                                                                V. Africa                                        V. Asia                                       V. Asia                                    V. Africa                                      V. Asia

                                                                             1             2            –                    –           4            3                   1          3            3                    1            3           –                   2          1         2
                                                                    As a matter of fact it is not too unlike-        According to our experts’ opinions       Old Continent. A quite meaningful and      favourites, and whether they agree with        striving for more and more, better and
                                                               ly that such a bold game could make one          the Americans will prevail as far as          positive fact is that according to these   the bets of Steven V. Selthoffer from          better.
                                                               enemies, since it may happen that some           swimming on the whole is concerned.           predictions swimmers from all conti-       America, Ian Hanson from Australia,
                                                               of those who put everything at stake to          Everyone considers Australia and not          nents will take home gold from Beijing.    Wakako Yuki from Japan, or Goodwill
                                                               pave their way to success in Beijing may         Europe to be the second favourite, with           It would also be exciting to ask the   Zunidza from Africa.                              On the following pages read-
                                                               not find their name mentioned.                   the exception of European expert              five continents’ prominent coaches and          We hope not.                              ers, and among them the athlet-
                                                                    Just a few more weeks to go and the         Stefano Arcobelli, while only third place     national team leaders to give us their          What is really nice in all sports, just   es concerned, can follow the bets
                                                               ‘truth’ will be unveiled.                        is left on the podium of continents for the   opinion on these bets, who are their       like in swimming, is that everyone keeps       referring to all swimming events.
      16          LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LEN       17
                  Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Magazine
     in black?
     Anyone from Europe?
     Well, that’s a difficult question
     to answer. In Athens, Europe
     had one lonely male champion,
     Pieter van den Hoogenband in
     the 100m free. If you look
     through the following pages
     you’ll hardly find
     a representative of the old
     continent voted for the first
     place. Not even among the bets
     received from our good Italian
     friend, Stefano Arcobelli who
     represents the European
     swimming writers.

     In the men’s field it is obvious that the    – so earning a gold medal in any male
     US will dominate. They have depth in         event requires a truly extraordinary per-
     their team, talented swimmers in all         formance. Let’s say the race of one’s life.
     events, you couldn’t find a weak point in        Who can do this? Who can be the
     their team. There is a chance to catch       best when needed the most? Magnini?
     the Americans in the sprint events and in    Bernard? Rosolino? Davies? Prilukov?
     the longer distances (both in freestyle),    Cavic? Rogan? Vyatchanin? Gyurta?
     although there Europe is also challeng-      Marin? Cseh?
     ed by the Australians. Alain Bernard’s           They are all capable of coming up
     huge WR was bettered (and made enor-         with some outstanding performances.
     mous) by Eamon Sullivan in the 50m,          But can they do it in Beijing? In the mor-
     and the WR set in the 100m was almost        ning? And will it be enough to beat the
     lowered as well, a tiny 2 hundredths of      Americans and the Aussies (not to
     a second separated the Frenchman             mention the others)?
     and the Aussie rocket. In the 1500m the          We had some lessons to learn in
     2007 World Champion Mateusz Sawry-           Melbourne. The explanations given after
     mowicz did not shine in Eindhoven and        the relatively weaker European perfor-
     it’s doubtful whether he can reach the       mances pointed to the unusual timing of
     same level he had in Melbourne. And of       the World Championships as the main
     course Grant Hackett can return to his       reason. The Olympics will be held in
     peak – so this event may also go to          August when everyone usually peaks.
     other continents.                            The venue will be one of the most bea-
          And the others? In butterfly you have   utiful ever constructed.
     Crocker and Phelps, in back Lochte and           Let’s hope the next Olympic chapter       It’s Games’ time!
     Peirsol, in breast Hansen plus Kitajima      of the men’s swimming history won’t be
     from Japan, in IM Phelps (enough said)       a darker one for Europe.                       Photo: REUTERS

18   LEN                                                                                                 LEN        19
     Magazine                                                                                          Magazine
MEN – Freestyle

                                                                                                         ricans, and sometimes Australians, are     taken over by Europeans, starting from                          There’s no doubt that Michael           the 1500, by means of victories gained

                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo: REUTERS
                  The World                                                                              dominant, with the occasional highly
                                                                                                         talented European interrupting the
                                                                                                         sequence. In the 100m freestyle for
                                                                                                         example, which is considered a gen-
                                                                                                         uinely classic event, five American vic-
                                                                                                         tories followed the initial success of
                                                                                                                                                    1992, initially through Alexander Popov
                                                                                                                                                    and then later through Pieter van den
                                                                                                                                                    Hoogenband. The Dutch star was the
                                                                                                                                                    only European men’s champion in
                                                                                                                                                    Athens – in this very distance. And con-
                                                                                                                                                    sidering that Filippo Magnini has since
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Phelps will help the Americans to close
                                                                                                                                                                                                                the gap in the 200. Whereas the stars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                and stripes dominate the medals tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                over all other distances, in the 200 they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                have only won two of the 11 contests so
                                                                                                                                                                                                                far, with four gold medals for Europe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            at the last four Olympics, the Aussies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            have taken over the top, with two gold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            medals each for Perkins and Hackett.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They now lead the Americans 8-7. On
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the other hand, Europe, which has so
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            far produced four champions, has every

                  of Legends
                                                                                                         Alfréd Hajós, before a Japanese tri-       led the way at major World events, chal-                    and five for Australia. In the 400,         reason to believe that the Old Continent
                                                                                                         umph in Los Angeles and another            lenged mainly by Stefan Nystrand and                        America again leads the way (9), ahead      will close in on the other two in Beijing,
                                                                                                         Hungarian, Ferenc Csík winning the         Alain Bernard, we might believe that                        of Europe (5) and Australia (6), while in   given that – exceptionally – all three
                                                                                                         Berlin Olympics. The separate contest      Europe could win its fifth consecutive                                                                  1500 medals went to Europeans at the
                                                                                                         between America and Australia then         Olympic title in the 100m at least.                                                                     World Championships in Melbourne.
                                                                                                         began and, apart from the boycotted
                                                                                                         Moscow Olympics, only representatives
                                                             focused on one another in the 400, and      from these two countries managed to
                  Anyone taking a short walk in
                                                             managed to claim victory – three years      win between 1952 and 1988. The
                  the pantheon of Olympic                                                                Americans did a 1-2 on four occasions,
                                                             later he went on to win the World ball-
                  freestyle swimmers enters a                room dancing championships!)                i.e. they won both gold and silver
                  world of legends. Freestyle is in              As a matter of fact the trend for all   medals. But then – uniquely in all free-
                  effect swimming. Each style of             freestyle events is that primarily Ame-     style events – the 100 freestyle was
                  swimming has its own stars, but
                  worldwide fame awaits those
                  who win in the fastest events.
                  This is no coincidence, unlike
                  other styles of swimming,
                  freestyle has featured in all
                  Olympic programs and, while
                  medals can be acquired over
                  two distances in the other
                  events, freestyle swimmers bat-
                  tle out for five gold medals.

                  In order to really belong among the
                  giants of the sport, you have to win as
                  many of these five gold medals as
                  possible. Duke Paoa Kamanamo-
                  ku, Johnny Weissmuller, Don
                  Schollander, Mark Spitz,
                  Alexander Popov, Pieter van
                  den Hoogenband, Murray
                  Rose, Vladimir Salnikov,
                  Ian Thorpe, Arne Borg,
                  Kieren Perkins, Grant
                  Hackett – what great
                  names and fantastic free-
                  style swimmers! Glancing
                  through the history of the
                  five events still featured
                  today, we realise that – quite
                  unsurprisingly – the USA is well
                  ahead of Europe and Australia.
                  The Americans have won 34 gold
                  medals, while the countries of Europe
                  and representatives of the fifth conti-
                  nent have both won 22 (in addition to
                  two Canadian, three Japanese titles,
                  and one Argentine triumph – in 1928                                                                                               Young and free…
                  Alberto Zorrilla took advantage of the                                                                                            Newcomer of the event in the Debrecen
                  fact that the two big favourites, Andrew                                                                                          short course EC, Gergo Kis is off for
                  Charlton and Arne Borg, were too                                                                                                  another free event

  20              LEN
MEN – Freestyle

                                                                                EUROPEAN                                        AMERICAN                                    OCEANIAN                                       ASIAN                                        AFRICAN
                                                                                BETS                                            BETS                                        BETS                                           BETS                                         BETS

                    CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008              00:21.50 BERNARD, Alain FRA                      00:21.76 HALL, Gary Jr USA              00:21.28 SULLIVAN, Eamon AUS WR                  00:22.18 YAMANOI, Tomohiro JPN            00:21.69 SCHOEMAN, Roland M RSA

                                                                               1. Cullen JONES                                 1. Duje DRAGANJA                            1. Cullen JONES                                1. Eamon SULLIVAN                            1. Roland
                                     50m                                       (USA)                                           (CRO)                                       (USA)                                          (AUS)                                        SCHOEMAN (RSA)
                             OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                 21.82 [personal best]                           21.89                                                                                                                                   21.69

                    2004 Athens
                    Gary HALL (USA)                      21.93                 2. Eamon SULLIVAN                               2. Eamon SULLIVAN                           2. Eamon SULLIVAN                              2. Alain BERNARD                             2. Frederick
                    2000 Sydney                                                (AUS)                                           (AUS)                                       (AUS)                                          (FRA)                                        BOUSQUET (FRA)
                    Anthony ERVIN (USA)                  21.98                 21.28                                                                                                                                                                                   21.60
                    1996 Atlanta
                    Alexander POPOV (RUS)                22.13
                    1992 Barcelona
                    Alexander POPOV (EUN)                21.91                 3. Cesar CIELO                                  3. Alain BERNARD                            3. Ben WILDMAN-                                3. Duje DRAGANJA                             3. Salim ILES (ALG)
                    1988 Seoul                                                 (BRA)                                           (FRA)                                       TOBRINER (USA)                                 (CRO)                                        22.14
                    Matt BIONDI (USA)                    22.14                 21.84                                           21.50                                       21.80

                                                                 The initial point of interest is that the name of the reigning World Champion only crops    Croatia’s Duje Draganja. Interestingly enough, one of the two WR-brokers of the spring,
                                                                 up with the Australians, and even then not in first place: they consider silver medallist   Alain Bernard is not considered a favourite, while the other, Eamon Sullivan earned
                                                                 Cullen Jones to have a better chance than Benjamin Wildman-Tobriner (in Melbourne           only one vote for the first place. We would also note that personal best times are not     Also member of the 2008 WR-family…
                                                                 the margin between them was two hundredths of a second). Meanwhile, it is unusual           always that relevant over this distance, given that races are virtually decided by the     Eamon Sullivan, currently the fastest man
                                                                 for Europe and Australia to tip an American, while America go for a European –              start and finish, and in any case the speed of the top swimmers is almost identical.       on Earth

                             Did you know⁄?
                    …      that Alfréd Hajós won the 100
                    metres (and later the 1200 metres) at
                                                                   out them, and therefore announced an
                                                                   additional race in which, if the winner
                                                                                                                   …     that Johnny Weissmuller won the
                                                                                                                   sympathy of the crowd in Paris in 1924,
                                                                                                                                                             …      that the Japanese sprinters were
                                                                                                                                                             the first to breathe in oxygen before and
                    the first modern Olympics in Athens, in        could swim a faster time than that of the       not merely through his swimming?          after competing? They used this
                    seawater at 11 degrees Celsius?                originally third-placed swimmer, the two        Along with his training partner, Stubby   method at the Los Angeles Olympics

                    …      that the American freestyle swim-
                    mers failed to turn up for the semi-finals
                                                                   leading swimmers could take part in the
                                                                   final. Duke Kahanamoku won with a
                                                                   new World Record and had enough time
                                                                                                                   Kruger, the American star held a comi-
                                                                                                                   cal diving show between swimming
                                                                                                                   events, which brought him at least as
                                                                                                                                                             back in 1932, and won a gold and silver

                    of the 100 metres in 1912 due to a mis-        in the final to stop half way, look back,       much success as his victory in the 100
                    understanding? The organisers realized         and slow down a little to win in comfort.       freestyle.
                    it would be absurd to hold the final with-

                    CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008            00:47.50 BERNARD, Alain FRA WR                     00:48.17 LEZAK, Jason USA                 00:47.52 SULLIVAN, Eamon AUS                    00:48.91 SATO, Hisayoshi JPN             00:48.17 SCHOEMAN, Roland M RSA

                                                                               1. Filippo MAGNINI                              1. Eamon SULLIVAN                           1. Stefan NYSTRAND                             1. Alain BERNARD                             1. Stefan NYSTRAND
                                    100m                                       (ITA)                                           (AUS)                                       (SWE)                                          (FRA)                                        (SWE)
                             OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                 48.12                                           47.52                                       47.91

                    2004 Athens
                    Pieter VD HOOGENBAND (NED)           48.17                 2.Alain BERNARD                                 2. Alain BERNARD                            2. Eamon SULLIVAN                              2. Eamon SULLIVAN                            2. Roland
                    2000 Sydney                                                (FRA)                                           (FRA)                                       (AUS)                                          (AUS)                                        SCHOEMAN (RSA)
                    Pieter VD HOOGENBAND (NED)           48.30                 47.50                                                                                                                                                                                   48.17
                    1996 Atlanta
                    Alexander POPOV (RUS)                48.74
                    1992 Barcelona
                    Alexander POPOV (RUS)                49.02                 3. Pieter Van den                               3. Cesar CIELO                              3. Filippo MAGNINI                             3. Stefan NYSTRAND                           3. Jason DUNFORD
                    1988 Seoul                                                 HOOGENBAND                                      (BRA)                                       (ITA)                                          (SWE)                                        (KEN)
                    Matt BIONDI (USA)                    48.63                 (NED)                                           48.34                                                                                                                                   49.98

                                                                 European supremacy continues in this classic event. After the eventful spring season        Brent Hayden - who won gold medal in Melbourne in a dead heat with Magnini - is
                                                                 Alain Bernard emerged as a favourite together with Eamon Sullivan, however, Stefan          also missing from the bets. (As the US trials with Jason Lezak and others are held
                                                                 Nystrand is still kept a strong contender together with Filippo Magnini, who won all the    after the closing of this issue, we would possibly have some different views.) But as of
                                                                 major long course World competitions between 2005 and 2007. It’s worth mentioning           now, some still consider the legendary ‘old’ man of this event, former World Record
  22              LEN                                            that none of the US swimmers received a single vote in this event and the Canadian          holder Pieter van den Hoogenband a likely medallist.                                                                          LEN      23
                  Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Magazine
MEN – Freestyle

                                                                                 EUROPEAN                                           AMERICAN                                  OCEANIAN                                      ASIAN                                     AFRICAN
                                                                                 BETS                                               BETS                                      BETS                                          BETS                                      BETS

                    CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008          01:44.89 V D HOOGENBAND, Pieter NED                01:43.86 PHELPS, Michael USA WR                  01:44.06 THORPE, Ian AUS                    01:46.73 PARK, Tae Hwan KOR              01:44.88 NEETHLING, Ryk F RSA

                                                                                1. Micheal PHELPS                               1. Michael PHELPS                            1. Michael PHELPS                            1. Michael PHELPS                          1. Michael PHELPS
                                    200m                                        (USA)                                           (USA)                                        (USA)                                        (USA)                                      (USA)
                             OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                  1:43.86

                    2004 Athens
                    Ian THORPE (AUS)                    1:44.71                 2. Peter                                        2. Peter                                     2. Kenrick MONK                              2. Peter van den                           2. Nabil KEBBAB
                    2000 Sydney                                                 VANDERKAAY (USA)                                VANDERKAAY (USA)                             (AUS)                                        HOOGENBAND                                 (ALG)
                    Pieter VD HOOGENBAND (NED)          1:45.35                 1:45.45                                                                                                                                   (NED)                                      1:50.48
                    1996 Atlanta
                    Danyon LOADER (NZL)                 1:47.63
                    1992 Barcelona
                    Evgeni SADOVYI (EUN)                1:46.70                 3. Kenkrick MONK                                3. Tae-Hwan PARK                             3. Pieter van den                            3. Tae-Hwan PARK                           3. Darian TOWNSEND
                    1988 Seoul                                                  (AUS)                                           (KOR)                                        HOOGENBAND                                   (KOR)                                      (TSL)
                    Duncan ARMSTRONG (AUS)              1:47.25                 1:47.10                                         1:46.73

                                                                  Beyond dispute, Michael Phelps is considered the firm favourite by five continents out       excitement in the field behind him, as shown by our tips, which predict a tough fight
                                                                  of five. There seems to be no doubt about the American winning this event, unless the        for the medals. Besides Hoogenband, who set his personal best back in 2002, Phelps’
                                                                  water is drained out of the wonderful swimming pool in Beijing – and even then per-          club-mate Peter Vanderkaay, or the mysterious surprise Australian, Kenrick Monk, still
                  King Michael, a sure bet for the 200m –         haps he would still be the first to finish by running. Last year he swam an incredible       just 20 years old, could all make it to the podium, not to mention Park, the outstand-
                  and Park Tae Hwan, the favourite in 400m        World Record, almost two seconds better than anyone else. We can expect more                 ing Korean.

                                                                                                                                                                         Did you know⁄?
                                                                                                                                                               …     that one one-thousandth of a
                                                                                                                                                               second settled the fate of the 100
                                                                                                                                                                                                             swum identical times, to one hundredth
                                                                                                                                                                                                             of a second, but that the German had
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        …      that Michael Wenden, winner of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the 200 metres at the Mexico Olympics,
                                                                                                                                                               freestyle bronze medal at the 1964            been one one-thousandth of a second        almost drowned because he was com-
                                                                                                                                                               Games? Although electronic stop-              faster than the American. After consul-    pletely exhausted in the high altitude,
                                                                                                                                                               watches provided by the Japanese              tation lasting 35 minutes, he was then     and fainted after the finish? His
                                                                                                                                                               were not yet officially in use, the refer-    awarded third place.                       Australian team mate Robert Windle,
                                                                                                                                                               ees examined this data to find that                                                      who had finished sixth, saved his life.
                                                                                                                                                               Joachim Klein and Gary Ilman had

                                                                                                                  Photos: REUTERS

                    CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008           03:43.40 ROSOLINO, Massimiliano ITA                  03:44.11 KELLER, Klete USA                  03:40.08 THORPE, Ian AUS WR                   03:44.30 PARK, Tae Hwan KOR             03:46.08 MELLOULI, Oussama TUN

                                                                                1. Tae-Hwan PARK                                1. Grant HACKETT                             1. Grant HACKETT                             1. Tae-Hwan PARK                           1. Tae-Hwan PARK
                                    400m                                        (KOR)                                           (AUS)                                        (AUS)                                        (KOR)                                      (KOR)
                             OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                  3:44.30

                    2004 Athens
                    Ian THORPE (AUS)                    3:43.10                                                                 2. Tae Hwan PARK                             2. Tae Hwan PARK                             2. MELLOULI                                2. Przemyslaw
                                                                                2. Grant HACKETT
                    2000 Sydney                                                                                                 (KOR)                                        (KOR)                                        Oussama (TUN)                              STANCZYK (POL)
                    Ian THORPE (AUS)                    3:40.59                 3:42.51                                                                                                                                   3:46.08                                    3:45.71
                    1996 Atlanta
                    Danyon LOADER (NZL)                 3:47.97
                    1992 Barcelona
                    Evgeni SADOVYI (EUN)                3:45.00                 3.Massimiliano                                  3. Erik VENDT (USA)                          3. Yuri PRILUKOV                             3. Grant HACKETT                           3. Yuri PRILUKOV
                    1988 Seoul                                                  ROSOLINO (ITA)                                  3:44.56                                      (RUS)                                        (AUS)                                      (RUS)
                    Uwe DASSLER (GDR)                   3:46.95                 3:43.40                                                                                      3:44.44

                                                                  Our tipsters believe a Korean gold medal is on the horizon: Australia seems a little bias-   this, and of course following the retirement of Ian Thorpe, Park Tae-Hwan has an even
                                                                  ed in voting for Grant Hackett, despite doubts about whether this swimming legend,           better chance of winning, and is most likely to be challenged by two Europeans,
                                                                  who holds the fastest time in the current field, will even compete over this distance,       Przemyslav Stanczyk and Yuri Prilukov, although our Asian expert believes the
  24              LEN                                             since, according to news stories, he is training for the 1500m, and even for the mara-
                                                                  thon 10km open water event, making its debut at the forthcoming Olympics. In view of
                                                                                                                                                               Tunisian Oussama Mellouli – stripped of his World championship silver last year
                                                                                                                                                               because of a doping offence – also has a good chance of making the podium.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LEN       25
                  Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Magazine
MEN – Freestyle

                                                                                  EUROPE                                        AMERICA                                     OCEANIA                                        ASIA                                   AFRICA

                    CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008         14:45.94 SAWRYMOWICZ, Mateusz POL                    14:45.29 JENSEN, Larsen USA               14:34.56 HACKETT, Grant AUS WR                   14:55.03 PARK, Tae Hwan KOR            15:00.48 NEETHLING, Ryk F RSA

                                                                                1. Grant HACKETT                               1. Grant HACKETT                            1. Grant HACKETT                               1. Grant HACKETT                       1. Mateusz
                                   1500m                                        (AUS)                                          (AUS)                                       (AUS)                                          (AUS)                                  SAWRYMOWICZ
                             OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                  14:34.56                                                                                                                                                                         (POL)

                    2004 Athens
                    Grant HACKETT (AUS)               14:43.40                  2. Erik VENDT (USA)                            2. Erik VENDT (USA)                         2. Mateusz                                     2. Yuri PRILUKOV                       2. Yuri PRILUKOV
                    2000 Sydney                                                 14:47.59                                                                                   SAWRYMOWICZ                                    (RUS)                                  (RUS)
                    Grant HACKETT (AUS)               14:48.33
                    1996 Atlanta                                                                                                                                           (POL)
                    Kieren PERKINS (AUS)              14:56.40
                    1992 Barcelona
                    Kieren PERKINS (AUS)              14:43.48                  3. Mateusz                                     3. Mateusz                                  3. Yuri PRILUKOV                               3. Craig STEVENS                       3. Larsen JENSEN
                    1988 Seoul                                                  SAWRYMOWICZ                                    SAWRYMOWICZ                                 (RUS)                                          (AUS)                                  (USA)
                    Vladimir SALNIKOV (URS)           15:00.40                  (POL)                                          (POL)                                       14:47.29                                       14:53.18                               14:45.29

                                                                 Grant Hackett was not at his best during last year’s World Championships, finishing         by four out of the five continents. Another fact that speaks volumes is that the differ-
                                                                 only seventh in this event, while Europe – uniquely in the men’s events – came away         ence between the top Polish swimmer and Hackett, Champion in Athens, is 11 sec-
                                                                 with all three medals over the longest distance. However, the gold medallist and            onds, though the Aussie nicknamed Captain Fantastic did set the current World
                                                                 European Record holder Mateusz Sawrymowicz is not considered a favourite for                Record quite some time ago, at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka. American
                                                                 Beijing: his failure in Eindhoven led the voters to turn to Grant Hackett who is favoured   Larsen Jensen is also placed among the medal prospects.

                                                                 Watching only his back?
                                                                 After failing in his open water bid,
                                                                 Grant Hackett will concentrate on his
                                                                 beloved 1500m. But can he keep up with
                                                                 the big guns of Europe, e. g. current conti-
                                                                 nental champion Yuri Prilukov (R)?

                                              Did you know⁄?
                  …      that five-time champion Don
                  Schollander announced his retirement
                                                                 the village and cooked for him during
                                                                 the Games.
                  at the 1968 Games by saying: “Here
                  and now I have had enough of water. I          …     how unbelievably self-confident
                                                                 Alexander Popov was when replying to
                  will not even take a bath or a shower for
                  the next two years” .                          questions from American journalists?
                                                                 When asked in Atlanta about his
                  …     that the three-time Melbourne
                  Olympic champion, Murray Rose, was
                                                                 favourite actor or actress, the Russian
                                                                 champion replied: “This is a typically
                  a vegetarian? Since the Olympic vil-           American question. I don’t dream about
                  lage could not guarantee him an appro-         actors or actresses. They should dream
                  priate diet, his parents took him out of       about me. I embody reality, not them.”

  26              LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             LEN      27
                  Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Magazine
MEN – Backstroke

                   Once in a while
                   America does not win                 Leafing through swimming history books
                   Few are those swimming
                                                        we can see that America has won more
                   disciplines where the                times than the other three contending
                   dominance of the Americans is        continents put together in the 100 back-
                   as prominent as in backstroke,       stroke. The contest actually stands at
                   no matter if we speak of the         12-9, based on the results in Melbourne
                   past or present. In Melbourne        there is little doubt that in Beijing more
                                                        American ‘goals’ will be achieved.
                   the Americans doubled up the
                                                            Only at three Olympic Games did
                   first two podium places both         they fail to win medals (in 1908, sur-
                   over the 100 and 200, further-       prisingly in 1932 – triple Japanese vic-
                   more, the duel between Ryan          tory –, and not surprisingly in 1980).
                   Lochte and Aaron Peirsol             Except for the long ‘goldless’ period
                   resulted in a World Record on        between 1952 and 1976 (David Theile,
                                                        the Australians’ top swimmer and
                   both occasions. In the shorter       Roland Matthes, the German phenom-
                   distance Peirsol, champion in        enon won both golds at each of those
                   Athens, first swam below 53          Olympics), the star-striped flag was
                   seconds, while Lochte                raised up high on the mast each time.
                   triumphed in the longer              Both the gold and silver medals went to
                                                        the Americans no less than seven times

                   The other continents do not          – Europe managed to win the last time
                   seem to have been dealt cards,       in Moscow thanks to Bengt Baron.
                                                        Other exceptions were Seoul and                                                                                       matter of fact Americans can be found
                   but this is not
                                                        Barcelona because of Japanese Daichi                                                                                  among the medallists both before and
                   really a novelty in the history of   Suzuki and Canadian Mark Tewksbury                                                                                    after this critical period. What is more,
                   backstroke (meanwhile the fact       respectively, while on the last three                                                                                 Team USA achieved absolute victory
                   that no American swimmer             occasions we got back to normal                                                                                       twice as the swimmers smiling on the
                   qualified for the 50m event          thanks to Jeff Rouse, Lenny Krayzel-                                  swimming discipline on the Olympic              three steps of the podium in 1964 and
                                                        burg and recently Aaron Peirsol.                                      Program, but after the 100 was favoured         1976 were Americans.
                   final, absent from the Olympic
                                                             Regarding 200 backstroke the situa-                              and so it was only in Tokyo that it                 Their dominance has not decreased
                   program, is probably                 tion is even clearer, though the 6-6                                  returned to the Olympic Program).               lately. Even during Matthes’ reign he had
                   a consequence of Team USA            standing is flattering considering the                                    Although we have to admit that three        to outperform two Americans. During
                   being centered on the                event has been present in the program                                 Europeans won in the heroic ages, and           the last three Olympics out of the total
                   Olympics).                           since 1964 – over the longer distance         It’ a two-men show…     later three more times, in Seoul, Barce-        six medals possible to be won by a
                                                        the champions have exclusively come                 Ryan Lochte and   lona, and the boycotted ’80 Olympics,           nation five went to the Americans, they
                                                        from America and Europe (more exact-         Michael Phelps hit the   there is little doubt that the latter trio of   only missed out on the silver medal in
                                                        ly, backstroke had its debut in 1900 with                     water   triumphs took place during one of the           Athens. We could make a bet on two fur-
                                                        the 200 distance, being the second            of a backstroke event   rare downturns of US backstrokers. As a         ther medals likely to be won in Beijing.
   28              LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                     LEN       29
                   Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                               Magazine
MEN – Backstroke

                                                                                  EUROPEAN                                        AMERICAN                                    OCEANIAN                                      ASIAN                                       AFRICAN
                                                                                  BETS                                            BETS                                        BETS                                          BETS                                        BETS

                     CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008               00:53.10 MEEUW, Helge GER                     00:52.98 PEIRSOL, Aaron USA WR               00:53.68 DELANEY, Ashley AUS                   00:53.85 MORITA, Tomomi JPN              00:54.54 ZANDBERG, Gerhard RSA

                                                                                 1. Aaron PEIRSOL                                1. Aaron PIERSOL                           1. Aaron PEIRSOL                               1. Aaron PIERSOL                           1. Gerhard
                                      100m                                       (USA)                                           (USA)                                      (USA)                                          (USA)                                      ZANDBERG (RSA)
                              OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                  52.98                                                                                                                                                                                54.54

                     2004 Athens
                     Aaron PEIRSOL (USA)                  54.06                  2. Ryan LOCHTE                                  2. Ryan LOCHTE                             2. Ryan LOCHTE                                 2. Markus ROGAN                            2. Aaron PIERSOL
                     2000 Sydney                                                 (USA)                                           (USA)                                      (USA)                                          (AUT)                                      (USA)
                     Lenny KRAYZELBURG (USA)              53.72                  53.50                                                                                                                                     53.78
                     1996 Atlanta
                     Jeff ROUSE (USA)                     54.10
                     1992 Barcelona
                     Mark TEWKSBURY (CAN)                 53.98                  3. Liam TANCOCK                                 3. Arkady                                  3. Arkady                                      3. Ryan LOCHTE                             3. Ryan LOCHTE
                     1988 Seoul                                                  (GBR)                                           VYATCHANIN                                 VYATCHANIN                                     (USA)                                      (USA)
                     Daichi SUZUKI (JPN)                  55.05                  53.46                                           (RUS)                                      (RUS)

                   The only man under 53 sec? But will             No doubts here. Given the fact that Aaron Peirsol is the only man in the World that has     rent of the European Record, has not been nominated by any members of the panel).
                   Aaron Peirsol remain so in Beijing?             been capable of swimming under 53 seconds in this event – having set the World              And then of course there’s Ryan Lochte, having emerged from the shadow of Phelps,
                                                                   Record at the World Championships in Melbourne – most people think he will defend           he could definitely be around in the decisive stages, and maybe even… The Russian         It’s all about gold…
                                                                   his title over the shorter Olympic distance. Liam Tancock, who set a European Record        specialist Arkady Vyatchanin did not hit top form last year, but should not be left out   Ryan Lochte and his medal
                                                                   last Summer in Japan, is considered his major rival (interestingly Helge Meeuw, cur-        of the reckoning if he returns to his 2006 form.

                                                                             Did you know⁄?
                                                                   …      that David Thiele stopped swim-
                                                                   ming for two years after his Olympic
                                                                                                                  …    that Roland Matthes and his wife
                                                                                                                  Kornelia Ender are the owners of eight
                                                                                                                                                               …      that two-time champion Rick
                                                                                                                                                               Carey was the target of a strong attack
                                                                                                                                                                                                             …      that following the 1988 Olympics,
                                                                                                                                                                                                             FINA forbade the ”submarine start”?
                                                                   victory in Melbourne? He focused on            Olympic gold, six silver and two bronze      from the media in 1984? As he failed to       The reason was that the three medal-
                                                                   his medical studies, then showed up            medals altogether?                           produce a World Record over the               lists, Suzuki, Berkoff and Polyansky
                                                                   again and managed to win in Rome.
                                                                   The truth is his American opponent had         …     that John Naber at nine years of
                                                                                                                  age visited the ancient Olympia and
                                                                                                                                                               200m, the American swimmer, perfec-
                                                                                                                                                               tionist to an almost pathologic extent,
                                                                                                                                                                                                             swam at least 30m under water.

                                                                   miscalculated the turn half way and                                                         just flapped his arms around while
                                                                   bumped into the wall with his head.            said he would become an Olympic              every movement of his body expressed
                                                                                                                  champion? Eleven years later, in             his disappointment. He later had to
                                                                                                                  Montreal, the American giant fulfilled       apologize.
                                                                                                                  his promise.

                     CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008            01:55.44 VYATCHANIN, Arkady RUS                  01:54.32 LOCHTE, Ryan USA WR                 01:56.75 STOECKL, Hayden AUS                     01:56.53 RYOSUKE, Irie JPN               01:58.81 DU RAND, George RSA

                                     200m                                        1. Ryan LOCHTE                                  1. Ryan LOCHTE                             1. Ryan LOCHTE                                 1. Ryan LOCHTE                             1. Aaron PIERSOL
                                                                                 (USA)                                           (USA)                                      (USA)                                          (USA)                                      (USA)
                              OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                  1:54.32

                     2004 Athens
                     Aaron PEIRSOL (USA)                 1:54.95                 2. Aaron PEIRSOL                                2. Aaron PEIRSOL                           2. Aaron PEIRSOL                               2. Aaron PEIRSOL                           2. Ryan LOCHTE
                     2000 Sydney                                                 (USA)                                           (USA)                                      (USA)                                          (USA)                                      (USA)
                     Lenny KRAYZELBURG (USA)             1:56.76                 1:54.44
                     1996 Atlanta
                     Brad Bridgewater (USA)              1:58.54
                     1992 Barcelona
                     Martin LOPEZ-ZUBERO (ESP)           1:58.47                 3. Markus ROGAN                                 3. Markus ROGAN                            3. Marcus ROGAN                                3. Markus ROGAN                            3. Gerhard
                     1988 Seoul                                                  (AUT)                                           (AUT)                                      (AUT)                                          (AUT)                                      ZANDBERG (RSA)
                     Igor POLIANSKI (URS)                1:59.37                 1:55.74                                                                                                                                                                              2:08.53

                                                                   According to our voters, Aaron Peirsol will not repeat the double achieved in 2004,         get Peirsol’s class and Olympic experience which might well bring him the gold medal
                                                                   winning both the 100m and the 200m. However, it’s still considered an American affair,      in Beijing. Nor is there much dispute about Europe being represented on the podium
                                                                   as Lochte who triumphed in Melbourne in a new World Record time is the hot favourite        by Markus Rogan. Four years ago he had the chance to experience the Olympic
   30              LEN                                             as you can see on the ‘scoreboard’ with a margin of 4-1. Ryan is capable of matching
                                                                   Phelps’ performance in terms of the dolphin kick, so he can get the title, but don’t for-
                                                                                                                                                               Champion feeling for a few minutes, until the head referee overturned the decision to
                                                                                                                                                               disqualify Peirsol.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LEN       31
                   Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Magazine
MEN – Breaststroke

                                                                                                                               1932). Now it is up to Kitajima to evoke     of Hungary got three silver medals at
                                                                                                                               the noble example of his ancestors – but     the last four Olympic Games, and one
                                                                                                                               Hansen may want to add his own fifty         gold to top it off. Dániel Gyurta, still 19,
                                                                                                                               cents’ worth to that.                        winner of the silver medal in Athens at
                                                                                                                                   Europe is often the winner of the        a mere 15 years of age, wants a medal

                     Room                                                                                                      200 metres in this most traditional of all
                                                                                                                               swimming styles – included in the
                                                                                                                               Games since 1908. So far the Old
                                                                                                                               Continent has had 8 winners (although
                                                                                                                               there was a long hiatus from 1924 to
                                                                                                                               1972), while the flag of the United
                                                                                                                                                                            in Beijing as well.
                                                                                                                                                                                 You can see more ‘stars and stripes’
                                                                                                                                                                            in the 100 metre length (introduced in
                                                                                                                                                                            1968). Every second one of the
                                                                                                                                                                            Olympic Games from 1968 to 1992 had
                                                                                                                                                                            an American victory – although not a

                     for Europe?
                                                                                                                               States and that of Japan were hoisted        single time since ’92 – but U.S. swim-
                                                                                                                               at the middle post 5 times each. This is     mers managed to get silver medals at
                                                                                                                               also the style and length where the win-     all the last three Olympics in a row. As
                                                                                                                               ners’ stand notoriously lacks Americans:     for gold medals, European countries
                                                                                                                               there has not been a single U.S. team        stand at 4 to 4 against the USA; now it
                                                                                                                               member among the medal winners               seems, however, that the Beijing
                                                                                                                               twelve times out of 22. A similar oddity     Championship will be decided between
                     This style of swimming is the one with       Domenico Fioravanti won the gold                             is that the best breaststroke swimmers       the U.S. and Japan.
                     results most equitably shared out of all     medals in 2000, and Japanese swimmer
                     four in contrast to the clear American       Kitajima Kosuke did the same in 2004.
                     advantage in freestyle, backstroke and       But then, breaststroke has a special his-
                     butterfly, Europe has been better at         tory, considering that – with a single
                     breaststroke. True, Brendan Hansen           exception – swimmers have not man-
                     took three out of the four gold medals at    aged to repeat their first place results at
                     the two World Championships since            two successive Olympic Games. The
                     Athens (he refrained from starting the       only exception being Japanese swimmer
                     200 metre race in Melbourne due to ill-      Tsuruta Yoshiyuki, who defended his 200
                     ness) – which could be a model for a         metre title six decades ago (1928 and
                     continuing behaviour. The last two
                     ‘Breaststroke Kings’ doubled their results
                     at the last two Olympics, the Italian

                                                                                                                                                           Did you know⁄?
                     Can he do it at last?
                     Holder of WRs, Brendan
                                                                                                                               …      that the World Record was sur-
                                                                                                                               passed in both of the 100 metre pre-
                                                                                                                                                                            …       that other British athletes (swim-
                                                                                                                                                                            mers in this case) gave excellent per-
                     Hansen hasn’t won in the                                                                                  finals in 1972? The first one was by         formances besides Seb Coe and Steve
                     Olympics                                                                                                  John Hencken, the second by                  Ovett at the Moscow Olympic Games,
                                                                                                                               Nobutaka Taguchi, then the same              boycotted by many? An example is
                                                                                                                               Japanese swimmer finished with a new         Duncan Goodhew, winner of the 100
                                                                                                                               World Record at the finals the third time    metre breaststroke. He was often
                                                                                                                               (the 100 metre record then was               teased as a child for his dyslexia, and
                                                                                                                               1:04.94). Four years later John              also because he remained bald all his
                                                                                                                               Hencken set the new World Record             life – an after-effect of a childhood acci-
                                                                                                                               during the trial races, improved it him-     dent. He already stated his goal of
                                                                                                                               self at the pre-finals, and then at the      becoming an Olympic champion as a
                                                                                                                               finals again.                                child, and he made good on his word.

                                                                                                                                                                            …     that Adrian Moorhouse, a hopeful
                                                                                                                                                                            at Los Angeles, finished only fifth in
                                                                                                                                                                            1984, and thereupon he received a
                                                                                                                                                                            telegram from his former Sunday
                                                                                                                                                                            school, saying, ‘Very bad luck, all proud
                                                                                                                                                                            of you. There will be a next time.’ He
                                                                                                                                                                            took that piece of paper with him to
                                                                                                                                                                            Seoul to the next occasion – where he
                                                                                                                                                                            managed to come in first, beating
                                                                                                                                                                            Hungarian swimmer Károly Güttler only
                                                                                                                                                                            by one one-hundredth of a second.
                                                                                                                                                                            Since then he kept that telegram in the
                                                                                                                Kiss gergely
                                                                                                                                                                            box of his Olympic gold.
                                                                                                                Kiss gergely
                                                                                                                Kiss gergely

   32                LEN                                                                                                                                                                                        LEN        33
                     Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                 Magazine
MEN – Breaststroke

                                                                                      EUROPEAN                                      AMERICAN                                    OCEANIAN                                        ASIAN                                       AFRICAN
                                                                                      BETS                                          BETS                                        BETS                                            BETS                                        BETS

                       CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008            00:59.76 DALE OEN, Aleksander NOR               00:59.13 HANSEN, Brendan USA WR               01:00.04 RICKARD, Brenton AUS                   00:59.53 KITAJIMA, Kosuke JPN           01:01.04 VAN DER BURGH, Cameron RSA

                                       100m                                         1. Kosuke KITAJIMA
                                                                                                                                   1. Brendan HANSEN
                                                                                                                                                                               1. Kosuke KITAJIMA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1. Brendan HANSEN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1. Brendan HANSEN
                                OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                   59.53

                       2004 Athens
                       Kosuke KITAJIMA (JPN)        1:00.08                                                                        2. Kosuke KITAJIMA                          2. Brenton RICKARD                              2. Kosuke KITAJIMA                          2. Kosuke KITAJIMA
                                                                                    2. Brendan HANSEN
                       2000 Sydney                                                                                                 (JPN)                                       (AUS)                                           (JPN)                                       (JPN)
                       Domenico FIORAVANTI (ITA)    1:00.49
                       1996 Atlanta
                       Fredrik DE BURGHGRAEVE (BEL) 1:00.65
                       1992 Barcelona
                       Nelson DIEBEL (USA)          1:01.50                         3. Alexander DALE                              3. Brenton RICKARD                          3. Brendan HANSEN                               3. Alexander DALE                           3. VAN DEN BURGH
                       1988 Seoul                                                   OEN (NOR)                                      (AUS)                                       (USA)                                           OEN (NOR)                                   Cameron (RSA)
                       Adrian MOORHOUSE (GBR)       1:02.04                         59.76                                          1:00.04                                                                                                                                 01:01.04

                                                                      Act one in the duel between Kitajima and Hansen. Unlike in the 200, the American           World Championship podiums when it mattered most, at the Athens Olympics – clear
                                                                      won this ballot 3:2. Whether or not this is confirmed in reality remains an open ques-     proof that the main thing at the Olympics is not the individual’s personal best time, but
                                                                      tion, but one thing is certain – Hansen won this event at the World Championships in       rather who is capable of winning. Among the Europeans, Dale Oen and Lisogor could
                                                                      Melbourne and two years earlier in Montreal. And yet the American World Record             make it to the podium and one of them might go under the 1-minute barrier, following        Way ahead of the others…
                                                                      holder was unable to reproduce the form that had placed him on top of successive           in the footsteps of Roman Sludnov.                                                          But can Hansen make it in Beijing?

                                                                                Did you know⁄?
                                                                      …     that the coach of Belgian Frédéric
                                                                      Deburghraeve signalled to him using a
                                                                                                                     The explanation is simple: five months
                                                                                                                     after the Melbourne Games, underwater
                                                                                                                                                                 metres? Intoxicated celebrators threw
                                                                                                                                                                 his American coach into the water
                                                                      special whistle in Atlanta that it was         swimming was banned, since the winner       despite the fact that he had a plaster
                                                                      time to increase speed during the sec-         of the ’56 gold, Japanese swimmer           cast on one of his arms.
                                                                      ond fifty metres. The new World
                                                                      Champion finally won by an advantage
                                                                                                                     Furukawa spent 75 percent of the length
                                                                                                                     swimming underwater.                        …      that Terence Parkin, the winner of
                                                                                                                                                                 the silver medal at the 2000 Olympic
                                                                      of 12 one-hundredths of a second.

                                                                      …     that the winner of the gold medal of
                                                                                                                     …      that no less than eight thousand
                                                                                                                     enthusiasts wanted to carry Felipe
                                                                                                                                                                 Games, was completely deaf from
                                                                                                                                                                 birth? A special light display was set up
                                                                      the 200 breaststroke in Rome won with a        Muñoz on their shoulders in Mexico          for the South African swimmer at the
                       Rising sun again?
                                                                      time three seconds less than in 1956?          City after he won the gold medal in 200     side of the pool for the start.
                       Kitajima made the double in Athens

                       CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008             02:09.52 KOMORNIKOV, Dmitri RUS                02:08.50 HANSEN, Brendan USA WR               02:09.51 RICKARD, Brenton AUS                   02:09.42 KITAJIMA, Kosuke JPN                02:11.88 DIERING, William RSA

                                       200m                                         1. Brendan HANSEN
                                                                                                                                   1. Brendan HANSEN
                                                                                                                                                                               1. Brendan HANSEN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1. Kosuke KITAJIMA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1. Kosuke KITAJIMA
                                OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                   2:08.50

                       2004 Athens
                       Kosuke KITAJIMA (JPN)                2:09.44                 2. Hughes DUBOSCQ                              2. Kosuke KITAJIMA                          2. Kosuke KITAJIMA                              2. Brendan HANSEN                           2. Brendan HANSEN
                       2000 Sydney                                                  (FRA)                                          (JPN)                                                                                       (USA)                                       (USA)
                       Domenico FIORAVANTI (ITA)            2:10.87                 2:09.72
                       1996 Atlanta
                       Norbert ROZSA (HUN)                  2:12.57
                       1992 Barcelona
                       Mike BARROWMAN (USA)                 2:10.16                 3. Kosuke KITAJIMA                             3. Eric SHANTEAU                            3. Brenton RICKARD                              3. Brenton RICKARD                          3. Thabang
                       1988 Seoul                                                   (JPN)                                          (USA)                                       (AUS)                                           (AUS)                                       MOEKETSANE (RSA)
                       Jozsef SZABO (HUN)                   2:13.52                 2:09.42                                        2:10.59                                                                                                                                 2:20.12

                                                                      Two votes went to the leading Japanese swimmer, whereas Europe, Australia and              the longer distance due to a sudden illness. It will be interesting to assess the extent
                                                                      America preferred the World Record holder. This won’t be an ordinary contest either,       to which Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, who surprised everyone in Athens, has progressed
                     Photos: REUTERS
                                                                      Hansen holds the World Record in both events, while Kitajima is the reigning Olympic       from his earlier setbacks by the time the Games start in Beijing, and we should not
   34                LEN                                              Champion in both. The Japanese star also won in Melbourne, although we should
                                                                      add, as a footnote, that Hansen, having won the 100, didn’t make it to the start-line of
                                                                                                                                                                 forget Britain’s Gilchrist, who swam a surprisingly fast time at the Japanese
                                                                                                                                                                 International Championships last Summer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LEN   35
                     Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Magazine
MEN – Butterfly

                  Let US go

                  Looking at the shape Michael Phelps is
                  in, there can be no doubts that the gap
                  will grow ever wider between the U.S.
                  and the rest of the world – the U.S. hav-
                  ing been World leader in butterfly for a
                  long time. Swimmers have stood on the
                  starting stones for this youngest of all
                  styles no less than 23 times so far (10
                  times in 100 metres and 13 times in
                  200), with 13 victories taken by U.S.                                                                                                                                                      Did you know⁄?
                  swimmers. While other nations have
                  also reaped numerous medals, the
                  advantage of the U.S. was virtually
                                                              home soil in the next Olympic Games,
                                                              organised in America. No American
                                                                                                          mers have cleaved the waters: Spitz,
                                                                                                          Gross, Morales and Pankratov. There                                    …      that Anthony Nesty was the first
                                                                                                                                                                                 black swimmer to win an Olympic gold?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             …      that World Champion Pablo Mo-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             rales wanted to prove his worth at three
                  choking the rest of the World between       swimmer stood on the winners’ stand in      are examples of sportsmen who won
                                                                                                                                                                                 He shocked the audience in 1988 by          Olympic Games, but only managed to
                  1968 and 1976: out of the 9 medals          Los Angeles in 100 metres butterfly,        both butterfly gold medals within the
                                                                                                                                                                                 arriving ahead of the great U.S. hopeful    win the third one? He was second in Los
                  awarded in those years, 7 went to           and the same happened in Atlanta with       same Games: Spitz in 1972, followed
                                                                                                                                                                                 Matt Biondi by a mere one-hundredth of      Angeles. Then he did not make it to
                  America (back then each country was         the 200 metre butterfly.                    by Denis Pankratov – who spent eighty
                                                                                                                                                                                 a second. During his return to his native   Seoul, finishing only third in the U.S.
                  allowed to enter three swimmers; Mark            Another reason Phelps could write      percent of the length underwater – in
                                                                                                                                                                                 Suriname, a crowd already stopped him       national trials. Following that, he gave
                  Spitz and his colleagues did a hat trick    his name in gold in the history books is,   1996, then Michael Phelps won at both
                                                                                                                                                                                 on the road from the airport to the city,   up swimming, and then returned after
                  four times out of six – in 100 metres in    apart from his attempt to win eight gold    100 and 200 in Athens. Phelps repeat-
                                                                                                                                                                                 and people collected 3,000 dollars for      his mother’s death – while his World
                  both ‘68 and ‘76, and in 200 both in ‘72    medals, the fact that he could be the       ed his performance in Melbourne,
                                                                                                                                                                                 the sportsman. The government of            Championship was still valid. Although
                  and ’76 – in other words, Americans         first swimmer to defend his Olympic         which means he could further con-
                                                                                                                                                                                 Suriname was even more generous,            he never managed to surpass his own
                  took all six gold medals in butterfly       Championship title in either butterfly      tribute to America’s advantage against    Underwater, above all
                                                                                                                                                                                 they named the national indoor sport        record, he was fast enough to grab the
                  stroke in Montreal). It is interesting,     length. So far no one has managed to        the other continents, leading 5 to 4 in   – the Americans outdid the
                                                                                                                                                                                 stadium after him, they issued Nesty        gold in the 100 metres in Barcelona.
                  though, that the U.S. did not manage to     double their medals in two successive       the 100 metres against Europe and 8 to    field on most occasions
                                                                                                          3 in 200.                                                              stamps, as well as gold and silver coins.
                  keep any of the four gold medals on         Games, although epoch-making swim-                                                    (here Phelps and Crocker)

  36              LEN                                                                                                                                                            Photo: REUTERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LEN       37
                  Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Magazine
MEN – Butterfly

                                                                           EUROPEAN                                         AMERICAN                                     OCEANIAN                                       ASIAN                                       AFRICAN
                                                                           BETS                                             BETS                                         BETS                                           BETS                                        BETS

                    CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008         00:51.36 BREUS, Sergiy UKR                     00:50.40 CROCKER, Ian USA WR                    00:51.81 KLIM, Michael AUS                     00:52.19 ZHOU, Jiawei CHN                 00:51.85 DUNFORD, Jason KEN

                                                                          1. Michael PHELPS                               1. Michael PHELPS                             1. Ian CROCKER                                 1. Ian CROCKER                              1. Michael PHELPS
                                       100m                               (USA)                                           (USA)                                         (USA)                                          (USA)                                       (USA)
                             OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                            50.77

                    2004 Athens
                    Michael PHELPS (USA)            51.25                 2. Ian CROCKER                                  2. Ian CROCKER                                2. Michael PHELPS                              2. Michael PHELPS                           2. Roland
                    2000 Sydney                                           (USA)                                           (USA)                                         (USA)                                          (USA)                                       SCHOEMAN (RSA)
                    Lars FROLANDER (SWE)            52.00                 50.40                                                                                                                                                                                    52.73
                    1996 Atlanta
                    Denis PANKRATOV (RUS)           52.27
                    1992 Barcelona
                    Pablo MORALES (USA)             53.32                 3. Milorad CAVIC                                3. Milorad CAVIC                              3. Andrew                                      3. Evgeny                                   1. Ian CROCKER
                    1988 Seoul                                            (SRB)                                           (SRB)                                         LAUTERSTEIN (AUS)                              KOROTYSHKIN                                 (USA)
                    Anthony NESTY (SUR)             53.00                 51.70                                                                                         51.91                                          (RUS)

                                                            Rather surprisingly, the Australian and Asian representatives believe that Ian Crocker        Melbourne. Most probably, the Beijing Olympics will also produce a similar internal
                                                            could outperform Michael Phelps over the shorter butterfly distance. Without doubt,           rivalry, since nobody else can swim under 51 – or even get close to this barrier. The
                                                            this was the event in which his compatriot came closest to King Michael, his domi-            identity of the bronze medallist is rather uncertain, with votes going to four represen-
                     Hope of Europe:                        nance is clearer in the 200 metres, while the margin between him and Crocker in the           tatives from three continents.                                                             Any chance against Phelps?
                     Andriy Serdinov                        100 was just five one-hundredths of a second at the World Championships in                                                                                                               Ian Crocker might have a shot in 100m

                                                                      Did you know⁄?
                                                                                                            ter time than the World Record twice dur-
                                                            …      that Lars Frölander freaked Austra-
                                                            lians out when he managed to beat both
                                                                                                            ing the preceding months, the incompe-
                                                                                                            tent organisers of the Paris World Cup
                                                            local heroes Klim and Huegill in Sydney?        Championship simply ran out of contain-
                                                            Klim said after the race that during the        ers for urine collection for the doping
                                                            last metres ‘…a grand piano fell from the       tests, and thus his results could not be
                                                            ceiling and landed square on my back.’          certified. Pankratov requested the test

                                                            …     that a double motivation was firing
                                                            Denis Pankratov to prove his worth in
                                                                                                            three times, and his request was denied
                                                                                                            – at the same time, rumours in Russia
                                                                                                            said that he did not really want that test.
                                                            1996 due to an unfortunate incident?            He subsequently proved his worth in
                                                            Although the Russian swimmer did a bet-         Atlanta with the two gold medals.

                    CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008     01:54.16 DRYMONAKOS, Ioannis GRE                  01:52.09 PHELPS, Michael USA WR               01:54.99 BURMESTER, Moss NZL                    01:54.56 YAMAMOTO, Takashi JPN           01:58.03 ROUSSEAU, Sebastien D RSA

                                       200m                               1. Michael PHELPS
                                                                                                                          1. Michael PHELPS
                                                                                                                                                                        1. Michael PHELPS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       1. Michael PHELPS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1. Michael PHELPS
                             OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                            1:52.09

                    2004 Athens
                    Michael PHELPS (USA)          1:54.04                 2. Peng WU (CHN)                                2. Peng WU                                    2. Nikolay                                     2. Peng WU                                  2. Roland
                    2000 Sydney                                           1:55.13                                         (CHN)                                                                                        (CHN)                                       SCHOEMAN (RSA)
                    Thomas MALCHOW (USA)          1:55.35                                                                                                               SKVORTSOV (RUS)
                    1996 Atlanta                                                                                                                                        1:54.65
                    Denis PANKRATOV (RUS)         1:56.51
                    1992 Barcelona
                    Melvin STEWART (USA)          1:56.26                 3. Pawel                                        3. Pawel                                      3. Moss                                        3. Moss                                     3. Peng Wu
                    1988 Seoul                                            KORZENIOWSKI                                    KORZENIOWSKI                                  BURMESTER (NZL)                                BURMESTER (NZL)                             (CHN)
                    Michael GROSS (FRG)           1:56.94                 (POL)                                           (POL)                                         1:54.99
                                                                          1:54.38                                         1:54.38

                                                            Five out of five as usual. There can be no doubt that Michael Phelps will win the 200,        winning silver, three of our experts went for China’s Wu Peng – it seems the advan-
                                                            specially in the butterfly. Of all the records he set in Melbourne the most incredible was    tage of a home pool might prove a big factor for the leading Chinese swimmers.
                  Photos: REUTERS
                                                            the 1:52.09 he swam in the 200 butterfly. The 2007 World rankings show Pawel                  Naturally Korzeniowski is also a strong candidate for a medal, as is the recently
  38              LEN                                       Korzeniowski lying behind Phelps by more than 2.8 seconds, which is a huge margin.
                                                            At the same time, our panel does not consider the Pole as having the best chance of
                                                                                                                                                          emerging New Zealander, Moss Burmester.                                                                                      LEN      39
                  Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Magazine
                                                                                                                                                                aged to win 15 silver medals out of a
MEN – Individual Medley

                                                                                                                                                                total of 19 times they participated in the
                                                                                                                                                                history of the Olympic Games. As in but-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Did you know⁄?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           pionship at all, either in 200 metres or
                                                                                                                                                                terfly, a strange exception here is that the
                                                                                                                                                                two Olympic Games organised in                 …     that the first four swimmers at the   400? He won at Olympic Games and

                          Winning in four styles                                                                                                                America were among the exceptions,             1972 Munich Olympic Games arrived           World Championships four times be-
                                                                                                                                                                since no U.S. swimmer stood on the             within the World Record? Gunnar             tween 1985 and 1993, he won eight Euro-
                                                                                                                                                                podium for the 400 metre race in Los           Larsson surpassed his own personal          pean Championships and 53 national
                                                                                                                                                                Angeles, and the same happened with            best by more than two seconds.              championships.

                          It’s a true battle between the US and Europe
                                                                                                                                                                the 200 metre race in Atlanta.
                                                                                                                                                                     Adding up the numbers for both
                                                                                                                                                                lengths, Europe is doing slightly better (9    …     that Alex McKee was so ecstatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                               at the Munich Olympic Games for re-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           …     that the Italian swimmer Massi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           miliano Rosolino proudly boasted after
                                                                                                                                                                to 8 – with the winner beating an
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ceiving the silver medal that he climbed    his Sydney win that he had reached the
                                                                                                                                                                American swimmer 5 times out of the 9),
                          The history of the IM started in a rather     clap their hands for the double perfor-       An interesting statistical result can                                                    up the springboard tower past the secu-     top without doping after being ques-
                                                                                                                                                                however, U.S. ascendancy has lately
                          hectic fashion: the 400 metre length was      mances of excellent sportsmen: Charles    be observed regarding these two IM                                                           rity guards and celebrated his result       tioned about it? The Italian star said
                                                                                                                                                                been more and more oppressive. The
                          introduced at the Olympic Games in            Hickcox (1968), Gunnar Larsson (1972),    lengths. While the U.S. could only gather                                                    with a one-and-a-half turn somersault?      that his drug was ‘spaghetti with toma-
                                                                                                                                                                U.S. did a ‘one-two’ in Athens at both
                          1964, and then the 200 metre in 1968.         Alex Baumann (1984), Tamás Darnyi         the first and last gold medals in the 200,                                                                                               to, and sometimes prosciutto thrown in.’
                                                                                                                                                                lengths (it was Phelps’ victory both
                          However, the shorter length was put on
                          the back burner both in 1976 and 1980.
                                                                        (1988 and 1992), and finally, after the
                                                                        hiatus of two Olympic Games, Michael
                                                                                                                  America leads 6 to 4 against Europe in
                                                                                                                  the 400 metre races. Another significant
                                                                                                                                                                times), which was then repeated last
                                                                                                                                                                time at the Melbourne World
                                                                                                                                                                                                               …    that Tamás Darnyi, the Hungarian
                                                                                                                                                                                                               King of Individual Medley, has never
                          Therefore, specialists of this ‘collage’ of   Phelps in Athens.                         statistical fact is that the U.S. team man-   Championships. U.S. swimmers made a
                          styles have only had eight Olympic occa-                                                                                                                                             been beaten at any international cham-
                                                                                                                                                                ‘sweep’ 8 times out of the total 19 so far,
                          sions so far to prove their worth at both                                                                                             gathering both gold and silver medals.
                          lengths. Another interesting fact is that                                                                                             Another significant fact is that two U.S.
                          out of the eight, six times the same per-                                                                                             participants arrived in the first two places
                          son won both the 200 metre length and                                                                                                 at the 400 metre length at the last three
                          the 400 metre length; only in 1996 and in                                                                                             Olympic Games – having seen the
                          2000 two different swimmers stood on                                                                                                  splendid performances of Phelps and
                          the top stand for each. Enthusiasts could                                                                                             Lochte in Melbourne (they also did it in
                                                                                                                                                                the 200) it is becoming an undisputed
                                                                                                                                                                fact that the American ‘doubling’ will
                                                                                                                                                                soon be seen as a tradition.

    40                    LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LEN       41
                          Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Magazine
MEN – Individual Medley

                                                                                       EUROPEAN                                      AMERICAN                                      OCEANIAN                                      ASIAN                                       AFRICAN
                                                                                       BETS                                          BETS                                          BETS                                          BETS                                        BETS

                            CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008              01:56.92 CSEH, Laszlo HUN                  01:54.98 PHELPS, Michael USA WR                   01:59.66 THORPE, Ian AUS                    01:59.81 TAKAKUWA, Ken JPN               02:00.90 MELLOULI, Oussama TUN

                                           200m                                      1. Michael PHELPS
                                                                                                                                    1. Michael PHELPS
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Michael PHELPS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Michael PHELPS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Michael PHELPS
                                     OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                               1:54.98

                            2004 Athens
                            Michael PHELPS (USA)              1:57.14                2. Ryan LOCHTE                                 2. Ryan LOCHTE                                2. Ryan LOCHTE                                                                            2. Laszlo CSEH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Ryan LOCHTE
                            2000 Sydney                                              (USA)                                          (USA)                                         (USA)                                                                                     (HUN)
                            Massimiliano ROSOLINO (ITA)       1:58.98                1:56.11
                            1996 Atlanta
                            Attila CZENE (HUN)                1:59.91
                            1992 Barcelona
                            Tamas DARNYI (HUN)                2:00.76                                                               3. Laszlo CSEH                                3. Laszlo CSEH                                3. Laszlo CSEH                              3. Ryan LOCHTE
                            1988 Seoul                                               3. Laszlo CSEH                                 (HUN)                                         (HUN)                                         (HUN)                                       (USA)
                            Tamas DARNYI (HUN)                2:00.17                (HUN)

                                                                        This is the only event in the men’s category to register almost unanimous votes. If it       pushed back to third, despite having broken the European Record last Spring. In any
                                                                        came down to the tipsters’ choice, the medals could already be handed out among the          case it is interesting that Phelps won the votes of all five continents here, Lochte
                                                                        three leading stars of the event – the same three who stood on the podium at the             placed second, outscoring Cseh 4-1, as only Africa thinks the European Record hold-     Eyeing 8 gold medals…
                                                                        World Championships in Montreal, and again in Melbourne. True, the only difference           er can catch the No. 2. American.                                                       Michael Phelps will start his campaign with
                                                                        between 2005 and 2007 was that Lochte had caught up with Phelps, while Cseh was                                                                                                      the 400m IM in Beijing

                                       Did you know⁄?
                            …      that doctors diagnosed appen-
                            dicitis for Dick Roth in Tokyo three days
                                                                          …       that the rule relating to a tie was
                                                                          first changed after the 1972 400 metre IM
                                                                                                                         …      that Canadian swimmer Alex
                                                                                                                         Baumann was not allowed to drink beer
                            before the 400 metre IM? Japanese             between Gunnar Larsson and Alexander           at the Los Angeles doping test? The
                            doctors suggested an operation, which         McKee? They both arrived touched the           young sportsman, who came from a
                            Roth was not willing to undergo. He           wall in 4:31.98 in Munich. Larsson, how-       Czechoslovakian immigrant family was
                            also refused to take medications, thus        ever, was two one-thousandths of a sec-        already putting the third bottle down the
                            an ice pack was used instead at all           ond quicker (4:31.981), therefore he           hatch when judges realised that – due
                            times. The 17 year old American swim-         received the gold medal. Today only one-       to his age and relevant local statutes –
                            mer finally managed to set a new World        hundredths of a second counts, and if          he was not allowed to drink alcohol,
                            Record despite the terrible pain he was       two swimmers had the same result with-         thus he was forced to take sodas
                            suffering.                                    in that fraction, a tie should be declared.    instead.

                            CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008              04:09.59 CSEH, Laszlo HUN                  04:06.22 PHELPS, Michael USA WR                  04:15.20 NORRIS, Justin AUS                     04:14.79 MIKI, Jiro JPN               04:11.64 MELLOULI, Oussama TUN

                                           400m                                      1. Michael PHELPS                              1. Michael PHELPS                             1. Michael PHELPS                             1. Michael PHELPS                           1. Michael PHELPS
                                                                                     (USA)                                          (USA)                                         (USA)                                         (USA)                                       (USA)
                                     OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                               4:06.22

                            2004 Athens
                            Michael PHELPS (USA)              4:08.26                2. Ryan LOCHTE                                 2. Ryan LOCHTE                                2. Ryan LOCHTE                                2. Ryan LOCHTE                              2. Ryan LOCHTE
                            2000 Sydney                                              (USA)                                          (USA)                                         (USA)                                         (USA)                                       (USA)
                            Tom DOLAN (USA)                   4:11.76                4:09.74
                            1996 Atlanta
                            Tom DOLAN (USA)                   4:14.90
                            1992 Barcelona
                            Tamas DARNYI (HUN)                4:14.23                3. Luca MARIN (ITA)                            3. Laszlo CSEH                                3. Luca MARIN (ITA)                           3. Laszlo CSEH                              3. Laszlo CSEH
                            1988 Seoul                                               4:09.88                                        (HUN)                                                                                       (HUN)                                       (HUN)
                            Tamas DARNYI (HUN)                4:14.75                                                               4:09.59

                                                                        Besides the three specialists already mentioned for the 200, a fourth candidate              at the European Short Course Championships in December – and Marin will fight it
                                                                        emerges here: Luca Marin, bronze medallist at the World Championships, who –                 out. It is definitely worth mentioning that the 400 medley, unlike at the World
                                                                        unlike the others – usually competes only in the 400. Naturally, Phelps wins 5 out of 5      Championships, is not being held on the final day, but rather on the first day of the
    42                    LEN                                           votes again, and similarly everyone considers Lochte favourite for silver. Opinions are
                                                                        only divided on the bronze: our experts believe Cseh – who broke two World Records
                                                                                                                                                                     Olympic swimming program, which means competitors should definitely be fresh.                                               LEN       43
                          Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Magazine
MEN – Relays

                                                                           EUROPEAN                            AMERICAN                                OCEANIAN                                      ASIAN                                        AFRICAN
                                                                           BETS                                BETS                                    BETS                                          BETS                                         BETS

                     CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008               03:14.04 ITALY                     03:12.46 USA WR                       03:13.67 AUSTRALIA                               03:17.07 CHINA                           03:13.17 SOUTH AFRICA

                                       4x100m Freestyle        1. USA                    3:12.46   1. USA                                 1. USA                                       1. USA                                        1. SOUTH AFRICA             3:13.17
                                                               2. FRANCE                 3:14.68   2. FRANCE                              2. AUSTRALIA                                 2. ITALY                                      2. SWEDEN                   3:15.41
                                                               3. AUSTRALIA              3:13.67   3. AUSTRALIA                           3. ITALY                   3:14.04           3. AUSTRALIA                                  3. USA

                     CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008              07:09.60 ITA LY                     07:03.24 USA WR                       07:04.66 AUSTRALIA                               07:13.60 JAPAN                           07:15.21 SOUTH AFRICA

                                      4x200m Freestyle         1. USA                    7:03.24   1. USA                                 1. USA                                       1. USA                                        1. SOUTH AFRICA
                                                               2. AUSTRALIA              7:04.66   2. AUSTRALIA                           2. AUSTRALIA                                 2. CANADA                                     2. USA
                                                               3. ITALY                  7:09.60   3. CANADA                  7:09.73     3. CANADA                                    3. AUSTRALIA                                  3. GREAT BRITAIN            7:11.28

                     CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008             03:34.25 RUS SIA                     03:30.68 USA WR                       03:34.37 AUSTRALIA                               03:33.35 JAPAN                           03:39.02 SOUTH AFRICA

                                           4x100m Medley       1. USA
                                                               2. JAPAN
                                                                                                   1. USA                                 1. USA                                       1. USA                                        1. USA
                                                                                                   2. AUSTRALIA               3:34.37     2. AUSTRALIA                                 2. AUSTRALIA                                  2. AUSTRALIA
                                                               3. RUSSIA                 3:34.25   3. JAPAN                               3. JAPAN                                     3. JAPAN                                      3. RUSSIA
               OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS

                                   4 X 100 M FREESTYLE RELAY       4 X 100 M MEDLEY RELAY
                                                                                                   Phelps targets seven gold medals,
                                   2004 Athens                     2004 Athens                     winning three as a member of
                                   RSA       3:13.17               USA      3:30.68                the US relays
                                   2000 Sydney                     2000 Sydney                     Photo: REUTERS
                                   AUS      3:13.67                USA      3:33.73
                                   1996 Atlanta                    1996 Atlanta
                                   USA      3:15.41                USA       3:34.84
                                   1992 Barcelona                  1992 Barcelona
                                   USA       3:16.74               USA      3:36.93
                                   1988 Seoul                      1988 Seoul
                                   USA      3:16.53                USA       3:36.93

                                   4 X 200 M FREESTYLE RELAY

                                   2004 Athens
                                   USA      7:07.33
                                   2000 Sydney
                                   AUS       7:07.05
                                   1996 Atlanta
                                   USA       7:14.84
                                   1992 Barcelona
                                   EUN      7:11.95
                                   1988 Seoul
                                   USA       7:12.51                                                                                    Apart from the optimism of Africa – which does have some basis in fact, given that the South African quartet are the defending cham-
                                                                                                                                        pions in the 4x100 – there is almost unanimous agreement between tipsters that the Americans will triumph in all three relay events.
                                                                                                                                        As we know, Team USA won the freestyle events at the World Championships by a huge margin, whereas in the medley relay a poor
                                                                                                                                        handover prevented American success in one of the morning sessions. However, a big question mark remains about who might win
                                                                                                                                        medals in the shadow of Phelps and company.

                                                                                                                                        In the 4x100 free relay, teams containing one outstanding torpedo, like the French (Bernard), Swedes (Nystrand) and Italians
                                                                                                                                        (Magnini) could make it, but the Australians and South Africans also have a chance.

                                                                                                                                        Canada also makes an appearance among the tips for the 4x200, just like the Italians, who have excelled in this event in recent
                                                                                                                                        years, the Australians and British.

                                                                                                                                        A big question in the 4x100 medley relay is who will win the confrontation between the World Champion Australians and the
                                                                                                                                        Japanese and whether the Russians are capable of coming up with a quartet in peak form, giving them a chance for a medal, as
                                                                                                                                        three of our tipsters predict.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LEN        45
                                   European                                 After the Melbourne World Champion-
                                                                            ships we felt at least one or two first pla-
                                                                            ces were secured after watching the
                                                                            superb performances from Laure
                                                                            Manaudou in the 200m and 400m free.
                                                                            However, since the ‘split’ the French

                                      ladies:                               queen is not the one we admired before.
                                                                            She faded from the freestyle events
                                                                            focusing mainly on the backstroke where
                                                                            she will face a pretty tough challenge
                                                                            from Natalie Coughlin. Well, Federica
                                                                            Pellegrini might be a threat, she set a

                                pink dreams                                 new WR in the semis in Melbourne
                                                                            (which was bettered by Manaudou in the
                                                                            final), and another WR in Eindhoven (as
                                                                            the lonely Arena representative among
                                                                            the WR-breakers in individual events –
                                                                            up to 15 May). And since Lisbeth
                                                                            Lenton-Trickett burst on the scene with
                                       We may say we have little hope       two WRs in the sprint events, the usual
                                         in the men’s competitions, but     field of European success became a
                                        we can be just a little bit more    battle-field where Veldhuis and Steffen
                                                                            no longer seem to be invincible.
                                       optimistic while overviewing the          Previously, Europe had some strong
                                                ladies’ field. Europe has   candidates. Yana Klochkova could well
                                           stronger chances here – but      be regarded as a winning machine,
                                        nothing as strong as to say we      whenever she entered a major race she
                                          have a 100 percent sure gold      won. Four Olympic titles: you don’t need
                                                                            better proof of her outstanding capabiliti-
                                               medal here or there (like
                                                                            es. And also Otylia Jedzrejczak, queen
                                            Michael Phelps’ titles in the   of the 200m fly, who is the title-holder of
                                                  200m free or fly or…).    the Games. Both are still competing but
                                                                            neither of them can be regarded as hot
                                                                            favourites based on the performances
                                                                            they have given in the past year.
                                                                                 Now, Europe has only youngsters of
                                                                            hope. The two upcoming Russians,
                                                                            Zueva (back) and above all Efimova
                                                                            (breast), the latter setting ERs, but she
                                                                            still is an underdog if we consider the
                                                                            results Jones posted in this Olympic
                                                                            cycle. (Leisel the Great holds both WRs
                                                                            and all major titles since 2005). And we
                                                                            also have Emese Kovacs, the young 17
                                                                            year old Hungarian who openly talked
                                                                            about her will to break the WR in the
                                                                            200m fly in Beijing. However, both
                                                                            Schipper and Lenton stand there and
                                                                            maybe between her (and Otylia) and
                                                                            the gold medal. At least all can have
                                                                            some hope in these two strokes (breast
                                                                            and fly) where the swimsuits do not seem
                                                                            to be as big a factor and the swimming
                                                                            capabilities decide the outcome.
                                                                                 Still, we think our female contes-
                                                                            tants have more chances to repeat the
                                                                            feat the European ladies achieved in
                                                                            Athens winning five titles. But they still
                                                                            need something special, something
       Photo: REUTERS                                                       extra to do it. Let’s hope they have it.

46   LEN                                                                                                        LEN        47
     Magazine                                                                                                 Magazine

                                                                                                                                         If there had been a full freestyle program in the               serial victories. The American domi-

             America vs. the World                                                                                   1920s – i.e. if women had been allowed to swim five events and not
                                                                                                                    just the 100 and 400 – the overall medal table would probably reveal
                                                                                                                               an even greater dominance. Back then the Americans had
                                                                                                                                                                  an enormous advantage:
                                                                                                                                                                                                         nance of the 20s and 30s, mentioned
                                                                                                                                                                                                         above, was broken by a wave of
                                                                                                                                                                                                         European success, followed by Dawn
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Fraser’s legendary triple. Then came
                                                                                                                                                                                                         two American golds after which began
                                                                                                                     between 1924 and 1932 they won 14 out of the 18 possible medals,                    the East German era, from ’76 to ‘88,
                                                                                                                                            and the partial result in Paris was six out of six           which left its mark here too – with the
                                                                                                                                                                                                         exception of Los Angeles of course,
                                                                                                                                                     (plus three Americans won the 100m
                                                                                                                                                                                                         while the Chinese excelled in the 90s.
                                                                                                                                                          at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics).                 One interesting factor is that at 21

                                                                                                                                                                                                         Olympiads the Americans and Euro-
                                                                                                                                                                                                         peans have each won 7 gold medals,
                                                                                                                                                          There is little doubt that the States would    the Australians 5 and Asia, through the
                                                                                                                                                          have claimed 8 or 9 more victories – but       Chinese, 2. One country has made a
                                                                                                                                                          in fact they only lead 28-22 in terms of       clean sweep (i.e. taken all three golds)
                                                                                                                                                          titles, against Europe. This is particularly   four times: the Americans in 1920 and
                                                                                                                                                          interesting since in Athens – however          1924, the Australians in 1956, and the
                                                                                                                                                          surprising this may seem – there were          East Germans in 1980. Apart from
                                                                                                                                                          no American victories in any of the five       these last two occasions, and in 1912,
                                                                                                                                                          events, in other words the superpower          ’36, ’52, ’76, ’80 and ’88, at least one
                                                                                                                                                          has not really covered itself in glory in      American has always made it onto the
                                                                                                                                                          this stroke in recent times. Only Kate         winners’ rostrum at the Olympics
                                                                                                                                                          Ziegler has stood up to be considered for      (alongside their 7 gold medals, the bal-
                                                                                                                                                          the longest distance (800m), while the         ance sheet shows 9 silvers and 8
                                                                                                                                                          other events did not produce any               bronze – by way of comparison, Europe
                                                                                                                                                          American success, either in Montreal or        has a balance of 7-7-11).
                                                                                                                                                          Melbourne, where they failed to even win            The Americans soon lost ground
                                                                                                                                                          a medal in the 50, 100, 200 and 400 in         over 200 metres, having taken the top
                                                                                                                                                          the two World Championships.                   three podium places on the event’s
                                                                                                                                                               Broken down by event, their pro-          debut appearance in 1968. Following
                                                                                                                                                          spects are relatively poor for the time        the Los Angeles Games, they have only
                                                                                                                                                          being over 50m. This distance was first        been able to win one out of 15 medals
                                                                                                                                                          included in the program in 1988, when          at five Olympics (Nicole Haislett won in
                                                                                                                                                          Kristin Otto was the first winner, then        Barcelona), while at the same time the
                                                                                                                                                          came China’s Yang Wenyi (interestingly         Germans (initially the Easterners of
                                                                                                                                                          the Chinese won silver on the first three      course) stood on the podium nine times
                                                                                                                                                          occasions), who was followed by Amy            between 1980 and 1996.
                                                                                                                                                          van Dyken, while the last two gold                  While in the other ‘old’ event – the 400
                                                                                                                                                          medals have gone to Inge de Bruijn.            – once again there is a completely sepa-
                                                                                                                                                               In contrast to the one-length event,      rate battle taking place between the
                                                                                                                                                          there is some history to look back on          Americans and the Europeans, with the
                                                                                                                                                          over the classic 100 metres, as it has         advantage lying on the far side of the
                                                                                                                                                          featured in the program since 1912.            Atlantic. With the exception of 1972, 1980
                                                                                                                                                          Interestingly we have witnessed a few          and 1996, there have been American
                                                                                                                                                                                                         medallists at each Games, while with
                       Did you know⁄?                                                                                                                                                                    regard to gold medals the Americans hold
                                                                                                                                                                                                         a 10-7 advantage over the Europeans
                                                                 …     that the 100m champion of 1920,                                                                                                   (the Australians have so far won two).
                       …      that the home administrators of
                       the first women’s Olympic champion
                                                                 Ethelda Bleibtrey, was arrested a year
                                                                 before the Games? The charge was nude
                                                                                                                                                                                                              And finally the longest distance, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                         800 – here the States enjoy total domi-
                       didn’t even want to send her to Stock-    bathing, after Ethelda had removed her                                                                                                  nance, given that seven of the 10 com-
                       holm? “Why put women in the team?” –      clothes to take a dip in the ocean.                                                                                                     petitions since 1968 have produced
                                                                                                                                                                                                         American success, with one gold each
                       said the Australian manager in 1912,
                       but New South Wales Women’s Swim-         …      that the 100m bronze medallist                                                                                                   to Europe (in Moscow of course – the
                       ming Federation insisted on sending       from 1924, Gertrude Ederle, was the                                                                                                     only time an American did not or could
                       Fanny Durack and her main rival, Mina     first woman to swim across the English                                                                                                  not stand on the podium), Australia and
                       Wylie, and eventually managed to put      Channel and promptly improved the                                                                                                       Asia; the latter in Athens, thanks to
                       the money together, helped out by their   men’s record by two hours? Her feat,                                                                        The shorter, the better…    Japan’s Shibata. In view of the excellent
                       families. The two women went on to win    covered in a time of 14 hours 31 min-                                                                            In the sprint events   performances of Kate Ziegler it seems
                       the gold and silver medals.               utes, later took its toll, with Ederle falling                                                                  the other continents    certain that the five-win series, from
                                                                 seriously ill, and consequently suffering                                                                              have stronger    1984 to 2000, has only been interrupt-
                                                                 total deafness.                                  Photo: REUTERS                                                              chances    ed temporarily.
 48         LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LEN        49
            Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Magazine
WOMEN – Freestyle

                                                                                   EUROPEAN                                      AMERICAN                                    OCEANIAN                                         ASIAN                                          AFRICAN
                                                                                   BETS                                          BETS                                        BETS                                             BETS                                           BETS

                      CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008             00:24.09 VELDHUIS, Marleen NED                   00:24.53 TORRES, Dara USA               00:23.97 TRICKETT, Lisbeth AUS WR                      00:24.51 JINGYI, Le CHN                   00:25.24 RETIEF, Lize-Mari RSA

                                        50m                                      1. Marleen VELDHUIS                            1. Lisbeth LENTON-                          1. Lisbeth LENTON-                               1. Marleen VELDHUIS                            1. Kirsty COVENTRY
                                                                                 (NED)                                          TRICKETT (AUS)                              TRICKETT (AUS)                                   (NED)                                          (ZIM)
                               OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                 24.09                                                                                                                                                                                      26.58

                      2004 Athens
                      Inge DE BRUIJN (NED)                  24.58
                                                                                 2. Lisbeth LENTON-                             2. Cate CAMPBELL                            2. Cate CAMPBELL                                 2. Lisbeth LENTON-                             2. Theresa
                      2000 Sydney
                                                                                 TRICKETT (AUS)                                 (AUS)                                       (AUS)                                            TRICKETT(AUS)                                  ALSHAMMAR (SWE)
                      Inge DE BRUIJN (NED)                  24.32
                                                                                 23.97                                          24.30
                      1996 Atlanta
                      Amy VAN DYKEN (USA)                   24.87
                      1992 Barcelona:
                      Wenyi YANG (CHN)                      24.79                3. Dara TORRES                                 3. Marleen VELDHUIS                         3. Therese                                       3. Hinkelien                                   3. Lisbeth LENTON-
                      1988 Seoul                                                 (USA)                                          (NED)                                       ALSHAMMAR (SWE)                                  SCHREUDER (NED)                                TRICKETT (AUS)
                      Kristin OTTO (GDR)                    25.49                24.53                                                                                      24.23                                            24.59

                                                                    The big contest stands at 2-2, at least according to our tipsters who consider that       the World Record in Eindhoven (24.09), then Lenton-Trickett cut down 12 hundredths
                                                                    Marleen Veldhuis, the Dutch European champion, does have some chances to suc-             from this result, being the first to achieve a time below 24 seconds over this distance.
                                                                    ceed – but there is little doubt that Lisbeth Lenton-Trickett, who collected both World   Taking into account that the short distance records are most in danger in the middle
                                                                    Championship titles in the last four years is the top favourite. Undoubtedly, the two     of the swimming suit misery there is little doubt that this record will be further bettered   What a duel it can be…
                                                                    ladies have already done their best earlier in March. First it was Veldhuis who broke     in Beijing, and that the two competitors will race beside each other.                         Steffen vs. Lenton-Trickett

                               Did you know⁄?
                      …      that prior to the 400m final in Ber-
                      lin in 1936, the Dane Ragnhild Hveger
                                                                      to win, while Hveger later broke 42
                                                                      World Records over various freestyle
                                                                                                                  …     that Katalin Szőke first encoun-
                                                                                                                  tered water at the age of six months and
                      was given a box of chocolates by her            distances between 1936 and 1942.            was called the “World’s First Waterproof
                                                                                                                  Baby”? At the age of two she was swim-
                      friends, which the 15 year old shared
                      out among her fellow competitors –
                      though she neglected to offer them to
                                                                      …      that Greta Andersen, who won
                                                                      over 100 metres in 1948, used to wres-
                                                                                                                  ming properly, and 14 years later she
                                                                                                                  won the 100 metres at the Helsinki
                      one person: Holland’s Rie Mastenbroek,          tle with older boys at the age of 13 and    Games.
                      who was so aggravated that her defi-            frequently beat them? Following such
                      ance improved her sprint, allowing her          performances her older brother often
                                                                      collected money from passers-by.

                      CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008               00:53.20 STEFFEN, Britta GER                 00:53.40 COUGHLIN, Natalie USA            00:52.88 TRICKETT, Lisbeth AUS WR                      00:54.01 JINGYI, Le CHN                   00:55.19 MULLER, Helen K RSA

                                                                                 1. Lisbeth LENTON-                             1. Lisbeth LENTON-                          1. Lisbeth LENTON-                               1. Lisbeth LENTON-                             1. Lisbeth LENTON-
                                        100m                                     TRICKETT (AUS)                                 TRICKETT (AUS)                              TRICKETT (AUS)                                   TRICKETT(AUS)                                  TRICKETT (AUS)
                               OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                 52.88

                      2004 Athens
                      Jodie HENRY (AUS)                     53.84                2.Britta STEFFEN                               2. Natalie COUGHLIN                         2. Natalie COUGHLIN                              2. Marleen VELDHUIS                            2. Kirsty COVENTRY
                      2000 Sydney                                                (GER)                                          (USA)                                       (USA)                                            (NED)                                          (ZIM)
                      Inge DE BRUIJN (NED)                  53.83                53.20                                                                                                                                                                                      56.80
                      1996 Atlanta
                      Jingyi LE (CHN)                       54.50
                      1992 Barcelona
                      Yong ZHUANG (CHN)                     54.64                3. Natalie COUGHLIN                            3. Marleen VELDHUIS                         3. Marleen VELDHUIS                              3. Natalie COUGHLIN                            3. Britta STEFFEN
                      1988 Seoul                                                 (USA)                                          (NED)                                       (NED)                                            (USA)                                          (GER)
                      Kristin OTTO (GDR)                    54.93                53.40                                          53.58

                                                                    The situation is somewhat different as far as the classic distance is concerned: Libby    tenths at last year’s World Championships, while this year, similarly to the 50m dis-
                                                                    Lenton-Trickett – who married fellow swimmer Luke Trickett in Easter 2007 (under          tance, she has broken another dream limit: 53 seconds in the longer distance (and 24
                      Photos: REUTERS
                                                                    strict security measures, as the right to cover the marriage had been sold to an          seconds in the shorter one), as she broke the World Record in March with 52.88, by
                                                                    Australian magazine) - is thought to triumph in this event. Five out of five continents   cutting down 42 hundredths from Britte Steffen’s record set in Budapest, which is by
   50               LEN                                             betted on the Aussie thunderlady, who had already outperformed Veldhuis by three          all means a commanding feat.                                                                                                  LEN       51
                    Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Magazine
WOMEN – Freestyle

                                                                                    EUROPEAN                                         AMERICAN                                     OCEANIAN                                         ASIAN                                      AFRICAN
                                                                                    BETS                                             BETS                                         BETS                                             BETS                                       BETS

                      CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008            01:55.52 MANADOU, Laure FRA WR                         01:56.08 HOFF, Katie USA                   01:56.50 BARATT, Bronte AUS                          01:56.89 BIN, Lu CHN                   01:59.76 CORFE, Melissa J RSA

                                    200m                                          1. Federica
                                                                                  PELLEGRINI (ITA)
                                                                                                                                    1. Katie HOFF (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                 1. Laure MANAUDOU
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1. Katie HOFF (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             1. Annika LURZ
                               OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                  1:56.47

                      2004 Athens
                      Camelia POTEC (ROM)                 1:58.03                                                                   2. Laure MANAUDOU                            2. Bronte BARRATT                               2. Bronte BARRATT                           2. Katie HOFF (USA)
                                                                                  2. Laure MANAUDOU
                      2000 Sydney                                                                                                   (FRA)                                        (AUS)                                           (AUS)
                      Susan O’NEILL (AUS)                 1:58.24                                                                                                                1:56.50
                      1996 Atlanta
                      Claudia POLL (CRC)                  1:58.16
                      1992 Barcelona
                      Nicole HAISLETT (USA)               1:57.90                 3. Annika LURZ                                    3. Federica                                  3. Federica                                     3. Laure MANAUDOU                           3. Laure MANAUDOU
                      1988 Seoul                                                  (GER)                                             PELLEGRINI (ITA)                             PELLEGRINI (ITA)                                (FRA)                                       (FRA)
                      Heike FRIEDRICH (GDR)               1:57.65                 1:55.68

                                                                    This is one of the few events which has not produced a World Record this season (for           can also take a look at the continental championships and then get a really colourful pic-
                                                                    now) – and it is maybe not by chance either that the representatives of five continents bet-   ture. So, Solenne Figues won in Montreal, Otylia Jedzrejczak in Budapest, Laure
                      Bright outlooks?                              ted on four swimmers, which is unique in our Olympic series. No doubt, Beijing is expect-      Manaudou in Melbourne, and Sara Isakovic in Eindhoven. It is true that the Slovenian out-
                      Veldhuis and Manaudou are capable             ed to bring lots of excitement bearing in mind that the past four years have not provided      did the reigning Olympic champion Camelia Potec (who seems to be regaining strength)
                      of winning titles                             too many references either. Considering the fact that this event is ruled by Europeans we      only by two hundredths of a second. It is not easy to be in the front line…

                                                                                                                                                                             Did you know⁄?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                had a thirst for adventure. She was
                                                                                                                                                                   …     that no swimmer’s fate was so se-
                                                                                                                                                                   verely affected by the East German
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   …      that Dawn Fraser was arrested at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   the Tokyo Olympics? The Australian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                eventually released and the Emperor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gallantly presented her with the flag.
                                                                                                                                                                   blue pills treatment as that of America’s
                                                                                                                                                                   Shirley Babashoff? Apart from a relay
                                                                                                                                                                   gold, she owns five Olympic silver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   phenomenon, who acquired her third
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   title at her third Olympics, thereby
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   rewriting the history books, walked off
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                …     that the East Germans, who per-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                formed outstandingly at the ’76 and ’80
                                                                                                                                                                   medals – having been beaten by a                with one of the flags from the entrance      Games, won 11 out of 13 events,
                                                                                                                                                                   GDR swimmer each time.                          to the Emperor’s Palace as a souvenir,       though they had failed to win a single
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   along with some companions, who also         gold in 1972?

                      CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008           04:01.53 PELLEGRINI, Federica ITA WR                    04:02.20 HOFF, Katie USA                  04:04.73 MACKENZIE, Linda AUS                       04:05.00 CHEN, Yan CHN                   04:08.70 CORFE, Melissa J RSA

                                                                                  1. Katie HOFF (USA)                               1. Katie HOFF (USA)                          1. Laure MANAUDOU                               1. Federica                                 1. Kate ZIEGLER
                                    400m                                          4:02.20                                                                                        (FRA)                                           PELLEGRINI (ITA)                            (USA)
                               OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                                             4:04.24

                      2004 Athens
                      Laure MANAUDOU (FRA)                4:05.34                                                                   2. Laure MANAUDOU                            2. Bronte BARRATT                               2. Katie HOFF (USA)                         2. Laure MANAUDOU
                                                                                  2. Laure MANAUDOU
                      2000 Sydney                                                                                                   (FRA)                                        (AUS)                                                                                       (FRA)
                      Brooke BENNET (USA)                 4:05.80                                                                                                                4:05.19
                      1996 Atlanta
                      Michelle SMITH (IRL)                4:07.25
                      1992 Barcelona
                      Dagmar HASE (GER)                   4:07.18                 3.Federica                                        3. Federica                                  3.Ai SHIBATA (JPN)                              3. Laure MANADOU                            3. Kimberley EESON
                      1988 Seoul                                                  PELLEGRINI (ITA)                                  PELLEGRINI (ITA)                             4:05.19                                         (FRA)                                       (ZIM)
                      Janet EVANS (USA)                   4:03.85                 4:01.53                                                                                                                                                                                    4:25.56

                                                                    This is the only event where a World Record has been swum in an Arena suit: Federica           managed to win at home at the French Olympic Trials, so she seems to be rather far
                                                                    Pellegrini regained a top position on the All-Time Best list, which she had held for only      from the form she showed last year and before. Ever since she left Philippe Lucas, her
                      Photos: REUTERS                               one day at the World Championships in Melbourne setting a record in the semifinals.            former coach, her performance has been characterised by a drawback as far as her
   52               LEN                                             But then in the next day’s final Laure Manaudou rewrote the list again. Since then the
                                                                    French World Champion has gone through a time of considerable change: she has not
                                                                                                                                                                   freestyle results are concerned. As a matter of fact Potec - trained by Lucas - won the
                                                                                                                                                                   above mentioned championships. And we haven’t spoken about Katie Hoff...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LEN       53
                    Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Magazine
WOMEN – Freestyle

                                                                                     EUROPE                                                  AMERICA                              OCEANIA                                          ASIA                                  AFRICA

                      CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008                08:18.80 MANADOU, Laure FRA                               08:16.22 EVANS, Janet USA WR       08:22.93 MCDONALD, Julie AUS                    08:23.68 YAMADA, Sachiko JPN             08:31.53 TROTT, Wendy A RSA

                                                                                    1. Kate ZIEGLER                                         1. Katie HOFF (USA)                  1. Kate ZIEGLER                                 1. Kate ZIEGLER                       1. Kate ZIEGLER
                                       800m                                         (USA)                                                                                        (USA)                                           (USA)                                 (USA)
                               OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                    8:18.52

                      2004 Athens
                      Ai SHIBATA (JPN)                      8:24.54                 2. Katie HOFF (USA)                                     2. Kate ZIEGLER                      2. Laure MANAUDOU                               2. Laure MANAUDOU                     2. Kimberley EESON
                      2000 Sydney                                                   8:19.70                                                 (USA)                                (FRA)                                           (FRA)                                 (ZIM)
                      Brooke BENNET (USA)                   8:19.67                                                                                                              8:18.80                                                                               9:34.66
                      1996 Atlanta
                      Brooke BENNET (USA)                   8:27.89
                      1992 Barcelona
                      Janet EVANS (USA)                     8:25.52                 3. Alessia FILIPPI                                      3. Kylie PALMER                      3 Kylie PALMER                                  3. Ai SHIBATA (JPN)                   3. Katie HOFF (USA)
                      1988 Seoul                                                    (ITA)                                                   (AUS)                                (AUS)                                           8:23.76
                      Janet EVANS (USA)                     8:20.20                 8:23.50                                                 8:24.30

                                                                      The reason why we would prefer not to announce a result and select Kate Ziegler as           with a much better time than Ai Shibata four years ago, while in 1996 the American’s
                                                                      a winner is our American tipster’s prediction: our friend Steven expects Katie Hoff to       result was worse than that of Janet Evans in 1988 or 1992. The new rhythm imposed
                       Long shots…                                    be champion, and we believe that we should respect his local expertise. There is             by the contests in Beijing will count a lot in the balance. One thing is certain: Ziegler,
                       Ziegler and Hoff may reign                     another aspect worth considering on this distance, that is that the rhythm of the past       quite sure of herself, did win the last two World Championships.
                       in the longer events                           five Olympic Games has not increased linearly: in the year 2000 Brooke Bennett won
                                                                                                                  Photos: REUTERS

                                                    Did you know⁄?
                    …     that American Jill Sterkel, who
                    won the bronze medal in 50m freestyle
                                                                      raped in 1981, suffering rib fractures in
                                                                      the process – and in subsequent years
                    in 1988, was the first woman swimmer              she suffocated her anger and distress
                    to win a medal after a gap of 12 years –          through swimming, she won three gold
                    having been a gold medallist in 1976?             and two silver medals in Los Angeles.

                    …      that the first dead-heat gold me-
                    dals in swimming history were awarded
                                                                      …     that the first major swimming race
                                                                      for Dagmar Hase was the Olympic 400
                    for the women’s 100m freestyle in 1984,           metre final in 1992 – and yet she man-
                    when Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Stein-             aged to break defending champion
                    seifer both finished in a time of 55.92 sec-      Janet Evans’ six-year unbeaten winning
                    onds? Hogshead had been brutally                  streak?

   54               LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LEN      55
                    Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Magazine
                                                                                                                                               has a silver from Seoul and a bronze        Europe stands at 9-9. Moreover, we             This series might well be interrupt-
WOMEN – Backstroke

                                                                                                                                               from Atlanta as well).                      come across a really interesting phe-      ed now, since all three medallists from
                                                                                                                                                   Kirsty Coventry put an end to the       nomenon in the 100m backstroke – not       Athens       (Coughlin,      Coventry,
                                                                                                                                               great series of wins by Europeans in        only has there been no successful title    Manaudou) have good chances in
                                                                                                                                               Athens, and managed a second major          defence since 1924, but the medal          Beijing. However, it has been quite

                     Hard to repeat
                                                                                                                                               feat this year, when she shattered the      positions have also frequently changed     common for a competitor to double up:
                                                                                                                                               World Record established by Egerszegi       hands. Only Krisztina Egerszegi has        Melisse Belote (1972), Ulrike Richter
                                                                                                                                               in 1991, the second longest-standing        been able to win a medal at two suc-       (1976), Rica Reinisch (1980), Krisztina
                                                                                                                                               World Record of all time. This means        cessive Olympics (she won silver in        Egerszegi (1992) and Diana Mocanu
                                                                                                                                               Africa definitely has a chance of catch-    1988 behind Kristin Otto, and tri-         (2000) won Olympic gold over both dis-
                                                                                                                                               ing America in the all-time rankings (the   umphed in Barcelona).                      tances: 100 and 200m.
                                                                                                                                               separate contest between the two now
                     An interesting duality             For instance in Moscow all three medals     have triumphed in the same event at        stands at 2-1), though the 7 European
                     characterises the two distances    were won by the East Germans, and           three consecutive Olympics. The            victories are still a long way off at the          Did you know⁄?
                                                        then one of the biggest winning series in   Olympic gold that she won in Atlanta set   moment, and Laure Manaudou could
                     in this event: while in the 100m
                     we can talk of a traditional
                                                        swimming history began in Seoul: at the
                                                        tender age of 14, the Hungarian
                                                                                                    a unique record, which remains unbro-
                                                                                                    ken: Egerszegi is the only woman swim-
                                                                                                                                               even extend this lead.
                                                                                                                                                   The picture is much more varied in      …    that Sybil Bauer, the first Olympic
                                                                                                                                                                                           backstroke champion, was undefeat-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      statement she had suffered blood poi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      soning caused by a swolen tooth.
                     separate contest between           Krisztina Egerszegi outperformed            mer who can take pride in her five gold    the 100: the fight between America and
                                                                                                                                                                                           ed during her career, which ended          However, the Dutch swimmer remained
                     Europe and America, in the         Zimmermann and Sirch, the two great         medals (in Barcelona she also won both
                                                                                                                                                                                           shockingly early, as she died of cancer,   convinced that someone had stabbed
                     200m the representatives           GDR favourites, who were roughly 3          the 100 back and 400 medley, and she
                                                                                                                                                                                           aged just 23.                              her leg in the stands the previous day
                                                        heads taller than her. Egerszegi also
                     of the United States have                                                                                                                                                                                        and as a result she developed a fever
                     almost completely been out of
                                                        managed to win later in both Barcelona
                                                        and Atlanta, and thus, after Dawn
                                                                                                                                                                                           …    that defending champion Maria         and was unable to take part in the race;
                     the frame since their victory      Fraser, she is the second swimmer to
                                                                                                                                                                                           Braun was unable to start the final of     she believed this was how punters bet-
                                                                                                                                                                                           the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932,          ting against her guaranteed their win-
                     over the longer distance when
                                                                                                                                                                                           because according to the official          nings.
                     it was first included in the
                     Olympic program in 1968.
                     This was followed by another
                     victory, but only the Europeans
                     have excelled since then.

                     Back to work…
                     Amshennikova and the other
                     Europeans have to train hard
                     to catch up with
                     the Americans

   56                LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LEN       57
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WOMEN – Backstroke

                                                                                    EUROPEAN                                        AMERICAN                                      OCEANIAN                                       ASIAN                                   AFRICAN
                                                                                    BETS                                            BETS                                          BETS                                           BETS                                    BETS

                       CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008              00:59.41 ZUEVA, Anastasia RUS                00:59.21 COUGHLIN, Natalie USA WR                00:59.59 SEEBOHM, Emily AUS                       00:59.81 ZHAO, Jing CHN               00:59.42 COVENTRY, Kirsty ZIM

                                         100m                                     1. Natalie COUGHLIN                             1. Natalie COUGHLIN                           1. Natalie                                      1. Natalie COUGHLIN                     1. Kirsty COVENTRY
                                                                                  (USA)                                           (USA)                                         COUGHLIN (USA)                                  (USA)                                   (ZIM)
                                OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                 59.21

                       2004 Athens
                       Natalie COUGHLIN (USA)             1:00.37                 2. Laure MANAUDOU                               2. Kirsty COVENTRY                            2. Kirsty COVENTRY                              2. Kirsty COVENTRY                      2. Natalie COUGHLIN
                       2000 Sydney                                                (FRA)                                           (ZIM)                                         (ZIM)                                           (ZIM)                                   (USA)
                       Diana MOCANU (ROM)                 1:00.21                 59.50                                           59.42                                                                                                                                 59.21
                       1996 Atlanta
                       Beth BOTSFORD (USA)                1:01.19
                       1992 Barcelona
                       Krisztina EGERSZEGI (HUN)          1:00.68                 3. Natalia ZUEVA                                3. Anastasia ZUEVA                            3. Emily SEEBOHM                                3. Laure MANAUDOU                       3. Laure MANAUDOU
                       1988 Seoul                                                 (RUS)                                           (RUS)                                         (AUS)                                           (FRA)                                   (FRA)
                       Kristin OTTO (GDR)                 1:00.89                 59.41                                                                                         59.59

                                                                    An American swimmer shattered the World Record over this Olympic distance this sea-           reigning champion and winner of the latest championships will most likely make it two
                                                                    son. Natalie Coughlin recorded a time of 59.21 February and this is a clear passport to       in a row, although we should not forget Anastasia Zueva, either, her Russian rival and
                                                                    winning gold – the truth is there doesn’t seem to be anything or anybody to contest           champion in Eindhoven with a new European Record, (59.41), just two tenths off
                     CC… Coventry and Coughlin may copy             this. The opinion of our tipsters is clear too: 4-1 for Natalie, only Africa chose another    Natalie’s time. And of course, it’s not easy to predict Laure Manaudou’s form in Beijing,
                     their Athens successes                         favourite – naturally, the latter bet has a somewhat local patriotic taste. Coughlin, the     following a rather weaker period than she usually offers in the first half of the year.

                                                                           Did you know⁄?
                                                                    …      that following her success in Los
                                                                    Angeles, the 1932 champion Eleanor
                                                                                                                    parties held for travellers in first class,
                                                                                                                    including those organised for leaders of
                                                                                                                                                                  …      that Krisztina Egerszegi was un-
                                                                                                                                                                  willing to enter the 100m at the Atlanta
                                                                    Holm stuck around in Hollywood, got             the American Olympic Committee, and           Olympics due to her unpleasant memo-
                                                                    married and then started a rather               more than once was seen boozing until         ries of the 1994 World Championships in
                                                                    active social life. Meanwhile, she kept         6 a.m., in the company of journalists. One    Rome where her foot slipped off the wall
                                                                    in shape, even breaking the World Re-           evening this produced such a scandal          at the start, finishing only fifth. She won
                                                                    cord in 1935, but on her way to the             that the American officials, headed by        the 200 by the biggest margin of all time
                                                                    Berlin Games she tempted fate. During           President Avery Brundage, expelled her        (4.15 seconds), while in the lead-off leg
                                                                    the boat journey, which lasted several          from the team and thus Holm, who had          for the medley relay she swam a time
                                                                    days, she didn’t stay with her colleagues       been undefeated for 7 years, could only       that was faster than that of the winner of
                                                                    in third class, but regularly attended          watch the competition from the stands.        the 100m two days earlier.

                       CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008            02:06.62 EGERSZEGI, Krisztina HUN               02:07.16 HOELZER, Margaret USA                    02:08.55 NAY, Meagen AUS                       02:07.40 CHIONG, He CHN               02:06.39 COVENTRY, Kirsty ZIM WR

                                                                                  1. Kirsty COVENTRY                              1. Kirsty COVENTRY                            1. Kirsty COVENTRY                              1. Kirsty COVENTRY                      1. Kirsty COVENTRY
                                     200m                                         (ZIM)                                           (ZIM)                                         (ZIM)                                           (ZIM)                                   (ZIM)
                                OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                 2:06.39

                       2004 Athens
                       Kirsty COVENTRY (ZIM)              2:09.19                 2. Margaret                                     2. Margaret                                   2. Reiko NAKAMURA                               2. Margaret                             2. Margaret
                       2000 Sydney                                                HOELZER (USA)                                   HOELZER (USA)                                 (JPN)                                           HOELZER (USA)                           HOELZER (USA)
                       Diana MOCANU (ROM)                 2:08.16                 2:07.16
                       1996 Atlanta
                       Krisztina EGERSZEGI (HUN)          2:07.83
                       1992 Barcelona
                       Krisztina EGERSZEGI (HUN)          2:07.06                 3. Esther BARON                                 3. Reiko NAKAMURA                             3. Elizabeth                                    3. Reiko NAKAMURA                       3. Alessia FILIPPI
                       1988 Seoul                                                 (FRA)                                           (JPN)                                         SIMMONDS (GBR)                                  (JPN)                                   (ITA)
                       Krisztina EGERSZEGI (HUN)          2:09.29                 2:09.59                                         2:08.54                                       2:08.79                                                                                 2:09.04

                                                                    The World Record season was opened by Kirsty Coventry, in a quite stylish way: she            a favourite – a fact reflected in all five predictions. In truth, Laure Manaudou could be
                                                                    confined the second all-time oldest record to the past by breaking Krisztina                  the best in this distance considering her latest 2:06.64. It is also questionable whether
                       Photos: REUTERS
                                                                    Egerszegi’s great result in mid-February, a record that ruled the rankings since 1991.        Margaret Hoelzer the reigning World Champion could manage the feat of defeating
   58                LEN                                            Coventry, having improved the legendary time of 2:06.62 with 2:06.39 is undoubtedly           Coventry – anyhow, our tipsters consider her likely to lift silver.                                                     LEN      59
                     Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Magazine
WOMEN – Breaststroke

                                                                                                                                                                 Did you know⁄?
                       Open for everyone
                                                                                                                                                                         that (following a weak attempt in
                                                                                                                                                                   1936 by a Brazilian swimmer) Hun-
                                                                                                                                                                   garian Éva Székely was the first to win
                                                                                                                                                                   the breaststroke event by perfecting a
                                                                                                                                                                   butterfly technique in 1952? The
                                                                                                                                                                   Hungarian butterfly swimmer, using the
                                                                                                                                                                   breaststroke leg technique, was almost
                       This is the only swimming                      The picture is also rather varied for      the 100, since 1992 – yet so far none             three seconds faster than her competi-
                       stroke – including both men’s                another reason: while Europe’s               have managed to win, and over 200m                tors – after Helsinki the two strokes
                                                                    supremacy is quite considerable in the       they have only taken gold twice (in 1932
                       and women’s categories – to                  women’s breaststroke (the Old                and 1972). This picture may now
                                                                                                                                                                   were separated as different events.
                       have seen all five continents                Continent has acquired a total of 17         change, as Leisel Jones has enjoyed
                       take gold. This statement holds              champions in the two events, whereas         great dominance since Athens (though
                       true for the 200m, while even in             the other four have managed 11), the         she only claimed silver and bronze                                             On target…
                       the 100, only the Australians                last four Olympics have not yielded          medals in 2000 and 2004), she won both                                       Leisel Jones,
                                                                    much success for Europe. Of the eight        gold medals in both Montreal and                                   outstanding favourite for
                       are missing, and, given Leisel
                                                                    gold medals from Barcelona to Athens         Melbourne, which means she will take to                                     both distances
                       Jones’ form, perhaps not for                 only two went to Europe (the Russian         the starting blocks in Beijing as a four-
                       long. In other words, there is a             Yelena Rudkovskaya won the 100 in            time World Champion and World Record
                       big chance that after Beijing all            1992, and Hungary’s Ágnes Kovács             holder. Were she able to achieve the
                       continents will feature on the               claimed the 200 title in 2000), while over   double, this would be the second such
                       list of champions, over both dis-            the shorter distance there were no           achievement in the history of breast-
                                                                    Europeans on the podium in 1996, 2000        stroke swimming, only Penelope Heyns
                       tances.                                      or 2004 (this may change with the emer-      has been able to win both 100 and 200
                                                                    gence of the young Russian star, Yulia       so far, back in 1996.
                                                                    Efimova). Neither is the situation much           Jones’ supremacy is an indication
                                                                    brighter over 200m: since Barcelona          that one trend is set to continue in this
                                                                    only Kovács and the German Poleska           event: no one has yet managed to retain
                                                                    have represented Europe as medallists.       his or her title in this stroke, while it has
                                                                    Due to their contribution, 3 of the 12       also been very rare for the same country
          Did you know⁄?                                            medals went to our continent, 5 to           to produce a champion at two consecu-
                                                                    America, 2 to Asia, and 1 each to            tive Olympics: a feat achieved only by the
                                                                    Australia and Africa.                        East Germans in the 100 (1972-1976,

                       …      that Hideko Maehata, the 1936
                       champion, placed a small sheet of
                                                                      As a matter of interest, there has
                                                                    always been an Australian medallist in
                                                                                                                 Anke, Geweniger) and the Soviets over
                                                                                                                 200 (1976-1980, Koshevaya, Kaciusyte).

                       paper on his starting block before the
                       final, which contained a prayer. After
                       murmuring it for the last time, he took
                       the paper and swallowed it. His success
                       also constitutes a part of radio broad-
                       casting history: in the huge excitement,
                       the Japanese commentator was only
                       able to shout “Come on, Maehata” for
                       two whole minutes, leaving the listeners
                       totally ignorant of the state of the race…

   60                  LEN                                                                                                                                                                           LEN        61
                       Magazine                                                                                                                                                                    Magazine
WOMEN – Breaststroke

                                                                                      EUROPEAN                                         AMERICAN                                     OCEANIAN                                          ASIAN                                           AFRICAN
                                                                                      BETS                                             BETS                                         BETS                                              BETS                                            BETS

                         CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008             01:07.27 IGELSTRÖM, Emma SWE                       01:06.20 HARDY, Jessica USA                 01:05.09 JONES, Leisel AUS WR                      01:06.64 XUEJUAN, Luo CHN                       01:06.52 HEYNS, Penny RSA

                                          100m                                      1. Leisel JONES
                                                                                                                                      1. Leisel JONES
                                                                                                                                                                                   1. Leisel JONES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Leisel JONES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1. Leisel JONES
                                  OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                 1:05.09

                         2004 Athens
                         Xuejuan LUO (CHN)                  1:06.64                                                                   2. Tarnee WHITE                              2. Rebecca SONI                                  2. Tara KIRK (USA)                               2. Tara KIRK (USA)
                                                                                    2. Jessica HARDY
                         2000 Sydney                                                                                                  (AUS)                                        (USA)                                            1:06.34
                         Megan QUANN (USA)                  1:07.05                                                                   1:06.04
                         1996 Atlanta
                         Penelope HEYNS (RSA)               1:07.73
                         1992 Barcelona
                         Elena RUDKOVSKAYA (EUN)            1:08.00                 3. Rebecca SONI                                   3. Rebecca SONI                              3. Tarnee WHITE                                  3. Jessica HARDY                                 3. Megumi TANEDA
                         1988 Seoul                                                 (USA)                                             (USA)                                        (AUS)                                            (USA)                                            (JPN)
                         Tania DANGALAKOVA (BUL)            1:07.95                 1:06.94                                                                                                                                         1:06.20                                          1:10.01

                         Young Yulia…
                                                                      The fact that the new swimsuits prove to be mainly efficient with freestyle and backstroke     the moment, all our tipsters consider her the favourite, furthermore they believe there won’t
                         Efimova might surprise the field
                                                                      swimmers who advance with a stretched body (it seems that these are the events where           be anyone able to defeat her in the 200, either. Since 2005 Jones has firmly maintained her
                                                                      the drag decrease stands out most clearly) – is also evident if we consider that only one      World top-most ranking position, winning in both Montreal and Melbourne, with her oppo-
                                                                      breaststroke (short course) World Record has been broken in the first half of the year.        nents not even close to her World Record of almost 1:05 flat, which will make the struggle for   Great Brit Hope – Kirsty Balfour is a medal
                                                                      Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that this event represents one of Leisel Jones’ strengths for   medals even tougher – but it seems that Europe will not be dealt cards in this event.            contender in the 200m

                                                                                Did you know⁄?
                                                                      …      that East German Hannelore                to give back all her medals in 1998, and
                                                                                                                                                                     …      that Germany’s Sylvia Gerasch
                                                                                                                                                                     was 31 when she competed in her first
                                                                      Anke improved her own 100m World                 asked for her name to be deleted from         Olympics in Sydney? She was a bank
                                                                      Record both in the heats and quarter             all recorded results.                         clerk and her swim club had sent her pack-
                                                                      finals at the Montreal Olympics in 1976,
                                                                      while a slower time was sufficient to            …      that Bulgarian Tania Dangala-
                                                                                                                       kova is one of the few swimmers to
                                                                                                                                                                     ing for being too old. She then achieved
                                                                                                                                                                     something that she had found impossible
                                                                      win the Final.                                                                                 since 1988, she qualified for the Olympic
                                                                                                                       have successfully returned after giving
                                                                      …      that Carola Nitschke, fourth placed
                                                                      over 100m in Montreal, who had been
                                                                                                                       birth, and one year after her maternity
                                                                                                                       leave (in 1988) she became Olympic
                                                                                                                                                                     Games. This provided some compensa-
                                                                                                                                                                     tion for the fact that, although she broke
                                                                                                                                                                     the World Record at the age of 15, she
                                                                      injected with steroids since the age of          champion.                                     had not been allowed to swim in Los
                                                                      13, was the first of the GDR swimmers                                                          Angeles because of the GDR boycott.

                         CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008               02:24.03 KOVACS, Agnes HUN                      02:22.44 BEARD, Amanda USA                   02:20.54 JONES, Leisel AUS WR                          02:22.99 QI, Hui CHN                        02:23.64 HEYNS, Penny RSA

                                         200m                                       1. Leisel JONES
                                                                                                                                      1. Leisel JONES
                                                                                                                                                                                   Leisel JONES (AUS)                               1. Leisel JONES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1. Suzaan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     VAN BILJON (RSA)
                                  OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                 2:20.54                                                                                                                                                                                          2:25.39

                         2004 Athens
                         Amanda BEARD (USA)                 2:23.37                 2. Yulia EFIMOVA                                  2. Rebecca SONI                              2. Kirsty BALFOUR                                2. Rebecca SONI                                  2. Leisel JONES
                         2000 Sydney                                                (RUS)                                             (USA)                                                                                         (USA)                                            (AUS)
                         Agnes KOVACS (HUN)                 2:24.35                 2:24.09                                           2:23.36
                         1996 Atlanta
                         Penelope HEYNS (RSA)               2:25.41
                         1992 Barcelona
                         Kyoko IWASAKI (JPN)                2:26.65                 3. Kirsty BALFOUR                                 3. Yuliya EFIMOVA                            3. Rebecca SONI                                  3. LUO Nan (CHN)                                 3. Rebecca SONI
                         1988 Seoul                                                 (GBR)                                             (RUS)                                        (USA)                                            2:26.44                                          (USA)
                         Silke HORNER (GDR)                 2:26.71                 2:24.04

                                                                      Given that Leisel Jones is even more difficult to overhaul over the 200 distance than          Olympic cycle), the others came in 4 seconds behind her. Yulia Efimova, Europe’s big
                                                                      in the 100, it is no wonder that the tipsters have betted on the Australian breaststro-        hope could be a big champion of the future, while at present she is doing her best to
                       Photos: REUTERS
                                                                      ker. Jones has been the only one able to approach her own fantastic World Record of            break Ágnes Kovács’ European Record achieved in 2000 (the Hungarian swimmer
   62                  LEN                                            2:20.54 – last year for instance she won the World Championship with 2:21.84 (she
                                                                      is the owner of all four gold World Championships medals in the 100 and 200 in this
                                                                                                                                                                     has meanwhile retired from swimming). To do this she would have to produce a result
                                                                                                                                                                     below 2:24.03, and then, there is still a long way to go down to 2:20.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LEN       63
                       Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Magazine
                                                                                                                                                  Spectators witnessed an absolute
WOMEN – Butterfly

                                                                                                                                             American triumph at the Melbourne
                                                                                                                                             Olympics (all three medals were won by
                                                                                                                                             members of Team USA), followed by
                                                                                                                                             two more successes, then one
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Did you know⁄?
                    Blue pills and the rest                                                                                                  Japanese and one Australian victory,
                                                                                                                                             the ice finally broke at the sixth attempt.
                                                                                                                                             Though it should be noted, in relation to
                                                                                                                                             the series that started then, that not
                                                                                                                                             only did the East Germans taste suc-
                                                                                                                                             cess, but also something else. The suc-
                                                                                                                                                                                            …     that the fact that Dutch World
                                                                                                                                                                                            Record holder Aartje Voorbij was
                                                                                                                                                                                            unable to take part in the Melbourne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      …     that Kornelia Ender won two gold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      medals in 27 minutes at the ’76 Olym-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pics? And the East German, after the
                                                                                                                                             cess of the “blue pills” was most striking     Olympics because of her country’s boy-    100m butterfly final, even found time in
                    Separated from the breast-         Nevertheless, based on the last two         tain, Jedrzejczak fought quite a battle
                                                       World Championships, it seems likely        with her Australian opponent Petria       in the butterfly. Apart from the boycotted     cott played a role in the Americans’      her “dancing schedule” to take part in
                    stroke after the Helsinki                                                                                                                                               clean sweep of 1956? The Dutch            the medal ceremony, before winning
                                                       that Australia will soon close the gap on   Thomas in Athens: the Aussie won over     Los Angeles Olympics, GDR competi-
                    Olympics, butterfly is the         the two giants – after all, one member      100, while Otylia triumphed at 200.       tors took home 8 medals out of the 10          stayed away because of the Soviets’       the 200 freestyle.
                    youngest of the four strokes,
                    and the results have thus kept
                                                       of the great Australian duo of Schipper
                                                       and Lenton only failed to win the 200 in
                                                                                                       As far as long-term trends are con-
                                                                                                   cerned, considering that the decision
                                                                                                                                             at stake in 1976, 1980 and 1988 (only
                                                                                                                                             two representatives participated in
                                                                                                                                                                                            bloody clampdown on the ’56 Hungar-
                                                                                                                                                                                            ian Revolution, while the Hungarians      …      that Christiane Knacke was the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      first East German swimmer to return
                    quite balanced. The traditional    Montreal, though we have to admit that      makers were inspired to declare butter-   Seoul) and they took gold and silver on        attended the Games.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      her Olympic medal? Knacke’s weight
                    intercontinental duel is very
                    evenly balanced: in the 100, the
                                                       the TV replay of the finish has been the
                                                       subject of intense dispute ever since
                                                                                                   fly the fourth swimming stroke by the
                                                                                                   performance of a European swimmer,
                                                                                                                                             all three occasions, twice leaving the
                                                                                                                                             bronze to their rivals (when the third         …     that 14 year old Carolyn Wood
                                                                                                                                                                                            defeated Carolyn Schuler in the Ame-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jumped up from 50 to 65 kilos at the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      age of 15. Her coach claimed this was
                                                       (Otylia Jedrzejczak seemed to have          the Hungarian Éva Székely, the conti-     GDR swimmer finished fifth and fourth
                    USA leads Europe 5-4, while        touched the wall with only one hand,        nent had to wait 20 years for its first   respectively).                                 rican trials, but then at the Rome        due to vitamin E and protein, but it was
                    Europe is a step ahead of the      but the judges did not indicate any         success, following the debut of the            The Old Continent has since won           Games she swallowed water at the 70       later revealed she had taken steroids,
                    USA in the 200, again with a       breach of the rules). One thing is cer-     shorter distance in 1956.                 just one title (out of four) in both the 100   metre point, which upset her to such an   at one time 10-15 pills a day, and then
                                                                                                                                             and 200: thanks to de Bruijn (2000) and        extent that she stopped and failed to     an overdose in 1978 forced her into
                    score of 5-4, resulting in a                                                                                                                                            complete the race, allowing Schuler to    detoxification treatment. Knacke later
                    grand total of 9-9.                                                                                                      Jedrzejczak (2004).
                                                                                                                                                                                            go on and win?                            lost a lawsuit against her doctors and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      coach Rolf Glasen, who subsequently
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      publicly apologised to her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 French flies…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Photo: REUTERS

   64               LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LEN       65
                    Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Magazine
WOMEN – Butterfly

                                                                                     EUROPEAN                                         AMERICAN                                     OCEANIAN                                       ASIAN                                        AFRICAN
                                                                                     BETS                                             BETS                                         BETS                                           BETS                                         BETS

                      CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008               00:56.61 DE BRUIJN, Inge NED WR                  00:57.34 COUGHLIN, Natalie USA                00:56.81 TRICKETT, Lisbeth AUS                    00:58.20 ZHOU, Yafei CHN                  00:58.70 RETIEF, Lize-Mari RSA

                                         100m                                       1. Jessica SCHIPPER
                                                                                                                                     1. Lisbeth LENTON-
                                                                                                                                     TRICKETT (AUS)
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Jessica SCHIPPER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1. Lisbeth LENTON-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Jessica SCHIPPER
                               OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                    57.15

                      2004 Athens
                      Petria THOMAS (AUS)                     57.72                 2. Lisbeth LENTON-                               2. Jessica SCHIPPER                          2. Lisbeth LENTON-                             2. Jessica SCHIPPER                          2. Natalie COUGHLIN
                      2000 Sydney                                                   TRICKETT (AUS)                                   (AUS)                                        TRICKETT (AUS)                                 (AUS)                                        (USA)
                      Inge DE BRUIJN (NED)                    56.61                 56.81
                      1996 Atlanta
                      Amy VAN DYKEN (USA)                     59.13
                      1992 Barcelona
                      Hong QIAN (CHN)                         58.62                 3. Inge DEKKER                                   3. Natalie COUGHLIN                          3. Rachel KOMISARZ                             3. Natalie COUGHLIN                          1. Heather BRAND
                      1988 Seoul                                                    (NED)                                            (USA)                                        (USA)                                          (USA)                                        (ZIM)
                      Kristin OTTO (GDR)                      59.00                 57.82                                            57.34                                        57.60                                                                                       1:01.64

                                                                      Our experts have considered this event an Australian internal affair. According to them       lately. Schipper won in Montreal, Lenton in Melbourne, while Beijing will decide who
                                                                      Jessicah Schipper comes out victorious in the great fight against Lisbeth Lenton-             is the best of the two – the excitement is guaranteed if we remember that in 2005 vic-
                                                                      Trickett – as a matter of fact our Australian tipster has also betted for Schipper. It will   tory was decided by only 14 hundredths and then 9 hundredths in 2007. In any case          Bouncing back?
                    Australia’s fair… Schipper will have a tough      be an exciting duel and there is little doubt that no one else could make her way to the      the appetizer brought Lenton-Trickett’s success at the Australian Trials – for variety’s   Otylia Jedzrejczak had a miserable start in
                    battle with Lenton-Trickett                       first two podium places, as these two ladies have been the only ones to battle for gold       sake by 5 hundredths this time.                                                            this season

                                                                                Did you know⁄?
                                                                      …     that the defending champion,
                                                                      American Mary T. Meagher, was unable
                                                                                                                      occasion she was beaten by the Ameri-
                                                                                                                      can Misty Hyman, who had been ill when
                                                                      to win the 200 in 1988, despite having          she arrived in Sydney, and thus slept
                                                                      the best fourteen times on the all-time         continuously for 20 hours on the first day.
                                                                      rankings before the Olympics?                   Hyman was so shocked by her own suc-
                                                                                                                      cess that she had to turn around and
                                                                      …     that Susie O’Neill was considered
                                                                      the absolute favourite for the 2000
                                                                                                                      look back at the result screen three
                                                                                                                      times, before repeating the phrase “Oh
                                                                      Olympics, as she had been undefeated            My God!” 11 times in the quiet that had
                                                                      in the 200 for six years? But on this           settled around the pool.

                      CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008               02:05.61 JEDRZEJCZAK, Otylia POL                    02:05.88 HYMAN, Misty USA               02:05.40 SCHIPPER, Jessicah AUS WR                 02:06.52 NAKANISHI, Yuko JPN                 02:10.58 LOOTS, Mandy RSA

                                       200m                                         1. Jessica SCHIPPER
                                                                                                                                     1. Jessica SCHIPPER
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Jessica SCHIPPER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 1. Aurore MONGEL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Otylia
                               OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS                                    2:05.40                                                                                                                                      2:06.59                                      (POL)

                      2004 Athens
                      Otylia JEDRZEJCZAK (POL)              2:06.05                 2. Otylia                                        2. Otylia                                    2. Otylia                                      2. Emese KOVACS                              2. Heather BRAND
                      2000 Sydney                                                   JEDRZEJCZAK                                      JEDRZEJCZAK                                                                                 (HUN)                                        (ZIM)
                      Misty HYMAN (USA)                     2:05.88                                                                                                               JEDRZEJCZAK
                                                                                    (POL)                                            (POL)                                        (POL)                                          2:06.71                                      2:15.91
                      1996 Atlanta                                                  2:05.61
                      Susan O’NEILL (AUS)                   2:07.76
                      1992 Barcelona
                      Summer SANDERS (USA)                  2:08.67                 3. JIAO Liuyang                                  3. Kathleen HERSEY                           3. Audrey LACROIX                              3. Jessica SCHIPPER                          3. Lize- Marie RETIEF
                      1988 Seoul                                                    (CHN)                                            (USA)                                        (CAN)                                          (AUS)                                        (RSA)
                      Kathleen NORD (GDR)                   2:09.51                 2:07.06                                          2:07.13                                      2:06.83                                                                                     2:15.40

                                                                      A lot depends on whether Otylia Jedzrejczak, this event’s reigning Olympic Champion,          the tipsters go for Jessicah Schipper, the WR-holder. In truth, Europe got Asia’s bet,
                                                                      will manage or not to return to her peak – as the Polish star was in an alarmingly poor       namely thanks to the French Mongel, the European Championships winner and not
                       Photos: REUTERS
                                                                      form in Eindhoven. Jedzrejczak was not at her best in Melbourne, either, although she         thanks to Jedzrejczak – while the second podium place has been signalled for 17 year
   66               LEN                                               later swam a World Record in her main event at the Short Course European
                                                                      Championships in Debrecen. Whatever the case, she got only one bet, the majority of
                                                                                                                                                                    old Hungarian Emese Kovács who has announced that she wished to approach the
                                                                                                                                                                    World Record in Beijing. That means we have all reasons to expect a wonderful race.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   LEN       67
                    Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Magazine
                                                                                                                                                                   supremacy. In any case, it has been a
WOMEN – Individual Medley

                                                                                                                                                                   surprisingly long time since the Olympic
                                                                                                                                                                   gold medallist came from Down Under:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Did you know⁄?
                                                                                                                                                                   they last won in 1972, when they man-
                                                                                                                                                                   aged to win both events (Shane Gould        …     that the 400 medley in 1968 pro-       …       that Tracey Caulkins was eventu-

                            Individual doubles
                                                                                                                                                                   and Gail Neall), but since then have        duced the greatest winning margin of all     ally able to round out her illustrious
                                                                                                                                                                   won just one medal in the medley, back      time in the history of women’s swim-         career, after five World Records, 60
                                                                                                                                                                   in 1984, by way of Suzanne Landells.        ming? Claudia Kolb won by a margin of        American Records and 48 domestic
                                                                                                                                                                   Europe, which was previously dominant       20 metres (almost 14 seconds).               titles, by winning three Olympic titles in
                                                                                                                                                                   in the medley events, has rather under-
                                                                                                                                                                   performed in recent times. Whereas          …     that the ’72 champion, Shane
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Gould, turned up at the medal ceremo-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            …      that one of the most exciting races
                            As was the case on the first                The Americans have re-emerged since            double in Los Angeles can be highlight-     from a historical perspective 10 of the
                                                                        Athens, through Katie Hoff, who won all        ed – a solitary oasis of victory – after    19 gold medals up for grabs in the med-     ny with a worn-out kangaroo mascot,          in the history of the medley was the 200
                            occasion in Mexico City – after                                                                                                                                                    which had been passed over to her a          IM in Barcelona, which was eventually
                                                                        four World Championship titles in              which the Americans have not caused         ley have so far been won by the Old
                            the debut of the 400 in Tokyo,              Montreal and Melbourne, meaning she            much of a splash.                                                                       few minutes earlier by Australian swim-      won by China’s Lin Li, against the Ame-
                                                                                                                                                                   Continent (6 for America, 2 for Australia
                            the first 200 was held in ’68 –             has a great chance of breaking her             The truth is that the Australians seem to   and 1 for Asia), in the last two World      ming legend Dawn Fraser?                     rican Summer Sanders, breaking Ute
                            the winners of the last three
                            Olympics have done
                                                                        country’s poor series of results. No
                                                                        member of Team USA has won the
                                                                                                                       have really arrived this year: the two
                                                                                                                       World Records broken by Stephanie
                                                                                                                                                                   Championships Europe was only able
                                                                                                                                                                   to obtain 7 of the 32 possible final
                                                                                                                                                                                                               …       that one of the stars of the ‘blue
                                                                                                                                                                                                               pill’ era, Ulrike Tauber, improved the 400
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gewinger’s 11 year old World Record?

                            the double, i.e. won both                   medley since 1988 (when Janet Evans            Rice show there will be a huge battle for   places (two consecutive places and
                                                                        triumphed in the 400m), although they                                                                                                  IM World Record by 6 seconds in 1976?
                            events. In 1968 the American                                                                                                           just one, in the 400, last year)
                                                                        have claimed several silver medals.
                            Claudia Kolb (and Tracy                     This is particularly interesting in light of
                            Caulkins in1984), and then                  the fact that the Americans took the first
                            Michelle Smith in 1996, and                 three places in both 200 and 400m,
                            Yana Klochkova, in 2000 and                 when the medley events first appeared
                            2004, ended up with both gold               (in 1964 for 400m, and in 1968 for
                                                                        200m). However, after their dominance
                            medals in the IM.                           at the end of the 60s, only Caulkins’

                            Winning machine – Yana Klochkova,
                            triumphed in both IM events in Sydney and
                            in Athens

                            Photo: REUTERS

    68                      LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LEN        69
                            Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Magazine
WOMEN – Individual Medley

                                                                                     EUROPEAN                                        AMERICAN                                      OCEANIAN                                      ASIAN                                       AFRICAN
                                                                                     BETS                                            BETS                                          BETS                                          BETS                                        BETS

                              CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008       02:10.68 KLOCHKOVA, Yana UKR                        02:10.05 HOFF, Katie USA                  02:08.92 RICE, Stephanie AUS WR                   02:09.72 WU, Yanyan CHN                 02:10.08 COVENTRY, Kirsty ZIM

                                               200m                                 1. Katie HOFF (USA)
                                                                                                                                    1. Katie HOFF (USA)                          1. Kirsty COVENTRY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Stephanie RICE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1. Katie HOFF (USA)

                                       OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS

                              2004 Athens:
                              Yana KLOCHKOVA (UKR)          2:11.14                 2. Kirsty COVENTRY                              2. Stephanie RICE                            2. Stephanie RICE                              2. Kirsty COVENTRY                         2. Kirsty COVENTRY
                              2000 Sydney:                                          (ZIM)                                           (AUS)                                        (AUS)                                          (ZIM)                                      (ZIM)
                              Yana KLOCHKOVA (UKR)          2:10.68                 2:10.08                                         2:08.92
                              1996 Atlanta
                              Michelle SMITH (IRL)          2:13.93
                              1992 Barcelona
                              Li LIN (CHN)                  2:11.65                                                                 3. Kirsty COVENTRY                           3. Katie HOFF (USA)                            3. Katie HOFF (USA)                        3. Yana KLOCHKOVA
                              1988 Seoul                                            3. Mireia BELMONTE                              (ZIM)                                                                                                                                  (UKR)
                              Daniela HUNGER (GDR)          2:12.59                 (ESP)                                                                                                                                                                                  2:10.68

                              It’s Rice’s races?                      Although Yana Klochkova (who used to deliver gold in the medley events with clock-            behind the American both in Montreal and Melbourne, while the Australian Stephanie
                                                                      wise precision) is back, we cannot expect her to defend her title on the basis of her         Rice definitely seems to become involved in the struggle this year. Actually, her fan-
                                                                      results, not even in her favourite event. Our experts have not considered her an option       tastic World Record was a message to the World as she has been the first to achieve      An underdog and an overwhelming
                                                                      when drawing the medal chart. But the contest, usually ending up with Katie Hoff’s            a result below 2:09 in this event. We are already drooling over the excitement of the    favourite:
                                                                      success lately could result in an even more interesting turn: Kirsty Coventry finished        last 50m in Beijing.                                                                     Belmonte and Hoff will go for the medals

                                                                                Did you know⁄?
                                                                      …      that Allison Wagner went up
                                                                      against some highly suspected or
                                                                                                                     she finished as silver medallist for a third
                                                                                                                     time: this time behind Michelle Smith,
                                                                      proven users of banned substances in           who two years later was banned for
                                                                      her career? At the 1994 Rome World             attempted deceit at a doping test.
                                                                      Championships she lost over 200m to
                                                                      China’s Lu Bin, who just four weeks
                                                                      later, at the Asian Games, was caught
                                                                                                                     …     that before the 2000 Sydney
                                                                                                                     Games doping controllers “removed”
                                                                      for steroid use. Over 400m she finished        two important figures from the blocks:
                                                                      second behind Dai Guohong: the                 the Atlanta champion, Michelle Smith,
                                                                      Chinese swimmer disappeared from the           and later Wu Yanyan, who had swum a
                                                                      stage one year later. While in Atlanta         new World Record in 1997?

                              CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008         04:33.24 MILEY, Hannah GBR                        04:32.89 HOFF, Katie USA                  04:31.46 RICE, Stephanie AUS WR                   04:34.79 CHEN, Yan CHN                  04:34.25 COVENTRY, Kirsty ZIM

                                                                                    1. Katie HOFF (USA)                             1. Katie HOFF (USA)                          1. Katie HOFF (USA)                            1. Stephanie RICE                          1. Kirsty COVENTRY
                                               400m                                 4:32.89                                                                                                                                     (AUS)                                      (ZIM)
                                       OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS

                              2004 Athens
                              Yana KLOCHKOVA (UKR)          4:34.83                 2. Kirsty COVENTRY                              2. Stephanie RICE                            2. Stephanie RICE                              2. Katie HOFF (USA)                        2. Katie HOFF (USA)
                              2000 Sydney                                           (ZIM)                                           (AUS)                                        (AUS)
                              Yana KLOCHKOVA (UKR)          4:33.59                 4:34.25                                         4:31.46
                              1996 Atlanta
                              Michelle SMITH (IRL)          4:39.18
                              1992 Barcelona
                              Krisztina EGERSZEGI (HUN)     4:36.54                 3. Alessia FILIPPI                              3. Kirsty COVENTRY                           3. Hannah MILEY                                3. Rui YU (CHN)                            3. Jessica
                              1988 Seoul                                            (ITA)                                           (ZIM)                                        (GBR)                                          4:44.08                                    PENGELLY (RSA)
                              Janet EVANS (USA)             4:37.76                 4:35.80                                                                                      4:33.24                                                                                   4:41.35

                                                                      Katie Hoff won this event in Melbourne with an eight second margin which was natu-            one year Rice has managed to improve her result by 10 seconds. In Melbourne she
                                                                      rally a new World Record at that time. She reaped a smooth success in Montreal, too.          clocked 4:41.19 coming in third, while this year in March she stopped the clock at
                              Photos: REUTERS
                                                                      But since then many things have happened. The Australian Stephanie Rice, who cel-             4:31.46. Anyway, our tipsters also consider Coventry likely to manage a podium finish
    70                      LEN                                       ebrates her twentieth birthday anniversary this year, shattered Hoff’s record at the
                                                                      Australian Trials in March, a fact which deserves our attention considering that in just
                                                                                                                                                                    but they do expect a Hoff-Rice duel – and they still believe the American to be the
                                                                                                                                                                    favourite for gold.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LEN      71
                            Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Magazine
WOMEN – Relays

                                                                                     EUROPEAN                                         AMERICAN                                     OCEANIAN                                      ASIAN                                         AFRICAN
                                                                                     BETS                                             BETS                                         BETS                                          BETS                                          BETS

                       CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008                 03:33.62 NETHERLANDS WR                                 03:35.68 USA                             03:35.48 AUSTRALIA                               03:37.91 CHNINA                         03:47.99 SOUTH AFRICA

                                         4x100m Freestyle               1. AUSTRALIA                3:35.68             1. AUSTRALIA                                 1. AUSTRALIA                                   1. AUSTRALIA                               1. NETHERLANDS
                                                                        2. NETHERLANDS              3:33.62             2. USA                       3:36.81         2. USA                                         2. USA                                     2. USA
                                                                        3. GERMANY                  3:35.22             3. NETHERLANDS                               3. GERMANY                                     3. NETHERLANDS                             3. ZIMBABWE

                       CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008                     07:50.82 GERMANY                                  07:50.09 USA WR                            07:54.06 AUSTRALIA                               07:55.97 CHNINA                         08:19.43 SOUTH AFRICA

                                        4x200m Freestyle                1. USA                      7:50.09             1. USA                                       1. AUSTRALIA                7:54.06            1. USA                                     1. USA
                                                                        2. GERMANY                  7:50.82             2. FRANCE                                    2. USA                                         2. AUSTRALIA                               2. GERMANY
                                                                        3. FRANCE                   7:52.09             3. AUSTRALIA                                 3. FRANCE                                      3. CHINA                    7:55.97        3. FRANCE

                       CONTINENTAL RECORD AS OF 15 MAY 2008                   03:59.33 GREAT BRITAIN                                03:58.30 USA                            03:55.74 AUSTRALIA WR                             03:59.89 CHNINA                         04:03.63 SOUTH AFRICA

                                             4x100m Medley              1. USA
                                                                        2. AUSTRALIA
                                                                                                                        1. AUSTRALIA                                 1. AUSTRALIA                                   1. AUSTRALIA                               1. ZIMBABWE
                                                                                                                        2. USA                                       2. USA                                         2. USA                                     2. USA
                                                                        3. JAPAN                    4:01.94             3. GREAT BRITAIN             3:59.33         3. CHINA                    3:59.89            3. CHINA                                   3. GREAT BRITAIN

                                     4 X 100 M FREESTYLE RELAY The Australians were the best in the two 4x100 events at the World Championships in                  could expect even bigger excitement in the freestyle relay: their advantage over the
                 OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS

                                                                      Melbourne, and considering their latest results, there is little doubt that their flag will   Americans was of only 2 tenths. Team USA can rely on the 4x200 relay: it worked out
                                     2004 Athens                      be raised up high at the Olympics. In the medley they have three out of the four styles’      quite well for them at last year’s World Championships. Naturally, nothing can be taken   Not only individually…
                                     Australia        3:35.94         best swimmers (Jones in breaststroke, Schipper in butterfly, Lenton-Trickett in               for granted in this event: in Melbourne, the clock recorded a 0.06 reaction time          Alessia Filippi, member of the
                                     2000 Sydney                      freestyle), which doesn’t quite guarantee their unhampered success but does give              between Schipper and Lenton’s exchange, which demonstrates the simultaneous               Italian medley relay team
                                     USA              3:36.61         them a head start. Consider that last time they won with a 2.5 second margin. We              yearning for perfection and risk that relays have to offer.                               Photo: REUTERS
                                     1996 Atlanta
                                     USA 3:39.29
                                     1992 Barcelona
                                     USA              3:39.46
                                     1988 Seoul
                                     German DR        3:40.63

                                     4 X 200 M FREESTYLE RELAY

                                     2004 Athens
                                     USA              7:53.42
                                     2000 Sydney
                                     USA              7:57.80
                                     1996 Atlanta
                                     USA 7:59.87
                                     1992 Barcelona   –
                                     1988 Seoul       –

                                     4 X 100 M MEDLEY RELAY

                                     2004 Athens
                                     Australia        3:57.32
                                     2000 Sydney
                                     USA              3:58.30
                                     1996 Atlanta
                                     USA              4:02.88
                                     1992 Barcelona
                                     USA              4:02.54
                                     1988 Seoul
                                     German DR        4:03.74

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LEN       73
           Star wars                                                                                             Alain BERNARD, France
                                                                                                                 Winner of the 50m and
                                                                                                                 100m free

                                                                                                                 “I want to continue this
                                                                                                   way. I’m already on fire if I think of the

        – star words                                                                               Olympics – but you have to prepare for
                                                                                                   it the best possible way. My events are
                                                                                                   pretty open for everyone so there will be
                                                                                                   some excitement in Beijing!”

     Though it was hosted by the                                    Alexander DALE OEN,                          Massimiliano
     Netherlands in March, the early                                Norway                                       ROSOLINO, Italy
                                                                    Winner of the 100m breast                    Member of the winning
     date did not affect the European
                                                                                                                 team in the 4x200m free
     swimmers that badly. A cartful                                 “The result shows that I                     relay
     of National Records and World                    am on the right track for Beijing. To tell
     and European Records were                        the truth, I’m really looking forward to     “For the Olympics I want to bring the
     bettered – but naturally, we all                 racing against (Brendan) Hansen and          200m and the 400m to a very high level.
     know that the results in Beijing                 Kitajima (Kosuke).”                          It’s a must since in the Games all the
                                                                                                   world is going so fast… So you cannot
     are what counts. Our stars are                                 Markus ROGAN, Austria          step back – you have to watch yourself,
     heading to the battlefield - here                              Winner of the 100m and         keep working hard. Eindhoven was a
     are their words about their pea-                               200m back                      good occasion as we had time to see
     ceful wars in the water.                                                                      what we could achieve and what we
                                                                    “My times reached in           could do better.”
                                                      Eindhoven won’t shock the Americans.
                    Yuri PRILUKOV, Russia             To do this you have to swim faster. A lot                  Francesca HALSALL,
                    Winner of the 400m and            faster. How? Train more, swim harder,                      Great Britain
                    1500m free                        get faster. The faster you train, the fas-                 Member of the winning
                                                      ter you swim.”                                             team in the 4x100m med-
                   “I hope I can swim 3:42 in         (After the 200m) “I want Phelps! I want                    ley relay
     Beijing in the 400m and that will be             Lochte! I want to race! I want to fight!”
     enough for a better place but it’s not my                                                     “We are looking forward to swim in the
     main event, it’s a little bit short for me. I                  Paul BIEDERMANN,               Olympics, hopefully, with the same
     focus on the 1500m, and in that event                          Germany                        team. In Beijing, we have to be faster:
     everything can happen. You know, it’s                          Winner of 200m free            that is the only way to get a good result.”
     the Olympic Games with so many great
     competitors… But I hope the water will                        “It’s unbelievable what                       Arkady VYATCHANIN,
     not be as hot as it was in Eindhoven:            happened in Eindhoven. We had a little                     Russia
     28.5 degrees is quite hot for us who             celebration but we have to get back to                     Member of the winning
     swim longer distances.”                          the preparations. However I hope there                     team in the 4x100m
                                                      will be reason to celebrate after the                      medley relay
                    Jonas PERSSON,                    Olympics as well.”
                    Sweden                                                                         “I must drop one and half seconds from
                    Member of the winning                           Mirna JUKIC, Austria           the time I set in Eindhoven because in
                    team in the 4x100m free                         Winner of 100m breast          Beijing we will have the American and
                    relay                                                                          the Australian guys who alway swim so
                                                                    “I think I can improve for     fast… So I have to improve since the
     “We’ve been training hard since                                Beijing. My main goal is to    result I had in the championships is not
     August, competing a lot, so I think we           qualify for the finals in the 200m, com-     enough, it qualifies only for the finals…”
     have such a good team. I think we have           pete with the girls, getting good results.
     a good chance to win a medal in the              Winning in Eindhoven was like a dream                      Laure MANAUDOU,
     Olympics.”                                       coming true. Swimming for the medals                       France
                                                      in the Olympics would be awesome!”                         Winner of 200m back
                    Inge DEKKER, The
                    Netherlands                                                                                  “I’m under enormous pres-
                    Member of the winning                           László CSEH, Hungary           sure compared to when I went to the
                    team in the 4x100m free                         Winner of 200m and             Athens Games four years ago, but the
                    relay                                           400m IM                        defeat in the French trials had been a
                                                                                                   learning experience. I would have
     “In Eindhoven everybody set a new per-                         “The road is OK for            found it hard had I failed to qualify for
     sonal best which was really satisfying.          Beijing. It was great to better the          the Olympics be-cause I’m still waiting
     It’s a long way to go till Beijing but I think   European Record in Eindhoven without         for the new swimsuit of Arena to match
     it’s a good base to build on.”                   preparing for the event. It shows we can     Speedo’s record-breaking LZR Racer.
                                                      be in good shape for the Games since         I’ve seen the photo, and with regards to
                                                      we did a great job here just after coming    the tests carried out by (Italian) Filippo
74   LEN                                              from the high altitude training camps.”      (Magnini), it seemed superb.”
                It’s heart-stopping!
                                         Everybody watches the
                                        swimmers… and maybe
                                    swimmers themselves may
                                     watch one another; in their
                                 freetime, of course... But... In
                                     the neighbouring pools the
                                other members of the aquatic
                                     family will fight for Olympic
                             medals too, so they should also
                                   be taken into consideration.
                                      Heartstopping moves and
                                               actions all around!
                                            Therefore it would be
                                     interesting to think of what
                                      Beijing has in store for the
                                            other four disciplines.
                                                   All the more so
                              considering that besides diving
                                      – a discipline ruled by the
                               Asians – Europe is a favourite
                                    in synchronised swimming,
                                     water polo and open water
                                      – featured on the Olympic
                               programme for the first time –
                              as well. Therefore there will be
                                 a lot to watch apart from and
                                              after the swimming
                                                 competitions too.
                                   As a matter of fact, the bets
                                  referring to these disciplines
                               have been put together on the
                              basis of opinions received from
                             the five continents and they are
                                            meant to express the
                                expectations of our Magazine
                             – we hope to guide our readers
                                           as far as chances are

76   LEN                                                               LEN       77
     Magazine                                                         Magazine
MEN – Diving

               US left, enter
               China                                                                                                                                                                                                        Going up…
                                                                                                                                                                                                        China will surely top the medal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    standings in diving:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       here is He’s dive
               An interesting tendency is seen     Overseas dominance is somewhat less
               in diving: America, which ruled     restrained in the oldest of diving styles:              Did you know⁄?
               the 20th Century, is being          platform diving. After the period of the
                                                   grand series between 1920 and 1964                                                                                                              hat it was a considerable distrac-
               pushed more and more to the
               background – the U.S. has even
                                                   (in Melbourne with Joaquim Capilla of
                                                   Mexico winning the first prize to every-
                                                                                                 …    that George Sheldon, the first
                                                                                                 champion of Olympic springboard diving,
                                                                                                                                               1948 and in 1952 – and later helped
                                                                                                                                               Bob Webster and Greg Louganis dou-
                                                                                                                                                                                            tion to divers at the Olympic Games of
                                                                                                                                                                                            Helsinki when the audience spread
               found trouble to get among the      one’s surprise), a gold medal for the 10      earned his living as an ophthalmologist?      ble their wins as their coach?               practically all over the poolside? As if
               winning three lately. The rest of   metre jump has hung around the neck                                                                                                      that was not enough, an underwater
               the World presently leads 50 to     of a U.S. diver only twice out of ten times
                                                   from 1968 until now. It was Klaus Dibiasi
                                                                                                 …      that a fierce debate raged between
                                                                                                 the German and the American delega-
                                                                                                                                               …     that springboard events were done
                                                                                                                                               from one metre and three metres back in
                                                                                                                                                                                            cameraman was taking shots of the
                                                                                                                                                                                            divers from a close distance.
               48 against the United States in     (a regular contributor to our magazine)
               the total number of Olympic         who broke the winning series of
                                                                                                 tions in St. Louis in 1904 regarding the
                                                                                                 definition of a perfect dive? The Germans
                                                                                                                                               the 1920s, while platform divers had to
                                                                                                                                               present five-metre and ten-metre dives?      …     that Larry Andreasen, bronze
               gold medals – which otherwise       America (winning three successive                                                                                                        champion of Tokyo, wanted to set a new
               shows massive American              Olympic Games – a series hitherto
                                                                                                 held the opinion that the way one arrived
                                                                                                 in the water did not count – thus they        …      that Bruce Harlan, champion of        height record for diving? He once dived
                                                                                                                                                                                            from the 48-metre Gerald Desmond
               leadership. The discipline of       unmatched – in Mexico City, Munich            showed far more complex combinations,         the Olympic Games of London, met a
                                                   and Montreal – after receiving a silver       but ended up splashing flat on their bel-     horrible fate 11 years after his gold? He    Bridge in Long Beach, but it turned out
               diving, which entered the                                                                                                                                                    he only thought to have been the high-
                                                   medal in Tokyo). All American classic         lies or backs. The American position was      was helping to disassemble the tower
               Olympic programme for the first     divers managed to do was to come back         that the way one reached the water did        built for divers after a presentation in     est, the official record then was 52
               time in 1904, could be              for another gold: e.g. Samuel Lee (1948-      count – and since the main referee was        Fairfield – where he himself had been        metres. Afterwards he picked the 117m
               considered a medal generator        52), Bob Webster (1960-64) and Greg           American, the question was settled easily.    the main attraction – when in a moment       high West Tower of Vincent Thomas
               for the U.S. until the end of the   Louganis (1984-88). Louganis was basi-                                                      of distraction he fell down from 10          Bridge – from where the police took him
               1980s. Members of Team              cally the last great character among          …    that Swedish diver Hjalmar               metres to die an instant death.              down twice. The third time, he did jump

               U.S.A. have managed to win
               a total of 131 medals. China,
                                                   American divers. In addition to the 10
                                                   metre dive, he also won the 3 metre one
                                                                                                 Johansson, champion of the 1908
                                                                                                 Games, saved the life of his British          …      that Miller Anderson, silver medal
                                                                                                                                               winner in springboard diving at the
                                                                                                                                                                                            – in 1990, when he was already 60 –
                                                                                                                                                                                            but having an Olympic diver’s past did
                                                                                                                                                                                            not help him. He died of the injuries he
                                                   both in L.A. and in Seoul. He left a vac-     competitor? George Cane missed his
               ranking immediately behind the      uum behind: from Barcelona to today,          10 metre dive and lost consciousness          London Olympic Games, fought as a            got when he reached the water.
               U.S. in the all-time score has 38
               gold medals prior to the start
                                                   during the last four Olympic Games,
                                                   American sportsmen have won only
                                                                                                 as he splashed into the water, and
                                                                                                 Johansson was the first to realise what
                                                                                                                                               pilot in World War 2? His plane was
                                                                                                                                               shot down over Italy, his leg was almost
                                                                                                                                               completely mangled by the tail of his
                                                                                                                                                                                            …     that triple Olympic gold winner
                                                                                                                                                                                            Klaus Dibiasi was coached by his father
                                                   three of the available 30 medals (includ-     had happened – and pulled Cane out.
               of the Beijing Games (and                                                                                                       craft as it hit the ground, thus his bones   Carlo, who had dived himself at
               everyone expects the big gap to
               be further reduced in August).
                                                   ing the ones for the synchro events
                                                   introduced in Sydney). Apart from Mark        …    that Sammy Lee, the American
                                                                                                 champion of Korean origin – who
                                                                                                                                               could only be set using silver plates. He
                                                                                                                                               started to do regular sessions again
                                                                                                                                                                                            Olympic Games – true, he ended up as
                                                                                                                                                                                            only tenth in Berlin. Dibiasi did six ses-
                                                   Lenzi, winner of the 3 metre jump in
               Up to the end of the eighties,      1992, who only received bronze in             worked for the Army as a doctor – won         three years later, and ended up second       sions a week, practicing his jumps 130-
                                                   Atlanta, all one can mention is a bronze      two gold medals in platform diving: in        at the Olympic Games of 1948.                150 times day after day.
               the question to ask at all
               Olympic Games was whether           achieved by Scott Donie – and no
                                                   American stood on the platform of win-
               there was anyone to match the       ners of the ten metre dive during any of      (and if you include women, Asia leads             Between 1920 and 1992, there were
               best the ‘home of the brave’        the last three Olympic Games.                 by 10 to 9). One could hardly doubt that      only two occasions when a U.S. diver
               could offer.                            China made way to the forefront all       this trend, fortifying ever since Los An-     did not win (in Munich and in Moscow,
                                                   the more: Chinese sportsmen appeared          geles, will continue in Beijing. Others can   which means they supplied the champi-
                                                   on the diving scene in the eighties, and      perhaps do well in platform diving – since    on 15 times out of 17). Their unparal-
                                                   by now, the main question has become          its last World Champion was a diver from      leled genius factory was also charac-
                                                   whether Asia can be overtaken at all.         Europe (Gleb Galperin), and perhaps a         terised by the fact that no one repeated
                                                   Asian sportsmen won 4 out of the 5            series similar to the old American one        – up to Louganis –, you could always
                                                   men’s events in Melbourne last time           can form in the 3 metre dive.                 see a new world-class diver every four                    Photo: Russel Boyce / REUTERS

  78           LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                              LEN        79
               Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                       Magazine
MEN – Diving

                                                                                                                                                                                       Editorial bets
               years. Another piece of statistics is that
               the U.S. achieved seven triple victories                                                                                                                                MEN
               as long as three sportsmen could enter
               (between 1920 and 1968), which means                                                                                                                                    3m springboard
               only 4 of the available 33 medals was
               awarded to all other nations.                                                                                                                                                        1. Qin KAI (CHN)
                    These days Chinese sportsmen are
               establishing a similar gold line. The only
               non-Asian diver to receive a gold medal
               in an individual event since 1996 was
               Dmitri Sautin in 1996. Otherwise, Asian
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. He CHONG (CHN)
               divers have taken all the first places,
               and ever since synchro diving was
               introduced, they have won an extra title
               in Sydney and Athens each – thus they
               regularly took 3 out of four available
               gold medals. Their Beijing goal is clear:                                                                                                                                            3. Alexander
               to take all 4 of 4!                                                                                                                                                                  DOBROSKOK (RUS)
                    Aside from the already mentioned
               excellence of Klaus Dibiasi, European
               men divers have not excelled often at
               all: the only refreshing exception lately
               was Dmitri Sautin’s fantastic dives –
               while Russian geniuses reaped victory                                                                                                                                   10m platform
               in pairs in 2000, and the Greek duet of
               Bimis and Siranidis won first prize in
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Zhou LUXIN (CHN)
               2004 – perhaps even surprising them-

                          Did you know⁄?                                                                                                                                                            2. Gleb GALPERIN
               …     that Alexander Portnov com-
               plained at the Moscow Olympics that he
                                                            knees. His liver was ruptured and his
                                                            spleen had to be removed. Nine months
                                                                                                        too. His series of gold medals thus
                                                                                                        started in ‘84: he took the first place
               was distracted by the noise at the           later, however, he was there again, up      both in Los Angeles and in Seoul, over-
                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Lin YUE (CHN)
               event, and the judges allowed him to do      on the 10-metre tower. Yet later, unfor-    coming the next competitor with an
               another jump after a messed-up one?          tunately, in 1988, it was him who sat       unprecedented advantage of 92 points
               Other divers tried the same thing later –    drunk behind the wheel, hitting a group     on 3-metres in ’84. Four years later he
               they also complained that they too were      of youngsters at over 100 km/h. Two         managed to win again, despite having
               distracted by the noise; Giron from          people died and six were injured, and       hit his head with the springboard during
               Mexico, holder of the silver medal, com-     Kimball was sentenced to 17 years. He       the national finals. Doctors had to sew
               plained about a photographer flashing        was released after five years.              his head with several stitches. (Seven
                                                                                                                                                                                       3 m synchro springboard
               during his dive – but no more repeats
               were allowed. The results were an-           …      that American Greg Louganis,
                                                            one of the best champions of all times,
                                                                                                        years later he confessed that back then
                                                                                                        he was already HIV-positive – luckily,
                                                                                                        the doctor who helped him did not get
               nounced after two days of closed-door
                                                            was saved by professional diving from
                                                                                                                                                                                       1. China
               hearings, and when Portnov was finally                                                   infected.)
                                                            totally falling apart? Greg, who grew up                                                                                   2. Canada
               declared champion, demonstrations
               started in front of the Soviet Embassy in    as an orphan, had dyslexia, smoked
                                                            cigarettes at the age of nine, and tried
                                                                                                        …      that the only man in the history of
                                                                                                        diving who received a score of 10 from
                                                                                                                                                                                       3. Germany
               Mexico City.
                                                            pot before he turned 12. When he was        all referees at the same time was Sun
               …      that Bruce Kimball, silver medal-
               list of the Olympic Games of Los
                                                            13, he kicked his adoptive mother so
                                                            badly she had to call the police. By that
                                                                                                        Shuwei, champion in Barcelona – three
                                                                                                        months before the Games in a champi-
                                                                                                                                                                                       10 m synchro platform
               Angeles was hit by a drunk driver in         time Louganis had turned into a com-        onship in Canada? The 16 year old
                                                                                                                                                                           Oh, no…
               1981, smashing his head almost com-          plete alcoholic. Finally, he found his      Chinese sportsman, who won the                                                 1. China
                                                                                                                                                               They will come down
               pletely? All his facial bones were           escape in sports: he was already quali-     Olympic Games too, was 155 cm tall
                                                                                                                                                            and might go to the top:   2. Russia
               crushed, his skull fractured, as was his     fied for the Montreal Olympic Games at      and weighed only 45 kg.
                                                                                                                                                     China’s Lin Yue and Huo Liang
               left leg, together with the sinews of his    16 and he could have won in Moscow                                                                                         3. USA
                                                                                                                                                        Photo: David Gray / REUTERS

  80           LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                 LEN      81
               Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                          Magazine
                                                                                                                                                                                                          and remembering what you have to do.”          ten for it at the World Cup last month.
MEN – Diving

                                                                                                                                                                                                               His abilities and his current knowled-    He’s amazing. When you talk to him, it’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ge of the sport is well described by Foley     hard to believe he’s 13. He comes
                                                                                                                                                                                                          as he was quoted by the British Daily          across as a 19 or 20-year-old in terms of
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Telegraph.                                     his knowledge of diving.”

               Europe’s latest and
                                                                                                                                                                                                               “These youngsters can do the tower            Well, that sounds great. And feeds
                                                                                                                                                                                                          much earlier than we thought,” he said.        Europe’s hope for Beijing. Don’t forget:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          “We were going wrong for a while beca-         the men’s platform was the only event
                                                                                                                                                                                                          use of our consciousness over child-pro-       the Chinese didn’t win in Melbourne.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          tection issues. It could be that Thomas
                                                                                                                                                                                                          goes to London to aim for platform gold

               youngest challenge
                                                                                                                                                                                                          and then moves down to the springbo-
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ard for 2016. It’s the opposite of the way
                                                                                                                                                                                                          we’ve done it traditionally, but the way
                                                                                                                                                                                                          the Chinese have proved to be better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thomas is much lighter and therefore
                                                                                                                                                                                                          much less susceptible to injury off the
                                                                                                                                                                                                          tower than bigger blokes. We’ve taken

               to China
               When Thomas Daley was
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chinese knowledge, but taken account
                                                                                                                                                                                                          of the child-protection issues, the cultural
                                                                                                                                                                                                          issues that are the norm in our country.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          You have to learn from the best in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                          World, but apply it to your system.” It
                                                                                                                                                                                                          makes for frightening moments,
               6 years old and swimming in the                                                                                                                                                            Foley said. “Thomas learnt a reverse
               local leisure centre of Plymouth                                                                                                                                                           3½ [his final dive in Eindhoven]
                                                                                                                                                                                                          only a month ago. That’s incredible
               he spotted a diving lesson in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                          for a 13-year-old. He got scores of
               next pool. He was thrilled and
               started to push his parents to let
               him try diving.
               His mum and dad said OK and
               paid 25 pounds for five lessons.
               “Probably the best £25 I’ve ever
               spent” recalls Debbie Daley just
               moments after his son won the
               European title in Eindhoven, wri-
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Who’s next?
               ting another great chapter in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Daley defeated his
               diving history book. And the                                                                                                                                                               European rivals – now
               Olympic Games are yet ahead.                 Photo: REUTERS                                                                                                                                he’s ready for Beijing

               Originally identified as a gold medal pro-   a newspaper interview. “It’s one of those                                                         Well… We read he cried for 15 minu-
               spect for the 2012 London Olympics,          gifts that you are born with and that’s
                                                                                                                  His parents                            tes and refused to jump before going to
               Thomas Daley is currently regarded as        what makes him so special, rather than             stood behind him                          the 10m platform just before his eighth
               more than a prodigy. He did his best under   his athletic ability.” It was also Foley who                                                 birthday. Since then, the situation has
               pressure to win the platform gold medal in   thought the mental maturity and calm-           Tom’s father Robert, 37, accompanies         changed a little bit…
               Eindhoven and earned an Olympic berth        ness of Tom makes him a medal conten-           his son to every competition and has              Now, he is the European Champion
               in February at the Beijing World Cup.        der for the Beijing Games.                      given up his job making electrical           of this event. Just 13 years of age…
                   We all stood there in the Eindhoven           Well, Thomas is not looking that far.      machinery. When Mr Daley was diag-                “It’s amazing to be European champi-
               complex and were amazed by his per-          At least he did not do so after he had          nosed with a brain tumour in 2004, he        on ahead of that kind of field,” Daley said.
               formance. And not only in the diving         caused the first major surprise at the          played it down so that it would not inter-   “It’s totally unexpected. It’s thrilling, like
               pool, but also in the Press Zone. With his   Beijing World Cup: “I’m not looking at          rupt his son’s training regime. “I knew if   being on a theme-park ride.” Asked how
               eyes wide open he gave well-constructed      medals. My list of dives isn’t difficult eno-   I made a big deal of it, it might affect     he could keep his calm before the last
               answers to any question without hesita-      ugh at this stage to give me the scores I       him,” said Mr Daley. “When I had my          dives in Eindhoven, Tom replied just like
               tion. Thirteen year old athletes are usu-    need to win medals. That will come as I         hair shaved off a couple of days before      the ones who do this kind of thing on an
               ally shy and cannot handle the media         get older and that’s where I want to be         I went into hospital, it was around the      everyday basis (e.g. on the red carpets of
               just answering yes or no, obviously ner-     when London comes along in 2012.”               time of Red Nose Day so I told Tom I         Hollywood or in a Parliament during a
               vous, and with a strong desire to evacu-          There he talked about the tough            was having my hair shaved for charity,       debate). “There’s a lot of work gone into it
               ate from the place as soon as possible.      moments he went through. “To think of all       and he believed that.” Mrs Daley said        back home,” he said. “That gives you con-
                   Not Daley. “When you talk to him and     the hard work that I’ve put into my diving,     that throughout his father’s illness Tom     fidence. It’s all the support system of
               ask him questions the answers come as        sacrificing all the parties that I could have   had never missed training. “He was           people who have helped me, my school
               though he’s 25 years of age and has          gone to and the stuff I could have done         doing it for his dad. He knew his dad        friends and the sacrifices I’ve made.
               been doing it for 10 years,” said Steve      with my friends. But it will all be worthw-      wanted him to carry on.”                    When you stand up there you know that
               Foley, the British performance director in   hile if I get to the Olympic Games,”                                                         you can do it. It’s a question of focusing
  82           LEN
WOMEN – Diving

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Masters degree…
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Wu Minxia, an artist of this sport

                 Used to be more
                 colourful – now
                 mostly red
                                                                                                            Chinese have become all the more
                                                                                                            invincible: their springboard specialists
                                                                                                            have won the last five Olympic Games,
                                                                                                            and in three cases out of the five, they
                                                                                                            also got the silver – as in Sydney and
                                                                                                                One could say it is lucky that there
                                                                                                            is also a 10-metre jump: that gives
                                                                                                            some colour to the Olympic history of
                                                                                                            women’s diving. American-Chinese
                                                                                                            leadership is found there too: the best
                                                                                                            from the States gave exquisite perfor-
                                                                                                            mances between 1924 and 1956, when
                                                                                                            they secured the silver medals along
                                                                                                                                                                  Did you know⁄?
                                                                                                            with the gold, and three times they took
                                                                                                            the bronze as well. In addition to the
                                                                                                            Swedish and Danish victories of that
                                                                                                                                                        …      that the diving championship of
                                                                                                                                                        1920 was held at a lake, the dark waters
                                    The picture of women’s      America performed fantastically in                                                                                                 where (to the Russian duet of Ilina and
                               diving is slightly more multi-   women’s diving between 1924 and             heroic age, later you can also find vic-    of which made many divers uncertain?       Pakhalina in 2000). Since then,
                                                                1956. In those times, both styles in the    tors from Germany, Czechoslovakia,          Alieen Riggin, the 14-year-old US cham-    Chinese ladies had a gold score of 5
                              coloured, although not much       Olympic programme had US champi-            Russia, and recently, Swedes too.           pion who won the 10-metre event later      out of 5 at the Melbourne World Cham-
                            more, than men’s – and lately a     ons, and no other nation could even get     Although the Chinese took over leader-      declared she had been afraid that after    pionships, and it is clear that China
                               clearer and clearer Chinese      medals in the 3-metre dive between          ship in Los Angeles, and found no one       her dives she would be stuck in the mud,   could well expect to succeed in Beijing
                            advantage has been observed.        1920 and 1948. 18 of the 18 medals          to overcome them at four successive         not to be found ever again…                with a feat it has never before been
                                                                were awarded to US divers in that peri-     Olympic Games, interestingly enough,
                                                                od. The first non-American to receive a     their representatives only received sil-
                                                                                                            ver medals at the last two Games, in
                                                                                                                                                        …     that the youngest ever champion
                                                                                                                                                        of Olympic history was a diver? Marjorie
                                                                                                                                                                                                   capable of doing: gathering all the gold
                                                                                                                                                                                                   medals for diving, men and women
                                                                medal was Madeleine Moreau of                                                                                                      alike. So far they missed one or two first
                                                                France, who got a silver medal in Mel-      Sydney and Athens. After the awesome        Gesting, winner of the first prize in      prizes each time, thus the Chinese bal-
                                                                bourne. The ice was broken in 1960          Fu Mingxia, others have dominated the       female springboard in 1936 became          ance back to 1988 looks as follows
                                                                when the first European, Ingrid Kramer      platform to a much smaller extent – thus    winner of the gold medal at the tender     (number of events/gold medals): Seoul:
                                                                of Germany won first prize in the 3-        we can find an American victory recall-     age of 13 years and 9 months.              4/2. Barcelona: 4/3. Atlanta: 4/3. Syd-
                                                                                                            ing the old times (Wilkinson in 2000),
                                                                metre dive. However, after defending
                                                                her title in ’64, the former order was      and the Australian school, growing ever     …      that the Olympic Games as a
                                                                                                                                                        media phenomena had not reached the
                                                                                                                                                                                                   ney: 8/5. Athens: 8/6. Just to make sure
                                                                                                                                                                                                   and dispell any doubts, they declared
                                                                restored with three more American vic-      stronger, also left some traces in the                                                 their goal on home turf would be to take
                                                                tories. After their Moscow absence,         pages of the history books (Newbury in      world back in the nineteen-fifties? When   all 8 gold medals.
                                                                American dominance was progressive-         2004).                                      one of the greatest champions of all
                                                                ly cut down. They still managed to get          The Chinese took three out of four      times, Patricia McCormick, who later
                                                                the silver and bronze in Los Angeles,       available gold medals in synchro diving     retired as a four-time Olympic winner
                                                                but since their third place in Seoul, one   at the two Olympic Games where these        and mother, returned from Helsinki hold-
                                                                cannot find another American woman          events were held, and won silver on the     ing two gold medals, all her neighbours
                                                                among medal winners. In contrast, the       other occasion when the gold went else-     asked her was where she had been                     Photo: Marcelo Del Pozo / REUTERS
                                                                                                                                                        spending her summer holidays…
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                 Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                            Magazine
                                                                                                                  Did you know⁄?
WOMEN – Diving

                                                                                                         …     that American Micki King, who
                                                                                                         was leading the competition after eight
                                                                                                                                                   …      that following her Munich victory,
                                                                                                                                                   American Micki King had to do a doping
                                                                                                         rounds in Mexico, broke her arm by hit-   test – and it took so long to get that over
                                                                                                         ting the plank during her ninth dive?     with that by the time she got back to the     Editorial bets
                                                                                                         Although she managed to finish her        Olympic Village, no one was up any
                                                                                                         series of dives, she ended up fourth –    more. As she started to slurp a glass of
                                                                                                         destiny then brought her the Olympic      hot chocolate, she was sighted by             WOMEN
                                                                                                         gold medal four years later.              Australian weightlifters passing by. She
                                                                                                                                                   was told that “a winner of an Olympic         3m springboard
                                                                                                                                                   gold medal cannot simply drink hot
                                                                                                                                                   chocolate”, they then celebrated her                         1. Guo JINGJING
                                                                                                                                                   victory with a bottle of wine.                               (CHN)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Wu MINXIA (CHN)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Tania CAGNOTTO

                                                                                                                                                                                                 10m platform

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Chen ROULIN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Wang XIN (CHN)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Christin STEUER

                            Did you know⁄?                                                                                                                                                       3 m synchro springboard

                 …      that the Czech diver Milena
                 Duchkova was offered the greatest of
                                                           …     that Ulrika Knape, the mother of
                                                           today’s Swedish star, Anna Lindberg,
                                                                                                                                                                                                 1. China
                                                                                                                                                                                                 2. Ukraine
                 celebrations by the audience in Mexico,   was an Olympic champion of the 10-
                 when she went on to precede the           metre dive in 1972?                                                                                                                   3. Russia
                 Russian Natalya Lobanova and win
                 gold in a contest surpassing all expec-   …       that Ingrid Kramer from Dresden,
                                                           Germany, participated in three Olympic                                                                                                10 m synchro platform
                 tations? The audience was on the one
                 hand celebrating the woman with the       Games, but always under a different
                 smaller stature, and on the other hand,   name? She won under her maiden                                                                                     (H)air-show…
                                                           name in 1960, then she defended her                                                                                                   1. Australia
                 they cheered Duchkova due to the                                                                                                              Russian hopes Yulia Pakhalina
                 1968 events in Czechoslovakia.            title in Tokyo as Ingrid Engel, and finally                                                                    and Vera Ilyina (L)    2. China
                                                           she placed fifth as Ingrid Gulbin in the 3-
                                                           metre dive in 1968.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 3. USA
                                                                                                                                                             Photo: Marcelo Del Pozo / REUTERS

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                 Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                    Magazine
                                                                                                                                                            somewhat monotonous results: gold                                                                    Photo: Wolfgang Rattay / REUTERS
WOMEN – Synchronised Swimming

                                                                                                                                                            and silver went to either American or
                                                                                                                                                            Canadian contestants (except for
                                                                                                                                                            Barcelona, where the International
                                                                                                                                                            Olympic Committee declared Sylvie
                                                                                                                                                            Fréchette as a co-gold winner along
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Did you know⁄?
                                                                                                                                                            with Kristen Babb-Sprague one year
                                                                                                                                                            after the show). Bronze was awarded to        …     that the father of the first Olympic
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Champion of this sports discipline,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       involved countries – the U.S. and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Canada – the results could have been
                                                                                                                                                            Japan at every race.

                                Russia might be                                                                                                                  The same thing happened with the         Tracie Ruiz, had a native Hawaiian father    the other way around.
                                                                                                                                                            Duet until the first break: Americans         and a Norwegian-German mother?
                                                                                                                                                            were winners in Los Angeles and
                                                                                                                                                            Canada took the gold in Seoul. The pair       …      that the referee at the Olympic
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Games in Seoul seemed so openly par-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       …      that it was two pairs of twins who
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       finished in first and second places at
                                                                                                                                                            event was cancelled after Barcelona,
                                                                                                                                                                                                          tial, pushing the cart of the Cameron-       the Barcelona Games? Sarah and

                                                                                                                                                            thus till then chronicles register two
                                                                                                                                                            American golds and a silver plus a            Waldo duet and was the only referee          Karen Josephson, unbeaten – since
                                                                                                                                                            Canadian gold and two silvers – along         who gave a better score for the perfor-      their disappointment at Seoul – through-
                                                                                                                                                            with the three Japanese bronze                mance of her compatriots than that of        out 15 championships, finally got to
                                                                                                                                                            medals. Sydney and Athens marked              the Josephson Sisters from America? If       stand at the top of the podium – which
                                                                                                                                                            the beginning of a new era. Ever since        it were not for leaving the highest and      was not only a compensation for them –
                                                                                                                                                            Russians began to take this genre seri-       the lowest figures out, rather than the      with the silver awarded to the Canadian
                                                                                                                                                            ously, building upon their fantastic artis-   values awarded by the referees of the        pair of twins Penny and Vicky Vilagos.
                                Similarly to springboard          Participants did their figures alone or in   lished in 2000 – one can win medals in
                                diving, synchronized swimming     pairs at the Los Angeles Olympic             teams or in pairs (while there is also       tic tradition in skating, it has been
                                                                  Games, and so it was in Seoul and            talk of adopting the ‘free routine combi-    impossible to bypass them. They won
                                was initially dominated by the    Barcelona as well. A contest of teams        nation’ as an Olympic event).                the couples’ contest both in 2000 and
                                U.S. – although the tendency of   was organised for the first time in 1996         The solo was stacked away in the         2004, and the team event as well:
                                only two Olympic Games can        – with both other events temporarily         cupboard of ‘discontinued events’            Japan only got as far as the silver
                                be evaluated, since the           erased as a result, solos maybe forever,     (together with other sports initially fea-   medal then. In Athens Canada falls sig-
                                discipline was only taken into    who knows? Duets, however, were              tured at the Olympic Games, such as          nificantly back compared to previous
                                                                  brought back after having been set           rugby or tug of war, not to mention ob-      years, and the U.S. is unable to keep         What a beauty!...
                                the programme in 1984.
                                                                  aside in Atlanta; thus the synchro pro-      stacle swimming). Solo medals have           pace with Russia. More Russian victo-         Natalia Ischenko and Co. are
                                                                  gramme known today was first estab-          thus been awarded three times, with          ries are forecast for Beijing, although       the favourites for both events
                                                                                                                                                            the impressive results of Spain at the
                                                                                                                                                            Eindhoven European Championships
                                                                                                                                                            signalled that the event may not be as
                                                                                                                                                            predictable as it was in earlier years.

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                                Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Magazine
                                                        Photo: REUTERS              Challengers…
WOMEN – Synchronised Swimming

                                                                             The Spanish outdid the
                                                                             Russians in Eindhoven

                                                                                                                                                                     Editorial bets


                                                                                                                                                                     1. Russia

                                                                                                                                                                     2. Japan

                                                                                                                                                                     3. Spain


                                                                                                                                                                     1. Russia

                                                                                                                                                                     2. Japan

                                                                                                                                                                     3. China

                                                  Home, sweet home…
                                                                                     Did you know⁄?
                                           Can the Chinese girls rely on
                                                       this advantage?
                                                                           …      that Canadian Sylvie Fréchette,
                                                                           previous World Champion arrived at the
                                                                                                                         ential Canadian member of the IOC
                                                                                                                         then lobbied all the way until the deci-
                                                                           Barcelona Olympic Games in a virtual          sion-makers finally gave in giving
                                                                           state of shock, since she had found her       Fréchette her gold medal – retroactively
                                                                           partner Sylvain Lake, a well-known TV         in October, 1993.
                                                                           sports newscaster dead in their shared
                                                                           home one week before the journey?             …     that one of the best synchro
                                                                                                                         swimmers of the new century, Olga
                                                                           The young man had been killed by car-
                                                                           bon monoxide poisoning – while                Brusnikina nearly lost her gold medal
                                                                           Fréchette was soon getting into the cen-      due to the inattentiveness of her part-
                                                                           tre of attention for an entirely different    ner? The Russian woman, who had
                                                                           reason…                                       been doing wonders in solo synchro
                                                                                                                         swimming for years already, could now
                                                                           …      that one of the most controversial
                                                                           Olympic events in history was the solo
                                                                                                                         only show her skills in a pair due to the
                                                                                                                         change in the programme. Although she
                                                                           synchro swim contest in 1992? During          won the 2000 European Champion-
                                                                           the obligatory exercises, the two favou-      ships with Natalia Kisselieva as partner,
                                                                           rites, American Kirsten Babb-Sprague          the second girl was proved to have used     Sisters of style…
                                                                           and Canadian Sylvie Fréchette had quite       ephedrine and their results were thus       Japan’s Saya and Maya
                                                                           a clash, since Brazilian judge Maria de       disqualified. Had Kisselieva been           Kimura can win a medal
                                                                           Silveira awarded 8.7 to the Canadian          banned for the standard three months,       in Beijing
                                                                           girl. She wanted to signal that she had       they could not have gone to Sydney
                                                                           pushed the wrong button, but the              together. The Russian Olympic Alliance,
                                                                           Japanese assistant referee did not            however, was satisfied with a one-
                                                                           understand her, so by the time Ameri-         month ban – and their duet gave an
                                                                           can chief referee Judith McGowan              unforgettable performance, receiving 10
                                                                           received Silveira’s signal, the results       points from most referees and winning
                                                                           had already been displayed on the big         the 2000 Olympic gold.
                                                                           signboard, and therefore could no
                                                                           longer be altered according to the rules.     …      that two months before the
                                                                                                                         Sydney Olympic Games, Guy Drut, the
                                                                           Canadian and U.S. versions differ as to
                                                                           what really happened – but everyone           Sports Minister of France – 110-metre
                                                                           agrees on one thing: if Fréchette had         hurdles champion in 1976 – vetoed the
                                                                           received 9.4 on the first day, she could      synchro team’s choreography, which
                                                                           have been the Olympic Winner, while           was supposed to portray the last hours
                                                                           this way – no matter how well she did in      of a Jewish woman in a Nazi concentra-
                                                                           her first free solo – she could only finish   tion camp?
                                                                           second. However, Dick Pound, an influ-

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                                Magazine                                                                                                                                                      Magazine
WOMEN – Synchronised Swimming

                                                                                                                       Obviously, because it was problably my       Men yes, men no. You have compet-              the same goal with the same passion            Your future. TV commentator, coach,
                                                                                                                       last European Championships. To win               ed with Bill May, USA synchro             for synchro.                                        fashion designer. This, if you
                                                                                                                       the solo with all my rivals present and to        male former star; do you think             Google has 290.000 items regarding                 want, is a paved way. Would you
                                                                                                                       achieve the best European swimmer                 men should have space in FINA                  Gemma Mengual. You are, most                   prefer, instead, to become a
                                                                                                                       award, make this competition unforget-            synchro events, at least in a                  probably, the most important and               mountain climber, a lawyer, a
                                                                                                                       table.                                            mixed duet?                                    one the best Spanish female ath-               desert explorer, somebody very
                                                                                                                       How many rooms have you filled up            That would be interesting because I                 letes ever. Is it a pleasure to be             far from swimming pools?
                                                                                                                           to now, with your trophies? Do           believe that synchro, as all other sports,          considered so or is it a heavy            For now my mind is set on the Olympics.
                                                                                                                           you think you will need another          needs to progress and innovate. That’s              burden to carry, when it comes to         After that I will decide what to do.

                                Gemmology                                                                                  one soon?
                                                                                                                       I have them all in one room, and I still
                                                                                                                       have space for a few more…
                                                                                                                       Zapatero has become famous for
                                                                                                                           allowing different kinds of mar-
                                                                                                                           riages and to implement the ex-
                                                                                                                                                                    part of what sport is.
                                                                                                                                                                    Eight hours a day, a lot of swimming,
                                                                                                                                                                         gymnastics, acrobatics, gym and,
                                                                                                                                                                         of course, at least four hours a
                                                                                                                                                                         day of synchro. This seems to be
                                                                                                                                                                         a very hard but easy recipe to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        private life, gossip, paparazzi and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        similar nuisances?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   For me it’s an honour to be considered
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   one of the best Spanish athletes and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   specially representing a sport like syn-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   chro that is not as well known as others.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Let’s close with a panoramic view of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       synchro: Is Solo really synchro?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Or is its main task to provide
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       young girls an example to fol-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The importance of the solo in synchro is
                                Eindhoven, although a pleasant                 But it is a very curious coincidence.       tended family, among other things.            build a great athlete. What is not        Regarding all the rest, it’s a part of my      that it shows the best of each swimmer
                                city, is not one of the most              Or, maybe, she has a passion for shiny           Is this why you feel free to have             written here that you must add in         life and I assume it and live it as some-      from a technical and artistic point of
                                                                          glittering things, like water drops in the       two different duet partners, And-             order to become a real champi-            thing normal.                                  view.
                                important places in the World.            sun...                                                                                         on? At least, what is your person-        What is your dearest memory of the             Duet: Is it better to have 24 duets and
                                But for somebody it is a                                                                                                                 al recipe.                                     past synchro years?                            8 teams at the Olympics or 10
                                very,very special location.               Gemma, let’s start from here: Why                                                         It’s true that we train a lot but the really   What remains are all the triumphs and               duets, 10 teams and 10 combos?
                                Four Gold medals plus the                     Gemmology?                                                                            important thing is to not lose your moti-      the progress of Spanish synchro on the         I think there should be the 8 best
                                Trophy for the best nation is the         Because since I was a child I’ve always                                                   vation, your hopes, and to enjoy what          international scene.                           soloists, 12 duets, 12 teams and 10
                                                                          liked stones and minerals.                                                                you do because that is what makes you          Are you always yourself or do you              combos. Although I wish everyone
                                maximum that a European
                                                                          Four Golds plus the Athlete of the                                                        succeed.                                            sometimes feel that you have to           could participate.
                                synchro swimmer can aim at in                 Year award. Does Eindhoven have                                                       Most synchro girls stop around 21 or                behave as the “official” Gemma?           Team: how difficult is it to pull your
                                a continental competition.                    a special place in your heart?                                                             22 years old, just after having           I am normally myself in all circum-                 “handbrake” in order to go as slow
                                For Gemma Mengual it was                                                                                                                 taken part in a big international         stances but I never lose sight of what I            as the slowest teammate? Not all
                                not enough. She had to go up                                                                                                             competition (Olympics or World            represent to many people.                           soloists seem to cope well with it.
                                the podium once again to                                                                                                                 Champs). You are 31 and very              I: How difficult is it to be the “example      Being a team competition, the thing is
                                                                                                                                                                         successful. With still another two             to be followed” for thousands of          to bring out the best of each of the eight
                                receive the LEN Athlete of the                                                                                                           years (you’ve said that you may                Spanish (and even foreign) girls?         swimmers adapting to each of their lev-
                                Year 2007 prize.                                                                                                                         retire after Rome 2009) or more of        It’s always a responsibility but deep inside   els.
                                Gemma left the Netherlands                                                                                                               high level synchro in you. What           I only think of being better each day just     Combo: through the feedback you
                                needing a trolley and with plans                                                                                                         does it take to become a long             like all high-level athletes because we             receive from the spectators, do
                                to build an extra room for her                                                                                                           lasting athlete in synchro?               know we are an example for thousands.               you think that combo is the most
                                                                                                                                                                    I am lucky to practice a sport that fulfills   08/08/08, at 8.08 p.m. That’s the open-             popular specialty?
                                new trophies.
                                                                                                                                                                    and completely satisfies me. Everyone               ing time of the Beijing Olympics.         Yes, obviously the combo and team
                                During the flight back to                                                                                                           around me, the triumphs, and the fact               It looks like the Chinese believe in      events are the most spectacular for
                                Barcelona, her home town                                                                                                            that this sport sustains me make my                 good luck. Have you got your              spectators because of the playful chore-
                                and operational base                                                                                                                hopes and dreams remain intact                      own talisman? A particular nose           ographics, and today’s routines reach
                                of the Spanish Synchro                                                                                                              regarding competing and being better                clip, a swimsuit with red bands, a        the viewers much easier than before.
                                team, she was thinking                                                                                                              each day. This last phase, where I feel             t-shirt, or a teddy bear?                 Synchro is still an elite sport.
                                                                                                                                                                    I’ve reached a higher level of personal        I have no lucky charms. My confidence               According to you, what could be
                                hard on where to find                                                                       rea Fuentes and Paola Tirados?          and professional maturity in my athletic       in the competition comes from my own                the way to widen the base?
                                a spot for her latest                                                                       How do you reconcile this with          career and the many moments of suc-            self-confidence which I achieve by             Explaining to young swimmers the pos-
                                achievements.                                                                               the idea that the tightest relation-    cess, it all makes me enjoy what I do in       training at 100% all year round.               itive aspects of such a complete and
                                                                                                                            ship in synchro is that linking the
                                Thirteen World Championship                                                                                                         a different way.                               Back to business. You design your              creative sport.
                                                                                                                            duet girls?
                                medals, sixteen European ones                                                          Compatibility is definitely very important
                                                                                                                                                                    You live in a World composed almost                 own costumes and now you have              Very, very last one, the most obvious
                                                                                                                                                                         completely by women. Do you and                begun to do the same for others,               of all the questions. I can sum-
                                and, keeping her fingers                                                               for the duet both in and out of the water,        your teammates feel that, some-                launching your own line. A future              marize it in one word: Beijing?
                                crossed, the space reserved for                                                        but the most important aspect is to work          times, for technical or psychologi-            as a fashion designer? Or is it           Our goal is to win a medal in each event
                                something from Beijing.                                                                and do your best for the team.                    cal reasons, a man should fit into             just a “divertissement”?                  giving the best of us and enjoying a com-
                                                                                                                                                                         the frame of the team’s life?             For now it’s just a hobby but I would like     petition like this, the Olympic Games
                                One of the most famous swimming liv-                                                                                                Why not? It’s not a question of gender,        to create my own line of swimwear in           where all teams will be at their best.
                                ing legends, Vladimir Salnikov, had the                                                                                             it’s about working with professionals          the near future.
                                privilege to graduate at the St.Peters-                                                                                             whether they’re men or women.                  How important is it to receive a good                                by GIORGIO
                                burg (back then Leningrad) Physical                                                                                                 Gemma Mengual and Anna Tarrés:                      economic reward for your                                        SCALA
                                Education University with a study on                                                                                                     most probably both of you would-               efforts? Is it more important than                              LEN Office
                                himself and his training methods.                                                                                                        n’t be there should you not have               a guaranteed future career?                                     Project Manager
                                    Gemma Mengual, more modestly,                                                                                                        met each other. What are the              What is important is to feel satisfied and
                                has earned a diploma in gemmology.                                                                                                       strangest or most curious aspects         rewarded by what you do. Then if there
                                No misunderstanding there. Everybody                                                                                                     of this athlete/coach relationship?       is an economic reward, that’s obviously
                                (including Gemma herself, of course)                                                                                                I’ve had the luck of sharing my whole          better. You must always consider the
                                knows that it’s the science of studying                                                                                             career with Anna and to have the same          future and if you can study and get a
                                precious stones.                                                                                                                    dreams. We’ve worked together toward           career, all the better.
     92                         LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 LEN        93
                                Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Magazine
Open Water Swimming

                      First time – and
                      again                                       considered to show a very realistic pic-
                                                                  ture of sportsmen’s capabilities. Soon
                                                                  after, swimmers contested in normally
                                                                  measured races, in pools.
                                                                       You could perhaps even see a nicer
                                                                  sight back in 1900: the 200 metre ‘obsta-
                      The swimming genre called                   cle swimming’ race started with swim-
                                                                  mers first having to climb a pole, then
                      ‘open water’ will have its official         cross a row of boats, and finally swim
                      debut in Beijing. In the Olympic            underneath another row of boats – per-
                      programme, the 10 kilometre                 haps only the underwater swimmers’
                      swim for men and women is                   championships could have been more
                      entitled ‘marathon swimming.’               entertaining than that, where 2 points
                                                                  were awarded for each metre and one
                      If you turn a few pages back in
                                                                  more for each second spent underwater.
                      the history books, however, you                  So much for previous examples of
                      will find that open water races             open water swimming... The introductory
                      were organized in the good old              event looks very promising, even though
                      days as well – although the                 the first Olympic Championships cannot
                      distances did not quite measure             be considered a real ‘open water’ event
                                                                  in the classical sense, since swimmers in
                      up to today’s lengths.                      the debuting genre will actually fight for
                                                                  their medals in ‘closed waters.’
                      Swimmers defied the ice-cold waters of
                                                                       In contrast to the natural waters one
                      the Zea Bay in Athens for the first
                                                                  usually sees – and specially to marine
                      Olympic prize. Alfred Hajós, winner of
                                                                  sites demanding extreme steadfastness
                      the 1,200 metre race, confessed having
                                                                  (just recall the waves and the jelly-fish of
                      feared death as he was starting out
                                                                  the Melbourne Championships), in
                      among the giant waves towards the bay
                                                                  Beijing the best and the brightest will
                      from the open sea. Back then, the                                                                                                                         Editorial bets
                                                                  compete in a man-made lake created for
                      guarding ships were somewhat less
                                                                  the rowing, kayak and canoe champion-
                      disciplined than in today’s champion-
                                                                  ships.                                                                                                        OPEN WATER 10 km
                      ships: in those days, all ships departed
                      just as the swimmers started their
                                                                                                                                                              Men                          Women
                      races, since those sitting on board
                      wanted to be in the best position to
                      watch the arrivals at the home stretch.                                                                                                       1. Vladimir DYATCHIN           1. Larissa ILCHENKO
                          Four years later, in Paris, unusually                                                                                                     (RUS)                          (RUS)
                      fast results showed what swimmers can
                      do if they swim with a favourable cur-
                      rent. The championships organized in
                      the River Seine therefore cannot be
                                                                                                                                                                    2. Thomas LURZ                 2. Angela MAURER
                                                                                                                                                                    (GER)                          (GER)

                                                                                                                 Tiring business…
                                                                                                                 Swimmers will face tough conditions in the         3. David DAVIES                3. Cassandra
                                                                                                                 Olympics                                           (GBR)                          PATTEN (GBR)

                                                                                                                 Photo: REUTERS

   94                 LEN                                                                                                                                                                                          LEN       95
                      Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                    Magazine
Open Water Swimming

                      The story of                       Thomas Lurz
                      Ask any passer-by in a major            “It was tough”, Lurz said, after                            on a cycling tour in the Rhön area in

                                                                                                        Photos: REUTERS
                      German city, other than            claiming his latest title. But for the lead-                     August 2007. Örjan Madsen was con-
                                                         ing athlete among the current stars of                           cerned about whether Thomas Lurz, who
                      Würzburg, whether they have
                                                         open-water swimming, this kind of                                is coached by his brother Stefan and
                      heard of Thomas Lurz, and the      toughness is nothing unusual. Anyone                             trains alongside his sister-in-law Annika
                      answer is likely to be the same:   who, day after day, dives into the pool of                       Lurz (second in the Melbourne world
                      “Thomas who? Lurz? Never           the Wolfgang Adami Baths in Würzburg                             championships of 2007 over 200m
                      heard of him.” Yet Lurz is         and “counts tiles”, must be a hard nut to                        freestyle), would overcome this blow
                      currently one of the most          crack, and he keeps forcing himself to                           dealt by fate. After all Peter Lurz had
                                                         overcome all obstacles and torture him-                          been his son’s mentor, had backed him
                      successful German sportsmen.       self, covering thousands of kilometres a                         and taken care of everything, allowing
                      When, at the beginning of May,     year in the water in order to be success-                        Thomas to focus on achieving even
                      the swimmer punched the air in     ful, as the social education worker from                         more. “He has drawn greater power from
                      celebration at the Open Water      Gerbrunn, in the Frankish region of                              this tragic event”, said the Norwegian
                      World Championships, held on       Bavaria, definitely is.                                          sports scientist, of his medal hope.
                                                              “If you want to be fast, more than any-                          Thomas Lurz, winner of the “LEN
                      the Guadalquivir River, Seville,
                                                         thing else, you have to swim a lot” - the                        Award” for open-water swimming in
                      he had just achieved a great       statement comes from Germany’s head                              2007, has a tattoo on the inner side of his
                      feat over 5 km – he had            coach, Örjan Madsen. Lurz swims a lot,                           left biceps, with his father’s date of birth –
                      become world champion for the      swims fast and, as one of the Olympic                            03.05.1946 – in order to commemorate
                      sixth time in his career.          contingent, he is a gold medal prospect                          his Dad. He wants to remember, to show
                                                         in the debut for the 10km event in the                           his gratitude and take motivation from the
                                                         open-water competition in China. “I’m                            fact that his father, through this indelible
                                                         looking forward to Beijing”, Thomas Lurz                         reminder stuck on Thomas Lurz’ body, is
                                                         said, after his sixth World Championship                         always there, swimming alongside him,
                                                         gold. He has already qualified once for                          as well as in his mind. “Nobody would
                                                         the great event, but in 2004 in Athens,                          have taken greater pleasure in my World
                                                         swimming indoors, he only ranked 22nd                            Championship success than him”, said
                                                         in the 1,500m freestyle. His third place                         the son, after his triumph in Seville. This                                                                                                        Christa Thiel, President of the
                                                         over 10km in Seville earned him the right                        sixth gold puts him ahead of Hannah                                                                                                            German Swimming Federation, be-
                                                         to take part in the Olympics.                                    Stockbauer, who was world champion a                  Örjan Madsen, who will be leaving        Lucky thirteen... Thomas Lurz had a great       lieves Lurz is the outstanding protago-
                                                              It was doubtful as to whether Thomas                        total of five times in 2001 and 2003, at         his post at the DSV after the Olympics,       World Championship in Melbourne - can he        nist in his sport. In March, when he was
                                                         Lurz could or would enjoy his second                             Fukuoka and Barcelona, as the most               believes Lurz is one of those “who will       get the coronation of his fantastic career in   to receive the “LEN Award” in Eind-
                                                         participation in the Olympics. His father                        successful German world championship             swim for gold at the Beijing Games”.          Beijing?                                        hoven, the athlete got in his car and
                                                         Peter Lurz, President of the famous club,                        swimmer in history. Michael Gross,               Because Lurz fulfils the demands made                                                         drove some 500 km north, and even
                                                         SV Würzburg 05, and Open-Water Re-                               Roland Matthes and Kristin Otto can’t get        on German athletes by the Norwegian,                                                          completed a training session, was cele-
                                                         presentative for DSV (German Swim-                               close to the outstanding Lurz balance            when he first took over as successor to       in 2002, Lurz won medals at major               brated by the LEN family - and turned
                                                         ming Federation), suffered a heart attack                        sheet.                                           Ralf Beckmann in March 2006: to be            events for the first time: third in the         back towards Würzburg - this is the pro-
                                                                                                                                                                           world class in all areas. “Look at him,       World Championships and second in               fessional approach, which means
                                                                                                                                                                           learn from him” - Madsen advises those        the Europeans, both over 5km. This like-        Thomas Lurz is capable of winning the
                                                                                                                                                                           who are not yet a shining example in          able young man’s climb up the sporting          10km swimming event, making its
                                                                                                                                                                           the same ways as Lurz.                        ladder became quicker and quicker. The          Olympic debut in August in Beijing. This
                                                                                                                                                                                Born in Wurzburg on 28 November          fact that he would be “sportsman of the         would be a coronation for him. And no
                                                                                                                                                                           1979, Linz is considered highly ambi-         year” in Würzburg was the logical con-          doubt he would dedicate the medal to
                                                                                                                                                                           tious and professional in his approach to     clusion to the swimmer’s great interna-         his father.
                                                                                                                                                                           all that he tackles. Tough on himself, and    tional performances. He was awarded
                                                                                                                                                                           rarely completely satisfied. Privately, he    the title of “World Swimmer of the Year”                             DIETMAR
                                                                                                                                                                           is totally relaxed, and in dealing with the   by the US specialist journal “Swimming                               FUCHS
                                                                                                                                                                           media representatives extremely friend-       World” in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The fact                              swimming writer
                                                                                                                                                                           ly, though rather restrained – not exact-     that, despite all the awards, he is not                              dpa
                                                                                                                                                                           ly a “windbag”. Humorous and likeable         one of the leading earners among
                                                                                                                                                                           in dealing with people, usually with a        German sports stars, is a reality which
                                                                                                                                                                           mischievous smile on his face...              Thomas Lurz has to face. In any case, a
                                                                                                                                                                                He came to national attention in         personally signed letter from German
                                                                                                                                                                           1998, by claiming the title of German         Chancellor Angela Merkel has more
                                                                                                                                                                           champion over 1500m freestyle. Then,          permanent and idealistic value.
   96                 LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 LEN       97
                      Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Magazine
                                                                                                                              Ever since 1928, 80 years ago, the cor-     only their college teams participated    profess an Olympic victory. That was
MEN – Water Polo

                                                                                                                              rect way to ask who wins the men’s          back then, so all three medals were      the last time the gold medal was not for
                                                                                                                              water polo tournament – as in swim-         won by their teams. These gold medals    one of the traditional major powers.
                                                                                                                              ming and the US, springboard diving         should all the more be appreciated by    Hungary took the Olympic champi-
                                                                                                                              and the Chinese, synchro swimming           the overseas teams because this was      onship for the first time in 1932, and
                                                                                                                              and the Russians – is whether Hungary       the only time they could win against     repeated victory four years later. At that
                                                                                                                              wins or someone else? You could say         teams from Europe, who have won all      time, all the Hungarians had to concen-
                                                                                                                              Hungary to water polo is like Brazil to     other gold medals.                       trate on was the German team. A new
                                                                                                                              soccer, the US to basketball, Canada to         British supremacy ended at the       era begun after World War 2. That is
                                                                                                                              ice hockey, or India to field hockey: the   1924 Olympic Games of Paris with a       when the lines known today in this dis-

                                  Bets                                               Basically, the history of men’s
                                                                                        Olympic water polo can be
                                                                                     divided into two eras, with the
                                                                                   dividing line being World War 2.
                                                                                       The dominant teams before
                                                                                                                              national team that cannot be disregard-
                                                                                                                              ed at any Olympic Games.
                                                                                                                                  Water polo was initially dominated
                                                                                                                              by the British who invented it. Debuting
                                                                                                                              at the 1900 Olympic Games, it was the
                                                                                                                              earliest of team sports to be introduced
                                                                                                                                                                          legendary match versus Hungary, but
                                                                                                                                                                          where the water polo gold medal was
                                                                                                                                                                          finally awarded to the French hosts.
                                                                                                                                                                          Four years later everyone expected the
                                                                                                                                                                          team from Hungary – already European
                                                                                                                                                                          champions – to win, however, the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   cipline were drawn: Hungary rules and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   is followed by Russia and the Southern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Slavic nations (Yugoslavia until 1990,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   then Croatia and Serbia, first together,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   then separately), with Italy sometimes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   adding flavour to the final row. Then,

                          without Risk                                                and after were very different,          in the Olympic programme, but the US        German team managed to subdue            from the late eighties, Spain joined as
                                                                                                                              soon took the gold medal in 1904.           them during the extra time with great    the fifth powerhouse (with Greece also
                                                                                              with the only common
                                                                                                                              Maybe it was not that difficult, since      persistence: thus Germany can also       deserving a mention here lately, even
                                                                                   denominator being the national
                                                                                                   team of Hungary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Hopeless tries?...

                          Europeans at the top                                                                                                                                                                     Croatians ruled the World in Melbourne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   (here Damir Buric guards
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Italy’s Fabio Bencivenga)

                                              Did you know⁄?
                                   …     that the British decided to hold
                                   back a little when shooting goals, so as
                                                                                   the Army had to rescue the British, who
                                                                                   had achieved their third successive win,
                                   to avoid beating all of their four oppo-        from a ring of furious Belgian sports
                                   nents to pulp during the finals of the first-   fans?
                                   ever appearance of Olympic water polo?

                                   …     that certain historians do not
                                                                                   …      that the water polo final of the
                                                                                   Paris Games so excited French sports
                                   recognise the St. Louis water polo tour-        fans, that – although the fans were glad
                                   nament of 1904 as a genuine event,              to see their own team win – they
                                   since it only had American college and          demanded the playing of the Belgian
                                   university teams competing?                     hymn as well after the Marseillaise due
                                                                                   to the winning team?
                                   …    that following the finals of the
                                   Olympic Games in Antwerp (Belgium),                                                                                                                                                        Photo: László T. Balogh / REUTERS

   98              LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 LEN        99
                   Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Magazine
MEN – Water Polo

                              though the Greeks have never man-             ing the boycotted ’84 Olympic Games,         1992 (after winning gold medals with        Editorial bets
                              aged to reach the first prize in men’s        Hungary was not among the medal win-         the Yugoslavian team, Ratko Rudic now
                              water polo).                                  ners for the first time in 1988 (after 60    had a third bath, this time being thrown
                                  The Italian team occasionally man-        years), this was repeated in 1992, then      into the pool by the Italians). The gold    Men
                              aged to break the continuing race             again in 1996.                               went to Spain in 1996. The former ‘order’
                              between the three big teams: Hungary,             The balance of major powers was          was restored with the new millennium,       1. Hungary
                              the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. No           redrawn in the eighties: American water      when a very strong set of Hungarian
                              wonder: their 1948 and 1960 victories         polo began to approach the top, though       players came on stage, winning first        2. Croatia
                              happened under the direction of a             they could not break through the             prize both in Sydney and Athens, leav-
                              Hungarian coach (Endre Zolyomi),              Yugoslavian wall in Los Angeles nor in       ing the other two medals to the duet of     3. Serbia
                              while Italy’s 1992 Settebello win was         Seoul. The nineties brought about a          Yugoslavians and Russians, as was tra-
                              coached by a Croatian (Ratko Rudic).          Latin era, with Italy reaching the top in    ditional.
                                                                                                                                                                     Last call... Vlado Vujasinovic
                              The nineteen-fifties strengthened Hun-
                                                                                                                                                                     and his Serbian teammates
                              garian dominance, though the pre-war
                                                                                                                                                                     are eager to win the gold
                              series of victories – when the team from
                                                                                                                                                                     medal after grabbing the
                              Hungary remained unbeaten in 110
                              matches (between 1928 and 1939) –                Did you know⁄?                                                                        bronze and then the silver on
                                                                                                                                                                     the last two occasions
                              was never to be seen again. Hungary
                              won all the significant championships
                              between 1952 and 1964 except the
                                                                            …     that the young Hungarian team
                                                                            forced the British defenders of the
                              Olympic Games of Rome in 1960, when
                                                                            championship-title to yield at the 1924
                              their tactics were messed up a little dur-
                                                                            Games during a match of a marathon
                              ing their match against Italy. The rule
                                                                            length never seen before? Since there
                              changes in the late sixties favoured the
                                                                            were no rules that told what to do in the
                              strategies preferred by the teams from
                                                                            case of a tie, following the score of 4:4,
                              Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. It is
                                                                            the two opposing teams were obliged to
                              no wonder that Yugoslavia won first
                                                                            play two full halves – which means they
                              prize in 1968 and that the Soviets
                                                                            had to play for the same amount of time
                              reached the top four years later. Hun-
                                                                            as what the entire match took before.
                              gary struck back in 1976, but then a
                                                                            Since the new score was a tie again,
                              hitherto unknown recess of gold
                                                                            another ten minutes were added twice.
                              medals followed for 24 years: not count-
                                                                            You can appreciate all the more how
                                                                            deadly that must have been since no
                                                                            replacement of players was allowed
                                                                            back in those days! However, the winner
                                                                            was still not declared after six halves of
                                                                            ten minutes each, thus – after the dead-
                                                                            tired members of the two teams gath-
                                                                            ered for a shot together by the photog-
                                                                            raphers – another attack was to follow,
                                                                            wherein Hungarians, slightly less tired,
                                                                            shot their decisive goal. The next day,
                                                                            naturally, they were absolutely exhaust-
                                                                            ed, and closed in fifth place in the end.

                                        Biting for success... Water polo
                                        players are surely among the
                                        the toughest athletes of the
                                        World. Now they will fight in the
                                        toughest competition of all: at
                                        the Olympics

100                LEN                                                                                                                            Photo: REUTERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                       LEN       101
                   Magazine                                                                                                                                                                           Magazine
                                                                                                                            Did you know⁄?
                                                                    To a certain extent it is strange that the
WOMEN – Water Polo

                                                                    women’s category of the team discipline
                                                                    with the longest history on the Olympic
                                                                                                                  …     that when women’s water polo
                                                                                                                  was introduced in 2000, both the US
                                                                                                                                                               …      that little prevented the women’s
                                                                                                                                                               host crew from winning in Athens as
                                                                    Programme, continuously active since          and the Australian team managed to           well? The Greek team was passing the
                                                                    the year 1900, was the last to be given       turn the tide in the semi-finals starting    ball having more players in the last
                                                                    the green light by the IOC to participate
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Editorial bets
                                                                                                                  from a loss of two goals – one against       twenty seconds, however, they did not
                                                                    in the Olympics thanks to different initi-    Russia, the other against Holland?           manage to score a goal after the tie –
                                                                    atives of emancipation. Actually, the first   Australia won the first gold medal in his-   and World champion Italy proved better     Women
                                                                    women’s match was held 100 years              tory with a last goal slipped in while the   in the extra time.

                     Sweet home                                     after the first men’s encounter. (Just for
                                                                    the sake of comparison the situation is
                                                                    the following as far as the other team
                                                                    sports are concerned: basketball 1936-
                                                                    1976, 40 years; field hockey 1908-1980,
                                                                    82 years; football: 1900-1996, 96 years;
                                                                                                                  horn was already being blown.

                                                                                                                  harsh struggle for success, while the
                                                                                                                  Italians prevailed over the Greeks in the
                                                                                                                  extra time in 2004.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. USA

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Italy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Australia

                                                                    handball: 1936-1976, 40 years. In vol-             We wonder whether Europe or the
                                                                    leyball, both men and women made              two overseas superpowers will play the
                                                                    their debut in the same year: 1964).          main role at this so-called ’neutral’
                                                                        On both occasions the ladies have         venue: the latter were the two conten-
                                                                    battled for the podium places in extre-       ders of the world championship final in
                                                                    mely exciting matches, being worthy of        Melbourne, a fact which cannot pass
                                                                    our trust. The fantastic atmosphere of        unnoticed. Undoubtedly, it is also inter-
                                                                    the finals both in Sydney and Athens          esting that in 2007 the Chinese junior
                                                                    where the hosts were deeply involved is       national team took part in the world
                                                                    to be emphasized. The year 2000 bro-          championship final – can we expect the
                                                                    ught the success of the Australians           hosts to be present in the final for the
                                                                    (over the Americans) thanks to their          third consecutive time?

                     Battle of continents... Unlike in the men’s
                     event, the female representatives of three
                     continents have a strong chance of grab-
                     bing the Olympic title. Here Italy’s Teresa
                     Frassinetti (L) fights for the ball with New
                     Zealand’s Amy Logan (note: the NZ ladies
                     will miss the Olympic tournament)                                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Nir Elias / REUTERS

102                  LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                   LEN        103
                     Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                           Magazine
      WAT E R P O L O
                                                                                                                                                reances in Beijing in the Olympic       OK, we have Croatia, too, and many              new Vujasinovic or the new Kasas – with
                                                                                                                                                program?                                people talk about Montenegro. We’ll see.        all respect towards these players.
                                                                                                                                           I don’t know. We’ve seen some kind of        Can Spain win at home? In the past              Any chance to have the same strong
                                                                                             Manuel Estiarte hopes to see                  progress in the past years. Progress in          you couldn’t do that though                      team in Pescara (where you lived
                                                                                                                                           violence, static games, tougher than             Spain hosted World Champion-                     for decades) that you had in the

                                                                                             a better water polo in the                    ever. What’s next? Where is this sport           ships in 1986 and 2003, Olympic                  nineties?
                                                                                             European Championships                        going? What is the last stage?                   Games in 1992 and European                  Well, here in Italy you must meet the
                                                                                             and in the Olympics                           Well, I know, many persons love the              Champs in 1997. But all your tri-           right sponsor at the right time. We had
                                                                                                                                           game of today, but they belong to the few        umphs came in other cities.                 this from 1984 to 2000. The key players
                                                                                                                                           great nations. Hungarians, Serbians,             Atlanta, Perth, Fukuoka…                    settled with their families in the town,
                                                                                                                                           Croatians, Spanish, Italians… They will      Well, I don’t believe in these theories…        Calcaterra, Attolico, me – you had Po-

      play in Malaga!                                                                        the games, to see who would win,
                                                                                             Italians, Croatians or Hungarians… But
                                                                                             the game itself did not make me
                                                                                             happy… I saw the most talented players
                                                                                                                                           tell you, the game is developing and the
                                                                                                                                           crowds are enjoying it. That is the mis-
                                                                                                                                           take. This kind of approach results in a
                                                                                                                                           false image. Water polo is for the whole
                                                                                                                                                                                        In Barcelona, back in ’92 we played a
                                                                                                                                                                                        perfect final but only one could get the
                                                                                                                                                                                        gold medal. Spain has a good team fea-
                                                                                                                                                                                        turing three great players, Perez, Molina
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        milio… But those wonderful years came
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        to an end… Currently Pescara plays in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the third division and I can hardly see
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the team returning to the top of Europe.
                                                                                             again, Kasas, Benedek, Vujasinovic…           World, not only for six or seven nations.    and Perrone and many other talented             So we shouldn’t wait for the moment
                                                                                             But they differ from the ones who were        We should think towards the rest of the      ones. They have a good option with the               when Presidente Estiarte lifts the
      The toughest test before the            We talked a year ago after the Mel-            the stars 10-20 years ago. Kasas is           World as well. More and more nations         enthusiastic crowd behind them.                      Euroleague-trophy with his play-
                                                                                             surely among the greatest ones, but I         should say: if we play against Hungary       Do you see any new Estiarte coming                   ers?
      Olympic Games will be held in               bourne World Championships
                                                                                             prefer the Kasas of the 1996 and 2000         we have a chance to win. Today only              up? With the same skills and the            No, no way, I have other priorities… But
      Malaga: the strongest                       when you painted a rather dark
                                                  picture of the current game. Any           Olympics, not this one. Well, it is not his   five or six can do this. Or even less.           same brain coded for water polo?            anyway, see everybody in Malaga!
      contenders for the Beijing title                                                                                                     What do you expect from the Euro-            No, and I don’t like to talk about any new
                                                  improvement since then?                    fault, but as of today, he can make one
      will play in the European                                                                                                                                                         one. The game is different. When I star-
                                              Maybe I’m not the ideal one to give the        great action in three games. Years befo-           pean Championships and the                                                                                      By GERGELY
      Championships. What can we              right answers since I don’t follow the         re he had three in one game…                       Olympics?                               ted we had Szivos, Farago, De Magistris,                                CSURKA
      expect from the Summer’s                sport constantly. I saw the World Cham-        So your kids are still not going to           Well, one month before the Games the         later Milanovic, then a new generation in                               LEN Magazine
      greatest events? We turned to           pionships in Australia, I saw a few games           water polo training…                     teams will not peak in Malaga, everyone      the nineties and now we have Kasas,                                     editor
      the greatest to get the answers:        of the Italian league and watched the          No, surely not. Maybe I can change my         is thinking about the Olympics. But when     Vujasinovic. Well, my game was close to
      Manuel Estiarte, Spain’s Olympic        Final Four in Barcelona under the rain.        point-of-view after Malaga or Beijing and     they arrive to the venue and the players     Farago’s, of course, not considering the
      and World Champion player               That should be enough for you…                 say water polo is better, but…                hit the water they will want to win. So we   measures as he was 2m tall… But you
      who is the only one in                  Well, I can’t say anything different. I        You are a member of the IOC. Do you           can expect some exciting games. Two or       had ideas, tried to show some beauty,
      history who took part in six            don’t like this kind of water polo. You felt        think water polo is in danger and        three teams can go for the gold medal:       scored great goals… Now it’s impossible
      Olympics.                               emotions only towards the outcome of                making one of its last appe-             Hungary and Serbia, and maybe Spain.         to do the same. Now you might talk the

                                                                                                                                           AIAÊs Corner
         How can he play?... No matter how,                                                                                                   Always at your Service
         Tamas Kasas is usually stopped by
         the defenders                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tsantas Apostolos, the President of
                                                                                                                                           The winners are happy, the losers are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Association International des Arbitres
                                                                                                                                           disappointed, as usually happens. The                                                        (AIA) refereed in five Olympic Games
                                                                                                                                           European Cups’ Finals are over, as well                                                      (1976-1988) and five World Champion-
                                                                                                                                           as most of the national championships.                                                       ships (1978-1991). In the next editions we
                                                                                                                                           Finally, more and more young referees               György Kőnigh                            will highlight his views about refereeing,
                                                                                                                                           are in the cutting edge, and most of                                                         the new rules and the future of water polo.
                                                                                                                                           them are AIA members. Change is not
                                                                                                                                                                                                passed away                             Here is the first issue: referees and water
                                                                                                                                           an easy matter in the world of referees       At the age of 78, György Kőnigh, a remar-      polo.
                                                                                                                                           either. It is however necessary. Big                                                              “I have noted with pleasure that nowa-
                                                                                                                                                                                         kable personality of Hungarian Water Polo
                                                                                                                                           names disappear, and are replaced by                                                         days all referees are more confident in
                                                                                                                                                                                         passed away on 12 March 2008. He was           their control while refereeing matches. I
                                                                                                                                           almost unknown ones, but fortunately          outstanding as a player, even better as a      attribute this to the number of clinics from
                                                                                                                                           the referee’s reputation remains un-          coach, and exceptional as a referee.           FINA with the help of Mr Marculescu and
                                                                                                                                           changed. Those peculiar events which               The list of great players whose careers   Mr. Lonzi as instructor, which are being
                                                                                                                                           usually influence the general picture         were shaped by him is almost endless:          held for established referees to update
                                                                                                                                           have luckily been missing lately. The         Olympic champions Attila Sudár, György         them in the interpretation of the rules. The
                                                                                                                                           biggest incidents have happened outsi-        Kenéz, Zsolt Varga, Tibor Benedek...           recently held clinic for new referees in
                                                                                                                                           de the swimming pool. How unfortunate              This is how Tibor Benede gave his fare-   Dunaujvaros for LEN has seen a new app-
                                                                                                                                           that the bus of the Vasas Team from           well: “György Kőnigh contributed a lot to      roach which will surely help the referees
                                                                                                                                           Budapest was attacked after their Euro                                                       to have more confidence in themselves
                                                                                                                                                                                         the training of the new generation of
                                                                                                                                           League match in Kotor, while during the                                                      and to better face the future of their refe-
                                                                                                                                                                                         Hungarian Water Polo players, including        reeing career. The new breed of referees
                                                                                                                                           Eger-Budva match held in Eger (Hun-           myself. I was fortunate enough to be able to   seems to have a better knowledge of the
                                                                                                                                           gary) it was in the VIP stands where the      thank him for this several times. Besides      sport, better reflexes, a fact that is to be
                                                                                                                                           disorders started. It is however reas-        our gratitude we promise that we will try to   anticipated since now we have more
                                                                                                                                           suring that the referees were not the         be his worthy successors and pass on the       events and the everyday practice is conti-
                                                                                                                                           target of revenge in either of these two      knowledge we were offered by him.”             nuous. However, in the leadership we
                                                                                                                                           condemnable incidents.                                                                       need more professional people, with fresh
                                                                                                                                                                                             LEN posthumously awards                    minds, good knowledge of the sport and
                                                                                                                                                              by CSÁSZÁR György
                                                                                                                                                                                                  György Kőnigh                         fair judgment.”
                                                                                                                                                                     A.I.A Secretary
                                                                                                                                                                                                 with the Gold Pin.
104   LEN                                                                                                               Photo: REUTERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LEN        105
      Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Magazine
The European Swimming Federation has

51 member countries. The LEN Magazine
opened this Forum for its entire Family and
while news keep pouring in from the majority
of our federations and swimming sports
journalists, little is heard from some of our                                                   Krastev (a well-known sport journalist)
Members. Please note that the column                                                            was elected President. Vice-president is
                                                                                                Mr. Anton Mihaylov (Bulgarian World
welcomes any of your exciting news, important                                                   Masters Champion Swimmer). Secretary-
developments about all swimming disciplines,                                                    General is Mr. Ivan Tsanov (editor-in-chief
any time of the year.                                                                           of the First Bulgarian Swimming Site).
                                                                                                (from Ivan Tsanov, LEN Magazine corre-
       ALBANIA                                   of the championships will be the stork, the
After the World Championships in                 national bird of Belarus. (from Maria                 CROATIA
Manchester the swimmers took part in the         Kryshtal, General Secretary)                   The Croatian Goverment awarded the
Junior Balcaniada in Pitesti, Romania.                                                          best two Croatian swimmers: Sanja
Our swimmers in the 10-14 age category                  BELGIUM                                 Jovanovic received 35.000 EUR and Duje
are working hard for future champi-              Not only seventeen national individual         Draganja 30.000 EUR for their latest
onships.                                         records were broken in Eindhoven, but          achivement at the European Champion-
(from Gjergj Vyshka, LEN Magazine cor-           also three best performances by the men’s      ship in Eindhoven and World Short
respondent)                                      and ladies’ relay teams were established.      Course Championships in Manchester.
                                                 The Belgian Swimming Federation proud-         Miho Boskovic, Croatian national team
       ANDORRA                                   ly announces that five swimmers (E.            member and recipient of the LEN Award
In Andorra there is one swimmer who              Mattysen, Y. Grandjean, F. Heersbrandt, T.     as the Best Waterpolo Player in Europe in
meets the FINA B standard to participate         Vangeneugden, M. Fonteyn) were able to         the year 2007 will remain in his native
at the 2008 Olympic Games: Hocine                qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.         town of Dubrovnik and with Jug for at least
Haciane has clocked 4’26’’19 in the 400m         (from Wouter Georges, Secretary-Ma-            two more years. (from Dean Bauer, LEN
IM in Palma de Mallorca in the Spanish           nager)                                         Magazine correspondent)
Open Championship on 5 April 2008. (from
Santi Deu, General Secretary)                           BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA                         CYPRUS
                                                 Srdan Vujasin and 17 year-old Ensar            Two ladies took part in the European
       ARMENIA                                   Hajder represented the country in              Championships: Anna Stylianou and
One swimmer was sent to Eindhoven:               Eindhoven: though they finished last in        Natalia Hadjiloizou swam PBs in
Mikayel Koloyan took part in three events        their heats, they left the event heads up      Eindhoven in the 100m free and 100m fly
(50, 100, 200m free) and managed to bet-         after setting new NRs.                         events.
ter his PBs.
                                                        BULGARIA                                       CZECH REPUBLIC
       AUSTRIA                                   3 April 2008 in Sofia (Bulgaria), the          Missing out the Olympic A standard by
Getting rid of the jinx of being a perennial     Association of the Bulgarian swimmers          only 13 hundredths, Jiri Jedlicka posted
runner-up, beating Ryan Lochte in World          (ABS) was established. Mr. Nikolay             an unexpected 6th place in Eindhoven in
Record time and becoming Austria’s first
ever World Champ in swimming Markus
Rogan is riding high. “To reach my ulti-
mate goal I’m ready to go over the limit in
the daily workouts. In order to beat not
only the Americans but everybody in
Beijing I must be able to break the World
Record if not the 1:54 limit. That’s for sure.
After Manchester I am more self confident
than ever.” (from Josef Metzger, LEN Ma-
gazine correspondent)

The new contacts of the Azerbaijan
Swimming Federation are: Rashid Beh-
budova str. 32, Baku City, AZ1014. Phone
and fax: +99412 493 177. E-mail:

Belarus Swimming Federation is prepar-
ing to host the European Junior Diving
Championships which will be held in
Minsk on 25-29 of June 2008. The symbol                Sanja Jovanovic received a huge bonus for her success

                                                                                                                                   LEN        107
      the men’s 100m breast which is a strong               GIBRALTAR                                       ISRAEL                                  Ryan Gambin reached the B qualifying                                                               the Final Four in advance as the organiz-
      sign of the development of swimming in         Mid June will see 9 members of the              Seventeen swimmers and 3 synchronized          times in the 100 m butterfly to earn an                                                            ers could do their utmost, the tribunes
      the country.                                   National Squad travelling to Luxembourg         swimmers, the biggest Israeli swimming         Olympic berth.                                                                                     were packed (even if no Spanish team
                                                     where they will compete in the 1st Small        team ever, participated at the European        (from President Robert Ebejer)                                                                     reached the last stage) – but nothing
             DENMARK                                 Nations Championships. There will be            Championships. Five swimmers earned                                                                                                               could be done with the ugly weather.
      The federation successfully bidded to host     very little rest for them on their return as    Olympic berths (Guy Barnea, Anna                      MOLDOVA
      a leg of the FINA Marathon Swimming            they will compete in our Annual                 Gostomelsky, Gal Nevo, Max Jaben and           Swimmers of the country couldn’t take                                                                     SWEDEN
      World Cup in 2009.                             Endurance Swim which is sponsored by            Itay Chamma). Tom Beeri made the crite-        part in the international competitions of                                                          Former Olympic Champion Ulrika Knape-
                                                     Argus. This event is held in open water.        ria after a wonderful NR clocked at            this year, neither in Eindhoven, nor in                                                            Lindberg was selected to run with the
             ESTONIA                                 (from President Rebecca Fortunato)              Coimbra, Portugal and became the 6th           Manchester, however, a smaller group set         Dale Oen made history                             Olympic torch in China in May. Her daugh-
      The Estonian Swimming Federation is                                                            and last person to join the Olympic team.      many PBs back in February, in the                                                                  ter, Anna is preparing for Beijing and scor-
      preparing to send the biggest team ever to            GREAT BRITAIN                            (from Uri Shift, LEN Magazine correspon-       Russian Championship held in St.                                                                   ing good results in the Diving Grand Prix.
      Beijing. Nine swimmers are qualified and       Britain’s top ranked distance freestyle         dent)                                          Petersburg.
      everybody is ready to do his best. Some        swimmer in recent years Rebecca Cooke                                                                                                        200m Butterfly), Simão Morgado (100                         SWITZERLAND
      swimmers are training in high altitude camps   is to retire from competitive swimming at                                                             MONACO                                 Butterfly) and Tiago Venâncio (100m and              European Record holder Flavia Rigamonti
      in France (Font Romeu), others in Spain        the age of 24. The distance swimmer, who               ITALY                                   Twelve international TV stations will         200m Freestyle). (from Rita Taborda,                 was the first woman to claim the 1500m
      (Calella). (from Headcoach Tonu Meijel)        took freestyle bronze medals at both            Pro Recco successfully defended its title      broadcast the Mare Nostrum Meet (7-8          Communications Department)                           freestyle title at European Championships
                                                     World & European Championships in               in the water polo Euroleague. The team         June 2008: nine in live (ROU-ITA-CHN-                                                              in history. It was her 18th medal at inter-
             FAROE ISLANDS                           2006, as well as winning a gold at the          beat the two Croatians participants, the       RUS-GRE-UAE-FRA-ESP-MON)             and              ROMANIA                                      national Championships, the fifth gold at
      Twelve national records were set in the        Commonwealth Games in the same year,            team of Mladost Zagreb in the semis and        three delayed (AUS-RSA-HKG). The best         The Romanian Swimming Federation                     European Championships. So far six ath-
      National Championships in the middle of        has taken the decision to step down after       Jug Dubrovnik in the final. The latter game    international entries are posted by           decided to join the Central European Club            letes qualified for the Olympic Games.
      May. Based on the results two boys were        missing out on the opportunity to compete       was decided in the extra-time with a goal      Australia with 2008 double short-course       and expressed its honour to take part in             Together with the Synchro duet the aquat-
      selected to represent the Faroe Islands in     in Beijing with the British team in August.     by Hungarian Norbert Madaras, with just        world champion and world record holder        their common activities for the further de-          ic team will be one of the biggest within
      the European Junior Championships: Pal         (                       2 seconds to go.                               Felicity Galvez (50m and 100m butterfly)      velopment of international swimming life.            the Swiss Olympic Delegation. (from
      Joensen and Kari J. a Hoevdanum will                                                                                                          and long-course world record holder                                                                Lorenz Liechti, LEN Magazine correspon-
      travel to Belgrade. (from President Palli             GREECE                                          LATVIA                                  Stephanie Rice (400m individual medley),              RUSSIA                                       dent)
      Ziskason)                                      Yiannis Drymonakos has tested positive          A three men strong Latvian team compet-        along with Brenton Rickard, Sally Foster,     Missing out from the Olympics for the first
                                                     for a steroid, the Greek Swimming               ed in Eindhoven, its members Konstantins       Tarnee White, Nicholas Sprenger and           time since 1984, the men’s water polo had                   TURKEY
             FINLAND                                 Federation (KOE) has revealed. Dry-             Blohins, Kirils Sanzarovecs and Pavels         Meagen Nay. Ukraine sends Oleg Lisogor,       some consolation at last: Sintez Kazan               Istanbul has won the race to host the 11th
      Finnish swimmer Hanna-Maria Seppälä            monakos claimed the European crown in           Kondrahins all set new NRs.                    Sergiy Breus and Andriy Serdinov. Twenty      won the LEN Trophy with ease.                        FINA World 25 m Swimming Cham-
      managed to win silver at the Short Course      the 200m butterfly and silver in the 400m                                                      three nations are entered. (from Georges                                                           pionships. The decision, which was made
      World Championships in Manchester in           medley in Eindhoven in March.                          LIECHTENSTEIN                           Kiehl, LEN Magazine correspondent)                    SAN MARINO                                   by the FINA Bureau at the ninth World 25
      the 100m individual medley, with a new                                                         Three teenaged swimmers are appearing                                                        The San Marinese swimmers are prepar-                metres Championships in Manchester
      European record of 59.62. The last time a             HUNGARY                                  on the rankings powered by swimrank-                  MONTENEGRO                             ing for the Mare Nostrum event where the             placed the Turkish city ahead of Vienna.
      Finnish female swimmer clocked a               The leaders of the Hungarian Swimming  Janina Schumacher, Julia Hass-       Montenegro Swimming Federation wel-           best of their national team tries to break
      European Record was in 1969 at the             Association have been re-elected with a         ler and Simon Beck all take part in local      comed the foundation of the Central           the NRs in the events they enter.                           UKRAINE
      Helsinki Olympic Stadium, when Marjatta        mandate lasting till 2013. Mr. Tamas            competitions, and Beck managed to set 5        European Club and was honoured to join.                                                            The Ukrainian Swimming Federation, in
      Hara swam a European mark in 800               Gyarfas President of the association since      new PBs, while Hassler 22 new PBs in the                                                             SERBIA                                       cooperation with the Ukrainian Ministry of
      meters free. (from Jussi Salminen, LEN         1993 goes on in the same position, and          short and long course races so far.                   NETHERLANDS                            Vladimir Vujasinovic is returning to                 Family, Youth and Sport Affairs organized
      Magazine correspondent)                        Mr. Jozsef Ruza as General Secretary.                                                          Erik van Heijningen, President of the host-   Partizan. After ten years Vlada will join his        an International Conference entitled
                                                     The Central European Club (composed of                 LITHUANIA                               ing Royal Dutch Swimming Federation           former team: the defender – playing in               “Ukraine - Swimming 2020”. The aims of
             FRANCE                                  11 member countries) has been founded           The national team finished 24th in the         KNZB drew a satisfying conclusion on          Italy in the past decade – wants to win the          the Conference were to discuss ways for
      The candidature of the City of Annecy bid-     upon a Hungarian initiative. Following the      race for the Championship Trophy with 47       behalf of the Organising Committee for        Euroleague with Partizan in the next year.           promoting swimming as a popular sport,
      ding to hold one stage of the FINA World       model of other similar groups (such as          points in Eindhoven, ahead of countries        the European Championships 2008. Van          (from Dejan Stevovic, LEN Magazine                   learning-to-swim for all, building and man-
      Cup Marathon Swimming circuit (10 km)          Small States of Europe, Nordic Countries        like Slovakia, Portugal, Ireland and           Heijningen announced that 80 percent of       Correspondent)                                       aging swimming pools, and fostering
      was accepted at a meeting held in the          and Multinations), the aim of this club is to   Serbia.                                        the available tickets were sold, which                                                             cooperation on these matters between
      framework of the Open Water World              harmonise the intentions of the Central                                                        means about 32,000 spectators. Thus,                  SLOVAKIA                                     public organisations and government and
      Championships in Sevilla. This event will      European Countries in connection with                  LUXEMBOURG                              32,000 Euro - one Euro per ticket - will go   Though Martina Moravcova’s heydays are               municipality authorities.
      be held for the first time in France,          the international swimming life.                At the European Championships in               to LEN partner UNICEF for their project       seem to be over, the national team did not
      planned for 14 August 2009.                                                                    Eindhoven five swimmers represented            ’Safe Water for Every Child’. Van             finish without a medal in Eindhoven
                                                            ICELAND                                  Luxembourg. With 13 starts they could          Heijningen was also pleased with the TV       either: Lubos Krisko earned a bronze in                          The editorial board of LEN
             GEORGIA                                 Five Icelandic swimmers have qualified for      establish 7 new national records and got       ratings in the Netherlands with about         the men’s 50m back.                                              Magazine wishes to make this
      The country’s two top swimmer decided to       this summer Olympic Games: Erla Dögg            one Olympic berth. A new swimming cer-         600,000 viewers on average, more than                                                                          quarterly a forum for the LEN
      compete in Manchester instead of               Haraldsdóttir: 100m breaststroke and            tification for the whole country was intro-    700,000 at the top (15% market-share)                 SLOVENIA                                                 Family where you can discuss
      Eindhoven: Giorgi Mtvralashvili, Irakli        200m IM, Jakob Jóhann Sveinsson: 100            duced in 2007 in cooperation with the          and more than 1.2 million in the news         Slovenian swimmers have a total of 72                            ideas that are meant to promote
      Revishvili set short course NR-s in the        and 200m breaststroke, Ragnheiður               ministers of sports and education as well      broadcasts.                                   medals in history, but never had one in the                      the progress of swimming as
      World Championships.                           Ragnarsdóttir: 50 and 100m freestyle,           as all swim-orientated organizations in                                                      Olympics. With Sara Isakovic winning the                         well as critical remarks.
                                                     Örn Arnarson 100m backstroke, 50 and            Luxembourg. After one year 18.500 (!)                 NORWAY                                 200m free in Eindhoven and the great Peter                       We will evaluate swimming
             GERMANY                                 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly, Sigrún       new certificates were given to young           Winning the 100m breast in Eindhoven,         Mankoc winning a World title in Manchester,                      events and promote the
      German coach Manfred Thiesmann                 Brá Sverrisdóttir 100m freestyle. A new         pupils all over the small country. (from       Alexander Dale Oen made history: he           the nation dreams of an Olympic medal.                           exchange of information.
      (Warendorf) has assigned a lawyer to pro-      General Secretary of The Icelandic              Klaus-Jürgen Ohk, Technical Director)          became the first male European Cham-          However, the 19 year old Isakovic is cau-                        Our idea is that all LEN Member
      tect his interests. The 62-year old hopes      Swimming Federation is Ms. Hildur Karen                                                        pion of the nation and the first Norwegian    tious “At first let’s go to the final and then....               Federations be featured by
      to ensure his nomination as coach for the      Aðalsteinsdóttir. She has been active as               MACEDONIA                               swimmer ever to set an ER.                    we will see. Everyone is dreaming of an                          covering their activities
      Olympic Games in Beijing. Thiesmann            a swimmer and trainer in Iceland for many       Though they were unable to gain a point                                                      Olympic medal.” (from Jolanda Bertole, LEN                       and event results.
      was not included in the coaching team          years. (from Hildur Karen Aðalsteinsdóttir,     in the race for Championship Trophy, the              PORTUGAL                               Magazine Correspondent)
      that the German Swimming Federation            General Secratary)                              development of the seven swimmers              In Portugal eight swimmers qualified for                                                                       LEN Magazine is a publication
      (DSV) intends to recommend to the                                                              taking part in the European Cham-              the Olympic Games: Carlos Almeida                     SPAIN                                                    of the LEN Family. We welcome
      German Olympic Sports Federation                      IRELAND                                  pionships in Eindhoven was conspicuous.        (200m Breaststroke), Diana Gomes              To make everyone remember the last                               all observations, advice,
      (DOSB) for the Games. Thiesmann has            The new fax number of the Irish Water                                                          (100m and 200m Breaststroke), Diogo           really wet LEN event, the European                               opinions, news, information,
      worked as national coach since 1980. He        Polo Federation is +353 1 62 51 121.                   MALTA                                   Carvalho (200m Individual Medley),            Championships in Budapest 2006, Bar-                             photos and other illustrations at
      will be taking early retirement after                                                          Malta participated for the first time in the   Fernando Costa (1500m Freestyle),             celona hosted a rather rainy Final Four.                         the following address:
      Beijing. (from Dietmar Fuchs, LEN                                                              European Swimming Championships                Pedro Oliveira (200m Backstroke and           The city was awarded the event in the                  
      Magazine correspondent)                                                                        held in Eindhoven. Our single competitor,      200m Butterfly), Sara Oliveira (100m and      Autumn of 2007: LEN was right to allocate
108   LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LEN        109
      Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Magazine
                                 From the                                                           The last words before the
                                                                                                                                                  LEN Congress
                                                                                                                                                  in Zurich!
                                                                                                                                                                                                          On arrival at the hotel each Fede-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      ration will receive a copy of the pre-cal-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      endar plus forms for corrections and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hand, there was the great candidature
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      of Zagreb, home of the World
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Champion Croatian team – on the other

                             headquarters                                                           Games from the leaders of the
                                                                                                    LEN. They are optimistic..                        The LEN Congress 2008 will be held
                                                                                                                                                  from Saturday, 27th until Sunday, 28th
                                                                                                                                                                                                      additions. Between 9am and noon on
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Saturday 27th September the Secre-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      taries of each of the LEN Technical
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hand a really special bid of two neigh-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      bouring cities: Debrecen of Hungary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and Oradea of Romania. Co-hosting by
                                                                                                                                                  September 2008 in the beautiful city of             Committees will be available at the             two different countries would have been
                                                                                                                                                  Zurich. The venue for the Congress is               Swissôtel to receive any amendments             a new situation in Water Polo – a well-
                                                                                                                                                  the prestigious 4-star Swissôtel Zurich.            or additions to the precalendar. The            known situation from football, just think
                                                                                                                                                  Centrally located, opposite the railway             2009 LEN Calendar will be produced              of this year’s European Championhips
                                                                                                                                                  station Zurich-Oerlikon, Swissôtel Zurich           overnight and distributed to all Fe-            in Austria and Switzerland. The strong
                                                                                                                                                  is situated just 10 minutes from the                derations on Sunday 28th September              bids were welcomed by the Bureau,
                                                                                                                                                  International Airport Zurich-Kloten and             2008, during the LEN Congress.                  however, this time the members voted
                                                                                                                                                  downtown Zurich.                                                                                    in favour of Zagreb so Croatia can host
                                                                                                                                                      The LEN Office will mail out the                                                                the first major international water polo
                            Bartolo                                                                Sven                                           forms for the calendar fixtures to all                                                              competition for national teams since
                            Consolo                                                                Folvik                                         LEN Member Federations by the end of
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Zagreb is to host
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gaining independence (in the past,
                            President                                                              Secretary                                      May 2008, while the LEN pre-calendar                the 2010 WP EC                                  three Final Fours were held in the coun-
                                                                                                                                                  2009 will be circulated at the beginning                                                            try: in Zagreb, 1998, and in Dubrovnik,
      The Olympic Games in China will be memorable for all Aquatic          The European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven were a               of September 2008. The pre-calendar                     With two really impressive bids, the        2001 and 2006). Interesting fact that for
      disciplines, not only regarding organizational aspects, but also      great success for European 18 European records, 6 World and           forms & the pre-calendar 2009 will also             LEN Bureau had a difficult time decid-          the third consecutive occasion one of
      because of the notable performances we will be witnesses to.          279 national records in swimming is more than I expected. Such        be also published on the LEN Web-site:              ing the host of the 2010 European               the cities of the former Yugoslavia hosts
          The level of all 5 disciplines has gone through a consider-       a rush of national records tells me that swimming is developing                                     Water Polo Championships. On one                the championship: after Kranj/Ljubljana
      able technical improvement and European athletes have                 quite well in most of the European countries, and that is a good                                                                                                          in 2003, Belgrade in 2007 it’s Zagreb’s
      already demonstrated their high quality and their progress            promise for the future of swimming. In diving we witnessed                                                                                                                turn in 2010. Good luck for our Croatian
      achieving excellent performances and records during the               some of the best European competitions ever, while synchro-             Events                                   2008                                 2009                friends!
      European Championships in Eindhoven and at their National             nised swimming was of a top quality, too.
      Championships.                                                            Looking forward to the Olympic Games in Beijing in August         European Championships (SWI, DIV, SYS)     Eindhoven (NED)
          Swimmers, water polo players, divers, synchronised and            I do hope that all our athletes will be successful; achieving their                                              13 • 24 March
                                                                                                                                                  European WP Championships                  Malaga (ESP)
      marathon swimmers are looking forward to competing with               best times ever, performing the best possible dives and
      success in the forthcoming Olympic Games. Not only the latest         excelling in wonderful synchronized swimming events. And of           European SC SWI Championships
                                                                                                                                                                                             4 • 13 July
                                                                                                                                                                                             Rijeka (CRO)                      Istanbul (TUR)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      – New e-mail
      technology and high quality equipment count, no one must for-         course, we shouldn’t forget our great water polo teams which                                                     11 • 14 December                  10 • 13 December       addresses!
      get the importance of the human parameter. It is fundamental!         have dominated the field in the past years in the men’s game          Arena DIV Champions Cup                    Stockholm (SWE)                   TBD
                                                                                                                                                                                             2 • 3 February
          Many delegates, officials, judges and referees representing       and Europe also had a strong chance among the women. I                European SYS Champions Cup                                                   Bids rqd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Correct e-mail address:
      Europe will participate. Their high level sport experience and        hope, our open water competitors will also make history by                                                                                                                Mr.Victor Nogueira,
      knowledge will once again prove that Europe is represented as         becoming the first Olympic Champions of their discipline.             WP Euro League “Final Four”                Barcelona (ESP)                   TBD                    LEN Bureau Member:
      a unique body, with common sense and firm values in every                 It will be my great pleasure to welcome all European                                                         9 • 10 May                        22 • 23 May  
                                                                                                                                                  European Championships OWS                 Dubrovnik (CRO)
      new competitive challenge.                                            medals, while I keep my fingers crossed for each and every                                                       9 • 14 September
          So, let’s swim, let’s play, let’s dive…                           athlete of the LEN Family and I hope for the best Olympic             European Masters Championships                                               Cadiz, Seville (ESP)   Mr. Soeren Korbo,
          The countdown begins!                                             Games ever.                                                           (SWI, DIV, SYS)                                                              15-20 September        President of LEN Technical
                                                                                                                                                  European Masters WP Championships                                            Oradea (ROU)           Swimming Committee:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               6 • 12 July
                                                                                                                                                  European Junior SW Championships           Belgrade (SRB)                    Prague (CZE) 
                                                                                                                                                                                             30 July • 3 August                8 • 12 July
                                                                                                                                                  European Junior DIV Championships          Minsk (BLR)                       TBD                    Mrs. Georgia Fyrigou Consolo,
                                                                                                                                                                                             25 • 29 July                                             Member of LEN Technical
                                                                                                                                                  European Junior OWS Championships          Sete (FRA)                        Bids rqd
                                                                                                                                                                                             12 • 13 July                                             Diving Committee:
                                                    ved as well, nobody can take things for         events will represent the highlight of the    European “B” WP Championships Men                                            Lugano (SUI) 
                                                    granted nowadays. It will, however, be          Olympics. The Aquatic disciplines will                                                                                     30 August • 6 Sept.
                                                                                                                                                  European “B” WP Championships Wom.                                           Manchester (GBR)       Mr. Jean Claude Demey,
                                                    interresting and exciting to see if today       capture the attention during two exciting                                                                                  5 • 12 July
                            Nory                    in their home country the Chinese               weeks and specially the swimming              European Junior WP Chmps. Men              Istanbul (TUR)                    Chania (GRE)           Member of LEN Water Polo
                            Kruchten                swimmers will succeed to come back to           events in the first week but, also the                                                   7 • 14 September                  6 • 13 September       Committee:
                                                    their level of former years.                    other disciplines with a first Olympic 10     European Junior WP Chmps. Women            Chania (GRE)                      Napoli (ITA) 
                            Treasurer                                                                                                                                                        14 • 21 September                 13 • 20 September
                                                        The situation is completely different       km Marathon swim for 25 men and 25
                                                    in diving, where the Chinese are still a        women will be a fantastic experience for      European Junior SYS Championships         Angiers (FRA)                      Gloucester (GBR)
      The Olympic Games in Beijing are the          leading nation in both the men’s and            all participants. Swimming finals even if                                               30 April • 4 May                   TBD
                                                    women’s category, and competing at              scheduled at an unusual time will             European Youth WP Chmps. Men              Belgrade (SRB)                     Bids rqd
      highlight of the 2008 Calendar. The                                                                                                                                                   27 July • 3 August
      World’s best are travelling to the home-      home is an added advantage for them             however make TV viewers focus on this         European Youth WP Chmps. Women            Gyor (HUN)                         Bids rqd                                     by LASZLO
      land of a swimming superpower. Some           this time. Other nations will for sure try      aquatic discipline and all other discipli-                                              3 • 10 August                                                                   SZAKADATI
      time ago China was one of the leading         to break through the Chinese supre-             nes will for sure get the great attention     European OWS Cup Legs        Piombino (ITA) 15 June, Antalya (TUR) 28 June   TBD                                          (LEN Director)
                                                    macy in this discipline.                        which they deserve.                                                        Sete (FRA) 13 July, Navia (ESP) 14 August
      countries in swimming and it was diffi-                                                                                                     European OWS Cup Final Event              Porec (CRO)                        TBD
      cult to defeat especially the Chinese             America, Australia, nowadays also                The World stars of aquatics, the most                                              31 August • 1 September
      swimming girls anywhere in the World.         Africa, and hopefully Europe in particu-        remarkable personalities of the Olympic       LEN Congress                              Zurich (SUI)                       Copenhagen (DEN)
      Since then the balance of forces has          lar will be struggling for supremacy in         Games, will triumph in exciting races,                                                  27 September                       19 September
      changed in this branch of sports, other       one of the aquatic sports’ citadels.            games and performances in this sports’
      nations have tremendously developed               I am convinced and for sure not too         classical empire, in giant establishments     Federations considering to host a LEN Event where this applies (see ”Bids rqd” squares)
      and although the Chinese have impro-          partial if I dare assume that the aquatic       of dimensions never seen before.              please contact the LEN Office in Rome.

110   LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LEN       111
      Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Magazine

                                                                                             We are not rivals.
                                                                                          Our goal is the same:
                                                                                 to make swimming more and
                                                                                     more popular world-wide.
                                                                            We are partners. Our partnership
                                                                          means that we introduce each other
                                                                        in our own magazine. We are friends.
                                                                      Our idea is to generate interest in these
                                                                  national and international magazines and to
                                                                     encourage readers to subscribe to them.
                                                                   Here is a selection of the most well known
                                                                    magazines and excerpts from their latest
                                                                                        issues as an appetizer

                                                      Swimming popular in Germany

Swimming is rated one of the most popular sports in Germany, according to a repre-
sentative survey conducted by the Dortmund Market Research Institute on behalf of a
news agency based in Neuss, Sport-Informations-Dienst (“Sport Information Service”,
or sid). This reveals that 14.3% of Germans responding to the survey are interested in
swimming, which puts the sport in sixth place, behind handball (45.7%), tennis (26.7),
track and field (20.6), basketball (16.8) and the frontrunner among wintersports, biath-
lon (15.5). It is even ranked ahead of Formula 1 racing (11.7) and boxing (10.9). Football
was left out of this question. The survey revealed that 88.1% were opposed to an
Olympic boycott as a result of the Tibetan problem. 31.9% of respondents assumed that
the German team would perform better at the Beijing Olympics than in Athens four years
ago, where the team finished 6th overall. The question about endorsing a German bid
to host the Olympic Games was given a very high approval rating of 86.2%.
      Better Than Ever

      Not long ago, there was a time when Erik Vendt appeared to be
      finished with the sport, having moved on to other endeavors.
      Now, however, he’s as much a factor as he’s ever been, cer-
      tainly a positive for the United States.

      It wasn’t just Greece in the rearview mirror. His competitive
      career, highly successful through a pair of Olympiads, was
      shrinking in size. As Erik Vendt walked away from the 2004
      Games in Athens, he was ready to bid farewell to the sport that
      had placed him on the international stage. And for nearly two
      years, Vendt was done. He backpacked through Europe. He
      moved to New York City. He no longer adhered to the rigorous
      workouts that yielded a couple of Olympic silver medals in the
      400 meter individual medley. He did, however, remain involved
      in swimming, teaching youngsters the finer points of each
      stroke. Then, Vendt came to a realization. His retirement was
      really just a break—the chance to recharge his battery. So, in
      April of 2006, he made his return to the sport, taking his train-
      ing to Club Wolverine and placing his career in the hands of
      Bob Bowman. Guess what? Vendt, with nothing more to prove
      in the pool, might be better than ever – a great sign with the
      Beijing Olympics just a few months away.

                                               The European
                                               Championships and
                                               the Australian Trials
                                               above expectation

      The European Championships
      In Eindhoven, the Netherlands, home country of Pieter van den
      Hoogenband, one of the greatest swimmers of all times in
      Olympic pools, some extraordinary things have happened. The
      first was the World Record by the muscular French giant, Alain
      Bernard, in the 50m freestyle. Italians were among the best both
      as far as the teams are concerned (Italy took 2nd place in the
      number of points and 3rd place in the numbers of medals) and
      individually too. Federica Pellegrini, was celebrating and
      impressed us with her brilliant victory and World Record in the
      400m freestyle. Italy took 21 medals: 5 gold, 7 silver and 9
      bronze medals. The Azzura took home her treasures and
      despite strong competition has demonstrated the right level of
      competitiveness on the eve of the Beijing Olympics.
      The success of the swimmers from Veneto is dazzling. The team
      captain, Alberto Castagnetti, used to keeping his emotions in
      check, couldn’t help them getting the better of him this time and
      his tears came either from stress or deep emotions. Pellegrini’s
      success was proof of her technical and competitive develop-
      ment which are a message looking forward to a Great Olympics.
      Leading swimmers’ swimming suits                                    sion has been confirmed at a meeting with the manufacturer in
      Out of the eighteen records in 50 m pools in the first 3 months     Manchester during the 25 m World ChampionshipS (we will talk
      of 2008 seventeen swimmers in new Speedo LZR suits pro-             more about this in our next issue).
      duced records. Only one record was set in an Arena suit and
      that one belonged to Pellegrini.                                    The Olympics
      The whole thing is certainly suspicious and it could not remain     The odds are that the Olympics in Beijing 2008 will be spectac-
      unnoticed. There were some suggestions made that Speedo             ular due to the fact that there are also new champions who have
      costumes help swimmers. [[[It was suggested that if the swim-       abruptly come onto the world stage in such a dramatic fashion
      ming suits were of superior use they could become part of reg-      that we will have already forgotten the super champion Ian
      ulations concerning swimming equipment ]]]WHAT DOES THIS            Thorpe who has already retired. The currents of swimming never
      MEAN??. However LZR has been accepted by FINA. The deci-            really slow down.

114   LEN                                                                                                                                    LEN       115
      Magazine                                                                                                                              Magazine
Liverpool joins the 50m pool club

LIVERPOOL became the latest member of Britain’s 50m pool club when
the city opened its new £17m Aquatics Centre in Wavertree.
Fran Halsall, the city’s top current swimmer, was among the first to train
in it and gave the facility an unequivocal seal of approval. ‘It’s pretty cool
to be in it finally and it was a perk to be using it before the Olympic tri-
als,’ she said. ‘It has everything I could use as a swimmer – long course
pool, big gym on site and our own personal room we can use for gym
sessions. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people training on a
Saturday morning!’
Councillors said the city’s biggest investment in swimming facilities for
decades would benefit both the local community and elite swimmers –
and put an end to the 70-mile round trips undertaken by some for long
course training in Wigan or Manchester.
‘This is a major new investment in community facilities not just for local
people and schoolchildren but also our team of brilliant elite
Commonwealth and Olympic swimmers,’ said council leader Warren
Bradley. ’We already have first class athletics, football, gymnastics and
tennis facilities in Liverpool and the pool will allow us to bid to host
national swimming championships so that people can cheer on our ath-
letes in their home city.’
He added: ‘This is a major part of our drive to improve the health of the
local community by giving them access to affordable, top-quality leisure
centres – and all children under 17 will be able to use it at no cost using      The moveable floor allows the depth to be varied and can even be raised
their free council leisure passes. It is another great boost for Liverpool in    above the waterline for use for dry sports such as aerobics. The specta-
our year in the spotlight as European Capital of Culture.’                       tor gallery seats 400.
                                                                                 The pool, which replaces the 80-year-old Picton Baths, forms part of a
THREE POOLS IN ONE                                                               larger sports complex, renamed Wavertree Sports Park.
The state-of-the-art facility is effectively three pools in one – a main pool    Liverpudlian Steve Parry, the 2004 Olympic 200m butterfly bronze medal-
that can be divided in two and a separate 20-metre training pool.                list, was among those given a VIP tour of the pool on the eve of its opening.

Cristal fish awarded

Beautiful small sculptures made by a Polish artist as well as
Omega Seamaster Aquaterra watches were presented to the
best Polish swimmers for their achievements of the past year.
For the third time Plywanie, the Polish Swimming Magazine,
announced the results of their yearly voting for the best Polish
World and European champion Mateusz Sawrymowicz became
the Best Polish Male Swimmer of 2007 and double gold EJC
medalist Mateusz Matczak was presented the Male Swimming
Hope of 2007 award. Both were delighted to be appointed by 25
well known Polish coaches and journalists.
Otylia J drzejczak was elected Best Polish Female Swimmer
of 2007, for whom last year was one of the best in her career.
Flabbergasted by the opinion of the experts was 16 year-old
Karolina Szczepaniak, named Female Swimming Hope of 2007
who didn’t miss her opportunity and qualified for the Olympic
4x200 m relay.
The award for the Best Polish Swimming Coach went to the
coach of the two long distance swimming champions from
Melbourne over 1500m free, Mateusz Sawrymowicz, and 800m
free, Przemysław Stanczyk.
The ceremony of awards took place during the Polish
Swimming Championships.
                                                                                                                                                  “Why?”                                      “And what is the secret of the cur-                       stop after the age of 22, which means
                                                                                                                                                  We could not find a date in the long            rent success?”                                        that they are still competing when they
                                                                                                                                                  course calendar. FINA has six champi-       “Perhaps the most important thing is that                 reach the peak of their physical abilities.
                                                                                                                                                  onships and LEN also has six, which         American swimming is being managed                        They can be thirty and still perform great.
                                                                                                                                                  makes it twelve, plus the Olympic Games     by an incredibly smart guy, Mark Schu-                    That is why we need training centres
                                                                                                                                                  as the thirteenth. And then we also have    bert. He moved from California to                         with brilliant coaches. There are of
                                                                                                                                                  the Commonwealth Games, World Uni-          Colorado Springs but he does not like                     course unique cases like Michael
                                                                                                                                                  versity Games, World Cups and so on.        the weather there… Still, he is doing a                   Phelps. His coach, Bob Bowman, left the
                                                                                                                                                  Where have the charming little meets        fantastic job, because he has found the                   Baltimore club for Michigan University,

      America                                                                                                                                     gone, like the Nordic Championships or
                                                                                                                                                  the duel between Britain and Germany,
                                                                                                                                                  or the international races with German,
                                                                                                                                                  Swedish, French, British and Dutch ath-
                                                                                                                                                                                              right job for himself. Although he loved
                                                                                                                                                                                              coaching, he is now controlling the
                                                                                                                                                                                              national team. He is also moving the
                                                                                                                                                                                              coaches from one point of the country to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but he told Michael that he would be glad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        to continue working with him. Michael
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        said yes of course, even though he could
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        not be a member of the university team

      Could Do Better                                                                                                                             letes? The calendar is absolutely full of
                                                                                                                                                  races, but most of them are the same,
                                                                                                                                                  which makes it a little boring.”
                                                                                                                                                                                              another, which is one of the most signif-
                                                                                                                                                                                              icant aspects of his work. He does not
                                                                                                                                                                                              argue, but he is a real persuader.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        as he was a pro. So he is paying for his
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        own studies and continues to train with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        his old coach. Well, he would have been
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        really stupid to change coaches, after
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the results we all know. Of course this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        means that Bowman has a hard time,
      He would prod the volunteers        “How come that you are still so                                                                                                                                                                               just like Jon Urbanchek. They have both
      to work faster so that he could         active?”                                                                                                                                                                                                  a university team and a club team.
                                          I visit many places of the World as a
                                                                                                              A true legend                                                                                                                             Amateurs and professionals are sup-
      get the startlists quicker. “What   member of the International Relations                                                                                                                                                                         posed to train separately. This means
      is this old man doing here?”                                                                     Regarded as one of the greatest col-
                                          Committee. The Committee has twenty                                                                                                                                                                           two training sessions for the university
      one of the youngsters grum-                                                                      lege and international swim coaches
                                          members. All of us are committed to the                                                                                                                                                                       students and two for the club. To give all
                                                                                                       ever, Peter Daland guided the USC
      bled, just to be humbled into       success of the American team and we
                                                                                                       men’s swimming team to 9 NCAA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        you can during all this time is truly trying.
      silence when told that the man      try to help in our own way. We have                                                                                                                                                                           Within three months I would be dead…”
                                                                                                       team championships (and 11 runner-
                                          divided the continents among our-
      visiting the Press Centre of the                                                                 up finishes) during his 35-year (1958-
                                          selves. Mine is Europe. I come, listen                                                                                                                                                                        “How can you handle that despite
      European Championships in           and talk. I know about thirty excellent
                                                                                                       92) Trojan career. Under Daland, USC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the wonderful results, the oppor-
      Eindhoven was a veritable leg-                                                                   also won 17 league crowns and pos-
                                          coaches. We talk. They ask me about                                                                                                                                                                                tunities for swimming as a sport
                                                                                                       ted a 318-31-1 (.917) dual meet
      end. He was Peter Daland, one       America and I ask them about Germany,                                                                                                                                                                              and for swimming athletes do not
                                                                                                       record. A 6-time national Coach of the
      of the most renowned                France, Hungary… Of course I also lis-
                                                                                                       Year, his swimmers captured 93
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             even come close to what is on
      American swimming coaches           ten what’s going on in LEN. I am well                                                                                                                                                                              offer for professional ball sports?”
                                                                                                       NCAA individual and relay titles. He
                                          acquainted with President Consolo and                                                                                                                                                                         “It is true that swimming in the US is not
      of all time, coming to the event,   Director Szakadáti. By the way, LEN is
                                                                                                       coached the U.S. men in the 1972
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        an important sport, which is sad.
      as was his habit, to survey the                                                                  Olympics and the U.S. women in the
                                          a wonderful institution, an association                                                                                                                                                                       Everyone loves American football, I do
      best swimmers in the Old                                                                         1964 Olympics. Before coming to
                                          of thirty advanced countries, while we                                                                                                                                                                        too. I go and watch the university cham-
                                                                                                       USC, Daland was a successful prep
      Continent.                          have only the Canadians to swim
                                                                                                       and club coach, guiding the Los
                                                                                                                                                  “Having a competition between Ame-          She knows the system well... Swiss Flavia Rigamonti won   pionship matches every Saturday. They
                                                                                                                                                      rican and European teams simi-          a series of NCAA titles as a student in the US            are much more exciting than NFL as
                                                                                                       Angeles Athletic Club to a pair of AAU
                                                                                                                                                      lar to the Ryder Cup in golf,                                                                     there is nothing predictable about them.
                                                                                    Photo: REUTERS

                                                                                                       outdoor championships. He founded
                                                                                                                                                      where scoring is based on                                                                         And we have baseball, golf, and even
                                                                                                       Swimming World magazine.
                                                                                                                                                      unique rules – that would surely        Suppose they launch a training centre in                  tennis is more popular than swimming,
                                                                                                                                                      bring excitement to the scene.”         Dallas. He walks up to the person he                      while soccer is gaining more and more
                                                                                                                                                  “The problem is FINA wants to control       would have as the manager and tells                       attention as well. When compared to
                                                                                                     against, and perhaps the Brazilians. We      everything. LEN represents very advan-      him that it would be an ideal place for                   them, swimming is dwarfed. Ten to one,
                                                                                                     invented the Pan Pacific Champion-           ced countries, with strong leaders in the   him. At first the coach does not want to                  if you compare it to baseball. We could
                                                                                                     ships, where anyone from the World           swimming sport. They would be willing       go. Mark looks into his eyes: yes you do.                 be winning medals one after another
                                                                                                     apart from Europe may enter. It was a        but FINA opposes it, saying that a con-     You will go there and you will do it. And                 and nobody would notice. Next year, no
                                                                                                     success as well – after all, Australia       tinent should not meet a single country.    Mark convinced one of the most suc-                       Olympics, no press. LA Times would
                                                                                                     could finally meet other teams than Fiji,    We do have the right to decide what we      cessful university coaches, who had just                  not come to a swimming meet to Long
                                                                                                     and so on. Still, Europe as a unit is        want, though. US can be regarded as a       won 10 championships, to move a dis-                      Beach, they just pick up the results by
                                                                                                     stronger. There was a Europe versus          continent, based on the number of           tance of 1500 kilometres and start man-                   the net. Even if they do come, they are
                                                                                                     America race in 1958, on a very rainy        swimmers we have.                           aging a training centre. And he makes                     only interested in Michael Phelps. They
                                                                                                     day. We won by a hair’s width, by two                                                    sure that they like their new place.”                     interview him and good bye. Even the
                                                                                                     points. We should revive this race. I have   “How many?”                                                                                           most stupid journalist knows Michael.
                                                                                                     talked to President Consolo about it and     “We have 2.8 million registered swim-       “This is obviously very important for                     He is the Johnny Weissmüller of the
                                                                                                     he liked the idea. At the meeting we held    mers, which makes one want to ask: if           the US, but it seems a little                         21st century, with the exception that
                                                                                                     this year it was decided that the first      we have half of the swimmers in the             strange to the European mind.                         Weissmüller only became famous after
                                                                                                     duel should be held in 2009 in Atlanta       World, why do we not win half of the            Would you explain why it is so                        he shot his Tarzan films. He did not
                                                                                                     and the next in 2011 in London. There        Olympic medals?”                                important?”                                           make big news when he broke the
                                                                                                     will be only short course tracks, though.”                                               “Money came into swimming, the ath-                       World Record in 200m, 400m and 800
                                                                                                                                                  “Americans are admired by the               letes are professionals. Formerly, the                    in 1927 in Honolulu.”
                                                                                                     Mouthwatering... The Tancock vs. Peirsol         whole World already.”                   swimmers would look for a job right after
                                                                                                     duel seen in Melbourne might be repeated     “That may well be, but we should still do   they finished university and just forget                                   By GERGELY CSURKA
                                                                                                     in a Europe vs. US battle                    better.”                                    about swimming. Now they don’t want to                                     Editor of LEN Magazine
118   LEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LEN        119
      Magazine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Magazine
Back to the Paradise...

None of them have anything to hide.
And yet they quarrel, argue, talk fashion,
and ask the eternal question:
Âwhat should I wearÊ or even ÂwhatÊs
the use of all this junk?Ê
Oh, the good old days of Adam and Eve...

                                Photo: REUTERS