What a fantastic week of swimming in Berlin from the British team. They may not have been at full strength (10 of our Commonwealth medallists weren’t present) but nearly everyone who went along either got a medal or nabbed a PB*. Considering that this wasn’t the main season goal for most of the swimmers, they’ve held their taper pretty damn well. The numbers don’t lie - 24 medals and 9 golds is just brilliant. If I’ve counted up right, I make that only 5 races where GB had a finalist that didn’t get a medal (3 of those were 4th place finishes).

I was particularly impressed with the younger dudes’ technical aspects: starts, turns, underwaters. Ben Proud, Max Litchfield, Jay Lelliott and Adam Peaty all gained ground on their competitors off every wall. ‘Old’ hands Fran Halsall and Georgia Davies have noticeably improved their starts and underwaters as well - all the fine tuned sprint work they’re doing with James Gibson is clearly clicking.

My top British swims of the week:
- Adam Peaty’s 50 breast world record and its TERRIBLE finish (he’s great coming OFF the wall but not so great going into it maybe?)
- Adam Barrett’s staggering 50.69 fly split in the medley relay. Suck on that, France! For comparison, over in Australia Michael Phelps split 50.60 for USA at Pan-Pacs.
- Fran Halsall’s 50 back win. It wasn’t particularly fast, but she got her hand to the wall first and that’s what counts. That’s a bit of a wake up call for Europe’s full-time backstrokers.
- Jazz’s 400 free. Her 800 was dominant in the end but the 400 was really gutsy. She didn’t panic when Mireia Belmonte gained ground on every turn, but just dug in at 300 and held off Mireia and Sharon at the end. Throughout the meet Jazz can’t have been unaware of what Katie Ledecky was up to in Australia, but she kept her focus. 

Realistically, if Ledecky had been swimming in Berlin she would have obliterated everyone in the distance races (she would have gained twice as much over Jazz on every turn as Mireia did and swum just as fast as Jazz in between). But Ledecky wasn’t there, and there’s no guaranteeing that her form in Kazan 2015 will be as spectacular as in 2013/2014. By then she’ll have switched coaches and be adapting to college life (recommend reading Amanda Beard’s autobiography for what that can entail). Missy Franklin looked unbeatable for three years, then after a long season of NCAAs and US Nationals, she ended up with a back twinge at Pan Pacs, coming 4th in her best event. If Ledecky is at her peak, she is unbeatable. If she’s off the boil even a little (remember Duel In The Pool, anyone?), Jazz absolutely has the ability and the guts to challenge her.

*Poor old Andrew Willis was 0.2 away from a medal on the 200 breaststroke and did a seasons best in the 100 heats, only failing to get through to semis because of the 2-per-nation rule. He’s drawn the short straw at the last few majors now. At least he’s not getting DQed, eh Kevin Cordes?

What a fantastic week of swimming in Berlin from the British team. They may not have been at full strength (10 of our Commonwealth medallists weren’t present) but nearly everyone who went along either got a medal or nabbed a PB*. Considering that this wasn’t the main season goal for most of the swimmers, they’ve held their taper pretty damn well. The numbers don’t lie - 24 medals and 9 golds is just brilliant. If I’ve counted up right, I make that only 5 races where GB had a finalist that didn’t get a medal (3 of those were 4th place finishes).

I was particularly impressed with the younger dudes’ technical aspects: starts, turns, underwaters. Ben Proud, Max Litchfield, Jay Lelliott and Adam Peaty all gained ground on their competitors off every wall. ‘Old’ hands Fran Halsall and Georgia Davies have noticeably improved their starts and underwaters as well - all the fine tuned sprint work they’re doing with James Gibson is clearly clicking.

My top British swims of the week:
- Adam Peaty’s 50 breast world record and its TERRIBLE finish (he’s great coming OFF the wall but not so great going into it maybe?)
- Adam Barrett’s staggering 50.69 fly split in the medley relay. Suck on that, France! For comparison, over in Australia Michael Phelps split 50.60 for USA at Pan-Pacs.
- Fran Halsall’s 50 back win. It wasn’t particularly fast, but she got her hand to the wall first and that’s what counts. That’s a bit of a wake up call for Europe’s full-time backstrokers.
- Jazz’s 400 free. Her 800 was dominant in the end but the 400 was really gutsy. She didn’t panic when Mireia Belmonte gained ground on every turn, but just dug in at 300 and held off Mireia and Sharon at the end. Throughout the meet Jazz can’t have been unaware of what Katie Ledecky was up to in Australia, but she kept her focus.

Realistically, if Ledecky had been swimming in Berlin she would have obliterated everyone in the distance races (she would have gained twice as much over Jazz on every turn as Mireia did and swum just as fast as Jazz in between). But Ledecky wasn’t there, and there’s no guaranteeing that her form in Kazan 2015 will be as spectacular as in 2013/2014. By then she’ll have switched coaches and be adapting to college life (recommend reading Amanda Beard’s autobiography for what that can entail). Missy Franklin looked unbeatable for three years, then after a long season of NCAAs and US Nationals, she ended up with a back twinge at Pan Pacs, coming 4th in her best event. If Ledecky is at her peak, she is unbeatable. If she’s off the boil even a little (remember Duel In The Pool, anyone?), Jazz absolutely has the ability and the guts to challenge her.

*Poor old Andrew Willis was 0.2 away from a medal on the 200 breaststroke and did a seasons best in the 100 heats, only failing to get through to semis because of the 2-per-nation rule. He’s drawn the short straw at the last few majors now. At least he’s not getting DQed, eh Kevin Cordes?

posted 4 days ago

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…with one of the worst breastroke finishes I’ve ever seen! He could have easily taken another stroke. Well done that dude.

posted 6 days ago

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Great swim from Jazz last night. A PB of 8.15.54 leapfrogs her above Jo Jackson’s suited time from Rome 2009 to second on the GB all-time list. Now there’s just Becky’s 8.14 British Record to aim for. Jazz’s homecoming splits were 30.54 and 29.78 - that’s some real strength there. (For comparison, Becky’s final splits in Beijing were 31.20 and 29.66).

Great swim from Jazz last night. A PB of 8.15.54 leapfrogs her above Jo Jackson’s suited time from Rome 2009 to second on the GB all-time list. Now there’s just Becky’s 8.14 British Record to aim for. Jazz’s homecoming splits were 30.54 and 29.78 - that’s some real strength there. (For comparison, Becky’s final splits in Beijing were 31.20 and 29.66).

posted 1 week ago

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Bloody hell! Where did all those medals come from? Six finals, seven medals, plenty of terrible national anthem singing. Well done guys, keep it up. 

I’m really impressed with Chris W-H’s season so far - keep consistently hitting low 53s when it matters and the wins will follow. Siobhan is clearly a good influence on him! 

Meanwhile I hope Sophie Taylor hasn’t done her back in too badly. A lot of people were giving her grief for swimming in the first place this morning (and posting a time nearer to my own pitiful 100br PB than to her British Record) but if you feel ok and have a chance of doing well, you go to the blocks. Then if your back happens to go again when you dive in, the best you can do is try not to make it any worse. You might say a DNF would be better but I remember a poor old teammate (a top NAGer, way better than me) who had an asthma attack during a 100br at Southern Counties and had to stop at the 50m wall (Crystal Palace: awful for so many reasons). We were all worried she would drown or do herself a proper mischief  but her main concern was UTTER RAGE with herself for DNFing. Swimmers be competitive!

Bloody hell! Where did all those medals come from? Six finals, seven medals, plenty of terrible national anthem singing. Well done guys, keep it up.

I’m really impressed with Chris W-H’s season so far - keep consistently hitting low 53s when it matters and the wins will follow. Siobhan is clearly a good influence on him!

Meanwhile I hope Sophie Taylor hasn’t done her back in too badly. A lot of people were giving her grief for swimming in the first place this morning (and posting a time nearer to my own pitiful 100br PB than to her British Record) but if you feel ok and have a chance of doing well, you go to the blocks. Then if your back happens to go again when you dive in, the best you can do is try not to make it any worse. You might say a DNF would be better but I remember a poor old teammate (a top NAGer, way better than me) who had an asthma attack during a 100br at Southern Counties and had to stop at the 50m wall (Crystal Palace: awful for so many reasons). We were all worried she would drown or do herself a proper mischief but her main concern was UTTER RAGE with herself for DNFing. Swimmers be competitive!

posted 1 week ago

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Good profile of Ledecky and Franklin over at the NY Times.

posted 1 week ago

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European Champs start today in Berlin! Open water is up first, so here’s a quick shout-out to Germany’s 39-year-old Angela Maurer (competing in the 10k tomorrow AND the 25k on Sunday), whose first EC medal was back in 1999. Hardcore.

This is also an excellent excuse to peruse German Eurosport via Google Translate:


"Perhaps precious metal from the tower of men possible"
“I am pleased that it goes off,” said the year best in the 100m butterfly, Steffen Deibler (guys he is like 10th best)
“Everyone in the destination may feel victorious”


(I can’t actually remember which of the GB lot are even going, so no more predictions from me this year)

European Champs start today in Berlin! Open water is up first, so here’s a quick shout-out to Germany’s 39-year-old Angela Maurer (competing in the 10k tomorrow AND the 25k on Sunday), whose first EC medal was back in 1999. Hardcore.

This is also an excellent excuse to peruse German Eurosport via Google Translate:

"Perhaps precious metal from the tower of men possible"
“I am pleased that it goes off,” said the year best in the 100m butterfly, Steffen Deibler (guys he is like 10th best)
“Everyone in the destination may feel victorious”

(I can’t actually remember which of the GB lot are even going, so no more predictions from me this year)

posted 2 weeks ago

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Katie Ledecky’s 400m WR splits

Ledecky took down Pellegrini’s 2009 suited time last night. It’s been on the cards for a while, but before now Fed’s final (suit-assisted) 50 split was too insane to match.

Ledecky managed to solve this problem with her tried-and-tested tactic of Going Out Like The Clappers And Hanging On For Dear Life. Worked in the 800 at the Olympics, worked in the 1500 at Worlds. If it ain’t broke, etc.

2009, Federica Pellegrini
28.45
30.21 ﴾58.66)
30.31
30.45 ﴾1:59.42)
30.24
30.27 ﴾2:59.93)
29.86
29.36 (3:59.15)

2014, Katie Ledecky
28.03
29.71 ﴾57.74)
29.93
30.05 ﴾1:57.72)
30.23
30.45 ﴾2:58.40)
31.01
29.45 (3:58.86)

posted 2 weeks ago

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Still the best pool ever! I can feel my arms getting BEEFIER with every length I swim in it.

Still the best pool ever! I can feel my arms getting BEEFIER with every length I swim in it.

posted 3 weeks ago

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An Aberdeenshire dairy has paid tribute to Commonwealth Games swimming champion Hannah Miley with a golden cow.
Mitchell’s Dairy in Inverurie painted their mascot Moorial gold in honour of the local girl winning Scotland’s first gold medal of the games in the 400m individual medley.

Staff hope the swimmer will come and visit Moorial at the dairy’s tearoom.

Judy Whyte said: “Hannah is an inspiration to so many and we wanted to acknowledge her achievements.”

Never let it be said that Tumblr Turns doesn’t bring you the most important news stories as they break.
An Aberdeenshire dairy has paid tribute to Commonwealth Games swimming champion Hannah Miley with a golden cow.

Mitchell’s Dairy in Inverurie painted their mascot Moorial gold in honour of the local girl winning Scotland’s first gold medal of the games in the 400m individual medley.

Staff hope the swimmer will come and visit Moorial at the dairy’s tearoom.

Judy Whyte said: “Hannah is an inspiration to so many and we wanted to acknowledge her achievements.”

Never let it be said that Tumblr Turns doesn’t bring you the most important news stories as they break.

posted 3 weeks ago

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theheroicstarman:

These guys are just beautiful.

Yes but more importantly they beat the Aussies! I am BACK from Glasgow and will write up my important thoughts tomorrow once I’ve rewatched all the races in my lunch break at work. I’m pretty smug about predicting Fran’s fly/free double!

theheroicstarman:

These guys are just beautiful.

Yes but more importantly they beat the Aussies! I am BACK from Glasgow and will write up my important thoughts tomorrow once I’ve rewatched all the races in my lunch break at work. I’m pretty smug about predicting Fran’s fly/free double!

posted 4 weeks ago

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