The Vortex, April 2024 – Sun Yang Could Only Make Paris 2024 Beyond Ban If CSA Broke China’s Anti-Doping Rules

2024-04-15 2 comments Reading Time: 32 minutes

The Vortex is SOS’ digest and soak of swimming news, views and links to noteworthy mainstream media coverage of the sport, additions to the file made most days and collated in one monthly file.

Speculation about a potential comeback by disgraced Sun Yang* in time for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games this July has been rife for some time but the Chinese Swimming Association and the Chinese Olympic Committee would have to break China’s anti-doping rules for the swimmer banned for three months for a first offence and four years and three months for his second office to make it back to the Games.

The saga that led to Sun’s second ban was sparked by an exclusive report in The Sunday Times by this author, alerting the World Anti-Doping Agency to a secret report detailing a dispute between Sun and his entourage and a Chinese team of out-of-competition anti-doping agents that lasted long into the night and ended up with a blood sample being removed from the chain of custody and smashed with a hammer by a security guard on the pavement outside the control room with Sun lighting up events with his smart-phone torch.

FINA (since rebranded World Aquatics) investigators noted the swimmer’s unacceptable behaviour, chastised him and his entourage and judged Sun to have put his “entire career at risk”. They also stopped short of any penalty beyond a slap-on-the-writst warning, despite Sun’s previous scrape with anti-doping, and wrote that only the parties involved should see their report. That meant the incident was not reported to WADA, bypassing any obligation to do so.

Sun’s ban runs out next month after the Chinese Championships and Olympic trials, discounting direct selection for Paris. Although selectors have discretionary powers in China, in common with many other nations around the world, they would only be able to add Sun to the Olympic team by breaking rules put in place in 2021 that bars any athlete who has served a suspension of one year or more for any violation of the WADA Code from representing China at the Olympic Games.

Any such rule is, of course, open to challenge at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but without an emergency sitting in a window of about a month between any possible challenge and the deadline for Olympic entries on June 23, which also happens to be Olympic Day, Sun would have no chance of extending his Olympic career as an athlete with two offences on his record.

Beyond that, any CAS case pitting a Chinese athlete and different authorities against each other in an international tribunal-style setting would be a fascinating spectacle.

The Chinese Swimming News and Results fan group on X highlighted the pertinent rule and barrier to Sun rising in time for a comeback at Paris 2024:

Meanwhile, the mere suggestion that Sun could make it back sparks push back in the swimming ranks, Australian ace Sam Short the latest to speak out on the matter when asked by Tom Decent at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Ahead of the Australian Open Championships on the Gold Coast from Wednesday, Short told the paper:

“I watched his races in 2012 and 2016 and he’s a bit of a villain in the swimming world. If he comes back, I have no doubt that I can beat him and probably smash his PBs. I think his PBs probably won’t win any of the events come Paris.”

Sam Short – photo by Delly Carr, courtesy of Swimming Australia

Sunday Vortex, April 14

Henique & Cheruti Deliver Dashing Double In Eindhoven

Melanie Henique - Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK
Melanie Henique – Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK

Melanie Henique, of Marseille, and Meiron Amir Cheruti, of Israel, scored a double dash victory apiece in the closing session of the Eindhoven Qualification Meet.

Henique blasted a 25.22 in the 50m butterfly just 0.05sec shy of the French record she set in 2021, and then returned rio the fray to get the edge in a stroke-for-stroke freestyle dash that ended in her favour 24.60 to 24.62 for Valerie van Roon and Kim Busch, of the Netherlands, third in 24.79.

Cheruti followed the same path as Henique, his dominant 23.01 blowing away his own 23.50 Israeli record before he also topped the freestyle dash, by 0.01 in 21.93 to 21.94, third place a 21.99, courtesy of Kenzo Simons, of the Netherlands, and Israel’s second in the hunt, Martin Kartavi.

German all-time No4 Melvin Imoudu is now No3 after causing a minor upset in the men’s 100m breaststroke – on the basis of home crowd rather than the clock, which is heavily dependent of stage of preparation at this time of year. The Potsdam charge taking the race in 59.33 ahead of Dutch national teamsters Caspar Corbeau and Arno Kamminga, the Olympic silver medallist, respectively on 59.66 and 59.67. I

Imoudu clocked 59.07 in heats, both his efforts inside Germany’s Paris 2024 qualifying time. Lucas Matzerath and Fabian Schwingenschlogl have best times in the high 58s. German swimmers have several opportunities in May and June to add their names to the list of qualifiers for Paris 2024. The top two inside qualification standard get the berths.

This already inside the cut and qualified c courtesy of placings atbthe past two World Championships, 2023 and 2024: Lukas Märtens (200 and 400 free), Isabel Gose (400, 800 and1,500 free), Sven Schwarz (800 free) and Angelina Köhler (100 ‘fly).

The women’s 200m breaststroke final in Eindhoven, meanwhile, was more pleasing for the home crowd, Tes Schouten way ahead on 1:06.15.

In the men’s 400m Freestyle, Sven Schwarz, of Hannover and Germany, clocked 3:47.82 for the win over Ukraine’s distance ace and Olympic, World and European 800 and 1500m medallist Mykhailo Romanchuk, on 3:50.76, third place to Israel’s Yoav Romano in 3:52.42.

A Wiffen Twin Back In The Fray: Risotto Carbonara Cook Off: Dan Wiffen Vs Chef Varun Shivadasani

We know Dan Wiffen is competitive so no surprise to find the double 800-1500m free World champion for Ireland introducing his own risotto carbonara as “world-famous” without telling us why before providing a hint by noting that Chef Varun Shivadasani would make “an upgraded version of my risotto” in their Cook Off at the elite athlete hotel in Loughborough, where Wiffen is based.

Here’s what happened next:

Saturday Vortex, April 13

McIntosh 2:08.1 In 200IM Ất Canadian Open Concludes Paris Trials Prep “On The Sprintier Side Of Things”

Summer McIntosh concluded the Canadian Open with her fourth win in as many nights: a 2:08.19 in the 200m medley brought together the sum of speed we’d seen in the 100 ‘fly (57.1), the 100 back (second in 59.9) and the 100 free (53.9, alongside a world-ranks-topping 1:54.20 in the 200m free).

Summer McIntosh – by Ian McNicol, courtesy of Swimming Canada

The medley time is swifter than that of her rivals at any of the others test events that have been underway anywhere in the world this week and last, including San Antonio, the Eindhoven Meet and British Championships.

Effectively, a 2:08 flattish is a breeze of a warm-up ahead of Canadian Olympic trials next month. A speedy thrill in prospect as McIntosh prepares to undertake a program very few could manage, let alone manage as an Olympic podium prospect in each of the events: 200m free, 400m free, 200m butterfly, 200 and 400m medley, and then relays… what will it come down to come the hour?

Her Olympic time-qualifier effort in the 200m medley unfolded was follows:

26.84; 32.15; 38.87 and 30.33 – 2:08.19

The 17-year-old four-time world champion (200m ‘Flt and 400m medley, in which she holds the World record) was racing at home in Toronto. She said:

Summer McIntosh all smiles after she kept the World 200 'fly crown on her head in Fukuoka(

“I’m continuing to work on back-to-back races and more races on the sprintier side of things. I’m more of a mid-distance swimmer overall, but kind of developing my speed and finishing off races as well as possible is something that I learned a lot at this meet.”

Summer McIntosh – Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK)

Astonishing versatility: the World 400 medley record holders set a Commonwealth record of 8:11.39 over 800m freestyle ahead of Katie Ledecky in February.

Reflecting on the inaugural Canadian Open, High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson said: “The first Canadian Open has provided exactly what we wanted, a quality racing opportunity in Canada that is part of the national program. There have been some world class performances with great racing that is perfect for this point before trials. Our athletes can all build upon their swims at TPASC, with their coaches, for their final preparation to the trials. The Canadian Open is part of the Swimming Canada ‘Canadian Way’ competition strategy for 2025 to 2028 and can build year on year.”

Results in full

San Antonio Wraps Up With Wave Of Warnings & Whispers Of The Pace Of Paris

The San Antonio leg of the Pro Swim Series wrapped up at the Northside Swim Center with a wave of warnings and whispers to the world about prospects for USA trials in June and the ultimate challenge beyond, at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games from late July.

Katie Ledecky notched up yet another 800m free better than any others woman has ever swum: 8:12.95 is the 25th best of her career on the most dominant list of event all-time performances: the best 16 of her swiftest 16 lengths are the best 16 ever, closest to her World record of 8:04.79, the 8:11.39 clocked by Summer McIntosh in February in a race that marked Ledecky’s first defeat in the distance in international waters since she came to prominence as a 15-year-old claiming Olympic gold at London 2012.

Kate Douglass, photo courtesy of World Aquatics #AQUAFukuoka23

Other highlights included a 57.74 from Regan Smith in the 100m backstroke a 2:19.89 from Kate Douglass in the 200m breaststroke. That’s the fifth fastest ever. Through USA Swimming, the versatile Douglass, Olympic bronze medallist in the 200m medley at Tokyo 2020ne said: “I have really enjoyed training (for) breaststroke and I realised that it could be one of my best events. I’ve really enjoyed training for it these last couple of years and just seeing myself improve in that race. It’s one of my favourite events to train for in practice.”

Torri Huske, a 55.68 in the bag over 100m butterfly, posted a 2:08.47 in the 200m medley, her time the fifth fastest all-time among Americans, good enough to keep Olympic silver medallist Alex Walsh at bay on 2:08.60.

Huske on her double: “I gave it my all. I think that my 200IM was really good. It’s interesting to see how I swam it so differently from Westmont [Pro-swim last month] but I still went around the same time, a little faster. It’s kind of interesting in this race – you never know what to expect when you add on the 50 free.”

Matt Fallon is now a man who can say he once beat Léon Marchand in a swim race: 2:08.18 to 2:08.40 in the 200m breaststroke, the pace of the Paris podium heading down to the 2:05s when France raises every roof in town each time Marchand steps up for one of his several golden shots.

Fallon noted the new in his his approach and the importance of swimming in your own lane even when a double medley and 200 ‘fly World champion is in the next lane: “I started to take it out more than usual. And I feel like just as long as I can hold that, I will be able to go pretty fast. I definitely exceeded my expectations a bunch. Man, I saw Leon but I was really just swimming in my own lane. It’s an amazing show all around. Just really good execution.”

The meet came to a close with a tight tussle in the women’s 50m free, Poland’s Kasia Wasick getting the touch 24.20, respectively 0.07 and 0.09 ahead of Abbey Weitzeil and Gretchen Walsh.

In the men’s final Mexico’s Gabe Castano landed a win 21.70 ahead of Ryan Held, 21.79, and Olympic champion on the comeback trail from mental health struggles, Caeleb Dressel, 21.85.

Last-Day Podiums

Women’s 800m Freestyle
1 – Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Gator Swim Club), 8:12.95
2 – Jillian Cox (Cedar Park, Texas/Longhorn Aquatics), 8:27.95
3 – Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala./New York Athletic Club), 8:31.37

Men’s 800m Freestyle
1 – Alfonso Mestre (VEN), 7:52.22
2 – Bobby Finke (Clearwater, Fla./St. Petersburg Aquatics), 7:54.48
3 – Ilia Sibirtsev (UZB), 7:54.87

Women’s 100m Backstroke
1 – Regan Smith (Lakeville, Minn./Sun Devil Swimming), 57.74
2 – Katherine Berkoff (Missoula, Mont./Wolfpack Elite), 58.77
3 – Claire Curzan (Cary, N.C./Unattached), 59.16

Men’s 100m Backstroke
1 – Hubert Kos (HUN), 53.08
2 – Justin Ress (Cary, N.C./Mission Viejo Nadadores), 54.36
3 – Kacper Stokowski (POL), 54.70

Women’s 200m Breaststroke
1 – Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y./New York Athletic Club), 2:19.89
2 – Kotryna Teterevkova (LITH), 2:24.56
3 – Ella Nelson (Nashville, Tenn./University of Virginia), 2:25.39

Men’s 200m Breaststroke
1 – Matt Fallon (Warren, N.J./Athens Bulldog Swim Club), 2:08.18
2 – Leon Marchand (FRA), 2:08.40
3 – Adam Chillingworth (HKG), 2:11.16

Women’s 200m Individual Medley
1 – Torri Huske (Arlington, Va./Arlington Aquatic Club), 2:08.47
2 – Alex Walsh (Nashville, Tenn./University of Virginia), 2:08.60
3 – Sydney Pickrem (CAN), 2:11.37

Men’s 200m Individual Medley
1 – Chase Kalisz (Baltimore, Md./Sun Devil Swimming), 1:57.51
2 – Carson Foster (Cincinatti, Ohio/Mason Manta Rays), 1:58.31
3 – Grant House (Maineville, Ohio/Unattached), 1:58.69

Women’s 50m Freestyle
1 – Kasia Wasick (POL), 24.20
2 – Abbey Weitzeil (Nashville, Tenn./University of Virginia), 24.27
3 – Gretchen Walsh (Nashville, Tenn./University of Virginia), 24.29

Men’s 50m Freestyle
1 – Gabe Castano (MEX), 21.70
2 – Ryan Held (Springfield, Ill./New York Athletic Club), 21.79
3 – Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Gator Swim Club), 21.85

Results in full

Steenbergen Follows 52.7 In 100 Free With 2:08.8 Dutch Record In 200IM

Marrit Steenbergen - courtesy of World Aquatics
Marrit Steenbergen – courtesy of World Aquatics

On Day 3 at the Eindhoven Qualification Meet, 100m free World Champion Marrit Steenbergen clocked 52.72 in the there and back before setting a Dutch 200m medley record of 2:08.86 (28.14; 1:01.43; 1:38.90)

The meet has also witnessed fine efforts from Tes Schouten, on 2:21.43 in the 200m breaststroke; Tessa Giele, on 57.38 in the 100m butterfly; and Germany’s Cedric Buessing, for SG Essen, on 4:12.33 in the 400m medley.

Today is the last day at the Eindhoven Meet.

Results in full

Follows & Torepe-Ormsby Join Ranks Of Those Raising New Zealand’s Game Ahead Of Paris Olympics

The New Zealand Championships and Olympic trials are done. Lewis Clareburt, disturbance behind him, added another qualifying swim for Paris, clocking his fastest 200m medley, 1:57.36, since the Tokyo Games in 2021, when he was 0.09 swifter. “It’s been a long time coming in this event,” he said,. “It’s such a good feeling to get toward that mark again – I’m moving in the right direction. I’m starting to put it together now. I can’t wait for Paris.”

The women’s 800m free witnessed a fine fight, World 400m champion Erika Fairweather on 8:21.67 and pressed all the way by Eve Thomas, who crunched back her lifetime best to 8:22.27, a chunk inside the 8:24.86 in which she finished fourth at Doha World titles in February a couple of strokes adrift Fairweather’s bronze.

Sarah Hardcastle and daughter Eve Thomas – courtesy of Eve, Instagram

Thomas’ mother Sarah Hardcastle, Olympic medallist and World champion for Britain in her day, had a best of 8:24.77. Back in 1986, that was a whisker shy of Australian Tracey Wickham’s outstanding World record. Now Eve is finally the fastest in her family.

Other highlights at Hawkes Bay…

Kane Follows, 26, broke Gareth Kean’s 2012 New Zealand 200m backstroke record of 1:57.15 by 0.02 seconds. Fellow has been a national 200m backstroke champion for most years since 2018 but has not broken through on the clock and when big qualifications came calling. Now he’s off to Paris for the 2024 Olympics.

“I have no words, it’s been a grind,” Follows told Kiwi Swimming. “This has been a grind. I’ve missed a lot of teams, but I’ve stuck at it, I’ve given so much to the sport and it feels so good to get a result now. I just can’t wait to get back to work, I’m so excited. Sport is a lot of ups and downs but it’s all worth it for this feeling, I’ve really enjoyed this week, racing with my mates and this is the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”

US-based Taiko Torepe-Ormsby was another who made the cut for the ultimate challenge. He took down the New Zealand Open record in 50m free heats with a 21.86, 0.1 inside the Paris cut and 0.25sec inside the Kiwi standard. “I’m lost for words,” he said. “I’ve always dreamed about this moment my whole life. I was lucky enough to have my coach come over from Wisconsin to help me out here, and I’ve been doing some of the sets he’s given me, and going fast the last couple of days.”

Monique Wieruszowski also set a national record. Her 30.38 was inside her previous standard of 30.68 in the 50m breaststroke. She won the 100m at trials in 1:07.88.

Results in Full

Australians Prepare To Chuck Gauntlets

Kaylee McKeown – by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK)

As the World warms up to seedier times on the way to trials and then the Paris Games, Dolphins and aspiring Dolphins stars are about to descend on Gold Coast for the Australian Open Championships.

Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus, Kaylee McKeown, Mollie O’Callaghan, Meg Harris, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Kyle Chalmers, Elijah Winnington and Cameron McEvoy are among the headliners for the meet from next Wednesday April 17 to Saturday the 20th. More than 800 athletes will converge on Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, with Australia’s elite “looking to make a down payment on their Paris preparations” as Swimming Australia puts it.

Friday Vortex, April 12

Huske Rattles World Record With 55.68 ‘Fly Blast In San Antonio

Torri Huske, photo by Getty, courtesy of World Aquatics
Torri Huske, photo by Getty, courtesy of World Aquatics

The 100m ‘Fly finals produced the headliners on the third day at the Pro Swim meet in San Antonio, Torri Huske scorching a World-record rattling 55.68 series record a stroke ahead of Gretchen Walsh and Olympic Caeleb Dressel matched by Hungarian 200m back World champion Hubert Kos in 50.84.

Huske had set the series mark at 56.13 last month at the Westmont leg of Pro Swim and is now among favourites for Olympic gold this summer, another warning served to Sarah Sjostrom’s global standard of 55.48 from her historic victory at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Huske was under pressure, in particular, from one of those who will vie with for the two Team USA tickets to the 100m ‘fly at the Paris Olympics at trials in June: Walsh, 56.14. Third home was another contender for Paris, Claire Curzan, 57.67

Kos bolted from the blocks, turning in 23.70, 0.67sec clear of Dressel, who then reeled him in with a 26.47 top 27.14 return that produc ed a snap, both men on 50.84. Over in Hungary, under no pressure, Hungary’s other ‘fly contender for Paris honours this summer, Kristóf Milák, clocked 50.99 (see below in this Vortex) – and what it took to win the world title in Doha in February may struggle to make the Paris final as the big guns rest up for a battle that could produce the first sub-50 100 ‘fly podium in history and all the pioneering field speed that follows to last-man home.

Day 3 in San Antonio, as the first of the final on the list below shows, served its purpose well: the art of race practice is well underway in this Olympic year:

Women’s 200m Freestyle
1 – Siobhan Haughey (HKG), 1:54.52
2 – Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Gator Swim Club), 1:54.97
3 – Anna Peplowski (Germantown Hills, Ill. Indiana University), 1:56.99

Men’s 200m Freestyle
1 – Rafael Miroslaw (GER), 1:46.11
2 – Carson Foster (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mason Manta Rays), 1:46.58
3 – Kieran Smith (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield Aquatic Club), 1:47.41

Women’s 200m Backstroke
1 – Regan Smith (Lakeville, Minn./Sun Devil Swimming), 2:05.46
2 – Phoebe Bacon (Chevy Chase, Md./Wisconsin Aquatics), 2:07.24
3 – Claire Curzan (Cary, N.C./Unattached), 2:07.64

Men’s 200m Backstroke
1 – Hunter Tapp (Louisville, Ky./Wolfpack Elite), 1:58.52
2 – Jack Aikins (Atlanta, Ga./Swim Atlanta), 1:58.81
3 – Gavin Keogh (Erie, Colo./Flatiron Athletic Club), 1:59.19

Women’s 400m IM
1 – Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR), 4:38.89
2 – Sydney Pickrem (CAN), 4:44.16
3 – Ella Nelson (Nashville, Tenn./University of Virginia), 4:45.08

Men’s 400m IM
1 – Leon Marchand (FRA), 4:11.21
2 – Chase Kalisz (Bel Air, Md./Sun Devil Swimming), 4:12.45
3 – Jay Litherland (Alpharetta, Ga./Sun Devil Swimming), 4:16.61

Women’s 100m Butterfly
Torri Huske (Arlington, Va./Arlington Aquatic Club), 55.68
Gretchen Walsh (Nashville, Tenn./University of Virginia), 56.14
Claire Curzan (Cary, N.C./Unattached), 57.67

Men’s 100m Butterfly
1 – Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Gator Swim Club) and Hubert Kos (HUN) – 50.84
3 – Eric Friese (GER), 51.84

Sparks ‘Fly As McIntosh & Mac Neil Split By 0.05 In 57Sec Spar

Summer McIntosh, courtesy of Swimming Canada

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Summer McIntosh test the 4:20 mark on a 400IM one fine day, what with the kind of in-training 100m swims she’s laid down in Toronto at the Canadian Open this week, her latest a 57.19 win in a stroke-for-stroke speed test with Olympic champion Maggie Mac Neil.

It went like this:

57.19 (26.74; 30.45) Mcintosh
57.24 (26.69; 30.55) Mac Neil
58.05 (27.82; 30.23) Mary-Sophie Harvey

So far, McIntosh has laid down wins of 53.90 and 1:54.2 in the 100-200m free (the latter a world ranks topper for early 2024), a second place behind another neck-for-neck with Mac Neil in the 100 back, 59.93 to 59.96, and now a 57.1 100 ‘fly.

The sum of parts in Paris looks set to be one of the highlights of the Games this summer.

The last day of the Toronto meet, Saturday, brings the 200IM and the 800m free.

Results in full

Telegdy Up To All-Time Hungarian No2 With 1:55 In 200 Back & Milák On 50.9 100 ‘Fly

Ádám Telegdy, Kőbánya Sport Club, aded the 200m backstroke to his victory in the 100m at Hungarian Championships in Budapest with a career high of 1:55.57. Hungary will head to the Paris 2024 Olympics with two, not one, racers in the podium pursuit.

Adam Telegdy, courtesy of Kőbánya Sport Club and the Hungarian Swimming Federation
Adam Telegdy, courtesy of Kőbánya Sport Club and the Hungarian Swimming Federation

World champion of 2023, Hubert Kos, based in Airzona at the Sun Devils, holds the Hungarian record at 1:54.14, the time in which he lifted the global crown in Fukuoka.

Telegdy’s new pace lifts him up from fourth to second on the all-time Hungarian rankings, past Peter Bernek and Benedek Kovacs and his own previous best of 1:56.15 from the Tokyo202One Olympics. Closest to Telegdy today was Adám Jászó, on 1:58.77, Kovacs third in 1:59.09.

With that swim, Telegdy confirmed his place at the Paris Olympic Games on a day when Boglarka Kapas, his partner in life as well as the swim, also booked likely passage to a third Games at which the couple will be Hungarian teammates.

Racing in his home pool, the Duna Arena, Olympic 200m butterfly champion Kristóf Milák, Budapesti Honvéd SE, collected his fourth national title in as many days with a 50.99 victory in the 100m butterfly.

Unrested, his 2024 best, more than a second outside his European record, would have been good enough to win the Doha 2024 World title at the oddball championships in February.

Closest to Milák today were efforts pf 52.53 and 52.66 from Austria’s Simon Bucher and the winner’s training partner Richárd Martón.

In the women’s 200m backstroke, Eszter Szabo-Feltóthy, Vasas Sport Club, topped the final in 2:08.95, in a tussle with Dóra Molnár, on 2:09.82.

Results in full

Thursday Vortex, April 11

Wins For Marchand & Haughey As Americans Check Their Sextants In San Antonio

Leon MARCHAND of France on his way out after winning in the Men's 200m Individual Medley (IM) Final during the swimming events of the 20th World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, Thursday, July 27, 2023. (Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK)
Leon Marchand (Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK)

Léon Marchand, of France and ASU, and Siobhan Haughey, of Hong Kong, laid down solid wins at the Pro Swim Series San Antonio, where American coaches bearing sxtents extents athletes and coaches carrying compasses and sextants with which to track the progress of their stars ahead of June Olympic trials produced speedy in-training efforts.

Marchand, the NCAA D1 Male swimmer of the year after helping the Sun Devils lift their first ultimate college sports title, clocked 1:54.97 in the 200m butterfly, just 0.07sec shy of the effort laid down by Olympic champion Kristóf Milák at Hungarian nationals in Budapest on Wednesday (see below). Americans Luca Orlando and Olympic 400IM champion Chase Kalisz followed in 1:55:63 and 1:55.97 respectively. Milák’s World record stands at 1:50.34, compared to Marchand’s 1:52.43 European record and all-time No3 world-title lifting effort at Fukuoka 2023. In the middle on the historic clock is Michael Phelps, at 1:51.51.

Siobhan Haughey, courtesy of World Aquatics
Siobhan Haughey, courtesy of World Aquatics

Haughey is one off the prime examples of the difference between outstanding swimmers in nations where they are by far the biggest fish in a small pond when it comes to golden hopes at the Olympics and American big fish in a big pond in which the Games can only be accessed via domestic trials and their live-or-die nature and nothing, but nothing, can be taken for granted.

For many decades, that tough competitive environment was a huge advantage for the USA. It remains an important weapon in the Team USA arsenal but its effectiveness has dwindled with the professionalisation of the sport and the ability of is single stars from far flung places to travel for training and competition to get the best racing opportunities while already knowing a year out that they’re on their country’s Olympic team.

It works both ways: a 100m freestyle race in which Haughey’s 52.74 kept Kate Douglass and Torri Huske at bay, their respective times 52.98 and 53.08, is to the benefit of all of them.

In other finals, there were impressive in-training wins for Olympic silver medallist Regan Smith, on 2:05.97 in the 200m butterfly; Olympic champion Lydia Jacoby, on 1:05.74 in the 100m breaststroke; and seven-times Olympic champion Katie Ledecky, on 4:01.41 in the 400m freestyle.

Speaking through USA Swimming, Ledecky said:

“I feel like I have had some really great training and at this point in the season that just starts to show itself a little bit more. It was a good day. It’s [journey to trials] one step at a time, for sure. Today was a good step for me, Trials will be a big step. Hopefully I’ll get to swim in Paris. I love the event and I want to do really well in it.”

Katie Ledecky – Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK)

Day 2 of the meet in San Antonio hinted at a strong return for Olympic 50, 100m free and 100 ‘fly champion Caeleb Dressel, on 48.40 in the 100m free ahead of Ryan Held, 48.48, and Matt King, 48.62.

On the opening day, Olympic 800-1500m free champion Bobby Finke clocked 15:05.96 at the helm of the 1500m freestyle, Paige Madden taking the women’s race in 16:19.77.

Day 2

Women’s 100m Freestyle
1 – Siobhan Haughey (HKG),52.74
2 – Kate Douglass (Pelham, N.Y./New York Athletic Club), 52.98
3 – Torri Huske (Arlington, Va./Arlington Aquatic Club), 53.08

Men’s 100m Freestyle
1 – Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Gator Swim Club), 48.40
2 – Ryan Held (Springfield, Ill./New York Athletic Club), 48.48
3 – Matt King (Snohomish, Wash./Texas Ford Dealer Aquatics), 48.62

Women’s 100m Breaststroke
1 – Lydia Jacoby (Seward, Alaska/ Seward Tsunami Swim Club), 1:05.74
2 – Emma Weber (Boulder, Colo./University of Virginia), 1:06.50
3 – Lilly King (Evansville, Ind./Indiana Swim Club), 1:06.53

Men’s 100m Breaststroke
1 – Denis Petrashov (KGZ), 59.83
2 – Nic Fink (Morristown, N.J./New York Athletic Club), 1:00.03
3 – Ron Polonsky (ISR), 1:00.24

Women’s 200m Butterfly
1 – Regan Smith (Lakeville, Minn./Sun Devil Swimming), 2:05.97
2 – Dakota Luther (Austin, Texas/Longhorn Aquatics), 2:09.51
3 – Lindsay Looney (Denison, Texas/Sun Devil Swimming), 2:09.64

Men’s 200m Butterfly
1 – Leon Marchand (FRA), 1:54.97
2 – Luca Urlando (Sacramento, Calif./Sun Devil Swimming), 1:55:63
3 – Chase Kalisz (Baltimore, Md./ Sun Devil Swimming), 1:55.97

Women’s 400m Freestyle
1 – Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Gator Swim Club), 4:01.41
2 – Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala./New York Athletic Club), 4:04.86
3 – Jillian Cox (Cedar Park, Texas/Longhorn Aquatics), 4:07.61

Men’s 400m Freestyle
1 – Guiherme Costa (BRA), 3:46.61
2 –Alfonso Mestre (VEN), 3:47.14
3 – Carson Foster (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mason Manta Rays), 3:47.64

Day 1

Men’s 1500m Freestyle

1 – Bobby Finke (Clearwater, Fla./St. Petersburg Aquatics), 15:05.96
2 – Felix Auboeck (AUT), 15:13.62
3 – William Mulgrew (Walpole, Mass./Shawmut Aquatic Club), 15:19.25

Women’s 1500m Freestyle – FINAL

1 – Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala./New York Athletic Club,16:19.77
2 – Densz Ertan (TUR), 16:33.20
3 – Paige Downey (Gilbert, Ariz./Gold Medal Swim Club), 16:35.01

Results in full

At 15, Vivien Jackl Gives Hungary Its Latest 400IM Olympic Podium Prospect On 4:34

Vivien Jackl had yet to be born when Katinka Hosszú qualified for her first Olympics but today the 15-year-old threw her hat in the 400m medley ring as a probable finalist and possible medallist at the Paris Games with a 4mins 34.96 career-best victory in Budapest at Hungarian nationals.

Vivien Jackl, courtesy of the Hungarian Swimming Federation/MUSZ
Vivien Jackl, courtesy of the Hungarian Swimming Federation/MUSZ

Jackl, racing for TVSE, took the lead on ‘fly in 1:02.98, turned into breaststroke in 2:10.09, and maintained a three-second winning margin over Boglarka Kapas on breaststroke, her hand on the wall to freestyle at 3:32.60, Kapas now caught by Viktória Mihályvári-Farkas.

The champion gained another second on Kapas on freestyle, her 3:34.96 a huge personal best inside the 4:40.66 in which she claimed the European Junior title in Belgrade last July. Kapas clocked 4:38.92, Mihályvári-Farkas on 4:39.43.

Hosszú, the 2016 Olympic champion and former World record holder, finished third in heats on 4:49.80 and left it at what, relatively speaking, is a fine effort: on a comeback from an even bigger joy that Olympic gold, she watched the final from dryland with her baby daughter.

Jackl’s swim is the latest progress from a teenager following in the masterstrokes of Krisztina Egerszegi, the 1992 Olympic champion (and triple champion with victories in the 100 and 200m backstroke in Barcelona). At European juniors last year, she swam into lane 4 for the final a year after bronze as a 13-year-old at the same event in Otopeni. Jackl will still be 15 in Paris, her 16th birthday due in October.

On the men’s side at the Duna Arena today, the headline went yet again to Olympic 200m butterfly champion Kristóf Milák, Budapesti Honvéd, who added the 200m free to his 100m free and 200m butterfly titles, in 1:48.15. The next three home in line for 4x200m free action this summer, selections pending, were Attila Kovács, 1:48.63, Nándor Németh, 1:49.03, and Richárd Márton, 1:49.09, distance ace Dávid Betlehem the last man inside 1:50, on 1:49.89.

Nationals are a multi-event training exercise for Milák and four the second day running he battled in a second final in one session, though this time it was silver not gold. Szebasztián Szabo, UNI Győri Úszó Sportegy, toom the 50 ‘fly in 23.32, Milák on 23.44.

The men’s 400IM also has a deep tradition in Hungary but in Budapest today there were no sub-4:10 efforts, Gábor Zombori, already on the team for Paris, taking the title for Újpesti Torna Egylet in 4:12.70. The podium was rounded off by a snap in 4:15,93, courtesy of Balázs Hollo and Dominik Márk Török. In fifth, at 36 years of age, former Hungarian No1 Dávid Verrasztó, son of Zoltan Verrasztó, the 1975 200m backstroke World champion, clocked 4:17.80.

In other finals, titles flowed as follows:

200m freestyle: Nikolett Pádár, Szegedi Úszó Egylet – 1:56.83
Men 200m breaststroke: Christopher Rothbauer, Austria – 2:13.32
Women 200m breaststroke: Eszter Békesi, BVSC-Zugló – 2:28.45

Results in full

Canadian Women’s 4×100 Free Warm-Up For Trials Showdown

At the Canadian Open in Toronto, Summer McIntosh clocked 53.90 in the 100m freestyle ahead of the race’s other leading candidates for 4x100m free berths come Olympic trials in May, Maggie Mac Neil, 54.01, Mary Sophie-Harvey, 54.27, and 2016 Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak, 54.43.

McIntosh could potentially have the biggest program at the Paris Olympic Games, the 200, 400 and 800m free with her name on it alongside the 200 and 400 IM and the 200m butterfly, plus all three women’s relay. Huge program. The picks may be obvious but the final list will not be confirmed until trials are done next month.

In other action, medley ace Finlay Knox tested the parts of the fast sums he’s working on with a 1:00.91 in the 100m breaststroke.

Results in full

Wednesday/Thursday Vortex, April 10-11

Summer Gets Her Season Off The Blocks With Swift 1:54.2 In 200 Free At Canadian Open

Summer McIntosh – by Patrick B. Kraemer

Summer McIntosh, double World champion and record holder in the 400m medley, clocked a swift 1:54.21 in the 200m freestyle to pin versatility to the billboard on the first off four days of racing at the inaugural Canadian Swimming Open.

The meet at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre could hardly ave got off to a better start in April a month shy of Canadian Olympic trials: McIntosh’s time is a gauntlet-chucking early season world-ranks topper. Speaking through Swimming Canada on an evening that also witnessed a 59.96 in the 100m backstroke from the World 200 ‘fly champion of 2022 and 2023 in a race with Olympic 100 ‘fly champion Maggie McNeil, the winner in 59.93, McIntosh said:

“Overall I was really happy with that. I felt quite strong. To get a result like that in the training that I’m in is pretty good. I’m overall happy with it. I don’t have any crazy expectations for this meet or anything like that but anytime I get to come back to Toronto I’m always happy. It’s such an amazing pool and the crowd’s always awesome.”

Summer McIntosh – photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK

Mary-Sophie Harvey swam a personal best 1:56.76 for second place in the 200 free, while 2016 Olympic 100m free champion Penny Oleksiak continued her comeback from injury with a fifth-place finish in 1:59.48, her first sub-2min since June 2022.

“I feel good because right now my front end is feeling really strong and I feel really confident about that,” Oleksiak said. “Now I’ve got to work on my back end and that comes with training and time and learning from meets like this.”

Other winners day 1 in Toronto included:
Finlay Knox (High Performance Centre – Vancouver), men’s 200 free (1:48.39)
Raben Dommann (HPC-Vancouver), men’s 100 back (55.16)
Mabel Zavaros (Markham Aquatic Club), women’s 200 butterfly (2:13.64)
Max Malakhovets (Etobicoke Swim Club), men’s 200 butterfly (2:00.65)

Results in full

Clareburt Takes Down Stanley’s 2012 NZL 400 Free Record In 3:46.78

Lewis Clareburt continued to put his fine form on display at New Zealand Championships, his 3:46.78 victory in the 400m freestyle breaking Matthew Stanley‘s 3:47.67 national dating back to 2012. Clareburt had company to half-way, Zac Reid 0.09 behind at the 200m turn before Clareburt piled the pressure on. Reid took second in 3:48.61. Clareburt’s new high fell just 0.07sec shy of the Paris 2024 qualifying target time.

The third day of action at Hawke’s Bay did not pass without a qualifier, however: Hazel Ouwehand got her ticket to Paris with a 57.43 national record in the 100m butterfly.

Results in Full

Wednesday Vortex, April 10

Milák On 1:54.9 In 200 ‘Fly As Warm-Up For 21.8 Free Dash

Kristof Milak vortex
Kristof Milak – by Patrick B. Kraemer

Kristóf Milák edged back towards his towering best over 200m butterfly three years after Olympic gold with a 1:54.90 victory on day 2 at Hungarian Championships in Budapest. He followed up with a 21.8 50 free in the same session, deep aerobic background to the fore.

Racing for Budapesti Honvéd SE, Milák sped through split of 24.91, 54.28 and 1:24.90 before a last length of 30.00. His outer-orbit World record stands at 1:50.34, the first sub-1:50 over four laps ‘fly on the horizon. Yesterday, he took the 100m free title in 48.3 see below) in his first race since announcing 50 weeks ago that he felt burned out and would take a season away from racing to ensure he would arrive in Paris for the Games this summer fit to fight for gold.

Closest to him at the Duna Arena today were club mate Richárd Márton, 1:56.32, and Turkey’s Turnali Polat Uzer, 1:56.41, with Balázs Hollo the third Hungarian home, in 1:56.92.

Milák was not done yet. He returned to the fray towards the end of the session for a 21.89 victory in the 50m freestyle thread of Nádor Németh, 22.19, and Bence Szabados, 22.31.

In other finals, the champions were:

Boglárka Kapás, Újpesti Torna Egylet, 2:08.15 – 200m butterfly
Petra Senánszky, Debreceni Sportc., 25.05 – 50m freestyle
Dóra Molnár, Budafóka XXII., 1:01.03 – 100m backstroke
Ajna Késely, BVSC-Zugló, 4:08.24 – 400m freestyle

Dávid Betlehem, Balaton ÚK Veszprém, 3:49.00 – 400m freestyle
Ádám Teledgy, Kőbánya Sport Club, 53.76 – 100m backstroke

Results in full

Related Paris 2024 news: World Aquatics Will Not Match Coe Money For Athletics Olympic Gold Medals Move In Paris

Clareburt Rattles Decade-Old NZL 200 Free Record In 1:47.1

Lewis Clareburt, courtesy of Swimming NZL

There were no qualifiers for the Paris 2024 on the second day of New Zealand Championships at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre but 400IM ace Lewis Clareburt came closest with a dominant 1:47.18 win in the 200m freestyle just 0.09sec shy of the national record held by Matthew Stanley since 2014, when he took down the then 18-year-old standard of 1:47.63 set by Danyon Loader for 1996 Olympic gold. Clareburt’s best had been a 1:47.97 from the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju.

Results in Full

How Deep The Bullet Lies – Michelle Ford – Turning The Tide

Turning The Tide, by Michelle Ford, with Craig Lord
Turning The Tide, by Michelle Ford, with Craig Lord

A turbulent time with many lessons entirely relevant to this day … when working on Turning The Tide with Michelle Ford, it reminded me of just how deep the bullet lies for generations of women still traumatised by the impact of massive and monstrous athlete-harming rule breaking that the IOC has turned a wilful blind eye to:

The Torpedo Swimtalk Podcast – With Michelle Ford

Turning The Tide – Michelle Ford, with Craig Lord (Fair Play Publishing)


Ford’s Turning The Tide Has Bach Backing Fight To “Right The Wrongs” Of GDR Doping After Decades Of IOC Inaction

Olympic VP Coates Gives World Aquatics Green Light To Trigger Action On GDR Doping Era

When Aussie Swim Ace Michelle Ford Spoke The Athletes’ Voice For The First Time To Olympic Bosses With Coe & Bach

Tuesday Vortex, April 9

Milak Is Back: 48.38 Hungarian 100 Free Title After 50 Weeks Away & Fángli Takes Down Kovacs’ Sydney 2000 Record

Krístof Milak – not bad for starters … image courtesy of Aniko Kovacs

Olympic 200m butterfly champion Kristóf Milak claimed the Hungarian 100m freestyle crown in 48.38sec in his first competition since announcing that he was burned out and needed a break 50 weeks ago.

Racing in his home pool at the Duna Arena in Budapest, Milak, Budapesti Honvéd, kept Nándor Németh at bay by 0.16sec, the silver medallists 48.54 followed by Bence Szabados, 49.13, and Szebasztián Szabo, 49.24, the first four in line for action in the 4x100m at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

Milak, who was unshaven when he topped morning heats in 49.02 but ‘had a little shave’ for the final, owns the national record at 47.47, the time he clocked when finishing second to the world record 48.86 set by Romanian David Popovici in Rome for the European title on August 12, 2022.

Milak’s 100m free time today was 0.04sec shy of the A cut for Paris but he had already been named for the Hungarian team in both butterfly events in April a year ago and as such, can be added to any other events he is up for and Hungarian selectors wish to nominate him for.

Day 1 in Budapest witnessed just one A cut for Paris 2024: Gábor Zombori, Újpesti Torna Egylet, clocked 1:57.88 for the 200m medley title ahead of Dominik Márk Török‘s 1:59.12, and Balázs Holló, 1:59.77.

There was once a time when Katinka Hosszu could be given the national title in the 200m medley before the race began. No more. On a comeback from giving birth to her first child, a daughter who has been a constant presence on poolside and at training camp of late and who we may well see in the 200IM final sometime around 2038, Hosszu clocked 2:15.50 for fourth place, third among Hungarians, in a race won by Dalma Sebestyén, UNI Győri Úszó Sportegy, in 2:13.75 ahead of former 200 ‘fly world champion Boglárka Kapás, 2:13.94, Italian Francesca Fresia third in 2:14.52.

One of the top swims of day one in Budapest was a 14:54.12 victory for Dávid Betlehem, Balaton ÚK Veszprém, in the 1500m freestyle. Efforts of 15:10.44 and 15:14.49 from his training partners Zalán Sárkány and open water world champion Kristóf Rasovszky respectively made for a club sweep. In the women’s 1500m, Viktória Mihályvári-Farkas clocked 16:11.73 for victory ahead of Vivien Jackl, 16:14.39, and Ajna Késely, 16:19.95.

Kovacs 24-year-old Hungarian Record Falls

Agnes Kovacs has held the Hungarian national 100m breaststroke record since the semi-finals at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, on her way to fifth place in the final at a Games where she claimed the 200m title.

Her standard was finally overhauled this evening when Henrietta Fángli, racing for UNI Győri Úszó Sportegy and born the year after Kovacs’ epic week in Sydney, took the crown in Budapest on 1:07.50. The podium was completed by Eszter Békési in 1:08.68, and Petra Halmai in 1:09.79.

The men’s 100m breaststroke had four foreigners up front before we got to the first Hungarian home, a man holding hands with a fine story. First up, the first man home, Austria’s Bernhard Reitshammer, on 1:00.29 ahead of national teammates Valentin Bayer, 1:01.08, and Christopher Rothbauer, 1:01.62. Based in Hungary, Adrian Robinson, clocked 1:02.22 – and then came Dávid Horváth, Kőbánya Sport Club, on 1:03.28.

It’s not anything that stirs memories of Josef Szabo, Karoly Güttler, Norbert Rozsa and on to Daniel Gyurta (who is just about to become a dad) but then we’re not talking that kind of full-time, professional commitment either.

These days, Horváth, with a lifetime best of 1:01.05 back in 2018, is what used to be known as “an amateur”. He’s now 28 – and a national champion who’s day job is full-time swimming coach. Celebrating the moment, the manager at the Kőbánya Sport Club György Turi noted the gold in the swim to Hungarian national gold:

David Horváth

“He works 6-7 hours a day, and gives training to his support team! From 6.30am and then from 2pm. In his free time, he teaches kindergarten children to swim [in a national learn-to-swim program]!He takes his students to competitions on weekends. If that wasn’t enough, he is studying for his second degree at the University of Physical Education! Perhaps there are not and may not be many national champions this year who achieved a new, wonderful championship title without training camps and alongside real, full-time work. Without any financial compensation! As an amateur swimmer! He has been a member of our association since he was 3 years old! 25 years ago … Congratulations David, you are a true role model for your students!”

György Turi – Image: David Horváth

The women’s 100m freestyle titles went to Nikolett Pádár, Szegedi Úszó Egylet, in 54.64 ahead of Dóra Molnár, 55.07, Panna Ugrai, 55.13, and Gerda Szilágyi 55.79, with 25-year-old Zsuzsanna Jakabos still in the race, on 56.26.

Results in full

Eve Thomas On Plane To Paris With 16:07 Win Over 1500 In Slipstream Of Mum Sarah Hardcastle

Eve Thomas – courtesy of the Thomas family

Eve Thomas booked a ticket to the Paris Olympic Games on the opening day of New Zealand Championships with a 16:07.46 lifetime best in the 1500m freestyle, 1.63 inside target time.

The daughter of Sarah Hardcastle (Thomas by marriage) British Olympic medallist of the 1980s and World champion on a comeback run 1995, and Lee Thomas, Eve went through the 400m mark in 4:12.59 and the 800m in 8:31.91. She is based at the St Peters Western program run by Dean Boxall and trains alongside the likes of Olympic 200 and 400m champion Ariarne Titmus and World 100-200m free champion of 2023 Mollie O’Callaghan.

Closest to Thomas today was Caitlin Deans in 16:28.94. Back in February, Thomas made the 400m final at Doha World titles, own a best of 4:05, finished fourth in the 1500m on 16.09 and then fourth again in the 800m free in a race against her mum in a timewarp.

Sarah Hardcastle and daughter Eve Thomas – courtesy of Eve, Instagram
Sarah Hardcastle
Sarah Hardcastle

Sarah Hardcastle was Olympic silver and bronze medallist in the 400 and 800m respectively for Great Britain in 1984, 1986 Worlds bronze medallist at the height of the GDR doping era, and, in the same year, Commonwealth 800m champion own 8:24 for England in a European record just 0.15sec outside the then World record held by Australian Tracey Wickham, of Australia. Hardcastle made a comeback in the 1990s and claimed the World short-course 800m title when Rio de Janeiro staged the showcase, spectacularly, on Copacabana Beach.

In the Doha 800m this year, Simona Quadarella and Isabel Gose ended 16 lengths of stroke-for-stroke scrapping separated by just 0.09sec, gold to the Italian in 8:17.44, silver to the German in 8:17.53. The bronze went to New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather in 8:22.26 at the end of a week that started with gold for her in the 400m. Thomas was fourth behind her teammate in 8:24.86, just shy of what was a sensational time from Hardcastle in 1986, 8:24.77.

Sunday Vortex, April 7

For the Vortex Record – Daily links to coverage of Britain’s selection trials for the Paris Olympics

British Swimming Championships and Olympic Trials Day 6:

Richards & Scott 1:44s Take Paris 200 Tickets, Dean & Guy Ensure Awesome Foursome Will Defend 4×200 Crown For Great Britain

The Wiffen Twins: What A World Champion Does On His Day Off

Saturday Vortex, April 6

British Swimming Championships Day 5:

When Sally Met Ben On The Deck After Her Son Had Done The Family Proud In 21.25

Wood Joins The 2:08 200IM Club As Loughborough Mate Colbert Makes It Two Go To Paris

Friday Vortex, April 5

British Swimming Championships Day 4:

Hail The Scott & Dean Show, A Speedy, Skilful Art Of Calm Before The Summer Storm Of Paris

Paris Olympic Cuts For Osrin, Shanahan As Litchfield Locks Out All Favourites To Grab ‘Fly Berth In Medley Relay

Thursday Vortex, April 4

British Swimming Championships Day 3:

Richards & Scott Take Olympic 100 Tickets As Dean Makes It Three On 47s & Cohoon Joins Britain’s Paris Sprint Relay Party

Colbert, Shanahan, Hopkin & Record-Breaking Litchfield Swell The Ranks Of Britain’s Pool Prospects In Paris

Jervis Tops 1500 With Paris-Pass 14:47, Robinson Roars Inside Sub-15 Goal & Davies 20-Year-Old Mark Lives On

Wednesday Vortex, April 3

British Swimming Championships Day 2:

Dawson Returns As Morgan Takes Down Tancock’s 2009 British Mark, Marshall Making It 3 Backstrokers Bound For Paris

Tuesday Vortex, April 2

British Swimming Championships Day 1:

Peaty Three-Peat Is Game On! Passage To Paris With 57.94 Blast In Hallowed Lane Of Olympic Champion’s First WR

Adam Peaty Edges To Top Of Early World Ranks On 58.53 On Way To Seeking Ticket To Third 100m Olympic Title Fight

Keanna MacInnes and Laura Stephens Gets Their Paris Pass To The Games On 2:07s

Colbert & Wood Lead Harris and Hope With Paris Tickets For All In 200 Solo & 4×200 Free Relay

Hector Pardoe Swims ‘12.7 x Mount Everest’ In A Week – & More Fun With The Wiffens

Hector Pardoe, left, swims 113km in a week at altitude - and more fun win the trail with The Wiffen Twins and coach/sports scie
Hector Pardoe, left, swims 113km in a week at altitude – and more fun win the trail with The Wiffen Twins and coach/sports scientist Mike Peyrebrune

Hector Pardoe, the British open-water ace who qualified for Paris with a podium finish in Doha in February, celebrated a high-volume record at altitude training camp in Flagstaff: in one week, he swam 113km (70.2 miles) or, as he put it: “Alternatively…. Equivalent to swimming 12.7 x the height of Mount Everest. “

Pardoe also noted: “An amazing camp so far. 3 weeks down, 1 more to go here in Flagstaff. 19 weeks until I dive into the River Seine @ Paris 2024. 🇫🇷“.

Michael Peyrebrune, coach and sports scientist, posted the feat on social media with this: “Amazing to see this and I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about delivering it 😜👍🏊‍♂️🏆🎉

Inseine? Not if you want to excel in the Seine… and the pool:

Training alongside Pardoe is Loughborough-based Irish World champion and record holder Dan Wiffen.

Here’s more fun on the trail of “The Wiffen Twins”, at 7,000ft, with some “wise words” from Peyrebrune:

Monday Vortex, April 1

Bowman Bound For Texas After ASU Triumph

Two days after lifting the NCAA men’s title in an historic win with the Sun Devils, ASU head coach Bob Bowman, the 2024 NCAA D1 Coach of the Year, has been named Director of Swimming & Diving at the University of Texas. Assistant head coach Herbie Behm was named Bowman’s successor the same day.

“Herbie is the brightest young coach in America, and becoming the head coach at ASU is the perfect opportunity for him,” Bowman said. “He was my trusted partner in building our championship program, and he will lead the Sun Devils to many more milestones in the future. I couldn’t be happier for Herbie or for ASU.” 

Bowman has coached five NCAA champions in his 13-year college career so far. He coached the men’s team to a top-five Pac-12 finish every year spent in Tempe, “disregarding 2021, when the entire team was redshirted”, as ASU notes.  

And on such a day…

Britain’s Olympic Swim Trials Rocked By Chlorine-Resistant Bug Cryptosporidiosis – Crisis Talks To Consider Shifting Selection Event

NB: The Trials get underway today in London … the billboard showing a subtle shift reflecting the trend in rebranding swimming organisations: it’s no longer British Swimming but Aquatics GB. It remains to be seen whether a change of words will be accompanied by a change in governance culture, events at World and European Aquatics highlighting the remaining gulf between words and deeds on the reform front of late.

March 2024 Vortex: Catch-up on Paris 2024-related news

In March, the Vortex and much else was set aside – there were book projects to complete and a great trip to Australia to enjoy. With a Paris focus, here’s a meet missed but worth noting …

Matsumoto Tops The Bill At Japan’s Olympic Trials

Katsuhiro Matsumoto – by Mike Lewis, courtesy of the International Swimming League

Three years after Japan’s swimmers endured a challenging home Games in Tokyo, the 2024 Olympic trials produced a mixed picture of prospects for Paris, with some teens breaking through but many events still in the grip of the old guard and the clock suggesting a tough time ahead in France.

Katsuhiro Matsumoto celebrated a triple victory in solo events, his 48.28 and 1:45.29 in the 100 and 200m freestyle respectively, among the most globally competitive of efforts at trials, while a 50.96 in the 100m butterfly was one of two efforts, with the 50.61 effort of Matt Temple I witnessed at NSW titles last month, that would have topped the World-titles final in Doha back in February in the prevailing conditions of an oddball showcase.

Rikako Ikee – Photo, courtesy, Kyodo News pool picture

Rikako Ikee, whose chances of shining at a home Games in Tokyo three years ago were sept off the tracks by a cancer diagnosis and the treatment that followed, is back at the top of the Japanese ranks and heading to Paris as national number 1 in the 50 and 100m freestyle (24.88 and 54. And No 2 in the 100m butterfly, on 57.03, the trials champion Mizuki Hirai, a 17-year-old on the rise with a 56.91.

The 200 ‘fly went to 19-year-old Airi Mitsu in 2:06.54, Hiroko Marino on 2:07.61, the winning time at world title in Doha in between and already 5th on the world rankings as the Paris season heats up.

The Japanese battle between Reona Aoki, 29, and Satomi Suzuki, 33, continues apace in the 100m breaststroke: Aoki emerged from trial the fastest of the two this season, with a 1:05.76 from semis but in the final it was Suzuki who grabbed the win, on 1:05.91, Aoki 0.02sec away. Suzuki also claimed the 200m, on 2:23.09, in a tight tussle with Kanako Watanabe, 2:23.55, and Runa Imai, locked out in 2:23.69.

Other highlights in brief:


Backstroke: Ryosuke Irie, 34, clocked 53.89 in semis and 54.10 in the final of the 100m, one of those events I’m which highlights Japan’s struggle to replace its best frontline from a decade past. The future was at the helm of the 200m, Hidekazu Takehara on a solid 1:56.28 but for Irie, there will be no fifth Games: selectors did not pick him and today he announced his retirement from swimming.

Breaststroke: Long gone the days of Kosuke Kitajima, the most decorated Olympic breaststroke champion of all-time, with his Olympic double-double of 2004 and 2008, one of Japan’s strongholds is in a period of readjustment and rebuilding. At trials, the 100m went to Taku Taniguchi in 59.43, a time that just scrapes into Jitajim’as all-time top 10, albeit behind three efforts in shiny suits. Kitajima’s best-ever was not clocked in garment bound for the ban, however, his 58.90 high established at Japan’s Olympic trials in 2012.

There were more hopeful signs in the 200m at 2024 trials, Ippei Watanabe on 2:06.94, followed closely by You Hanaguruma, on 2:07.07.

Butterfly: Matsumoto’s win in the 100m was followed by a 51.23 from age peer Naoki Mizunuma, 27. Interesting to note that the first teenage to appear on the 2024 performances list in Japan stands at No58, a 17-year-old on a 56sec best.

In the 200m, better news: Tomoru Honda, the 22-year-old who clocked 1:53.88 in Doha, made the Paris Games in a 1:54.18 ahead of medley ace Daiya Seto, on 1:55.40.

Medley: Seto, 29, led the 200m in 1:56.87 ahead of 20-year-old So Agata, on 1:57.52, while the 400m went to 18-year-old Tomoyuki Matsushita in 4:10.04, Seto second in 4:10.84 to scrape in to the second berth ahead of 21-year-old Kaito Tabuchi, on 4:11.15.


Freestyle: Waki Kobori took the 400 and 800m free in 4:06 and 8:26, while Airi Ebina and Yakima Moriyama topped the 1500m in 16:07 and 16:12 respectively.

Backstroke: with a scarcity of teens pressing the wave ahead, Rio Shirai took the 100m in 1:00.27, while the 200m went to 17-year-old Chiaki Yamamoto on 2:10.82. In terms of Paris, those times will not make it through to finals, just as they would not have made it past heats at Tokyo 2020ne.

Medley: Olympic champion at a home Games three years ago, Yui Ohashi took the 200m medley in 2:09.17 ahead of Shiho Matsumoto, on 2:09.90, while the 400m went to the 17-year-old who finished third in the 200m, Rio Narita, on 4:35.40, 0.2sec ahead of Ageha Tanigawa, Ohashi fourth on 4:38.

Trials podiums in full.

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2 thoughts on “The Vortex, April 2024 – Sun Yang Could Only Make Paris 2024 Beyond Ban If CSA Broke China’s Anti-Doping Rules”

    You forgot about Summer McIntosh beating Katie in the 800 free in February with a time of 8:11.13.

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