Sunday, December 19, 2010

New suits... new records

The FINA Short Course World Swimming Champs have come to an end in Dubai, and would certainly have to be called a success if you go by records!

Following the rule change to textile suits at the start of the year, the general feeling was that for the first time in a century, there would be no new world records.

But the new textile suits were obviously working just fine – with not just one, but four world records falling at the meet.

First up was the women's 4x200m freestyle relay World Record, set by the Chinese team on the opening day, smashing the previous WR (set by the Netherlands two years ago) by nearly three seconds with a time of 7mins 35.94secs.

Next came Ryan Lochte. Over the course of the meet, the American twice lowered the 400m individual medley by nearly two seconds, and also took one and half seconds off the 200m individual medley. He ended the meet with a total of six gold medals, and was named male swimmer of the meet. His medal tally also combined to a new world championship medal record of 21 medals, exceeding the previous record held by Swedish swimmer Therese Alshammar (17). If you followed his twitter over the course of the meet he certainly sounded like he was in the zone and loving every minute!

Lochte was also part of the men’s US 4x200m freestyle team that had a ding-dong battle with Russia, with both teams besting the previous World Record in the final. But Lochte couldn’t add this to his tally of records, with the Russian team claiming the Gold and the new world record in a time of 6.49.04.

38,000 spectators attended events over the course of the meet, which was more than the 30,000 the organisers were hoping for. Although there were a few bits of bad press with the Israeli visa issues, it sounds like Dubai was deemed a success and may be putting in a bid for the 2015 World Champs.
Ryan Lochte
Photo: Taken by Giorgio Scala/FINA

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