Fast Swims In Europe and Asia Highlight The Week That Was

FINA World Championships Laszlo Cseh

This week featured stars competing at sites of both former and future Olympic Games: the 2016 European Championships were held this week in London, while the 2016 Japan Open was held in Tokyo, the confirmed host of the 2020 Olympics. Check out the stories below to see major results from those meets and more important stories from the week that was!


The Week That Was #5 – Arkady Vyatchanin’s Request To Represent Serbia Rejected


Photo Courtesy: Brooke Wright

According to the Associated Press, this week FINA denied two-time Olympic medalist Arkady Vyatchanin’s attempt to represent Serbia at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Vyatchanin has a pair of bronze medals from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing while he was representing Russia. The 32-year old backstroker has been trying to get out of his Russian citizenship for over three years, and has consequently missed out on major international meets in that time. In a letter he reportedly received from FINA, the organization cited his residency as the main reason for denying his request. Vyatchanin has been competing in the Arena Pro Series in the U.S. as a means to earn money to continue training. FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu denied any involvement in the case, although Vyatchanin claims that Marculescu’s signature in on the letter he received from the organization. You can read the original Associated Press article here.

The Week That Was #4 – 31 Athletes Caught In Retest Of Beijing Samples

World Anti-Doping Agency

It was reported this week that in retesting samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee found 31 positive tests from athletes representing 12 different countries. Samples from Olympic athletes are kept for 10 years in order to retest with the most up to date technology possible. This particular retest focused on athletes who are planning to compete in Rio this summer. If found with a positive retest on a sample, athletes are retroactively disqualified and will lose their medals. This came on the heels of a New York Times report that claimed drug samples from the 2014 Sochi Olympics were tampered with as well as a 60 Minutes report on systematic doping in Russia. The IOC has said they will investigate the samples from Sochi and also called on WADA to investigate Russian drug-testing operations. The IOC also plans to retest 250 samples from the London Olympics. You can read the ABC report on the samples from the Beijing Games here.

The Week That Was #3 – Australian, Japanese Stars Compete At 2016 Japan Open

Kosuke Hagino

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Japanese and Australian swimmers competed in Tokyo at the 2016 Japan Open this week. Both countries have already completed their Olympic Trials, so this was an opportunity for qualifiers from both countries to continue to tune up with Rio only a couple months away. Cameron McEvoy was a stand-out for the Australian men, sweeping the 50 (21.61), 100 (48.17), and 200 freestyles (1:46.41). That 200 freestyle win was a close race with Japanese star Kosuke Hagino, who finished second in 1:46.43. Hagino also improved his world leading time in the 400 IM (4:08.85) and picked up a win in the 200 IM (1:56.13). Other notable swims included Daiya Seto matching his second ranked time in the world with a 1:54.14 in the 200 butterfly.

On the women’s side, Cate Campbell continued to impress with a sweep of the 50 and 100 freestyle. The Australian was just off her best time in the 100 freestyle (52.38) to tie her own world-leading time from the 2016 Australian Trials while also capturing the 50 freestyle (24.31). Rie Kanetou also backed up her top-ranked 2:19.65 from Japanese Trials with a 2:20.93 in the 200 breaststroke.

For full coverage from the Japan Open, head over to our Event Landing Page.


The Week That Was

The Week That Was #2 – FINA Lifts Efimova’s Provisional Suspension


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

According the a Russian media agency, FINA has lifted the provisional suspension that was placed on Yuliya Efimova back in March. While that does not clear her to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games (that will depend on a separate hearing), it does allow her to continue training with an official club. That provisional suspension came after a positive test for the banned substance meldonium. Meldonium was listed as a banned substance starting on January 1st, 2016, though despite her positive test in February, Efimova has maintained her innocence through the allegations. According to her, she stopped taking the drug prior to January 1, but it maintained in her system long enough to test positive. She also alleges that her positive test showed less than one microgram of the substance, which according to WADA is allowed through March 1.

The Russian’s eligibility to compete this summer would have major ramifications for the women’s breaststroke events. Efimova was the gold medalist in the 100 breaststroke at the World Championships in Kazan, and currently holds the top-ranked time in the world with a 1:05.70 from the Orlando stop of the Arena Pro Series. You can read the original article on Efimova’s suspension being lifted here.

The Week That Was #1 – 2016 European Championships In London

FINA World Championships Laszlo Cseh

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

The highlight of Cseh’s meet had to be his win in the 200 butterfly. Touching in 1:52.91, Cseh blew away his meet record from semis and just missed his own European record of 1:52.70 from the 2008 Olympics. That time vaults Cseh to number one in the world and is the seventh fastest performance ever. The Hungarian also won the 100 butterfly in a world leading 50.86, and was second in the 50 butterfly (23.31). Adam Peaty made 58 low in the 100 breaststroke look easy, popping a 58.36 to grab the win and improve his world best from British Trials. Gregorio Paltrinieri worked to post the second fastest time ever in the 1500 free, touching in 14:34.04 to just pass Grant Hackett’s famous previous record from 2001.

On the women’s side of the meet, Sarah Sjostrom continued her incredible 2016 with three event wins. Notable was her 100 butterfly (55.89), which was her fourth time under 56 seconds. Sjostrom also won the 50 butterfly (24.99), 100 freestyle (52.82), and recorded the fastest 200 freestyle of the meet leading off the 800 free relay (1:55.30). Katinka Hosszu also had a successful meet, continuing her Iron Woman schedule with wins in the 200 IM (2:07.30), 400 IM (4:30.90), 200 backstroke (2:07.01), and a podium appearance in the 100 backstroke (58.94). Hosszu also anchored Hungary’s 800 free relay to gold with a 1:56.65 anchor. Mie Nielsen posted a world best in the 100 backstroke (58.73), tying with Emily Seebohm for the top time in the world this year. Other notable swims included Ruta Meilutyte in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.17), Federica Pelligrini winning the 200 freestyle (1:55.93), and Ramoni Kromowidjojo winning the 50 freestyle (24.07).

For complete results from the European Championships, head over to our Event Landing Page.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x