Swimming World Presents “Crunch Time For U.S. Water Polo! Pan Am Games Just Around the Corner”

Alex Wolf - Swimming World July 2019

Crunch Time!

By Michael Randazzo

In 2016, Dejan Udovicic, head coach of the U.S. men’s water polo team, made a bold proclamation: by 2020, he promised, his team would be Olympic gold medalists. “I am guaranteeing it,” he quipped to ESPN.

Now, as the U.S. men prepare for a busy summer of play, capped off by the all-too-important Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, Aug. 4-10, it’s not certain the Americans will even qualify for the Tokyo Games!

Of the 13 players Udovicic selected for the last Pan Ams in 2015, when the U.S. qualified for its ninth straight Olympics, only four—Alex Bowen, Luca Cupido, Ben Hallock and Alex Obert—are certain to make the trip to Lima. Five-time Olympian Tony Azevedo’s retirement after the Rio Games was expected, while then-39-year-old Merrill Moses called it a career after three Olympics. John Mann, the Yanks’ massive center, quit after 2016, his second Games.

And so this summer, Team USA’s roster, in addition to Bowen, Cupido, Obert and Jesse Smith, a four-time Olympian likely to return for a fifth Games, will consist of extremely young, supremely talented athletes, but untested at the international level. Headliners include Hannes Daube, only 19, a superb attacker; Marko Vavic, his USC teammate, barely a year older than Daube; and Alex Wolf, a freakishly athletic goalie.

The American women, by contrast, have already qualified for the Tokyo Games by virtue of gold at last month’s FINA Women’s World League Super Final. It’s the 11th straight major tournament title for head coach Adam Krikorian, dating back to 2014—an incredible streak of dominance.

 

To read more about the U.S. Water Polo team’s lineup for Pan Ams this year,
check out the full July 2019 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

SW July 2019 Cover Kyle Chalmers

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FEATURES

019 CRUNCH TIME!
by Michael Randazzo
With the Olympic Games a little more than a year away, the U.S. men’s water polo team—whose head coach predicted a gold medal in Tokyo—has yet to qualify. They’ll get a chance to punch their ticket if they can finish first at the Pan American Games next month in Lima, Peru.

023 THE VALUE OF AQUATIC SPORTS: TEDDY CANN SAVES THE MAY
by Bruce Wigo
While serving as a seaman onboard the USS May in November 1917, Tedford “Teddy” Cann, an elite swimmer, water polo player and all-around athlete, risked his life to find—and fix—a leak in a flooded compartment, thereby saving the ship.

026 DESTINED FOR GREATNESS
by David Rieder
Perhaps it was always meant to be that Kyle Chalmers would be a champion swimmer. Despite his childhood dreams of playing professional football, he eventually decided to pursue swimming seriously in 2015. The next year, at 18, he won Olympic gold in the men’s 100 free. After undergoing heart surgery in 2017, he rebounded in 2018 to win a combined nine medals (five gold) at the Pan Pacs and Commonwealth Games. Now, all eyes are on Chalmers to win gold at this month’s World Championships.

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: RATKO RUDIC
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: PREVIEW OF THE INTERNATIONAL SWIM COACHES ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME SUMMIT
by Rod Havriluk
The ISCA Hall of Fame Summit, Aug. 27-30, in Clearwater Beach, Fla., will once again include a wide variety of topics, international presenters and participants from many countries. The presentations will emphasize the WHY (the scientific basis) as well as the HOW (the strategies for applying the science) to improve swimmer performance.

016 PLAN B: COLLEGE CLUB TEAM OPTION (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
College Club Swimming has been offering more and more athletes the opportunity to continue participating in the sport they love. In Part 2 of this two-part series, Swimming World explores more personal perspectives from swimmers pursuing their aquatic passion while enjoying a college experience unencumbered by the demands of a varsity athlete.

020 SPECIAL SETS: WORKOUTS OF A WORLD CHAMPION
by Michael J. Stott
In 2017, Coach Gregg Troy put together a plan to maximize Caeleb Dressel’s opportunities at the World Championships in Budapest. Following are eight workouts done by Dressel in his preparation for what resulted in a record seven gold medals.

043 Q&A WITH COACH ANTHONY NESTY
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN ROBERT FINKE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

013 DRYSIDE TRAINING: EXERCISE EQUIPMENT SERIES—MULTI-EQUIPMENT PROGRAM FOR STRENGTH AND POWER
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: RAQUEL MALDONADO
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 BEYOND THE YARDS

022 OFFICIAL WORD

025 DID YOU KNOW? MARK SPITZ & PIETER VAN DEN HOOGENBAND

030 2019 AQUATIC DIRECTORY

042 DADS ON DECK

047 GUTTER TALK

048 PARTING SHOT