The Week That Was: FINA Champions Series Comes Stateside In Indy


The first FINA Champions Series came to a close in Indianapolis with some of the strongest performances of the entire series. Hear about the top swims from the meet and the biggest stories of the week below:

The Week That Was #5 – Kosuke Hagino Will Miss This Summer’s World Championships

Kosuke Hagino

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

Olympic champion Kosuke Hagino will miss this summer’s World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. The Japanese swimmer cited a lack of motivation earlier this spring when he pulled out of the Japan Swim, the country’s first World Championship qualifying meet. He did not compete at this weekend’s Japan Open, the final chance for qualifying for the Japanese roster for this summer. “Kosuke Hagino will not be competing at the World Championships this year,” a Hagino representative said in an email to NBC Sports. “He is taking some time off and will be preparing for next year.” Hagino won the gold medal in the 400 IM in Rio in 2016. He holds the Asian record in the event in 4:06.05. Hagino will not be the only Japanese record holder absent from this summer’s Worlds; Rikako Ikee was forced to withdraw after a leukemia diagnosis, although she has started working light exercise back into her routine recently.

The Week That Was #4 – FINA Vice President Dennis Miller Passes At Age 61


Photo Courtesy: FINA

FINA Vice President from Oceania Swimming Dennis Miller passed at his home in Australia this week after battling cancer. Miller was a former national champion for Fiji in the 100 butterfly. Miller’s career in swimming governance included serving as the Swim Team Manager at the 1982 Commonwealth Games and 1988 Olympic Games, and Chef de Mission of the Fijian team at the 1996 Olympic Games, alongside many other major swimming and multisport events.

Dennis Miller became Executive Director of the Oceania National Olympic Committees in 1997, as well as President of the Oceania Swimming Association since 2008. Miller also served as a member of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee for over 10 years before joining the FINA Bureau, where he has been liaison for this discipline. FINA honored Miller on Friday May 31 during the Opening Ceremonies of the FINA Champions Series in Indianapolis.

The Week That Was #3 – Ohashi and Watanabe Impress At 2019 Japan Open


Photo Courtesy: Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Japan Open was a second chance for Japanese swimmers to qualify for their country’s World Championships roster for this summer. Several of Japan’s finest took the opportunity to put up some quality swims. Reona Aoki and Yasuhiro Koseki kicked things off on the first day in the 100 breast, punching their tickets with winning times of 1:06.44 and 59.12, respectively. Yui Ohashi also put up some impressive wins in the 200 IM, 400 IM, 100 fly, and 200 fly, continuing to demonstrate her incredible versatility. World record holder Ippei Watanabe closed the meet with another high quality 200 breast, just missing his own season best and #1 time in the world with a 2:07.87.  

The Week That Was #2 – Russia Faces Possible Olympic Ban


Russia could be banned from the Olympics next year after new doping allegations have implicated top athletics officials. The allegations surround a possible cover-up of a doping issue by the world indoor high jump champion, Danil Lysenko, who was a favorite to win gold at Tokyo 2020 but now faces a ban of up to 10 years. Sources told The Daily Mail that if the investigation proves forgery of the documents surrounding Lysenko, Russia could be banned from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. A two-part report in 2016 proved damning for Russian sports and culminated in the Russian Olympic Committee being suspended from PyeongChang 2018. The Russian federation has denied claims of a coverup and told The Associated Press it is cooperating with an investigation into allegations its officials submitted forged paperwork in a doping case.

The Week That Was #1 – FINA Champions Series Comes Stateside In Indy


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The 2019 FINA Champions Series came to a close this week in Indianapolis with some of the strongest performances of the year. Highlights included Hali Flickinger posting the #1 time in the world in the 200 fly (2:06.40) and Katinka Hosszu doing the same in the 200 IM (2:08.50).  Canada’s Sidney Pickrem also set a new national record in the 200 IM (2:08.61), finishing just behind Hosszu. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom continued a strong presence on the series, including an impressive double of the 100 fly (56.42) and 100 free (52.97) on the opening night of the meet. Lilly King also completed a breaststroke sweep over rival Yulia Efimova, including a close win in the 200 breast that resulted in a personal best time (2:21.39) for the Olympic gold medalist. And the United States showed it has no shortage of backstroke talent, within Matt Grevers (50 back), Ryan Murphy (100 back), and Jacob Pebley (200 back) each winning an event in their choice discipline. You can see the full coverage of the FINA Champions Series here.

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