Bumper SwimNews Magazine Out Now
Jun 3, 2008
Nick Thierry

In the latest issue of SwimNews Magazine: Don Talbot talks to Cecil Colwin; Comprehensive coverage of the Canadian Olympic trials; World short-course championships; Are you suited for success?; The lowdown on Lochte and Hardy; Olympic preview and history - butterfly; Of Olympians and Darfur; Joe Bartoch poster; and how a fear of failure has got a grip of once-mighty Germany

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A lot of resources and contributions from our writers were focused on the Canadian Olympic Trials. They were successful, and 27 earned selection to the team. Quite a few new faces were among those selected, including two 15-year-old girls, whose stories are told in separate features by Justin Finney on Lindsay Seeman, and Jesse Jacks on Savannah King.

Katharine Dunn covered the overall Trials report, with Nikki Dryden adding commentaries and comparison with the Trials in 2004. Adam Sioui was successful in his quest for an Olympic berth, as well as Annamay Pierse: both describe in their own words what it was like. These articles are quite inspirational. Pierse will be going to Beijing with the top ranking of fifth in the world and a real medal chance. There are 11 swimmers with solid world rankings close to a finals spot.

After more than three decades of coaching, Benoit Lebrun has assembled a powerhouse group of swimmers and support staff in Montreal at the Olympic pool and had a very successful Trials, with four of his swimmers earning selection. Justin Finney explains what was special about this year's preparation. Benoit Huot writes about the Paralympic Trials, where he was selected to his third Paralympic team. Huot is part of Lebrun's group.

Our longtime photo editor Marco Chiessa was able to attend the Trials, and many of his fine images illustrate all these features, including in the middle of the magazine a poster of Joe Bartoch, who broke the national record for the 100 fly in nailing his spot for Beijing.

The other focus was on the impact of the new performance-enhancing suit, both in the various Olympic Trials and the World Short Course Championships. Nine long-course world records were bettered at the Australian and British Trials. Italy, like Canada, did not allow the use of the new suit. Germany had a poor Trials, with only 17 selected and seven events without any qualifiers. Craig Lord analyzes these various national competitions. And there is a special commentary from Karin Helmstaedt on the dismal state of once-mighty German swimming.

Sandwiched in between all these competitions was the five-day World Championships (25 m) held 9-13 April in Manchester. Craig Lord was on the tribune for SwimNews. Records tumbled like a hot knife slices through butter, 18 in total by amazing margins in some events. Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), entirely American-trained for the past eight years, won four golds, three in record times, including a fantastic 2:00.91 in the 200 back (while nobody has bettered 2:03). Even though Manchester was missing the very best, it was a great spectacle and a triumph for the host Brits, who won the most medals with 24 (3-10-11). The USA won 10 events, with Ryan Lochte, in heavy training, seemingly in half the events including record individual medley swims and as a member of the winning 4x100 free relay. A special feature on Lochte by Justin Finney appears on page 38. Russ Ewald writes about Jessica Hardy (USA,) the sprint breaststroker coached by David Salo. Hardy has world records both long and short course, and is the strongest swimmer Salo has worked with.

The NCAA championships were held in mid (women) and late (men) March. Lauren Beard writes about the women's meet, with emphasis on the top Canadians (Julia Wilkinson winning five medals), and Jeff Grace on the men's meet, where Canadians Joel Greenshields and Jay Tapp helped Arizona clinch its first team title.

Joanne Malar interviewed Dr. Hap Davis, the long-time Sport Psychologist based in Calgary, for his insights on the mental side of fast swimming.

Cecil Colwin spoke with all-time coaching great Don Talbot, now in Vancouver consulting with Tom Johnson. Talbot describes his start in coaching and his later triumphs.

Nikki Dryden is passionate about her Olympic experience and writes about her obligation to speak out on injustices. Beijing was awarded the right to host the Olympics in 2001, but China has been involved in supporting the genocide in Darfur. Her special status as a lawyer and Olympian gives her a unique insight. 'Team Darfur' is the result: Nikki explains all in her article.

Craig Lord continues with his Olympic history, this time covering butterfly.

The FINA World Open Water Championships were held in Seville, ESP, just days ago. Participation was up as the 10 km is now part of the Olympics. About 15 men and women earned a spot for Beijing. No Canadians made it, but a final opportunity will take place in Beijing at the end of May for those not already selected. Jesse Jacks explains what happened in Seville and what is still ahead.

TAG times are long course to mid-May, and TOP times, with just under 600 participants, were from April, with a final opportunity to take part in June.

At 64 pages, this is as big as it gets. Congratulations, and much success to all those who made the Olympic team at Canadian trials.

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