SwimmingAustralia Not Sending Full Team to SC Worlds

Australia Not Sending Full Team to SC Worlds

The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

Over the past week, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect swimming as Swimming Australia announced it will cancel its Short Course Nationals and send a limited team to the Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi. Also out of Australia, Chris Mooney, who just coached Kaylee McKeown to two Olympic gold medals, has taken a new job, and McKeown’s future is unknown, while the International Swimming League announced some new details about its soon-to-begin 2021 season.

Read the five biggest stories of the week in The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #1: Swimming Australia Cancels Short Course Nationals; Will Not Send Official Squad to Short Course Worlds

Aug 1, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Australia relay team of Kaylee McKeown (AUS), Chelsea Hodges (AUS), Emma McKeon (AUS) and Cate Campbell (AUS) during the medals ceremony for the women's 4x100m medley relay during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Australia’s gold-medal-winning 400 medley relay team from the Tokyo Olympics — Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

By David Rieder

Swimming Australia has announced that it will cancel its Short Course National Championships scheduled for late September in Melbourne and that it will not send a representative team to the FINA Short Course World Championships, due to take place December 15-20 in Abu Dhabi. The decision was made as a result of strict travel and quarantine restrictions in Australia resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Swimmers traveling to Abu Dhabi would have to quarantine in Australia upon returning to the country, and that would cover the entire Christmas and New Years’ period, so Swimming Australia decided against sending a representative team. However, the organization said it would support swimmers interested in attending if they had met the qualification standards and assist in travel and accomodations. Up to 20 Australians would be allowed to attend the meet.

Swimming Australia CEO Alex Baumann said in a press release: “This is an unfortunate situation and again a decision we did not take lightly, but we needed to provide our swimming community with some certainty and with the borders being so unstable and regular lockdowns still occurring we feel this is the right decision.”

Currently, Australia’s entire Olympic team remains in quarantine after returning from the Tokyo Olympics. Because of COVID-19 concerns, every traveler entering Australia is required to isolate for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status or test results. Australia has had lowers COVID-19 case and death numbers than most countries during the pandemic, but recent spikes in virus cases have been cause for concern.

Australia is coming off an extremely impressive performance at the Tokyo Olympics. The country won nine gold medals and 21 total medals in swimming, after capturing just 10 medals at each of the last two Olympics and only four gold medals combined. Emma McKeon won seven medals, the most of any female swimmer in a single Olympics, and she joined teammates Ariarne Titmus and Kaylee McKeown in winning two individual gold medals each.

#2: Eindhoven Selected as ISL Host City For Playoff Phase of Competition

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Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

By John Lohn

The International Swimming League (ISL), which will begin its third season later this month, has announced that Eindhoven will serve as the host city for the playoff phase of the season. The Dutch city will be the focal point of the campaign from November 11-28, with the league’s top eight teams battling for a spot in the Grand Final, which is scheduled for January.

The ISL regular season, which features the league’s 10 clubs, is scheduled for August 26-September 26, with Naples, Italy serving as the host. While some of the top names in the sport have opted for a break from competition following the Olympic Games in Tokyo, many of the sport’s superstars will be in action when the third season gets underway.

‘’We are very happy that Eindhoven is ready to join Naples, Budapest, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and others on the list of exciting cities the ISL has partnered with,” said ISL Founder and President Konstantin Grigorishin. “The Dutch are knowledgeable and passionate swimming fans, who I am sure will be delighted to see local stars such as Ranomi KromowidjojoKira ToussaintFemke Heemskerk and Arno Kamminga in action.’’

Kamminga, who will be representing Aqua Centurions in Season Three, won silver medals in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events at the Tokyo Olympics. Three-time Olympic champion Kromowidjojo will swim for Team Iron, and Toussaint and Heemskerk will represent London Roar and Energy Standard, respectively.

The Week That Was #3: Chris Mooney To Spearhead Bond University After Tokyo Glory; Kaylee McKeown’s Future Is Undecided


Chris Mooney (left) with Kaylee McKeown, who won three gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics — Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia

By Ian Hanson

Chris Mooney, the man who steered Kaylee McKeown to triple gold at this year’s Tokyo Olympics, has been appointed as the new Head Swimming Coach at Bond University on Queensland’s Gold Coast – but it remains to be seen whether his golden girl will join him.

Mooney has been the Head Coach of the successful USC Spartans Swimming program at the University of the Sunshine Coast for the past six years and takes over at Bond following the departure of Richard Scarce to Rackley Swimming’s Miami Swimming Club.

McKeown, who along with Emma McKeon and Ariarne Titmus, became the golden girls of Australia’s most successful Olympic campaign in Tokyo, said she and Mooney had spoken about the move but she had made no decisions about her future.

“Chris and I are very close and we have achieved a great amount together on the Sunshine Coast at USC and he will be a great asset to the Bond program,” McKeown said.

“We have talked about it and will continue to talk…now that I have arrived back in Australia after the Olympics and have some break time and time out of the water to carefully consider what is best for me and my swimming moving forward.

“I have not made any decisions as yet and will keep talking with the people close to me to make the very best decisions. I am due back in the water in 7-8 weeks or so and will make my decisions during that time.”

#4: Vietnam Swim Coach Huang Guohui Found Dead in Quarantine upon Return from Olympics

Photo Courtesy: Competitor

By Matthew De George

Huang Guohui, the coach of Vietnam’s swim team at the Tokyo Olympics, was found dead during a quarantine upon his return to Vietnam. He was 57 years old.

Huang, who is from China and also known by the Vietnamese name of Hoang Quoc Huy, died in a hotel in Hanoi during a 14-day isolation after returning from Tokyo. The news was first reported by Vietnamese Express.

The cause of death has not been determined, though a Vietnamese spokesman said in a media report that Huang had been vaccinated for COVID-19. Vietnamese Express is reporting that it is being investigated as a possible suicide.

“Coach Huang passed away on August 11,” Vietnam Chef de Mission Tran Duc Phan said in a statement. “We are in isolation, so we don’t know the situation yet and we are waiting for the result of the police investigation.”

Huang has been working with Vietnamese swimmers since 2003. He’s led them through several successful campaigns at the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games, which are the more important barometers of the program’s growth. Vietnam is due to host the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi starting in late November.

The Week That Was #5: New Zealand Olympian Ali Galyer Announces Retirement


Ali Galyer of New Zealand — Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts/www.bwmedia.co.nz

By Matthew De George

New Zealand Olympian Ali Galyer on Monday announced her retirement from swimming, after competing for her country at the Tokyo Games.

Galyer made the announcement via social media.

The native of Greenville, South Carolina, attended the University of Kentucky. She qualified for U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016 and won a national title at the 2017 AT&T Winter Nationals before switching to represent New Zealand. At the Tokyo Olympics, the 23-year-old finished 24th in the women’s 200-meter backstroke, 33rd in the 100 back and anchored New Zealand’s 12th-place 800 freestyle relay.

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