SwimmingOpen Water and Pool Double Duty? Plenty of Recovery Time at Worlds

Open Water and Pool Double Duty? Plenty of Recovery Time at Worlds

Open Water and Pool Double Duty? Plenty of Recovery Time in World Champs Schedule

When Gregorio Paltrinieri secured the third world title of his career in the 1500 freestyle, hitting the second-fastest time ever in the process, it was one of the most impressive moments of his career, particularly after he missed the podium entirely in the 800 free and barely qualified for the 1500 final prior to his golden swim. But the next day, he had no time to bask in the glory of his win. Instead, he was expected at Lupa Beach by mid-morning to race as part of Italy’s mixed 6-kilometer open water relay.

With Paltrinieri anchoring, Team Italy ended up with bronze in relay while Germany took gold, with distance ace Florian Wellbrock also less than 24 hours removed from racing in the 1500 free pool final. The day after that, three rivals from the 1500 pool race comprised the podium in the 5K race, with Wellbrock winning gold, Paltrinieri silver and Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk bronze.

The men got a day off following the 5K before racing the 10K, the Olympic-distance open water swim, where Paltrinieri led an Italian 1-2 finish with teammate Domenico Acerenza. Wellbrock earned bronze (his fifth medal of the championships overall) while Romanchuk took sixth.

On the women’s side, there was far less overlap between the fields in the pool distance races and the open water events. The only medal-contending swimmer to double up was American Katie Grimes, who finished fifth in the 10K (seven seconds away from the podium) after winning silver medals in the pool in the 1500 free and 400 IM. Grimes qualified to race the 10K at Worlds once again with a win at the U.S. Open Water Championships last week.

At this year’s Worlds in Fukuoka, Japan, the schedule will be flipped back to the normal Worlds arrangement of open water first and pool second. But this time, the 10K carries extra importance with the top three finishers in the women’s and men’s events each earning selection for the Paris Olympics. Fortunately for the athletes involved, there will be plenty of time in between the open water and pool events, although the quick turnaround was no obstacle for Paltrinieri and Wellbrock last year.

Men’s Schedule:
Sunday, July 16: 10K
Tuesday, July 18: 5K
Thursday, July 20: 6K mixed relay
Sunday, July 23: 400 freestyle (prelims/finals)
Tuesday, July 25: 800 freestyle prelims
Wednesday, July 26: 800 freestyle finals
Saturday, July 29: 1500 freestyle prelims
Sunday, July 30: 1500 freestyle final

That’s more than a week to reset in between the Olympic qualifying race and the first distance event the trio of Wellbrock, Paltrinieri and Romanchuk are likely to race in Fukuoka — and that gap might encourage other pool distance swimmers to give the 10K a try, a low-risk, high-reward proposition that could pay off in an Olympic spot. If anything, the long span of time for races could make training and taper timelines complicated, but surely all of these stars and their teams will have evidence-based plans in place.

The women’s schedule is similarly swimmer-friendly:

Women’s Schedule:
Saturday, July 15: 10K
Tuesday, July 18: 5K
Thursday, July 20: 6K mixed relay
Sunday, July 23: 400 freestyle (prelims/finals)
Monday, July 24: 1500 freestyle prelims
Tuesday, July 25: 1500 freestyle final
Friday, July 28: 800 freestyle prelims
Saturday, July 29: 800 freestyle final
Sunday, July 30: 400 IM (prelims/final)

Similarly, this double will be very doable for Grimes, assuming she manages to add at least one (and possibly up to three) pool events to her Fukuoka lineup. She is more likely than her European male counterparts to race only the 10K and then focus completely on the pool, with more than a week of turnaround time.

Any swimmers who do not earn open water Olympic bids this summer will have another chance in February at the 2024 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, but a medal and early qualification would certainly be the ideal scenario for any swimmer, particularly those balancing pool and open water goals.

For those looking ahead already, the Olympic lineup is totally different, with pool swimming wrapping up on Sunday, August 4, and the open water events taking place the following Thursday (women’s) and Friday (men’s). Just like Worlds, there will be plenty of time to successfully swim both.

Source link

Educational content ⇢

More article