World Cup: Therese Alshammar clocked the fastest time ever recorded by a woman over 100m medley in heats at the opening round of the FINA World Cup at the Kings Park Aquatic Centre in Durban, South Africa. The Swedish champ clocked 58.51, 0.03sec inside the previous best from the shiny suit era, of 58.54, held by Australia’s Emily Seebohm since August. On the opening evening of racing, Alshammar won the 100m 'fly in 56.12 and the 50m free in 23.74, 0.02sec ahead of Hinkelien Schreuder (NED). Roland Schoeman produced a rare breaststroke triumph over world record holder Cameron van der Burgh, winning the 50m in 25.90 to 25.94. Schoeman also won the 50m butterfly in 22.32. The 100m breaststroke for women witnessed the return of Jessica Hardy from a doping suspension: the American won the race in 1:04.15. From January 1, 2010, non-textile suits and bodysuits currently being worn will be barred from the race pool because the enhance performance and serve some swimmers more than others.
USA: The USA Swimming Foundation has released the nominations for the Golden Goggle Awards 2009. The event will take place Sunday, November 22 at the Beverly Hilton. Michael Phelps headlines the ballot with three individual nominations and three relay nominations. He is followed by Ryan Lochte with four nominations. The nominees for 2009 Male Athlete of the Year include Phelps, Lochte, and Aaron Peirsol. The 2009 Female Athlete of the Year category features Ariana Kukors, Rebecca Soni and Dana Vollmer. The Coach of the Year ballot includes Bob Bowman (North Baltimore), Sean Hutchison (King Aquatics/Fullerton), Eddie Reese (Longhorn Aquatics), Dave Salo (Trojan Swim Club), and Gregg Troy (Gator Swim Club). Phelps, meanwhile, has confirmed what he told us all in Rome back in the summer: he will be racing in "jammers" on the world cup circuit in November and is likely to race in the USA Vs European nations meet in December, which now appears to be a meet worth missing, with Italy apparently committed to wearing shiny suits while others will not. You can catch up with all of that at the Washington Post's reachforthewall.com.
Canada: The Canadians will send 12 swimmers on World Cup tour. At the helm is Brent Hayden, 2007 world champion over 100m free, a man who suffered during the shiny suits era and was one of the unluckiest swimmers in Rome, finishing fourth by a fingernail in a 100m free final unrecognisable from the technique-based sport in which Hayden competed for his own world title. Hayden will be the only Canadian competing in the Moscow leg of the cup.