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News Round-Up: Baby For Manaudou & Bousquet

Nov 6, 2009  - Craig Lord

France: European media reports are full of the big news from French swimming: Laure Manaudou and Fred Bousquet are expecting their first child together. Manaudou, 2004 Olympic 400m free champion and former world record holder over 200m and 400m confirmed her retirement from the pool last month, while Bousquet will base himself permanently in France for the foreseeable future, rather than spend time between gaul and Auburn in the US. reports in France say that Manaudou has five months to go before the happy event.

Australia's 'queen of pain': Stephanie Rice, the double Olympic medley champion who settled for world silver and bronze at the height of the shiny suit era in Rome 2009 this summer, is enduring the pain of core work needed to make her a mean machine come the dawn of a new age of textile-only suits in January. According to reports Down Under, the 21-year-old Brisbane ace has been seen sweating on a suburban Brisbane football field for the past month as she adds some new dry land elements to her regime in the pool. "I'm loving it," Rice told AAP as she explained that she has turned to Brisbane Broncos fitness guru Dean Benton to help her shed some post-world championship kilos and prepare for the Australian championships in March. "I'm really enjoying the change and I think it's really benefitting my swimming," said Rice. Of her 15 sessions a week, she does six at the Broncos' Red Hill training complex and nine back in the pool with coach Michael Bohl, who described his charge as a "pain queen". Rice referred back to Rome as follows: "Because of the swimsuit controversy, the world champs was not a competitive meet for me and I think you've got to look past all that. I just want to get back to the top of my game again and see what times I can swim."

Singapore: Tao Li's spat with her federation continues apace. Over in Moscow preparing for the world cup meet this weekend, the 'fly ace told the media that after she set an Asian record, the guardians of the sport in her adopted nation did not even bother to say "well done". Since she made the Olympic 100m final in Beijing and then clocked a 57.54 Asian record, Tao Li says she is still waiting for a pat on the back. She told reporters at FINA's Arena World Cup: “I’m very disappointed by what was said as what I want is not monetary rewards but recognition, such as a certificate of achievement from the SSA. When I broke the Asian record, all I wanted was for them to congratulate me and say ‘well done’ in person. But there hasn’t been any positive action from them.” Her simple point seems to have been lost on the federation, a spokesman for which noted the support she does receive: “I disagree with Tao Li’s claims that SSA have not given her any recognition,” the spokesman told MediaCorp. “Tao Li was not even part of the Project 0812 (a $7 million government initiative to help Singapore athletes at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics), and it was SSA that supported her ... Our focus is on enabling the athlete, not rewards.” 

East Asian Games, Hong Kong: Liu Zige, the Olympic champion from China who recently stunned the world of swimming with a 2:01.81 200m 'fly record that transcended the shiny suits debate, will be among the leading competitors heading to the East Asian Games in Hong Kong on December 5 to 13. The event will cost the city HK$1.3 billion, including the building of new facilities. The Kowloon Park Swimming Pool has been renovated and will host swimming and diving, the stars of which will be Olympic and world champs Guo Jingjing and her synchronised partner Wu Minxia.

Hanoi: Chinese swimmers continue to steal the limelight at various events across Asia. At the third Asian Indoor Games in Hanoi, the women's 100m 'fly crown went to Guo Fan clocked 57.41 ahead of teammate Li Shuang, on  58.20. In the men's 100m 'fly, Shi Feng clocked  50.71 and won the 50m backstroke in 24.06.

Ireland: the Emerald Isle has had more than its fair share of sex perverts on the deck. The latest is former Olympic swimming coach Gerard Doyle, who from this week is serving time behind bars for carrying out a string of attacks on young boys in the 1990s. The 48-year-old faced a a jury at Wexford Circuit Court to hear a unanimous guilty verdict on 33 counts, and majority decisions on the remaining two charges.  Refusing a bail application, Judge Alice Doyle remanded Doyle in custody for sentence on January 28, 2010.