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News Round-Up

Aug 20, 2009  - Craig Lord

USA: Bob Bowman, mentor to Michael Phelps, has revealed that his supercharge will wear the 2010 cut of suit when he competes at FINA world cup meets in Berlin and Stockholm in November. Bowman said in Rome, after Phelps's defeat by Paul Biedermann in the 200m free, that the winner of 14 Olympic gold medals would not appear in international waters until FINA declared itself ready to banish shiny suits by Jan 1, 2010. It took about 48hrs for the message to get through. "This year is all about the training," Bowman tells the Washington Post. "The training we do this year will be the foundation of what happens in London … If you look at the big picture, the fall and winter are very important training times. We’re going to Europe, but we’re not going to do anything special, (not going to) swim super times." Paul Biedermann may await Phelps in Berlin - and what a farce it would be if the german wears his X-Glide and Phelps wears a pair of textile briefs. We shall see. "Michael enjoys racing him, but he would definitely enjoy racing him more if that variable were not in there all of the time," Bowman said. "I think (Biedermann) would enjoy it more, too. It’s a lose-lose (situation), because for the people who do these fantastic times, they always have to quantify it." Meantime, the new season at Baltimore starts without Katie Hoff, who is planning to train in Fullerton, California, according to US reports. That links us to this news: Clubs in North Baltimore and Fullerton, Calif., have been chosen as US Olympic Committee training centres to help postgraduate swimmers train for the Olympics. SwimMAC in Charlotte, N.C., was the first such club chosen in 2006.

France: Camelia Potec, 2004 Olympic 200m free champion, will retire from the pool at 27, if Romania, her homeland, does not honour a commitment to pay Philippe Lucas, her French coach, for his work with her. "For Beijing, he agreed to coach me free of charge. But after Beijing, promises were made to him to pay for his work," said Potec, Olympic and world finalist in the past two summers on distance freestyle.

Berlin: Tokyo bid chairman Dr Ichiro Kono used to be a swimmer. He was not fast enough to chase Olympic gold - but he is keen on handing out many of the ultimate sports prizes as a leader of the 2016 campaign to host the Games. Dr Kono, who is here attending the athletics world championships to lobby IOC members who will be eligible to vote in Copenhagen, told AFP that swimming had formed a large part of his early life, inspired by former distance freestyle world-record holder Hironoshin Furuhashi, FINA Bureau member who died during the world championships in Rome last month. "I came from a seaside resort on Honshu island so the sea was very much part of my life," he said. "My teacher at school had been a gold medalist at the 1932 Olympics and he was a very good instructor. "He had also been a mentor to Furuhashi, who was the greatest swimmer Japan produced immediately after World War II. However, because of what happened during the war we were not invited to the 1948 Olympics in London and so Furuhashi had to swim elsewhere and he set a new world record for the 400 metres freestyle on the same day as the final in London."

New York: Dara Torres will be 45 by London 2012. That won't stp her if her body holds out. "I have a little less than a year to figure it out what I want to do," she said. "I really want my knee to heal and want to get my legs back in shape. Then I'll talk to my coach [Michael Lohberg] and go from there. It's a big commitment but I've done it before and I know how to do it. It's just a matter if my body will hold up."

Australia: Nick D'Arcy will race for Australia at three rounds of the world cup, his first international selection since being dropped from Olympic and world-championship teams in the wake of,  17 months ago, assaulting former champion swimmer Simon Cowley in a Sydney nightclub.

New York: Natalie Coughlin is not yet in the mood for too much training in water - but she will be keeping fit: she will join 15 other "celebrities" from the worlds of entertainment and sports in the new season of the TV programme, "Dancing With the Stars". Alongside her, Donny Osmond and Macy Gray, plus some other folk, most best-known in the US and some famous for being, well, famous.