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Terakawa Takes World No1 Spot On 59.13

Sep 14, 2010  - Craig Lord

Japan: At the national physical educations long-course championships in Chiba, Aya Terakawa clocked the fastest time in the world this year over 100m backstroke, her 59.13 a Japanese record and comparing to the 59.44 at which Natalie Coughlin (USA) held the world mark before shiny suits and the 58.12 at which Gemma Spofforth (GBR) set the global standard for the world crown at Roma2009 while wearing a Speedo LZR Racer 50% poly suit. Japan continues to live up to its reputation of laying down very fast times in domestic competition: last week the University Championships witnessed the second-best 200m breaststroke effort of the year, Naoya Tomita taking the crown in 2:08.94. Other results from Chiba - Men:100m free -  Syunsuke Kuzuhara 49.85; 400m free - Takeshi Matsuda 3:48.38; 100m backstroke - Ryosuke Irie, 53.09 (4th best in 2010); 100m breaststroke - Ryo Tateishi, 1:00.23; 100m butterfly - Kohei Kawamoto, 52.49; 200m butterfly - Yuki Kobori 1:57.55; women: 200m backstroke - Sayaka Akase, 2:09.07; 100m breaststroke - Satomi Suzuki, 1:07.09; 200m breaststroke - Keiko Fukudome, 2:24.85.

Africa: Some 250 athletes from 19 countries are taking part in the 10th Senior African Swimming Championships in Morocco this week. The first session saw 11 medals and 4 Championship Records fall to South Africa. Karin Prinsloo (RSA) took the 100m free in 56.40; Nabil Kebbab, coached former South African coach Karoly Torro, now head coach of Algeria, claimed the 100m breaststroke crown ahead of William Diering (RSA), both on the 1:03 mark; Kathryn Meaklim (RSA) won the 400m medley in 4:45.76; Chanelle van Wyk (RSA) took the 50m backstroke in 29.31; Darren Murray (RSA) clocked 26.56 to win the 50m backstroke; the South African women's 4x200m freestyle quartet prevailed in 8:27.61.

China: The Water Cube - otherwise known as The National Aquatics Center and home to the Beijing Olympic swim meet - is now a thriving leisure and fitness facility after being transformed from race pool to the largest indoor water park in Asia. Alan Mahony, general manager of what is now called the Happy Magic Water Park, told reporters:  "The most unique part about this water park is really the Water Cube building and the structure. As you know, it is an award winning architecture structure, so what we did is we looked at the blue design, the watery design, and we brought that into the water park. So what we gave, the whole purpose behind the design is to give you a feeling that you're underwater once you come into the park," he said. In the place of the hallowed lanes up and down which Michael  Phelps raced to a record eight gold medals: a giant water slide. Perhaps the closest the public will come to understanding what it feels like to move through water at the speed of superfish. 

Cancer Risks: Swimming in chlorinated pools may raise the risk of cancer, Spanish researchers have revealed. A team at the Centre of Research in Environmental Epidemiology and Research Institute Hospital del Mar studied changes in indicators of mutagenicity [permanent mutation of the DNA] among swimmers in an indoor chlorinated pool. "The evidence of genotoxic effects were observed in 49 healthy adults after swimming for 40 minutes in a chlorinated indoor pool," CREAL said in a statement. Researchers concluded that there was an increased risk of cancer in healthy people, while the potential for respiratory illness was greater through exposure to the chlorine used as a disinfectant, the statement noted. The study was published in the US journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Co-director of CREAL, Manolis Kogevinas, said the findings should not put people off swimming. "The positive health impacts of swimming can be increased by reducing the levels of these chemicals," he said. "In no case do we want to stop swimming, but to encourage the reduction of chemicals in swimming pools." Kogevinas suggested the problems caused by a reduction in levels of disinfectant could be offset if swimmers showered before swimming, wore caps and refrained from urinating ...