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Fina -> 12th World Championships

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Australia is the #1 in hosting swimming events, no doubt. BUT a WCh are no Olympic Games and Melbourne is not Sydney. I think it was the best WCh ever, but it was not the best swimming competition ever.

Maybe China has sent only a "B-team", I think, they will surprise next year. My major disappointment in the pool apart from the German team has been Hungary and Russia. I expected them much stronger. There are only two strong nations out there. All the European nations have only one or two world class athletes. They are helping to challenge the Australians and Americans but they are not enough.

Perhaps Europe should compete united with only one team.

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I'm surprised that Australia didn't get more medals. But I can't say I'm dissatisfied with the overall performance of the US.

To put this in perspective, it's interesting to note the Australian and US performances and results in swimming from Athens and Melbourne:

Gold medal tally

Country 2004 2007

USA 12 16

Australia 7 9

On those results, both countries actually improved. Of course, the Olympics are different and Beijing will be harder for both, but it's a great foundation for both of us for next year.

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This weekend was just amazing. More spectators attended the FINA championships than at any event before and I must say that I have never ever seen so many world records being broken.... I think the total was seventeen. I mean that is just amazing..I went to the swimming last Friday. The atmosphere in Rod Laver Arena was just amazing.

Yeah I wish we had won a few more gold medals, especially the men...but for a little country of just 20 million we did okay when you consider that France, Germany, UK, Japan and Italy combined did not win as many gold medals as we did.... heck we got more golds than China. Watch out next year though at Beijing, I am sure a lot of these countries will do much better, especially the Germans and the Chinese.

I was again at Melbourne's golden triangle (Tennis Centre, Olympic Park and MCG)on Sunday morning and I have to tell you that I don't think you get the same buzz anywhere else on the planet. I was at the Vodaphone arena next to Rod Laver Arena (ironically not to watch sport but to take my kids to the Walking with the Dinosaurs show.) When it was over we walked out of the front of the arena to be met with the roar of the capacity crowd at Olympic Park watching the Rugby League match featuring Melbourne Storm. Add to this 28,000 people enjoying a fun run to raise money for the Childrens' Hospital, 65,000 that attended the Carlton vs Richmond match at the MCG , 43 thousand that attended the Bulldogs vs Cats match (I went to this match with my kids after the Dinosaurs show) and about 15 thousand that attended the finals of the swimming world championships and you had a town that was buzzing all day long. Nearly 220,000 people watched the footy in Melbourne last weekend. Add to this the other events around the city and you have a really happening town. This is coming off the back of the previous weekends that saw the Grand Prix, the International Air Show, the Melbourne to Osaka yacht race and even an International Flower and Garden Show this weekend that attracted record crows... there is just no end to the events in this town...escpecially in March...

I have said it time and time again... the Olympic Games legacy of 1956 has shaped this sports mad city and is a model for other cities to follow. I love this town. When your biggest problem is trying to decide which sporting event to attend...then this is indeed the world's most comfortable and livable city in the world. I feel priviledged to live in this town...

Melbourne may not be on the international radar in terms of profile and landmarks but is truly world class when it comes to hosting sporting and leisure events... and the people of Melbourne who embrace these events are the real asset of this city.

Bravo Melbourne...

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If Canada can repeat a 5 medal performance from aquatics next year in Beijing it would be good.

It's possible they may peak at the right time next year since they are currently breaking Canadian time records. They may snatch a couple more medals in the pool and end up with 6-7 from Aquatics. But the Olympics are a total different story and some people choke once put in that position.

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It's possible they may peak at the right time next year since they are currently breaking Canadian time records. They may snatch a couple more medals in the pool and end up with 6-7 from Aquatics. But the Olympics are a total different story and some people choke once put in that position.

On a good day Canada has a medal chance in

Women's 10m Syncro Diving

Women's 3m Syncro Diving

Men's 3m Syncro Divin

Men's 3m Diving

Women's 3m Diving

Men's 10m Diving

Women's 10m Diving

Men's 1500m freestyle

Men's 800m freestyle

Women's 800m freestyle

Women's 400m freestyle

Men's 200m Breaststroke

Men's 100m freestyle

Men's 200m freestyle

Men's 4 x 200m relay

Women's Waterpolo

There are 16 possible medals, some of them a bit longer than others, but all good shots at medals for Canada if the athletes are performing well, Hurd, Brown and Reimer were all not at their best

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Diving is in Montreal, I think its in Calgary or Vancouver.

I always thought that Victoria was the national swimming training center. I knew about Calgary's role somewhat here, but I also thought that, after Victoria hosted the 1994 Commonwealth Games, that was where they will move to train. Remember, before the world records fell en masse in Melbourne, Victoria had quite its share of them from that pool. Makes me wonder how many of them are left from the BC pool now, if there are any left for it to claim.

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Australia looks set to achieve 20 medals in aquatics next year. 10 gold medals wouldn't be that optimistic.



Hackett (if he gets some form)- 1500m freestyle.

Lenton- 50m and 100m freestyle.

Jones- 100m and 200m breastroke.

Schipper- 100m and 200m butterfly.

women- 4x100 freestyle relay and medley relay.

Women's water polo team


Lenton- 100m butterfly, 200m freestyle

rice- 200m IM

Henry- 100m freestyle

rickard- 100m and 200m breastroke

sullivan- 50m OR 100m freestyle (i think he'll get at least one medal)

hackett- 400m freestyle

women- 4x200m freestyle relay

men- 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay

women- 10m platform synchro and 3m springboard synchro

Melissa Wu- 10m platform

brookes-pieterson or santacaterina or hackett in 10km open water.

10 Golds, 25 medals

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And now it looks like heads are set to roll in China:

BEIJING, April 5, 2007 (AFP) - China's head swimming coach says he will accept the axe with no complaints following the nation's world championships debacle, state media reported Thursday.

``If the officials have no trust in me and sack me, I will not have any complaints,'' the China Daily quoted Zhang Yadong as saying.

China's once-powerful swimming team sank to their worst performance in 15 years at the just concluded world championships in Australia, winning just one silver and one bronze medal.

With just 15 months to go before Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympic Games, Zhang said time was running out for the under-performing squad.

``People expected the team to show improvement and win medals. But our performance was not up to scratch,'' he said.

``As a result, China's gold medal hopes at next year's Olympics look remote.''

Many Chinese swimmers are publicly blaming backward coaching methods for their failure, and Zhang agreed that China was now playing catch-up with leading countries such as the United States and Australia.

``Swimming has become an underdeveloped sport in China. We are lagging behind compared with four years ago,'' he said.

``It might have something to do with the new training methods.''

Zhang Lin, who finished sixth in the men's 200m freestyle, echoed many swimmers when he said he wanted to quit China and train abroad.

``Our training methods have problems. I want to go abroad and get new training,'' he said.

The swimmer said that he wanted to emulate South Korea's champion Park Tae-Hwan, who took the bronze medal in the 200m freestyle.

``Before Park went abroad to train with an Australian coach, we were almost neck and neck in the 200m. But now I am lagging behind. He has improved mentally and physically,'' said Zhang.

China's Wu Peng was the best of a poor bunch in Melbourne, swimming a respectable men's 200m butterly to claim a silver. But he had the misfortune of sharing the pool with the seemingly invincible US swimmer Michael Phelps, who shattered the world record in the race.

China also took a bronze in the women's 4x100m medley relay.

But even Wu said he wanted to go to the United States and confirmed that he would be heading there next month to train with Phelps.

``I really want to learn from him,'' he said.


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