28 July 2009

Roman Holiday

Every time I open a pdf of results from omegatiming.com, my jaw drops and I complain about how fast everyone is swimming these days.

Case in point: In last night's World Championship Men's 100m Breaststroke final, winner Brenton Rickard (Australia) clocked 58.58s. Bye bye, world record held by my one true love, Kosuke Kitajima (who, for the record, was not in the race). The three following men - Hugues Duboscq, Cameron Van Der Burgh, and Eric Shanteau all finished in sub-59s, and every man in the final was under 60. That's just crazy. I remember when the world record was 1:00.16! I remember when it was still held by Mike Barrowman! My head is still kind of in a place where going under 1:03 for this event is fast. I'm baffled. Who are these men? What do they do in training!?

Unfortunately, one of my favourites - Stephanie Rice, was beaten in the 200m individual medley final. I'm a longtime Rice fan. I love her hair, her offbeat personality, and most of all, her versatility in the pool - she's competitive in a range of events but especially the medleys, which she won in style at last year's Olympic Games, with world records to boot. This, however, was not to be the case last night as she was reeled in by the American Ariana Kukors (she too, has nice hair, but she's not Steph). Kukors set her own world record - 2:06.15 - which is out of this world! It was thought for years that no-one could touch the drug-riddled Yanyan Wu's old time, which escapes me now because between Rice, Klochkova, Hoff and now Kukors, that time has been blasted into oblivion.

"Rice bubbles over": Steph at last year's Olympic trials

But perhaps the biggest tearjerker of all was when Aaron Peirsol, who I wrote about a few weeks ago when he posted a 51.94s 100m backstroke at the US Trials, failed to make the final for that event. Heartbreaking!! Seriously, huge Aaron fan, and to see him place ninth in an event he's almost monopolised for the last five-plus years killed a little bit of me. You can bet this guy will get his chin up and his revenge on in the 200m event on Thursday. I'll be cheering from all the way down here.

If you're wondering why this entire post is dedicated to swimming and mentions nothing of my life, it's because I'm a bit disenchanted with myself at the moment and it's easier to be excited for people breaking world records than it is about going for a run.

Peace, love, and Stephanie Rice. xo

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