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The year in sport 2018: Swimming

2018 has seen it all – from world records to happy ever afters to awards and to major retirements.

Numerous world records were broken this year both in 25m and 50m championships – turning 2018 into a year where swimmers were able to excel and display their skills worldwide.

From Kliment Kolesnikov’s (RUS) 24.00s world record in the 50m backstroke to Adam Peaty’s (GBR) 57.10s world record in the 100m breaststroke, in the same day (August, 4th). From Katie Ledecky’s (USA) 15:20.48s world record in the 1500m freestyle to Kathleen Baker’s (USA) 58.00s world record in the 100m backstroke. The Australian 4x100m freestyle relay made by; Shayna Jack, Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell – managed to swim in 3:30.05s to get that world record under their caps. (50m pool – stated by FINA as of November 23rd, 2018)

In regards to the 25m pool championships – World records were swum in the mens 100m backstroke (Xu Jiayu – with a time of 48.88s), 50m butterfly (Nicholas Santos – with a time of 21.75s), 100IM (Vladimir Morozov – with a time of 50.26s) and in the women’s 400m freestyle (Wang Jianjiahe – with a time of 3:53.97s) and 50m backstroke (Alia Atkinson – with a time of 28.56s). Stated FINA as of December 3rd, 2018)

Cameron Van Der Burgh was the swimmer that has officially tied the knot with long-time partner Nefeli Valakelis in Athens, Greece, this year. The greek wedding was filled with sports personalities from all around the world.

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With the highest of highs the swimming world was hit with the lowest of lows. Two major contributors to the swimming world, announced their retirement. Missy Franklin – the American/Canadian 23 year-old was a five time Olympic gold medalist and Cameron Van Der Burgh – the South African star, was the first African home-trained world record holder and individual male Olympic Champion. Both departures had a wave of reaction s across social media.

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Since 1964, both female and male swimmers around the world receive recognition from the Swimming World US-based magazine award ‘Swimmer of the Year’, in various categories. Find out below who the World Swimmers, American Swimmers, European Swimmers, Pacific Rim Swimmers, African swimmers and finally the Open Water Swimmers, are this year.

World Swimmers of the Year:
Katie Ledecky (United States)
Adam Peaty (Great Britain)

American Swimmers of the Year:
Katie Ledecky
Chase Kalisz

European Swimmers of the Year:
Sarah Sjöström(Sweden)
Adam Peaty (Great Britain)

Pacific Rim Swimmers of the Year:
Cate Campbell (Australia)
Sun Yang (China)

African Swimmers of the Year:
Tatjana Schoenmaker (South Africa)
Chad Le Clos (South Africa)

Open Water Swimmers of the Year:
Sharon Van Rouwendaal (Netherlands)
Kristof Rasovszky (Hungary)

The FINA Female Swimmer of 2018 award however, went to the Hungarian, Katinka Hosszu. 4thtime winner of this award, ended the year on top.

Whereas the FINA Male Swimmer of 2018 award went to the South African, Chad Le Clos. The 26-year-old made it clear to FINA that he wants to continue swimming until his thirties and that his biggest focus now, is Tokyo 2020. Chad has won this award for the second time.

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Who are you keeping an eye on in 2019?

Featured photograph/Swimming World Magazine

Maria Lopes
Maria Lopes was born and raised in Angola, before moving to Portugal at the age of 13. She then completed her BSc in Sport Science from St Mary’s University. Maria swims for her country and has attended multiple championships around Africa. She has been through tough times with her federation because she has been an advocate for change to elevate sports back home. Maria also enjoys playing football, futsal, basketball, and tennis amongst other sports. With the desire to expand her sports knowledge, she is currently completing a MA in International Sports Journalism.
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