Out of the pool – Speedo Media Reception
Today, beneath the shadow of the tallest building in the world, Speedo revealed the results of its Speedo LZR Racer student collaboration to the media and special guests. Creations by students from the London College of Fashion, Huddersfield University and College of Falmouth were showcased at The Address Hotel in Downtown Dubai against the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa.
The media were keen to see what happened to the 18,000 units of excess stock Speedo were left with following a change in the rules set out by the governing body of the sport of swimming.
On the designs on display, Brian Murgatroyd from Dubaiswimming2010.ae said, “It’s great that Speedo is actually trying to do things that are productive, constructive and innovative with the Speedo LZR Racer.
Of the fashion items, I love the technical jacket and if they ever decided to produce it I could see myself wearing it, although I’m not sure I would look great in the one-piece bikini.”
In the pool – a world record and 15 medals for Team Speedo on the second day
The second night of finals of the 10th FINA World Swimming Championships in Dubai was off to a flying start for Team Speedo with Femke Heemskerk taking first place in the Women’s 100m Freestyle semi-final with a time of 52.27. Her Speedo teammates Natalie Coughlin (USA) and Dana Vollmer (USA) came in 3rd and 4th place with respective times of 52.51 and 52.67. The finalists will battle it out for gold in tomorrow night’s final.
The crowd’s excitement was tangible as the swimmers took to the blocks for the Men’s 400m Individual Medley. All eyes were on Speedo’s Ryan Lochte (USA) who had taken a Championship Record with a time of 4:01.76 in the heats. It was a tense race with teammates Tyler Clary and Lochte neck and neck at 350 metres. As the crowd got to their feet in support Lochte surged ahead leaving his compatriot in his wake as he took the lead, his second gold medal in the competition and a world record with a time of 3:55.50! Clary took bronze with a time of 3:57.56.
On how he makes breaking a World Record look so easy, Ryan said, “I guess it’s just a case of focusing on your goals – I guess it paid off.”
Of his bronze medal Tyler said, “that was the hardest race I have ever swam.
I’ve never hurt so bad after a race. It was a great race. I’m a little disappointed with the outcome I wanted to get a US one, two. Let’s see if I can’t come back better in the next few days.”
In the Men’s 100m Backstroke Aschwin Wildeboer of the Speedo sponsored Spanish team took bronze with a time of 50.64. on his performance, he said, “I’m quite unhappy with the place where I ended up and how I swam, but I guess I can’t complain. I would say I’m satisfied.”
The Women’s 50 m Butterfly semi-final saw Christine Magnuson of the USA Speedo sponsored team qualify for the final with a time of 25:65 she said, “It’s a real fun event for me. I just need to clean up some things for the final, but that’s good because I can get faster.”
With a semi-final time of 21.25, newly signed to Speedo, Luca Dotto of Italy qualified for tomorrow’s Men’s 50m Freestyle. On his race he said’ “I’m very happy with this time. It is very important for me because I’m a rookie in this kind of competition and tomorrow in the final I want to have fun – and go faster!”
The Women’s 100m Backstroke saw Speedo’s Natalie Coughlin take the gold with a time of 56.08. She took the lead throughout and at 50 metres was half a second off world record pace. On placing first she said, “I haven’t swam that race for a long time but it was a personal best. I’m very happy with that, I kept my head down and got a good finish.”
Zhao Jing of the Speedo sponsored Chinese team took silver with a time of 56.18.
Newly signed Italian swimmer Fabio Scozzoli (ITA) took silver in 57.13 in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke. On his performance, he said, “It’s good, this is my first short course world championships. I now see myself as swimming amongst the elite.”
The Women’s 100m Individual Medley semi-final was another significant race for Team Speedo with Kukors Ariana (USA) Kotuko Ngawati (AUS), Liu Jing (CHN) and Hinkelloen Schreuder (NED) filling the 4 top spots to qualify for tomorrow’s final.
Women’s 800m Freestyle saw Speedo sponsored Spain take silver and gold with Team Speedo swimmers taking all three top spots. Mireia Belmonte put in another outstanding performance and looked like she could be on course for her third gold medal of the competition but it became clear that teammate Erika Vallaecija would be victorious touching the wall with a time of 8.11:61 to take home the gold. Mireia settled for silver and a time of 8.12:48 while Speedo sponsored Kate Ziegler (USA) took the bronze with a time of 8.12:84.
The evening culminated with the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle. It was a nail biting race that saw Russia, USA, France and Germany jostling for a medal and the world record. In an exciting finale Speedo’s USA and Russia fought to the bitter end with USA taking the silver with a time of 6:49.58. Speedo sponsored Yannick Agnel, Fabien Gilot, Clement Lefert and Jeremy Stravius of France put in a sterling performance to take the bronze with a time of 6:35.05.