I’m back – what’d I miss?

My hand is out of a splint after three weeks, though my typing speed is still diminished by a bit of tape on my two still-aching fingers. I may need to put my goalkeeping career on hold for a while.

I’m also relatively not sick. I have no idea how I’ve had waves of sinus and throat problems through the most mild summer of my lifetime, but a doctor has assured me she’ll figure it out. I got back from vacation to find Northern Virginia had become a sauna to start September, and after leading a couple of youth soccer practices in Venusian conditions last night and walking a couple of miles this morning, I actually feel better. Go figure.

Enough complaining. I’m back, and it’s time to give a quick update on the blog, my writing priorities over the next few months, and what happened in the sports world while I was healing.

The blog: Expect more links and fewer 1,000-word pieces. I want to keep sharing Olympic sports news, but I’m going to do that more efficiently. No more Monday Myriad (in part because my youth soccer practices are on Mondays), so this will be the last “roundup” post for a while. My analysis will more commonly be on …

The podcast: Hoping to do another one this week, depending on my guest’s schedule.

Medal projections: By next year, I hope Olympic sports news will be in the context of my medal projections. I’ll be working on that, along with …

Enduring Spirit epilogue: The tentative plan is to re-release the book (electronically only) with the epilogue added. I’ll also release the epilogue separately at a low, low price, so if you already bought the book, you won’t be shelling out another six bucks. I’m going to do a few postseason interviews, so don’t expect this right away.

Single-Digit Soccer: This project keeps gathering momentum. I’m planning to speak and gather input at the NSCAA convention in January, and I hope to finish it by next summer.

Other than that, I’ll still be writing at OZY, a site you should check out even if you never read anything I write. And you may still see an MMA book I finished a while back.

So what happened while I was out? In no particular order:

Badminton World Championships: South Korea wins men’s doubles, China won three other events, and the women’s singles went to … Spain? First time for everything, and this is a terrific photo:

Judo World Championships: Olympic champion Kayla Harrison was the only U.S. medalist, taking bronze.

Rowing World Championships: Britain won 10 medals, New Zealand won nine, Australia and Germany eight each, and the USA won seven. The World Championships include a lot of non-Olympic events, so don’t use this for medal projections. These championships included some para-rowing events, which accounted for one U.S. medal. The sole U.S. gold went to, as always, the mighty women’s eight.

World Equestrian Games: The sole U.S. medals so far are in the non-Olympic discipline of reining. Britain, Germany and the Netherlands are cleaning up. Olympic quota spots (earned by the country, not the athlete) are available in dressage, eventing and show jumping.

Also, Ollie Williams (the man behind Frontier Sports) looks at the Olympic prospects of horseball. Yes, horseball. They compare it to a mix of rugby and basketball, but I think it’s a mix of polo and quidditch.

Triathlon, World Series grand final: Gwen Jorgensen didn’t need a great finish to clinch the world championship. She did it anyway. Too early to declare her athlete of the year?

Swimming, Pan-Pacific Games: Phelps, Ledecky and company have it easy compared to Haley Anderson, who won open-water gold after a jellyfish sting, a race postponement and a race relocation. 

Track and field, Diamond League finals: Half of the events wrapped for the season at the Weltklasse Zurich over the weekend; the rest finish up Friday in Brussels. Check the Monday Morning Run for a recap that includes fellow Dukie Shannon Rowbury diving along with U.S. teammate Jenny Simpson as the latter took the women’s 1,500 title in style.

Today’s Frontier Sports wrap has a couple of track and field links (along with helpful links on badminton and much more), including “the often-told, never-dull tale of how (Brianne Theisen-Eaton) almost impaled (Ashton Eaton) with a javelin.”

Overall Diamond League winners include Simpson, Michael Tinsley (USA, 400 hurdles), Christian Taylor (USA, triple jump, took title away from teammate Will Claye at final), Lashawn Merritt (USA, 400 meters, Kirani James wasn’t at the final), Reese Hoffa (USA, shot put), Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica, 100), Dawn Harper-Nelson (USA, 100 hurdles — Americans won every Diamond League race), Tiana Bartoletta (USA, long jump) and Valerie Evans (New Zealand, shot put, swept).

Women’s soccer, NWSL final: I got back from vacation to see this, and I’m glad I did. It was a compelling final, and while Seattle would’ve been a worthy champion in every sense, Kansas City deserved it. The Lauren Holiday-to-Amy Rodriguez combo is as potent as anything you’ll see in soccer.

Kansas City now holds the top-division U.S./Canada titles in men’s soccer (Sporting KC, MLS), women’s soccer (FCKC), and men’s indoor soccer (Missouri Comets, coached by FCKC’s Vlatko Andonovski). The latter won the last MISL title before most of that league leapt to the MASL.

The league also announced it would play a full schedule next summer with a break for the World Cup, which means international players will miss a considerable number of games. The big worry: The season will spill into September, bad news for those counting on international loans or fall coaching jobs to supplement the league’s small paychecks. But the league didn’t have a lot of good options, and now they’re poised to ride a World Cup wave if one materializes again.

Basketball World Cup: Senegal over Croatia is the big upset so far, while France, Brazil and Serbia have created a logjam for second behind Spain in Group A. The USA is cruising through an easy group.

Men’s volleyball World Championships: Many people are watching.

The USA won a thrilling five-setter and lost an epic to Iran in early group play.

Modern pentathlon World Championships: Underway with relays.

MMA: The UFC 177 pay-per-view card had already been hit by a rash of injuries. Then one of the UFC’s most heralded recent signings, Olympic wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo, had a “medical issue” while trying to make weight. Then former bantamweight champion Renan Barao, set for a rematch against new champ T.J. Dillashaw, also couldn’t make weight. Joe Soto got the Seth Petruzelli-style bump from the undercard to the main event. Unlike Petruzelli against Kimbo Slice, Soto couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity.

So the most noteworthy things about the card, apart from Cejudo and Barao’s weight-cutting issues, were:

1. Bethe Correia taking out another of Ronda Rousey’s buddies, veteran Shayna Baszler. Now Rousey wants a piece of Correia, who’ll be happy to oblige.

2. Dana White launching an unholy rip of the media. Some days, I miss covering this sport — this would’ve been fun.

Overseas in ONE FC — I’m absolutely biased toward Kamal Shalorus, who works in our wonderful local dojo and is as nice as he could be. Glad to see him get a title shot, but Shinya Aoki was always going to be a tough matchup, and Aoki indeed kept the belt.

Chess: World champ Magnus Carlsen and top U.S. player Hikaru Nakamura are at the Sinquefield Cup, but Italy’s Fabiano Caruana has left them in the dust, beating Carlsen, Nakamura and the other three to go a perfect 5-for-5 halfway through the double round-robin.

And we’re a month away from Millionaire Chess. Ignore the monetary losses and enjoy.

Cycling: Vuelta a Espana in brief — Nairo Quintana fell, Alberto Contador took the lead.

Video games: A terrific glitch in Madden ’15 — a 14-inch-tall linebacker:

Coming up: Bloody Elbow is looking at the upcoming wrestling World Championships.

Glad to be back!

USA Swimming championships, Day 2

The basic U.S. women’s plan for the foreseeable future: Katie Ledecky wins the distance races, Missy Franklin wins everything else.

But hold on a minute. Ledecky met Franklin in the 200-meter freestyle Thursday at the U.S. nationals and won. By 1.24 seconds.

So within U.S. swimming, we’re going to have a nice friendly rivalry, one that caught the attention of Alan Abrahamson and USA TODAY’s Nicole Auerbach, for a few years to come.

Now we’ll see if they’re as quotable as Lochte and Phelps.

Also Thursday — Franklin dominated the 200 backstroke as usual, and Lochte fell well short of 2012 gold medalist Tyler Clary in the men’s 200 backstroke.

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Woly Award: Missy Franklin, swimming

It’s easy to lose track of major swim meets (less easy to lose swim of major track meets … OK, that’s awful). So many events, so many Americans winning so many medals.

So let’s recap the World Swimming Championships day-by-day, though the first day was counted under last week’s Woly Award recap. Each link goes to one of Nick Zaccardi’s handy recaps at NBC’s Olympic Talk blog. Events with asterisk will be in the video playlist:


– Men’s 400 freestyle: Gold to China’s Sun Yang, bronze to USA’s Connor Yaeger.

– Women’s 400 freestyle: Gold and U.S. record to last week’s Woly winner, Katie Ledecky.

– Women’s 4×100 free relay: USA (Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin, Shannon Vreeland, Megan Romano) edges Australia on Romano’s fantastic anchor leg.

– Men’s 4×100 free relay: France comes back to beat USA (Nathan Adrian, Ryan Lochte, Anthony Ervin, Jimmy Feigen).


– Men’s 100 breaststroke: Gold to Australia’s Christian Sprenger; no U.S. medal.

– Women’s 100 butterfly: Gold to Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom; bronze to ailing American Dana Vollmer.

– *Men’s 50 butterfly (non-Olympic event): Brazil’s Cesar Cielo edges U.S. surprise Eugene Godsoe, who takes silver.

– Women’s 200 medley: Gold to Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu; USA’s Caitlin Leverenz 7th.


– Men’s 200 freestyle: France’s Yannick Agnel dominates; USA’s Connor Dwyer silver, Ryan Lochte 4th.

– Women’s 100 backstroke: Missy Franklin’s second gold (first individual). Elizabeth Pelton 4th.

– *Women’s 1,500 freestyle (non-Oly distance): Katie Ledecky’s second gold and a world record of 15:36.53.

– *Men’s 100 backstroke: 1-2 for the USA: Matt Grevers and David Plummer.

– Women’s 100 breaststroke: Gold for Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, who broke the world record in the semifinals. USA’s Jessica Hardy, the former record-holder, takes bronze.


– Men’s 200 butterfly: Gold to South Africa’s Chad le Clos. USA’s Tom Luchsinger 5th.

– *Women’s 200 freestyle: Missy Franklin’s third gold, dethroning Italy’s Federica Pellegrini.

– Men’s 50 breaststroke (non-Oly distance): South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh gold; no Americans in final.

– Men’s 800 freestyle final (non-Oly distance): Second gold for China’s Sun Yang; surprise silver for USA’s Michael McBroom, with Connor Yaeger fourth.


– *Men’s 200 medley: Ryan Lochte takes his third straight world title in the event.

– *Men’s 100 freestyle: Australia’s James Magnussen avenges Olympic loss by holding off the USA’s Jimmy Feigen and Nathan Adrian.

– Women’s 200 butterfly: Gold for China’s Liu Zige.

– Women’s 50 backstroke (non-Oly distance): 1-2 for China’s Zhao Jing and Fu Yuanhui.

– *Women’s 4×200 freestyle relay: Another huge moment for Katie Ledecky (third gold, led after leadoff leg) and Missy Franklin (fourth gold, rallied to win with anchor leg), joining Shannon Vreeland and Karlee Bispo for the world title.


– *Women’s 100 freestyle: Australia’s Cate Campbell wins, with Missy Franklin just missing the podium.

– *Men’s 200 backstroke: Gold for Ryan Lochte; bronze for Tyler Clary.

– Women’s 200 breaststroke: Gold for Russia’s Yuliya Efimova; bronze for USA’s Micah Lawrence.

– Men’s 200 breaststroke: Gold for Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta; no U.S. swimmers in final.

– *Men’s 4×200 free relay: USA gold, even with Lochte swimming his third event of the night. In order: Connor Dwyer, Lochte, Charlie Houchin and Ricky Berens, who came home with a comfortable margin of victory of more than two seconds. That’s three golds in two days for Lochte.


– Women’s 50 butterfly (non-Oly distance): Gold to Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray.

– Men’s 50 freestyle: Brazil’s Cesar Cielo does it again, with Nathan Adrian (4th) and Anthony Ervin (6th) missing out.

– *Women’s 200 backstroke: FIFTH gold for Missy Franklin, by nearly two seconds.

– Men’s 100 butterfly: Another gold for South Africa’s Chad le Clos. Ryan Lochte finished 6th — not his best event by far.

– *Women’s 800 freestyle: FOURTH gold for Katie Ledecky, with a world record of 8:13.86 more than two seconds ahead of the pack.


– Men’s 50 backstroke (non-Oly distance): Gold for France’s Camille Lacourt; USA’s Matt Grevers ties for silver. Yes, a tie. That’s two medals for Grevers.

– Women’s 50 breaststroke (non-Oly distance): Let’s run through the chronology – coming into the meet, the USA’s Jessica Hardy had the world record. Then Russia’s Yuliya Efimova broke it here, only to see Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte break THAT record. But then Efimova came back to win the final in non-record time, beating Meilutyte and Hardy, though the latter took bronze and equaled her American record. Which used to be the world record. Got it?

– Men’s 400 medley: Gold for Japan’s Daiya Seto, silver for USA’s Chase Kalisz, fourth for USA’s Tyler Clary.

– Women’s 50 freestyle: You know it’s the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo for gold here.

– *Men’s 1,500 freestyle: THIRD gold for China’s Sun Yang. USA’s Connor Jaeger 4th.

– Women’s 400 medley: Medley sweep for Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu; bronze for USA’s Elizabeth Beisel, USA’s Maya DiRado 4th.

– Men’s 4×100 medley: USA wi… nope, disqualified. Same as 2012 Olympics. Ryan Lochte once again denied another medal. France upsets Australia for gold.

– Women’s 4×100 medley: Easy win for the USA and SIXTH gold for Missy Franklin, who led off in backstroke. Then Jessica Hardy on breaststroke, Dana Vollmer butterfly and Megan Romano freestyle.


Another dominating performance for the USA, with some familiar multi-event names (Franklin, Lochte) joined by less-heralded Olympic champions (Grevers), others confirming their Olympic breakthroughs (Ledecky) and some medal-stand newcomers (Lawrence, Plummer, McBroom, Kalisz, Godsoe, Feigen, Dwyer).

If you want the full list of U.S. results, the best compendium is at Wikipedia, which also rounds up disappointing performances for the U.S. water polo teams (men 9th, women 5th), last week’s synchronized swimming, open water and diving action, and the 1-2 finish in women’s high diving for Cesilie Carlton and Ginger Huber.

USA Swimming also wrapped up the swimming portions of the meet.

So who wins the Woly Award?

Ledecky was the meet’s outstanding female swimmer (China’s Sun Yang took the men’s award), but that included an accomplishment for which she won the Woly last week. This week alone, Franklin won six world titles. Can’t top that.

So Missy Franklin wins this week’s Woly Award, given to the top U.S. performer in Olympic sports.

Other events of the week:

WRESTLING: Jordan Burroughs is now 60-0 in international wrestling, winning the Stepan Sargsyan International in Vanadzor, Armenia. Brent Metcalf and Clayton Foster also won their weight classes.

EQUESTRIAN: Richard Spooner, Reed Kessler, McLain Ward and Beezie Madden combined for second place in the FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain.

And we had U.S. championships in ski jumping (seriously – in 88-degree weather), bobsled pushing and shotgun shooting. See TeamUSA.org’s roundup.

The video playlist also includes the U.S. women’s volleyball team’s first loss in ages, some water polo highlights, and some events from the World Games. Enjoy.

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Woly Award: Katie Ledecky, swimming

It’s World Championship season. Everything that involves swimming, diving and water polo-ing is happening in Barcelona, while track and field athletes had their last Diamond League meet before their World Championships next month.

That gave us a lot of Woly Award nominees. Would Duke bias on your blogger’s part steer the award to Shannon Rowbury, who ran the fastest 3,000 meters of the year? What about any of the other five U.S. winners at the London Grand Prix? Or Megan Romano, with an anchor leg for the ages in Barcelona?

But we’re going with a world champion in an event U.S. women don’t usually win and have certainly never gone quite as fast …

Katie Ledecky is the first U.S. woman to break the four-minute mark (3:59.82) in the 400-meter freestyle and the first woman to win the world title in the event since Janet Evans did it in 1991. Allison Schmitt set the previous American record of 4:01.77 in taking silver last year in London.

And so Ledecky is this week’s Woly Award winner, given to the top U.S. performer in Olympic sports in the week. For our purposes, the “week” ends Sunday, so any winners in Barcelona on Monday will be eligible next week.

To show the rest of the action, I’ve made a YouTube playlist, mostly from Universal Sports.

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Swimming: Katie Ledecky runs away with the 400 free world title.

Beach volleyball: Jen Kessy and April Ross rally from a set down to win the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, Calif., the first FIVB event in the USA in 10 years.

Beach volleyball: Sean Rosenthal and Phil Dalhausser rule Long Beach.

Swimming: France with the stunning comeback to beat the USA (Nathan Adrian, Ryan Lochte, Anthony Ervin and Jimmy Feigen) in the men’s 4×100 free relay.

Swimming: Megan Romano comes back from 0.72 seconds down to give the USA the women’s 4×100 free relay title. Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin and Shannon Vreeland went the rest of the way to set the U.S. record (3:32.31).

Diving: David Boudia, Olympic champion and the man who gave Brandi Chastain a 10 on one of her dives on the show Splash, takes silver on the 10-meter platform in Barcelona’s stunning outdoor pool. Seriously — the scenery here is unreal.

Synchronized swimming: Solo and duet: Russia, China, Spain in all four events. Team: Russia, Spain, Ukraine in all three events. This video has Russia’s free combination routine.

Track and field: David Oliver wins the 110-meter hurdles; Aries Merritt stumbles.

Track and field: Allyson Felix holds off Shalonda Solomon to win the 200.

Track and field: Michael Tinsley is the only person to break 48 seconds in the 400 hurdles this year, and he’s done it twice. USA went 1-2-3-4.

Track and field: Nick Symmonds wins an aggressive 800 meters.

Track and field: Shannon Rowbury races away to a world-leading time in the 3,000 meters.

Track and field: Meet record (1:58.19) for Brenda Martinez in the women’s 800.

Water polo: The U.S. women cruise past Brazil 14-3 in the round of 16 and next face Spain, coincidentally the country that knocked the U.S. men out in the round of 16.

Open water: Close finishes in both of the 25k races, with Eva Fabian taking bronze in the women’s race and Alex Meyer missing out of the medals by a photo finish. Five hours, and it comes down to less than a second.

Open water: Haley Anderson wins the 5k race by 0.2 seconds. And check out the opening ceremony!

BMX: Connor Fields defends his world title in the time trial discipline. (Skip to the 14-minute mark if you like.)

Paralympic athletics: Tatyana McFadden wins her sixth gold medal in one World Championships, this one at 400 meters.


Men’s 400 freestyle: Connor Yaeger took bronze.


Full U.S. results: Day 1Day 2

The Daily Relay’s Monday Morning Run has more on British legend-in-training Mo Farah, the intriguing women’s 100 field, Caster Semenya’s failure to make the World Championships, and the big performances by Oliver, Rowbury and Martinez.


Lots of junior action in volleyball, rowing, basketball, modern pentathlon, field hockey and more in the Team USA roundup.

Woly Award: Haley Anderson, swimming

The summer sports calendar is crowded these days — British Open, Tour de France, tons of soccer events, track and field meets/awkward press conferences — but the aquatic World Championships deserve some attention, too. The swimmers hit the pool next week, but water polo, synchronized swimming and open-water swimming are underway. Universal Sports has a ton of artistic videos.

And the USA has a world champion already — Haley Anderson, who added the 5-kilometer open-water world title to her Olympic 10k silver medal, winning by 0.02 seconds.

Anderson also has the coveted Woly Award, given to the top U.S. performer in Olympic sports this week.

Other performances of note:


Lots of Diamond League winners in Monaco:

– Justin Gatlin, men’s 100 (and anchor of the winning 4×100 relay)
– Jenny Simpson, women’s 1,500
– Duane Solomon, men’s 800
– Christian Taylor, triple jump
– Brigetta Barrett, high jump
– Queen Harrison, women’s 100 hurdles


The World Championships are underway in Lyon, France, and the USA has six gold medals:

– Tatyana McFadden, women’s 200 T54 and 5,000 T53/54. Yes, that’s an unusual combination.
– Raymond Martin, men’s 800 T52 and 1,500 T52.
– Jeremy Campbell, men’s discus F44.
– Jarryd Wallace, men’s 200 T44.

Not sure what those numbers mean? Check the Telegraph explanation from last year’s Paralympics.

Other events from the week included wrestling in Olympia, a triathlon mixed relay, and taekwondo’s World Championships.

Woly Award: Katie Ledecky, swimming

When U.S. swimmers get together for an important meet, fast times follow.

At the U.S. Championships in Indianapolis, Missy Franklin had two world-leading times and two that rank second, winning all four. Ryan Lochte won three events and was second in another.

But the Woly Award this week goes to Katie Ledecky, who has the following distinctions:

1. She won Olympic gold at age 15.

2. She’s not as famous as Franklin, Lochte and company.

3. She won the 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle, and she finished second in the 200.

4. She broke Janet Evans’ meet record and posted the top time in the world this year in the 1,500.

The full list of top times from the meet, thanks to FINA’s nifty database:

1st in the world this year
M-50 free: Nathan Adrian, 21.47
W-1,500 free: Katie Ledecky, 15:47.15
W-50 back: David Plummer, 24.52
W-100 back: Missy Franklin, 58.67
W-200 back: Missy Franklin, 2:05.68
W-200 IM: Ryan Lochte, 1:55.44

2nd in the world
W-100 free: Missy Franklin, 53.43
W-200 free: Missy Franklin, 1:55.56
W-400 free: Katie Ledecky, 4:04.05
W-100 back: David Plummer, 53.10
W-200 back: Elizabeth Pelton, 2:06.29
W-50 breast: Jessica Hardy, 30.24
W-200 breast: Kevin Cordes, 2:08.34

3rd in the world
M-800 free: Connor Jaeger, 7:46.78
W-50 back: Rachel Bootsma, 27.68
M-200 back: Ryan Lochte, 1:55.16
W-50 breast: Breeja Larson, 30.40
M-50 breast: Kevin Steel, 27.26
W-100 breast: Breeja Larson, 1:06.16
W-200 breast: Breeja Larson, 2:23.44
W-100 fly: Dana Vollmer, 57.53
W-400 IM: Maya Dirado, 4:34.34

Elsewhere, it was a slow week, but a couple of highlights are worth mentioning.

Track and field: Christian Taylor had the second-best triple jump in the world this year as he, Dawn Harper-Nelson and Reese Hoffa won Diamond League events in Birmingham, England.

Tennis: Serena Williams is out of Wimbledon, but Sloane Stephens isn’t.

U.S. Paralympic swimmers find London to their liking

The USA stands sixth in the overall medal count at the Paralympics, where China has been dominant.

As in the Olympics, the USA is strong in swimming, with a mix of veterans from past Games and veterans of a different sort.

Jessica Long, whose legs don’t extend past her knees, has been winning Olympic gold since she was 12. Now 20, she’s likely to surpass her 2008 medal haul of four golds, a silver and a bronze. She already has three golds and a silver. And you may have seen her in commercials:

Newer on the Paralympic scene is Brad Snyder. Less than a year ago, he lost his sight in an explosion in Afghanistan. (The Post also has a photo gallery.) He has two medals and seems to be one of the friendliest interview subjects you could ever meet:

A few other Paralympic notes:

– Oscar Pistorius is apologizing for griping about his opponent’s prosthetic blades just after he took silver in the men’s 200 meters. Gareth Davies, a name some of you might recognize from MMA circles, wonders if Pistorius has destroyed his “brand.”

– Soccer fans should check out Jefinho. As you can guess from the name, he’s Brazilian. And he does 1-on-4 dribbling with mesmerizing foot action. He plays in the 5-a-side soccer variety, which means he can’t see what he’s doing.

Closing ceremony chatterColdplay, Rihanna and now Jay-Z.

– A Paralympic-specific method of cheating called “boosting” sounds gruesome. And even die-hard steroid fans would have to concede the risks.

Prince Harry is still checking out the Games. The U.S. media are not.

Today’s bit of doping media irresponsibility (Reuters)

It’s pretty clear from reading between the lines that some snarky Reuters reporter wants to get a U.S. swimmer (Katie Ledecky) tied to doping, even if the evidence isn’t there.

Earlier this week, an American coach, not involved with the team or US Swimming, accused China’s Ye Shiwen of doping when she won the 400m individual medley gold medal. Josh Leonard said her rapid improvement, which was less dramatic than Ledecky’s, was a sign she cheated.

I see what you did there. Very clever.

Couldn’t be the fact that in the past year, she’s gone from age 14 to age 15, could it? You’re talking about someone just growing into adulthood. I’m sure her times have dramatically improved in the past FIVE years — you don’t see many 10-year-olds at the Olympics.

If a 28-year-old goes from perennial semifinalist to world record-holder, we’ll talk.

(And yeah, I think Ye gets a bit of a pass for the same reason. Still, if you want to know who’s *more* suspicious, it’s Ye. She’s a little older and is posting ridiculous times. But again — it could just be that she’s hitting a very high peak in her late teens.)

US Olympic champion Katie Ledecky dismisses suggestions of doping | Sport | guardian.co.uk

2012 medal projection update: Swimming and synchro

One of the few good ideas on this blog last year was to hold off on the original swimming projections until after the World Championships. Swimmers peaked for that, and they’ll obviously peak for the Olympics. So don’t expect many changes in this.

Thankfully, somewhere in FINA’s truly horrid site, they have lists of the swimmers who qualified for each event along with their entry times, so we can do a reality check on who’s in what event and who’s really capable of going really fast.

Dive on in …

Continue reading 2012 medal projection update: Swimming and synchro