European Under 23 Champs + Cam McEvoy Interview

3 of James Gibson's favorite kick sets + Gina Rinehart's Olympic bonus program

Morning, Nerd.

Welcome to the Swimnerd Newsletter where each week we highlight the most interesting stuff going on in swimming. This week...

  • 🌎 Fast Swims Around the World

  • 📰 Swimming Headlines

  • 📜 Set of the Week

  • 🤡 Swimming Meme of the Week

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LEN U23 Champs

Ostensibly a European meet, LEN also allowed one country per continent outside of Europe into this under 23 championship, though that seemed to be taken a little less than literally for the meet. That meant some of the US, South Africa, and Zimbabwe’s best college age kids got to take on their counterparts throughout Europe. Non-Europeans were limited to 2 spots in finals, and got “commemorative” green medals instead of the usual gold/silver/bronze.

There weren’t a huge amount of best times, what with World Champs, Euro Juniors, and WUGs already earlier this summer, but some impressive swimming nonetheless:

  • Germany’s Isabel Gose took the distance triple, 4:05.96/8:20.80/16:02.89. All within striking distance of her bests, even though she won pretty handily.

  • Dan Wiffen and Sven Swartz traded off the men’s distance races, with Schwarz getting the upper hand in the 800, 7:41.77-7:45.59, and Wiffen blasting the second fastest time of his career, 14:35.79 over Schwarz’s 14:43.53. Those were both decent PRs for Schwarz, the longer event by 6 seconds.

  • The best overall race of the meet was the men’s 400 IM. A scrum throughout, with most of the race within 2 seconds of each other until the freestyle saw South Africa’s Matt Sates take the lead in the 2nd 50 of breaststroke and hold off a hard-charging Cedric Buessing 4:14.73-4:14.74. Notably, that was an almost 3 second PR for Buessing, who swims in the NCAA for Division II UIndy.

  • Sates was also a part of a great 200 IM race, as he ran down Israel’s Ron Polonsky with a 28.34 final 50 to take the win 1:57.78-1:58.07, very close to both swimmers’ best times.

  • Speaking of strong final 50s, USA’s Justina Kozan rocked a 29.38 free split to move up from 6th to 1st in the women’s 200 IM with a 2:12.98. For reference, World Champ Kate Douglass was the only swimmer in the Worlds final to break 30 on their final 50, with a 29.83.

  • Ireland’s Mona McSharry was the only swimmer to sweep a stroke, taking all three breaststrokes 30.37/1:06.69/2:25.49. She was pushed by Italy’s Anita Bottazzo, who was 30.08 in the heats of the 50, and the US’s Kaitlyn Dobler, who finished just a hundredth behind in the 100.

  • In terms of high school age swimmers, the best performance was 17-year-old Petar Mitsin’s 3:46.16 400 free, though he was 3:44 earlier this summer. 18-year-old Lucien Vergnes of France, meanwhile, dropped a second in the 200 breast for a 2:10.04 win, while the US’s Rex Maurer collected a best time with a 3:47.63 400 free.

  • Three sub-22 men’s 50 frees in a U23 meet is pretty impressive - Greece’s Sterg Bilas led with a 21.83, a half-second PR; followed by Denmark’s Nicholas Lia (21.95, missing a PR by .01), and Ukraine’s Vlad Bukhov (21.96). Bilas also won the 50 fly (23.16, a PR by two tenths).


“We need to change the culture of swimming in the United States.”

In Mara Gay’s newest article (actually this time it’s an audio clip) about swimming and water safety in America, she argues that we need to change the culture of swimming in the United States.

Mara has written about the profound disparities in access to public swimming pools that exist across the United States, influenced by racial, economic, and geographical factors.

Today, she argues, the dearth of public pools poses an increasingly worrying issue, one that is compounded by a national shortage of lifeguards.

To combat this pressing issue, Mara suggests a multi-pronged approach, including constructing more public pools, broadening water safety education, and designating safe swimming areas in lakes and rivers.

She passionately advocates for equal opportunities, emphasizing that every American, regardless of background or wealth, deserves access to similar, high-quality swimming pools.

I couldn’t agree more! But I think it starts in hospitals and schools.

“A man is not learned until he can read, write, and swim.” - Plato

Gina Rinehart, Australia's wealthiest individual, launched a $3 million bonus program to reward Australian athletes who win medals or break world records at international competitions in 2023 or 2024. Any athlete who wins a medal in the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics in sports supported by Hancock Prospecting will receive financial bonuses on top of the World Aquatics’ bonuses.

Note that these are in AUD. Right now, $10,000 AUD is worth ~$6,500 USD.

Individual Events:

World record: $30,000

Gold medal: $20,000

Silver medal: $15,000

Bronze medal: $10,000


World record: $7,500

Gold medal: $5000

Silver medal: $3,750

Bronze medal: $2,500

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This week on INSIDE with BRETT HAWKE...


The first Australian man to ever win the Men’s 50 Freestyle at World Championships…Cam McEvoy!

Cam shares an insightful perspective about the potential for swimmers to excel in their 30’s, just as it happens in athletics. He attributes this to the fact that swimming is more of a strength-based sport compared to athletics, which is more fast twitch. Cam believes that swimming offers more time to apply strength, which could be advantageous for older athletes who generally get stronger with age.

For those interested in improving their swimming technique, whether at a junior or age group level, Cam recommends focusing on sprinting as often as possible and working on getting stronger within the stroke. With consistent implementation, he believes these tactics can lead to significant improvement.

Cam also puts forth a different approach to measuring progress in swimming. Instead of focusing on the total yardage covered in practice, he suggests the focus should shift to the amount of swimming done at a race-specific speed.

Ultimately, Cam hopes to inspire a mindset shift in the swimming community that leads to a more nuanced understanding of training and performance. He reflects on his own journey in swimming and emphasizes that, with the knowledge he now has, his previous struggles could have been avoided. He hopes his experiences can help guide other athletes who may find themselves in a similar position.



3 of James Gibson’s Favorite Kick Sets

10×100’s Best Average

20×25 1 Fast, 1 Easy

4×50 Underwater dolphin kick with fins HARD



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