As Adam Peaty Bypasses Little Pool, We Ask: Can Swimming Be A Sport For All Seasons?

Adam Peaty - by Ian MacNicol

Adam Peaty’s explanations as to why he won’t be racing at world cups not world s/c titles reopen a debate that needs airing and then action on the part of those who govern swimming. To mark the passing of both Nick Thierry – gone for four years today – and Forbes Carlile back in July – and to honour their stance against what at best is the mediocrity of governance that refuses to engage with its membership on the substantive issues affecting the biggest sport (by far) in its stable – SwimVortex will consider two issues this October that are among the biggest challenges swimming faces. 1. the competition format and calendar; 2. access to the decision-making process in swimming

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As long as the NCAA continues to siphon more than half of the elite 18-24 years olds into the very tiny pool, you’re not going to get a star-studded World Cup in its current format. And the past few years have shown that so many of the starts would rather go on vacation after the Olympics or WCs rather than come back and try to hold taper for some good short course times a week or two later.

For all that the past decade of IAAF abuses behind the scenes make FIFA seem like a model of good governance in comparison, one thing they get absolutely right is the Diamond League series. You have meets in convenient times of year in locations that largely are good supporters of elite athletics (even the Middle Eastern stops have a certain logic since they’re close to distance running hotbeds in East Africa and fill the stands with guest workers who have the evening off to cheer for runners from back home) and the limited number of events per meet mean that you can win the overall title on 3-4 appearances that leave plenty of time for training between meetings.

There are some great events out there- Mare Nostrum, Seven Hills, Santa Clara, Japan Cup, etc. that are far better than the field we get to the Middle Eastern World Cup stops. Time to stop giving meets to whoever writes the biggest checks to FINA and instead come up with a coherent global branding of the sport, including a series that actually means something, outside of Olympic meets.

Craig Lord

Yes, beachmouse – and not only NCAA and the U.S. of course… same applies to non-college swimmers from lots of places in the world. As Peaty says : wrong timing, wrong place, wrong moment. I will be adding wrong format, too, and a few other thoughts and suggestions…

Ian Manson

Despite your continued disparaging comments concerning the swimming World Cup and sneers and innuendo concerning some of it’s participants could you at least publish an updated 2017 S/C world list reflecting recent World Cup results ? This would be of interest to those of us who like to keep abreast of swimmer’s times and compare performances to previous seasons.I’m sure Mr Thierry would have agreed and already have done so.

Craig Lord

Ian Manson, we are collating the s/c rankings and will publish them when they are meaningful on the way to the world s/c championships, after the world cup series draws to a close. There is nothing disparaging nor sneering about any world cup comments. They are factual: it is in a very sorry state; and Nick Thierry would have been the first to say so. I knew him rather better than you did, so feel quite certain that I’m right. He was no fan of the world cup nor Fina’s more is more is more approach to swimming. You leave your comment on an article in which the most stinging criticism of the world cup comes not from this site but from …. Adam Peaty, Olympic champion. I don’t believe he’s been disparaging nor is he sneering. He’s stating it like he sees it… and he’s very far from being alone.

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