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All set for swimming


After an exciting week of events in Open Water Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming and Water Polo, attention falls on Swimming at the 15th FINA World Championships from Sunday, as eight days of thrilling action gets underway at Barcelonaís Palau Sant Jordi.

With 1,141 athletes from 181 countries going for Gold in 40 events, the competition is certain to be fierce, and many Speedo sponsored athletes will be hoping to claim medals in the coming days.

Among them is Ryan Lochte (USA), who returns to the championships to defend the five titles he won at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai, 2011. Following the retirement of his compatriot Michael Phelps, all eyes will be on Lochte in Barcelona as he looks to retain the ĎBest Male Swimmerí award he picked up in China two years ago.

Questioned about competing in the post-Phelps era in a Team USA press conference on Friday, Lochte said: ďNow heís gone Iím definitely going to miss him. But I canít really focus just on him, there are other competitors in this world that are finding different ways every year to be faster. Iíve got to just worry about myself, step on those blocks and just race.Ē

On his own preparations for the Championships, Lochte continued: ďThis has been a different year for me. Usually Iím training every day, but this year I took a long break. I donít know if itís going to help me or not, but it was worth it. My body needed to recharge, but now Iím back in the water and excited to race.Ē

Joining Lochte on the USA team is Speedo sponsored Jessica Hardy, Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer, Scott Tyler Clary, Nathan Adrian and Conor Dwyer who will be keen to add to their impressive medal haul from previous World Championship events.

Questioned about how she will follow on from her World Record of 55.98 set in the 100m Butterfly at last yearís Olympics, Dana Vollmer said: ďIn some of my practices leading up to this meet Iíve gone faster than Iíve ever gone before in my life, so Iím just going to get up on the blocks and see how fast I can go. Thereís amazing competitors, so instead of focussing on time, Iím going to focus on staying with them and hopefully touching ahead of them.Ē

Many of the stars of last summerís Olympic Games will also be hoping to further enhance their reputations a year on from their achievements in London. For France, Speedo sponsored 50m Freestyle Olympic Champion Florent Manaudou will be eager to add World Championship honours to last summerís accolade, while, across the Channel, many British hopes rest on the broad shoulders of Olympic 200m Breaststroke silver medallist Michael Jamieson.

Flying the flag for Australia is Alicia Coutts, aiming to add to the two Silvers and Bronze won at the FINA World Championships in 2011, as well as her five medal haul in London. She will be joined by teammates including Bronte Barratt, Cameron McEvoy, Brittany Elmslie and Christian Sprenger, all eager to enjoy a successful campaign in Spain.

In addition to individual athletes, Speedo also sponsors many world class national federations, including Spain, Australia, Canada, China and Great Britain, with swimmers set to make a splash both in and out of the pool in colourful Speedo Fastskin LZR Racer 2 swimsuits.


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