Perth Super Series
A new international swim meet will be held yearly in Perth, Australia, from 2013.
A Swimming Australia statement explained: "The Western Australian State Government, through Eventscorp, in partnership with Swimming Australia, Australian Water Polo Incorporated and founding sponsor BHP Billiton has today announced that Perth will become home of the new BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series from January 2013.
In an Australian first, the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series will combine a unique festival of elite and mass participation aquatic sport, headlined by the Australian Swim Team taking on the might of Chinese and South African swim teams.
"A world-class program of pool events will be held at Challenge Stadium in Perth, complemented by two international water polo matches and a series of elite and mass participation open-water races, delivering Perth and Western Australia with a unique and iconic international aquatic event. The BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series will be first held in January 2013 and then again in 2014 and 2015."
Leigh Nugent, Australia head coach, told reporters: "There are very few opportunities for the Australian team to compete on home soil. This unique event will provide this opportunity and give valuable experience to our team against top quality opposition, with the added bonus of attractive prize money.
Prize money details were not divulged at the official announcement of the series today but the pot is believed to be in the region of Aus$500,000.
Brazilian national championships
The first day of finals at the Brazilian nationals, the Troféu José Finkel, was marked by polemics, national newspapers reported yesterday.
The list of woes included: failure of the timing system; the official charged with suit checks being criticised by swimmers after he barred some wearing textile jammers because he misunderstood the 0909 model tag as the date of the model (non-textile jammers from 2009 are banned under current suits rules); and swimmer Alessandra Marchioro requiring medical attention after racing the 50m free because of the hot sun beating down on the athletes.
Meanwhile, the Confederação Brasileira de Desportos Aquáticos (CBDA) announced its team for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, next month. Of the 40 swimmers selected, 21 are women, 19 men, including Cesar Cielo, Olympic and world 50m free champion, who will race the 50m free final at nationals today.
Spofforth, Bovell injured
Gemma Spofforth, European 100m backstroke champion for Britain and former world champion, broke her nose in a biking accident in Florida. She Tweeted: "Doing much better just a broken toe and broken nose! Doing much better!! Keeping me in over night incase I have a concussion... 15 stitches, broken toe and broken nose…"
George Bovell (TRI), 200 medley Olympic bronze medallist in 2004 and now a freestyle sprint ace, suffered head injuries in a car crash in which a truck hit his BMW while he was driving home from training in Mayaro, Trinidad. Bovell is now unlikely to race at the Pan Am Games in October. We wish both swimmers a speedy recovery.