Auburn Swimming And Diving 2009 FINA World Championships Preview
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Former Tiger Kirsty Coventry on the medal stand at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Former Tiger Kirsty Coventry on the medal stand at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

July 22, 2009


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AUBURN - A contingent of 17 current and former Auburn swimmers have descended on Rome, Italy for the 2009 FINA World Championships, held July 17-Aug. 2 at the Foro Italico.  Swimming events will be staged July 26-Aug. 2 at the Stadio del Nuoto.

Of those Tigers traveling to Rome, eight are current student-athletes back on The Plains, including Caitlin Geary, Adam Klein, Tyler McGill, Alana Dillette, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Adam Brown, Pascal Wollach and Genaro Prono. Former Tigers Kirsty Coventry, Fred Bousquet, Cesar Cielo, Alexei Puninski, George Bovell, Mark Gangloff, Eric Shanteau, Jakob Andkjaer and Matt Targett will also be representing their respective countries.

Auburn head swimming and diving coach Brett Hawke will serve as an assistant to the Brazilian national team. Auburn assistant coaches Aaron Ciarla and Richard Long will serve as assistants for the Bahamas and Paraguay, respectively.  Hawke also had the opportunity to coach Cielo at the 2008 Olympic Games. As an  coach with the Brazilian Olympic Team, Hawke mentored the South American star as he won a bronze in the 100m free and a gold in the 50m free with an Olympic record time of 21.30.

"We're all using a lot of momentum from the Olympics last year," said Hawke. "We got a lot of great results and people feel proud to represent Auburn in such a classy way. We really wanted to use that momentum and kick into this year. It's really paying off, the dedication and the effort that these guys are putting in as far as representing Auburn and also representing their countries. 

"I think they're learning that swimming is now an international sport and you have many opportunities to represent your country so I think people are making the most of those opportunities now."

The current 50m freestyle world record holder, Bousquet, and Cielo have both been training on the Auburn campus under Hawke and will look to lay down another world record time in Rome.

"Fred (Bousquet) and Cesar (Cielo) will be going up against each other," said Hawke.  "They're currently ranked first and second in the world this year. It's just looking like a battle. It's incredibly exciting for Auburn swimming and for the world of swimming as a whole. I think the world record's going to be broken."

Bousquet set the current 50m free world-record time of 20.94 at French Trials on April 26th, becoming the first man to ever swim the event in under 21 seconds. The Pepignon, France native also ranks second in the 2009 FINA World Rankings for the 100m free and the 50m fly.

Shanteau sits atop the world in 2009 following his 200m breaststroke time of 2:08.01 at the U.S. Trials in Indianapolis and will look to claim gold in Rome. The Lilburn, Ga., native ranks second in the 200m IM and fourth in the 100m breast. Shanteau's former teammate Mark Gangloff ranks second in the FINA's 100m breast rankings.

Auburn rising senior Tyler McGill will look to make some noise in the men's 100m fly after a strong showing at U.S. Trials, placing him third in the FINA World Rankings.  During trials, the Champaign, Ill., native became the sixth fastest man in history, hitting the wall in 51.06.  McGill will also compete in the men's 50m fly and on the favored United States 400m Medley Relay squad.

"Tyler (McGill) is at his first major international meet and has the second fastest butterflier in the country after Michael Phelps, and I think it's just a good position for him to be in," said Hawke.  "He can learn a lot from being next to Michael [Phelps] and representing the U.S. It's great for us because he'll be our captain next year and we need that kind of leadership going into his senior year. It'll be a great experience for him."

Former Tiger and  seven-time Olympic Medalist Kirsty Coventry will represent her native Zimbabwe and has been picked by various media outlets to win four medals in Rome - the 100m and 200m backstroke as well as the 200m and 400m IM.  

Auburn swimmers have made the medal stand a total of 38 times at the FINA Long Course World Championships since first appearing in 1978. The Tigers have totaled 19 gold medals in the process. Former Tiger Rowdy Gaines leads the way in the medal count, earning a total of eight - five in 1982 and three in '78. Gaines also leads the way in the gold medal count, winning a total of five for Team USA.

Former Tiger Margaret Hoelzer is the only Auburn swimmer to own a current World Championships meet record. Hoelzer set the 200 back record in 2007, touching in at 2:07.16.

Auburn's most successful individual events of at the FINA World Championships in the 200 free and 200 back. The Tigers also have found abundant success in the relay events, most notably in the 400 MR, as it has generated a total of nine medals through the years. The 1978 World Championships were the most fruitful for Auburn athletes. The Tigers earned a total of 10 medals - four gold. Dave McCagg led the way with three gold medals (100 free, 400 FR and 400 MR).

The Foro Italico contains numerous sporting venues, such as the Stadio Olimpico, the Stadio dei Marmi and the Stadio del Nuoto ("swimming stadium"), and it has hosted many important events, most prominently the 1960 Summer Olympics and the 1994 FINA World Championships.

Live timing and complete results will be available throughout each session of the 2009 FINA World Championships by logging on to Live streaming video will be made available at


Auburn Swimmers At The 2009 FINA World Championships
Jakob Andkjaer (Denmark) - 50/100 Free, 50 Fly
Fred Bousquet (France) - 50/100 Free, 400 FR, 400 MR
George Bovell (Trinidad & Tobago) - 50/100 Free
Adam Brown (Great Britain) - 50/100 Free, 400 FR, 400 MR
Cesar Cielo (Brazil) - 50/100 Free, 400 FR, 400 MR
Kirsty Coventry (Zimbabwe) - 100/200 Back, 200/400 IM
Alana Dillette (Bahamas) - 50/100 Back, 20/100 Fly, 400 FR, 400 MR
Mark Gangloff (United States) - 50/100 Breast, 400 MR
Caitlin Geary (United States) - 400 FR
Adam Klein (United States) - 50/200 Breast
Tyler McGill (United States) - 50 Fly, 100 Fly, 400 MR
Genaro Prono (Paraguay) - 100 Breast
Alexei Puninski (Croatia) - 100 Free, 100 Fly, 400 FR, 400 MR
Eric Shanteau (United States) - 100/200 Breast, 200 IM
Matt Targett (Australia) - 50 Fly, 400 FR, 400 MR
A. Vanderpool-Wallace (Bahamas) - 50/100 Free, 400 FR, 400 MR
Pascal Wollach (Canada) - 50/100 Back, 400 MR