Andrew, Gunes Earn FINA Swimmer Of The Meet Honors

After an incredible six days of competition in Singapore, where we’ve witnessed some incredible performances from the next generation of swim stars, FINA has named their male and female swimmers of the meet.

Michael Andrew of the United States and Viktoriya Gunes of Turkey were announced the winners, after both putting on incredible displays in the pool. Andrew and Gunes each won as a result of putting up the most total rankings points on the male and female side. Points were awarded for placing in each event, with bonus points awarded for junior world records. Gunes scored 24 with Australian Minna Atherton following closely with 21. On the men’s side, Andrew scored 13 with Russian Anton Chupkov breathing down his neck at 12.

Andrew, who may have bit off more than he could chew event wise this week, still performed admirably under such pressure and stress. In total Andrew competed in 8 individual events this past week, making it to the final in 7 of them. He also made 3 appearances on relays, making his final count come to 25 swims in 6 days of competition. Mind boggling numbers.

He comes away with 5 medals, 1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze to go along with a pair of 4th place finishes. This may be the biggest program we have seen anyone tackle in recent memory, and it was incredible to watch. He may have shown signs of tiring at times, such as the 7th place finish in the 200 IM final after finishing 1st in the heats, or finishing 8th in the 50 breast on the final day. He put his butt on the line this week and swam this insane schedule despite all of the doubters. Was it too much? Probably, yes. He could’ve done without a few of those races, but a 5 medal haul is something you don’t see too often at a championship meet.

Viktoriya Gunes, formerly of Ukraine but now representing Turkey, also had an amazing showing in Singapore. She went 4 for 4 in gold medals, winning all three breastroke titles to go along with the 200 IM. She also broke both the junior world record and meet championship record in both the 200 breast and 200 IM. Gunes appeared unstoppable throughout the competition, as she finished 1st in every heat, semi or final she competed in. Her 200m breastroke was particularly amazing, as she smashed her own junior world record on the last day of competition by 3 seconds and swam a time that would’ve won the world championship title in Kazan by 1.5 seconds. Her clocking of 2:19.64 was just shy of the world record currently held by Rikke Moller Pedersen of Denmark at 2:19.11, but was well under Kanako Watanabe‘s clocking of 2:21.15 that won worlds earlier this month. Gunes also swam preliminary duties on Turkey’s mixed 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relays, giving her a total of 12 swims this week.

Other swimmers who had a sensational week was Russia’s Chupkov who also won 4 gold medals, Australia’s Kyle Chalmers who had a 7 medal haul including  3 gold, as well as Atherton (AUS), Gemma Cooney (AUS), Taylor Ruck (CAN), Mariia Kameneva (RUS), Penny Oleksiak (CAN) and Arina Openysheva (RUS) who all won 6 medals apiece.

 

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SWIMGUY12345
6 years ago

Again…not a MA hater because he seems like a nice enough guy. But are you kidding me? People really believe he deserved swimmer of the meet over Chalmers. That’s just wrong.
I really don’t care for the argument that Michael Andrew had way more races. It’s what you do in those races that matters and is it even debatable who swam at a higher level this meet? Chalmers was robbed.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
6 years ago

And just who does the voting on these things?

ct swim fan
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
6 years ago

It’s not voted on. There are points for places in the events people swim. Not sure the exact numbers but something like 5 for 1st, 3 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd. MA won because got more points.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
6 years ago

It’s not a popularity contest Coach Mike, it’s a high point award. It’s a black and white result that cannot be contested like it would be if it were voted on.

Some think Chalmers should have won it. He had a hell of a meet, but he only swims two individual events. If it was important to him he probably would have thrown some more events in there.

krgc
Reply to  SWIMGUY12345
6 years ago

Quality verses quantity. Michael had some good swims, but he also had a stinker where everyone on the stadium said he gave up. Seems a nice guy, very polite etc, but is it Team Andrew and not Team USA.

Captain Awesome
6 years ago

Personally I would’ve gone for Chupkov for male swimmer of the meet. He got two individual golds like Chalmers but also broke a WJR.

Anonymous
6 years ago

This was not a subjective decision. It was determined based on a preset scoring system, which everybody but you knew in advance.

Tom
6 years ago

The method to determine swimmer of the meet was in place prior to the meet. it is not Michael Andrew fault his point total was the highest. End of story.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Seriously, who cares about that?

Rick Mears
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Ahh…the down vote is back.. How I’ve missed you 🙂

Emg1986
Reply to  Rick Mears
6 years ago

Shame, far more positive thread without!

notaswimmer
Reply to  Emg1986
6 years ago

Holy crap, it is high points, what do you guys doubt about?

Philip Johnson
6 years ago

Personally, I would have chosen Chalmers. With that being said, Andrew did swim an audacious schedule and placed high in most of his events.

About Andrew’s first major international test: I thought he did okay. Not great, but okay. I know a lot will downplay his success because most of his medals were in the 50 strokes, but he did show a lot of tenacity. At the end of the day, he won 5 medals. Most swimmers would be happy with that result

bobo gigi
6 years ago

James, not fair to compare the number of medals won right now to the meets from 3 or 4 years ago and before. The same at last worlds. The swimmers can now swim 2 useless mixed relays. Easier to win more medals. That’s exactly the same as when people say Bolt has now won more golds at T&F worlds than Carl Lewis. Of course, in the 80s, the world championships were not held every 2 years like today but every 4 years. Easier to win more golds. Imagine how many more golds Carl Lewis would have won with the 100m, 200m, the long jump and the 4X100m. If someone like Edwin Moses had run at a world championship every 2… Read more »

Emg1986
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I think his chances look slimmer after this. There is no question Andrew is a talent, but i was a little underwhelmed. He swum decent times, nothing extraordinary, and all those came in heats or semis. I get that his schedule was detrimental. But he never found a little extra when he needed to. When Rooney swam the 100 free final and had a huge fight in Chalmers he found a half a second, he didn’t win, but that showed real steel. Andrew never did that and if he wants to get in the 100 breaststroke at real he will need battle for it, because you know Cordes, Miller, Wilson and Fink sure as hell will.

Emg1986
Reply to  Emg1986
6 years ago

*Rio, not real…

xenon
Reply to  Emg1986
6 years ago

Most people seem to think that Michael Andrews best shot to make the Olympic team is in the 100 breast. I think his best chance is in the 100 fly. MA is deceptively good at fly and he has a lot of room for improvement especially on 50-65 meters. His first 15 meters off of the start have noticeably improved since last year but his underwaters off of the turn in the 100 fly hasn’t really progressed much. When he went a 52.57 at Juniors his first 15 was a 5.2 and 15 off the turn was 8.0. If you add up his time from 15-50 and 65-100 you get a 39.37. In Kazan, Tom Shields 15’s were 4.9 and… Read more »

floppy
Reply to  xenon
6 years ago

XENON – Those are some very interesting numbers. Thank you!

One problem with getting his turns faster is that strict USRPT only allows for kicking 15m every lap. Conger’s coach said they did ~40×25 underwater kick, all out, every practice. That is time when they ONLY think about underwater kicking. With USRPT, any time you do 15m underwater it is immediately followed by 35m of swimming. I imagine that makes it hard to focus specifically on underwater kicking.

Long-term, the 100 fly may be MA’s best event. But in the next 10 months, the competition for a 100 br spot is much more promising.

Vince
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

How will he NOT qualify. He is swimming 54.90 for 100 back and 12 months out. I am not saying he will go, as he prob not top 2 of US backstrokers but he will “Qualify” as per FINA standards.

ArtVanDeLegh10
6 years ago

My guess is that Michael Andrew’s father was well aware of the swimmer of the meet point system, and that had a big influence on why MA swam so many events.

In many MA interviews, MA commonly refers to the NAG he just broke or just missed out on, even when the reporter didn’t ask about a record. It’s one thing to be aware of records, but it’s another to continually be bringing them up. I can’t remember any other high profile swimmer talking about breaking or just missing out on breaking a NAG record.

Rick Mears
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
6 years ago

Yeah, I’m sure you are right. No other swimmers care about NAGs. Just MA. I’m glad you are here to crack that mystery for us 🙂

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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