Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little-known facts, and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 Jonathan Gomez Retires
26-year-old Colombian Olympic swimmer Jonathan Gomez announced his retirement on social media last month.
“Acknowledging the end of a chapter that has brought countless moments of blessings and learning lessons is both nostalgic yet, incredibly rewarding. Swimming transformed a kid that was severely sick into an Olympian. What I believed was impossible became a reality through an overdose of passion and dedication,” Gomez’s post stated.
“As I think about every milestone, the essence of success and happiness correlates to what I am becoming in my next chapter. Which is to continue my efforts to leave this world better than when I arrived.”
Gomez finished 15th in the men’s 200m butterfly at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Career highlights involved earning 200m fly gold at the 2018 Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games, as well as taking home 200m fly bronze at the 2019 Pan American Games.
#2 Japan’s Daiya Seto Moves on from ‘Team Daiya’
After losing his sponsorship deals with the likes of Nippon Airways, Japanese Olympic medalist Daiya Seto has been competing domestically with a squad affiliation of ‘Team Daiya’. As a refresher, Seto lost his sponsorship deal, as well as an Olympic team captainship, as part of the fallout regarding an extra-marital affair that came to light in 2020.
However, as of 2023, we’ll now see the versatile Seto representing Charis & Co, a Japanese company specializing in beauty products and aesthetic salons.
Seto said last month about the new relationship, “I am truly happy and grateful to be able to become a member of CHARIS & Co., who always cared about me and supported me no matter when my competition results were good or bad. I will continue to do my best in the competition to achieve my dream of winning a gold medal in 2024.”
#3 World Champion Lani Pallister Scores Open Water Win
20-year-old Lani Pallister of Australia secured the women’s win at the Lorne Pier to Pub open water race last month. Her podium-topping performance marked her 4th victory in the annual event. With the ocean course running from the Lorne Pier to the foreshore in front of the GMHBA clubhouse, nearly 5,000 competitors, both amateur and professional alike, took to the open water
Pallister said of the race, “It’s so much fun to come down to Lorne. It’s such a beautiful beach and it’s always an incredible day put on by the Lorne Surf Club and Powercor, the major sponsor of the event.
“I am incredibly grateful for everything the team here in Lorne do for this event, the hard work that goes into organising an event that athletes love to race.
“In 2022 I competed at the Comm Games, World Long Course Champs, and the World Short Course. Last year was a massive year for me, I came off the back of 2021 missing the Olympic team and had a whole string of health issues, so it was kind of rock bottom for me. So, to bounce back from a year like last year, starting 2023 fresh with Pier to Pub after it was postponed for two years because of COVID, has been great. It feels terrific to be able to come back healthy and be able to enjoy a day like today.
“The only other open water event that I’ve really done is the Noosa 1000, but the turnout the Pier to Pub attracts is just insane; it is certainly a world-renowned event and easy to see why people travel from all over to be here.” (Times News Group)
Pallister was one of the key Aussie medalists at the 2022 Short Course World Championships, securing gold in the women’s 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events while also helping the Aussie women’s 4x200m free relay top the podium.