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 Danish European Championships Criteria Announced
The 2021 European Championships are set for May 17th-23rd in Budapest, Hungary. Denmark’s swimming federation has just revealed its selection criteria for the event, with the policy spelling out a two-pronged qualification approach.
First, swimmers selected for this summer’s Olympic Games are expected to use the European Championships as a critical preparation meet leading up to the Olympics in Tokyo. Secondly, for those who have not yet qualified for the Olympics, the European Championships will serve most crucial as a ‘last chance’ Olympic-qualifying event.
The Danish selection policies can be read in their entirety here.
#2 Birmingham 2022 Launches #22for22
The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games may be over a year away, but organizers are engaging fans with a new campaign during England’s national coronavirus lockdown. Called #22for22, 22 English athletes participated in producing a video to keep fans physically moving even though they are stuck at home.
Example activities include holding a plank position on the floor or using a sofa for glute strengthening.
“Stepping outside for our daily exercise is so important right now, but there are certain scenarios when this might not be possible,” said Ian Reid, the chief executive of Birmingham 2022.
“Perhaps you’re having to self-isolate, or even the mid-winter weather stops you from getting out, so it’s just as important that we remember to stay active while we stay at home too.
“Who better to get inspiration from than a Team England athlete? I’d encourage people of all ages and abilities to give these exercises a go. I’m certainly looking forward to trying them out.” (Inside the Games)
You can explore all of the 22 workouts here.
#3 Birmingham 2022’s Sandwell Aquatics Centre Makes Construction Progress
The dive tower at the newly-constructed Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Smethwick has been completed. Taking 5 weeks to build, the apparatus will be used for the diving competition at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The tower includes 31 separate English-made, concrete pieces weighing 233 tonnes in total. The structure is 10m and took five people 2000 hours to build. (The Business Desk)
Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid said of the completion, “This is another key milestone in the construction of the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, the only brand new venue for Birmingham 2022. The progress on this facility is clear for everyone to see and it is remarkable how much has been achieved in the space of 12 months.
“The dive tower looks incredible and I’m sure its completion will really help to focus the minds of those divers looking to compete at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in 18 months’ time.”
#4 Medical Volunteers Lacking for Olympic Games
While the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten daily life, medical staffs around the world are being stretched to the limit in terms of their time, effort and resources. This is no different in Japan, host of this summer’s Olympics, where doctors and nurses fighting the coronavirus say they will have no time to volunteer their services at the Games.
Per Reuters, Satoru Arai, director of the Tokyo Medical Association, which represents 20,000 doctors from dozens of smaller medical groups, said doctors and nurses were under too much strain dealing with a third wave of the pandemic to even consider signing up for the Olympics.
“No matter how I look at it, it’s impossible. I’m hearing doctors who initially signed up to volunteer say there’s no way they can take time off to help when their hospitals are completely overwhelmed.”
The nation of Japan, whose population rests around 126.3 million, has had 390,000 coronavirus cases reported (.31% of population) resulting in 5,794 deaths.
Ari also said regarding this medical staff strain, “We got worried and reached out to the Olympic organising committee at the end of last year, asking what the plan was,” he said. “But we still haven’t heard anything.” (Reuters)
#5 Caitlin O’Reilly Becomes Youngest NZL Triple Crown Finisher
16-year-old Caitlin O’Reilly has become the youngest person to complete the New Zealand Triple Crown, a trio of open water distances including the Forveaux Strait, Cook Strait and Lake Taupō. Her latest triumph, the Foveaux Strait, included more than 27 kilometers of swimming, which the teen complete in 10 house, sans wetsuit.
In 2017, at the age of 12, she became the youngest female and youngest New Zealander to swim across Cook Strait, doing it in 7h 19m. Last February, she was able to complete the more than 40k Lake Taupo stretch in just under 13 and a half hours.
“Swimming makes me feel amazing. I love it. I don’t know if I could live without it. It’s a part of me and always will be a part of me,” said O’Reilly. (Swimming New Zealand)