The FINA World Championships had all eyes focused on Rome this summer as the top aquatic athletes took to the pool. All told more than 40 records were smashed and many attribute that to the high tech suits which have been causing a significant uproar throughout the swimming world. Following new restrictions from FINA, the July competition was the event in which the suits will be allowed.
In Rome, Olympic hero — and the ESPY Awards’ Athlete of the Year — Michael Phelps again took to the water posting several new world records along with his first major individual loss in four years; Germany’s Paul Biedermann beat Phelps in the 200-meter freestyle. Other notable competitors included Dara Torres and Ryan Lochte, who bested Phelps’ 2008 World record in the 200 I.M.
American divers were also a force at the games, which kicked off July 17. According to a report in Sports Illustrated, the U.S. diving team put up its best showing at a world championship in almost two decades. In all the team took home four silver medals in Rome.
The 18th Maccabiah Games took place concurrently with the FINA event. Held in Israel, the saw 52-time participant Dr. Jane Katz return after a 12-year hiatus. Additionally, Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak broke the Maccibiah record for the 100-meter free-style.