Romanchuk, Peaty set world-leading times in busy week for swimming

Despite disruption to the international sporting landscape due to coronavirus, swimming has had plenty of reasons to cheer this week.

By Andrew Binner ·

While coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to play havoc with the sporting calendar, the swimming world has been treated to some eye-catching performances this week in the form of Adam Peaty and Mykhailo Romanchuk.

Olympic champion Peaty unleashed the fastest 100m Breaststroke time in the world this year, as he broke his own Edinburgh International Swim Meet record in 58.13s.

The Brit continued his good form the next day to comfortably seal the 50m title in 27.14s.

Elsewhere, Romanchuk made headlines at the Ukraine Winter Swimming Championships with four freestyle gold medals in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m events.

The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic champion’s 1500m mark of 14:41.63s was 30 seconds faster than any of his rivals, and also serves as a Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying time.

Two-time world silver medallist Romanchuk set a new world-leading mark over the distance, beating Rio 2016 gold medallist Gregorio Paltrinieri's time of 14:42.66s.

"Now it’s time to back for the training and be stronger with Energy Standard team," the 23-year-old exclaimed after on Instagram, clearly not wanting to rest on his success, and get back into competition with his International Swimming League (ISL) team.

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Feel-good factor

Away from competition, Rikako Ikee provided the feel-good story of the week, as she announced her return to the pool over social media.

The likes of Peaty, Katinka Hosszu, Katie Ledecky and Sarah Sjostrom were quick to show their love for the post, as the Japanese teenager continues her recovery from leukaemia. More details on this story can be found here.

Pellegrini's concern

Finally, the British Olympic trials were cancelled this week, leading several swimmers to query whether the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would actually take place.

For veterans like 200m freestyle world champion Federica Pellegrini, the Games in Japan represent their last chance to win gold for their country.

“If the Olympics postponed a year, I would wait. If it’s more than that, I won’t even think about it,” Pellegrini to La Repubblica.

“I can train in the pool below the house, in safe conditions, but what about the others? We must decide quickly and give everyone equal opportunities.“

The Italian has been recording her trial races live over Instagram, and recently clocked an impressive, unofficial Olympic 100m Free qualifying time of 53.6s.

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Olympic statement

On March 17, the International Olympic Committee released a statement, which encouraged athletes to continue their preparations, and reassured those yet to qualify, that adaptations could be implemented.

“The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.

“The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can.

“Any necessary revisions to the Tokyo 2020 qualification systems by sport will be published by the beginning of April 2020 and communicated to all stakeholders.”