Columbus, Ohio— Five swimmers and divers with ties to Ohio State earned spots at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The competition began on July 14 and runs through July 30. Former Buckeyes Tim Phillips (USA), Aliena Schmidtke (Germany), and Michelle Toro (née Williams, Canada) as well as future Buckeyes Matthew Abeysinghe (Sri Lanka) and Genevieve Angerame (Lithuania) qualified to take part in the prestigious event.
Phillips, Schmidtke, and Toro all have opportunities to make big splashes in Budapest. The former Buckeyes are set to swim in five total events, and all three have at least a Top 20 time in each event. Phillips will be swimming in the 50 and 100 butterfly; the former All-American and Big Ten Champion has the tenth-fastest time in the 50m fly (23.37) and the seventh-fastest time in the 100m (51.28). He earned silver at the U.S. National Championships meet last month and is the fastest American entered in the 100 fly.
Schmidtke earned her spot after a stellar performance at the German National Championships last month in which she won national titles in the 50 and 100 butterfly, the first such championships of her career. It is her first time representing her country at this level of competition, and she’ll be swimming in both of the aforementioned events. Both of her times- 26.00 in the 50 fly and 58.02 in the 100 fly- sit inside the Top 20 among participants at World Championships; it was just a few weeks ago that she set a German national record in the 50 fly that secured her national championship and spot on the national team.
Toro, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, qualified for her second world championship team at the 2017 Canadian Swimming Trials back in April. She won the 50 freestyle and was third in the 100 free in a personal best time of 54.14 seconds; in Budapest she will be competing in the 50 free, where her time of 24.82 puts her inside the Top 15.
Before he suits up for Ohio State in the fall, Abeysinghe will be representing his home country of Sri Lanka in the 100 and 200 freestyle, events in which he qualified with times of 50.53 and 1:52.10, respectively. He was one of four Sri Lankan swimmers to qualify for World Championships.
Angerame, a diver hailing from Lithuania, has already made her appearances at World Championships, competing on three-meter springboard individually and in synchronized diving with partner Indre Marija Girdauskaite. She compiled a score of 220.95 individually and 226.53 with her partner in the synchro event.
The international swimming and diving isn’t over once the World Championships end. The 2017 World University Games kick off in August where five athletes and coaches with Ohio State ties will be competing. Schmidtke will again represent Germany while Meg Bailey (Australia) and Zulal Zeren (Turkey) will join her in the pool. Christo Law and Justin Sochor will be there representing the United States and Ohio State diving. More information on the World University Games to follow.