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August 8, 2011

Wall Aquatic Center Continues To House World Class Swimmers

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona's Wall Aquatic Center has once again reinforced its moniker of "where the world comes to train" in 2011, as 12 individual athletes and one relay team representing five countries used the facility before competing in the 2011 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai, China from July 16-31. The Flagstaff-trained athletes combined for five gold medals, three silvers and one bronze among the twenty events in which they competed.

"Seeing the world's best swimmers train here reinforces the importance and benefits of training at altitude," said NAU head swimming and diving coach Andy Johns. "I learn a lot from having such great swimmers and coaches using our facility and it's great for our swimmers to see the high level of dedication and all the preparation that goes into being the best. It's nice to be a small part of the great successes of the athletes that have been here."

If the athletes that trained in Wall represented a single country, they would have finished fourth in gold medals and tied for seventh in total medals. The crop of athletes included representatives from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan and Norway.

Gold medals were won by Alexander Dale Oen of Norway (100 breaststroke), Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark (100 freestyle), Federica Pellegrini of Italy (200 freestyle and 400 freestyle) and Lotte Friis of Denmark (1500 freestyle). Pellegrini is the world record holder in the 200 and 400 free and won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing after also training in Flagstaff.

A total of 15 medal-winning athletes trained in Flagstaff prior to the 2008 Olympics, with many of the same athletes and others expected to continue using the facility in preparation for the 2012 games in London. The complete list of World Championship participants that trained in Flagstaff is listed below, including their times and finishes. The list was compiled by Sean Anthony, who coordinates the use of the facility for training with his company, HYPO2 Sport Management.

Men's 50 Free

2. Luca Dotto (Italy) 21.90

Men's 1500 Free

7. Samuel Pizzetti (Italy) 15:15.81

Men's 100 Backstroke

7. Helge Meeuw (Germany) 53.28

Men's 200 Backstroke

7. Sebastiano Ranfagni (Italy) 1:57.49

Men's 50 Breaststroke

5. Alexander Dale Oen (Norway) 27.43

Men's 100 Breaststroke

1. Alexander Dale Oen (Norway) 58.71

Men's 200 Medley

8. Yuya Horihata (Japan) 1:59.52 (NSSU)

Men's 400 Medley

3. Yuya Horihata (Japan) 4:11.98. (NSSU)

Women's 50 Free

6. Jeanette Ottesen (Denmark) 24.67

Women's 100 free

(TIE) 1= Jeanette Ottesen (Denmark) 53.45

Women's 200 Free

1. Federica Pellegrini (Italy) 1:55.58

Women's 400 Free

1. Federica Pellegrini (Italy) 4:01.97

5. Lotte Friis (Denmark) 4:04.68

Women's 800 Free

2. Lotte Friis (Denmark) 8:18.20

Women's 1500 Free

1. Lotte Friis (Denmark) 15:49.59

Women's 50 Backstroke

2 Aya Terakawa (Japan) 27.93

Women's 100 Backstroke

5. Aya Terakawa (Japan) 59.35

Women's 100 Breaststroke

6. Rikke Pedersen (Denmark) 1:07.28

Women's 200 Breaststroke

7. Rikke Pedersen (Denmark) 2:26.56

Women's 50 Butterfly

6. Yuka Kato (Japan) 26.02

Women's 4x100 Free

8. Denmark 3:39.74