While the biggest Norwegian medal hope in swimming, Henrik Christiansen, failed during the Olympics in Tokyo, the other two participants did well.
Versatile Tomoe Zenimoto Hvas reached the semifinals of the 200 meter medley and set Norwegian records on it and two more exercises. Backstroke swimmer Ingeborg Vassbakk Løyning also set a Norwegian record and was close to the semifinals. Clearly approved according to expectations.
But there was very little free time afterwards. Just a month after the Olympics were over, the duo set Norwegian records again. Zenimoto Hvas in a way that makes him really attract attention in the swimming world.
They participate in the International Swimming League, a competition that brings together most of the best swimmers in the world on various teams in an attempt to professionalize the sport.
– The best weeks I’ve had
Løyning, who swims for Team Iron Budapest, and Hvas, who swims for Los Angeles Current, have been responsible for a Norwegian record flood. Over the past three weeks, they have taken five and four respectively.
Norwegian records under ISL
Ingeborg V. Løyning:
- September 10: 57.57
- September 3: 57.64
- September 2: 57.68
- September 9: 2.05.73
- September 2: 2.06.28
Tomoe Z. Hvas:
- September 19: 1.50.62
- September 5: 1.51.50
- September 10: 4.02.85
- September 5: 4,04.41
– These are the best weeks I have had in swimming, says Vassbakk Løyning to TV 2.
– I think I am growing a lot on this. It is incredibly good matching and I swim both with and against the best in the world. So I see what they do, learn from it and get an incredibly good follow-up.
She attributes the record flood to it, and that due to the corona pandemic, there has long been a major international competition in the short course (25-meter pool.) Thus, she gets paid for the training and development she has done since she last set the Norwegian records.
The same is said by Tomoe Zenimoto Hvas about his many records during the intense competition period with three competitions in two weeks.
– I am positively surprised. I expected to get in better and better shape, but not as well as I did here and now. I worked well before the Olympics, got new energy and motivation from it, and the total of that I get paid for now, says Zenimoto Hvas.
The 21-year-old was close to the finals during the Olympics in Tokyo. The results he delivers now make him a clear medal candidate in the World Cup short track in December and make competitors close their eyes. This season there have been a long list of second places, but the Norwegian has beaten a man like Chad Le Clos – known for having broken Michael Phelps’ winning streak during the Olympics in London in 2012.
– Tomoe has become a “major player” in the International Swimming League. One who scores the most points for the team and who has become a very important person there. He is starting to get a strong status and strong position in international swimming, says coach of the Bærum swimmers, Sondre Solberg.
The swimming website SwimSwam mentions Zenimoto Hvas as one of the most valuable swimmers this season of the league due to his quality and versatility.
– It is good to know that I can compete with and compete against the biggest and best in the world. Now I can go into big championships without being afraid of the big swimmers, says Zenimoto Hvas.
– It is as much mental as physical. Here I compete against the best in the world. Here I am a teammate and competitor with Tom Shields who has been at the top of the world for eight to ten years. I learn an incredible amount from him, which makes me more professional and complete as a swimmer.
Record flood despite nightmare years: – He has something extraordinary
Although it has at best been second place in the ISL this season, the times of Zenimoto Hvas are top class. In both the 200 and 400 meter medley, as well as the 200 meter butterfly, his times from ISL would have held for medals in the last World Cup short course that has been arranged.
In December, there is the World Cup short course again. Before that time awaits the European Championships and then the semifinals and finals of the international swimming league. Such a fierce competition program is not common for swimmers, who use to prioritize long training periods before major championships.
– This will be a completely new challenge. I have never had to be at my best throughout the season, like this one. There is a lot we will learn from. And we have to try a little different things, adapt and learn later, but also quickly. The goal is to swim fast all season, but fastest in the World Cup.
Will be all the way there
It is also a financial gain that affects the election. So far, Zenimoto Hvas estimates that he has earned 100,000 kroner on ISL this month. It makes a real difference for a swimmer who has not yet broken through in the world elite.
The crazy talent of the swimming talent attracts attention: – Do not try this at home!
The coach believes both his athletes learn an enormous amount from participating in the elite competitions.
– Tomoe has grown enormously as a person and has been performing for the past year. He is more motivated and self-aware. His self-confidence and security in relation to himself has grown enormously and he is someone who will go to be with us right there in the years to come, says Solberg.
– For Ingeborg, it has been a great experience that gives her more experience at the international top level. She probably has even more latent potential inside already, which she can get out.
If she improves a bit more, she will not be far from medal level on her favorite distances. Then the mental gain will also take effect.
– Being at such a high level makes me more confident in that type of setting and when I get into situations like the European Championships, the World Cup and championships that mean a lot personally, you are more confident in what is going to happen. A possible final heat will not be as overwhelming, says Vassbakk Løyning.