Swimming, Day 6 - Men’s 200m backstroke: Lochte (USA) earns second gold in Barcelona
With already nine wins in the history of the World Championships in this event (including seven consecutive victories since 2001), the USA had its two strongest assets in the central lanes: Tyler Clary, the fastest of the semis and reigning Olympic champion, and in lane 5 Ryan Lochte, winner of the 200m IM in Barcelona. In this North American duel, Lochte was faster and got the gold in 1:53.79, the best performance of the year. It is Lochte’s 22nd medal at FINA World Championships.
The silver went to a very solid Radoslaw Kawecki, from Poland, touching in 1:54.24, a new European record. It is the first success at this level for the Polish swimmer, aged 21. Clary clinched the bronze, in a time of 1:54.64, far from his personal best of 1:53.41, when he won the Olympic gold one year ago.
The best performer of the season before this final and silver medallist in London, Japan’s Ryosuke Irie (1:54.72 last March in Sydney) finished in fourth, in 1:55.07. A bitter result, after also missing the podium in the 100m back.
World Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA), 1:51.92 – July 31, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Championships Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA), 1:51.92 – July 31, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Ryan Lochte (USA), 1:53.79 – August 2, in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Aaron Peirsol (USA, 1:55.92); 2005 – Aaron Peirsol (USA, 1:54.66); 2007 – Ryan Lochte (USA, 1:54.32); 2009 – Aaron Peirsol (USA, 1:51.92); 2011 – Ryan Lochte (USA, 1:52.96)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Aaron Peirsol (USA, 2001, 2003, 2005 & 2009)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Tyler Clary (USA, 1:53.41), 2. Ryosuke Irie (JPN, 1:53.78), 3. Ryan Lochte (USA, 1:53.94)
Gold medal winner: Ryan Lochte (USA)
"Going into tonight, I knew I had a triple but I was not thinking about it, I took each race at a time and it really helped me out. My coaches and the USA team staff also made sure I had the proper warm down between each races so I could get ready for the next one."
"As you get older, you're supposed to do less events. In my case, I do more. What I love is to do multiple events, it was a big challenge and I was able to overcome it. I was able to post those times and become a world champion tonight so it gives me a lot of confidence for the future."
"I love swimming and racing, I love training for multiple events, I train that way. Whenever I lose, I still love swimming and will still walk away with a smile."
On missing Michael Phelps: "He was the toughest competitor I've ever had, I loved the challenge of racing against him, I definitely miss him."
Silver medal winner: Radoslaw Kawecki (POL)
"I did not expect this second place, I'm very happy with this result, I did my personal best in this race."
Bronze medal winner: Tyler Clary (USA)
"I'll call my performance acceptable. The celebration after the London Olympics [where he won the gold in this event] was ongoing and I gained a lot of weight. I actually started feeling like myself again in the water after the World Championships trials. Taking that into consideration, I wasn't even thinking about going under 1.55 [he clocked 1.54.64]."
"Going into this meet, I didn't feel any pressure, you just get more attention because you have the Olympic title but at the end of the day you swim your own race the same way."
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