Swimming, Day 6 - Women’s 200m breaststroke: Efimova (RUS) beats Pedersen (DEN) in a thrilling race

BCN2013 - Swimming

Efimova (RUS) beats Pedersen (DEN) in a thrilling raceAfter the World Record (2:09.11) in the semis, Rikke Pedersen, from Denmark, was the swimmer to beat in this decisive race. The Danish led until the 150m-mark, but a final push from Yulia Efimova, from Russia, allowed her to surprisingly get the gold in 2:19.41. Pedersen had to content with the silver, in 2:20.08, while the bronze went to US Micah Lawrence in 2:22.37.

Both Pedersen and Efimova were looking for their first world title, but the previous experience of the Russian star probably dictated this outcome: Efimova had already five medals at this level – including the 2009 gold in the 50m breaststroke -, plus a 2012 Olympic bronze in the 200m. Pedersen, despite being three years older (she is 24) had never medalled at Olympic or world level. For Lawrence, this is also the first podium presence at World Championships.

World Record: Rikke Pedersen (DEN), 2:19.11 – August 1, 2013 in Barcelona (ESP)
Championships Record: Rikke Pedersen (DEN), 2:19.11 – August 1, 2013 in Barcelona (ESP)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Rikke Pedersen (DEN), 2:19.11 – August 1, in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Amanda Beard (USA, 2:22.99); 2005 – Leisel Jones (AUS, 2:21.72); 2007 – Leisel Jones (AUS, 2:21.84); 2009 – Nadja Higl (SRB, 2:21.62); 2011 – Rebecca Soni (USA, 2:21.47)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Agnes Kovacs (HUN, 1998 & 2001) and Leisel Jones (AUS, 2005 & 2007)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Rebecca Soni (USA, 2:19.59), 2. Satomi Suzuki (JPN, 2:20.72), 3. Yulia Efimova (RUS, 2:20.92)


Gold medal winner: Yulia Efimova (RUS)

On winning her first gold in this event: "In Rome, I was younger, I was so excited when I got my first medal. Now I'm more experienced and to win the gold is much better."

"I wanted to beat the World Record tonight. In the semi final, Rikke Pedersen was swimming so fast, I was swimming side by side with her but tonight, the pace was different and maybe that's why I couldn't break the World Record."

Silver medal winner: Rikke Pedersen (DEN)

On not getting the gold: "I have mixed feelings, I was really pleased about yesterday's World Record. In this final, I was fighting for the gold but I got silver, I'm sure that when I get home it'll be positive and I'll have good memories."

"I would have loved to get the gold medal instead of the World Record. I don't think the World Record will stay long, we have strong girls in breaststroke, I'm sure it will bring the event to a whole new level."

"It's my first medal at World Championships so I really appreciate where I am right now and I'll keep fighting."

Bronze medal winner: Micah Lawrence (USA)

"It's my first international meet and it's been really cool to watch all my teammates do well so I told myself I want to do well as well."