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Swimming, Day 8 – Seven nations with gold in eight finals
The eighth and last day of the swimming competitions at the 15th FINA World Championships was marked by the variety of nations getting gold in the eight finals in the programme. Only one country – France - clinched two gold medals, thanks to the performance of Camille Lacourt in the men’s 50m backstroke, and after the surprising disqualification of USA in the men’s 4x100m medley relay. With this final outcome, the French delegation arrived third (nine podium presences, including four titles) in the swimming medals’ table, behind USA (29, comprising 13 gold) and China (also nine awards, but five wins).
In the women’s 50m breaststroke, the duel between the two world record performers Yulia Efimova (RUS) and Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) ended up in the Russian’s favour, while Japan got the gold in the men’s 400m IM: but when everyone expected a win from Kosuke Hagino, it was his teammate Daiya Seto who got the crown.
Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) was the best in the 50m free (Fran Halsall, in bronze, gave the only medal for Great Britain in the swimming competition), and in the men’s 1500m free Yang Sun (CHN) comfortably won but could not approach his World Record set precisely one year ago at the 2012 Olympics.
Hungary has good reasons to celebrate with the victory of Katinka Hosszu in the women’s 400m IM, but the home crowd also vibrantly cheered the silver performance of Mireia Belmonte (ESP). The only US title of the day happened in the women’s 4x100m medley, with Franklin, Hardy, Vollmer and Romano perfectly controlling the operations in the water and… on the starting blocks!
At the end of the session, were given the FINA Championships Trophies to the best Male and Female swimmer, as well as the best Team of the competition.
Among men, the award went to Yang Sun (CHN), while Katie Ledecky (USA) was the winner in the women’s field. Both athletes medalled in the same events: 400m, 800m, 1500m free and 4x200m free relay – all in gold for Ledecky and titles for Yang in the individual events and bronze in the relay. Moreover, the US and Chinese star were the second swimmers in the history of the Championships to have won in the same edition the longest free events in the programme: before Ledecky and Sun, only Hannah Stockbauer (GER) in 2003 and Grant Hackett (AUS) in 2005 respectively, had achieved the same feat.
The Trophy for the best Team went without surprise to the USA.