Swimming, Day 6 - Women’s 100m free: Campbell (AUS) gets first title in 52.34
In a very open final, Missy Franklin (USA), already with four medals in Barcelona, was in lane 2; next to her, in lane 3, the 2012 Olympic champion from the Netherlands Ranomi Kromowidjojo; in lane 4, the fastest of the semis, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, gold medallist in the 100m butterfly at these championships; swimming on lane 5, Australia’s Cate Campbell, the best performer of the season in 52.33 (in the heats of the event); and finally, in lane 7, the 2008 Olympic champion and world record holder Britta Steffen (GER).
In the end, the gold in Barcelona went to Campbell, who was under the World Record pace at the 50m-mark, but touched home in 52.34. It was the first title at World Championships for the Australian, who was decisive at the 2012 Games in London to give her country the only gold of the competition, in the 4x100m free relay.
Swimming, Day 5: USA 2 – China 2; WR for Pedersen (DEN) in the women’s 200m breast
The fifth session of finals was highlighted, in terms of performances, by the new World Record in the women’s 200m breaststroke by Rikke Moller Pedersen (DEN) in the first semi-final of the event. The Danish swimmer clocked an impressive 2:19.11, improving the previous world global mark (2:19.59) set by Rebecca Soni (USA) at the London Olympic Games. Pedersen is naturally the athlete to beat in the decisive race, but Yulia Efimova, from Russia, is not far, with a 2:19.85 effort in the semis. It was the third World Record of the Championships, all in women’s events – Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) in the 100m breaststroke and Katie Ledecky (USA) in the 1500m free are the two other WR performers so far.
In terms of medals, the five finals gave two titles to USA and also two gold medals to China. In all of these events, logics prevailed, with Ryan Lochte confirming his good shape in the men’s 200m IM and getting the third consecutive gold in this distance since 2009. Additionally, it was his first individual podium presence in Barcelona. In the women’s 4x200m free relay, the North Americans were also the favourites and touched home first for the fifth title in the last six editions of these Championships.
Swimming, Day 5 - Women’s 4x200m free: USA confirms supremacy with fifth win in six editions
In the last final of the evening session, the duel between USA and Australia turned out in favour of the North Americans, who got their fifth title in six editions, touching home in7:45.14. The winners started very strong, with Katie Ledecky swimming the first 200m in 1:56.32, but then the Australians got some advantage after the efforts of Kylie Palmer and Brittany Elmslie. USA closed the quartet with Missy Franklin, who clocked an impressive 1:54.27 to provide gold to her team.
Australia earned silver in 7:47.08, while the bronze went for France in 7:48.43. This podium was a copy of the 2012 Olympic top-3 ranking, but in London all these three teams had swum faster.
Swimming, Day 5 - Women’s 50m backstroke: China makes 1-2 with Zhao (gold) and Fu (silver)
World Record holder (27.06) since her winning performance at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome (ITA), Jing Zhao (CHN) confirmed her credentials in Barcelona, getting the gold in 27.29 and winning the duel with her teammate Yuanhui Fu, silver medallist in 27.39. Fu was the best performer of the season, with a 27.22 effort established in April in Zhengzhou, but could not improve. It was however the first medal at Worlds for the 17-year-old Chinese swimmer. Zhao has now five awards in FINA’s major showcase.
The bronze went to Japan’s Aya Terakawa in 27.53 – she was better two years ago in Shanghai, where she got the silver in this event. The 28-year-old Japanese backstroker had left the 2012 arena in London with two bronze medals, in the 100m backstroke and 4x100m medley relay.
Swimming, Day 5 - Women’s 200m butterfly: Zige Liu (CHN) earns first gold at Worlds
2008 Olympic champion in this event, China’s Zige Liu got her first title at FINA World Championships, by convincingly winning in 2:04.59, the best performance of the year, but still far from her World Record performance, established in October 2009 in a time of 2:01.81. It was a very interesting duel with local hero Mireia Belmonte, fighting until the end for the victory: in the end, the Iberian swimmer got the silver in 2:04.78, while the bronze went to Katinka Hosszu, from Hungary, in 2:05.59.
Zige has now one medal of each colour in the event, after taking silver in 2009 (behind Australia’s Jessicah Schipper) and bronze in 2011 (an event won by her teammate Liuyang Jiao, the 2012 Olympic champion). Jiao, also competing in the final in Barcelona, could not do better than sixth, in 2:06.65.
Swimming, Day 5 - Men’s 100m free: Magnussen (AUS) revalidates title in 47.71
In one of the most awaited finals of the programme, Vladimir Morozov, from Russia, had a bullet-start with a 0.59 reaction time and a 50m turn under the World Record pace (21.94, 0.23 faster than the split clocked by Cielo in 2009), but this initial effort didn’t pay off. The victory went to Australia’s James Magnussen in 47.71, 0.08 slower than his winning time in Shanghai, two years ago.
Magnussen had been defeated by Nathan Adrian (USA) at the 2012 Olympics, but took his sweet revenge in Barcelona, leaving the minor medals for the two US swimmers of the final, respectively James Feigen (47.82) and Adrian (bronze, in 47.84). The Australian sprinter was already the best performer of the season, with a 47.53 effort from last April in Adelaide. Moreover, this was his fourth medal at FINA World Championships, after three podium presences in 2011.
Swimming, Day 5 - Men’s 200m individual medley: Lochte (USA) gets first gold in Barcelona
The World record holder, champion in 2011 and best performer of the season, US Ryan Lochte (USA) was the favourite of this race and did not disappoint: the North American star, fourth in the 200m free and silver medallist in the 4x100m free relay at the Palau Sant Jordi, got his first title in Barcelona, touching home in 1:54.98, faster than the 1:55.44 he had clocked in June in Indianapolis. With this victory, Lochte, who has 11 Olympic podium presences, totals 21 medals at FINA World Championships and like Phelps in 2003, 2005 and 2007, has now three consecutive wins in the event, after his 2009 and 2011 successes.
The silver went to Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, who won the duel with Thiago Pereira from Brazil. The Asian swimmer, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist in the 400m IM, clocked 1:56.29 against Pereira’s 1:56.30. It is the first success at this level for the Brazilian, who won silver in London in the longer distance. Hagino has also won silver in the 400m free here in Barcelona.
Swimming, Day 4: Treble for Franklin, Phelps inheritance for Le Clos
Missy Franklin (USA) bagged her third Barcelona gold and Chad le Clos (RSA) claimed one more global title that had belonged to Michael Phelps on Day 4 of swimming at the FINA World Championships. Yang Sun (CHN), furthering his quest for a distance freestyle treble, added the 800m crown to the 400m title he won on Day 1, while Cameron van der Burgh made it double gold on the day for South Africa with victory in the men's 50m breaststroke.
Franklin, golds in the 100m backstroke and 4x100m freestyle relay already in her possession, beat defending champion Federica Pellegrini (ITA) in the 200m freestyle. She seized the lead from Olympic 400m freestyle champion Camille Muffat (FRA) on the second length and won in 1:54.81, with Pellegrini charging through the field to claim silver in 1:55.14 and Muffat taking the bronze in 1:55.72. World record holder Pellegrini, Olympic champion in 2008, said she had had a difficult year and the result was very encouraging for the future. "I'm really surprised with the silver medal," she said.
Swimming, Day 4 - Men's 800m freestyle: Second world gold for Sun
Double Olympic champion Yang Sun (CHN) secured his second gold medal of the 15th FINA World Championships, waiting till the end to cut loose and claim the 800m freestyle title. Sun, who won the 400m freestyle world crown on Day 1 and will seek to make it a golden treble in the 1500m, did just enough to remain slightly ahead of his rivals for most of the race. He was content to stay less than a second in front for 700 metres before pulling away in the last 100 metres to win in 7:41.36, with his three closest competitors - two Americans and a Canadian - fighting it out for the two remaining medals.
Silver went to Michael McBroom (USA), who came through in the second half of the race and finished in 7:43.60. Ryan Cochrane (CAN) won the battle for bronze, touching in 7:43.70 ahead of the second American, Connor Jaeger, who clocked 7:44.26. That reversed their placings in the 400m, when Jaeger collected the bronze. Sun was well outside the 7:32.12 world mark set by compatriot Lin Zhang in Rome in 2009, when he became first Chinese man to win a swimming title at the long-course World Championships.
Swimming, Day 4 - Men's 50m breaststroke: Van der Burgh edges out Sprenger for gold
Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) turned the tables on his 100m breaststroke conqueror Christian Sprenger (AUS) to reclaim the world 50m breaststroke crown by the tiny margin of one-hundredth of a second at the FINA World Championships. Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Van der Burgh had to settle for silver behind Sprenger in the 100 event on Day 2 but levelled the score in the 50.
Van der Burgh, 50m gold medallist in 2009 and bronze medallist in 2007 and 2011, won the one-length sprint in 26.77, 0.10 seconds outside his own world record, with Sprenger - Olympic 100m breaststroke silver medallist behind Van der Burgh in 2012 - touching in 26.78. Giulio Zorzi, Van der Burgh's South African team-mate, snatched the bronze in 27.04, himself just 0.01 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Damir Dugonjic of Slovenia.
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