FINA World Swimming Championships (25M)

Biedermann (GER) gets second gold for Germany in the 400m free

With the current world record holder (France’s Yannick Agnel) at home, the bet for the gold should go for Paul Biedermann (GER), the swimmer with the best PB of the field (3:32.77). 2009 champion in 200m and 400m free (long course), the German was second to Lochte in the 200m free on Day 1, but this time was ready to revalidate his 2010 title. Swimming in lane 1, China’s Yun Hao took in charge the initiative of the race until the 350m-mark and looked in a privileged position to win, but Biedermann turned on the “turbo” with 50m to go and earned gold in 3:39.15. Hao (fourth at the 2012 Olympics in this event) got the silver in 3:39.48, while the bronze went to Mads Glaesner, from Denmark, in 3:40.09.  

World Record: Yannick Agnel (FRA), 3:32.25 – November 15, 2012 in Angers (FRA)
Championships Record: Grant Hackett (AUS), 3:35.01 – April 4, 1999 in Hong Kong (HKG)
Best performance of the current season (since August 2012): Yannick Agnel (FRA, 3:32.25 – November in Angers, FRA) 
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 - Grant Hackett (AUS, 3:38.29); 2004 - Yuri Prilukov (RUS, 3:40.79); 2006 - Yuri Prilukov (RUS, 3:38.08); 2008 - Yuri Prilukov (RUS, 3:37.35); 2010 - Paul Biedermann (GER, 3:37.06)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Yuri Prilukov (RUS, 2004, 2006 & 2008)

 

China duet takes gold and silver in the women’s 50m fly

Fresh from her European crown (25.21) in Chartres, Jeanette Ottesen (DEN), also the 2011 World champion (long course) in the 100m free, had qualified first in the semis, but Liuyang Jiao (two Olympic medals) and Ying Lu (silver at the 2012 Olympics in the 100m butterfly), both from China, had winning plans on mind and imposed their speed in the decisive race. Lu touched first in 25.14, while Jiao got the silver in 25.23. The Danish star had to content for bronze in 25.55, far from her best this season. 

World Record: Therese Alshammar (SWE), 24.38 – November 22, 2009 in Singapore (SIN)
Championships Record: Therese Alshammar (SWE), 24.87 – December 17, 2010 in Dubai (UAE)
Best performance of the current season (since August 2012): Ying Lu (CHN, 25.14 – December 14 in Istanbul, TUR) 
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 - Anna-Karin Kammerling (SWE, 25.55); 2004 - Jennifer Thompson (USA, 25.89); 2006 - Therese Alshammar (SWE, 25.76); 2008 - Felicity Galvez (AUS, 25.32); 2010 - Therese Alshammar (SWE, 24.87) 
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Jennifer Thompson (USA, 1999, 2000 & 2004)


 

Daniel Gyurta (HUN) takes "revenge" from Yamaguchi in the 200m breast

Not selected for the 2012 Olympics, Akihiro Yamaguchi (JPN) was one of the protagonists of the post-Games season, when he established a new World Record in the 200m breaststroke (2:07.01, long course) in mid-September, erasing the previous mark established in London by Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta (2:07.28). The duel in Istanbul between the Japanese and Magyar swimmer (world record in 25m-pool) was then one of the attractions of this third session. Yamaguchi (18 years old) was the fastest of the semis (2:03.57), while Gyurta (23) was slightly slower in 2:03.64. In the decisive race, the European swimmer was simply unstoppable, getting the gold in a new Championships Record of 2:01.35 (bettering the previous best mark of 2:03.12, from 2010). The hierarchy of the 2012 Games was also respected concerning the runner-up position, with silver going to Michael Jamieson (GBR, 2:03.00). The bronze was earned by Viatcheslav Sinkevich (RUS), in a time of 2:03.08. The major surprise was the fourth place for Yamaguchi, in a modest 2:03.23.

World Record: Daniel Gyurta (HUN), 2:00.67 – December 13, 2009 in Istanbul (TUR)
Championships Record: Daniel Gyurta (HUN), 2:01.35 – December 14, 2012 in Istanbul (TUR)
Best performance of the current season (since August 2012): Daniel Gyurta (HUN, 2:01.35 – December 15 in Istanbul, TUR) 
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 - Jim Piper (AUS, 2:07.16); 2004 - Brendan Hansen (USA, 2:04.98); 2006 - Vladislav Polyakov (KAZ, 2:06.95); 2008 - Kristopher Gilchrist (GBR, 2:06.18); 2010 - Naoya Tomita (JPN, 2:03.12)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Daniel Gyurta (HUN, 2:01.35 – 2012)


 

Zevina (UKR) comfortably imposes her class in the 200m backstroke

Also predictable was the win of Daryna Zevina (UKR) in the women’s 200m backstroke. The best of the semis in Istanbul (2:03.41), the Ukrainian champion was also the best performer of the season, after her 2:01.97 effort to win the European title in Chartres, less than one month ago. With her gold in 2:02.24, Zevina (18 years old) gets her first world success in short course waters, two years after being one of the positive revelations to the world at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (where she won three medals in the backstroke events). The minor medals went to Bonnie Brandon (USA, 2:03.19) and to Duane da Rocha Marce (ESP, 2:04.15), also their first successes at this level.

World Record: Missy Franklin (USA), 2:00.03 – October 22, 2011 in Berlin (GER)
Championships Record: Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), 2:00.91 – April 11, 2008 in Manchester (GBR)
Best performance of the current season (since August 2012): Daryna Zevina (UKR, 2:01.97 – November in Chartres, FRA) 
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 - Lindsay Benko (USA, 2:04.97);
2004 - Margaret Hoelzer (USA, 2:05.84); 2006 - Margaret Hoelzer (USA, 2:05.29); 2008 - Kirsty Coventry (ZIM, 2:00.91); 2010 - Alexianne Castel (FRA, 2:01.67)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Margaret Hoelzer (USA, 2004 & 2006)

 

Britta Steffen (GER) confirms credentials in the 100m free

Winner of the eight legs of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2012 in this event, Britta Steffen (GER), the best performer of the season and 2008 Olympic champion in the distance, was naturally the woman to beat in this final. Second fastest of the semis, the German star was also helped by the absence of the 2012 champion, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, and did not miss her final. Departing fast from the starting blocks, Steffen was only sixth at halfway, but managed to accelerate and touch for gold in 52.31, in front of Megan Romano (USA, silver in 52.48) and of Yi Tang (CHN, bronze in 52.73). It was Steffen’s first gold in the history of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).

World Record: Lisbeth Trickett (AUS), 51.01 – August 10, 2009 in Hobart (AUS)
Championships Record: Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 51.45 – December 17, 2010 in Dubai
Best performance of the current season (since August 2012): Britta Steffen (GER, 52.31 – December 14 in Istanbul, TUR) 
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 – Therese Alshammar (SWE, 52.89); 2004 - Lisbeth Lenton (AUS, 52.67); 2006 - Lisbeth Lenton (AUS, 52.33); 2008 - Marleen Veldhuis (NED, 52.17); 2010 - Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED, 51.45)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Jingyi Le (CHN, 1993 & 1995), Jennifer Thompson (USA, 1997 & 1999), Therese Alshammar (SWE, 2000 & 2002), Lisbeth Lenton (AUS, 2004 & 2006)

 

Ryan Lochte leads USA to gold in the 4x200m

Swimming very close to his Championships Record of 1:41.08 from 2010, and much faster than his 200m free victory (1:41.92) in Istanbul, Ryan Lochte (USA) gave a decisive lead for his team in the 4x200m free, touching first after the first leg in 1:41.17. The North Americans (besides Lochte, the quartet was formed by Conor Dwyer, Michael Klueh and Matthew McLean) never lost the control of the race, touching first for gold in 6:51.40. The silver went to Australia in 6:52.29, while Germany, led by Paul Biedermann, earned bronze in 6:53.22. The 2010 champion and world record holder – Russia – could not reach the podium, concluding in a disappointing fourth position.

World Record: Russia, 6:49.04 – December 16, 2010 in Dubai (UAE)
Championships Record: Russia, 6:49.04 – December 16, 2010 in Dubai (UAE)
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 – Australia (7:00.36); 2004 – United States (7:03.71); 2006 – Italy (6:59.08); 2008 – Australia (6:55.65); 2010 – Russia (6:49.04)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Australia (1995, 1997, 2002 & 2008)

 

Lauren Boyle (NZL) imposes her pace in the 800m free

Without Camille Muffat (FRA), the recent new world record holder in the distance, the main fight in the race occurred between Lauren Boyle (NZL), fourth at the 2012 Olympics in this event, and Lotte Friis (DEN), the bronze medallist in this event at the 2008 Olympics and winner of the 1500m free at the FINA World Championships Shanghai 2011. Friis got some advance in the first laps, but Boyle took a decisive option for victory from the 400m-mark onwards. In the end, the New Zealander got the gold in 8:08.62, narrowly missing the Championships Record, owned since 2008 by Rebecca Adlington. Friis arrived second in 8:10.99, while the bronze went to US Chloe Sutton in a “distant” 8:15.53.

World Record: Camille Muffat (FRA), 8:01.06 – November 16, 2012 in Angers (FRA)
Championships Record: Rebecca Adlington (GBR), 8:08.25 – April 10, 2008 in Manchester (GBR)
Best performance of the current season (since August 2012): Camille Muffat (FRA, 8:01.06 – November in Angers, FRA) 
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 - Hua Chen (CHN, 8:16.34); 2004 - Sachiko Yamada (JPN, 8:18.21); 2006 - Anastasia Ivanenko (RUS, 8:11.99); 2008 - Rebecca Adlington (GBR, 8:08.25); 2010 - Erika Villaecija (ESP, 8:11.61)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Hua Chen (CHN, 1999, 2000 & 2002)

 

Chad Le Clos (RSA) easily triumphs in the 100m butterfly

With a very strong field, composed among others by Laszlo Cseh (HUN), Chad Le Clos (RSA), Ryan Lochte and Tom Shields (USA), Rafael Munoz (ESP) or Nikolay Skvortsov (RUS), the men’s 100m butterfly was a one-way final, with the gold going to an inspired Chad Le Clos in a new Championships Record of 48.82 (the previous best mark of the event had been set by Peter Mankoc, in 2008, with 50.04 win). The 2012 Olympic champion in the 200m butterfly (beating Phelps in a thrilling final in London) confirmed his excellent season and was even under the World Record pace at the 50m mark. In second, Shields touched in 49.54, while Lochte earned bronze in 49.59.

World Record
: Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS), 48.48 – November 15, 2009 in Berlin (GER)
Championships Record: Chad Le Clos (RSA), 48.82 – December 13, 2012 in Istanbul (TUR)
Best performance of the current season (since August 2012): Chad Le Clos (RSA, 48.82 – December 13 in Istanbul, TUR) 
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 - Geoff Huegill (AUS, 50.95); 2004 - Ian Crocker (USA, 50.18); 2006 - Kaio Almeida (BRA, 51.07); 2008 - Peter Mankoc (SLO, 50.04); 2010 - Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS, 50.23)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Lars Frolander (SWE, 1997, 1999 & 2000)

 

Scozzoli gives first gold to Italy in the 100m breaststroke

With Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) – world record holder, 2010 champion and the fastest of the season – absent, the option for victory had to come from Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli, the best in the semis and the winner of the gold medal at the recent European Championships. The 24-year-old Italian did not disappoint and upgraded his silver medal from 2010, touching first in 57.10, a new best of the year. The silver medal went to Damir Dugonjic (SLO) in 57.32, while Kevin Cordes (USA) got the bronze in 57.83. For both Dugonjic (born in 1988) and Cordes (19 years old), these were their first medals at this level.
 
World Record: Cameron van der Burgh (RSA), 55.61 – November 15, 2009 in Berlin (GER)
Championships Record: Cameron van der Burgh (RSA), 56.80 – December 16, 2010 in Dubai (UAE)
Best performance of the current season (since August 2012): Fabio Scozzoli (ITA, 57.10 – December 13 in Istanbul, TUR) 
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 - Oleg Lisogor (UKR, 58.33); 2004 - Brendan Hansen (USA, 58.45); 2006 - Oleg Lisogor (UKR, 58.14); 2008 - Igor Borysik (UKR, 57.74); 2010 - Cameron van der Burgh (RSA, 56.80)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Patrik Isaksson (SWE, 1997 & 1999) and Oleg Lisogor (UKR, 2002 & 2006)

 

Olivia Smoliga (USA) surprises and gets gold in the 100m back

In what was perhaps one of the most open finals of the session, Rachel Goh (AUS) started with a slight favouritism being the best performer of the season, with a 57.02 effort at the Berlin leg of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup. Second best of the semis, the 26-year-old Australian had to deal with Mie Nielsen, from Denmark, the fastest coming to final and with the recent European champion, Daryna Zevina (UKR) in lane 7. In Istanbul, surprises also happen and the triumph came unexpectedly from lane 1, with Olivia Smoliga, from the USA. At her first senior major international competition, the 18-year-old swimmer got the gold in 56.64, being followed by Nielsen (silver in 57.07) and by Simona Baumrtova (CZE), bronze medallist (as at the 2012 Europeans) in 57.18. Goh, first at the 50m mark, finished in fourth (57.31).

World Record:
Shiho Sakai (JPN), 55.23 – November 15, 2009 in Berlin (GER)
Championships Record: Natalie Coughlin (USA), 56.08 – December 16, 2010 in Dubai (UAE)
Best performance of the current season (since August 2012): Olivia Smoliga (USA, 56.64 – December 13 in Istanbul, TUR) 
Last five (2002-2010) winners in this event: 2002 - Haley Cope (USA, 59.07); 2004 - Haley Cope (USA, 59.03); 2006 - Janine Pietsch (GER, 58.02); 2008 - Kirsty Coventry (ZIM, 57.10); 2010 - Natalie Coughlin (USA, 56.08)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Haley Cope (USA, 2002 & 2004)


 

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