Swimming, Day 2 - Men's 50m butterfly: 5th World gold for Cielo (BRA)
Cesar Cielo sprinted home in a tight finish to retain his 50m butterfly crown and claim the fifth world title of his career. The Brazilian flyer, world 50 and 100m freestyle champion in 2009 and 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly champion in 2011, made it five world golds but it was a very close-run thing. Cielo, Olympic 50m freestyle champion in 2008, hit the wall in the one-length lung-buster in 23.01 as Eugene Godsoe (USA), the slowest qualifier in outside lane 8, scooped the silver in 23.05, just 0.04 seconds adrift. Fred Bousquet (FRA), now 32, claimed the bronze in 23.11 to add to a collection which includes world silver in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 100m free from 2009.
Cielo's Brazilian team-mate Nicholas Santos, the fastest final qualifier and at 33 the oldest man in the race, finished just 0.20 seconds behind the winner and 0.10 behind Bousquet in fourth place (23.21). Five of the semi-final times were quicker than Cielo's winning time in the final.
Swimming, Day 2 - Women's 100m butterfly: Sjostrom (SWE) regains World crown
Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden reclaimed the world women's 100m butterfly title, deposing defending champion and Olympic gold medallist Dana Vollmer (USA). Sjostrom, winner of the world title in 2009, turned second at 50m behind Jeanette Ottesen Gray (DEN), who led inside world record pace.
But Ottesen Gray, joint champion in the 100m freestyle at the 2011 Worlds, could not keep her rivals at bay on the return length as Sjostrom, fourth at the 2012 Olympics, stormed through to win in 56.53.
Swimming, Day 2 - Men's 100m breaststroke: Sprenger brings gold to Australia
Christian Sprenger brought Australia their first swimming gold medal of the FINA World Championships, winning the men's 100m breaststroke in a rousing duel with Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa. Van der Burgh, bronze medallist at the 2009 and 2011 Worlds, led at the turn inside world record pace, with Felipe Lima (BRA) second and Sprenger third. But Sprenger caught him as they battled down the return length to win in 58.79, with Van der Burgh - 50m breaststroke gold medallist in 2009 - taking the silver in 58.97 and Lima bronze in 59.65.
Sprenger, at 27 the oldest holder of the title, claimed Australia's second win in the event in the last three Worlds, 2009 victor Brenton Rickard having failed to progress beyond the heats this time.Van der BUrgh's 58.46 world record remained intact.
Swimming, Day 1: Two gold for USA, Sun (CHN) and France shine too
Yang Sun (CHN) and Katie Ledecky (USA) were the first heroes of the inaugural day of the swimming competitions at the 15th FINA World Championships, taking place in Barcelona (ESP). In the decisive race of the men’s 400m free, the Chinese star clearly took control of the field, getting the gold in 3:41.59 – an expected triumph for the 2012 Olympic champion in the 400m and 1500m free.
In the women’s final, Ledecky also won comfortably (3:59.82), but everyone was expecting a better reaction from the Olympic champion Camille Muffat – however, the French was not in her best shape and only finished seventh in a modest time of 4:07.67. The home crowd could enjoy the silver performance of local star Melanie Costa, and New Zealand got her first women’s medal at Worlds thanks to the bronze effort of Lauren Boyle.
Swimming, Day 1 - Men’s 4x100m free: France wins epic battle against USA
As at the 2012 Olympics in London, France and USA fought an epic battle and as in the British capital, the quartet from Gaul managed to get the gold in what was perhaps the most spectacular final of this first day of finals. The French won in 3:11.18, while the North Americans (who got the gold on 11 occasions at the World Championships) had to settle for silver in 3:11.42 – the key for the victory was an amazing third leg by Fabien Gilot, who swam the 100m free in an impressive 46.90, the fastest of the final.
At the same time, Anthony Ervin (USA) clocked 47.44, while the last leg was even worse for the USA: Feigen’s 48.23 were clearly slow against Stravius’ 47.59. It is the first title for France (swimming with Yannick Agnel, Florent Manadou, Fabien Gilot and Jeremy Stravius) in this event at the FINA World Championships.
Swimming, Day 1 - Women’s 4x100m free: 10 years later, USA gets the title
In a thrilling race, the team of USA got the gold medal in the first relay final of these Championships, proving that Barcelona brings luck to North American quartets. In fact, their last title dated from 2003, when they also triumphed in the Catalan capital. Since then, Australia in 2005 and 2007, and Netherlands in 2009 and 2011 had stolen the show.
At the Palau Sant Jordi, Australia started by dominating the operations, leading the way until the 300m-mark, but a very fast leg from Megan Romano gave the victory to USA in 3:32.31, better than the time (3:33.15) it took Australia to get the Olympic gold in 2012 in London. The Aussies got this time the silver in 3:32.43 (Alicia Coutts, swimming her third race of the afternoon, anchored her team’s relay), while the 2011 champions – Netherlands – had to content with the bronze (3:35.77).
Swimming, Day 1 - Women’s 400m free: Ledecky (USA) wins gold in 3:59.82
In the much awaited duel between Katie Ledecky (USA) and Camille Muffat (FRA), the North American comfortably won the 400m free in a time of 3:59.82, the first performance under four minutes since the beginning of the year. Until the 300m-mark, Ledecky, the surprising winner of the 800m free at the 2012 Olympics, swam under the WR pace, but the last 100m proved to be quite hard for her. It is her first medal at the FINA World Championships.
The silver went to Spain’s Melania Costa, also the second fastest of the heats, in 4:02.47 – first success at this level –, while Lauren Boyle from New Zealand took home the bronze in 4:03.89, getting the first podium presence for her country in women’s events in the history of the FINA World Championships.
Swimming, Day 1 - Men’s 400m free: Yang Sun (CHN) confirms credentials
In the first swimming final of the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Yang Sun (CHN), the best performer of the season and the fastest of the heats, was the man to beat. And no one managed to beat him in the decisive race… The 2012 Olympic gold medallist in the 400m and 1500m free perfectly controlled the race and got the gold in 3:41.59, bettering the time of 3:42.93 he had swum in April at the National Championships in Zhengzhou.
Sun had a very solid first half of the race, cruising at the 200m-mark under the World Record pace (-0.47), but at the end he couldn’t approach his personal best of 3:40.14, his winning time at the London Olympics.
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