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.
High Diving, Day 3: Duque, the King in Barcelona!
He was already the most iconic athlete in High Diving. His successes at the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, his charisma and his experience (38 years old) had made Orlando Duque from Colombia a symbol of this thrilling and challenging discipline. Today, in the port of Barcelona (ESP), he officially became the first men’s world champion in High Diving after a brilliant final, in which he combined technique, steadiness and harmony in all three dives he performed. Moreover, he also won the first title ever for Colombia in the history of the FINA World Championships. Duque, literally meaning Duke, was this time King in Barcelona!
In the end of the two-day competition – the 13 participating athletes performed their first two dives on July 29 -, the Colombian star concluded with an overall 590.20, a mere 0.90 points ahead of silver medallist Gary Hunt from Great Britain. Hunt, 10 years younger than Duque, was the fourth after Monday’s preliminaries, but two very solid dives (DD 3.8 and 6.3!) allowed him to take the lead after the fourth round. However, a less successful last combination (DD 5.6) dictated his second place. The bronze went to Mexico's Jonathan Paredes, who was also third after the first two rounds.
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.
Swimming, Day 4 - Women's 200m freestyle: Franklin nets third Barcelona gold
Missy Franklin (USA) claimed her third gold medal of the Barcelona World Championships, beating world record holder Federica Pellegrini (ITA), the defending champion, in the final of the 200m freestyle. Franklin, already a gold medallist in the 4x100m freestyle relay and 100m backstroke,led just inside world record pace at the 100m mark, with Olympic 400m freestyle champion Camille Muffat (FRA) second and Pellegrini fifth. Pellegrini, fourth with 50m to go, piled on the pressure on the last length but could not catch the 18-year-old American. Franklin, fourth in the event at the 2012 Olympics,won in 1:54.81 as Pellegrini charged through for the silver in 1:55.14, with Muffat taking the bronze in 1:55.72.
Pellegrini, the 2008 Olympic champion, who had been chasing a third consecutive world title in this event, has won 200m freestyle medals at five World Championships in a row, having claimed silver in 2005, bronze in 2007, gold in 2009 and 2011 and now another silver. She set her world record of 1:52.98 when she won her 2009 title, in the era of the fast-suits.
Swimming, Day 4 - Men's 200m butterfly: Le Clos succeeds Phelps as world champion
Chad le Clos, who dethroned Michael Phelps as 200m butterfly Olympic champion, succeeded him as world champion, inheriting the crown after the retirement of the great American. The 21-year-old South African finished strongly to win in 1:54.32 ahead of former world champion Pawel Korzeniowski (POL), who had led into the last turn. Korzeniowski, gold medallist in the absence of Phelps in 2005 and silver medallist in 2009, claimed the silver in 1:55.01, with Peng Wu (CHN) collecting his fourth World Championship medal in the event, a bronze in 1:55.09 ahead of Chinese team-mate Yin Chen (1:55.47). Wu took silver in 2007 and bronze in 2005 and 2011.
Phelps had won the 200 fly title at five of the last six World Championships, having chosen not to defend it in 2005. Olympic bronze medallist Takeshi Matsuda (JPN), twice a silver medallist and once bronze at the Worlds, failed to make the final.
Water Polo Women, Day 6: USA 12 NED 11
In what could loosely be termed a rematch of the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold-medal final, United States of America had the better of Netherlands in the second round of 5-8 semifinal, winning 12-11. In Beijing it was the Dutch who won by a goal — 9-8 — and Danielle De Bruijn was the queen of the pool with seven goals.
Today it was one of her countrywomen who stood up and tried to get the women in orange across the line. Lieke Klaassen netted four goals as the Dutch came back from 9-7 down at three-quarter time then from 11-8 and 12-9 down to nearly clinch a draw and possible extra time. This lifted her well clear of the pack with 22 for the championship.
Water Polo Women, Day 6: GRE 12 CAN 8
Shanghai world champion Greece defeated Canada 12-8 in the round of 5-8 semifinals, bettering the 8-8 draw in the rounds on day three and a draw in a pre-worlds tournament.
Greece made its intentions known in the opening quarter when Canadian goalkeeper Michele Relton saw too many balls pass her head as her team’s defence was poorly set.
Water Polo Men, Day 5: ITA 4 ESP 3
Memories of the 1992 Olympic gold-medal match were rekindled when Italy beat Spain4-3 in the quarterfinal clash at Bernat Picornell Pool. The final day of the water polo competition was played here and Italy needed many periods of extra time to overcome Spain.
Italy did not need extra time tonight but could only score once in the second half for the low-scoring victory that sent it into the semifinals against Montenegro.
Hungary-Croatia and Montenegro-Italy set for men’s semifinals
Hungary will play Olympic champion Croatia and Montenegro will face Italy in Thursday’s semifinals of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World Championships at the Bernat Picornell Pool. It was a day of drama in the quarterfinals today as each team had to battle for the right to contest the semifinals.
Hungary came through the opening match, turning a 3-2 halftime lead to 5-3 at the final break and 9-3 at full time, thanks to a better extra-man scoring statistic.
Water Polo Men, Day 5: MNE 9 SRB 8
The unthinkable happened when World League champion and Olympic bronze medallist Serbia was outplayed by neighbour Montenegro 9-8, scoring 70 seconds from time to advance to Thursday’s semifinals.
For Serbia, silver medallist at Shanghai two years ago and winner in Rome two years before that, it will be a rare trip to the round of 5-8, not having played outside the top four since independence from Montenegro in time for the 2007 World Championships.
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