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.
Swimming, Day 3 - World record for Ledecky on day of golden US treble
Sixteen-year-old Katie Ledecky smashed the 1500 metres freestyle world record on a great day for the USA which brought three world crowns for the Stars and Stripes team. Ledecky prevailed in a monumental duel with Denmark's defending champion Lotte Friis, while Missy Franklin and Matt Grevers grabbed the golds in their respective 100m backstroke finals. Fellow Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte, born just two days after Ledecky, came tantalisingly close to her own second world record in two days but still celebrated an historic first world title in the 50m pool for independent Lithuania in the 100m breaststroke.
Ledecky, who won the 400m freestyle on Day 1, and Friis fought neck and neck in the 30-length pool marathon, the American edging clear in the final 100 metres to win in 15:36.53. Friis, world silver medallist in 2009 and champion in 2011, touched in 15:38.88 and was also inside the 15:42.54 world mark set by Kate Ziegler in Mission Viejo, California, on June 17, 2007. Lauren Boyle (NZL), Barcelona 400m freestyle bronze medallist, came through strongly in the later stages to claim another bronze in 15:44.71.
Swimming, Day 3 - Women's 100m breast: Meilutyte wins world title for Lithuania
Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte claimed an historic first world long-course swimming title for Lithuania since it gained independence after the break-up of the former Soviet Union. The 16-year-old England-based swimmer was a clear winner, though she finished a shade outside the world record 1:04.35 she clocked in the semi-finals. Meilutyte led all the way and swept to the gold in 1:04.42, a time still inside the 1:04.45 world mark which had stood to Jessica Hardy (USA) since August 2009.
Yuliya Efimova (RUS), world silver medallist in 2009 and second-fastest behind Meilutyte in the semi-finals, was the only swimmer to finish within a second of the Lithuanian, taking the silver in 1:05.02. Hardy, world silver medallist in 2005, scooped the bronze in 1:05.52. Rebecca Soni (USA), twice Olympic 200m breaststroke champion, won the 100m breaststroke world crown in 2009 and 2011 and the 200m in 2011 but is not defending her titles in Barcelona.
Swimming, Day 3 - Men's 100m backstroke: third gold medal for the USA on Day 3
Olympic champion Matt Grevers claimed a third gold medal for the USA on Day 3 in the pool with victory in a one-two with American team-mate David Plummer in the men's 100m backstroke. Grevers, who added 2012 Olympic gold in London to 2008 Olympic silver in Beijing, claimed his first world medal in the event, hitting the wall in 52.93. Second at 50m behind joint defending champion Jeremy Stravius (FRA), Grevers pulled ahead on the return length to win in 52.93 seconds. Plummer snatched the silver in 53.12, with Stravius taking the bronze in 53.21.
Ryosuke Irie (JPN), bronze medallist in the event at the 2011 Worlds and 2012 Olympics, was 0.08 seconds outside another bronze in 53.29. Camille Lacourt, who uniquely shared the world title with French team-mate Stravius in 2011, was fifth in 53.51. Lacourt was fourth in the 2012 Olympic final, while Stravius swam only in relay heats in London but has bounced back, celebrating gold in the French 4x100m freestyle relay triumph on Day 1 in Barcelona. Missy Franklin (100m backstroke) and Katie Ledecky (1500m freestyle) preceded Grevers to the victory podium on a great evening for the Stars and Stripes.
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