Water Polo Women, Day 5: Spain inflicts more pain on USA as Olympic champion bows out of medals
For the second day in a row, Spanish water polo teams have bundled United States of America out of medal contention at the Bernat Picornell Pool. On Sunday, the men defeated USA 10-6 in a quarterfinal qualifier and tonight in a rematch of the 2012 London Olympic Games final, it was Spain’s turn to turn the tables on the USA, winning 9-6, vastly different from the USA’s 8-5 victory a year ago.
With half of Barcelona seemingly in the stands, they cheered on Jennifer Pareja and her team to what was an historic victory as Spain has never beaten USA in a major championship — drawing two and losing five.
Water Polo Women, Day 5: HUN 11 NED 7
Shooting efficiency proved the killer punch as Hungary produced a stunning 7-1 opening half and finished 11-7 over Netherlands in the third quarterfinal at Bernat Picornell Pool this evening. Hungary became the second top-four team to make the semifinals after Australia earlier beat Greece.
The statistics say it all with Hungary shooting at 44 per cent with its 25 attempts. Netherlands, looking so nervous as the whistling of accurately fired yellow balls whipped past their heads on a regular basis, could manage just 21.9 percent from 32 shots. The Dutch could not say they didn’t have their chances.
Swimming, Day 2: World Record for Meilutyte (LTU)
Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte claimed the first world record of the 15th FINA World Championships in a landmark swim for Lithuania in the women's 100m reaststroke. Meilutyte,16, clocked 1:04.35 in the semi-finals to better the 1:04.45 set by Jessica Hardy (USA) in Federal Way, Washington, on August 7, 2009. It was the first swimming world record in the 50m pool for her country since it gained its independence on the break-up of the former Soviet Union.
Four world titles were decided in the pool, with the victors coming from three continents, embracing Oceania, Europe and the Americas. Christian Sprenger provided Australia with the first gold of the evening, beating Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) into second place in the men's 100m breaststroke. Sprenger prevailed in 58.79 ahead of Van der Burgh (58.97) and Felipe Lima (BRA, 59.65) in an event won last time by Alexander Dale Oen (NOR), who sadly died in 2012.
Swimming, Day 2 - Women's 200m IM: Hungarian rhapsody for Hosszu
Katinka Hosszu brought Hungary their first world title in the Barcelona pool with an emphatic victory in the women's 200m individual medley. Hosszu, 400m individual medley champion in 2009 when she also took bronze in the 200 IM, took charge from the outset and never allowed her rivals near as Olympic gold medallist and defending champion Shiwen Ye of China finished outside the medals in fourth place.
Hosszu, eighth in the event at the 2012 Olympics, won in 2:07.92, with Olympic silver medallist Alicia Coutts (AUS) collecting her third silver medal in two days, clocking 2:09.39 and repeating her 2011 world silver. The 25-year-old Australian had started the evening session with silver in the 100m butterfly to go with her silver the previous evening in the 4x100m freestyle relay. Home fans cheered Mireia Belmonte, Spain's double Olympic silver medallist in 2012, as she took the bronze in 2:09.45, just 0.06 seconds behind Coutts. Ye, the youngest world 200 IM champion ever when she won in 2011 at just 15, was barely in the hunt and had to settle for fourth in 2:10.48
High Diving, Day 1: Pure adrenalin in the port of Barcelona!
After many months of expectation, the first competition of High Diving in the history of the FINA World Championships finally took place today at the Moll de la Fusta, in Barcelona (ESP). Thirteen of the most experienced and successful athletes of the world took the plunge off the 27m platform, constructed for this special occasion in the port of the Catalan capital, where the open water events were also held in the first week of FINA’s major showcase.
In this historical moment, the first two rounds of dives (this men’s final will be concluded on July 31, with three more rounds), were an impressive display of courage, talent and determination. The event was witnessed by many thousands of spectators, who amassed in this beautiful scenario to admire one of the world's most spectacular and challenging sports.
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.
Water Polo Women, Day 5: AUS 9 GRE 5
Greece relinquished its World Championship crown in losing 9-5 to world No 3 Australia in a match where the Aussie Stingers dominated throughout. Greece is the team Australia has trouble with the most so today it went to a 3-1 lead within two minutes and kept Greece at bay for the rest of the night.
In the setting sun, Greece’s ambitions for retention of the crown won in Shanghai two years ago, also set. Its ambitions must now be for fifth place. Australia needed to win strongly to show its semifinal opponent — Russia — that it has the overall game to thrust itself into the gold-medal final. Both teams had excellent defence and when the match hit 3-1, it looked like it would be a high-scoring match.
Water Polo Women, Day 5: RUS 17 CAN 9
Russian pair Evgeniya Ivanova and Ekaterina Prokofyeva steered their team to a 17-9 quarterfinal over Canada at the Bernat Picornell Pool today. The pair scored the first four Russian goals and went on to score twice more as Russia took the 5-2 quarter-time score to 8-3 at halftime and 12-6 at the final break.
It was Russia’s natural progression in the championship and try as it might, Canada could not overcome the early 3-0 deficit. Joelle Bekhazi kept her team on the scoresheet with two of her four goals in the third quarter, including a penalty strike.
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