Swimming, Day 8 - Men’s 1500m free: Sun (CHN) confirms supremacy since 2011
Dominating the longest event of the programme since 2011, Yang Sun (CHN) was the predictable winner of the 1500m free. The only possible question remaining was: will he get close to his own World Record of 14:31.02 established in the Olympic final in London? The answer after the final was clear: no. Leaving most of the initiative to Ryan Cochrane from Canada, Sun managed his effort until the 1400m-mark and then applied some more vigour to clinch the gold in 14:41.15, roughly 10 seconds slower than one year ago in the British capital.
He couldn’t threat either his Championships record from Shanghai 2011, when he had swum in a WR time of 14:34.14. Finally, as Katie Ledecky (USA) among women, Sun manages to win in the same edition of the Championships the three longest free events of the programme, the 400m , 800m and 1500m (only Grant Hackett, from Australia, has done the same, in Montreal 2005).
Swimming, Day 8 - Women's 50m freestyle: Kromowidjojo adds world triumph to Olympic gold
Double Olympic gold medallist Ranomi Kromowidjojo sprinted to the 50m freestyle world crown, beating Australian favourite Cate Campbell to bring the Netherlands their first title in the pool on the last day of the FINA World Championships. Kromowidjojo, who won the 50m and 100m freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics, sped away, holding the edge throughout, and touched first in 24.05. Campbell, who had won the Barcelona 100m freestyle title and was fastest in both heats and semi-finals of the 50m, picked up silver in 24.14. Francesca Halsall gave Britain their first medal in the Palau Sant Jordi pool, claiming the bronze in 24.30 a day after she finished fourth in the 50m butterfly.
Kromowidjojo, bronze medallist in the 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly in Barcelona, took silver in the 50m freestyle and bronze in the 100m freestyle at the 2011 Worlds. Jeanette Ottesen Gray (DEN), who had won the 50m butterfly 24 hours earlier, finished joint fifth with Campbell's younger sister Bronte. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), who regained the 100m butterfly world title in Barcelona and took the silver medal in the 100m freestyle, was fourth in 24.45, 0.15 seconds behind bronze medallist Halsall, who was world 100m freestyle silver medallist in 2009.
Swimming, Day 8 - Men’s 400m individual medley: Hagino (JPN) starts strong, but title goes to teammate Seto
Swimming his seventh final in Barcelona, Kosuke Hagino (JPN), who won the silver in the 400m free and in the 200m IM, was the man to beat after setting the best 2013 performance in April in a time of 4:07.61. His tiredness came perhaps to surface after the 300m-mark, when he lost the lead of the race, finishing only fifth in 4:10.77. Hagino was the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist in this event. Instead, it was compatriot Daiya Seto who shone in Barcelona, getting his first individual medal (4:08.69) at a FINA World Championships. He had previously swum the heats of the winning Japanese 4x200m free relay at the Palau Sant Jordi.
The silver went to 19-year-old Chase Kalisz (USA), who touched home in 4:09.22. It is his first success at this level. Thiago Pereira (BRA), silver medallist in London last year, got this time the bronze, finishing in 4:09.48. It was his second podium presence in the Catalan capital, after ranking third in the 200m IM. This way, Pereira got the fifth medal for his country at these Championships.
Swimming, Day 8 - Women's 50m breaststroke: Efimova wins second Barcelona title
Yulia Efimova (RUS), who saw her newly minted world record from the heats broken by Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) in the semi-finals, took revenge by beating the Lithuanian in the women's 50m breaststroke final to win her second gold medal of the FINA World Championships. Efimova, gold medallist in the 200m breaststroke and silver medallist behind Meilutyte in the 100m event, edged her 16-year-old rival out by just 0.07 seconds, winning in 29.52 - inside the 29.78 world mark she set in the heats on the day before but a fraction outside the 29.48 posted by Meilutyte in the semi-finals. Meilutyte had to settle for silver in 29.59, with Jessica Hardy, 50m breaststroke world champion in 2007 and 2011, taking bronze in 29.80. That time matched the former world mark she brought to Barcelona before her European rivals rewrote the record book.
Olympic 200m breaststroke bronze medallist Efimova, who also won the 50m world title in 2009 and was second in 2011, leaves Barcelona with gold in the 50m and 200m breaststroke and silver in the 100m. Meilutyte won the 100m breaststroke on Day 3, having set a world record in the semi-finals. She now holds both the 50m and 100m world marks.
Swimming, Day 8 - Men’s 50m backstroke: Explosive Lacourt (FRA) captures gold in 24.42
Fastest of the semis in a 2013 best performance of 24.39, Camille Lacourt (FRA) confirmed his good shape and got the gold in 24.42, upgrading the silver of 2011. When in Shanghai, Lacourt was the runner-up behind Liam Tancock. In second, his teammate Jeremy Stravius touched with the same time of US Matt Grevers, in 24.54.
Stravius knows well what it means to be sharing a medal: two years ago, in the Chinese metropolis, he had precisely shared the gold with Lacourt in the 100m backstroke. Here in Barcelona, it is already Stravius' third podium presence after the bronze in the 100m and the gold in the 4x100m free relay. For Lacourt, this is his first award in the competition.
Men's Water Polo Press Conference highlights
Press conference highlights from the coaches of the men’s water polo gold-medal final at Bernat Picornell Pool, Tibor Benedek (HUN) and Ranko Perovic (MNE):
Tibor Benedek (HUN):
“The key factor on this championship has been the spirit of the team, a new team, new coach and we wanted to win. Water polo is national sport is Hungary, and people always want results — there is great history in the Hungarian water polo. There will be lots of pressure next year in the European Championship in Budapest and that´s our next objective”.
Ranko Perovic (MNE):
“It is not easy to play against Hungary, and our defence was not the same as in other games like against Serbia and Italy. It has been great all the people that came here to encourage us. Now it is hard but tomorrow we will celebrate. It is the first medal Montenegro wins, so it is a success.”
Water Polo Men, Day 7 - Gold Medal: HUN 8 MNE 7
Five years after winning a third consecutive Olympic gold medal and nothing since, Hungary is back on the top of the podium, beating Montenegro 8-7 in an exciting match in front of a near-capacity crowd.
Hungarian Viktor Nagy, named the best goalkeeper of the championship, was on fire and Montenegro’s Aleksandar Ivovic did everything he could by scoring three goals, including the equaliser in the final two minutes, which was bested by Marton Szivos at 1:39.
Hungary makes it title #3 with a heart-stopper over Montenegro
Marton Szivos and Viktor Nagy delivered when needed as Hungary won a third men’s Water Polo World Championship by beating Montenegro in a heart-stopping 8-7 on the final day at the Bernat Picornell Pool.
Hungary just loves winning in Barcelona, collecting the crown in 2003 and the title 30 years earlier in 1973. It was also the 10th medal won at these championships, more than any pother nation.
Water Polo Men, Day 7 - 5th & 6th: ESP 10 GRE 8
For the fifth time in World Championship history, Spain finished fifth in beating Greece 10-8 at the Bernat Picornell Pool. In the 43rd match of the championship, Spain made it special for the stand-in captain, Xavier Valles, a veteran of the team and playing his last international. Felipe Perrone stood down for the match to allow Valles to lead the team into the pool. He scored his last goal at this level for the go-ahead 4-3 in the second quarter. A champion player, he leaves the international stage as a character and an exceptional athlete.
Greece won the first period 2-1 and then Albert Espanol set the pool alight when he went rampant, lift his team to 6-4 at halftime with four goals. He scored from his favourite deep left and from the penalty line to give his team the upperhand in the middle stage of the match.
Swimming, Day 7 – Ledecky (USA) and Meilutyte (LTU) set second WR in Barcelona
The seventh day of the swimming competitions in Barcelona was highlighted by three new World Records and five finals distributing medals to 13 countries. The most impressive performance was achieved by Katie Ledecky (USA) in the women’s 800m free, where she set a new global mark of 8:13.86; at the same time, she became the second swimmer in history to win the 400m, 800m and 1500m free (also with WR) in the same edition of the Championships. This previous feat had been achieved by Hannah Stockbauer (GER) also at the Palau Sant Jordi, in 2003.
In the women’s 50m breaststroke, the final has not been swum yet, and already two new WR were established: in the morning heats, Yulia Efimova (RUS) had clocked 29.78, but the best world standard would only last few hours: in the semis, Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) improved that performance, advancing first to the final with a time of 28.48. The Lithuanian had already set a WR in the 100m breaststroke (1:04.35).
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