Women’s 400m free: Gold for Ledecky (USA) in a CR of 3:59.13

Kazan 2015 - SW

After very relaxed preliminaries, where she was under the World Record pace for the first 200m, few in the pool doubted that Katie Ledecky would not win the final of the women’s 400m free. The 18-year-old US swimmer did not disappoint and easily touched first in a new Championship Record of 3:59.13, improving the former best mark of the competition, held by Federica Pellegrini (ITA, 3:59.15) since Rome 2009.

Ledecky started the race very fast, swimming under WR pace until the 300m-turn, but could not keep the rhythm until the end, spoiling the opportunity to beat her best global mark of 3:58.37 set in August 2014. The US champion was already the world champion in this event, after her 3:59.82 win in Barcelona 2013. In the Catalonian capital, Ledecky was one of the swimmers of the Championships, getting four gold medals – 400m, 800m, 1500m and 4x200m free relay.

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Men’s 400m free: Sun Yang (CHN) revalidates world title

Kazan 2015 - SW

Winner two years ago in Barcelona (ESP), Sun Yang (CHN), the Olympic champion in this event, was also the fastest qualifier in the heats, and in the decisive race he imposed his fast finish, touching home in 3:42.58. It was Sun’s 10th medal (and sixth gold) at this level, his first success dating back to 2009 in Rome (ITA), when he was bronze medallist in the 1500m free.

His victory performance was, however, distant from the World Record held by Germany’s Paul Biedermann since Rome 2009, in a time of 3:40.07. Sun’s result is the fastest of 2015 – Mack Horton (AUS) had performed 3:42.84 in April, but here in Kazan was only the 11th of the heats.

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Wang and Yang win mixed 3m synchro for China’s ninth diving world title

Kazan 2015 - DV

Wang Han and Yang Hao spun to China’s ninth diving title of the FINA World Championships, comfortably winning the mixed 3m synchro, one of three new events in the programme, from Canada and Italy, for whom Tania Cagnotto claimed her third medal in Kazan.

Canada’s Jennifer Abel, who let a medal slip from her grasp in the final round of the women’s 3m final the previous evening to usher in Cagnotto for bronze, enjoyed a spectacular change of fortune for the better to leap from sixth to silver with her last effort in the mixed synchro.

Abel and Francois Imbeau-Dulac performed a brilliant pair of forward 2-1/2 somersaults and 2 twists, earning the competition’s top score of 80.58 points, to soar from sixth of 13 pairs in round four to clinch the silver in final round five. Abel, who had plummeted from third to sixth in the individual 3m, ended up with a second Kazan silver medal to go with the one she gained with Pamela Ware in the women’s 3m synchro. 

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Water Polo Reports - Men, Day 4

Kazan 2015 - WP

Italy, USA Montenegro and Australia make quarterfinals

 Kazan, August 2.— Italy, USA Montenegro and Australia have won through to the quarterfinals of men’s water polo following fourth-day competition.

In the first of the critical matches, Italy made sure of victory, getting the better of Canada 8-2 after a slow start. Then United States of America held out Brazil 7-3 in a spirited American continental rumble that only broke out with two John Mann goals early in the fourth quarter. Montenegro had a tough nut to crack in Kazakhstan before pulling away in the third period and on to a 12-8 win. In the final match of the day, Australia defeated South Africa 17-1 in the Southern Hemisphere clash.

Earlier in the day, in the bracket 13-16, Russia and Japan have won through to Tuesday’s classification for 13th. Russia needed a penalty shootout to shake off China after finishing the match at 10-10. Russia scored four straight while China had two shots blocked. Russia led by two goals late in the match only for China’s Tao Dong scoring twice, the second just one second from time. Japan had little trouble in fending off Argentina 14-6 in a match that had a red card for each team awarded.

August 4 Schedule:

Classification 15-16

31. 09:30, CHN v ARG

Classification 13-14

32. 10:50, RUS v JPN

Classification 9-12 Semifinals

33. 12:10, CAN v KAZ

34. 13:30, BRA v RSA

Classification 1-8 Quarterfinals

35. 17:30, CRO v MNE

38. 18:50, GRE v AUS

36. 20:10, HUN v ITA

37. 21:30, SRB v USA

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Shi Tingmao bags gold number eight for China

Kazan 2015 - DV

Shi Tingmao won her second gold medal of the FINA World Championships when she led a Chinese one-two with defending champion He Zi in the women’s 3m springboard to bring China their eighth title of 11 contested at Kazan’s Aquatics Palace, with two finals still to come.

Shi, who had already retained the 3m synchro world crown with Wu Minxia, shared the lead with He in the first of the five rounds but then edged ahead of her team-mate as other challengers faded. Canada’s Olympic 3m synchro bronze medallist Jennifer Abel, who had gathered Kazan silver in the 3m synchro, was their most persistent rival, never out of the top three until she blew her final dive and dropped from third to sixth. That let in Tania Cagnotto for the bronze. The 30-year-old Italian had won the 1m title ahead of Shi and He to deny China gold for the first time in Kazan. She shot up from fifth to third to win her fourth 3m bronze medal in the last six World Championships.

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Russia’s synchro girls completed their performance in Kazan with the gold medal in free combo

Kazan 2015 - SY

Team Russia grabbed eight out of nine gold medals in synchro events at the FINA World Championships in Kazan. Russians made a spectacular and striking finish, winning their combo routine with more than 98 points (98,300).

Even some with technical problems, the sound equipment couldn’t kill the perfect execution of a ballet theme “Don Quihote”, presented by the leaders. No, the music didn’t stop them at all like it had already happened twice: during the team routine at the Olympic Games in 2004 or in the team final at the Universiade 2013 in Kazan. There was just some noise or crack in the dynamic speakers.

Vlada Chigireva, Svetlana Kolesnichenko, Aleksandra Patskevich, Alla Shishkina, Anzhelika Timanina, Mikhaela Kalancha, Lilia Nizamova, Elena Prokofyeva, Maria Shurochkina and Gelena Topilina came out of that tense situation with honour and topped the podium.

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Italy's Ruffini and Brazil's Cunha win final two gold medals in 25km event

Kazan 2015 - OW

Simone Ruffini of Italy and Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil each claimed one of the final two open water gold medals today in the 25km events. Ruffini's time of 4:53.10.7 was 4.4 seconds faster than Alex Meyer of the USA who he passed in the final 500m of the race. Cunha, the Brazilian multi-medallist covered the distance in 5:13.47.3 and was 26.1 seconds faster than Hungary's Anna Olasz. 

Ruffini's big accomplishment in the water was nothing compared to his clever marriage proposal which played out on the medals podium and likely on international television. The open water champion and Rio bound Olympic qualifier asked his girlfriend and Italian teammate Aurora Ponsele "Will You Marry Me?" in a note that he unveiled during the 25km men's medals ceremony. His future wife signalled back with two fingers shaped in a heart to the delight of Italian wedding planners. Ponsele finished 22nd in the women's 10km earlier this week, unfortunately outside of the top 10 swimmers who qualified for the 2016 Olympics next summer in Brazil.

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Kazan celebrates traditional Tatar holiday – Sabantuy

Kazan 2015

As the Republic of Tatarstan celebrated today (August 1) the traditional holiday Sabantuy, the Kazan authorities invited all participants to the 16th FINA World Championships to attend an entertaining cultural and musical event located in the Privolzhskiy district.

Sabantuy is one of the oldest and most important celebrations for the people of Tatarstan. It celebrates and honours sport, labour, agility and strength.

The participants had the opportunity to discover beautiful costumes, traditional songs and dances as well as take part in the rich cultural programme and sports contests which were held in a festive atmosphere.

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European Council Workgroup meets in Kazan

Kazan 2015

On 29 July 2015 the Legal Advisory Group to the Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention visited Kazan (RUS) upon the invitation of the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation. The visit was organised to assist the recommendation of the Monitoring Group regarding information shared between governmental agencies and anti-doping authorities with a view to further reduce doping substances in sport.

The visit took place in the context of the FINA World Championship 2015, allowing to observe the mechanism introduced by the Russian government in real time during a major sport event.

The authorities of the Russian Federation and FINA demonstrated relevant experience that will consist of the recommendation provided by the Monitoring Group to the Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention (expected to be adopted in November 2015).

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Water Polo Reports - Women, Day 4

Kazan 2015 - WP

Greece, Netherlands, USA and China through to quarterfinals

Greece, Netherlands, United States of America and China won through to Monday’s quarterfinals in preliminary round competition on the fourth day of women’s water polo.

While the group winners enjoyed a day off competition, the next eight teams battled for the right to play the quarterfinals and the bottom four teams played their classification semifinals.

Greece was the first team through, defeating Canada 9-6 mid-afternoon; Netherlands was rampant against Kazakhstan, winning 21-1 in a heavy downpour that lasted the entire match; United States of America had the better of Hungary 12-7 after being 11-3 up after three quarters in constant rain (heavy in the first half and lighter in the second) and China stuttered to a 10-8 win over Brazil (in light rain).

In the round of 13-16, New Zealand broke free of South Africa, turning a 4-0 halftime margin to 11-3 at fulltime.  France beat Japan 9-6, meaning France will play New Zealand for 13th place on Monday and the others will play off for 15th classification.

August 3 Schedule

Classification 15-16

31. 09:30, RSA v JPN

Classification 13-14

32. 10:50, NZL v FRA

Classification 9-12 Semifinals

33. 12:10, CAN v HUN

34. 13:30, KAZ v BRA


35. 17:30, ESP v USA

38. 18:50, RUS v NED

36. 20:10, AUS v CHN

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