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).
Swimming, Day 7 - Women’s 800m free: Ledecky (USA) wins gold in a new WR of 8:13.86!
Barcelona is definitively inspiring for the long distance freestyle swimmers: 10 years ago, also at the Palau Sant Jordi, Hannah Stockbauer (GER) was the first in history to win gold in the same edition of the championships in the 400m, 800m and 1500m free. In this seventh session of the swimming events in the 15th FINA World Championships, Katie Ledecky (USA) repeated the same feat: after clinching gold in the 400m and 1500m (the latter in a new WR performance), the 16-year-old star touched again first in the 800m in 8:13.86, also a World Record, the sixth of these Championships. The former best global mark (2:14.10) had been set by Rebecca Adlington (GBR) at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Ledecky is definitively one of the brightest stars of the competition in Barcelona and has confirmed in the best possible way the surprising 800m Olympic gold from last year’s Olympics.
Swimming, Day 7 - Men’s 100m butterfly: Chad Le Clos (RSA) ends with US “era”
Since the 2003 title of Ian Crocker also in Barcelona, the United States had amassed all the gold medals at stake in this event, thanks also to Michael Phelps, the winner of the previous three editions, in Melbourne 2007, Rome 2009 and Shanghai 2011. After the retirement of the greatest Olympian in history, there was an empty spot for the first place, and the one taking it at the Palau Sant Jordi was Chad Le Clos (RSA), precisely the man who beat the North American at the 2012 Games (in the 200m fly).
The South African clinched his second gold in Barcelona, touching home in 51.06, still far from the World and Championships record set by Phelps in 2009 (49.82). But this was a natural victory if we consider the London results, where Le Clos was the runner-up of the North American in this event.
Swimming, Day 7 - Women’s 200m backstroke: Franklin (USA) imperial, sets new CR (2:04.76)
In what was one of the most predictable finals of the day, Missy Franklin (USA) got her fifth gold in Barcelona, after a comfortable win in 2:04.76, a new Championships record. The best mark at FINA’s major event had been set by Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) in Rome 2009, when she got the gold in 2:04.81. Franklin’s tally in the Catalan capital now comprises the 200m back, 200m free, 100m backstroke, 4x100m free relay and 4x200m free relay. The North American star – Olympic champion in this event - was also the fastest of the semis and held since June the best performance of the year in 2:05.78.
The silver went to Belinda Hocking, from Australia, who repeated her performance from Shanghai 2011, while the bronze medal went to Hilary Caldwell (CAN), her first success at this level.
Swimming, Day 7 - Men’s 50m free: Cielo (BRA) gets third consecutive title and sixth gold in total
Cesar Cielo from Brazil became the first swimmer to win three titles in the 50m free (and consecutively) after getting the gold in Barcelona, in a time of 21.32 (best time of the year). Winner in Rome (ITA) four years ago in 21.08 (the current Championships record) and in Shanghai (CHN) in 2011 (21.52), the Brazilian star had a perfect race in lane 6 and earned his sixth gold medal at FINA World Championships – 2009: 50m free and 100m free; 2011: 50m free and 50m butterfly; 2013 – 50m butterfly. Cielo was also the bronze medallist in this event at the 2012 Games in London.
The minor medals went to Vladimir Morozov (RUS), silver in 21.47, while George Bovell gave Trinidad and Tobago the first medal ever at FINA World Championships, touching home for the bronze in 21.51. Bovell had already been a pioneer at Olympic level, when in Athens 2004 he got the bronze in the 200m IM. For Morozov, this was his first individual medal, after the bronze in the 4x100m free relay.
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