Swimming, Day 5 - Women’s 4x200m free: USA confirms supremacy with fifth win in six editions
In the last final of the evening session, the duel between USA and Australia turned out in favour of the North Americans, who got their fifth title in six editions, touching home in7:45.14. The winners started very strong, with Katie Ledecky swimming the first 200m in 1:56.32, but then the Australians got some advantage after the efforts of Kylie Palmer and Brittany Elmslie. USA closed the quartet with Missy Franklin, who clocked an impressive 1:54.27 to provide gold to her team.
Australia earned silver in 7:47.08, while the bronze went for France in 7:48.43. This podium was a copy of the 2012 Olympic top-3 ranking, but in London all these three teams had swum faster.
Swimming, Day 5 - Women’s 50m backstroke: China makes 1-2 with Zhao (gold) and Fu (silver)
World Record holder (27.06) since her winning performance at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome (ITA), Jing Zhao (CHN) confirmed her credentials in Barcelona, getting the gold in 27.29 and winning the duel with her teammate Yuanhui Fu, silver medallist in 27.39. Fu was the best performer of the season, with a 27.22 effort established in April in Zhengzhou, but could not improve. It was however the first medal at Worlds for the 17-year-old Chinese swimmer. Zhao has now five awards in FINA’s major showcase.
The bronze went to Japan’s Aya Terakawa in 27.53 – she was better two years ago in Shanghai, where she got the silver in this event. The 28-year-old Japanese backstroker had left the 2012 arena in London with two bronze medals, in the 100m backstroke and 4x100m medley relay.
Swimming, Day 5 - Women’s 200m butterfly: Zige Liu (CHN) earns first gold at Worlds
2008 Olympic champion in this event, China’s Zige Liu got her first title at FINA World Championships, by convincingly winning in 2:04.59, the best performance of the year, but still far from her World Record performance, established in October 2009 in a time of 2:01.81. It was a very interesting duel with local hero Mireia Belmonte, fighting until the end for the victory: in the end, the Iberian swimmer got the silver in 2:04.78, while the bronze went to Katinka Hosszu, from Hungary, in 2:05.59.
Zige has now one medal of each colour in the event, after taking silver in 2009 (behind Australia’s Jessicah Schipper) and bronze in 2011 (an event won by her teammate Liuyang Jiao, the 2012 Olympic champion). Jiao, also competing in the final in Barcelona, could not do better than sixth, in 2:06.65.
Swimming, Day 5 - Men’s 100m free: Magnussen (AUS) revalidates title in 47.71
In one of the most awaited finals of the programme, Vladimir Morozov, from Russia, had a bullet-start with a 0.59 reaction time and a 50m turn under the World Record pace (21.94, 0.23 faster than the split clocked by Cielo in 2009), but this initial effort didn’t pay off. The victory went to Australia’s James Magnussen in 47.71, 0.08 slower than his winning time in Shanghai, two years ago.
Magnussen had been defeated by Nathan Adrian (USA) at the 2012 Olympics, but took his sweet revenge in Barcelona, leaving the minor medals for the two US swimmers of the final, respectively James Feigen (47.82) and Adrian (bronze, in 47.84). The Australian sprinter was already the best performer of the season, with a 47.53 effort from last April in Adelaide. Moreover, this was his fourth medal at FINA World Championships, after three podium presences in 2011.
Water Polo Men, Day 6: ESP 14 SRB 13
Spain inflicted pain on Serbia by sending it to the play-off for seventh place against Australia after a dramatic sudden death, penalty shootout that Spain eventually won 14-13.
The scoreline was the same as the match between the two in the 2009 Rome World Championships. Serbia won that day and went on to win eight further matches against Spain in major competitions. It was time for Spain to redress the situation.
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