Swimming, Day 1 - Women’s 4x100m free: 10 years later, USA gets the title
In a thrilling race, the team of USA got the gold medal in the first relay final of these Championships, proving that Barcelona brings luck to North American quartets. In fact, their last title dated from 2003, when they also triumphed in the Catalan capital. Since then, Australia in 2005 and 2007, and Netherlands in 2009 and 2011 had stolen the show.
At the Palau Sant Jordi, Australia started by dominating the operations, leading the way until the 300m-mark, but a very fast leg from Megan Romano gave the victory to USA in 3:32.31, better than the time (3:33.15) it took Australia to get the Olympic gold in 2012 in London. The Aussies got this time the silver in 3:32.43 (Alicia Coutts, swimming her third race of the afternoon, anchored her team’s relay), while the 2011 champions – Netherlands – had to content with the bronze (3:35.77).
Swimming, Day 1 - Women’s 400m free: Ledecky (USA) wins gold in 3:59.82
In the much awaited duel between Katie Ledecky (USA) and Camille Muffat (FRA), the North American comfortably won the 400m free in a time of 3:59.82, the first performance under four minutes since the beginning of the year. Until the 300m-mark, Ledecky, the surprising winner of the 800m free at the 2012 Olympics, swam under the WR pace, but the last 100m proved to be quite hard for her. It is her first medal at the FINA World Championships.
The silver went to Spain’s Melania Costa, also the second fastest of the heats, in 4:02.47 – first success at this level –, while Lauren Boyle from New Zealand took home the bronze in 4:03.89, getting the first podium presence for her country in women’s events in the history of the FINA World Championships.
Swimming, Day 1 - Men’s 400m free: Yang Sun (CHN) confirms credentials
In the first swimming final of the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Yang Sun (CHN), the best performer of the season and the fastest of the heats, was the man to beat. And no one managed to beat him in the decisive race… The 2012 Olympic gold medallist in the 400m and 1500m free perfectly controlled the race and got the gold in 3:41.59, bettering the time of 3:42.93 he had swum in April at the National Championships in Zhengzhou.
Sun had a very solid first half of the race, cruising at the 200m-mark under the World Record pace (-0.47), but at the end he couldn’t approach his personal best of 3:40.14, his winning time at the London Olympics.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: HUN 16 KAZ 7
Hungary defeated a defiant Kazakhstan 16-7 and created history in bringing up 1000 goals at World Championships, en route to Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Newcomer centre forward Krisztian Bedo, just turned 20, was the person to claim this slice of Hungarian history, netting on a cross pass on extra-man attack for 13-5. The man who made it possible was Kazakhstan scorer Ushakov, who gained the exclusion that led to the goal.It was unusual to watch Hungary behind for the second consecutive match (in Friday’s draw with Australia) as Kazakhstan shot to a 4-2 lead at quarter time, only to see Hungary grab the lead at 5-4. Sergey Gubarev equalised with his third goal from his favoured deep-right position and the game was still keeping the fans on the edge of their seats.
Water Polo Men, Day 4: SRB 13 ROU 5
Serbia continued its unbeaten run against Romania in all championships and progressed to the quarterfinals with a 13-5 decision. The win record is now 11 plus one draw.
Romania opened the scoring through Andrei Busila — the only time it held the lead. Serbia lifted to 2-1 at the quarter break and 4-1. Nicolae Diaconu broke the Serbian surge that re-continued to halftime for 7-2. Diaconu and Ramiro Georgescu scored consecutive goals for 8-3 but it was not until the final quarter that it scored again for 11-4 and 13-5.
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