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.
Swimming, Day 7 - Women’s 50m butterfly: Ottesen gives first gold to Denmark
After two silver medals, Denmark got its first gold in Barcelona thanks to the win of Jeanette Ottesen in 25.24, the best performance of the year. The 25 year-old swimmer had been already the fastest of the semis and got her second world title, after the victory in the 100m free two years ago in Shanghai (CHN). Ying Lu, from China, swimming in lane 8, clinched the silver in 25.42 (new Asian record), improving her 2011 performance, when she was fourth. Lu was also second in the 2012 Olympics in the 100m butterfly. The bronze went to Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), who was also third in the 100m free and 4x100m free relay.
The 2011 champion and second Dutch of the final, Inge Dekker, concluded in fifth (25.83), while Dana Vollmer (USA), four-time Olympic gold medallist (namely in 2012 in the 100m butterfly) was eighth in 26.46. This final also registered the presence of an Egyptian swimmer, Farida Osman, who clocked 26.17 for the seventh spot.
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