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.
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