Swimming, Day 4: Treble for Franklin, Phelps inheritance for Le Clos
Missy Franklin (USA) bagged her third Barcelona gold and Chad le Clos (RSA) claimed one more global title that had belonged to Michael Phelps on Day 4 of swimming at the FINA World Championships. Yang Sun (CHN), furthering his quest for a distance freestyle treble, added the 800m crown to the 400m title he won on Day 1, while Cameron van der Burgh made it double gold on the day for South Africa with victory in the men's 50m breaststroke.
Franklin, golds in the 100m backstroke and 4x100m freestyle relay already in her possession, beat defending champion Federica Pellegrini (ITA) in the 200m freestyle. She seized the lead from Olympic 400m freestyle champion Camille Muffat (FRA) on the second length and won in 1:54.81, with Pellegrini charging through the field to claim silver in 1:55.14 and Muffat taking the bronze in 1:55.72. World record holder Pellegrini, Olympic champion in 2008, said she had had a difficult year and the result was very encouraging for the future. "I'm really surprised with the silver medal," she said.
Swimming, Day 4 - Men's 800m freestyle: Second world gold for Sun
Double Olympic champion Yang Sun (CHN) secured his second gold medal of the 15th FINA World Championships, waiting till the end to cut loose and claim the 800m freestyle title. Sun, who won the 400m freestyle world crown on Day 1 and will seek to make it a golden treble in the 1500m, did just enough to remain slightly ahead of his rivals for most of the race. He was content to stay less than a second in front for 700 metres before pulling away in the last 100 metres to win in 7:41.36, with his three closest competitors - two Americans and a Canadian - fighting it out for the two remaining medals.
Silver went to Michael McBroom (USA), who came through in the second half of the race and finished in 7:43.60. Ryan Cochrane (CAN) won the battle for bronze, touching in 7:43.70 ahead of the second American, Connor Jaeger, who clocked 7:44.26. That reversed their placings in the 400m, when Jaeger collected the bronze. Sun was well outside the 7:32.12 world mark set by compatriot Lin Zhang in Rome in 2009, when he became first Chinese man to win a swimming title at the long-course World Championships.
High Diving, Day 3: Duque, the King in Barcelona!
He was already the most iconic athlete in High Diving. His successes at the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, his charisma and his experience (38 years old) had made Orlando Duque from Colombia a symbol of this thrilling and challenging discipline. Today, in the port of Barcelona (ESP), he officially became the first men’s world champion in High Diving after a brilliant final, in which he combined technique, steadiness and harmony in all three dives he performed. Moreover, he also won the first title ever for Colombia in the history of the FINA World Championships. Duque, literally meaning Duke, was this time King in Barcelona!
In the end of the two-day competition – the 13 participating athletes performed their first two dives on July 29 -, the Colombian star concluded with an overall 590.20, a mere 0.90 points ahead of silver medallist Gary Hunt from Great Britain. Hunt, 10 years younger than Duque, was the fourth after Monday’s preliminaries, but two very solid dives (DD 3.8 and 6.3!) allowed him to take the lead after the fourth round. However, a less successful last combination (DD 5.6) dictated his second place. The bronze went to Mexico's Jonathan Paredes, who was also third after the first two rounds.
Swimming, Day 4 - Men's 50m breaststroke: Van der Burgh edges out Sprenger for gold
Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) turned the tables on his 100m breaststroke conqueror Christian Sprenger (AUS) to reclaim the world 50m breaststroke crown by the tiny margin of one-hundredth of a second at the FINA World Championships. Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Van der Burgh had to settle for silver behind Sprenger in the 100 event on Day 2 but levelled the score in the 50.
Van der Burgh, 50m gold medallist in 2009 and bronze medallist in 2007 and 2011, won the one-length sprint in 26.77, 0.10 seconds outside his own world record, with Sprenger - Olympic 100m breaststroke silver medallist behind Van der Burgh in 2012 - touching in 26.78. Giulio Zorzi, Van der Burgh's South African team-mate, snatched the bronze in 27.04, himself just 0.01 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Damir Dugonjic of Slovenia.
Swimming, Day 4 - Women's 200m freestyle: Franklin nets third Barcelona gold
Missy Franklin (USA) claimed her third gold medal of the Barcelona World Championships, beating world record holder Federica Pellegrini (ITA), the defending champion, in the final of the 200m freestyle. Franklin, already a gold medallist in the 4x100m freestyle relay and 100m backstroke,led just inside world record pace at the 100m mark, with Olympic 400m freestyle champion Camille Muffat (FRA) second and Pellegrini fifth. Pellegrini, fourth with 50m to go, piled on the pressure on the last length but could not catch the 18-year-old American. Franklin, fourth in the event at the 2012 Olympics,won in 1:54.81 as Pellegrini charged through for the silver in 1:55.14, with Muffat taking the bronze in 1:55.72.
Pellegrini, the 2008 Olympic champion, who had been chasing a third consecutive world title in this event, has won 200m freestyle medals at five World Championships in a row, having claimed silver in 2005, bronze in 2007, gold in 2009 and 2011 and now another silver. She set her world record of 1:52.98 when she won her 2009 title, in the era of the fast-suits.
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