Camillo Cametti, FINA Media Committee Chairman from Italy

Katie Ledecky anchors the USA 4x200 free relay to gold. Junior world records from Anto Chupkov (200 breaststroke) and Penny Oleksiak (100 free)

In sport the unpredictable happens with some frequency. You cannot determine in advance the order of arrival based on seasonal rankings. To win, especially at the Olympics, it is often necessary to improve on own best times, definitely not get them worse, it is self-evident. When new winners emerge one could speak of a miracle, or a revolution, or, more simply, of a generational turnover.

That is what happened last night at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, in the fifth day in two of the three individual finals scheduled, the men’s 100m freestyle and the men's 200m breaststroke. The gold medals went, respectively, to Australian Kyle Chalmers, 18, and Kazakh Dmitry Balandin, 21 years.

Kyle Chalmers (AUS) ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia

Chalmers won in 47.58, a new junior world record. Silver was grabbed by Pieter Timmers, from Belgium, in 47.80; on the podium, this time to wear the bronze medal, also the defending champion, USA’s Nathan Adrian, in 47.85, three hundredths more than its time of Omaha, and 3 less than Canadian Santo Condorelli, who was fourth in 47.88 (after turning first at half race). All others, over 48 seconds: Duncan Scott (GBR) 48.01, Caeleb Dressel (USA) 48.02, the favorite of the eve, Cameron McEvoy (AUS), 48.12, and Marcelo Chierighini (BRA) 48.41. Mc Evoy had set the fastest time in 2016 at the Trials of Adelaide, on April 11, with 47.04; here he has been slower than one second, a real flop.

The 200m breaststroke Olympic scepter passed from Hungarian Daniel Gyurta, out from the preliminaries, to Dmitriy Balandin, giant - 195cm for 85 kilos - of 21years from Almaty, capital of Kazakhstan. He emerged at the Asian Games of 2014, when he won three gold medals. He also had risen several times on the podium in FINA Short Course competitions .
He had entered the final with the eighth time, and no one could think that from lane 8 he would be capable of winning gold. Instead it was just so, a flicker feline last stroke, seen by noone but certified by the scoreboard.

Until a few meters from the final wall the fight seemed restricted to Japanese - Yasuhiro Koseki, which up to 150 meters was proceeding at world record pace (1: 00.86 / 1: 01.83 for 100m; 1: 33.74 / 1: 34.78 to 150), and, in lane 4, Ippei Watanabe, best semifinalist at 2: 07.22, Olympic record, and the American Josh Prenot.

Dmitry Balandin, 21 (KAZ) ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia

Instead, in the last few meters everything changed: Balandin won in 2:07:46, Prenot held on and claimed the silver medal, in 2: 07.53, with Russia's Anton Chupkov, 19, taking bronze with 2: 07.70. Just off the podium the British Andrew Willis with 2: 07.20; then Koseki, 2: 07.80, and Watanabe, 2: 07.87. Only the seventh the reigning world champion Marco Koch, of Germany, in 2: 08.00.

In the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay Katie Ledecky anchored to victory the United States team in 7: 43.03, touching way ahead before Australia, 7: 44.87, Canada 7: 45.39, China 7: 47.96, and the rest (Sweden, Hungary, Russia and Japan ). With 1: 53.74 Ledecký swam the fastest leg. For her it was the third gold medal here in Rio, after those in the 200 and 400 meters.

In the 200m women's butterfly predictable but very tight success of Mireia Belmonte, 26 years. The Spanish met the expectations by only 3 hundredths. She won thanks a strong last lap, in 2: 04.85. Madeline Groves, 21, who continues the great tradition of the Australian women's butterfly, swam in front for three quarters of the race, reacted to the return of Belmonte but had to settle for the silver medal, with 2: 04.88. Third Japanese Natsumi Hoshi, 2: 05.20, fourth the American Cammile Adams, in 2: 05.90.

Belmonte of Spain ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia

Interesting the semifinals of the women's 100m freestyle. After the 52.78 set in the preliminaries, the Australian Cate Campbell set her second Olympic record winning the second semifinal in 52.71, while Canadian Penny Oleksiak set a junior world record holder in 52.72, also a new American record. The first semifinal was won by American Manuel Simone in 53.11 ahead of Bronte Campbell (53.29), Jeanette Ottesen (53.35) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (53.42). In the final, it was the Swedish Sarah Sjostrom (53.16) and the American Abbey Weitzeil (53.53), respectively third and fourth in the second semifinal.

Scheduled Events:
• Men’s 200 Breaststroke Final - Ippei Watanabe of Japan enters tonight as the top seed in the opening event, the men’s 200 breaststroke. Last night he went a 2:07.22, just .21 shy of the world record. The field will be tight, though, as the entire field is spread by just less than a second.
• Women’s 100 Freestyle Semifinal - With an Olympic record in tow, Cate Campbell enters the 100 freestyle semifinals as the top qualifier. She’ll race alongside World Junior record holder Penny Oleksiak of Canada.
• Men’s 200 Backstroke Semifinal - Jiayu Xu of China will take the center lane in the opening semifinals while Evgeny Rylov of Russia will take the top spot in the second heat of the men’s 200 backstroke. Each swimmer will race alongside a Cal bear as Americans Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebley also made semifinals.
• Women’s 200 Butterfly Final - Madeline Groves is seeded a half second ahead of the next best swimmer in tonight’s 200 butterfly final. Nathan Adrian has bounced back and is looking to defend his Olympic gold in the men’s 100 freestyle.
• Men’s 100 Freestyle Final
• Women’s 200 Breaststroke Semifinal - Lilly King and Yulia Efimova are not (yet) the storyline of the women’s 200 breaststroke but both swimmers did find their way into the semifinals. Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen swam the fastest prelims time.
• Men’s 200 IM Semifinal - Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will race side by side in the 200 IM tonight. Phillip Heintz will take center stage in the first semifinal.
• Women’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay Final


MNE vs ITA game

Brazil defeating Serbia was the major highlight of the Men’s water polo tournament in the third day. Three years of hard work under Coach Ratko Rudic, - the most winning coach with three Olympic medals in his tally gained at the helm of three different national teams – Yugoslavia, Italy and Croatia – have lifted the team to a higher level, and the outcome of yesterday’s match against the mighty Serbian team confirms it. Strong defenses prompted a low final score – 6-5 for Brazil . Brazil’s captain Felipe Perrone was crucial to the victory, which came via a penalty goal converted by Gustavo Guimaraes.
With 3 wins out of 3 matches Brazil has already made a historical feat, being sure to advance to the semifinals.


In diving, first setback for China in the men’s 3m synchronized springboard event where the pair Yuan Cao – Kai Qin could only to get the bronze medal, with 443.70 points. China’s winning streak was interrupted by the British pair Chris Mears-Jack Laugher who managed a clear cut victory with 454.32 points and gave Great Britain’s first-ever Olympic diving title. It was Britain’s second diving podium in Rio, following the men’s 10m synchro bronze of Tom Daley and Daniel Goodfellow two days earlier.

3m synchro podium

Silver went to the North Americans Mike Hixon-Sam Dorman, with 450.21 points. Dorman and Hixon, a new pairing for the USA, had dived steadily to hold a top-three place through rounds three to five but then hurled down a fierce challenge with their last dive, when their magnificent forward 4-1/2 somersaults earned them the day’s highest score of 98.04 points

In fourth place the German pair Patrick Hausding-Stephan Feck, with 410.10 points.