Pedro Adrega, Head of FINA Communications Department

After establishing the WR (2:00.44) in men’s 200m breast on November 20, Marco Koch (GER) was the natural favourite for the win in the first final of the day in Windsor. The German star did not disappoint and earned his second gold of the competition (after the 100m), in a new Championships record of 2:01.21, better than Daniel Gyurta’s time of 2:01.35 in Istanbul 2012. Koch perfectly controlled the race, leaving the minor medals to Andrew Willis (GBR, 2:02.71) and Mikhail Dorinov (RUS, 2:03.09). It is the first time that a German athlete wins this event in the history of the Championships.

Marco Koch (GER) - Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Home crowd was expecting the first Canadian title of the competition for Penny Oleksiak, swimming in lane 5 of the women’s 100m free final. The Olympic winner in this distance seemed to be in a good position to get the good after the 50m turn (second), but had to content in the end for bronze, in a time of 52.01. The gold went to Australia’s Brittany Elmslie, also the fastest of the semis, in a winning time of 51.81. Dutch Ranomi Kromowidjojo earned silver in 51.92. The 26-year-old star from the Netherlands was the winner in 2010 and bronze medallist in 2014. Other notable Dutch swimmers in the history of this event include Marleen Veldhuis (gold in 2008) and Femke Heemskerk (world title in 2014).

Brittany Elmslie (AUS) - Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Without surprise, Katinka Hosszu (HUN), WR holder in the event and 2014 champion in Doha (QAT), won the final of the women’s 200m back in 2:00.79. The Magyar star had perfect control of the race and easily overcame her main opponents: Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina (silver, 2:02.24), the winner in 2012, and Australia’s Emily Seebohm (bronze in 2:02.65), second two years ago in the Qatari capital. It was the fourth gold medal in these Championships for Hosszu, after her previous wins in the 100m back, 200m fly and 400m IM.

Katinka Hosszu (HUN) - Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

After winning the 200m, Chad Le Clos (RSA) was even stronger in the 100m fly, establishing the second World Record of these Championships. The South African star touched home in 48.08, improving his own mark of 48.44 set two years ago in Doha (QAT). Le Clos also managed to triumph for the third consecutive time in this event, after his victories in 2014 (48.44) and 2012 (48.82). Before him, only Lars Frölander, from Sweden, had made the treble in 1997, 1999 and 2000. Curiously, the silver medal went also for the third time in a row for Tom Shields from the USA in 49.04 – in 2014, he had clocked 48.99, while in 2012 he was slower in 49.54. The bronze in Windsor went to Australian David Morgan in 49.31.

Chad Le Clos (RSA) - Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

In the absence of Mireia Belmonte (ESP, did not start in the heats), the WR holder in 7:59.34 and 2014 champion, the duel of the night opposed the two US representatives in the final – Leah Smith and Ashley Twichell, the fastest of the preliminaries. In the end, the title (the first US victory of the day) went to Smith in a relatively slow time of 8:10.17, while her teammate Twichell touched for silver in 8:11.95. Considerably behind the leaders, Australia’s Kiah Melverton was third in 8:16.51. Katinka Hosszu, swimming in lane 2, took a training pace to finish the race in eighth, in 8:36.76.

Leah Smith (USA) - photo by Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia

The sixth final of the day, the mixed 4x50m medley relay, was a fierce battle between USA and Brazil. The North Americans are the WR holders in the event (1:37.17), while the 2016 Olympic hosts came to Windsor trying to defend their 2014 title. USA was better this time, touching for gold in a new Championships record of 1:37.22 – Brazilians had won two years ago in 1:37.26. The South Americans got the silver in 1:37.74, while Japan, initially fourth, benefitted from Italy’s disqualification and got the bronze in 1:38.45. The tactics of USA and Brazil were totally different for this race: while the winners chose the man-woman-woman-man formula, the silver medallists went on a woman-man-man-woman combination.

USA Relay - photo by Giorgio Scala