Pedro Adrega & Camille Chappelet, FINA Communications Department

Great Britain had a memorable day in the second swimming finals’ session of the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest (HUN), by winning two gold medals out of the four titles at stake. It all started with the expected triumph of Adam Peaty in the men’s 100m breaststroke (in a new Championships Record of 57.47); then, in the men’s 50m fly, Benjamin Proud managed to beat his main challengers and touched home in 22.75. In women’s action, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) continues to accumulate gold medals, this time in the 100m fly, also in a new competition best of 55.53. In the end of the session, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) enchanted the thousands of spectators at the Duna Arena, with a comfortable victory in the 200m individual medley.

Men’s 100m breaststroke

After the world title in 2015, the Olympic crown in 2016 (accompanied by a World Record of 57.13), and a new Championships record (57.75) in the semis in Budapest, Adam Peaty (GBR) was the swimmer to beat in the first final of the day, the men’s 100m breaststroke. And no one managed to beat him in the decisive race, where the Brit revalidated his Kazan title in 57.47, a new Championships record. He became the third swimmer in the history of the Championships to maintain his world crown, after Norbert Rozsa (HUN) in 1991 and 1994, and Brendan Hansen (USA) in 2005 and 2007. Peaty’s victory was also facilitated by the absence of South Africa’s Cameron van den Burgh (he did not start in the heats), who had medalled in last four editions of the competition – bronze in 2009 and 2011 and silver in 2013 and 2015. The silver this afternoon in Budapest went to US Kevin Cordes (58.79), while Kirill Prigoda (RUS) earned bronze in 59.05. The North American had two individual medals from 2015 – silver in the 200m breast and bronze in the 50m breast -, but for Prigoda, this is the first podium presence at the Worlds. 

QUOTES

PEATY Adam (GBR), gold CR

"I am really happy as it was 26.5, it is a new championships record, when I got to the back it was not easy but reserved, I am looking forward for the 50! We have quite a young team after Rio, and I am a little bit now pushing, because I do not feel anyone can push me right now in the country. The venue is absolutely incredible, I knew it before, as I was here in March for the Arena shooting."

PRIGODA Kirill (RUS), bronze

"Lane 8 has brought me luck before and it proved to be lucky this time as well...I had no idea about the standings while swimming. I am really happy about the third place, especially because after the Olympics I was rather devastated and now apparently I am back on track. I am glad I could breach the Russian record again, this was my goal before the World Champs. I managed to do so twice in Budapest. "

Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Women’s 100m butterfly

As with Peaty, predictability was also the key word concerning the winner of the gold medal in the women’s 100m butterfly. Sarah Sjostrom, from Sweden, was the clear favourite to the victory and she didn’t disappoint, touching home for gold in 55.53, a new Championships Record. It is her fourth win in the event at the Worlds, after 2009, 2013 and 2015 – she is the only swimmer achieving this feat in this event. Also World Record holder in 55.48 and Olympic champion in Rio 2016, Sjostrom collected her ninth medal at the FINA World Championships, since her first podium in 2009. With the title decided, the fight for the minor medals was quite interesting, with 200m free Olympic bronze medallist Emma McKeon (AUS) taking silver in a “distant” 56.18 and Kelsi Worrell (USA) earning bronze in 56.37. It was the first medal at this level for the North American swimmer.

SJOSTROM Sarah (SWE), gold CR

"I am a little bit tired because of the yesterday' race, but I was very excited for today! I could not wait for the start, I just wanted to jump into the water. The CR was not expected, because I am focusing on the freestyle this year, and now I would like to see what will happen with the 50m free and butterfly."

McKEON Emma (AUS), silver

"I’m very happy with my silver medal. I knew it would be very hard to beat Sarah, she is faster than anybody. I’m satisfied with my time. I was faster heat by heat in Budapest."

WORREL Kelsi (USA), bronze

"It was a very tough final and I have noticed that Sarah split very fast. I pushed the the second lap to secure the bronze."

Benjamin Proud (GBR) - Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Men’s 50m butterfly

In the most open final of the day, Caeleb Dressel, from USA, departed with the fastest time of the semis. Already with one gold in Budapest (he was part of the winning 4x100m free relay), the 20-year-old US could not confirm his credentials and touched in fourth (22.89). Before the rendezvous in the Magyar capital, his best results included a sixth place in the Rio 2016 100m free, and six medals at the 2013 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Dubai (UAE). The win in Budapest went to Benjamin Proud (GBR), in 22.75, his first major success at world level – he was fourth in the 50m free final of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Much more experienced, Nicholas Santos (BRA, 37), was the only finalist with already one podium presence at the Worlds, the silver in 2015 – additionally he was also second in this event at the 2014 edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m). The Brazilian would equal this ranking in Hungary, getting silver in 22.79. The bronze went to Ukraine’s Andrii Govorov (first medal at the Worlds), in 22.84.

PROUD Benjamin (GBR), gold

"After the semi-finals I did not think for any medals, but when we finished today I was expecting that some of the other guys would be cheering and celebrating. Nobody did it, so it is great to be a world champions of the 50m butterfly but I remain focused for the 50m free right now."

SANTOS Nicholas (BRA), silver

"I am really happy that I could repeat my result of Kazan, although I almost stopped swimming in December. I have a boy now, actually tomorrow will be his 1st birthday and he is here with me so this medal will be a big present for him. At my age, it is not easy to be competitive with the youngsters, but fortunately my body is strong and I am focused on the proper food and rest so I can be still here. The young era helps me to keep doing my best each time. I would like to continue swimming next year as well, it depends on how my body reacts. The venue is fantastic, it is a kind of a mix of Barcelona and the Olympics in Rio, but I prefer this pool."

GOVOROV Andrii (RUS), bronze  

"I would not say I am satisfied. No question, I came into the World Championships to win, I had high chances because if I had managed to do my personal best I could have won. Unfortunately I didn't manage to pull myself together, my moves were not perfect, I am really disappointed."

Women’s 200m IM

In the last final of the day, the Duna Arena almost came down, with the predictable win of local hero Katinka Hosszu in the women’s 200m individual medley. The Hungarian great earned gold in 2:07.00, repeating the successes of 2013 and 2015, and becoming the first swimmer in the history of this event with three world victories (and consecutive). World Record holder in 2:06.12 since Kazan 2015, Hosszu became a real national icon after collecting three gold medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics, in the 100m back, 200m and 400m IM, plus a silver in the 200m back. At the World Championships’ level, this was her 10th podium presence (and sixth gold), since 2009. In Budapest, in front of an ecstatic crowd, she led operations since the beginning of the decisive race, largely beating her challengers. In the end, behind the Magyar great arrived Yui Ohashi (JPN), silver in 2:07.91 and doing a great race in lane 8, and Madisyn Cox (USA), bronze medallist in 2:09.71.

HOSSZÚ Katinka (HUN), gold

“I am feeling the same way that the very time I won a race. I have been training in this pool since it opened, trying to imagine the crowd. You can’t be ready for such an amazing atmosphere. It is crazy!”

“I have always dreamt to be an Olympic champion but today’s feeling, racing at home in front of this crowd, was different. I can’t compare”

“There will be a lot of rivals in the 400m IM. The level is really high. I am always happy to see young swimmers swim fast. I look forward to racing them all.”

“I wouldn’t be where I am without Shame. I was even ready to walk away from the sport before the London Games when we started working together. It is amazing to share all these moments with someone you really love.”

OHASHI Yui (JPN), silver

"It was a good race for me as my swimming was close to Katinka, but not enough. I did not notice she was so far away."

In semi-final action, the men’s 100m backstroke was an excellent appetizer for tomorrow’s decisive race, with 2016 Olympic champion Ryan Murphy (USA) getting the second time in 52.95, behind his runner-up in Rio, China’s Xu Jiayu (52.44). Matt Grevers (USA), the winner in 2013, is provisionally third, while 2015 champion Mitch Larkin (AUS) was the sixth best of the semis. In the women’s 100m breaststroke, Yulia Efimova (RUS) went very fast in the first semi-final, clocking the fastest time at this stage, with 1:04.36, just 0.01 shy of the World Record set by Ruta Meilutyte in Barcelona 2013. The Lithuanian, swimming in the second semi-final, couldn’t do better, touching in 1:05.06 (third best), behind Lilly King (USA, 1:04.53). In the women’s 100m back, Kylie Masse (CAN) seriously approached the World Record (58.12) of Gemma Spofforth (GBR), established in 2009, by clocking the fastest time of the semis in 58.18. The Canadian was the bronze medallist in this event at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Emily Seebohm (AUS), the 2015 world champion, is second so far in 58.85, while Fu Yuanhui (CHN, who tied with Masse in last year’s Games) was a modest 13th in Budapest. Finally, in the men’s 200m free, Duncan Scott (1:45.16) and James Guy (1:45.18, 2013 and 2015 world champion) dominated operations so far, but Sun Yang (CHN, 2016 Olympic gold medallist) is third in 1:45.24, and Taehwan Park (KOR) is the last qualifier for the final in 1:46.28.