ISTANBUL, Turkey, December 13. THE second night of finals at the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships featured some astonishing swims, and some breakthrough performances in Istanbul.
Men's 400 IM
Japan's Daiya Seto downed his Asian record to become just the fifth swimmer to ever break 4:00 in the event. The 18-year-old blasted a time of 3:59.15 for the victory, downing his continental standard of 4:00.02 set at the Tokyo stop of the World Cup this fall. Only Ryan Lochte (3:55.50), Laszlo Cseh (3:57.27), Ous Mellouli (3:57.40) and Tyler Clary (3:57.56) have been faster in the event.
Hungary wrapped up the rest of the podium with Laszlo Cseh (4:00.50) and David Verraszto (4:02.87) taking silver and bronze. Japan's Kosuke Hagino (4:04.14), Israel's Gal Nevo (4:04.29), Denmark's Chris Christensen (4:06.81), USA's Michael Weiss (4:07.67) and Portugal's Diogo Carvalho (4:09.95) rounded out the championship heat.
“I expected the gold and would have liked to swim a better time. I'm not happy with the silver,” Cseh said. “I didn't like my swim today, cause I planned to swim a different rhythm but could not. He is too fast, mainly in the breaststroke.”
A five-meet podium streak came to an end for Team USA with no swimmer wearing the Red, White and Blue swim cap making their way to the podium with the likes of Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps no longer contesting the 400 IM due to choice or retirement.
Women's 50 breast
Lithuania's Rute Meilutyte, a surprise Olympic gold medalist this summer in London, turned in her third-straight meet-record performance in the event. First, she clocked a 29.56 in prelims, then a 29.51 in the semis before scorching the pool with a 29.44 this evening for the world title. That performance also continued to lower her national record, and tonight's win shot her to second all time in the event's history. Only Jessica Hardy has been faster with a world-record 28.80 that does not stand as the American record because it was done legally in a techsuit internationally after USA Swimming banned techsuits domestically.
“I really didn't expect it,” Meilutyte said. “I just like [the 50], and because it goes well, then I do it. At the moment it feels just like I have swum a normal race, but it will start sinking in. It's crazy. Jessica [Hardy] had a race before, so I think she was a bit tired. I'm really happy (with the result), I did my own race, I didn't look at anyone else.”
Jamaica's Alia Atkinson snared silver with a time of 29.67 to shoot to a fifth-ranked tie all time with Valentina Artemyeva, while Australia's Sarah Katsoulis touched third in 29.94 to break 30 seconds for the first time.
“I felt pretty good. I thought I would swim faster than I did,” Atkinson said. “Before you realize you are doing something wrong, you already did it. It is so fast-paced. That is why you have to practice the 50m constantly. No Jamaican has ever got a global title, so I was hoping for that. I guess I will have to try again.”
Denmark's Rikke Moeller Pedersen (30.00), USA's Jessica Hardy (30.01), Czech's Petra Chocova (30.10), Sweden's Rebecca Ejdervik (30.12) and China's Zaho Jin (30.43) rounded out the rest of the field.
Men's 100 back
Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers utilized a superior finish with his 6-8 frame to touchout reigning champion Stanislav Donets, 49.89 to 49.91, for the title. Brazil's Guilherme Guido earned bronze with a time of 50.50. Grevers (49.32) and Donets (48.95) have been faster in their careers, but tonight was all about pride. Guido also has a 49.63 to his credit, while Donets' 49.49 from the Tokyo stop of the World Cup still stands as the top time in the world this year.
“[Donets] is definitely the king of the short course, and I am the king of the long course. I considered myself pretty good, but he was as well. I am glad I beat him on this one,” Grevers said. “The underwater skills of the Russian are incredible. Luckily I could catch up with the swimming.”
The win by Grevers broke a tie with Cuba for the most gold medals in the event as coming into the meet this year, Cuba and Team USA had tied with three gold medals each.
“I am very upset about my time,” Donets said. “I had better times in three races this autumn, including 49.49 at the world cup in Tokyo. I don't see any positive side to this silver medal. My time was not good enough.”
Australia's Ashley Delaney (50.61), Australia's Robert Hurley (50.63), Poland's Radoslaw Kawecki (50.75), Turkey's Iskender Balsakov (50.76) and Germany's Christian Diener (51.27) also vied for the world title.
Women's 100 back
Team USA's Olivia Smoliga provided some serious outside smoke with a 56.64 to shock the world with a title in the event from lane one. That is the first sub-57 time of the year this year, and skyrocketed her to ninth all time in the event's history. She's now the second-fastest American, behind only Natalie Coughlin (55.97), and now ahead of Missy Franklin (56.73).
“It was awesome, I'm so happy to win a world championships,” Smoliga said. “I was hoping for a top three. I don't know. I warmed up differently this afternoon. I was working on my speed. I was talking to Mie (Nielsen) before the race, she was so nice, it made the ready room relaxing.”
The win gave the U.S. its sixth win in 11 attempts in the event, which is the most by any nation in any women's event, having previous been tied with USA's five wins in the 400 free.
Denmark's Mie Nielsen clinched silver with a time of 57.07 to move to 19th all time in the event, while Czeh's Simona Baumrtova took bronze with a 57.18. Australia's Rachel Goh, who had dominated the 50 and 100 back on the FINA World Cup circuit, just missed the podium with a fourth-place 57.31.
“I am really happy with my silver medal,” Nielsen said. “This is clearly a joy for me. I tried to do it very fast, and I broke the Danish record, so I am completely happy with my second place. I really enjoyed it to hear my father and other family giving me support.”
Great Britain's Georgia Davies (57.32), Australia's Grace Loh (57.34), Ukraine's Daryna Zevina (57.67) and Spain's Duane Da Rocha (58.14) comprised the rest of the championship finale.
Men's 100 breast
Italy's Fabio Scozzoli marked the top time in the world this year with a blistering 57.10 for the victory. That swim eclipsed the 57.22 set by Olympic gold medalist Cameron van der Burgh at the Doha stop of the World Cup, and cleared Scozzoli's previous best of 57.25 from the European Short Course Championships. The swim just missed Scozzoli's Italian record of 57.01 that puts him seventh all time in the event's history. Paul Kornfeld ranks in the top 10 all time with a 57.10.
“I thought 'I've made it'. It's true that someone was missing here, probably the strongest (Cameron van der Burgh),” Scozzoli said. “But that's why I knew this was a chance not to miss, and because of this everything had to go perfect. I proved to myself that I can avoid mistakes.”
Slovenia's Damir Dugonjic checked in with a silver-winning 57.32, while USA's Kevin Cordes, fresh off a pair of short course yard American records at winter nationals, pocketed bronze in 57.83. Estonia's Martti Aljand (57.85), USA's Mike Alexandrov (57.86), Russia's Viatcheslav Sinkevich (57.88), Japan's Akihiro Yamaguchi (58.26) and Brazil's Felipe Lima (58.73) also took a run at the world title.
Men's 100 fly
Olympic champion Chad Le Clos of South Africa, who went out under world-record pace at the 50-meter mark, raced home in a scintillating time of 48.82 to smash the meet record. That effort demolished the 50.04 set by Peter Mankoc at the 2008 event, and moved him to second all time in the event behind only Evgeny Korotyshkin's world-record 48.48 from the Berlin stop of the World Cup in 2009. Le Clos now has the fastest time in textile, clearing the 49.07 American record of Ian Crocker.
USA's Tom Shields (49.54) and Ryan Lochte (49.59) both beat 50 seconds with Shields now tied for seventh all time in the event. Lochte, with his first time under 50, is now ninth all time in the event's history giving the U.S. three of the top 10 swimmers ever.
The Netherlands' Joeri Verlinden (50.45), Poland's Konrad Czerniak (50.54), Spain's Rafael Munoz Perez (50.76), Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov (50.76) and Hungary's Laszlo Cseh (50.93) finished fourth through eighth in the strong finale field.
Women's 800 free
In a darkhorse win, New Zealand's Lauren Boyle surprised the field with a swift time of 8:08.62 to win the world title. The swim cut six seconds from her previous New Zealand record of 8:16.91 from 2011, and pushed her to eighth all time in the event, ahead of Kylie Palmer (8:12.32) as the top swimmer from the Oceanic region. Denmark's Lotte Friis, a more well-known name, wound up taking silver in 8:10.99 even with a strong charge down the stretch. Friis is third-best in the all time list with an 8:04.61 from the Berlin stop of the World Cup in 2009 during the techsuit era. USA's Chloe Sutton rounded out the podium with a bronze-winning time of 8:15.53, just off her personal best of 8:14.29 from the 2011 Duel in the Pool that ranks her 18th all time.
Great Britain's Hannah Miley (8:16.09), Spain's Erika Villaecija Garcia (8:16.90), USA's Becca Mann (8:19.27), China's Xu Danlu (8:22.88) and Great Britain's Eleanor Faulkner (8:22.96) comprised the rest of the top eight in the timed final event with Xu making it out of heat one of four. Villaecijia Garcia had been the reigning and defending champion in the event, having won with an 8:11.61 in 2010.
Men's 800 free relay
Team USA pushed the pace early on, out under world-record pace at the 300-meter mark, and held off a hard-charging Australian group to win the distance free relay. Ryan Lochte leadoff the Stars and Stripes with a 1:41.17, just missing his American record of 1:41.08 set at the 2010 World Short Course Championships. That time was well ahead of the 1:41.92 he used to win the individual 200-meter freestyle on night one. Lochte (1:41.17), Conor Dwyer (1:43.04), Michael Klueh (1:43.20) and Matt McLean (1:43.99) managed to hold onto that lead by Lochte with a gold-medal winning time of 6:51.40.
Australia had been looking for the upset with a monster anchor leg from Robert Hurley. Tommaso D'Orsogna (1:42.49), Jarrod Killey (1:42.82), Kyle Richardson (1:44.59) and Hurley (1:42.39) turned in a swift 6:52.29. Germany's Paul Biedermann (1:41.93), Dimitri Colupaev (1:42.96), Christoph Fildebrandt (1:45.40) and Yannick Lebherz (1:42.93) completed the podium with a third-place 6:53.22.
Russia (6:65.97), Italy (6:59.22), Japan (7:00.79) and Great Britain (7:05.73) finished fourth through seventh, while Brazil drew a disqualification for an early takeoff.
PRIZE MONEY BREAKDOWN
With his strong performance tonight, Ryan Lochte took thelead in the race winnings with $9,500 so far in two days. He's won an individual gold medal, and beenpart of two gold-medal winning relays. He also has a bronze-medal to his credit. First place wins $5,000, while second placeearns $3,000 and third place gets $2,000 for $10,000 per finale. In two days, $130,000 has been awarded.
Each national federation decides the relay split, but for simplicitysake Swimming World is listing the money earned as those infinals. Meanwhile, $15,000 is awarded to world-record breakers. Due to NCAAeligibility issues, we are only reporting what has been earned, and not whathas been accepted.
|Gender||Name||Country||1st||1st $||2nd||2nd $||3rd||3rd $||Total|
|Male||Chad Le Clos||RSA||1||$5,000||0||$0||0||$0||$5,000|
Women's 100 free
Team USA's Megan Romano turned up the heat in the semifinal round, cracking 53 seconds for the first time with a sterling 52.86. That time matched her with Veronika Popova for second in the world this year. Britta Steffen has the top time in the world with a 52.38. Steffen, meanwhile, qualified second in 53.09, while China's Tang Yi placed third in 53.13.
Australia's Angie Bainbridge (53.30), Germany's Daniela Schreiber (53.41), USA's Jessica Hardy (53.41), Sweden's Michelle Coleman (53.42) and Sweden's Louise Hansson (53.52) also earned spots in the finale.
Team USA, Sweden and Australia have loaded up the finale, and all three are vying to become the first nation to win the women's 100 free three times at a short course worlds event.
Women's 50 fly
Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen Gray, who is a heavy favorite in the event with a bronze in 2010 and a pair of golds in both the 2011 and 2012 European Short Course Championships heading into the meet, posted the fastest time of the semifinal heats with a 25.62. She has the top time in the world this year with a sizzling 25.21 from the Euro Short Course Champs.
USA's Christine Magnuson tied her ratified 2010 American record with a time of 25.65. Her previous record also took place in semis in Dubai. Lara Jackson, however, owns the top legal time by an American with a 25.17 from 2009. As detailed earlier, USA Swimming did not ratify any times done in techsuits internationally after banning the suits domestically.
China's Lu Ying (25.65), Canada's Noemie Thomas (25.76), Poland's Anna Dowgiert (25.82), USA's Claire Donahue (25.84), China's Jiao Liuyang (25.93) and Estonia's Triin Aljand (25.96) also earned transfer spots into the finale. Aliaksandra Herasimenia, who has the second fastest time of the year with a 25.53, wound up missing the finale with an 11th-place 26.01.
Men's 50 free
Olympic gold medalist Florent Manaudou scorched the first semifinal heat with a 20.92, while Russia's Vlad Morozov blitzed the second heat with a 20.95 for the second seed. Both have been faster this year, and are the top two swimmers this year in the event. Manaudou (20.70) and Morozov (20.79) turned in an epic battle at the European Short Course Championships.
Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell (21.09) and USA's Anthony Ervin (21.17), who battled throughout the entire FINA World Cup circuit, placed third and fourth heading into the finale, while Ukraine's Andrii Govorov (21.27), USA's Josh Schneider (21.28), Italy's Marco Orsi (21.37) and Italy's Federico Bocchia (21.41) completed the finale field.
Bocchia made a name for himself this fall while playing up his race entrance as “King Shark” at the Bolzano International Swim Meet, a race that went viral on SwimmingWorld.TV. Some questions were made whether he was serious enough to do damage at an international meet, and he's answered some of them by finaling.
Women's 100 IM
Jamaica's Alia Atkinson, who entered the meet with a 1:00 national record, has now cleared the 59-second barrier with a blistering time of 58.94. That swim put her second in the world this year behind Katinka Hosszu's 58.83 from the European Short Course Championships, and also became just the 13th swimmer under 59 seconds to stand as 13th all time in the event's history.
China's Zhao Jing raced to a 59.12 for the second seed, but has a much stronger potential having turned in a fourth-ranked 58.40 Asian record earlier in her career. Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte is proving she can sprint almost anything. She's the 100 breast Olympic gold medalist, and already won the 50 breast tonight. Now, she picked up the third-seed in the sprint medley with a 59.15. Hosszu, a favorite in the event, turned in a 59.17 for fourth.
Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia (59.29), Great Britain's Sophie Allen (59.58), Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos (59.68) and Germany's Theresa Michalak (59.81) all cleared 1:00 in a full sub-minute finale. USA's Melanie Margalis just missed the top eight with a 1:00.12.