ISTANBUL, Turkey, December 15. THE individual medley world records were the hunted with Ryan Lochte taking down the sprint medley global standard, while the women's 200 IM nearly fell during night four at the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in Turkey.
Women's 100 breast
Olympic gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania went out fast, under world record pace with a 30.04, and held on for a meet-record time of 1:03.52 for her second gold medal of the meet. That performance erased the meet mark of 1:03.98 set by Rebecca Soni at the 2010 edition and jumped her to fourth all time in the event. Only Soni (1:02.70), Leisel Jones (1:03.00) and Jessica Hardy (1:03.30) have been faster.
“This is something I worked for,” Meilutyte said. “I didn't really train for the 50m (breaststroke, where she won gold on Wednesday), all my thoughts were for the 100m. It didn't go the way I wanted this morning (in the heats), finally I got it right now. That was the main thing. It's the first time I'm actually really happy with my race, with the splits and the process. Even if I came last, I would be as happy as I am now.”
Meilutyte became the first swimmer in short course worlds history to win two golds before her 16th birthday, as she added the 100 breast to her 50 breast victory from earlier in the week.
Jamaica's Alia Atkinson snatched silver in 1:03.80, also under the former meet record, to move to sixth all time as one of just six swimmers to ever break 1:04, joining those aforementioned and Sarah Katsoulis (1:03.73). Denmark's Rikke Moeller Pedersen rounded out the podium with a 1:04.05, coming on strong with a 33.22 final 50 split.
“I wanted a gold medal here,” Atkinson said. “I went into this final with that on my mind. But it turned out I didn't have enough to win. I'm nine years older than [Meilutyte]. She is a spectacular swimmer. At her age (15) I was probably swimming in the semifinals. In swimming, age really doesn't matter. I am 24 years old and I am swimming my best now.”
Atkinson already became the first Jamaican medalist at worlds with her silver in the 50 breast, and now has a pair of medals. Meanwhile, Moeller Pedersen matched her bronze from 2010.
Katsoulis (1:05.01), Hardy (1:05.08), Sweden's Jennie Johansson (1:05.62), Sweden's Rebecca Ejdervik (1:06.07) and Czech's Petra Chocova (1:06.12) also competed in the finale.
Men's 50 back
Australia's Robert Hurley, who put on a show on the FINA World Cup circuit on a regular basis, blazed his way to a world title with a 23.04 in the sprint back. That swim shot him to eighth all time in the event, bettering his Aussie record of 23.24. The win gave Australia its sixth medal in the event, breaking a tie with the U.S. for the most medals in the 50 back.
“The backstroke is really about who is best underwater,” Hurley said. “I pride myself in being very good underwater, so I am glad I proved that tonight. I had a great swim yesterday (23.14). It was faster than my former record. It was a really good time.”
USA's Matt Grevers used his length to clip defending champion Stanislav Donets for silver, 23.17 to 23.19, while Brazil's Guilherme Guido just missed the podium with a 23.25. Grevers moved to 13th all time with his swim, while Donets already is the second-fastest all time with a sizzling 22.74 from the European Short Course Championships in 2010.
“It has been great to win my third medal today,” Grevers said. “The other guys are great starters, so I guess I got a bit lucky today. The 50m backstroke was actually a good warm-up, and it was good for my heart rate. The first 50m went very good, I knew I was ahead, but I died a little bit in the second 50m later in the 100 free.”
While Donets might have been disappointed with his finish, he did become the top Russian in short course worlds history with his eighth career medal. That eclipsed Yuri Prilukov.
“Yes, I'm satisfied,” Donets said. “The only problem I had during the race was my turn, but I'm happy with the result. I had a trouble with my left shoulder this summer. I started to train again only two months ago.”
Australia's Ashley Delaney (23.42), China's Sun Xiaolei (23.43), Brazil's Daniel Orzechowski (23.47) and Turkey's Iskender Baslakov (23.49) comprised the rest of the field.
Men's 50 fly
Brazil's Nicholas Santos might have injured his hand with how hard he finished, clocking a meet record time of 22.22 in the sprint fly. That swim cleared his 22.23 from earlier this meet, and just missed his fourth-ranked all-time lifetime best of 22.16 from the Singapore stop of the World Cup in 2009 during the techsuit era. Santos is the first man from Brazil to win this event, as Kaio Almeida was the only other Brazilian to medal with a bronze in 2006.
I was slower than I hoped,” Santos said. “I didn't get down to 21. My turn didn't work out too well and I didn't reach the world record, but this is my first world championships medal. From today I'm a world champion. To get a compensation like this (for all the training I've done) is a really strong sensation. It's awesome for me.”
South Africa's Chad Le Clos touched just behind with a 22.26, moving to seventh all time in the event, while USA's Tom Shields lowered his American record with a 22.46 for bronze. That swim beat his 22.58 from semis that took down Ian Crocker's American record of 22.71 from Indianapolis in 2004.
“I am a bit disappointed to lose like this, but my dad always told me not to complain when I got a personal best time,” Le Clos said.
Le Clos' medal is his third career short course worlds medal, just one shy of the South African record held by Cameron van der Burgh with four. Meanwhile, Shields' bronze gave the U.S. four medals all time in the men's 50 fly in short course competition, equalling Australia and Great Britain for the most ever by a nation.
France's Fred Bousquet (22.61), China's Wu Peng (22.78), Ukraine's Andrii Govorov (22.85), The Netherlands' Joeri Verlinden (22.90) and Slovenia's Peter Mankoc (22.94) also competed in the championship heat.
Women's 200 IM
China's Ye Shiwen overhauled Hungary's Katinka Hosszu down the stretch with a smoking 28.49 final leg with a 2:04.64 to 2:04.72 victory in the event. Those swims both rattled the world record of 2:04.60 set by Julia Smit during the Duel in the Pool in 2009 during the techsuit era.
Ye's swim beat her previous Chinese record of 2:05.94 as she tied Evelyn Verraszto as the second-fastest swimmer ever. Hosszu, meanwhile, bettered her 2:05.78 national record and is now fourth all time in the event. Only one other swimmer has beaten 2:05 with Caitlin Leverenz charting a 2:04.91 behind Smit at the Duel in the Pool. Ye is also now the second youngest swimmer to win this event at 16 years and 289 days. Allison Wagner of the U.S. is the youngest with her 1993 win at 16 years 137 days.
“I'm so happy I came in first position today. It feels so good,” Ye said. “I competed against [Katinka Hosszu] many times in many events. She races in many different events. This time she was stronger than ever.”
The win is Ye's first world title this meet on the back of a stunning 400 IM world record at the 2012 London Games, while Hosszu has now won four medals this week (two gold, a silver and a bronze). Great Britain's Hannah Miley won the fight for bronze with a 2:07.12.
“I am very happy with the silver. I have already won two gold medals here. I am very happy with my time, it is my best time by a second,” Hosszu said. “Still, I feel I should have swum faster, so I am glad there is some room for improvement.”
Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos (2:07.36), USA's Maya Dirado (2:07.77), USA's Melanie Margalis (2:08.63), Great Britain's Sophie Allen (2:09.16) and Ukraine's Ganna Dzerkal (2:11.66) also swam in the swift finale.
Women's 400 free relay
Team USA's Megan Romano (52.86), Jessica Hardy (53.32), Lia Neal (52.44) and Allison Schmitt (52.39) blasted the field with a time of 3:31.01 for gold. That's the first time since 2004 that the Stars and Stripes have managed to win the event.
“Both the [individual and relay] events are so much fun,” Romano said. “I just love the relay medals, and swimming together with the girls. Since I was in college, I loved to do the relay, but I will take both individual and relay (medals).”
Australia's Angie Bainbridge (53.04), Marieke Guehrer (52.32), Brianna Throssell (54.19) and Sally Foster (53.35) placed second with a 3:32.90, while Denmark's Mie Nielsen (53.07), Pernille Blume (53.61), Kelly Rasmussen (54.59) and Jeanette Ottesen Gray (52.24) overcame a near DQ for a 0.00 takeover from Rasmussen to Ottesen Gray to win bronze in 3:33.51.
That's the seventh straight meet with a medal in this event for Australia, equalling the previous record Sweden had held. Australia has now won five silvers and two bronzes. Meanwhile, a day after Denmark claimed its first relay medal of any kind at short course worlds with a gold in the women's 400 medley relay, the nation now has two career medals.
China (3:36.22), Russia (3:36.72), Brazil (3:37.05), Japan (3:37.91) and Great Britain (3:38.23) snared the rest of the finishes in the finale.
PRIZE MONEY BREAKDOWN
Ryan Lochte, who now has $30,000 in world record bonus checks with his global marks in the 100 and 200 IMs, is up to a strong $44,500 in earnings. Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, who acquired more than $150,000 as the winner of the FINA World Cup, leads the women with $15,000 from two golds, a silver and a bronze. Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte is the only other swimmer to crack five figures with $13,000 in winnings thus far from two golds and a silver.
First place wins $5,000, while second place earns $3,000 and third place gets $2,000 for $10,000 per finale. In three days, $245,000 has been awarded.
Each national federation decides the relay split, but for simplicity sake Swimming World is listing the money earned as those in finals. Meanwhile, $15,000 is awarded for each world record performance with two checks being cut to Lochte so far. Due to NCAA eligibility issues, we are only reporting what has been earned, and not what has been accepted.
|Gender||Name||Country||1st||1st $||2nd||2nd $||3rd||3rd $||Total|
|Male||Chad Le Clos||RSA||1||$5,000||1||$3,000||0||$0||$8,000|
|Female||Melanie Costa Schmid||ESP||1||$5,000||0||$0||0||$0||$5,000|
|Female||Jeanette Ottesen Gray||DEN||0.25||$1,250||0||$0||1.25||$2,500||$3,750|
|Female||Rikke Moeller Pedersen||DEN||0.25||$1,250||0||$0||1||$2,000||$3,250|
|Female||Duane Da Rocha||ESP||0||$0||0||$0||1||$2,000||$2,000|
Women's 50 back
China's Zhao Jing cracked her meet record in the sprint back with a time of 26.11. That swim cleared her previous mark of 26.27 from 2010, but is short of her second-ranked all time lifetime best of 25.82 from the 2009 Stockholm stop of the World Cup.
Poland's Aleksandra Urbanczyk finished second in 26.56, jumping to 14th all time, while USA's Olivia Smoliga reset the American record with a 26.57. She downed Natalie Coughlin's mark of 27.08 during prelims with a 26.75.
Czech's Simona Baumrtova (26.68), Great Britain's Georgia Davies (26.84), Australia's Grace Loh (26.85), Australia's Rachel Goh (26.95) and Brazil's Fabiola Molina (27.01) also made their way into the championship finale.
Men's 100 free
Russia's Vlad Morozov, the 50 free champ, went out in world-record pace in the 100 before taking his foot off the gas to earn the top seed in 45.79. That swim is just off his best time of 45.68 from the European Short Course Championships this year. Italy's Luca Dotto was well back in second with a time of 46.83, while Australia's Tommaso D'Orsogna finished third in 46.89 all out of the first semifinal.
USA's Matt Grevers won the second semifinal with a fourth-place 47.14 fresh off taking silver in the 50 back. Teammate Jimmy Feigen placed fifth overall in 47.26, while Cuba's Hanser Garcia took sixth in 47.28. China's Lu Zhiwu (47.29) and Russia's Evgeny Lagunov (47.35) also earned transfer spots into the finale.
Women's 50 free
Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia crushed the second semifinal with a time of 24.13, closing in on her lifetime best of 23.85 from the European Short Course Championships this year. Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen Gray won the first semifinal with a second seeded time of 24.25, while 100 free champ Britta Steffen of Germany took third overall in 24.27.
Great Britain's Fran Halsall (24.49), USA's Christine Magnuson (24.49), Australia's Marieke Guehrer (24.50), Brazil's Flavia Cazziolato (24.55) and Russia's Svetlana Kniaginina (24.57) also earned their way into the championship finale.
Women's 100 fly
Italy's Ilaria Bianchi, who was one of the slower qualifiers from prelims, topped semis with a 56.60 to 56.64 win over Canada's Noemie Thomas. Great Britain's Jemma Lowe qualified third in 57.16, while China's Liu Zige posted a fourth-place 57.24.
USA's Claire Donahue (57.51), Italy's Silvia Di Pietro (57.62), USA's Kathleen Hersey (57.65) and Sweden's Louise Hansson (57.79) rounded out the championship field.
Men's 100 IM
Superstar Ryan Lochte decided he wanted a second world record in as many days, backhalfing his way to the global mark in the sprint medley with a scorching time of 50.71. He went out in 22.84 before coming home in 27.87 for the victory, blasting Peter Mankoc's world record of 50.76 set during semis as well in 2009.
22.66, 50.76 (28.10)
22.84, 50.71 (27.87)
Lochte now owns all three short course IM world records, having already taken down the 200 IM last night and having owned the 400 IM with a 3:55.50 from 2010. Lochte's previous best in the event had been a 50.81, also during semifinals, at the 2010 world championships in Dubai.
“I have the 200m backstroke final (before the 100m individual medley final) tomorrow (Sunday evening) so I knew if I wanted any shot at this record, it had to be tonight,” Lochte said. “I messed up in a couple of places tonight so I know there is some room for improvement.”
Australia's Kenneth To (51.47), Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell (51.66), Sweden's Simon Sjodin (52.51), USA's Conor Dwyer (52.74), Slovenia's Peter Mankoc (52.80), Japan's Daiya Seto (53.10) and Japan's Takuro Fujii (53.14) will look to compete against Lochte in the finale.
Men's 50 breast
With the lights going out after the IMs took place, the sprint breaststrokers had to collect themselves after being called off the blocks during the delay. Slovenia's Damir Dugonjic rocked a 26.27 for the top seed, just missing his lifetime best of 26.24 from the European Short Course Champs this month.
France's Florent Manaudou, the 50 free world silver medalist and Olympic gold medalist, qualified second in 26.49, while Brazil's Joao Gomes Jr took third in 26.50. Norway's Alex Hetland (26.51), South Africa's Giulio Zorzi (26.4), Russia's Sergei Geibel (26.63), USA's Kevin Cordes (26.70) and Brazil's Felipe Lima (26.71) also earned spots in the final. USA's Mike Alexandrov just missed the top eight with a ninth-place 26.72.