PHOENIX, Arizona, December 12. THE first day of the FINA short course world championships produced a lot of excitement in the pool in Istanbul, where the United States won three of the five finals tonight. Swimming fans around the world were taking to Twitter to express their thoughts on the competition, and here are some of our favorites.
Some of our Twitter followers were so excited about keeping up with results of the meet that it affected their routines. Liz Montreuil said “My boss just asked me if I had a kidney issue because I'm going to the bathroom every five minutes to check the Swimming World update.”
And Swimming World fan club member tejal said “I'm hungry but I don't want to leave the TV to find food.”
The live feed of the meet featured lots of commentary about Matt Grevers' height, prompting some people to express their sarcastic surprise. As you can see from this Tweet, pretty much everyone in the world knows that Matt Grevers is a very tall person.
Even Ricky Berens had some time to send some tweets, expressing his sadness that the excitement of following the meet caused him to miss commemorating the historic 12:12.
While swimming fans were having fun on Twitter, the pool in Istanbul was churning with some spectacular times. Ryan Lochte and Paul Biedermann dueled in the 200 free, with Lochte successfully defending his short course world title from 2010 with a 1:41.92. Notably absent in the event was Yannick Agnel, who has the fastest time of the year with a 1:41.46.
The United States won both relays today, with the men winning the 400 free relay in 3:06.40 and the women taking the 800 free relay in 7:45.36, which is a remarkable 10 seconds slower than the world record China set at the 2010 worlds.
Katinka Hosszu got her first of what could be a slew of gold medals today with a win in the 200 fly, which was followed by a bronze in the 400 IM. That 400 IM was won by Great Britain's Hannah Miley, who held off Olympic champion Ye Shiwen's monster freestyle leg. Miley moved from fourth to first after backstroke and never relinquished it.
Semifinals in several events took place as well, including the men's 100 fly, which will feature Lochte and Tom Shields for the United States, as well as Olympic silver medalist Chad Le Clos. Matt Grevers, the Olympic champion in the 100 back, will battle Stanislav Donets, the reigning short course world champion in tomorrow's 100 back final. And short course yards Kevin Cordes will race in his first major international final, racing the 100 breast against former NCAA champ Damir Dugonjic, long course world championships silver medalist Fabio Scozzoli, Japanese phenom Akihiro Yamaguchi and teammate Mike Alexandrov.
Swimming World will continue to bring you live coverage from Istanbul on swimmingworld.com and on Twitter.