PHOENIX, Arizona, December 17. THE short course world championships are done in Istanbul, Turkey, and Ryan Lochte was the star of the meet, winning a record eight medals. Six of those were gold. Lochte was the only person to break a world record at the meet, taking down the 100 and 200 individual medley records.
The United States took home 27 medals, 11 of which were gold, taking five of the six relay events. China was second with 11 total medals, and Hungary and Denmark tied for third with 10 medals each.
Three other American records were set in addition to Lochte's IM marks in Turkey. Olivia Smoliga swam a 26.13 in the final of the 50 backstroke to win silver in the event. Tom Shields posted a 22.26 in the 50 fly for a bronze medal, while Christine Magnuson tied her American record of 25.65 in the semifinal of the 50 fly.
A few Olympic gold medalists were able to repeat as winners in the short course version of their races over the weekend. Ruta Meilutyte won the 100 breast, putting Jessica Hardy's world record on notice, as did Ye Shiwen in the 200 IM. She battled with Katinka Hosszu through that race, with both coming very close to Julia Smit's world record.
A few new international swimming stars were able to make their mark as well. Vlad Morozov added the 100 free title to his growing resume with a 45.65, winning by a full second. And with Chad Le Clos out of the men's 200 fly with a tweaked shoulder, Japan's Kazuya Kineda won the race ahead of perennial runner-up Laszlo Cseh.
Americans Ryan Murphy and Laura Sogar got some major confidence boosts with medal-winning performances in Turkey. Murphy battled with Radoslaw Kawecki and Lochte in the final 25 meters of the 200 back, placing third in a 1:48.86. Sogar was in the thick of the race in the 200 breast final, earning a silver medal with a 2:16.93 and second-fastest American in the event behind Rebecca Soni.
We have complete recaps of each day of the world championships on our world channel at swimmingworld.com.
Eugene Godsoe moved up the short course yards all-time rankings this weekend at the Chesapeake Elite Pro-Am meet in Oklahoma City, putting up fast times in the 50, 100 and 200 backstrokes. His 20.78 in the 50 ranks second all-time behind a 2008 relay leadoff by Albert Subirats, and his 44.75 in the 100 backstroke ranks fourth. In the 200 backstroke, Godsoe also ranks fourth in history with his 1:38.21. Godsoe recently returned to Stanford University, where he is training with the postgrad group there.
Back here in the United States, Arena has inked an eight-year deal with USA Swimming starting next month. The swimwear company will design team uniforms and outfit national team members with gear through 2021, in addition to sponsoring the Grand Prix series. Speedo was the longtime swimwear sponsor for USA Swimming, but ended that relationship earlier this month.
And last night on the reality TV show Survivor, Masters swimmer and triathlete Denise Stapley won the 25th edition of the show and the $1 million prize. Stapley, who lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, swims with Milky Way Masters. Stapley was named the winner of the contest last night in a live tribal council, so congratulations to Denise.