FINA World Championships editorial coverage is proudly sponsored by SpeedoUSA. For all the latest coverage, check out our event coverage page.
BARCELONA, Spain, July 29. THE mixed zone was abuzz with plenty of athletes stopping by to talk about their exciting swims tonight in the Palau Sant Jordi at the FINA world swimming championships.
Below, we bring you quotes from many of the best swimmers in the world, and what they said mere minutes after emerging from the pool.
Quotes from prelims
Missy Franklin, USA, 100 backstroke
“I haven’t even thought about a world record. I just want to go out there and have fun. I think when you focus too much on the numbers, you don’t see anything that’s out there.”
On Michael Phelps
“I got to see him yesterday and it was wonderful and so good to see him. We miss him so much and the team is not the same without him, but we’re still an incredible team and he taught us so much and I think we’re all excited to carry our flag this year.”
Elizabeth Pelton, USA, 100 back
Anything you want to build up for the race or go as usual?
“I’m going to stay and stick to the regular plan but definitely going to have to do well tonight to get in the final.”
Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 100 back
How do you feel the race went this morning?
“It was great. It was a Hungarian national record and my best time by almost a second so I was really happy. I can’t believe I qualified second but I’m scratching for tonight.”
What do you think about the 200 against Ye [Shiwen]?
“It’s definitely going to be a fun race, I think I feel like I’m in great shape and we will see what happens. I mean, I can only control my swimming so hopefully I can build up better than yesterday. I think it’s not only going to be the two of us, I think the whole thing is going to be much faster in the final than in the semi so hopefully we’re going to come out with the times. ”
David Plummer, USA, 100 backstroke
“There’s hopefully more in the tank for the semifinal. I’m in a good seed entering for tonight and it should be a fun race.”
Matt Grevers, USA, 100 backstroke
“With this swim I didn’t really care so much about the time. It felt way better than Nationals, I’m happy and more confident. The last couple of weeks we had from trials to now have been an improvement.”
Breeja Larson, USA, 100 breast
“A good morning swim, I’m just trying to get out controlled and come back hopefully strong against the field. I’m just trying to make it back tonight. ”
Jessica Hardy, USA, 100 breast
How did it feel in the water?
“It didn’t feel like I was going that fast – that’s the kind of race I love and appreciate for forever. Blew my expectations out of the water already so it’s going to be fun.”
More in the tank for later?
“Yeah, that was just getting the first race jitters out and I’m going to keep having fun.”
Ryan Lochte, 200 free
“First individual event felt good. I did what I had to do, making it to the semifinals for tonight. That’s what I had to do and tonight I’m going to have to go a lot faster.”
On going out slow and then working up speed in the finishes
“I might swim it the same way tonight or I’ll swim it differently, I don’t know. I’m just going to do what I do best, step up on those blocks and race because that’s what I’m here to do.”
Robbie Renwick, Great Britain, 200 free
“I absolutely benefit from my training in Florida. It was good training with Conor Dwyer and Ryan Lochte. It really pushed me on at training. It was a great experience, it was nice to get some sun after training in Scotland where it was snowing a lot.”
Cameron McEvoy, Australia, 200 free
It’s your first World Championships and your first individual event – how does it feel?
“Pretty good actually. It’s a good experience for the first day and one of my favorite events so that was good to do. My whole family is basically in the crowd so that was good for them to come and watch it.”
How does it compare to the Olympics?
“I didn’t get to do an individual at the Olympics but the relays are different in their own respect. The Olympics were a team environment in the Viillage surrounded by other sports and meddling. Here, it’s just swimming but, I don’t know, I think it’s great and I can’t wait for Rio.”
Chloe Sutton, USA, 1500 free
“That was a lifetime best, it was three seconds faster than I went at Trials so I’m really happy with it. I’m a little nervous; it seems like every time I come to World Championships, I come out of the water and I’m always on the bubble for making it back, and I do swim so much better at night – but I did the very best I could do.”
What’s your focus if you make finals?
“Just racing, just having a good time. I feel like I’ve kind of lost touch with that in the last couple of years. You know, just getting out there and racing and having fun and just taking a little bit of the pressure off myself and just focusing on what we’re here to accomplish, which is swimming fast.”
Katie Ledecky, USA, 1500 free
“I definitely have a lot left in the tank. I wanted to win my heat, swim a controlled base and just do my best to make top eight.”
Do we see a world record coming down this week?
“I don’t know – we’ll see.”
Is it hard to get yourself back up for a morning swim after last night’s excitement?
“No, not at all. I just carried the excitement and energy from last night into this morning. I recovered well and just stepped up this morning ready to roll.”
Jazz Carlin, Great Britain, 1500 free
“It was tough this morning. I don’t think it’s going to be enough to make the final but I’ve got the 800 to look forward to. If I do make the final, I’ll give it a go.” (Carlin did not make the final.)
How disappointed would you be not to make the final?
“My training is good for the 800 and 1500 but 400 is always a bonus event and I did want to swim the heat yesterday. So even though it may have affected my swim this morning, I still did the best time yesterday, which obviously was so close to finals – but I’ve got the rest of the week to look forward to. It’s still the second fastest 1500 I’ve ever done in the morning too so I’ve got to take positives from that. But obviously I wanted to be faster, I wanted to be up and in that final.”
Quotes from finals
Christian Sprenger, USA, 100 breaststroke
“It was amazing! I feel really lucky because I needed to compete against Cameron, and at least I won!”
Cameron van der Burgh, South Africa, 100 breaststroke
“I’m happy. I didn’t think about my injuries. I left everything tonight in the pool. I tried to do my best. I’ve tried to do my race without pressure, putting my head on what I can control, controlling the race. I am very satisfied.”
Felipe Lima, Brazil, 100 breaststroke
“This is my best time. I did my best time in the preliminaries, so I’m getting better. The first 50 meters are important to start really strong and I came back fast and I had a good results. I wanted to win the silver, but now my best result so far has been bronze.”
Kevin Cordes, USA, 100 breast
What are you taking away from this?
“Just getting ready in the Ready Room and being around a bunch of world class swimmers. I’ll miss racing them and look forward to racing them again.”
Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden, 100 butterfly
“It’s crazy. I can’t believe it. It’s the most important time in my swimming career. This is hard to believe. I didn’t do my best time, but it’s the best one with (a textile) swimsuit.”
Alicia Coutts, Australia, 100 butterfly
“I’m a little disappointed not getting the gold medal, but it’s OK. I tried to enjoy myself in the pool, trying to do my best. I know I can do better but right now I am happy about this medal.”
Dana Vollmer, USA, 100 butterfly
“I kept telling myself that I can pull it together, just get up there and give it my all for those 57 seconds. The past few days I’ve been pretty sick [with a sinus-head-lung-thing] and I’m not one to get sick at meets and that’s just disappointing and frustrating after I had an amazing last week at training. But I’m still really proud of myself for coming in and giving it my all and coming away with a bronze medal. I’m happy with that. Coming into the meet, if I had that week of training I had last week, I would have been thrilled. Last week on the first I was doing 28 and I felt like I could bring my finals home and I was getting really excited about that and then I was just hit with being sick.”
David Plummer, USA, 100 backstroke semi-final
“My swim was better compared to this morning. I did what I got at Nationals and I’m having one more shot at it.”
Matt Grevers, USA, 100 backstroke semi-final
“That was the goal for USA, get up on top. It was a nice swim, felt a little more comfortable, had a little more speed without too much more effort so it’s looking good.”
“I would be really surprised to break a world record. It would have to be one heck of a swim, everything would have to be absolutely flawless, so I doubt it very much.”
Jessica Hardy, USA, 100 breast
“I’m relieved to make [the final]. I was surprised with this morning and I found it took the pressure off of tonight. I just tried to make it safely and I’m really excited about Ruta’s performance. It’s really an amazing thing to watch that happen and to get to race the best in the world tomorrow night; it’s going to be a blast.”
Cesar Cielo, Brazil, 50 butterfly
“I am very happy for this medal. I tried to do the best possible time. I was very nervous before the race and I talked to myself to understand why I felt that way, because I had been training hard and I had everything I needed to apply to the race. I tried not to breathe before the wall, and it was the key to win.”
Eugene Godsoe, USA, 50 butterfly
“I feel amazing, my first final, my first medal. Coming in at lane eight I knew I had no pressure, I just had to execute. I’m really excited for the 100. I knew coming in if I could match or even be close to my 50 time I was going to have a great 100. I’ve got some speed in me, we’ll see.”
On being the first American to win a medal in the 50 fly since Ian Crocker in 2007
“He was pretty good at butterfly.”
Elizabeth Pelton, 100 backstroke semi-final
“I’m definitely feeling excited. Getting into the next step before tomorrow night, got to put up a good time, definitely. Just going to be a lot of relaxing and getting ready for tomorrow night.”
Missy Franklin, USA, 100 back
“I totally slipped off my start. So I wasn’t really expecting that, but other than that, I was really happy with my race. I was kind of able to stay composed and keep going on after that but really glad it happened tonight and not tomorrow, so my coach and I will definitely work on that. My right leg slipped and I just didn’t get anything off the wall – I just went straight down. So I had a little panic coming back from that but we’ve prepared for that and I think I kind of got back up from it as well as I could have. I don’t use Omega pads that often as we don’t have them in a lot of the meets but it’s the first time I’ve slipped on these pads here.”
On other teen swimmers
“Oh my gosh, it’s amazing! It’s so much fun. I mean, it’s incredible to see the youth that this sport has and that it will continue to have, and it’s so awesome watching it and being a part of this whole experience as it’s happening.”
Conor Dwyer, USA, 200 freestyle
How did you feel your race went compared to prelims?
“It was good. I thought I’d be a little quicker but I’ll take it for a semi.”
Preparations for finals?
“Just a lot of rest and getting amped for finals.”
How is it competing against your new training partner, Yannick Agnel?
“It was good, just like practice. We thought we were going quicker but tomorrow hopefully.”
Ryan Lochte, USA, 200 free
“It was a good semi final. I know I had to push it this afternoon just to make sure I had a lane for the final.”
How do you plan on coming back tomorrow?
“Hopefully go a lot faster, I mean, it’s going to take a pretty quick time to win it so I just got to get out there, get some good fresh water and just race.”
On Russia’s Danila Izotov
“He’s a racer. I’ve raced against him numerous times and in this stage of competition, everyone who steps on the blocks is a racer and we’re all going for the win, so it’s going to be a battle tomorrow.”
On yesterday’s relay
“Every time the U.S. gets together, especially for a relay, we want to win. It didn’t happen last night but there’s nothing we can do about it. I mean, we all did our best, we tried our hardest and that’s all we could really ask for. We got a silver, which is good but hopefully that silver helps drive us for the rest of the meet so we can really try to accomplish more goals and more medals.”
Alicia Coutts, Australia, 200 IM
“My coach just said ‘Go ahead and have fun!’ and I just wanted to go out there and enjoy myself and I tried not to put so much pressure on my shoulders.”
Mireia Belmonte Garcia, Spain, 200 IM
“It was difficult, but I fought until the end. The swimming team has started well. We hope we can continue like this. It has been strange because I did a wrong turn in backstroke. It was very slow, and I couldn’t see my position. Swimming at home gives you strength and I have enjoyed it a lot.”
Caitlin Leverenz, USA, 200 IM
You were up against a stacked final. How do you feel?
“Not as good as I wanted to feel but that’s alright, so back to work. Now my job is to be the best teammate I can be and just cheer and do whatever I can to help my teammates.”
What have you learned from this experience?
“I’m disappointed, but I’ve learned a lot of things this past year, just about myself and just about my training, my swimming and I know I have a lot more work to do.”