2018 FINA Short Course World Championships: Two More Relay World Records Fall On Night Two

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The FINA World Swimming Championships continued today in Hangzhou, China after a fast first night of finals that featured two new world records in the men’s 200 butterfly and the men’s 4×100 free relay

Two more world records came down tonight in the women’s 4×50 medley relay and mixed 4×50 free relay, both at the hands of the United States, along with several more national records across the world. Check out the full recap of all events from night two below:


Order of Events

  • Women’s 4×50 Medley Relay
  • Men’s 100 Backstroke
  • Women’s 200 Butterfly
  • Men’s 100 Breaststroke
  • Women’s 50 Breaststroke
  • Men’s 200 Freestyle
  • Women’s 100 Freestyle (semi-final)
  • Men’s 100 Butterfly (semi-final)
  • Women’s 100 Backstroke
  • Mixed 4×50 Freestyle Relay

Women’s 4×50 Medley Relay

The United States team of Olivia Smoliga (25.97), Katie Meili (29.29), Kelsi Dahlia (24.02), and Mallory Comerford (23.10) wasted no time in the first event of day two, racing their way to a dominant world record win in 1:42.38. That smashed the previous world record held by the United States by almost a full second. Each American had the fastest splits of the field for their respective relay leg.

Home team China was second (1:44.31) followed by the Netherlands in third (1:44.57). The Dutch used a strong second 100 from Ranomi Kromowidjojo (24.21) from Femke Heemskerk (23.17) to move up to the bronze medal position and pass Japan over the last leg.

Smoliga’s time in the 50 back also broke the American record in the event, making her the first American under 26 seconds in short course meters.

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Men’s 100 Backstroke

American Ryan Murphy edged out China’s Xu Jiayu to take home the gold in the first individual event of the evening. Murphy touched first in 49.23, just .03 ahead of Xu who finished in 49.26. Both swimmers were off of Xu’s world record from last month during the 2018 FINA World Cup in Tokyo. Murphy and Xu have had a healthy rivalry the last few years: the American won Olympic gold in the event in 2016, while Xu fired back with a win over Murphy last summer at the 2017 World Championships that just missed the world record in the event.

In third was rising Russian star Kliment Kolesnikov in 49.40. Kolesnikov was only sixth at the turn, but used a stellar back half to work his way onto the podium. Notably, Brazil’s Guilherme Guido was first at the 50-meter mark (23.44), but faded in the second half to finish fifth. Other notable swimmers who finished off the podium were Australian Mitch Larkin, who finished fourth in 49.46, and Matt Grevers, who finished sixth in 50.02.

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Women’s 200 Butterfly

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu won a close race to claim gold in the 200 fly, narrowly beating out American Kelsi Dahlia 2:01.60 to 2:01.73. Both Hosszu and Dahlia were neck and neck from the 100-meter mark onward, both splitting 31-mid on the third 50 with Dahlia holding about a tenth lead over Hosszu heading into the last 50. But Hosszu split 30.68 to Dahlia’s 30.90 over the final 50, giving her the edge and the gold medal.

Dahlia, who was coming off a new world record as part of the 4×50 medley relay, set an American record with her performance. She took off more than a second from her previous record from the 2016 World Championships in Canada. In third was Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa in 2:04.04.


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Men’s 100 Breaststroke

South African Cameron van der Burgh set a new championship record en route to a gold medal in a tight men’s 100 breast final, touching the wall in 56.01. Van der Burgh took about two-tenths from the old championship record and was .40 off of his own world record.

Just behind him was Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich in a new national record (56.10), followed by Yashuhiro Koseki (56.13). Kosecki’s time will stand as a new Japanese and Asian record, breaking his own mark from his country’s World Champs Trials earlier this year.

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Women’s 50 Breaststroke

World record holder Alia Atkinson posted a convincing win in the sprint breaststroke event tonight, putting up a 29.05 that was about a half second off her world record but still three-tenths faster than anyone else in the field. Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte was second in 29.38, followed by Italy’s Martina Carraro in third with a 29.59. That breaks Carraro’s own national record from semi-finals.

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Men’s 200 Freestyle

American Blake Pieroni led from start to finish in the men’s 200 free, touching the wall in 1:41.49 to take the gold. He was able to hold off a hard-charging Danas Rapsys from Lithuania, who closed with an impressive 25.96 final 50. In third was Australia’s Alexander Graham in 1:42.28.

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Women’s 100 Freestyle Semi-Finals

Dutch sprinter Femke Heemskerkled all swimmers through the semi-final of the women’s 100 free, touching first in 51.84. The only other swimmer under 52 second the the semis was teammate Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who was just behind in 51.95. Qualifying third was China’s Menghui Zhu (52.04), followed by Sweden’s Michelle Coleman in fourth (52.18).

A pair of Americans, Mallory Comerford (52.36) and Lia Neal (52.69) will also advance to the final after finishing fifth and sixth.

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Men’s 100 Butterfly Semi-Finals

American Caeleb Dressel led all swimmers through the semi-finals of the men’s 100 fly, touching in 48.93 from his heat as the only swimmer under 49 seconds in the field. Dressel got his meet started with an American record in the 100 free leading off the world record setting 4×100 free relay last night.

Just behind him is world record holder Chad le Clos, who will be hungry for a win after narrowly losing his world record to Daiya Seto last night in the 200 fly. Qualifying third was German Marius Kusch (49.35), followed by Zhuhao Li (49.36) and Mehdy Metalla (49.77). Takeshi Kawamoto (49.94), Piero Codia (50.23), and Jack Conger (50.41) will round out the top 8.

Norway’s Tomoe Zenimoto Hvas finished ninth in a new junior world record of 50.49.

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Women’s 100 Backstroke

Olivia Smoliga grabbed her second gold medal of the night in the women’s 100 back, narrowly defeating world record holder Katinka Hosszu. Smoliga led the race throughout the entire 100, flipping first in 26.93 to finish first in 56.19. That was more than half a second off of the American record she set in semi-finals (55.47).

Her swim was also just enough to hold off a charging Hosszu, who was just .05 behind in 56.26. In third was Great Britain’s Georgia Davies with a 56.74. Notably, American Kathleen Baker and Australian Emily Seebohm were only fifth and sixth here in 56.89 and 56.98, respectively. Both swimmers have been under 56 seconds in the FINA World Cup this year.

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Mixed 4×50 Freestyle Relay

The United States ended the finals session with another world record in the mixed 4×50 freestyle relay, with the team of Dressel (20.43), Ryan Held (20.60), Comerford (23.44), and Dahlia (23.42) coming together to win in 1:27.89. Dressel’s lead off time was also an American record, breaking Anthony Ervin’s 2012 record of 20.85.

Just behind them was the team from the Netherlands, who put up a good fight for silver. The Dutch team of Jesse Puts (21.17), Stan Pijnenburg (21.18), Kromowidjojo (23.09), and Hemmskerk (23.07) touched in 1:28.51, just missing their national record.

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