2018 FINA Short Course World Championships: Six Championship Records Fall On Final Night Of Meet

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The final day of the 2018 FINA Short Course World Championships has concluded, ending the final major international meet for 2018 in Hangzhou, China. 

Six more championship records fell on the final night of competition in China, including three relay marks and a new meet record from South African Cameron van der Burgh in the final race of his career.

Check out all of the recaps from tonight’s night of finals below:


Order of Events

  • Women’s 4×50 Freestyle Relay
  • Men’s 1500 Freestyle
  • Men’s 100 Freestyle
  • Women’s 200 Breaststroke
  • Men’s 200 Backstroke
  • Women’s 100 Butterfly
  • Men’s 50 Breaststroke
  • Women’s 50 Freestyle
  • Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay
  • Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay

Women’s 4×50 Freestyle Relay

The United States team of Madison Kennedy (24.05), Mallory Comerford (23.26), Kelsi Dahlia (23.37), and Erika Brown (23.33) opened the last day’s final session with a new championship and American record in the 4×50 free relay. Touching in 1:34.03, the U.S. team beat out the Netherlands, who were the former Championship record holders and are the current world record holders.

The Dutch put up a strong fight, with Ranomi Kromowidjojo (23.60) and Femke Heemskerk (23.32) leading the Dutch over the rest of the field for the first 100. However, splits from Kim Busch (23.84) and Valerie van Roon (23.79) weren’t enough for the Dutch to hold off the Americans, ultimately finishing in second in 1:34.55.

Back in third were the Australians in 1:36.34.

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Men’s 1500 Freestyle

Ukrainian Mykhailo Romanchuk kept the ball rolling in the men’s 1500 free, taking down the second championship record of the night with a come-behind win over world record holder Gregorio Paltrinieri.

Paltrinieri led the race until the final 50, when Romanchuk threw down a blazing fast 25.84 final 50 to take over the Italian and secure the win and meet record with a 14:09.14. Paltrinieri was just behind in 14:09.87. The two were just off pace for Paltrinieri’s 2015 world record (14:08.06), and were well ahead of the rest of the field. In third was Norway’s Henrik Christiansen, more than 10 seconds back (14:19.39)

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Men’s 100 Freestyle

Caeleb Dressel grabbed his first individual gold medal of the meet in the 100 free  by the slimmest of margins tonight, setting a new American record in 45.62. Just .02 behind him in second was Vlad Morozov (45.64), who won the 50 free over Dressel earlier in the meet. Morozov will still finish off the year with the fastest 100 free in the world with a 44.95 from earlier this year during the FINA World Cup.

Morozov was actually out almost a half second ahead of Dressel (21.39 to 21.86), but Dressel had the fastest second 50 of the field (23.76) to pull off the win. In between the American and the Russian at the 50 was Chad le Clos, who flipped second in 21.59 and ended with the bronze medal in 45.89.

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Women’s 200 Breaststroke

Annie Lazor of the United States used a strong final 50 to take the win over teammate Bethany Galat in the women’s 200 breast, winning the short course World title in 2:18.32. Lazor and Galat both started the race toward the middle of the pack before turning it on over the final 100 to move to the top of the podium. Galat was second in 2:18.62.

Bronze medalist Fanny Lecluyse of Belgium made it a three-woman race over the final 50, tying Lazor with the fastest split of the field over the last 50 meters (35.71) to grab the bronze in 2:18.85.

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Men’s 200 Backstroke

Russian Evgeny Rylov pulled off a come from behind win in the men’s 200 back with a 1:47.02, touching out American Ryan Murphy and narrowly missing the championship record.

Rylov was in third through much of the race, trailing China’s Xu Jiayu and Australia’s Mitchell Larkin in the first 100. Xu and Larkin have had plenty of battles in the short course backstroke events this season through the FINA World Cup and looked like they were putting together another 1-2 finish early in the race.

Murphy made a move to take over the lead by the 150 mark, but he couldn’t hold off the charging Russian. Rylov had the fastest final 50 split with a 27.08, blowing by the rest of the field to grab gold. Notably, Xu ended up sixth after leading the race through the 100, while Larkin finished in a tie for third with Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki (1:48.25), who was the two-time defending short world champ in this event.

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Women’s 100 Butterfly

American Kelsi Dahlia won her second gold medal of the night in the women’s 100 fly, dominating the field by more than a second with a 55.01 win. That time was .07 faster than her top seeded tip through semi-finals, but was just short of her American record of 54.84 from earlier this year.

Like her teammate Caeleb Dressel, this was Dahlia’s first individual gold medal of the meet. American Kendyl Stewart made it another 1-2 finish for the Americans with her silver medal time of 56.22. In third was Brazilian Daiene Dias in 56.31. Dias actually led at the 50 with a 25.96, but couldn’t match Dahlia’s closing speed.

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Men’s 50 Breaststroke

In the final individual race of his career, South African Cameron van der Burgh set a new championship record in the 50 breaststroke en route to another short course Worlds title. Van der Burgh touched first in 25.41, breaking the 2014 championship record and falling just .16 short of his own world record from 2009. Van der Burgh won the 100 breast earlier in the meet, and announced shortly thereafter that he would be retiring from competitive swimming at the end of the competition.

Finishing in second was Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus in 25.77. Shymanovich also grabbed silver behind van der Burgh in the 100 breast earlier in the meet. In third was Brazilian Felipe Lima in 25.80, narrowly beating out Russian Kirill Prigoda (25.83) for a spot on the podium.

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Women’s 50 Freestyle

World record holder Ranomi Kromowidjojo closed her meet with a dominating swim and new championship record in the women’s 50 free. The Dutchwoman touched first in 23.19, about half a second ahead of her teammate Femke Heemskerk (23.67). While that was still a quarter second off her own world record, it was good enough to break her old teammate Marleen Veldhuis’ meet record of 23.25 that had stood since 2008.

Taking third was Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros (23.76), a new national record.

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Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay

The U.S. team of Murphy (49.63), Andrew Wilson (56.84), Dressel (48.28), and Ryan Held (45.23) closed the meet with another championship record in the 4×100 medley relay, touching in 3:19.98 for the win. Dressel and Held had to fight back for the U.S. over the final two legs, with Dressel digging the United States out from fourth place to the top of the podium with the fastest butterfly split in the field. Their time also established a new American record in the event.

In second was the team from Russia in 3:20.61, followed by the team from Japan in third with a 3:21.07. Notably, Australia’s Mitch Larkin had the Aussies in the lead after the backstroke leg with a 49.47 opening split.

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Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay

The United States team of Olivia Smoliga (55.86), Katie Meili (1:03.52), Dahlia (54.89), and Comerford (51.31) did the same as their male teammates, closing out the 2018 Short Course World Championships with a new championship record in the 4×100 medley relay.

The foursome finished in 3:45.58, more than three seconds ahead of the field and more than two seconds under the championship record. Their time also just missed setting a new American record.

In second was the team from China in 3:48.80, followed by the Italian team who grabbed bronze in 3:51.38.

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