Kathleen Baker Completes Golden Treble With Victory In 50 Backstroke In Nice

Kathleen Baker - Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Kathleen Baker rounded out a golden competition with victory in the 50m backstroke in 27.77 at the Nice leg of the Camille Muffat Golden Tour in France.

Baker began her meet by winning the 200IM in 2:08.75 ahead of Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu as the Hungarian experienced defeat for only the second time since 2013.

The 22-year-old followed that up on Saturday with 2:07.22 in the 200m backstroke before rounding out the meet with a dominant victory in the one-length race.

As with her victory over 200m, the American had no serious challengers bar the clock as she touched the wall first 0.77secs ahead of Lila Touili (28.54) and Kendyl Stewart (28.65).

It all hints at a return to the sort of form that has garnered individual Olympic and world medley medals as well as relay titles after she was hampered last year by a rib injury sustained in April.

Also intriguing is what Baker can produce in the 100m backstroke given she withdrew from the final in Nice after clocking 1:00.03 in the heats.

There are of course no certainties in sport or life but what can be predicted is that the US trials will be fascinating.

Awaiting will be Regan Smith, who broke Baker’s 100m world record as well as setting an astonishing 200m mark at last year’s World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, world 100m bronze medallist Olivia Smoliga and Phoebe Bacon, who has been breaking records left, right and centre.

Baker also finished sixth in the 100m free in 56.27 in a race won by Charlotte Bonnet in her home pool in 54.19, the Frenchwoman ending the meet with two golds and one silver.

Desplanches Flies To Third Gold

Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland celebrates after finishing second in the men's 200m Individual Medley (IM) Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 25 July 2019.

Jeremy Desplanches celebrates an historic Swiss silver in the 200m medley at the World Championships in Gwangju – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Jeremy Desplanches came from third at halfway to add the 100m butterfly title to his IM double in 52.84.

The Swiss was 0.36secs adrift of Mathys Goosen at halfway but a second 50 of 27.78 saw him overhaul Goosen and Yauhen Tsurkin to touch the wall first.

Tsurkin was second in 52.94 with Goosen third in 53.53.

Desplanches also claimed third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.20 behind Theo Bussiere (1:01.27) and Erik Persson (1:01.33).

Tatiana Belonogoff came from fourth at 50 to win the women’s equivalent in 1:07.92.

The Russian was 0.07secs adrift of leader Angharad Evans at the turn but a second 50 of 35.44 saw her overhaul the field to touch ahead of Alina Zmushka (1:08.32) and 200 champion Lisa Mamie (1:08.70).

Laura Stephens came from 0.62 down at halfway to overhaul Liliana Szilagyi to win the 200m butterfly in 2:08.94 to the Hungarian’s 2:10.09.

Apostolos Christou renewed his duel with Yohann Ndoye Brouard in the 200m backstroke with the pair replicating their one-two finishes from the 50 and 100 back.

The Frenchman was ahead at the first turn but Christou surged ahead to finish in 1:58.72 ahead of Brouard (1:59.86) and Mewen Towas (2:00.13).

Beril Bocekler, who won 800 and 1500 silver at last year’s European juniors, led from start to finish to win the women’s 400m free in 4:09.60 ahead of Hosszu (4:14.00) and Giorgia Romei (4:15.27).

Bjoern Seeliger, Michael Chadwick and Maxime Grousset were the top three in the 50 free after they had taken the medals in the 100 on Saturday.

This time, though, it was Seeliger who took the win in 22.36 with Chadwick again in second in 22.43 with 100m champion Grousset rounding out the podium in 22.52.

Nils Liess won the 200 free in 1:47.07 ahead of Mehdi Lagili (1:49.04) and Ayoub Hafnaoui got his hand to the wall first in a close 800m free in 7:50.31 ahead of Konstantinos Englezakis in 7:51.27.

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