Lochte Takes 400 I.M. in American-Record Time at World Short Course Champs

SHANGHAI, China, April 6. JUST two weeks removed from a spectacular display at the NCAA Championships, Ryan Lochte registered another stellar performance on Thursday, during the second night of action at the World Short Course Championships. Covering the 400 individual medley in an American-record effort of 4:02.49, the University of Florida standout earned a two-plus second victory.

In also setting a championship record, Lochte took the lead at the 50-meter mark and never looked back as he defeated Italy’s Luca Marin (4:05.12) and Russia’s Igor Berezutskiy (4:06.81). The United States’ Robert Margalis just missed a spot on the award podium as he finished in 4:07.54. New Zealand’s Dean Kent was fifth in 4:08.04.

Lochte, though, couldn’t manage a second gold as a member of the U.S. 800 free relay. The American contingent finished in the bronze position as Lochte, Nick Brunelli, Jayme Cramer and Larsen Jensen were timed in 7:04.34. The Italian squad of Massi Rosolino, Matteo Pellieiari, Nicola Cassio and Filippo Magnini won gold in a meet-record effort of 6:59.08. Australia took silver in 7:04.16.

A surprise emerged from the women’s 800 freestyle as American Kate Ziegler, the reigning world champ in the long-course pool, was defeated by Russia’s Anastasia Ivanenko. The Russian negotiated the distance in a championship-record time of 8:11.99 while Ziegler touched in 8:14.12, nearly two seconds slower than she went at the New York stop on the World Cup circuit in February. The bronze medal went to Great Britain’s Rebecca Cooke (8:20.02).

The Australian tandem of Jade Edmistone and Brooke Hanson took the top two positions in the women’s 50 breaststroke, thanks to swims of 30.22 and 30.40. American Jessica Hardy slipped into third place at 30.48, just ahead of the 30.61 of teammate Tara Kirk. Aussie veteran Matt Welsh won the 100 back in 51.09 and was followed by Austria’s Markus Rogan (51.48) and American Randall Bal (51.63).

The women’s 100 back was taken by Germany’s Janine Pietsch in a meet record of 58.02 with silver going to Australia’s Tayliah Zimmer (58.27). In the men’s 100 breaststroke, short-course sensation Oleg Lisogor (Ukraine) posted a convincing win with a performance of 58.14, well ahead of the 58.70 turned in by Australia’s Brenton Rickard. Meanwhile, the men’s 100 butterfly went to Brazil’s Kaio Almeida in 51.07. Albert Subirats, a student at the University of Arizona, was second in 51.23 and Cramer picked up bronze in 51.53.

In semifinal action, the Netherlands’ Marleen Veldhuis led qualifying to the final of the women’s 100 free in 53.33, ahead of the 53.65 of Australia’s Lisbeth Lenton. Austria’s Fabienne Nadarajah was tops in the semifinals of the women’s 50 fly (26.05) and American Cullen Jones cooked up a 21.31 clocking,the fastest time in the semifinals of the men’s 50 free. Britain's Mark Foster, 35, the defending champion in this event, finished ninth in the semis — just two-hundredths of a second slower than the cutoff time needed to make the final.

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