Nic Fink Lowers American Record Again, Edges Martinenghi for 50 Breast Gold

FINK Nic USA gold medal Swimming Mens' 200m breaststroke final Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 18/12/21 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Nic Fink -- Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Nic Fink Lowers American Record Again, Edges Martinenghi for 50 Breast Gold

For the second time this week, Nic Fink is an individual world champion. After storming home to secure gold in the 200 breast, he added another win in the 50 breast. He swam a 25.53 to lower his own American record that he had already broken twice this month, including in Monday’s semifinals. Here, Fink got the lead with great underwater pullouts and breakouts off the start and turn, and then he held off Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi (25.55) by just two hundredths. Fink took 0.15 off his American record of 25.68 set Monday. Including relays, Fink has now won five medals at this meet (including two gold), and he could add another with the men’s 400 medley relay still to come later in the session.

Brazil’s Joao Gomes finished third in 25.80, four hundredths ahead of Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich (25.84). Shymanovich, the world champion in the 100 breast earlier in the meet, had been the heavy favorite for gold after tying the world record (25.25) last month, but Shymanovich came up off his start more than a half-bodylength behind, and he could never recover and catch up to Fink and Martinenghi. Shymanovich’s semifinal time of 25.55 would have been enough to tie for silver here, but in the moment, he did not have his best form.

Notably, Turkey’s Emre Sakci swam a 25.52 in the semifinals, but he was disqualified for a dolphin-kick motion at the finish. Numerous athletes have been disqualified in breaststroke events for dolphin kicks this week as officials are now allowed to initiate DQs using underwater camera.


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