Performance of the Week: September 18, 2012

PHOENIX, Arizona, September 18. WE'RE going to cut right to the chase in awarding the Performance of the Week, since no one deserves it more than Japan's Akihiro Yamaguchi.

After two previous tries last month, the 18-year-old finally broke the world record in the 200 long course breaststroke with a 2:07.01. Yamaguchi had been within three tenths of Daniel Gyurta's record, but last weekend at the National Sports Festival, he was able to get over his pacing issues, and put together a solid swim. His splits were 29.16, 32.56, 33.06 and 32.23.

Before last weekend's swim, Yamaguchi had been viewed as a top name to watch for the world championships, but now he's undoubtedly the man to beat in Barcelona. Congratulations Akihiro, you've won our Performance of the Week.