Ranomi Kromowidjojo Sprints Way to Third Career World Title

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BARCELONA, Spain, August 4. IT hasn’t been as magical of a meet as in 2009 and 2011 when she was riding high with 400 freestyle relay golds, but The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo did manage to capture her first individual world title with a 50-meter freestyle triumph tonight at the FINA World Championships.

The reigning Olympic gold medalist, Kromowidjojo raced to a 24.05 to win the splash-and-dash this evening. That matched the time she used to win Olympic gold and rank her sixth all time in the event’s history. She now has nine career world medals with three golds, a silver and five bronzes. That’s a pretty heavy haul for the three-time Olympic gold medalist.

Australia’s Cate Campbell missed out on the sprint freestyle sweep with a second-place time of 24.14. However, Campbell definitely has had a strong meet thus far with a win in the 100 and two silvers by way of the 50 free and 400 free relay. That’s a big bounce back meet after missing medals in 2011, following bronze in the 50 free in 2009.

Great Britain’s Fran Halsall rounded out the podium with a bronze-winning time of 24.30. She now has a pair of long course world medals with a silver in the 100 free in2009 and a bronze in the 50 free this year.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom (24.45), Australia’s Bronte Campbell (24.66) and Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray (24.66) finished fourth through sixth, while the youngest member of the finale, USA’s Simone Manuel had a history seventh-place swim with a 24.80.

Heading into this week, no U.S. 18-and-under had ever broken 25 seconds. Manuel had held the 15-16 U.S. National Age Group record with a 25.01, while Kara Lynn Joyce holds the 17-18 mark with a 25.00. Manuel, who turned 17 this week but is still regarded as 16 when it comes to the age group paperwork, obliterated her 15-16 record with several 24s including her amazing 24.80. There’s no doubt she’s going to wipe out Joyce’s record shortly now that she’s 17.

Germany’s Dorothea Brandt clinched the final spot of the splash-and-dash with a 24.81. She’d offered teammate Britta Steffen, the world record holder, her spot this week but Steffen elected to turn it down after missing out on the spot at Trials.