Team USA Named “Best Team” With 17 Golds At 2018 FINA Short Course World Championships

FINA_SCWorlds2018
Photo Courtesy: FINA

USA clearly dominated the sixth and final day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Hangzhou (CHN), winning six gold medals out of the 10 finals at stake. In the three relays in the programme, the North Americans were the best with new Championships records, while in individual races they did the 1-2 in the women’s 200m breast and in the women’s 100m fly, with Caeleb Dressel also imposing his class in the men’s 100m free. Otherwise, Mikhailo Romanchuk (UKR) shone in the men’s 1500m free, Evgeny Rylov (RUS) was the best in the men’s 200m back, Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) won the last race of his career (50m breast), and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED, women’s 50m free) concluded in the best possible way a very successful participation in China.

Without surprise, USA was the “Best Team” of the Championships, while individually, Chad Le Clos (RSA) and Katinka Hosszu (HUN) were respectively the “Best Male” and “Best Female” athletes in Hangzhou. The South African star won four medals in the competition – gold in the 100m fly, silver in the 50m and 200m fly, and bronze in the 100m free -, while the Magyar great accumulated four gold (200m fly, 100m, 200m and 400m IM) and one silver (100m back).

During the six-day competition in Hangzhou, no less than nine World Records – six in relays (five by the USA and one for Brazil), and three in individual races: Ariarne Titmus (AUS) in the women’s 400m free, Kirill Prigoda (RUS) in the men’s 200m breast, and Daiya Seto (JPN) in the men’s 200m IM.

In the medal chart, USA is the clear leader, with a total of 36 podium presences (17 gold, 15 silver and four bronze), followed by Russia (6/5/3), Hungary (4/1/0), Netherlands (3/6/2) and China (3/5/5).

Starting the last session, the women’s 4x50m free relay consecrated the team of USA (Madison Kennedy, Mallory Comerford, Kelsi Dhalia and Erika Brown) winning gold in 1:34.03, a new Championships record. The previous best mark of the Championships had been achieved by the Netherlands in Doha 2014, in a time of 1:34.24. The Dutch quartet (led by very fast Ranomi Kromowidjojo, in 23.60) couldn’t do better in Hangzhou, clocking 1:34.55 for the silver, while Australia had to content for the bronze in 1:36.34.

Shortly after, in the men’s 1500m free, Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) fought an epic duel with Mykhailo Romanchuk, from Ukraine. The Italian star is the World Record holder in the event, in a time of 14:08.06 from December 2015, and swam all the race in the lead, but in the end he could not sustain the Ukrainian’s strong finish and concluded with a silver (14:09.87). Romanchuk got the gold in 14:09.14, a new Championships record, bettering the previous time of Tae Hwan Park (KOR, 14:15.51), from Windsor 2016. In a distant third place, Henrik Christiansen earned bronze in 14:19.39. It is the fourth consecutive medal for the Italian in this race, after winning in 2014, and getting two silver in 2012 and 2016.

In one of the most thrilling events of the evening, Caeleb Dressel (USA), Vladimir Morozov (RUS) and Chad Le Clos (RSA) were clear favourites for the medals, and they confirmed everyone’s expectations in the 100m free. The North American, swimming in lane 3, touched home in 45.62 for gold, while Morozov concluded in 45.64 for silver and Le Clos was third in 45.89. The Russian had won this race in 2012 and has the Championships’ record in this event from Doha 2014 (45.51). Morozov had won the 50m free, while Dressel was silver medallist in the 50m free and 100m fly.

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