U.S. Men Lower American Record in 200 Medley Relay Gold-Medal Tie; Nic Fink Also Lowers 50 Breast AR

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

U.S. Men Lower American Record in 200 Medley Relay Gold-Medal Tie; Nic Fink Lowers 50 Breast AR

Two American records went down during the fifth evening of finals at the FINA Short Course World Championships, and both of those records involved breaststroke star Nic Fink. First, the American team of Shaine Casas, Fink, Tom Shields and Ryan Held tied for gold in the men’s 200 medley relay in American-record time, and a few events later, Fink lowered his own mark in the men’s 50 breaststroke.

Casas (23.11), Fink (25.13), Shields (21.75) and Held (20.52) combined for a time of 1:30.51, finishing four tenths faster than the team of Ryan MurphyMichael AndrewCaeleb Dressel and Held swam at the 2018 World Championships to set the previous American record.

Russia, with a group of Kliment Kolesnikov (22.76), Kirill Strelnikov (25.62), Andrei Minakov (21.76) and Vladimir Morozov (20.37) tied the American group for gold. This was the second-ever relay gold-medal tie at the Short Course World Championships, four days after the U.S. and Canadian women tied for gold in the 400 freestyle relay in Abu Dhabi. Kolesnikov provided the fastest backstroke leg before Fink and Shields paced the field on the middle legs as the Americans took over.

Italy’s Lorenzo Zazzeri posted the fastest freestyle split (20.29), followed by Morozov and Held, but Held anchored the American men to a relay gold medal for the second straight day. Italy, which set the world record at the European Championships in November, took bronze with Lorenzo MoraNicolo MartinenghiMatteo Rivolta and Zazzeri. The top three teams were more than a second clear of the rest of the field.

Later on, Fink swam a time of 25.68 in the men’s 50 breast semifinals to finish as the second seed behind Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich. Fink took four hundredths off his own American record (25.72), which he set three weeks earlier as he edged out Shymanovich to win the event in the ISL final.

Fink has already had a remarkable week at Short Course Worlds. He has gold medals in the 200 breast and men’s 200 medley relay, a silver in the mixed 200 medley relay and a bronze in the 100 breast. Fink could secure two more medals Tuesday, with the 100 breast and 400 medley relay finals to come.

Men’s 200 Medley Relay Final


Men’s 50 Breaststroke Semifinals