Perhaps Ryan Lochte’s 8 medals at the 2012 World Short Course Championships in Istanbul, Turkey won’t carry the same weight as the 8 that rival Michael Phelps won at the Olympics in 2008.
It is still a history-making performance for the swimmer, as this is the most medals that have ever been won at a Short Course World Championship, which earned Lochte the FINA Trophy for the best male swimmer of the meet for the 4th consecutive event – an impressive feat in its own right that shows his dedication to showing up and racing at big meets.
Altogether, Lochte won 6 golds, 1 silver, and 1 bronze medal.
The winner of the women’s FINA Trophy was Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, reaping the final rewards from a long, hard-fought season of racing, with 2 golds, 2 silvers, a bronze and a pair of Meet Records to go with them.
As for the overall national medal counts, the Americans once again led the way with 27 medals, including 11 golds. This was somewhat of a predictable result, given the relative strength and depth of the American team as compared to the other swimming superpowers like China and Australia, who brought bare-bones squads.
The Danish team are the ones who really impressed, however. Including their first two ever World Championship relay medals (gold in the women’s 400 medley, bronze in the women’s 400 free), they took 10 total medals (including 3 golds). The Danes had their best-ever performance at a global championship meet (Worlds/Olympics), speaking to the overall direction of the program. They are on a precipice, however, as their National Team coach, and the coach of a good portion of their National Team, Paulus Wildeboer is headed to Australia.
Many of their swimmers are now looking overseas for new training grounds, which one would hope won’t stifle the program’s development.
Meanwhile, his new home country had arguably their most disappointing global championship ever. They usually turn out strong teams for this meet, and have even won the medal table over the Americans in the past. This year, they walked away with only 8 medals and only a single gold. Internally, that will be written off to the country sending a smallish squad to the meet, however globally this will be another chip taken out of the sterling, historic reputation of the Aussie program.
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