It’s time for the second day’s finals session at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain at the 2013 FINA World Championships, and though there’s no relays this time, there’s still plenty of fireworks to come.
Stay tuned to this page, as we’ll be updating with recaps after each event here.
Men’s 100 breaststroke (FINAL)
Women’s 100 fly (FINAL)
Men’s 100 backstroke (SEMI)
Women’s 100 breaststroke (SEMI)
Men’s 50 fly (FINAL)
Women’s 100 backstroke (SEMI)
Men’s 200 free (SEMI)
Women’s 200 IM (FINAL)
Men’s 100 Breaststroke FINAL
South African Cameron van der Burgh is the World Record holder and defending Olympic Champion, and looked every bit of that in the first 50 meters of this 100 breaststroke. He turned out well ahead of his own World Record pace from London and with at least a 12-inch lead on Monday evening.
Coming home, though, Christian Sprenger looked like every bit of the World leader that he’s been all year, and the Australian came home for his team’s first individual gold medal at a year’s ‘big meet’ (long course worlds or the Olympics) since Magnussen won the 100 free in Shanghai in 2011.
Van der Burgh wound up 2nd, in easily his best time of the year, and Brazil’s Felipe Lima brought home bronze in 59.65. This is the coming-to-fruition of years of Lima professing to the world that he was capable of such a time and standing in the world in this event.
Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic took 4th in 59.68, followed by Fabio Scozzoli of Italy, the defending Worlds silver medalist, in 5th in 59.70.
Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima was 6th in 59.98, with the two Americans, Kevin Cordes (1:00.02) and Nic Fink (1:00.10) having maxed out in the semi-finals, and finishing 7th-and-8th respectively.
Women’s 100 Fly FINAL
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom won the World Championship in the 100 fly in 2009, and broke the World Record, at just 15 years old. That was the last time she was on a podium at any meet bigger than the European Championships, until Monday.
The Swede, who went out with a very even pace (26.40), put up a winning time of 56.53 that is her best time since that World Championship in 2009.
The silver medalist was Australia’s Alicia Coutts in 56.97, recovering well from her disappointment as Australia’s 400 free relay anchor on the meet’s first day. The bronze medal went to American Dana Vollmer in 57.24, continuing a forever-long record of Olympic Champions in this event failing to ever again win a World Championship.
Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen-Gray didn’t go out quite as fast here as she did in the semi-finals, but maybe she needed to: she wound up 4th, just .03 seconds behind Vollmer for a medal.
Canada’s Katerine Savard was never able to match her speed from prelims, where her 57.31 was her National Record. She wound up 5th in 57.97, followed by Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi (58.11) and Canada’s Noemie Thomas (58.13).
American Claire Donahue, who had been so good all week long on her first 50, was the last to the turn this time, and it ended up costing her: she was 8th in 58.30.
Men’s 100 Backstroke – SEMIFINAL
This men’s 100 backstroke was a bit dicey in the prelims, but coming through to the semifinals, it appears as though things have settled out, as the top 8 settled about exactly where most would expect it to.
The top seed went to American Matt Grevers, who took a few hard strokes at the wall to come through his countrymate David Plummer at the wall in heat one, with times of 52.97 and 53.10, respectively.
Next up was Jeremy Stravius, the defending co-World Champion from France who is swimming better than he ever has this year, as the 3rd seed in 53.23.
Japan’s Ryosuke Irie, the defending Olympic and Worlds bronze medalist, was 4th in that semi-final in 53.41, and France’s Camille Lacourt was just behind him in 5th in 53.42.
Moving on to the final with them are Japan’s Kosuke Hagino (53.68), Ashley Delaney (53.74), and Gareth Kean (53.81).
Missing the final was Britain’s Chris Walker-Hebborn in 53.96, Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh in 54.00, and the Chinese National Record holder Feiyi Cheng in 54.20.
Women’s 100 Breaststroke – SEMIFINAL
Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte took this 100 breaststroke to the turn in 29.97 – the fourth-best 50 meter swim in history, and just .01 off of her own European Record. That left her fans excited. When she brought the swim home faster than anybody else in the field (by half-a-second), though, her fans were left hysterical.
Meilutyte touched the wall in 1:04.35, breaking the Lithuanian, European, World Championship, and World Records in 1:04.35. The old record was held by American Jessica Hardy in 2009 in 1:04.45. (More on that record available here.)
Behind her as the second seed is Russia’s Yulia Efimova, who was a 1:05.29. She was swimming right next to Meilutyte in that World Record breaking swim, and for parts of the race she was nose-to-nose with the young 16-year old. Don’t count her out in the final for an upset.
But who else can be counted in? Rikke Moeller-Pedersen from Denmark was the only other swimmer who looked really great in the semi’s of this race. She was a 1:05.99 for the 3rd seed, which cuts .06 off of her own Danish National Record from the Mare Nostrum in June. She’s a 200 breaststroker, however, and so she may be tapped out at that time.
The top American Jessica Hardy looked really good in the prelims, but added a full second to go 1:06.10 in the evening. She still was able to qualify 4th, though, so she’ll get her chance to get back to what she’s shown she’s capable of at this meet.
The 2nd American Breeja Larson will be opposite her as the 5th seed in 1:06.61, followed by the the Ukraine’s Viktoriya Solnceva, the girl who won silver behind Meilutyte at the European Juniors, in 1:06.67. Note that Solnceva has been times very comparable to the ones that Meilutyte did last year at the same age (a bit faster in the 50, a bit slower in the 100).
Sweden’s Jennie Johansson was 7th in 1:06.96, and Spain’s Marina Garcia wound up 8th in 1:07.12. That lit up the Spanish crowd after Meilutyte’s World Record even louder, as it was another Spaniard into a final, and broke her own World Record by half-a-second.
Missing out on the final were Ireland’s National Record holder Fiona Doyle, who was 11th in 1:07.81, the Netherlands’ National Record holder, 1:07.77, Jamaica’s National Record holder Alia Atkinson, who was 4th at the Olympics, in 1:07.63, and both Australians Sally Foster and Sam Marshall.
Japan’s Satomi Suzuki was 12th in 1:07.83, though the 200 is her better chance at a medal.
Men’s 50 Fly – FINALS
This men’s 50 fly final was not at all as expected, and it worked to the advantage of the American Eugene Godsoe.
The first finisher was Brazil’s Cesar Cielo, who defended his title in 23.01. Cielo can’t rely on his start like he once did, and so he had to have a perfect finish, which it appeared that he did. He also did the race in a no-breather, which he says is the first time he’s ever done that on the 50 fly.
That wasn’t a surprise – the surprise was how slow this final was compared to the semi’s on Sunday, five different swimmers were under 23 seconds, but on Monday, not a single one did.
The biggest surprise, though, might be the man who got silver: Eugene Godsoe, the 25-year old who has been classed a “rookie” by the Americans as his first major long course team, in 23.05. He was the only swimmer in the final to improve from the semis, and that got him on the podium. That is the 4th silver medal in 7 editions of this 50 fly at Worlds for the Americans, but never have they won bronze or gold still.
Godsoe is relatively old to be a rookie in the United States, but compared to the rest of this field, he was actually on the young side. Cielo is 26, bronze medalist Fred Bousquet (23.11) is 32, and 4th-place finisher Nicholas dos Santos (23.21) is 33 years old.
Also in this final were Ukraine’s Andriy Govorov in 23.22, Belarus’ Yauhen Tsukrin in 23.28, Germany’s Steffen Deibler in another 23.28, and the other Frenchman Florent Manaudou in 23.35.
Women’s 100 Backstroke – SEMIFINALS
There were two big stories out of this women’s 100 backstroke semi-final. The first was that Australian Emily Seebohm and American Liz Pelton finally showed some speed after an overall quite lackluster preliminary round. They went 1-2 in the first heat, with Seebohm posting 59.38 and Pelton putting in 59.44.
That led us to believe that the 100 backstroke might well still be in big contention, with Seebohm pacing herself to avoid the early-round peak that she had at the Olympics.
Then Missy Franklin came up in the second heats, and flew right past that story. She slipped badly on her start, and then, as if to proclaim she’s tired of hearing about how her bad start is going to get her one day, she turned in 29.0 en route to a 59.31 and the top seed for the finals.
Granted, this probably required her putting out a bit more energy in the semi’s than she knew she needed to, with such a huge meet schedule yet to come, but it has to build her confidence to know that she can put up that sort of time being almost at the toes of her competitors off of the initial underwater.
Japan’s Aya Terakawa is the 4th seed in 59.80, followed by China’s Yuanhui Fu in 59.82, Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina in 59.90, and the Czech Republic’s Simona Baumrtova in 59.99.
Whereas in London, it took under a minute to final, here Australia’s Belinda Hocking achieved it with a 1:00.24.
Canada’s Sinead Russell was 9th in the semi’s with a 1:00.37, and the Spanish favorite Duane da Rocha was 10th in 1:00.53. With how well the Spanish women have been swimming at this meet, there was hope that da Rocha would get the legendary 100 back National Record of Nina Zhivanevskaya, but she will have to do so now in a medley relay leadoff.
Men’s 200 Free – SEMIFINALS
Coming into this meet, nobody was quite sure who they liked in this 200 free. A lot of people didn’t like Russian Danila Izotov because they believed he peaked too early at the World University Games. A lot of people didn’t like Ryan Lochte because of the early-season training distractions that he talks so much about. A lot of people didn’t like Yannick Agnel because of his move and missed training time that came with it.
After the semi-finals, though, that tide changed in a big way, and now everyone seems to know who the favorites are. Izotov and Lochte, swimming out of heat 2, swam masterful races to take the top two seeds headed into the finals. Izotov pushed a little harder in the first 100 to get well clear of the field, before shutting down to a 1:45.84. Lochte swam the opposite race, sitting with the field for 150 meters before turning it on coming home to a 1:46.06 for the 2nd seed overall.
And this wasn’t a case of “mispaced races” or “running out of gas” or “waking up midway through.” After the final, those two looked like the most relaxed of anybody in this race. Izotov was the first swimmer to pop out of the water, and Lochte was clearly relaxed throughout the swim (the world knows when he’s hurting, for examples think back to the Santa Clara Grand Prix).
Then there’s the rest of the field. Japan’s Kosuke Hagino had to put in a pretty fast last 50 to win heat 1 in just a 1:46.87 for the 3rd seed overall. Britain’s Robbie Renwick about matched his top-seeded prelims swim in 1:46.95 for the 4th seed, and France’s Olympic Champion Yannick Agnel was the 5th seed in 1:47.01.
Joining them in the final is American Conor Dwyer after a 1:47.05, Australian Thomas Fraser-Holmes after a 1:47.21, and his teammate Cameron McEvoy in 1:47.31. McEvoy was initially ascribed to a swimoff with the Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verschuren, but Verschuren declined. See more on that story here.
Women’s 200 IM – FINALS
Perhaps the premier race of the night, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu saw a year of insane training, travel, and competition pay off upon culmination of a victory in the women’s 200 IM in 2:07.92. This is her first worlds medal since taking the 400 IM in Rome in 2009 (she also won bronze in the 200 IM and 200 fly that year).
Hosszu got out blazingly-fast in this swim, including the best butterfly (27.20) and backstroke (32.19) splits in the field. Perhaps spurred on by a phenomenal 100 backstroke prelim on Monday morning, that’s the first time she’s ever done the front-half of this race in under a minute. The 59.39 midway split she had was a full second faster than she was in the semi-finals, and though she gave a little back at the end, she still took a sizable win in 2:07.92.
Hosszu hit the wall with a ferocity that indicated that she wasn’t done either, leading to great hope for her 400 IM later in the meet.
The runner-up was Australia’s Alicia Coutts, who was elated as compared to the tears we saw from her silver in the 400 free on Sunday. She swam a 2:09.39, which was slower than she was to win silver in London, but good enough to sit on the podium again here.
Mireia Belmonte-Garcia gave Spain their second medal of the meet with a 2:09.45 for bronze. This is one of 9 potential events for her at this meet. Though she probably would have preferred a silver, her closing split, which was the fastest of the field, indicates that she’ll continue to be strong as the races get longer for her.
China’s Ye Shiwen, the defending Olympic Champion, was 4th in 2:10.48. She had another very good closing 50 freestyle, but it wasn’t quite as good as we’ve seen it in the past, and she was also in dead-last going into that freestyle. She, like countrymate Sun Yang, has talked all year about being a bit out of shape.
American Caitlin Leverenz ended up 5th in 2:10.73, Hungary’s Zsu Jakabos was 6th in 2:10.95, and the two Brits Sophie Allen (2:11.32) and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (2:11.32) were 7th and 8th.