Day 5 Finals begin at Noon Eastern time in the United States at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain. There will be 5 finals, and 4 semi-finals, in this session.
Women’s 100 free (SEMIFINALS)
Men’s 200 IM (FINAL)
Women’s 200 breaststroke (SEMIFINALS)
Men’s 100 free (FINAL)
Women’s 200 fly (FINAL)
Men’s 200 breaststroke (SEMIFINALS)
Women’s 50 backstroke (FINAL)
Men’s 200 backstroke (SEMIFINALS)
Women’s 800 free relay (FINAL)
Women’s 100 Free – SEMIFINALS
This 100 free sets up to be a fantastic final; heat 1 was a bit lethargic, but heat 2 lit up the Palau and set a good tone for the session with Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom taking the top spot in 52.87: a lifetime best for her and her first time under 53 seconds. She’s been mixed since winning the 100 fly, but her sprints look outstanding at this race.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Cate Campbell was out like a rocket, turning at 25.36: a tenth under Britta Steffen’s World Record pace. She wound up with the 2nd seed in 53.09, while Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo was 3rd in 53.29. With all three women easily capable of going under 53 seconds, there could be some fireworks in the final.
Also out of that 2nd heat was Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk in 53.68 for the 4th seed overall.
The outer-two-lanes on either side of those four were the top four finishers from the first semi, where American Missy Franklin won in 53.78 for the 5th seed. That’s not a great time for her, but she does have another race on Thursday with the women’s 800 free final, where the Americans are gunning for gold.
Britta Steffen was 6th in 53.85, which is her best time in a year, and American Shannon Vreeland was very good in 53.99 for 7th.
China’s Yi Tang rounds out the Final in 54.09. Missing out were Russia’s Veronika Popova, who was just off her own National Record with a 54.15; Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace in 54.44; and Australia’s Bronte Campbell in 54.46.
Vanderpool-Wallace hadn’t raced since the Olympics coming into this meet, but turning at 25.89 is a good sign for her chances in the 50.
Men’s 200 IM – FINAL
Ryan Lochte had to wait 5 days to get his first gold medal at the 2013 World Championships, but when he got it, the swim was emphatic.
Despite all of the talk of who might challenge him, Lochte roared to a 1:54.98 to win the men’s 200 IM by over a second. The clear difference between Lochte this year and Lochte at the last World Championships (where he broke the World Record that still stands) is the endurance to close the last 50 meters, but he’s still every-bit-as-good on that first 150.
Kosuke Hagino from Japan finished 2nd in 1:56.29, coming up half-a-second shy of his personal best. He continues to be challenged on his breaststroke leg, where Lochte made up the bulk of the overall difference between the two, but he’s young enough (and from the right country) to improve that as he matures.
Brazil’s Thaigo Pereira took bronze in 1:56.30. Pereira over the last 18 months had changed his strategy in his IM’s, but this swim was more classic-Pereira: going out very hard, under World Record pace for 100 meters in fact, and then doing whatever he could to hang on for the freestyle leg. That’s as compared to 4th-place finisher Wang Shun, who was a 1:56.86 (a new Chinese National Record) who passed three swimmers on his freestyle leg, but left himself too much ground to make up with a horrendous backstroke leg. That seemed to be a plan by him, though, after having neither a good backstroke nor breaststroke leg in the semis, and it certainly worked for a huge time improvement (though not a medal).
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh was 5th in 1:57.70, and the final was rounded out by Australian Daniel Tranter (1:57.88), Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:58.45), and Sweden’s Simon Sjoding (1:59.79).
Women’s 200 Breaststroke – SEMIFINALS
We were treated to an amazing performance by Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte on day two when the Olympic champion set a new world record in the 100 breaststroke semi-final, and on day five we got to see an equally impressive accomplishment in the 200 distance semis.
Danish swimmer Rikke Moller Pedersen became the second woman in history to go under 2:20 posting a 2:19.11, breaking American Rebecca Soni’s world record of 2:19.59 (read more about that record here). When asked what just was thinking about in the race Pedersen told the press, “(I was) just trying to go strong and compete with the other girls.
Pedersen swam a magnificent race, topping a 2:20.5 from earlier this year, which was almost matched in the second semi-final by Russian Yuliya Efimova who posted a 2:19.85. Their splits are below:
Pedersen – 31.80/1:07.27 (35.47)/1:42.89 (35.62)/2:19.11 (36.46)
Efimova – 32.52/1:07.59 (35.07)/1:43.39 (35.80)/2:19.85 (36.46)
The other six women in the final are as follows; Spaniard Marina Garcia Urzainqui (2:22.88), American Micah Lawrence (2:23.23), Rie Kaneto of Japan (2:23.28), Sally Foster of Australia (2:24.14), Victoriya Solnceva of Russia (2:24.19) and Canadian Martha McCabe (2:24.68). Micah Lawrence was the top seed in the prelims, but was almost two seconds off of that time here. She’s usually so good in a final, that this pacing is a bit of a surprise, but she might turn things around on Friday.
Men’s 100 Freestyle – FINAL
The men’s 100 free final was a big-time burn-and-turn from much of the field, led by Russia’s Vlad Morozov who was out in 21.94, with American Nathan Adrian chasing him in 22.38.
However, when it came to the finish, the men with a bit more patience stole the show, as James Magnussen turned 5th en route to winning in 47.71, and American Jimmy Feigen turned 6th en route to silver in 47.82.
This is the second men’s final in as many days where both Americans swam well, but the one who ended up higher on the podium is far from the one that we all expected. Feigen beat his countrymate, and long-time NCAA rival, Adrian, who took bronze in 47.84. In this individual 100 free, his second event of the meet, he’s played his hand just about perfectly en route to the silver after a disappointing result in the 400 free relay.
Magnussen, meanwhile, takes back-to-back World Championships in his event. His time was identical to the one he did in prelims (though split quite differently), but fans will still be left wanting of what we know is Magnussen’s potential: 47.0 or better.
The Americans and Australians occupied all of the top four spots; Cameron McEvoy swam a lifetime best of 47.88 for 4th.
Morozov, despite being four-tenths better than anyone else to the turn, absolutely died on the back-half. He split 21.94-26.07 for 5th-place overall in 48.01. Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini was 6th in 48.28, followed by France’s Fabien Gilot (48.33) and Italy’s Luca Dotto (48.58).
Women’s 200 Fly – FINALS
Liu Zige the 2008 Olympic champion and 2009 World Champion, took the women’s 200 butterfly in a time of 2:04.59 in a thrilling race with crowd favorite and 400 freestyle silver medalist Mireia Belmonte Garcia. Liu who has not had many great showings since 2009, finishing third at the 2011 World Championships and eighth at the Olympics, had a season’s best of 2:07.10 that she posted at Chinese Nationals.
With the crowd behind her Belmonte Garcia did everything she could in the final 100 meters to catch Liu. She trailed Liu by 57 one-hundredths of a second at the halfway point, but by the 150 meter mark Belmonte Garcia made up the ground and heading into the final 50 meters the two athletes were tied. The Spaniard did not have enough in the length of the pool to pull ahead of Liu and finished second in a time of 2:04.78, breaking her own Spanish record of 2:05.25.
Liu and Belmonte Garcia’s splits are below:
Liu – 28.87/1:00.06 (31.19)/1:32.49 (32.43)/2:04.59 (32.10)
Belmonte – 28.29/1:00.63 (32.34/1:32.49 (31.86)/2:04.78 (32.29)
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu collected her second medal of the competition after winning the 200 IM earlier in the competition.
The next five finishers included; Natsumi Hoshi of Japan (2:06.09), Hungarian Zsuzsanna Jakabos (2:06.58), 2012 Olympic champion Jiao Liuyang of China (2:06.65), American Cammile Adams (2:07.73) and Judit Ignacio Sorribes (2:08.40).
Adams was the second seed coming out of the semi-finals, but added a second-and-a-half in this final to fall down the rankings.
Men’s 200 Breaststroke – SEMIFINALS
After biding time in prelims, the big-boys came out to play in the men’s 200 breaststroke semifinals. Defending Olympic Champion Daniel Gyurta from Hungary, who wins just about every big meet he swims this race at, took the top seed in 2:08.50.
Germany’s Marco Koch, though, still hung around, swimming a 2:08.61 for the 2nd seed, out of the same heat as Gyurta. Koch was phenomenal in prelims, and now will have a legitimate shot at a medal in an incredibly deep field. Koch’s best chance is the fact that he seems to be one of the few swimmers who can hang with Gyurta on the final 50 meters, though the entirety of Gyurta’s whole last 100 is still unmatched.
The 3rd seed goes to Great Britain’s Andrew Willis in 2:09.11, who knocked another eight-tenths of a second off of his prelims swim with that result. There was heavy controversy at the British trials when he was DQ’ed in the semis, but then allowed back into the finals on appeal. Whether it was fair or not, in terms of success at Worlds, it seems to have been the right decision.
Behind them are Russian Viatcheslav Sinkevich and the other Brit Michael Jamieson, who were the two fastest in the world in this event coming into the meet, in 2:09.4 and 2:09.6, respectively.
Finland’s Matti Mattsson was 6th in 2:09.96, which crushes his own National Record. The two Japanese swimmers barely snuck in to the final, including Akihiro Yamaguchi, the World Record holder, with a 2:10.00, and Ryo Tateishi in 8th with a 2:10.01.
American Kevin Cordes was out faster than anybody in the field, and half-a-second under World Record pace, but couldn’t hold on. He ultimately finished 9th in 2:10.03, missing a final by .02 seconds.
Others missing the final include Germany’s Christian vom Lehn, who was 10th in 2:10.12 (though he too also had a very good first 100 meters), and American BJ Johnson, who was 12th in 2:10.79.
Women’s 50 Back – FINALS
The three medal positions in the women’s 50 backstroke were taken by Asian athletes. World record holder Zhao Jing won the event in a season’s best time of 27.29, beating her previous best of 27.81. Zhao, who finished sixth in the 100 backstroke in London, did not compete in the 100 in Barcelona, making this her first event of the meet.
Zhao’s teammate Fu Yuanhui finished second in a time of 27.39, being caught by her teammate despite bringing in a huge edge out of the semi-finals. This came up shy of her season’s best of 27.22 that she posted at the Chinese Nationals. In the 100 backstroke earlier in the meet, Fu showed her 50 speed by turning second behind only Missy Franklin (en route to a 5th-place finish).
Aya Terakawa of Japan collected the bronze finishing in a time of 27.53. The bronze medal position is one that Terakawa is familar with after finishing third at both the London Olympics and earlier in the competition in Barcelona in the 100.
Brazilian Etiene Medeiros finished fourth in a time of 27.83. Medeiros was not far off the Brazilian record (just about a tenth) of 27.70, which was set by Fabiola Molina in 2009. The Brazilian has made great strides in 2013 coming into the year, knocking almost a full second off of her previous best.
European champion Mercedes Peris Minguet finished fifth in a time of 27.93. Peris Minguet wasn’t able to match her Spanish Record of 27.71 from the semifinals. Georgia Davies of Great Britain finished sixth tying her lifetime best time of 27.96.
American Rachel Bootsma finished seventh in a time of 28.05 while Lauren Quigley finished eighth in her first international final in a time of 28.33.
Men’s 200 Back – SEMIFINALS
Another American 1-2 is set up coming out of the semifinals in the men’s 200 back, as we’ve seen many times this week, with Olympic Champion Tyler Clary taking the top seed in 1:55.16, followed by countrymate Ryan Lochte, who was a 1:55.88.
Last year, we saw these two square-off at the Olympics in the final of this race, and there Clary took off on the last turn. It doesn’t appear as though either is in the same shape this year, but Clary in this semi-final made his move on the third 50 instead, and the two were about even coming back to the touch.
Japan’s Ryosuke Irie won the first heat and took the 3rd seed in 1;56.14, tied with Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki.
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, with another double on his loaded schedule, was 5th in 1:56.24. Chinese 18-year old Jiayu Xu was 6th in 1:56.42. to make the final after dropping an egg in prelims in London and not coming close to even the semis. This year, though, the tables were turned, and he made this final as the only Chinese entry.
Great Britain’s Craig McNally finished 7th in 1:56.97, and Hungary’s Peter Bermek was a solid 8th in 1:47.37.
Among those missing the final were Germany’s Yannick Lebherz in 1:57.71 for 11th and Great Britain’s Chris Walker-Hebborn in 1:58.16 for 13th.
Women’s 800 Free – FINALS
This women’s 800 free relay was almost deja vu of the 400 earlier in the meet, only this time, by the final touch, things weren’t all-that-close.
Missy Franklin hit the water with a one-second deficit to make up on Australian anchor Alicia Coutts, who previously anchored Australia’s 400 free relay as well, and split a blazing 1:54.27 to run her down and take victory in 7:54.14.
The American team also saw a lead-off from Katie Ledecky of 1:56.32, which is a new lifetime best for her; a 1:56.97 from Shannon Vreelandon the second leg, a 1:57.58 from Karlee Bispo on the third leg, and Franklin’s anchor. All four Americans appeared to be in the right spot, and though the exchanges weren’t great, otherwise all four swam right at their potential.
The Australians, meanwhile, were lead off by Bronte Barratt in 1:57.0, followed by Kylie Palmer (1:56.2) and a big third leg from Brittany Elmslie (1:56.4). Coutts did anchor quite a bit faster than her split from prelims.
France, meanwhile, was in the lead halfway, thanks to a 1:56.4 lead-off from Camille Muffat and a 1:56.8 from young swimmer Charlotte Bonnet. They gave a lot back with a 1:59.1 split from Mylene Lazare, but Coralie Balmy anchored in 1:56.0 to hold onto the bronze in 7:48.43. If they could find even another 1:57 leg for this relay, its one that could legitimately contend for gold medals, especially with how young it is.
China, the top seed in prelims, was 4th in 7:59.79, and then things dropped off significantly with Spain (7:53.20), Canada (7:55.48), Italy (7:57.91), and Japan (7:58.15).