Day five’s semi-finals gave some things to look forward to tonight:
- A showdown in the women’s 200 breaststroke between world record holder Rikke Moeller Pedersen of Denmark and Russian Yuliya Efimova after the two joined Rebecca Soni in the sub 2:20 club.
- After seeing Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden join fellow finalists Australian Cate Campbell and Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands as the only three women to post a sub 53 textile swim, the 100 freestyle should be an incredible race
- Another battle between American’s Tyler Clary and Ryan Lochte in the men’s 200 backstroke.
- A head to head fight in the 200 breaststroke between current world record holder Akhiro Yamaguchi (2:07.01) and Olympic champion and former world record holder Hungarian Daniel Gyurta.
Day 6 Finals Events:
Women’s Freestyle 100m (FINAL)
Men’s Backstroke 200m (FINAL)
Women’s Backstroke 200m (SEMIFINAL)
Men’s Freestyle 50m (SEMIFINAL)
Women’s Breaststroke 200m (FINAL)
Men’s Butterfly 100m (SEMIFINAL)
Women’s Butterfly 50m (SEMIFINAL)
Men’s Breaststroke 200m (FINAL)
Men’s Freestyle 4x200m (FINAL)
Women’s 100 freestyle
Before the events began Australian Cate Campbell was asked if this race felt like revenge after missing the 2012 individual event at the Olympics due to illness, she corrected the interviewer, not revenge, motivation.
Campbell was motivated indeed going out in a time of 24.85, 61 one-hundredths of a second ahead of Britta Steffen’s 2009 world record. Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden made a push in the last 15 meters when Campbell began to tie up, but did not have enough to catch the Australian who won the event in a time of 52.34.
Campbell who came into the world championships as the world’s top ranked swimmer set herself up well for a great individual event after leading the Australian 4 x 100 freestyle relay off in a time of 52.33 earlier in the competition.
Sjostrom was expected to be a threat in the last 50 meters after swimming a 26.99 in the second half of her swim yesterday’s semi-final. She was just that again recording a 27.33, the fastest second 50 in the field once again.
Sjostrom finished second in a time of 52.89.
Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands and American Missy Franklin battled the entire race. Kromowidjojo was ahead of Franklin at the 50 by one one-hundredth of a second and at the finish Kromowidjojo collected the bronze in a time of 53.42 just ahead of Franklin who finished fourth in a time of 53.47.
Kromowidjojo finished in the same spot she did at the 2011 World Championships.
Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands finished fifth in a season’s best time of 53.67.
World record holder Britta Steffen of Germany finished sixth in a time of 53.75.
Yi Tang of China, the Olympic bronze medalist finished seventh in a time of 54.09 while American Shannon Vreeland finished eighth in a time of 54.49.
Men’s 200 backstroke
With the four 2012 Olympians in the finals of the men’s 200 backstroke going in as the top four qualifiers it promised to be a great race in the middle of the pool.
American Ryan Lochte led the race from start to finish. He was challenged by Radoslaw Kawecki of Poland . Lochte turned at the halfway point in a time of 55.89 five tenths of a second ahead of Radoslaw who made up ground in the third 50, but was never able to catch the American who won the event in a time of 1:53.79.
Lochte destroyed his previous season’s best of 1:55.16 and swam 14 one-hundredths of a second faster than the time he posted in the Olympic final where he collected the bronze.
If Lochte was looking for revenge after his race in London he got it beating fellow American Tyler Clary and Ryosuke Irie of Japan, who both finished ahead of him at the Olympic games.
Kawecki has progressively improved his placing at major competitions, finishing seventh at the 2009 world championships, fifth at the 2011 world championships, fourth at the 2012 Olympics and now second in Barcelona.
His time of 1:54.24 is a new European and Polish record and was over a second faster than his lifetime best of 1:55.28.
Olympic champion Tyler Clary took third in a time of 1:54.64, which is a season’s best but close to a second off his lifetime best and Olympic winning time of 1:53.41.
Japanese swimmer Ryosuke Irie finished without hardware for the first time in a long time. He he finished fourth in a time of 1:55.07 after finishing second at the 2009 world championships, 2011 world championships and 2012 Olympic games.
Irie’s Japanese teammate Kosuke Hagino finished in fifth with a time of 1:55.43.
British swimmer Craig McNally finished sixth in a time of 1:56.67, which leaves Britain still looking for their first medal of the competition.
Xu Jiayu of China finished seventh in a time of 1:57.13 while Peter Bernek of Hungary finished eighth in a time of 1:58.26.
Women’s 200 backstroke – Semi-final
After finishing fourth in the 100 freestyle earlier in the evening American Missy Franklin qualified in the top spot for tomorrow night’s 200 backstroke final posting a time of 2:06.46.
Canadian Olympian Hilary Caldwell improved her lifetime best by over a second in the prelims setting a new Canadian record finishing in a time of 2:07.81. In the semi-finals she improved by another 66 one-hundredths of a second dropping the national record down to a time of 2:07.15.
American Elizabeth Pelton qualified third with a time of 2:08.20, which is well off her season’s best of 2:06.29, so look for a lot from her in tomorrow night’s final.
Australia’s Belinda Hocking qualified fourth in a time of 2:08.49, Daryna Zevina of the Ukraine qualified fifth in a time of 2:08.74, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary qualified sixth in a time of 2:08.97, Daria Ustinova qualified seventh in a time of 2:09.08 while Canadian Sinead Russell qualified eighth in a time of 2:09.84.
Men’s 50 freestyle
Olympic champion Florent Manaudou of France qualified first in a time of 21.37. Manaudou was just off his personal best of 21.34, his winning time in London.
Manaudou has shown the ability to step up and improve in the finals of big competitions, in London he posted a 21.80 in the semi-final, it should be very exciting to see what the Frenchman can go tomorrow night.
2000 Olympic champion, Anthony Ervin of the United States, was the first four athletes over the age of 30 to qualify for the final (the others being Frederick Bousquet, Roland Schoeman and George Bovell). Ervin posted the second fastest time of 21.42.
American Nathan Adrian and Brazilian Cesar Cielo tied with the third fastest qualifying time of 21.60.
Bousquet of France qualified fifth with a time of 21.62, Russian Vlad Morozov qualifed sixth in a time of 21.63, Schoeman of South Africa qualified seventh in a time of 21.67 while Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago qualified eighth in a time of 21.74.
Australian James Magnussen one of the favourites to win the event coming into Barcelona failed to qualify for the finals finishing ninth in a time of 21.79.
Women’s 200 breaststroke
After both Rikke Moeller Pedersen of Denmark and Olympic silver medalist Yuliya Efimova posted times under 2:20 in the semi-finals the women’s 200 breaststroke was the most anticipated race of the evening.
Pedersen, who broke the world record in the semi-final led the race for 150 meters that was when Efimova made her charge. Efimova tralied Pedersen by 27 one-hundredths of a second at the final turn, but came off the wall determined to collect her first world championship.
Efimova split 35.81 in the final 50 meters winning the event in a time of 2:19.45, which is the second fastest time ever swum in the event.
Pedersen’s world record – 31.80/1:07.27 (35.47)/1:42.89 (35.62)/2:19.11 (36.22)
Efimova’s winning time – 32.86/1:08.30 (35.44)/1:43.60 (35.30)/2:19.41 (35.81)
Pedersen posted a 36.75 for her final split and finished second in a time of 2:20.08
American Micah Lawrence, who finished sixth at the Olympics, collected the bronze finishing in a time of 2:22.37.
Rio Kaneto of Japan finished fourth in a time of 2:22.96.
Ukrainian Viktoriya Solnceva finished fifth in a time of 2:23.01. Solnceva has made great strides in Barcelona first breaking the Ukrainian national record in the semi-finals finishing in a time of 2:24.19 and lowering it again in the finals by over a second
After turning in eighth at the 100 in a time of 1:10.40 Marina Garcia Urzainqui of Spain finished the race extremely strong swimming her final 50 in a time of 36.27, which was the second fastest, next Efimova, in the field.
Australian Sally Foster finished seventh in a time of 2:24.01.
Canadian Martha McCabe who won the bronze in 2011 finished eighth in a time of 2:25.21.
Men’s 100 butterfly
The 100 butterfly final tomorrow night should be exciting with only three tenths of a second separating the top eight.
Ryan Lochte, the winner of the 200 backstroke earlier in the evening, qualified for the top position recording a time of 51.48. Lochte’s time is an improvement on this lifetime best of 51.65, which he recorded at the American Olympic Trials in 2012.
This is the first personal best at the competition Lochte who looks to be getting stronger as the meets goes on.
Olympic silver medalist and 200 butterfly world champion Chad le Clos of South Africa qualified in second with a season’s best time of 51.52.
Konrad Czerniak of Poland and Russian Evgeny Korotyshkin had an outstanding race in the second semi-final. The two men were the fastest in the first 50 meters out of all the semi-finalists. Korotyshkin posted a 23.83 while Czerniak was only one one-hundreth of a second behind.
Czerniak qualified third in a time of 51.55 while Korotyshkin fourth with a time of 51.60. It will be interesting to see either man will be able to hold off the field in the second 50 of the final.
Hungarian Laszlo Cseh qualified in fifth in a time of 51.61, Italian Matteo Rivolta qualified sixth in a time of 51.64, Steffen Diebler of Germany qualifed seventh in a time of 51.65 while Yauhen Tsurkin of Belarus qualified eighth in a time of 51.78.
Women’s 50 butterfly
After deciding to forgo the 100 freestyle presumably so that she could concentrate on the 50 butterfly Danish swimmer Jeanette Ottesen Gray qualified first in the women’s 50 butterfly in a time of 25.50.
Coming into Barcelona Ottesen Gray was the top ranked swimmer in the world posting a 25.56 in June. Earlier in the competition she recorded a best time of 57.19 in the 100 butterfly and with her better event being the 50 it should be exciting to see how close she can get to Therese Alshammar’s 2009 world record of 25.07.
Swimming her second event of the evening Ranomi Kromowidjojo qualified second in a lifetime best of 25.68. This being only the fifth competition that Kromowidjojo has swum this event in since 2011 it should be interesting what she can do in an event that she has very little exposure in.
Fran Halsall of Great Britian qualified third in a time of 25.90. There will be a lot of pressure on Halsall in tomorrow night’s final as Britain is still looking for their first medal of the competition.
Melanie Henique of France, who took home the bronze in this event in 2011, qualified fourth in a time of 25.95.
American Dana Voller qualified fifth in a time of 26.06.
2011 world champion Inge Dekker of the Netherlands qualified sixth
While Farida Osman of Egypt and Lu Ying of China qualified in seventh and eight tying with a time of 26.12.
With her time Osman sets a new African record in the event.
Men’s 200 breaststroke
At the halfway point of the men’s 200 breaststroke it looked liked anyone’s race, that was until Olympic champion Daniel Gyurta of Hungary made his move in the third leg of the event.
Gyurta turned at the 100 meter wall in the seventh position with a time of 1:02.54. His third 50 split of 32.33 was the fastest in the final by 64 one-hundredths of a second and put him within seven one-hundredths of a second of Akihiro Yamaguchi’s world record pace.
Gyurta split a 32.36 in his final 50 meters winning the event in a European and Championships record time of time of 2:07.23. His final 50 meters was 13 one-hundredths of a second slower than Yamaguchi’s world record split.
German Marco Koch finished second in a lifetime best of 2:08.54. Coming into world championships Koch was ranked seventh in the world with a 2:09.40 and was a long shot for a medal considering he did not make a final at either 2011 World Championships or 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Although Koch was a long shot to win the silver the biggest surprise of the competition has to be 19 year old Matti Mattsson of Finland collecting the bronze.
Coming into the competition Mattsson’s lifetime best was a 2:11.81 that he posted at the Olympics last year and he was not even ranked in the top 100 in the world this year having posted a season’s best of 2:14.69.
Mattsson was the fastest to the 100 meter mark in the final in a time of 1:01.91, which is only 74 one-hundredths of a second slower than the Finnish national record of 1:01.17. At the end of the 200 he touched in a new Finnish national record time of 2:08.95.
This year Great Britain decided to take a page out of the American’s playbook and placed their trials much closer to the world championships than they normally do. The experiment has not worked well at all.
Olympic silver medalist Michael Jamieson recorded a 2:07.78 at the British trials, the fastest time in the world coming into Barcelona while fellow countryman Andrew Willis posted a 2:08.35 at the trials, which was ththird ranked time in the world coming into the world championships.
In the final Willis placed fourth in a time of 2:09.13 with Jamieson finishing fifth in a time of 2:09.14
Russian Viatcheslav Sinkevich, who set a new Russian record of 2:08.62 earlier this year finished sixth in a time of 2:09.34.
World record holder Akihiro Yamaguchi of Japan finished seventh in a time of 2:09.57 with his teammate Ryo Tateishi finished eighth with a time of 2:10.28.
Men’s 4 x 200 freestyle relay
In a replay of the individual 200 free final, this time it was the Russian Danila Izotov who hit the wall first in and among a leadoff battle between himself (1:45.1), gold medalist Yannick Agnel (1:45.4), Kosuke Hagino (1:45.93), and silver medalist Conor Dwyer (1:45.76).
That was but a battle, though, and from then onward the Americans dominated the war. Ryan Lochte showed his toughness by splitting a 1:44.98 on the 2nd leg, followed by another great leg from Charlie Houchin (1:45.59) and a 1:45.39 anchor from Ricky Berens as the Americans took the win in 7:01.72. With that anchor, Berens affirmed the coaches’ decision to use him on this finals relay.
The Russians never fell out of the top 2, as Izotov combined with Nikita Lobintsev, Artem Lobuzov, and Alexander Sukhorukov to touch 2nd in 7:03.92. The Chinese, meanwhile, looked to be out of this race, but a monstrous anchor leg from Sun “did he really scratch the 200 free” Yang in 1:43.16 (the best of the whole field) carried them back to the medal stand, despite starting with a pair of 1:47’s, in 7:04.74.
France wound up 4th in 7:04.91; they got strong bookends from Agnel and Jeremy Stravius (1:45.41), but didn’t have that same explosive leg to balance out the middle part of their relay. 3rd-through-5th places were all separated by only two-tenths of a second, as Japan sound up on the back end of that pack in 7:04.95.
Germany, feeling the absence of Paul Biedermann, was 6th in 7:10.07. That included a 1:45.98 anchor from Yannick Lebherz, though, after only looking so-so in the 200 back earlier in the meet.
Belgium was 7th in 7:11.15, and the British finished 8th in 7:12.00.