And here we go again day number seven of the 2013 FINA World Championships from Barcelona, Spain. Once again there are no shortage of story lines to be watching in tonights finals:
- Women’s 50 butterfly final – Can Jeanette Ottesen Gray collect Denmark’s first gold of the competition? Will Fran Halsall win Britain’s first medal?
- Men’s 50 freestyle final – Can you believe that we are going to get to see so many iconic figures in one race?
- Women’s 200 backstroke final – How fast will Missy Franklin go?
- Men’s 100 butterfly final – Ryan Lochte vs Chad le Clos two key figures from the 2012 Olympics battling for the 100 butterfly title. One thing is certain le Clos will be watching Lochte.
- Women’s 800 freestyle final – After their historic performances in the 1500 freestyle what can Katie Ledecky and Lotte Friis do as an encore?
Than there is tonight’s must see semi-final of the evening women’s 50 breaststroke where the only three women to go under 30 seconds in the event since January 1, 2010 will be vying for the top spot in the final as well as chasing Yuliya Efimova‘s newly set world record.
Order of events:
- Women’s 50 fly FINAL
- Men’s 50 free FINAL
- Women’s 200 back FINAL
- Women’s 50 breast SEMIFINALS
- Men’s 100 fly FINAL
- Women’s 50 free SEMIFINALS
- Men’s 50 back SEMIFINALS
- Women’s 800 free FINAL
Women’s 50 butterfly
After winning the 100 freestyle at the 2011 World Championships Jeanette Ottesen Gray of Denmark had a disappointing Olympics where seventh in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 100 butterfly.
Since then she has had a coaching change and a shift in focus away from the 100 freestyle and towards the 50 and 100 butterfly as well as the 50 freestyle.
That change in focused paid off today in Barcelona where Ottesen Gray won Denmark’s first gold medal of the competition, winning the 50 butterfly in a new Danish record of 25.24.
Lu Ying of China the Olympic silver medalist in the 100 butterfly has not looked good in Barcelona, finishing 11th in the 100 butterfly and just sneaking into the final by one one-hundredth of a second in the 50.
She changed that tonight finishing second in the final in a lifetime best time of 25.42.
Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands decided to add the 50 butterfly to her program, which is an event that she has not raced much throughout her career.
The freestyle specialist, did not look great earlier in the meet finishing third in the 100 freestyle did quite well against an experienced field finishing third in a lifetime best time of 25.53.
Since having a very disappointing Olympics Fran Halsall of Great Britain has spoken many times about her desire to right what went wrong. Although she did break the British record posting a 25.70 she finished fourth leaving Britain still looking for their first medal of the competition.
Inge Dekker of the Netherlands the 2011 World Champion finished fifth in a time of 25.83.
Melanie Henique of France finished sixth in a time of 25.96.
Egyptian Farida Osman finished seventh in a time of 26.17 just missing the national record of 26.12 she set in the semi-final.
Olympic 100 butterfly champion Dana Vollmer finished eighth in a time of 26.46.
Men’s 50 freestyle
The men’s 50 freestyle final was one of the most anticipated races of the evening at it featured the three of the last four Olympic Champions in the event.
Coming out on top was 2008 Olympic champion and world record holder Cesar Cielo of Brazil. Cielo who has had to contend with injuries since the 2012 Olympic games in London was in top form posting a time of 21.32, which is the fastest time he has recorded since breaking the world record in December of 2009.
For Cielo this result was surprising because he had lost a lot of confidence in his start and questioned whether he would ever swim with the best on the international level without as much power off of the blocks. For that reason much of his concentration in training this year has been on the second 25 meters of his race, which definitely paid off.
Russian Vlad Morozov has made great strides this season, beginning the year with a lifetime best of 22.06. He dominated the world short course championships winning both the 50 and 100 meter freestyle events and experienced great success winning the 50 and 100 freestyle events in impressive times at the World University Games.
After a marvelous first 50 split of 21.94, in the 100 freestyle final in Barcelona Morozov faded to fifth. Showing that speed earlier in the meet it was a given that he would be challenging for the top spot on the podium.
Morozov finished second in a time of 21.47, improving on his previous lifetime best of 21.64.
Four time Olympian George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago finished third in a time of 21.51. It is incredible to see him this primed for the event since coming into the World Championships Bovell had not swum the event this season. His finishing time is also his best since January 1, 2010.
100 freestyle Olympic Champion American Nathan Adrian finished fourth in a time of 21.60. Adrian did not look good in the 100 freestyle where he finished third and his finishing time in the 50 was off his season’s best of 21.47.
2012 Olympic Champion Florent Manaudou of France touched just ahead of the 2000 Olympic champion American Anthony Ervin. Manaudou finished fifth in a time of 21.64 while Ervin finished sixth in a time of 21.65.
Roland Schoeman of South Africa finished seventh in a time of 21.86 followed by Frederick Bousquet of France who finished eighth in a time of 21.93.
Women’s 200 backstroke
American Missy Franklin has looked impressive throughout the competition winning the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke as well as leading the women’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay and 4 x 200 freestyle relay team’s to victories.
Going into the 200 backstroke it wasn’t so much would Franklin win, the question was by how much?
As expected Franklin dominated the 200 backstroke winning the event in a time of 2:04.76 nearly two seconds ahead of Australian Belinda Hocking who finished second in a time of 2:06.66.
Franklin’s time was the second fastest that she has swum, next her World Record of 2:04.06.
29.53/1:00.50 (30.97)/1:32.16 (31.66)/2:04.06 (31.90)
2013 World Championships:
29.55/1:00.93 (31.38)/1:32.77 (31.84)/ 2:04.76 (31.99)
Hocking and Canadian Hilary Caldwell had a very entertaining battle for third. Caldwell turned at the halfway point in second position with a time of 1:02.33, 14 one-hundredths of a second ahead of Hocking. By the 150 mark Hocking had closed that gap to nine one-hundredths of a second.
Hocking eventually finished second in a time of 2:06.66, six tenths of a second off her own Australian record, followed by Caldwell who collected the bronze in a time of 2:06.80.
With that time Caldwell broke the Canadian record for the third time in the competition, posting a 2:07.81 in the prelims and then a 2:07.15 in the semi-finals.
Coming into the competition Caldwell was ranked tenth in the world with a season’s best of 2:09.31.
Daryna Zevina of the Ukraine finished fourth in a time of 2:08.72.
American Elizabeth Pelton finished fifth in a time of 2:08.98. This is an extremely suprising result for Pelton who looked strong finishing fourth in the 100 backstroke 59.45 less than two tenths away from her lifetime best and coming into Barcelona had a season’s best in the 200 of 2:06.29.
200 IM World Champion Hungarian Katinka Hosszu finished sixth in a time of 2:09.08, Sinead Russell of Canada finished seventh in a time of 2:10.46 followed by Russian Daria Ustinova who finished eighth in a time of 2:11.30.
Women’s 50 breaststroke
Heading into this mornings preliminaries Jessica Hardy held the world record in the 50 breaststroke in a time of 29.80 while the only woman to go under the 30 second barrier since January 1, 2010 had been Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, who posted a 29.96 earlier this year.
That all changed very quickly as 200 breaststroke world champion Russian Yuliya Efimova broke Hardy’s world record qualifying for the semi-finals posting a time of 29.78. Hardy also posted a sub 30 touching in a time of 29.99.
Now fast-forward to the semi-finals and things changed very quickly once again. In the first semi-final Jessica Hardy improved on her morning swim finishing in a time of 29.90.
The second semi-final saw Efimova, the new world record go head to head with Meilutyte, the woman who beat her in the 100 breaststroke earlier in the competition.
Just as she did when she broke the world record in the 100 breaststroke semi-final Meilutyte amazed the crowd by posting a time of 29.48. The 16 year olds’ time is absolutely incredible considering that she was 32 one-hundredths of a second under Hardy’s old world record from 2009.
Efimova finished in a time of 29.88.
Qualifying fourth with a time of 30.20 was American Breeja Larason, Petra Chocova qualified fifth in a time of 30.31, 200 breaststroke world record hold Rikke Moeller-Pedersen of Denmark qualified sixth in a time of 30.57, Moniek Nijhuis of the Netherlands qualified seventh in a time of 30.61 followed by Jennie Johansson of Sweden who qualified eighth in a time of 30.66.
Men’s 100 butterfly
Olympic and World Champion in the 200 butterfly Chad le Clos of South Africa won his first major international title in the 100 butterfly today in Barcelona winning in a lifetime best of 51.06. le Clos had a tremendous final 50 meters splitting a 26.89 making up ground on four competitors after turning at 50 meters in the fifth position.
Unlike his winning time of 1:54.32 in the 200 butterfly earlier in the competition which was much slower than the 1:52.96 he posted in London his winning time in the 100 butterfly was a considerable improvement on his previous best of 51.42 that he recorded in the semi-finals at the Olympic games.
After winning the world short course championships in an impressive time of 48.82 and seeing his improvement in Barcelona it appears that le Clos has focused much more on the shorter distance since the Olympics.
Hungarian Laszlo Cseh finished second in a time of 51.45. Cseh, whose best finish in Barcelona has been a fifth in the 200 IM, looks like as time goes on he is becoming more focusing on shorter and shorter events.
Entering the competition his lifetime best in the event was 51.77 from 2012. The second place finish was surprising considering his season’s best of 52.51 had him ranked 31st in world coming into Barcelona.
Konrad Czerniak of Poland finished third, one one-hundredth behind Cseh, in a season’s best of 51.45. The placing for Czerniak would be satisfying after a disappointing eighth place finish in the Olympics.
Coming into Barcelona Steffen Deibler was the top ranked swimmer in the world posting a time of 51.19 in April. Deibler led at the halfway point turning in a time of 23.60, but his tactics proved to be flawed as his 27.94 in the second 50 meters was the slowest in the field.
Russian Evegeny Korotyshkin who finished tied with le Clos for the Olympic silver in London finished fifth in a time of 51.57.
After having a very successful Friday evening session it looked like Ryan Lochte did not have a lot left in the tank for the 100 butterfly finishing sixth in a time of 51.58.
Italian Matteo Rivolta finished tied for seventh with Yauhen Tsurkin of Belarus in a time of 51.65.
Tsurkin’s time broke his own national record of 51.78 that he set in the semi-finals.
Women’s 50 freestyle
The Australian world championship trials gave Cate Campbell the perfect venue to start her on a path of success for 2013 after a disappointing Olympic showing. Campbell won both the 50 and 100 freestyle in the best times she’s done in quite some time, and her time of 24.27 in the 50 was the top ranked time in the world coming into Barcelona.
Campbell improved on in the semi-final, qualifying first for the final in a time of 24.19.
She was followed by two of the three medalists from the 50 butterfly from earlier in the evening. Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who won bronze in the butterfly, qualified second in a time of 24.33, which just off her season’s best of 24.30.
Jeanette Ottesen Gray, who won the butterfly event, qualified third in a new Danish record time of 24.54. Ottesen Gray broke her own record of 24.61 that she swam in the semi-final of the 2011 World Championships.
Fran Halsall of Great Britain qualified in fourth with a time of 24.61.
Cate’s younger sister Bronte Campbell qualified fifth with a 24.62, 100 freestyle silver medalist Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden qualified sixth in a time of 24.65, Dorothea Brandt qualified seventh in a time of 24.85 followed by American Simone Manuel who qualified in eighth with a 24.91.
Men’s 50 backstroke
French teammates Camille Lacourt and Jeremy Stravius qualified in first and second position for tomorrow night’s final of the 50 backstroke.
Both men had a disappointing 100 backstroke earlier in the competition. Lacourt who won the 100 at the 2011 World Championships finished fifth in a time of 53.51. Stravius entered the competition as the top ranked swimmer in the world and finished third.
They will both be looking to redeem themselves in the final of the 50.
Guy Marcos Barnea of the Israel qualified third in a time of 24.73. For Barnea this was an impressive coming into the competition ranked 24th in the world with a season’s best 25.16 and since January 1, 2010 has not gone faster than 25.01.
The 100 backstroke Olympic and world champion American Matt Grevers tied with Brazilian Daniel Orzechowski to qualify fourth in a time of 24.79.
Grevers time was a solid swim considering his lifetime best in the 50 meter distance is only a 24.72 that he posted in 2010.
Aschwin Wildeboer Faber of Spain qualified sixth with a time of 24.90 while Jonatan Josef Kopelev of Israel and Sun Xiaolei of China tied for seventh with a time of 24.95.
Women’s 800 freestyle
After American Katie Ledecky and Lotte Friis of Denmark battled it out in the 1500 freestyle, both finishing well under Kate Ziegler’s world record, it was expected that the 800 freestyle was going to be a great race and it lived up to it’s billing.
Ledecky’s 800 split in the 1500 freestyle was 8:17.33 while Friis split 8:17.16, times that would have ranked first and second in the world heading into to Barcelona.
Friis game plan in the 800 appeared to be the same as it was in the 1500, get a lead and keep that lead for as long as possible hoping that it lasts for a full 800 meters. Unfortunately for Friis Ledecky also decided to use the same tactics she did in the 1500, allow Friis to lead until 200 meters left in the race, take over the lead and destroy her in the final 100 meters.
Ledecky finished first in a new world record time of 8:13.86 breaking Rebecca Adlington‘s record of 8:14.10 set in 2008.
It was obvious that Ledecky was on a mission to leave Barcelona with both the 800 and 1500 freestyle world records and that is exactly what she did.
The 16 year old is the first woman to hold both records at the same time since Janet Evans accomplished that feat in March of 1988, coincidently at the age of 16.
Adlington’s world record splits from the 2008 Olympics:
2:01.32/4:05.72 (2:04.40)/6:10.30 (2:04.58)/8:14.10 (2:03.80)
Ledecky’s world record splits from 2013 World Championships
2:01.23/4:06.44 (2:05.21)/6:11.03 (2:04.59)/8:13.86 (2:02.83)
Ledecky is also the first woman to win the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle events at the world championships since Hannah Stockbauer of Germany did in 2003.
Friis finished in a time of 8:16.32 just over her championship record of 8:15.92 that she set in 2009. Friis is a veteran of the event having won the bronze at the Olympics in 2008, gold at the 2009 World Championships and silver at the 2011 World Championships.
Lauren Boyle of New Zealand finished third in a new national record time of 8:18.58. Boyle broke her own national record of 8:22.72 that she set in the final at the Olympics where she finished fourth.
Hungarian Boglarka Kapas held off a late charge by Mireia Belmonte Garcia to finish fourth in a time of 8:21.21. Belmonte Garcia finished fifth in a time of 8:21.99.
American Chloe Sutton finished sixth with a time of 8:27.75, Andreina Pinto of Venezuela finished seventh in a time of 8:29.37 followed by Martina De Memme who finished eighth in a time of 8:37.29.