Sunday at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain will be all finals, all-the-time, as 8 sets of medals will be handed out.
Men’s 50 backstroke FINAL
Women’s 50 breaststroke FINAL
Men’s 400 IM FINAL
Women’s 50 free FINAL
Men’s 1500 free FINAL
Women’s 400 IM FINAL
Men’s 400 medley relay FINAL
Women’s 400 medley relay FINAL
All of the buzz is surrounding whether or not Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu has a chance at Ye Shiwen’s World Record in the 400 IM (which, incidentally, with what we’ve seen, Ye Shiwen does not have much of a shot at).
After winning the 200 IM on day 2 of this meet, it would have been an unequivocal ‘yes’. As the meet wares on, though, the fatigue factor has to be considered. Only four women have ever broken the World Record in the 400 IM at the World Championships, probably due largely to its placement at the end of the meet. World Records in this race are much more common at the Olympics, where it comes early, or at sort of off-kilter meets like trials, or even once in Ecuador in the early 80’s.
Out of those three women, one, German’s Gudrun Wegner, did so before it was moved to the end of the meet. Katie Hoff is the best example, as she came in with a lot of swims (200 IM, 200 free, 400 free, 800 free relay) under her belt before breaking the World Record, and that’s perhaps where the confidence in Hosszu lies. Hoff in 2007 was ‘feeling it.’ She was in as good-of-shape as we thought we had ever seen for a female swimmer, and all signs were pointing toward her 400 IM as THE race. And THE race it was.
Hosszu has done this tough schedule before, and done it well. In 2009, she was the World Champion in the women’s 400 IM, though even now without a polyurethane suit, she’d need to beat that time by two seconds to take the World Record. She hasn’t looked quite as good since winning that 200 IM, though she’s certainly done enough to stamp her legacy on this World Championship meet.
(For those interested, American Tracy Caulkins in 1978 was the other swimmer to break the WR at the end of a World Championships, and Germany’s Petra Schneider did so in 1982 as well.).