2014 World Short Course Championships: Day Four finals live recap

2014 Short Course World Championships


  • World Record: 1:23.36 – Russia – 2013

Looking to keep pace with a 5-world-record day 3, the fourth day of Short Course Worlds opened up with a relay record of its own. It was the Russian men who topped their own world record in the 4×50 free relay, going 1:22.60.

That crew was just a hair away from putting all four swimmers under 21 seconds. Vlad Morozov led off in 21.01 (the field’s best opening split) before the rest of his team put up three straight 20s to lock up the gold medal. Also on the relay were Evgeny Sedov (20.37), Oleg Tikhobaev (20.59) and Sergei Fesikov (20.63).

The U.S. took silver and was actually pretty close to the full-20-second relay as well. Josh Schneider was just a tick behind Morozov on the leadoff leg, going 21.05, and Tom Shields, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte all put up 20s to help the Americans go 1:23.47, just a tenth off the old world record.

Bronze went to Italy, led by a 20.43 from individual 50 free silver medalist Marco Orsi and his 20.43 split, which is the second-fastest of the field behind Sedov. That team went 1:24.56, just beating out Belgium (1:24.72).


  • 2012 World Champ: 1:03.52 – Ruta Meilutyte – Lithuania
  • 2010 World Champ: 1:03.98 – Rebecca Soni – United States 
  • Meet Record: 1:03.52 -Ruta Meilutyte – Lithuania – 2012
  • World Record: 1:02.36 – Ruta Meilutyte – Lithuania – 2012 AND Alia Atkinson – Jamaica – 2014

After semifinals, we were on World Record watch in this race, but were watching the wrong swimmer. With reigning world record-holder Ruta Meilutyte swimming from the top-seeded lane, it was actually Jamaican Alia Atkinson who took the gold, and she did it by stunningly tying Meilutyte’s world record in the event.

Meilutyte led at the halfway mark, going out in 29.10, but Atkinson closed in a hurry, going by the Lithuanian to win by a tenth in 1:02.36. Meilutyte finished in 1:02.46 and the two will now share the world record in the race, with the meet record going to Atkinson.

With all the drama up front, there was a bit of a gap to the bronze medalist, Moniek Nijhuis of the Netherlands. She went 1:04.03 to steal the last medal from China’s Shi Jinglin (1:04.52). Just behind were Australia’s Sally Hunter (1:04.82) and Danish 200-specialist Rikke Moller Pedersen (1:04.84).


  • 2012 World Champ: 23.04 – Robert Hurley – Australia 
  • 2010 World Champ: 22.93 – Stanislav Donets – Russia
  • Meet Record: 22.93 – Stanislav Donets – Russia – 2010
  • World Record: 22.61 – Peter Marshall – United States

Another 50-meter world record for Florent Manaudou. The French bulldozer absolutely crushed the 50 back field, going 22.22 to erase yet another super-suited world record from 2009. Manaudou was about four tenths under the world record, a huge margin in a 50, and he took gold by over eight tenths.

American Eugene Godsoe just beat out meet record-holder Stanislav Donets of Russia, 23.05 to 23.10. They took home silver and bronze, respectively, with a whole wave of athletes behind them. Albert Subirats of Venezuela (23.16) and 100 back gold medalist Mitch Larkin of Australia (23.18) were the closest, and American Matt Grevers took 6th in 23.32.

WOMEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE – Semi-finals

  • 2012 World Champ: 25.95 – Zhao Jing – China 
  • 2010 World Champ: 26.27 – Zhao Jing – China
  • Meet Record: 25.95 – Zhao Jing – China – 2012
  • World Record: 25.70 – Sanja Jovanovic – Croatia – 2009

Our first event without a world record was the women’s 50 back, but even that came close. Australian Emily Seebohm went 25.87, a new meet record and just .17 off the world record set back in 2009. That means we’ve got another super-suit record that could be in jeopardy tomorrow.

And Seebohm isn’t the only one who could get it. Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros was 25.99 and could be a medal contender as well.

Russia’s Daryna Zevina is also into the final, going 26.20 just ahead of American Felicia Lee (26.22). Georgia Davies (26.35) of Great Britain and Russia’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk (26.36) join them, as does Katinka Hosszu (26.38), who has swept the backstroke races and broken world records in both so far this week.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE – Semi-finals

  • 2012 World Champ: 45.52 – Vladimir Morozov -Russia 
  • 2010 World Champ: 45.74 – Cesar Cielo – Brazil
  • Meet Record: 45.51 – Vladimir Morozov – Russia – 2014 
  • World Record: 44.94 – Amaury Leveaux – France – 2008

There’s some gamesmanship going on in the men’s 100 free, as the top few swimmers did just enough to make it into the final. That leaves our semifinal results very bunched up, with the whole top 8 going between 46.2 and 46.8.

Brazilian Cesar Cielo leads the way in 46.21. He was also the only guy to open in under 22 seconds, but he’s likely got more in his tank for tomorrow’s final. His teammate Joao de Lucca gives Brazil the top two seeds after going 46.29.

The prohibitive favorite, though, has to be Florent Manaudou of France. Just a couple events after breaking the world record in the 50 back, Manaudou was back to secure his spot in the 100 free final, going 46.37. After his monster 44.8 relay split earlier this week, look for a fully-rested Manaudou to challenge the meet record of 45.51 set by Vlad Morozov while leading off the 400 free relay this week. Morozov is not swimming the 100 individually.

Australia’s Tommaso D’Orsogna and Russia’s Danila Izotov are close behind in 46.40 and 46.45, respectively.

WOMEN’S 50 FREESTYLE – Semi-finals

  • 2012 World Champ: 23.64 – Aleksandra Gerasimenya – Belarus
  • 2010 World Champ: 23.37 – Ranomi Kromowidjojo – Venezuela  
  • Meet Record: 23.25 – Marleen Veldhuus – Netherlands – 2008
  • World Record: 23.24 – Ranomi Kromowidjojo – Netherlands – 2013

The Netherlands has broken two relay world records so far, and Ranomi Kromowidjojo is now within striking distance of an individual one. Kromowidjojo, the 2012 Olympic champ in the 50 and 100 frees, is the top qualifier out of the semifinals in the women’s 50, and sits two tenths off her own world record.

Kromowidjojo was 23.43 and leads by a half-second, so unless someone else can come up with a big finals swim, it could be Kromo against the clock tomorrow night.

Second is American Madison Kennedy, the veteran who went 23.96 to be the only swimmer besides Kromowidjojo under 24. Right on that bubble was Bronte Campbell of Australia, who put up a 24.01 for the third seed into the final. Also in the 24-lows: German Dorothea Brandt (24.03) and Dutch swimmer Inge Dekker (24.08).


  • 2012 World Champ: 22.22 – Nicholas Santos – Brazil
  • 2010 World Champ: 22.40 – Albert Subirats – Venezuela  
  • Meet Record: 22.22 – Nicholas Santos – Brazil – 2012
  • World Record: 21.80 – Steffen Deibler – Germany – 2009

Chad le Clos is well on his way to a butterfly sweep of these Short Course World Championships. The South African won the 50 fly crown after taking gold and setting a new world record in the 100 earlier on. His time of 21.95 just missed the world record by about a tenth here, but was still enough to beat Brazil’s tough sprinter Nicholas Santos and also took down the meet record. Le Clos will swim the 200 fly tomorrow in search of the sweep and his 4th individual gold of these championships.

Santos took silver in 22.08 as those top two separated themselves from the rest of the crew. In a tight battle for bronze, Andrii Govorov of the Ukraine topped Russia’s Aleksandr Popov 22.49 to 22.53, and American Tom Shields was just outside in 22.57.

WOMEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY – Semi-finals

  • 2012 World Champ: 56.13 – Ilaria Bianchi – Italy
  • 2010 World Champ: 55.43 – Felicity Galvez – Australia
  • Meet Record: 55.43 – Felicity Galvez – Australia – 2010
  • World Record: 55.05 – Diane Bui Duyet – France – 2009

Sarah Sjostrom just barely missed the world record, but did crack the meet record in the women’s 100 fly semifinal. Her time of 55.13 sits just off the world mark, and she could potentially become the first woman under 55 seconds in tomorrow’s final. Sjostrom, of course, is coming off an excellent long course season, and was the 50 fly gold medalist here in Doha earlier this week.

She’s well ahead of her nearest competitor, for now at least. Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark, who upset Sjostrom for the European Championships gold medal this summer, is back at 56.05, but could still be a real factor in the final. Inge Dekker of the Netherlands is also not far behind, going 56.17 for the third seed.

China’s Lu Ying, the 50 fly gold medalist back in 2012, sits fourth at 56.34. Everyone behind her is seeded very close together going into the final, as the entire top 8 got under 57 seconds in semis.

MEN’S 100 MEDLEY – Semi-finals

  • 2012 World Champ: 51.21 – Ryan Lochte – United States
  • 2010 World Champ: 50.86 – Ryan Lochte – United States 
  • Meet Record: 50.71 -Ryan Lochte – United States – 2012
  • World Record: 50.71 – Ryan Lochte – United States – 2012

American Ryan Lochte has been a staple of this meet over the last decade, and he’s got a shot at yet another World Championships gold. Lochte is the top seed heading into the 100 IM final after going 51.41 in the semis.

He’ll have his work cut out for him, though, in defending his 2012 title. Germany’s Markus Deibler was just .05 back at 51.46 and closed his race with a faster split than Lochte did. Perhaps the biggest threat is Russia’s Vlad Morozov, who’s the third seed back at 51.60. Morozov is as pure a sprinter as you can find, with four great strokes and outstanding starts and turns.

Also in the hunt: 200 IM winner Kosuke Hagino, who got his first taste of World Champs gold earlier this meet. Hagino was 51.89 and sits fourth. Russia’s Sergei Fesikov also got under 52 seconds, going 51.98.

WOMEN’S 200 MEDLEY – Finals

  • 2012 World Champ: 2:04.64– Ye Shiwen – China
  • 2010 World Champ: 2:05.73 – Mireia Belmonte Garcia – Spain
  • Meet Record: 2:04.64 – Ye Shiwen – China – 2012
  • World Record: 2:02.13 – Katinka Hosszu – Hungary – 2014

The world records had gone dry for a run of events, and Katinka Hosszu had had enough of it. The Hungarian broke her 4th world record of these Championships while winning her 4th gold medal with a 2:01.86. That’s a drop of three tenths from the mark she set on the World Cup tour earlier this fall.

Hosszu was dominant. She never trailed, and had the fastest split in every stroke except freestyle, where her countrywoman Evelyn Verraszto just outsplit her. As has been the theme this week, Hosszu’s backstroke was really clicking; the Hungarian split 29.93, not only the only swimmer in the field under 30 seconds, but the only one under 31 as well.

The silver medal was 4 seconds back. That was Great Britain’s Siobhan O’Connor at 2:05.87. O’Connor was tough in the front-half, and safely held on for silver over a charging Melanie Margalis. The American Margalis sat 5th at the halfway mark but blasted her way back with a big 30.02 free split to take bronze in 2:056.68.

Great Britain’s Hannah Miley was fourth (2:06.84), just touching out the other American, Caitlin Leverenz (2:06.90). Verraszto took sixth for Hungary in 2:07.05, buoyed by that big free split.

MEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE – Semi-finals

  • 2012 World Champ: 26.30 – Aleksander Hetland – Norway
  • 2010 World Champ: 25.95 – Felipe Franca Silva – Brazil
  • Meet Record: 25.95 – Felipe Franca Silva – Brazil – 2010
  • World Record: 25.25 – Cameron van der Burgh – South Africa – 2009

Coming off his outstanding long course season, Great Britain’s Adam Peaty is the top qualifier for the men’s 50 breast final. Peaty, who broke the long course 50 breast world record over the summer, went 25.75 to just nip current meet record-holder Felipe Franca while breaking Franca’s meet record.

Franca is just .02 back at 25.77, and should be a major factor after winning the 100 breast on Thursday.

A little ways back from them are Russian Kirill Prigoda (26.04) and world record-holder Cameron van der Burgh (26.11). Van der Burgh definitely has the speed to compete for gold – he was leading the 100 breast at the 50-turn before fading to 4th – but will have to better his semifinal time by quite a bit to have a  shot.


  • World Record: 1:29.53 – Russia – 2013

The session ended with one final world record, bringing Saturday’s total to 5, the same as Friday night. This time it was the American contingent stamping their names on the record book with a 1:28.57 in the 4×50 mixed medley relay.

The race was outstanding. The entire top 4 made it under the previous world record mark, set by the Russian team at last year’s European Championships. Russia led early, with young star Evgeny Sedov crushing a 20.59 leadoff leg. That would have gotten Sedov a silver medal in the individual 50 free yesterday.

Brazil sat second, with Cesar Cielo going 20.65, two tenths faster than he was in the individual 50. The Americans were third, and that was even getting a strong leadoff split from Josh Schneider, a 20.94 that’s faster than his open 50 time.

Russia continued to lead through Vlad Morozov‘s leg (20.65), and Brazil held second with the U.S. running third, but Italy had the fastest 2nd split on a 20.44 from 50 free silver medalist Marco Orsi.

All four relays followed the conventional strategy of putting their male swimmers first to get into clean water, with the females anchoring. The Brazilians (Etiene Medeiros, 23.58) and Americans (Madison Kennedy, 23.63) started to close in on the third split, but the order remained Russia-Brazil-US with just one leg to go.

It was the youngest American swimmer who pulled off the big split to launch the team to the win. 17-year-old high school senior Abbey Weitzeil split a 23.25, tied for best in the field, to run down Russia’s Rosaliya Nasretdinova (23.96) and Brazil’s Larissa Oliveira (23.91). Weitzeil pushed her exchange as much as one can get away with, clocking in at -.02 on the reaction time (typically a couple hundredths of grace are given either way on relay exchanges). Still, she was equally fast through the water as the U.S. came from third place to win by more than half a second.

That vaulted the U.S. into the win at 1:28.57. Also under the old record were the Russians (1:29.13), the Brazilians (1:29.17) and the Italians (1:29.22), who also had a big-time anchor split. Erika Ferraioli went 23.25, just the same as Weitzeil, to nearly bring the Italian squad back from fourth into medal contention.

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3 Races.. 3 WR!

team rwanda

another World Record for Manaudou 22.22 on 50 back

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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