2018 SC Worlds: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


  • Tuesday, December 11th – Sunday, December 16th
  • Hangzhou, China
  • Tennis Centre, Hangzhou Olympic & International Expo Center
  • SCM (25m)
  • Prelims: 9:30 am local, 8:30 pm ET / Finals: 7:00 pm* local, 6:00* am ET
  • *The final night of finals will be one hour earlier, starting at 6:00 pm local and 5:00 am ET
  • Live Results (Omega)

We’re on to night 5 of the 2018 Short Course World Championships in Hangzhou, with 11 events coming up tonight. Swimmers are getting ready for individual finals in the women’s 200 IM, 50 back, and 100 breast, as well as the men’s 50 fly and 400 IM. Relay action will include the men’s 4×50 medley relay and the women’s 4×200 free relay.


  • World Record: 1:30.44, Russia, 2017
  • Championship Record: 1:30.51, Brazil, 2014
  1. GOLD: Russia, 1:30.54
  2. SILVER: USA, 1:30.90
  3. BRONZE: Brazil, 1:31.49

Ryan Murphy got the USA off to a strong start with the fastest back split in 22.73, but Russia took over the lead on the breast leg with Oleg Kostin‘s 25.36. Caeleb Dressel made up some ground with a 21.70 fly split, but the Russians still held the lead by a few tenths. Evgeny Rylov sealed the deal with his 20.22 anchor split as Ryan Held closed in 20.31 for the USA (1:30.90). Russia’s 1:30.54 was a new Championship Record and just a tenth off their World Record from last year, while the USA took down the American Record by almost a full second.

Brazil had been 2nd going into the back half after Felipe Lima‘s 25.48 breast split. They were still ahead of the U.S. through Nicholas Santos‘ 22.02 fly leg, but settled for 3rd as Cesar Cielo anchored in 21.02 to hold off Italy’s Santo Condorelli (20.40). Italy wound up 4th in 1:31.54, just hundredths behind Brazil (1:31.49).

Belarus (1:32.45) got the fastest breast split of the field with Ilya Shymanovich putting up a 25.20.


  1. GOLD: Katinka Hosszu, HUN, 2:03.25
  2. SILVER: Melanie Margalis, USA, 2:04.62
  3. BRONZE: Kathleen Baker, USA, 2:05.64

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu took it out with the lead, but the USA’s Kathleen Baker pulled ahead at the halfway mark with a quick 30.77 backstroke split. Hosszu fought back on the breast leg, once again taking the lead, while the USA’s Melanie Margalis closed the gap on Baker, Hosszu and Margalis were the only women sub-36 on the breast split. Hosszu held on to her lead as she earned her 3rd-straight title in this event with a 2:03.25.

Margalis had the fastest closing split of the field in 29.80, moving past Baker (2:05.64) for a new American Record in 2:04.62. China’s Ye Shiwen, famous for her closing speed in the 400 IM at the 2012 Olympics where she set the World Record, came though on the free leg to nearly catch Baker. Ye was a couple of tenths shy of the podium in 2:05.79.


  • World Record: 44.94, Amaury Leveaux (FRA), 2008
  • Championship Record: 45.51, Vlad Morozov (RUS), 2014

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Chad Le Clos, RSA, 45.89
  2. Vlad Morozov, RUS, 45.93
  3. Caeleb Dressel, USA, 46.09
  4. Vladislav Grinev, RUS, 46.23
  5. Katsumi Nakamura, JPN, 46.24
  6. Blake Pieroni, USA, 46.31
  7. Simonas Bilis, LTU, 46.46
  8. Mehdy Metella, FRA, 46.53

Russia’s Vlad Morozov, the Championship Record holder, dipped under 46 to win the first semifinal heat. Morozov was quick through the front half to take the edge over Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura (46.24), who qualified 5th.

In heat 2, South Africa’s Chad Le Clos took the early lead and held off American sprint star Caeleb Dressel, 45.89 to 46.07. Fresh off his relay swim, Dressel was slightly slower than his 45.98 from prelims, but had the fastest losing split of anyone in semifinals with a 23.82. The only other swimmer to close sub-24 was Russia’s Vladislav Grinev (46.23), also coming right off that relay, with a 23.98.


  • World Record: 54.61, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2014
  • Championship Record: 54.61, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 2014

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Kelsi Dahlia, USA, 55.09
  2. Elena Di Liddo, ITA, 56.06
  3. Ai Soma, JPN, 56.31
  4. Daiene Dias, BRA, 56.40
  5. Kendyl Stewart, USA, 56.62
  6. Zhang Yufei, CHN, 56.77
  7. Ilaria Bianchi, ITA, 56.79
  8. Wang Yichun, CHN, 56.80

Italy’s Elena Di Liddo (56.06) got things started with a heat 1 win over Japan’s Ai Soma (56.31) as she used her front-half speed to take the edge. That was a new Italian Record for Di Liddo, clipping the old mark by a little under a tenth. Former Italian Record holder Ilaria Bianchi will also be in the final after qualifying 7th in 56.79.

The fastest time of the semifinals came from heat 2 as Kelsi Dahlia of the U.S. came within 4 tenths of the World Record in 55.09. Dahlia was out in 25.80 and closed over a second faster than anyone in her heat in 29.29. Brazil’s Daiene Dias (56.40) clipped the USA’s Kendyl Stewart (56.62) for 2nd in that heat.


  1. GOLD: Nicholas Santos, BRA, 21.81
  2. SILVER: Chad Le Clos, RSA, 21.97
  3. BRONZE: Dylan Carter, TTO, 22.38

World Record holder Nicholas Santos of Brazil got the job done with a 21.81, eclipsing the Championship Record formerly set by South Africa’s Chad Le Clos in 2014. Le Clos, the 100 fly champion, was a nail behind for 2nd in 21.97.

Trinidad and Tobago got their first medal of the meet here as Dylan Carter reached in for bronze at 22.30 to out-touch Germany’s Marius Kusch (22.40) for bronze.


  • World Record: 22.93, Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 2017
  • Championship Record: 23.25, Marleen Veldhuis (NED), 2008

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, NED, 23.50
  2. Femke Heemskerk, NED, 23.75
  3. Etiene Medeiros, BRA, 23.82
  4. Mallory Comerford, USA, 23.83
  5. Mariia Kameneva, RUS, 23.87
  6. Holly Barratt, AUS, 23.89
  7. Zhu Menghui, CHN, 23.95
  8. Madison Kennedy, USA, 24.00

The top 3 in semifinal heat 1 were separated by just 5 hundredths as Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros (23.82) reached in to out-touch the USA’ Mallory Comerford (23.83) and Russia’s Mariia Kameneva (23.87). That time for Medeiros was a new South American Record. The Dutch stepped up to claim the top 2 seeds, however, with World Record holder Ranomi Kromowidjojo winning heat 2 in 23.50 and teammate Femke Heemskerk touching in 23.75 for 2nd there.

China’s Zhu Menghui qualified 7th in 23.95, breaking the Chinese Record and tying the Asian Record.


  • World Record: 25.25, Cameron van der Burgh (RSA), 2009
  • Championship Record: 25.63, Felipe Franca da Silva (BRA), 2014

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Cameron van der Burgh, RSA, 25.76
  2. Fabian Schwingenschlogl, GER, 25.87
  3. Joao Gomes, BRA, 25.94
  4. (T-4) Kirill Prigoda, RUS, 25.95
  5. (T-4) Ilya Shymanovich, BLR, 25.95
  6. Huseyin Sakci, TUR, 25.97
  7. Oleg Kostin, RUS, 26.00
  8. Felipe Lima, BRA, 26.01

World Record holder Cameron van der Burgh was about a half second shy of his record as he topped semifinals in 25.76. Van der Burgh put up a 25.76, finishing just ahead of Germany’s Fabian Schwingenschlogl (25.87) in heat 1. Schwingenschlogl’s time marks a new German Record. Brazil’s Joao Gomes picked up the heat 2 win, qualifying 3rd for the final in 25.94.

Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich, who had the fastest 50 breast split in the medley relay earlier, tied for 4th overall with Russia’s Kirill Prigoda in 25.95.


  1. GOLD: Olivia Smoliga, USA, 25.88
  2. SILVER: Caroline Pilhatsch, AUT, 25.99
  3. BRONZE: Holly Barratt, AUS, 26.04

The USA’s Olivia Smoliga has swept the sprint backstrokes, setting a new American Record to win it in 25.88. Taking silver by a tenth and lowering the Austrian Record was Caroline Pilhatsch, the only other woman sub-26 tonight. Australia’s Holly Barratt reached in for bronze at 26.04, just out-touching China’s Olympic medalist Fu Yuanhui (26.06).


  • World Record: 3:55.50, Ryan Lochte (USA), 2010
  • Championship Record: 3:55.50, Ryan Lochte (USA), 2010
  1. GOLD: Daiya Seto, JPN, 3:56.43
  2. SILVER: Thomas Fraser-Holmes, AUS, 4:02.74
  3. BRONZE: Brandonn Almeida, BRA, 4:03.71

Japan’s Daiya Seto was far ahead of the field as he chased the World Record tonight, holding ahead of the pace until the back half of the freestyle leg. He was within a second of the mark in 3:56.43.

Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes (4:02.74) came from behind on the freestyle leg to move ahead of Brazil’s Brandonn Almeida (4:03.71) in the battle for the other podium spots. Hungary’s Peter Bernek, who was 2nd through the back leg, was the first man off the podium in 4:04.71 as he out-touched teammate Gergely Gyurta (4:04.74).


  1. GOLD: Alia Atkinson, JAM, 1:03.51
  2. SILVER: Katie Meili, USA, 1:03.63
  3. BRONZE: Jessica Hansen, AUS, 1:04.61

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson didn’t match her World Record, but still came away with the gold. Atkinson got off to a fast start, turning in 29.48 to lead the USA’s Katie Meili (1:03.68). Through the back half, Meili started to close the gap, but it wasn’t enough as Atkinson took gold by a tenth in 1:03.51. They were a second ahead of the field as Australia’s Jessica Hansen (1:04.61) clipped Italy’s Martina Carraro (1:04.73) for bronze.


  • World Record: 7:32.85, Netherlands, 2014
  • Championship Record: 7:32.85, Netherlands, 2014
  1. China, 7:34.08
  2. United States, 7:35.30
  3. Australia, 7:36.40

In a very exciting race to finish off the session, the Chinese women came through with the gold medal in the 800 free relay to the delight of the home crowd. Their time of 7:34.08 breaks the Asian Record by close to two seconds.

Li Bingjie led them off in 1:54.56, putting them 3rd behind Australia and Russia, Yang Junxuan got them up into 2nd with a 1:53.06 split, and then Zhang Yuhan (1:53.94) gave them the lead and Wang Jianjiahe finished it off with a 1:52.52 anchor which stood up as the fastest flying split in the field.

The U.S. broke the American Record by over three seconds in 7:35.30, with quick legs from Mallory Comerford (1:53.00) and Melanie Margalis (1:53.59), and then Erika Brown dropped a massive 1:52.86 on the anchor to push Wang all the way to the wall.

The Aussies also set a National Record in 3rd, led off by Ariarne Titmus who had the fastest split in the entire field from a flat start in 1:52.22. They were 7:36.40, and the Russians also got under their national mark for 4th in 7:36.64.

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4 years ago

from USA Swimming website:
Also claiming silver on Saturday was the men’s 200m freestyle relay lineup of Ryan Murphy (Jacksonville, Fla./California Aquatics), Michael Andrew (Lawrence, Kan./Race Pace Club), Dressel and Ryan Held (Springfield, Ill./Wolfpack Elite) in American record 1:30.90, as well as Katie Meili (Colleyville, Texas/New York Athletic Club) in the women’s 100m breaststroke in 1:03.63.

A complete look at Saturday’s action:

Gold – Russia, 1:30.54
Silver – United States (Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew, Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Held), 1:30.90 (American Record)
Bronze – Brazil, 1:31.49

USA Swimming should fact check their site…

4 years ago

yes , but lest 2 at home

4 years ago

left 2 at home

4 years ago

The 100 free final will be so tight tomorrow – Ouch – Game on

Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago


Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

Chad or Caeleb or Blake or Vlad

4 years ago

Who was the other swimmer on the American women’s 800 free really besides comerford, Margalis, and Brown?

Reply to  Swamfan
4 years ago

Leah Smith

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Swamfan
4 years ago

Joe Frazier

4 years ago

It sure does not seem like MA has the training to sustain fast swimming with multiple events over a long meet, even just swimming 50’s and 100’s. I think it’s a shame his father doesn’t have the courage to let go and have his son at least try some more traditional training with a recognized coach before it’s too late. I hear them bark about avoiding “garbage miles”. Do swimmers for the likes of Eddie Reese, Greg Troy, Bob Bowman, Dave Durden, etc constantly swim “garbage miles”? Caleb Dressel doesn’t seem to be hindered by doing some longer sets and IM training.

4 years ago

Didn’t he swim 7 events at nationals this summer. And he won the 50 free on like the last day of pan pacs. Probably tired from all the travel and racing this fall. Can’t expect best times every meet.

E Gamble
Reply to  50free
4 years ago

Prelims and finals with no relays at Nationals vs Prelims… semis. finals plus relays at SC Worlds. SC Worlds is way more taxing.

4 years ago

MA is not as good in SCM as LCM at the moment. I think this is a bigger factor than conditioning.

ole 99
4 years ago

Is it more courageous to stick to your beliefs in the face of opposition or fall in line with dogma? Just curious.

Reply to  ole 99
4 years ago

You consider the approach of the coaches I mentioned based on Dogma. Curious.

4 years ago

These are the stats:
50 Free PB before meet 20.94, prelims 21.25, semis 21.18, 4×50 relay flat start 21.33, 4×50 mixed flat start 21.13
50 fly PB before meet 22.32; prelims 22.93 semis 22.81
50 breast PB American Record before meet 26.1, prelims 26.62, 4×50 relay 26.16, 4×50 mixed relay 25.75
100 breast before meet PB 57.91, prelims 57.63, semis 57.24
100 IM before meet PB 51.8, prelims 51.50, semis 51.44, finals 51.58

I think MA is consistently fast and has sustained his speed over the course of the meet. 14 races so far

Reply to  anonymous
4 years ago

Not sure those numbers actually support your conclusion, especially since in some cases you are mixing relay splits with flat starts. I hope for his sake y’all are correct, as he now seems to be reaching an age and physical development/growth where I would have thought some more rigorous training would be important for improvement. Perhaps if your just doing mostly 50’s it does not matter. He seems to have so much ability in all the strokes. I guess we will never know what might have been if they are not willing to at least try a period of traditional training. Hopefully he can do well in long course season, but I still feel that “father as a coach” is… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  anonymous
4 years ago

If you follow him on social media at all, you know he and his family just moved from Kansas to California in the past few weeks. It had to be draining.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

excellent point OL’

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

I guess that’s why his last relay swim was awful. It’s too bad they already picked the Worlds Team. There will be at least 2 or 3 breastrrokers faster than him, by then. Mark my words.

4 years ago

Dahlia can get that world record but please please she needs to work on her turns. Her stroke is nice and long but she has to learn how to anticipate the wall and make adjustments and shorten stroke. Even Phelps had to learn the hard way.

4 years ago

I mean, Shorten stroke into the wall if necessary. That cost her 200 fly gold here.

Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

She holds her underwaters too long in the 200. She goes as far as Phelps did in his prime, only it takes her a couple seconds longer. That’s a lot of breath-holding. She anticipates that long breath-hold going into turns instead of attacking them.

Honest Observer
4 years ago

A couple of general points. First, having had a week to acclimate to the Hangzhou time zone, the US team is swimming a lot better overall than it did at Pan Pacs, when they had only a couple days in the Tokyo beforehand. There are fewer short course meters data points to compare with for a lot of the Americans, but we seem to be seeing a lot of PB-type performances. Let’s hope the Olympic team gets a full two weeks in the zone before Tokyo ’20.

Second, some of the swimmers who’ve had to pull fairly heavy relay duty in addition to a fairly heavy schedule of individual events are looking a little worn out. No one —… Read more »

Reply to  Honest Observer
4 years ago

Very good points. Regarding MA this is not juniors where you are off the growth charts compared to other swimmers and could sweep all the events. This is World Champs so look at the schedule and focus on a few key races that you have a legitimate shot at winning.

Reply to  Swimmer
4 years ago

Most sprinters at Juniors are over six feet tall, so I’m not sure what “growth charts” have to do with anything. MA is not the first tall kid to ever step up on the blocks. Heck, Reece Whitley has always been bigger and I’ve never once heard his accomplishments downplayed because of his height.

Woke Stasi
Reply to  Honest Observer
4 years ago

I’d also like to point out that a number of the swimmers who’ve performed well here (except MA) have been racing throughout the fall at the various SC events in Asia and Europe: Vlad, LeClos, and Pieroni. I wonder what Dressel would have done had he raced at five or six of these events coming into this one.

Also, nice use of the word “onerous.” Don’t see that much on this site. I’m more of a “tworous” person.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Woke Stasi
4 years ago

MA just flew back from World Cup to Kansas, loaded up with the family, drove (I thin) to California for move-in, all in December. I think we can cut the guy some slack.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
4 years ago

Not clear why that move couldn’t have happened 2-4 weeks later when the date on this meet has been on MA’s calendar for a year+

Not the best coaching decision imo

Reply to  Honest Observer
4 years ago

Excellent analysis Buddy !! Loved it and learned a lot from it .

Reply to  Honest Observer
4 years ago

MA and Leah smith have been the biggest underpermiers for the us team
Smoliga and Dahlia have been the best performers.

Reply to  Honest Observer
4 years ago

All this is especially true for a meet where swimmers are not fully rested, which I’m sure is the case not just for the Americans.

Reply to  Caleb
4 years ago

Who says not fully rested? All swimmers? Excuse?

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  Caleb
4 years ago

No. Swimmers are fully rested. Why would they be partially rested? LCM worlds is in 7-8 months…

4 years ago

WOW !!! Brown & Comerford splits ,3d and 4th fastest in the entire field of that last relay of the day !!! Titmus is just on another level from a fat start – Incredible talent

Old Man Chalmers
4 years ago

fat start lol

Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
4 years ago

yep – i missed that one – so funny 😂

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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