2019 FINA World Championships: Day 8 Finals Live Recap


The 2019 FINA World Championships conclude tonight in Gwangju with day 8 finals. The session will see swimmers compete for medals individually in the men’s 50 back, women’s 50 breast, men’s 1500 free, women’s 50 free, men’s 400 IM, and women’s 400 IM. We’ll then conclude the meet with the 4×100 medley relay for the men and women.

The stroke 50s tonight will each feature the World Record holders. Lilly King (USA) and Yuliya Efimova (RUS) will face off one more time in the 50 breast. King won the 100 breast here, while Efimova won the 200 breast. Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov leads the way into the 50 back final, with teammate Evgeny Rylov, the 200 back champ, also in the field. The women’s 50 free features World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom as well as 100 free World and Olympic Champion Simone Manuel of the USA. The reigning 50 free Olympic Champion is also in the mix: Denmark’s Pernille Blume.

Japan’s Daiya Seto, the 200 IM champion at this meet, is the man to beat in the men’s 400 IM. The USA’s Chase Kalisz, who won this race in 2017, won’t be in the final as he missed the top 8 in prelims. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu is chasing her 4th consecutive title in the 400 IM and her 5th career title in the event. Earlier in the meet, she became the first woman to ever win 4-straight World titles in an event with her victory in the 200 IM.


  • World Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (Russia), 2018, 24.00
  • World Junior Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (Russia), 2018, 24.40
  • World Championships Record: Liam Tancock (Great Britain), 2009, 24.04
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Camille Lacourt (France), 24.35


  1. GOLD- Zane Waddell (RSA), 24.43
  2. SILVER- Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 24.49
  3. BRONZE- Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 24.51

South Africa’s Zane Waddell won his first ever World Championships gold as he reached into the wall for a 24.43 win. Waddell was less than a tenth shy of the South African Record, which still stands at a 24.34 done by Gerhard Zandberg in 2009. He out-touched Russia’s Evgeny Rylov (24.49), the 200 back champion, by 6 hundredths.

Russia got 2 on the podium as World Record holder Kliment Kolesnikov finished 3rd in 24.51. He was 2 hundredths ahead of the USA’s Ryan Murphy (24.53). American Michael Andrew, who swam his 4th of the 4 stroke 50 finals tonight, was 5th in 24.58. China’s Xu Jiayu, who won the 100 back, was 6th in 24.64.


  • World Record: Lilly King (USA), 2017, 29.40
  • World Junior Record: TARGET TIME, 2013, 29.86
  • World Championships Record: Lilly King (USA), 2017, 29.40
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Lilly King (USA), 29.40


  1. GOLD- Lilly King (USA), 29.84
  2. SILVER- Benedetta Pilato (ITA), 30.00
  3. BRONZE- Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 30.15

Lilly King nabbed another gold for the USA, earning back-to-back titles in this event with a 29.84. She touched just ahead of Italian teen phenom Benedetta Pilato. At just 14 years old, Pilato took silver in 30.00. Russia’s Yuliya Efimova, the 200 breast champion, took bronze in 30.15.

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, the 2015 silver medalist, was just off the podium with a 30.34 for 4th. Italy’s Martina Carraro came in behind her with a 30.49, fol,owed by Australia’s Jessica Hansen (30.84). Carraro is the 100 breast Italian Record holder from her bronze medal performance in that event here.


  • World Record: Sun Yang (China), 2012, 14:31.02
  • World Junior Record: Mack Horton (Australia), 2014, 14:51.55
  • World Championships Record: Sun Yang (China), 2011, 14:34.14
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy), 14:35.85


  1. GOLD- Florian Wellbrock (GER), 14:36.54
  2. SILVER- Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR), 14:37.63
  3. BRONZE- Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA), 14:38.75

It was an extremely close race up until the final 100 meters. The top 3 men were stroke-for-stroke going into the final turn, but it was Germany’s Florian Wellbrock who turned on the jets to pull ahead. Germany won their first Worlds gold since 1991 as Wellbrock took the win in 14:36.54. He’s the first man to win both the 1500 free and the 10k open water event. Both German medals at this meet have come in the mile. Their only other medal came from Sarah Kohler in the women’s 1500.

Behind him, Mykhailo Romanchuk of the Ukraine moved ahead of Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri in the closing 100, taking silver in 14:37.63. Paltrinieri, the Olympic Champion in this race, had won this event in both 2015 and 2017. He also won the 800 free earlier in the meet. Tonight, Paltrinieri held on for bronze with a 14:38.75.

France’s David Aubry hit the wall 4th in 14:44.72, setting a new French Record in the process. Norway’s Henrik Christiansen followed closely with a 14:45.35, breaking the Norwegian Record.


  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2017, 23.67
  • World Junior Record: Rikako Ikee (Japan), 2017, 24.33
  • World Championships Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2017, 23.67
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 23.69


  1. GOLD- Simone Manuel (USA), 24.05
  2. SILVER- Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 24.07
  3. BRONZE- Cate Campbell (AUS), 24.11

The USA’s Simone Manuel raced to another victory, giving her a sweep of the sprints here as she out-touched Sweden’s World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom, 24.05 to 24.07. Though Manuel has won the 100 free at every major international meet she’s swum in since 2016, this is her first 50 free victory on the big stage. Sjostrom’s silver marks her 17th World Championships medal. Only Katie Ledecky and Natalie Coughlin have earned more.

Australia’s Cate Campbell came through with a bronze, touching in 24.11 to edge out Denmark’s Olympic Champion Pernille Blume (24.12) by a hundredth. Russia’s Mariia Kameneva (24.31) was 5th. The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the 2012 Olympic Champion, was 6th in 24.35.



  1. GOLD- Daiya Seto (JPN), 4:08.95
  2. SILVER- Jay Litherland (USA), 4:09.22
  3. BRONZE- Lewis Clareburt (NZL), 4:12.07

It was all Japan’s Daiya Seto through 300 meters of this race. Seto looked like he would dominate for gold, but when he made the final turn he had a race on his hands. The USA’s Jay Litherland was nearly 3.5 seconds behind after the breast leg, but made a big push on the freestyle to challenge.

Litherland scorched a 56.99 coming home, but Seto hung on for the gold, winning in 4:08.95 to Litherland’s 4:09.22. Seto reclaims the title in this race after winning it in 2013 and 2015. Litherland hit a new lifetime best as he won his first ever individual Worlds medal.

New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt won his country’s first medal of the meet and their first ever Worlds medal in this event as he hit the wall in 4:12.07 for bronze. Spain’s Joanllu Pons was just off the podium in 4:13.30. Hungary’s Peter Bernek, who was scratched into this final after German Philip Heintz bowed out due to a hip injury, took 5th in 4:13.83.

Maksym Shemberev, the first ever finalist at Worlds for Azerbaijan, took 6th in 4:14.10.



  1. GOLD- Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 4:30.39
  2. SILVER- Ye Shiwen (CHN), 4:32.07
  3. BRONZE- Yui Ohashi (JPN), 4:32.33

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu has now won 5 World Championships titles in this event throughout her career. Hosszu took the lead after butterfly and never looked back, touching in 4:30.39. She was a few seconds behind her World Record, but still enough to earn her 4th consecutive title in this event.

Behind her, China’s Ye Shiwen earned another silver medal. She used her signature closing speed to out-touch Japan’s Yui Ohashi, 4:32.07 to 4:32.33. That was Ye’s fastest time since 2014 by far and a season best by 5 seconds. Ohashi’s bronze was her first medal of the meet.

Canada’s Sydney Pickrem, the 200 IM bronze medalist, took 4th in 4:36.72. Teammate Emily Overholt, who set the Canadian Record in this race at 2015 Worlds, came in behind her at 4:37.42. American Ally McHugh was 6th in 4:38.34.


  • World Record: 3:27.28, USA (Peirsol, Shanteau, Phelps, Walters), 2009
  • World Championship Record: 3:27.28, USA (Peirsol, Shanteau, Phelps, Walters), 2009
  • World Junior Record: 3:35.17, Russia (Kolesnikov, Gerasimenko, Minakov, Markov), 2018
  • Defending World Champion: USA (Grevers, Cordes, Dressel, Adrian), 3:27.91


  1. GOLD- Great Britain, 3:28.10
  2. SILVER- USA, 3:28.45
  3. BRONZE- Russia, 3:28.81

The lead changed hands on every leg of this race as it came down to a close one for gold. Russia got the lead up front with Evgeny Rylov‘s 52.57 to Ryan Murphy‘s (USA) 52.92. Great Britain then moved ahead as Adam Peaty posted a 57.20 on the breast leg.

The lead then went to the USA as Caeleb Dressel split a 49.28, the fastest split in history, on the fly leg. Nathan Adrian (47.60) had a big lead as the anchor, but Great Britain’s Duncan Scott appeared to come out of nowhere to run him down. The British were over a second behind going into the final leg, but Scott blasted a 46.14 to bring it home for the win. Great Britain touched in 3:28.10, while the USA settled for silver in 3:28.81.


  • GBR- Greenbank 53.95, Peaty 57.20, Guy 50.81, Scott 46.14
  • USA- Murphy 52.92, Wilson 58.65, Dressel 49.28, Adrian 47.60
  • Russia- Rylov 52.57, Prigoda 58.68, Minakov 50.54, Morozov 47.02

The Russians picked up a bronze in this one as Vlad Morozov (47.02) anchored them to a 3:28.81. Australia (3:30.86) and Japan (3:30.42) battled for 4th. Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki gave them the edge with a 58.16 breast split, and although Kyle Chalmers anchored in 46.60, Japan came out ahead.


  • World Record: 3:51.55, USA (Baker, King, Dahlia, Manuel), 2017
  • World Championship Record: 3:51.55, USA (Baker, King, Dahlia, Manuel), 2017
  • World Junior Record: 3:58.38, Canada (Hannah, Knelson, Oleksiak, Ruck), 2017
  • Defending 2017 World Champion: USA (Baker, King, Dahlia, Manuel), 3:51.55


  1. GOLD- USA, 3:50.40
  2. SILVER- Australia, 3:53.42
  3. BRONZE- Canada, 3:53.58

The final race of the 2019 FINA World Championships started off with a bang, as there were 2 World Records set in this single event. The USA’s Regan Smith got the ball rolling with a World Record in the 100 back, racing to a 57.57 to give the USA a big lead. That makes Smith the first woman in history to break 58 seconds, erasing teammate Kathleen Baker‘s former World Record of 58.00 from 2018.

Smith, who set a new World Record in the 200 back and won gold in that event, didn’t even get the chance to swim the 100 back individually here, but she was the fastest 100 backstroker here by far.


  • USA- Smith 57.57*, King 1:04.81, Dahlia 56.16, Manuel 51.86
  • AUS- Atherton 59.06, Hansen 1:06.08, McKeon 56.32, Campbell 51.96
  • CAN- Masse 59.12, Pickrem 1:06.42, MacNeil 55.56, Oleksiak 52.48

The Americans led the race through to the finish. Lilly King, the 100 breast champion, had the fastest breast split of the field in 1:04.81. Kelsi Dahlia held their lead with a 56.16 fly split. To close, 100 free champion Simone Manuel anchored in 51.86, sealing a new World Record for the USA in 3:50.40. That blew away the old World Record from 2017 Worlds by over a second.

There was a tight race for silver between Australia (3:53.42) and Canada (3:53.58). They were very close through the first half, but Maggie MacNeil, the 100 fly champion, pulled ahead for Canada with a 55.56 on the fly. Australia roared back, however, with Cate Campbell‘s 51.96 on the anchor leg to out-touch Canada for silver. Canada set a new Canadian Record to take the bronze.

Italy was 4th in 3:56.50. Federica Pellegrini, who won the 200 free here, anchored them in 52.48 as the team set a new Italian Record.

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1 year ago

Last finals session. All the emotions 😭😪🤧 thanks everyone for a fun week!

Surfs up
Reply to  SWAMMER
1 year ago

Hoping Australia can finish off a successful campaign with another couple of medals. Cate all class when having to front the media last night.

Reply to  Surfs up
1 year ago

I didn’t even get to see the interview. Which broadcaster was it on? Is there a clip of it anywhere?

William Charles Alexander
Reply to  SWAMMER
1 year ago

First time watching worlds or olympics with these swimswam boards as a companion. Really made the experience that much better for me! Lets all enjoy 8 riveting finals tonight 🥳🙏

Reply to  William Charles Alexander
1 year ago

Yes, hats off to SwimSwam for great coverage, all the previews etc, could not have been easy with the difference, but you did very well guys. Thanks

Elaine McCluskey
Reply to  Daden
1 year ago

I learned so much background and insight because of swimswam. Truly enhanced the experience.

Reply to  William Charles Alexander
1 year ago

You never forget your first time.. 😉

Reply to  SWAMMER
1 year ago

Let’s say you are trying to introduce a friend to the sport of swimming. Which 3 races/heats do you show them from this week?

Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
1 year ago

I would want them to experience a variety of emotions. Mens 100 free (great head to head race), Mens 200 butterfly (unexpected WR by a young swimmer), Womens 800 free (a veteran looking out of it, staying patient, and then storming away at the end).

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
1 year ago

Men’s 100 free final, Women’s 100 free final, Men’s 100 breaststroke final, men’s 4×200, women’s 4×200

Basically the most exciting races with the fastest time.

Reply to  SWAMMER
1 year ago

so sad………….

Reply to  SWAMMER
1 year ago

And messed up sleep schedules 😦

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  Tm71
1 year ago

You just live in the wrong place ,

Reply to  SWAMMER
1 year ago

It was a fabulous week , once again . I laughed more than usually …….to the many insightful & very funny comments . 😅💙

1 year ago

Last one 😟

1 year ago

Idk why my comment won’t post but Kenderesi has been arrested for s exual harassment. Has been released but can’t leave Korea

Philip Johnson
Reply to  gymswim
1 year ago

Oh dang. I would like to hear the whole story. We tend to think the accused is always guilty in these type of situation, but not always the case.

Reply to  gymswim
1 year ago

OH OH – thats is no good news for him & his Federation !

Steve Nolan
Reply to  gymswim
1 year ago

Most women are not used to his “75% easy, 25% hard” methods.


Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 year ago

Are you freaking kidding me? A joke about sexual harassment? Trash.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Swim4
1 year ago

Eh I bumbled the phrasing, I’ll give you that. Shouldn’t have mentioned anyone but him in it.

Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 year ago

Awful comment. Terrible.

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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