2021 Short Course World Championships: Day 6 Finals Live Recap


Fresh off a world record-breaking performance in the 50 backstroke, Maggie MacNeil is back today to race the 100 butterfly. She’s top seed with a 55.45 but is surrounded by a number of worthy competitors including Claire Curzan, Louise Hansson, Torri Huske, among others.

In the 200 backstroke, Shaine Casas will have a shot at pulling off a Rylov-esque sweep of the backstroke events. He swam a 1:49.82 during prelims to establish a huge PB and was the only sub-1:50 man in the field.

The 200 this morning in the women’s 200 breaststroke led by world junior record holder Evgeniia Chikunova. She was a 2:19.56 but Sweden’s Sophie Hanson and Great Britain’s Molly Renshaw were just a touch slower, having swum times of 2:20.31 and 2:20.33, respectively.

Alessandro Miressi and Florian Wellbrock are the other top seeds in the men’s individual events, entered with a 45.58 in the 100 and a 14:24.76 in the 1500 freestyle. The final individual race for the women will be the 50 freestyle, in which Sarah Sjostrom, Kasia Wasick, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, and many more will vie for the gold.

Stay tuned for all of that, along with the women’s 4×50 freestyle, along with both 4×100 medley relays.

Women’s 4×50 Freestyle

  • World Record: 1:32.50 – Netherlands – 12 DEC 2020
  • Championship Record: 1:34.03 – United States – 16 DEC 2018

Top 8:

  1. USA – 1:34.22
  2. Sweden – 1:34.54
  3. Netherland – 1:34.89
  4. China – 1:35.00
  5. Russia – 1:35.40
  6. Canada – 1:35.87
  7. France – 1:36.36
  8. Hong Kong – 1:39.35

Sarah Sjostrom in Sarah Sjostrom fashion opened things up with a 23.33 split to give Sweden the early lead over the field. Michelle Coleman was able to hold onto the lead with her 23.38 but the USA, the Netherlands, Canada, and Russia were closing in.

Sarah Junevik threw down a 24.02, which kept Sweden in the lead at the 150, but Louise Hansson was ultimately overtaken by American Kate Douglass who split a 23.42 to close out the race.

The Americans won gold here in a 1:34.22, which was 0.32 seconds faster than silver medal-winning Sweden. The Netherlands rounded out the podium with a 1:34.89 and their swim included a blistering 22.88 closing split from Ranomi Kromowidjojo. That was the only sub-23 split in the field and is faster than Kromowidjojo’s own world record in the individual event of 22.93.

China swam a 1:35.00, which wasn’t enough for a podium finish but earned them 4th place overall and marked a new Asian record in the event.

Men’s 1500 Freestyle

  • World Record: 14:08.06 – PALTRINIERI Gregorio (ITA) 4 DEC 2015
  • Championship Record: 14:09.14 – ROMANCHUK Mykhailo (UKR) 16 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 14:27.78 – PALTRINIERI Gregorio (ITA) 24 NOV 2012

Top 8:

  1. Florian Wellbrock (GER) – 14:06.88 WR
  2. Ahmed Hafnaoui (TUN) – 14:10.94
  3. Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) – 14:11.47
  4. Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) – 14:21.00
  5. Domenico Acerenza (ITA) – 14:24.31
  6. Damien Joly (FRA) – 14:25.62
  7. Henrik Christiansen (NOR) – 14:30.78
  8. Daniel Wiffen (IRL) – 14:36.78

Early on in the men’s 1500 freestyle final, a race broke out between our top 4 finishers, but by the halfway point Florian Wellbrock had established a clear lead ahead of the field. Wellbrock only got better as the race went on and ultimately managed to smash the world record in this event with a 14:06.88.

That swim for Wellbrock is more than a second off Gregorio Paltrinieri‘s former mark in the 1500 freestyle of 14:08.06 from 6 years ago. He also broke the Championship record of 14:09.14 from 2018, along with the German and European records.

The silver medal went to Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia who swam a 14:10.94. That time for Hafnaoui is a new PB in the event and was fast enough to take out Oussama Mellouli’s 14:18.79 Tunisian and African record from back in 2014. Mykhailo Romanchuk was third here with a 14:11.47, giving him and Ukraine their first medal of the meet.

The former world record holder Paltrinieri and his teammate Domenico Acerenza went 4-5 with their swims of 14:21.00 and 14:24.31, respectively.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

  • World Record: 44.84 – CHALMERS Kyle (AUS) 29 OCT 2021
  • Championship Record: 45.51 – MOROZOV Vladimir (RSF) 3 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 46.11 – KOLESNIKOV Kliment (RSF) 21 DEC 2018

Top 8:

  1. Alessandro Miressi (ITA) – 45.57
  2. Ryan Held (USA) – 45.63
  3. Josh Liendo (CAN) – 45.82
  4. Vlad Grinev (RSF) – 46.05
  5. Maxime Grousset (FRA) – 46.20
  6. Hwang Sunwoo (KOR) – 46.34
  7. Jack McMillan (IRL) – 46.97
  8. Stan Pijnenburg (NED) –  47.07

Alessandro Miressi got it done in the men’s 100 freestyle final, delivering a 45.57 swim to narrowly improve upon his own Italian record of 45.58. He posted that former mark just one day previous in the semi-finals.

Ryan Held and Josh Liendo repeated as bronze and silver medalists in the 100 freestyle, having won the exact same medals in the 50 freestyle earlier on in the meet. Ryan Held was out quick with a sub-world-record-pace 21.36 split, but couldn’t quite hold onto the lead and settled for second place in a 45.63.

Liendo managed to dip under 46 seconds as well, improving upon his semi-finals swim of 46.29. He was a bit off Brent Hayden’s Canadian record in the event, though, which sits at a 45.56 from back in 2009. With this swim, Liendo becomes the 2nd fastest teenager in the 100 freestyle of all time.

Vlad Grinez and Maxime Grousset were close to the podium but needed a little extra push, ultimately ending up in 4th with a 46.05 and 5th in a 46.34, respectively.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke

  • World Record: 2:14.57 – SONI Rebecca (USA) 18 DEC 2009
  • Championship Record: 2:16.08 – PEDERSEN Rikke Moller (DEN) 16 DEC 2012
  • World Junior Record: 2:17.71 – CHIKUNOVA Evgeniia (RSF) 21 DEC 2019

Top 8:

  1. Emily Escobedo (USA) – 2:17.85
  2. Evgeniia Chikunova (RSF) – 2:17.88
  3. Molly Renshaw (GBR) – 2:17.96
  4. Sophie Hansson (SWE) – 2:18.13
  5. Francesa Fangio (ITA) – 2:19.77
  6. Tessa Cieplucha (CAN) – 2:19.99
  7. Mona McSharry (IRL) – 2:20.19
  8. Kristyna Horska (CZE) – 2:20.70

This swim came down to the absolute wire as Emily Escobedo and Evgeniia Chikunova went stroke for stroke into the wall. Escobedo managed to pull out the win though, posting a 2:17.85 for the win to pick up the USA women’s second individual title of the meet.

World junior record holder Evgeniia Chikunova was silver in a 2:17.88, which is just off her own PB and WJR of 2:17.71 from 2 years ago. That was just 0.03 seconds slow than victor Escobedo and was just 0.08 seconds faster than bronze medalist Molly Renshaw of Great Britain.

Notably, this is the first individual medal of the meet for all three podium finishers as none of Escobedo, Chikunova, or Renshaw landed within the top 3 in either the 50 or 100 breaststroke. Sophie Hansson, however, was bronze in the 50 and silver in the 100, but just missed the podium here in the 200 with a 2:18.13 for 4th.

2021 Euros bronze medalist Francesa Fangio of Italy was also in the running here with a 2:19.77 for 5th place overall, while Canada’s 400 IM champion Tessa Cieplucha nabbed 6th place with a sub-2:20 swim of 2:19.99.

Men’s 200 Backstroke

  • World Record: 1:45.63 – LARKIN Mitchell (AUS) 27 NOV 2015
  • Championship Record: 1:46.68 – LOCHTE Ryan (USA) 19 DEC 2010
  • World Junior Record: 1:48.02 – KOLESNIKOV Kliment (RSF) 13 DEC 2017

Top 8:

  1. Radoslaw Kawecki (POL) – 1:48.68
  2. Shaine Casas (USA) – 1:48.81
  3. Christian Diener (GER) – 1:48.97
  4. Lorenzo Mora (ITA) – 1:49.27
  5. Jan Cejka (CZE) – 1:49.93
  6. Yohann Ndoye-Brouard (FRA) – 1:50.53
  7. Armin Evert Lelle (EST) – 1:51.20
  8. Antoine Herlem (FRA) – 1:52.92

Radoslaw Kawecki looked like he would be taking silver in this event until towards the very end, but managed to pull it off in the final 50 and overtake Shaine Casas to win gold. Kawecki posted a 1:48.68 for gold, marking his 4th world title in this event.

Kawecki notably almost missed out on a spot in the final of this event, swimming a 1:52.35 for 8th place to Hugo Gonzalez‘s 1:52.47. That’s a huge drop for Kawecki in the final and got him just over a second off his Polish record in the event of 1:47.38.

Shaine Casas put up a solid swim here of 1:48.81, dipping under 1:49 for the first time and shaving a second off his prelims time of 1:49.82. This is Casas’ second individual title of the meet following his world title-winning 100 backstroke earlier on in the meet.

German vet Christian Diener nabbed gold and also got in the 1:48 range with his third-place swim of 1:48.97. That’s actually a new best time for Diener as well as a German record. Prior to this meet, he held the German mark at a 1:49.04 from last month at the ISL.

Lorenzo Mora of Italy and Czech swimmer Jan Cejka were 4th and 5th, respectively, while France’s Yohann Ndoye-Brouard placed 6th overall.

Women’s 100 Butterfly

  • World Record: 54.59 – DAHLIA Kelsi (USA) 3 DEC 2021
  • Championship Record: 54.61 – SJOSTROM Sarah (SWE) 7 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 55.64 – SHKURDAI Anastasiya (BLR) 1 NOV 2020

Top 8:

  1. Maggie MacNeil (CAN) – 55.04
  2. Louise Hansson (SWE) – 55.10
  3. Claire Curzan (USA) – 55.39
  4. Torri Huske (USA) – 55.75
  5. Elena di Liddo (ITA) – 56.34
  6. Anastasiya Shkurdai (BLR) – 56.37
  7. Lana Pudar (BIH) – 56.51
  8. Farida Osman (EGY) – 57.01

Half of this field was under world record pace at the halfway point of the women’s 100 butterfly, led by Torri Huske who opened with a 25.50. Despite her leading split, Huske fell to 4th place overall in the end with a 55.75, while her teammate Claire Curzan out-touched her in a 55.39 for bronze.

Curzan set a new world junior record with that swim, but it wasn’t enough to top the podium.

Maggie MacNeil moved up from her 4th place position at the 50 and got her hand on the wall first with a 55.04 Canadian record. That’s an improvement upon her own mark of 55.30, which she delivered at the FINA World Cup in October. This is MacNeil’s second world title of the meet, adding to her 50 backstroke win on day 5.

Louise Hansson picked up another medal here, having already won 100 backstroke gold and 50 backstroke bronze. Hansson posted a 55.10 for the silver medal, which is an improvement upon her semi-finals swim of 55.81.

Only the top 4 got under 56 seconds, while Italy’s Elena di Liddo placed 5th overall in a 56.34, and former world junior record holder Anastasiya Shkurdai came in 6th with a 56.37.

Men’s 50 Breaststroke

  • World Record: 25.25 – van der BURGH Cameron (RSA) 14 NOV 2009 / Ilya Shymanovich (BLR) 7 NOV 2021
  • Championship Record: 25.41 – van der BURGH Cameron (RSA) 16 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 26.26 – CERASUOLO Simone (ITA) 25 APR 2021

Top 8:

  1. Nic Fink (USA) – 25.53
  2. Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) – 25.55
  3. Joao Gomes Junior (BRA) – 25.80
  4. Ilya Shymanovich (BLR) – 25.84
  5. Fabian Schwingenschlogl (GER) – 26.16
  6. Arno Kamminga (NED) – 26.32
  7. Bernard Reitshammer (AUT) – 26.39
  8. Yan Zibei (CHN) – 26.49

After a weak start off the blocks, world record holder, Ilya Shymanovich was behind the pack from the outset. With Shymanovich out of the way, Nic Fink of the USA managed to power his way to his second individual gold medal of the meet in a 25.53.

Fink already won the 200 breaststroke at this meet in a 2:02.28 and also took bronze in the 100 with a 55.87, giving him 3 breaststroke medals in total.

Not only was it a gold medal-winning swim, but it was an American record-breaking performance for Fink. Fink broke the record in semis with a 25.68 and has now brought it down by another 0.15 seconds to a 25.53.

Nicolo Martinenghi was next in the heat with a 25.55 to take silver for Italy. That’s Martinenghi’s second silver medal of the meet as he took second place in the 100 breaststroke earlier on. Martinenghi was a bit slower than his PB and Italian record in the event of 25.37 from earlier this year.

Brazil’s Joao Gomes Junior of Brazil rounded out the podium in a 25.80, improving upon his semi-finals swim of 25.96. He also got within striking distance of the Brazilian record in this event, which sits at a 25.63 from Felipe France Silva from back. in 2014.

Co-world record holder Shymanovich was just off the podium with a 25.84, trailing his semi-finals swim of 25.55.

Women’s 50 Freestyle

  • World Record: 22.93 – KROMOWIDJOJO Ranomi (NED) 7 AUG 2017
  • Championship Record: 23.19 – KROMOWIDJOJO Ranomi (NED) 16 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 23.69 – SHKURDAI Anastasiya (BLR) 18 DEC 2020

Top 8:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 23.08
  2. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) – 23.31
  3. Kasia Wasick (POL) – 23.40
  4. Mariia Kameneva (RSF) – 23.48
  5. Abbey Weitzeil (USA) – 23.58
  6. Claire Curzan (USA) – 23.91
  7. Holly Barratt (AUS) – 23.96
  8. Silvia di Pietro (ITA) – 23.98

Sarah Sjostrom won her first individual title of the meet here in a 23.08, resetting the Championship record of 23.19, which Ranomi Kromowidjojo set back in 2018. This marks Sjostrom’s first short course world title in the 50 freestyle.

Sjostrom shared after the final how excited she is to have claimed an individual world title here following a broken elbow back in February of 2021. Sjostrom has been strong this year despite her injury, having won Olympic silver in the 50 freestyle this summer.

World record holder Ranomi Kromowidjojo was fast enough for silver here with a 23.31 to trail her own WR of 22.93 and her former Championship record of 23.19. This is Kromowidjojo’s second individual medal of the meet after her 50 butterfly victory where she took out the meet record in a 24.44.

Kasia Wasick rounded out the top 3 with a 23.40, which is 0.01 seconds quicker than her semi-finals swim of 23.41. Additionally, Wasick got within 0.10 of her own PB and Polish record of 23.30 from November 2020.

The American duo of Abbey Weitzeil and Claire Curzan were left off the podium, placing 5th and 6th, respectively, while Mariia Kameneva of Russia came 4th in a 23.48.

Men’s 4×100 Medley

  • World Record: 3:19.16 – Russian Federation – 20 DEC 2009
  • Championship Record: 3:19.98 – United States – 16 DEC 2018

Top 8:

  1. Italy – 3:19.76 CR
  2. USA – 3:20.50
  3. Russia – 3:20.65
  4. Brazil – 3:23.57
  5. Norway – 3:25.63
  6. Netherlands – 3:26.59
  7. Lithuania – 3:28.95
  8. France – DSQ

Despite Kliment Kolesnikov‘s early lead for Russia in the heat, it wasn’t enough to stop the Italians from ultimately pulling out the win. Italy had both the 100 butterfly and freestyle world champions Matteo Rivolta and Alessandro Miressi to close out their relay.

Rivolta posted a 48.43 butterfly split for his team, while Miressi anchored with a 45.05 just a few heats after his individual gold medal performance in the event. The Italians’ time of 3:19.76 was enough to take out the USA’s 2018 meet record in the event of 3:19.98 and got within a second of the Russian’s 2:19.16 world record from back in 2009.

100 backstroke champion Shaine Casas got off to a rocky start for the USA with a 4th place backstroke split of 50.44. Nic Fink followed, though with a 55.27 breaststroke split, and Trenton Julian and Ryan Held kept the momentum going, ultimately resulting in a second-place finish for the team.

Russia rounded out the podium with a 3:20.65, while Brazil was a few seconds back in a 3:23.57 for 4th place overall.

Women’s 4×100 Medley

  • World Record: 3:44.52 – United States – 21 NOV 2020
  • Championship Record: 3:45.58 – United States – 16 DEC 2018

Top 8:

  1. Sweden – 3:46.20 ER
  2. Canada – 3:47.36
  3. China – 3:47.41
  4. USA – 3:47.68
  5. Russia – 3:49.94
  6. Italy – 3:51.03
  7. Netherlands – 3:53.97
  8. Switzerland – 3:55.84

The last two women’s events of the meet went to Sweden following Sarah Sjostrom‘s 50 freestyle win and the nation’s final win in the women’s 4×100 medley with a 3:46.20.

100 backstroke champion Louise Hansson started off with a 56.25 backstroke split for the team, followed by her sister Sophie who delivered a 1:03.70 breaststroke swim. 50 freestyle champ Sjostrom pulled off a 54.65 butterfly leg to keep the nation in contention and Michelle Coleman held off the field with her closing split of 51.60.

The swim for Sweden marks a new European record in the event shaving more than two seconds off the previous mark of 3:48.86, which the Netherlands set in 2014.

The Canadians put forth a solid effort here with a 3:47.36 Canadian record here, improving upon the 3:48.87 from 5 years ago at this meet. They placed second overall, adding one last medal to their tally.

It was a full slate of record breakers on the podium as China rounded out the top 3 with an Asian record of 3:47.41. That time was an improvement upon the 3:48.29 from the 2010 edition of this meet.

The Americans were left off the podium here with their swim of 3:47.68, while Russia finished 5th overall in a 3:49.94.

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1 year ago

Just realised that had Coleman had the same 51.6 split in the 4×1 free, Sweden would’ve won gold in that too… Amazing comp for them

1 year ago

Hafnaoui 14:10.9 converts to a 14:05.8 in SCY 1650…is that accurate??

Reply to  PVK
1 year ago


1 year ago

51.0 split for Abbey on the relay is awesome.

1 year ago

What a year. See you all in 2022!

Gen D
1 year ago

If I’m not mistaken, Kylie Masse is the only girl on the Canadian team without a gold medal! 4 silvers though

Reply to  Gen D
1 year ago

Ha! What an anomaly stat! Typical Masse… So quietly reliable and arguably 🇨🇦 MVP, not just this meet but over the past 5 years…

Philip Johnson
1 year ago

The tiny country of Sweden has more medals by a large margin than Brazil, Germany, the UK. Even combined, Sweden beats them…

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

And Sweden does it with only women for some reason. Would really like to see the Swedish men get to the women’s level.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Jakob
1 year ago

Same thing recently in other sports like biathlon and cross country skiing. Sweden is loaded with top ranked women but not nearly as good with the men. Sebastian Samuelsson is one exception He’s very fast and has had an excellent start to the biathlon season.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

The size of the country does not matter. Almost the whole British team was wiped out of competition by a tiny virus. Finally why do you have to make comparisons and put down other countries to make your point which is Sweden is swimming really great.

1 year ago

Too bad Sarah couldn’t do the 100 Fly as well as 50 free. 54.6 in the relay is dirty.

Reply to  Jackman
1 year ago

It’s possible that she’s not yet ready to compete in too many events just yet. It’s nice to see that she’s recovering well from her surgery, but three races in one night might have been too much. Considering Sweden won the medley gold, she didn’t make the wrong choice by opting out of the 100 fly individually.

Reply to  Ben
1 year ago

She says she gets better with lots of races. Like her form peaks with getting races in. Her ISLseason and skins racing gives that some consideration.

Reply to  SwimJon
1 year ago

Have said the opposite in interviews during this though.

Philip Johnson
1 year ago

On a population basis, Sweden has to be the best swimming country right? Their woman anyways are killing it.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Probably, Australia is a little over twice the size so might be similar in terms of high-level swimmers per capita.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jackman
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

I don’t think population is the appropriate denominator.

Reply to  anonymous
1 year ago

What would you consider the proper denominator? Money into the sport. Usa has about 25 national training centers (Universities are really well funded training centers)?and the national team is well supported! So population and money, those are my metrics!

Reply to  Ghost
1 year ago

It’s also the popularity of the sport and the accessibility of pools and swimming lessons. Huge swaths of the US don’t even know how to swim or have a chance to get into it competitively. A lot of talented potential swimmers are probably spending their days as bad football/basketball/baseball players in the US because those sports have support almost everywhere.

Reply to  IRO
1 year ago

USA has 350 million people. Sweden has 10 million. There are a lot of ymcas and clubs in USA. Yes we have other sports but soccer is huge in Europe and so are winter olympic sports…more than USA. These small countries do really well with the few talented athletes they get. USA success is based on numbers and money!

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Right now perhaps, but in overall swimming history, I think you have to give that one to Hungary or The Netherlands.

Reply to  Aquajosh
1 year ago

The Dutch are third for me behind Hungary and Australia. As for Sweden yes they have four really good female swimmers or to be more precise, three good swimmers and one exceptional, an all time great. But Denmark several years ago also had 4 very good female swimmers in Mie Nielsen, Rikke Møller Pedersen, Jeanette Ottesen and Pernille Blume. I d say their relay was even stronger than Swedish and they were winning medals not only in short course Champs but also on the biggest stage, in the Olympics. That didn’t make Denmark a swimming superpower though)

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Swedes are doing all right but no. Australia and Hungary are much better, both in terms of swimming tradition and in terms of currently active elite athletes per capita.No comparison really.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Are you talking about just this meet or overall? Just this meet: sure maybe Sweden.

But if you look at the recent Olympics (which actually had proper teams enter unlike this meet), Sweden got zero golds and 1 overall medal while Australia got 9 golds and 21 overall medals, with USA topping the tally with 11 golds and 30 overall medals. Australia’s population is about double Sweden, and USA’s population is about 13 times Australia.

Barring the extremely small nations getting one or two random medals (Eg Tunisia) Australia is pretty clearly the best based on population.