Dubai 2010: Day 4 Recap – Belmonte Wins Again; Soni Wins Again

Women’s 100 breaststroke

For the first 50 meters of this race, It looked like it would be a good battle. Rebecca Soni only had a .01 second lead headed into the third length. But then, she turned on her famous closing speed that makes her so good in the two longer breaststrokes and pulled away to win in 1:03.98: a new meet record clipping by two tenths her semi-final time. Leisel Jones was good enough for an easy silver in 1:04.26, and Liping Ji from China was third in 1:04.79.

This is the second bronze medal for China in as many breaststroke events. Ji’s finish, however, was not quite as easy as the two swimmers in front of her. She outtouched Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen by a mere .01 seconds to land on the podium.

Men’s 50 backstroke

Stanislav Donets reaffirmed that he is the world’s top short course backstroker by taking the sprint double: both in meet record times. In this 50, he was the only swimmer under the 23-second barrier in 22.93. After he finished, we got the first medal tie of the meet when China’s Xiaolei Sun and Spain’s Aschwin Wildeboer Faber touched in identical times of 23.13. Two big names finished in 4th and 5th, as Camille LaCourt (the long course version of Donets and 100 meter silver medalist) touched in 23.16, and Nick Thoman of the USA was 4th in 23.16.

Men’s 50 fly

Albert Subirats seems to have really hit on something in his new training grounds, and given his continued success in this meet, he may stay in Venezuela for a while. He took  the men’s 50 fly title in what was an excruciatingly tight race. His winning mark of 22.40 was a new meet record, breaking that previously set in semis by Steffen Deibler. Deibler, who looked a lock for victory after the earlier rounds, was part of a three swimmer group that were in a serious bang-bang finish. The final order for second through fourth was Andrii Govorov of the Ukraine (22.43), Deibler (22.44), and Nicholas Santos of Brazil (22.45).

At only 18 years old, Govorov is a name to watch in the sprint flys and freestyles, and his silver here matched his finish in the same event at Euro’s. Geoff Huegill and Rafael Munoz, who finished second and third best in the world long course, were 5th and 6th here.

Women’s 200 IM

Mireia Belmonte Garcia is becoming the story of this meet. After her win in the 200 IM (2:05.73) in yet another meet record, she now has 4 individual medals–3 gold–in the four most difficult events on the women’s schedule. Boy do I hope that she can carry this success over to long course worlds, because it’s been a while since the women have had a swimmer this strong and versatile.  Shiwen Ye from China picked up her second medal of the meet, this one a silver, in 2:05.94. The difference between the two came on the breaststroke leg, where Belmonte had a split a full second faster than Ye. Both were actually sitting well-back headed into the second half (7th and 6th for Belmonte and Ye, respectively), but both made up a ton of ground there.

Ariana Kukors of the USA, who won the 100 IM, had a lead through 150 meters, but faded hard on the freestyle to slip back to third. Here’s the comparative splits:

Belmonte:      28.07 – 1:01.02 – 1:36.76 – 2:05.73
Ye:                    28.49 – 1:00.53 – 1:37.28 – 2:05.94
Kukors:           28.08 – 1:00.08 – 1:36.61 – 2:06.09

The two Hungarians, Katinka Hosszu and Evelyn Verraszto, took fourth and fifth. The young swimmers in the field, Missy Franklin (USA) and Kotuku Ngawati (Australia) suffered from lack of experience, despite high hopes, and finished in the last two spots.

Women’s 400 free

The Dutch relay got off to a surprisingly slow start in a relay that seemed to be a slam-dunk. Frederike Heemskerk, who was second in the individual 100 free, sitting third after the opening leg. She was behind two swimmers who she beat individually, including a blazing 51.88 from Natalie Coughlin. But no worry, the massively experienced, not to mention fast, Dutch roster began gaining ground on the second leg, and by the first turn of the third swimmer, had overtaken the Americans and the Chinese. By the time anchor Ranomi Kromowidjojo hit the water, the Dutch had over a half-of-a-second lead, and despite a great anchor from Jessica Hardy, there was not a chance that anyone would catch her.

The Netherlands took the win in 3:28.54, with the Americans second in 3:29.34. The Chinese were third in 3:29.81.

Prelims Highlights

  • In the Men’s 100 IM, Ryan Lochte just missed a World Record on an easy day without a final. Peter Mankoc, who’s mark Lochte is chasing, added just a hair from his prelims time which resulted in him failing to final. Tyler Clary also missed the final with the slowest semi-final time, but I imagine that he wasn’t too excited about the proposition of adding a third final to his already loaded schedule tomorrow.
  • Cesar Cielo took the top seed headed into the men’s 100 free final. Behind him in the hunt for gold are the two Frenchmen (Gilot and Bernard) and Australia’s Matthew Abood. Nathan Adrian finally snuck into a final, in the 8th spot, and hopefully he can repeat Josh Schneider’s feat from yesterday and jump up to a medal.
  • Ranomi Kromowidjojo had another fantastic swim: this time in the 50 free. For the NCAA fans out there, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace from Auburn qualified second. The USA’s Jessica Hardy qualified 5th.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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