2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
- LCM (50-meter format)
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- Day 3 Finals Live Recap
The United States had a strong night three. Americans won a total of two gold medals, two silver medals, and two bronze medals.
Highlighting the night was a 1-2 finish for the US by Katie Ledecky and Katie Grimes (making Katie squared) in the 1500 freestyle. Ledecky won the event in a 15:30.15, a time that was faster than a year ago in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This was Ledecky’s fourth medal and world championship title in the event. Ledecky also won the event in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Ledecky spoke on how she feels going two years in a row with a one-two finish with another member of the US saying:
“It was awesome. I fully knew she [Grimes] was capable of getting that and just to see how far she has come in a year and the maturity that she has and how much energy she brings to the team. I don’t think I was like that when I was her age. It is just awesome to be on the blocks next to her, be in the lane next to her and to share this moment with her is really special.”
Teenager Grimes set a new personal best time during her second place finish. Grimes spoke on her race saying:
“It felt pretty good to be done with it. I was really nervous leading up to it because it’s my first world championships and Team USA has been doing a great job so I wanted to keep that going. I was really just focusing on what my coach and I had talked about on strategy. I’m not super happy with the time but I think it’s good for right now. There’s always room for improvement but anytime I get to race I’m having a good time.” Grimes’s time makes her #8 in the event all-time and #4 all-time for the US. The 1-2 finish for the US was the first time in event history where the US had two teammates on the podium.
Also highlighting night three for the US was a 1-3 finish in the women’s 100 backstroke. Regan Smith captured gold in a time of 58.22. Smith is the former world record holder in the event and spoke on her desire to get the record back saying, “Definitely a big focus for me. I always kind of have it in the back of my mind and I was really pleased with my swim last night being super close to it and really close to my best time. That is really important to me because you know I haven’t gotten a best time in three years now so I am really kind of itching to do that and so of course I am a little bit bummed with my swim tonight, but again, tonight’s about place, it’s not about time, so I am really pleased overall.” Smith was just off of her time from semi-finals as she swam a 57.65 last night.
Smith spoke on her race overall saying, “It was a great race. I knew it was going to be a really tight field and it was going to really hurt towards the end, and all those things happened and were true, but you know, I am really happy that I was able to get a gold for USA and that Claire was able to get a bronze.”
Also earning a medal was Claire Curzan as Curzan swam a 58.67 for bronze. Her bronze medal swim earned her first long course international medal. Curzan spoke on that feeling saying, “It feels great. I mean I knew it was going to be a tough race, but I am happy to just pull through for Team USA and I am really proud of Regan and all the girls in that heat for showing up tonight.”
Curzan also spoke on how it felt to be on the podium with Smith saying, “I have looked up to her for as long as I can remember, and she has been a backstroke icon for so long so it’s kind of crazy for me to think about.” Smith and Curzan are expected to be teammates at Stanford beginning this fall.
The US men were not to be outdone though as Ryan Murphy and Hunter Armstrong won silver and bronze in the 100 backstroke. Silver medalist Murphy spoke on his race saying, “I’m really happy. I was probably a little too amped up. I saw the switch just after so I guess I was really excited going out that first 50 but that’s what happens when you’re in a heat like that. I knew there were a bunch of talented guys in there and I’m really happy with how I executed. Hats off to Thomas – that’s a really, really fast time and it’s going to be an exciting couple of years.” The gold medalist, Thomas Ceccon of Italy, set a new world record in his win. Murphy’s silver was his 10th LCM World Championship medal.
Murphy also spoke on bronze medalist Armstrong saying, “It’s incredible. Hunter has had such a steep improvement curve in the sport. It’s always fun to race guys like that. And what I really appreciate about Hunter is he’s incredibly genuine. When you talk to him, you know exactly what he’s thinking and he’s telling the truth and there’s no games there. I really appreciate him and sharing the pool with him.” Armstrong told SwimSwam back in summer 2019 that he had only been swimming year round for about a year.
This was a big race for Armstrong as it was his first individual international medal as he has previously won relay medals. It also was a best time for Armstrong and he now is the third fastest American ever in the event. Armstrong spoke on his race saying, “You know the first thing I looked at was the time. I’m still shocked that Thomas not only broke the world record but crushed it! The next thing I looked for was Murph – he got me by a hundredth which hurts a bit – but if anyone is going to get me, I’m glad it was those two.”
Also competing for the US men on night three were Drew Kibler and Kieran Smith in the men’s 200 freestyle. Kibler finish in a best time of 1:45.01 to finish fourth. Kibler also now is sixth all-time for the US in the event. Smith finished fifth in. a1:45.16. Winning the event was Romanian teenager David Popovici who set a new World Junior Record in a time of 1:43.21.
The US women were also represented by Lilly King in the women’s 100 breaststroke final. King finished fourth in a time of 1:06.07, just 0.05 seconds off of the podium.