North America: Team USA Ends Worlds on a High Note (Thanks to the Women)

2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

After a sluggish start to the 2019 World Championships (dampened not only by some lackluster performances but also by Katie Ledecky‘s illness that kept her from two of her four individual races), Team USA picked things up over the last few days– the women, that is.

It was Lilly King who took her second breaststroke gold of the meet with the only sub-30 performance of the final in the 50 breast. King hasn’t been quite on her bests, but she’s been a go-to force for Team USA and she added another gold to their count.

Proving yet again that she has some otherworldly magic that she brings to her swims, Simone Manuel ripped another incredibly clutch race in the women’s 50 free. Her hand has found the wall first in both sprint events despite the lifetime bests and relay abilities of Cate Campbell and Sarah Sjöström, and her win in that 50 was emphatic.

In the final event of the meet, the U.S. women put an exclamation point on the week with a thunderous World Record in the 4×100 medley relay.

Things kicked off with Regan Smith‘s WR in the lead-off at 57.57, blowing past Kathleen Baker‘s 58.00. Smith, who has broken backstroke WRs at both Olympic distances and now as part of the 4×100 medley relay, has been consistently lights-out for the Americans. Whereas some of the senior members of the team missed the mark this week, which some likened to the American team’s hollow performance in 2015, Smith was always on her game this week. Smith will head into the Olympic year as the next big thing, and with it, she’ll bring heightened prestige to Team USA.

On that medley relay, it felt like the U.S. women, in particular, were business as usual. They have dominated the medley relay since Rio, and we saw King do what she had to do, Dahlia unearth a great 56-low split despite her 100 fly being off this week, and Manuel bring it all home with the best split of the field (51.86).

It was the women who were responsible for all three of Team USA’s golds as they finished with a combined 14 from the entire team over this week. In total, that’s 27 medals for Team USA, four more than in 2015, but not up to par with their whopping 38 from 2017. Meanwhile, Manuel’s seven medals makes her the most successful American female at a single LC Worlds medals-wiseCaeleb Dressel did the same with his eight medals, and Dressel won the male swimmer of the meet award.

U.S. MEN – MEDAL TABLE

GOLD SILVER BRONZE
5 3 2

U.S. WOMEN – MEDAL TABLE

GOLD SILVER BRONZE
8 4 3

U.S. MIXED RELAYS – MEDAL TABLE

GOLD SILVER BRONZE
1 1 0

More North American Notables:

BROKEN NORTH AMERICAN RECORDS:

  • Women’s 4×100 medley relay: World/American/North American Record, Smith/King/Dahlia/Manuel (3:50.40)
  • Women’s 100 Back: World/American/North American Record, Regan Smith (57.57)

NORTH AMERICA — DAY 8 MEDAL TABLE

RANK COUNTRY GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
1 USA 3 2 0 5
8 Canada 0 0 1 1

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Roch

Would be interesting to see a breakdown of the American medals by men/women overall. Feels like other than Dressel, Litherland (sadly only one event), Apple (only relays) and Wilson (no individual medals but outperformed expectations) the men really failed to step up. But I’d like to put numbers to that rather than just say the women had a good meet and the men fell on their faces.

PK Doesn’t like his long name

Pieroni swam well too.

Roch

Yep this is why I need a breakdown. It was a long week, I totally forgot about Blake.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name

The breakdown is pretty simple:
50/100: Pieroni and Dressel good, MA meh
200/400: Blah to super blah
800/1500: ???
Fly: Dressel good, MA’s 50 fly good, everyone else meh
Back: I guess okay? Nothing near best times for Murph but he did medal an event. MA’s 50 back was disappointing given he had been fast enough to medal multiple times this year.
Breast: Wilson good, everyone else meh
IM: Kalisz obviously off, really good for Litherland, very meh for Devine.
Relay-only swimmers: Apple great, one great swim for Adrian, everything else meh

Wondering

Definitely wasn’t MA…

Scribble

MA didn’t medal, but was the first person to ever make the finals of all 4 strokes.

Hmm....

Gee, hadn’t heard that before….

Roch

I’m a fan of MA and it’s exciting he made all the finals, but a bit disappointing that he didn’t medal in any. Anyone know how his Worlds times compare to his in-season bests this year? Did we set our expectations too high or did he underperform?

What a beast

The man is 19 swimming 50s against mid 20-30 year olds. I would say he is in a really good spot looking to 2020. Let the man gain some more muscle, he is still developing.

Zanna

He is 20

Steve Nolan

comment image

ERVINFORTHEWIN

lol

Heyitsme

Where’s the pickem results

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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