2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- All sports: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- Pool swimming: Sunday, July 21 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- The Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, Korea
- Meet site
- Competition Schedule
- FinaTV Live Stream
- Entry Lists
If there’s one thing that Simone Manuel of the United States has taught us, it’s that it all matters what you can do in the final.
Despite being out-split on relays this weekend, and barely slipping into the 100 free final tonight in seventh after semifinals, Manuel charged from lane one for the world title. Her time of 52.04 won the gold by nearly four tenths of a second, and it erased her own American record time of 52.27 from the 2017 Worlds.
This race is obviously reminiscent of her upset win at those 2017 Worlds, where she upset Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström. The Swede had just set the World Record at 51.71 leading off the 4×100 free relay earlier in the meet, and out of lane five, Manuel was out in 25.21 (behind only Sjöström and Denmark’s Pernille Blume) but came home in a blistering 27.06 to hit the wall at 52.27, just four hundredths ahead of Sjöström.
This was also a very different swim from her 2017 performance. Yes, she upset the field. But this time, she did so out of lane one, and she seriously attacked the race, screaming out to a 24.81 first 50 and holding it down on the back half (27.23) to secure the win over Australia’s Cate Campbell (52.43) and Sjöström (52.46). We’ve grown accustomed to Manuel’s lethal back half, making up ground and making her moves over the final 20 meters or so — this time, she left it all on the line from the start, and it paid off.
Manuel is only the second woman in history to win back-to-back World titles in the 100 free. This hasn’t happened since East Germany’s Kornelia Ender won in both 1973 and 1975. Meanwhile, Sjöström has medaled in the last four editions of this event, taking silver in 2013, 2015, and 2017 and bronze this year.