Sun Yang Crushes World Record on Final Day of Olympics (RECAP)

  218 Braden Keith | August 04th, 2012 | Featured, London 2012 Olympics, News, Previews & Recaps

The last day of swimming at the 2012 London Olympics will feature 4 races that on their surface seem to have not much mystery for the gold medal: the men’s 1500, the women’s 50, and the two medley relays. However, with a dominant favorite in each race, the inevitable upset (as we’ve seen happen throughout this meet) will be that much more exciting.

Full, live results (will replace with a PDF after the session).
Live video from NBCOlympics.com (US Only).

Women’s 50 Free – Finals

This women’s 50 free had a pretty even start across the field. That was about all that was even, as the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo anointed herself as the next great Dutch sprinter by winning the women’s 50 free in 24.05. That’s a new textile best, a new Olympic Record, and a sweep of the women’s sprints.

Belarus’ Aleksandra Herasimenia grabbed a silver, just like she did in the 100, with a great effort of 24.28, breaking her own Belarusian record. The bronze went to Kromowidjojo’s teammate Marleen Veldhuis in 24.39.

Germany’s Britta Steffen marks yet another World Record holder and defending champion at this meet who failed to even medal; she was 4th in 24.46. Britain’s home-town swimmer Fran Halsall gave a good effort to end a tough meet with a 24.47 – her fastest swim of the three rounds. She got out to a great start, the only swimmer with a real advantage coming off of the blocks, but couldn’t hold on to it once the water started churning.

Sweden’s Therese Alshammar did well to continue battling through injury to touch 6th in 24.61, followed by Jessica Hardy (24.62) and Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (24.69).

Men’s 1500 Free – Finals

For the second time this meet, an unusual start nearly led to disaster. When China’s Sun Yang hit the water, suddenly the London Aquatics Centre was silent. The World Record holder, the monster favorite, the sure-thing to break the record again, might not even get a chance to swim. When the officials said “stand up,” Sun hit the water.

But a reprieve: the arena was NOT silent moments before, and shouts by the crowd that caused the false start gave Sun a pass; the command to stand came from crowd noise. Without this relief, which we might have missed the greatest 1500 swim in history.

Yang, for a time, looked like he was going to be under 14:30. That fell away shortly after the halfway mark, but this World Record was never in question. Yang closed his 1500 in 53.49 (just when you thought his 55 from Shanghai was good) en route to a 14:31.02. What was once the only World Record in an Olympic event to survive the rubber-suit era of 2008 and 2009 has now been lowered three-and-a-half seconds in 12 months. Sun’s training with Dennis Cotterell in Australia,  the coach of the former World Record holder Grant Hackett, seems to have taken Sun to even another level. That’s a bit ironic: this is an event that Australia has historically dominated, but this year was only the second time since 1936 that Australia has failed to produce at least a finalist.

The old World mark, set by Sun at last year’s World Championships, was 14:34.14. This swim was largely expected, so many will overlook it, but none-the-less it’s as impressive as any that we’ve seen at these Olympics.

Behind Sun, blowing away the field, this race featured a phenomenal battle for silver between Canada’s Ryan Cochrane and the defending Olympic champion Ous Mellouli of Tunisia. Despite the latter’s typically-great closing split, Cochrane was able to edge just ahead for the last 500 meters of this race, and held on for silver in 14:39.63. That’s the 4th-best time in history, and the fastest ever by a swimmer hailing from the Western Hemisphere. Mellouli took bronze in 14:40.31.

South Korea’s Tae-Hwan Park swam well, but just doesn’t have the endurance to get that low. He was 4th in 14:50.61: 10 seconds back of Mellouli. Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri was 5th in 14:51.92, followed by American Connor Jaeger in 14:52.99, Mateusz Sawrymowicz in 14:54.32, and Britain’s Daniel Fogg in 15:00.76. Fogg, like Mellouli, now has to wind up for the open water swim next week.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay – Finals

We discussed yesterday that this women’s 400 medley relay was well within reach of the American women. Things didn’t start off quite on target with where they needed to be, but huge swims on the back-half of this relay between Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt pulled them away, as they touched in 3:52.05. That broke the 3:52.19 set by the Chinese women in 2009 at the World Championships. The other two swimmers, Missy Franklin and Rebecca Soni had great swims as well, and Soni was clearly swimming with an amazing confidence after the 200 breaststroke World Record individually.

1. Franklin 58.50
2. Soni 1:04.82
3. Vollmer 55.48
4. Schmitt 53.25

Not to be overlooked, the Australians swam very well in 2nd to earn a silver medal in 3:54.02. That included a breaststroke-leg split of 1:06.06 from Leisel Jones, a far cry better than what we saw from her in the individual race. Butterflier Alicia Coutts also swam well in 56.41.

The Japanese women also performed well for a bronze, no surprise, in 3:55.73. They couldn’t maintain contact with Coutts’ butterfly leg, but did get good swims from Aya Terakawa on backstroke (58.99) and Satomi Suzuki on breaststroke (1:05.96).

Russia had a great front-half, including a 1:04.98 from Yuliya Efimova that was missing in the individual 100, but the Russians are still absent a butterfly leg for the medal.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay – Finals

The Americans expected to be dominant in this relay, but thanks to a fantastic breaststroke swim from Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima (58.64), the Americans actually trailed through the final strokes of Michael Phelps’ butterfly leg. Phelps had a great finish to hand off to Nathan Adrian with a quarter-of-a-second edge.

The Americans’ depth is their advantage, however. The Americans have arguably the best anchor in the world, and the Japanese don’t really have one (though Takuro Fujii swam very well for him on the anchor, he’s a butterflier in truth). Adrian split a 46.85 to take a victory that will appear easy, but was very hard-fought, for the Americans in 3:29.35. That continues their streak of having never been beaten in this relay at the Olympics, with the only non-victory coming in 1980 when the Americans boycotted.

Matt Grevers – 52.58
Brendan Hansen – 59.19
Michael Phelps – 50.73
Nathan Adrian – 46.85 (.11 closer than Yannick Agnel anchored the French 400 free relay)

Japan held on for silver in 3:31.26, which gives them their highest-ever finish in this relay at the Olympic Games.

Australia took bronze as they ran down the Hungarians thanks to James Magnussen’s 47.2 anchor: his best swim of this meet yet. Great Britain was better than prelims, but couldn’t pull off the monstrous upset, and touched for 4th in 3:32.32, while Hungary was 5th in 3:33.02.

The German men, bronze medalists at the World Championships last year, wrapped up a hugely disappointing, medal-less meet in 3:33.06 for 6th.

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218 Comments on "Sun Yang Crushes World Record on Final Day of Olympics (RECAP)"


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ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

I wanna see Sun Yang win and do that crazy tarzan yell on the lane rope again haha

3 years 9 months ago

Who is doing the commentary for the swimming feed coming in through NBCOlympics.com?
I’ve enjoyed their freshness and perspective.

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

women’s 50 free! Kromo got this in the bag!

3 years 9 months ago

Fast women: I’ve got the women’s 50 swimming on one screen, and the women’s 100 final in track on another screen!

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

Hardy has no pressure on her. I hope she can at least equal her OT best times!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

RANOMI!!!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

WOHOO A JAVANESE WON swimming event!

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

I wanna see kromo sub 24!

LATSCOACH
3 years 9 months ago

How much will Sun Yang break the WR by?

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

These announcers mis-pronounce kromowidjojo is very annoying

3 years 9 months ago

Who are the announcers?

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t know a pair of man and woman announcesr. I am watching Star Sports, who presumable from official feed.

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

The women is a former Aussie backstroker. I believe the play by play is an Aussie rugby announcer.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Veldhuis, another mother won 50 free medal!

drdov
3 years 9 months ago

Flat palm finish way above water line
….okaaay

3 years 9 months ago

USA’s Jeter wins women’s 100 track (just now).

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

How did Felix do?

3 years 9 months ago

Jeter win 100 semi (sorry)

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Jeter is the least clean among top track female athletes.

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

Sun Yang is the man!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

The only question:

Will Sun Yang go under 14:30?

Oz
3 years 9 months ago

I think so, because he answered a interview saying that he feel easy today, if not for the wrong start, he might get even more crazy.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

WHAT!!!

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

omg!!!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

SUN YANG DOVE!

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

SUN possible DQ

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Phewww….. !

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

he’s in, no worries

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

Do they folow the rules? I say no.

3 years 9 months ago

Hold your breath.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Three was a noise in the crowd.
Yang got a reprieve

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

Former drug cheat Gerasimenya gets two silvers at these Olympics.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Yep.

Alexander Koronikov (sp.?) who was banned for two years also won men’s road

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

Mellouli may join them

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Jessica Hardy already joined them.

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

Cielo

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Oh right. Forgot about Cielo.

Brian
3 years 9 months ago

When you associate Hardy with drug cheats, are you lumping in everyone that has tested positive through contaminated sports drink supplements?

I hardly (no pun intended) see it as any real fault of their own, other than being naive. The suspension, sure. But I wouldn’t classify her as a drug cheat.

AllanJurovich
3 years 9 months ago

Barry Bonds had no idea that his trainer was rubbing him down with steroids.
1. Other athletes were taking the same supplement and NONE of them tested positive for Clenbuterol.
2. She had a few months after her positive test until supplement was tested for contamination.
2 huge coincidences if you ask me. But personally, I don’t believe in coincidences.

Phil
3 years 9 months ago

Didn’t Ous fail for adderal after taking it to study for a final exam?

FightOff
3 years 9 months ago

Cocaine. Appears the same when in urine.

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

that was scary

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

WTF happened!!! that made me so nervous

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

Wow! Should he have been disqualified by the rules?

Katie
3 years 9 months ago

After the referee said SET, he said Stay Up, Sun Yang heard the first part and thought it was the bell. I don’t think it’s his fault.

3 years 9 months ago

In 1964 Donna de Verona intentionally false-started 400IM final (it was legal back then) to get into the water and settle herself down. It worked and she won.

Maybe it’ll have the same effect for Sun.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

He is still 1.5secs under WR line, but that is to be expected. Shanghai he went out (relatively) slow

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Nicole Livingstone knows her stuff, and now she’s telling stories about Yang’s legendary practice sets in Gold Coast (australia)

3 years 9 months ago

Who is the male announcer?

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I have no idea.

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

Maybe about Aussie swimming. She has been way off on pretty much every other country. She also does not understand race strategy too much based on some of her comments.

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

did Sun get a free pass? if that was anyone else, they would of probably got DQed?

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

There was a noise from the crowd so that’s why he got a reprieve I think.
Breeja Larson also did the same thing

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

Larson dove in because of the false beep from the start speakers. That was FINA’s fault.

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

In that case the starter’s beep malfunctioned.

Katie
3 years 9 months ago

After the referee said SET, he said Stay Up, Sun Yang heard the first part and thought it was the bell. I don’t think it’s his fault.

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

It will be interesting if anybody is racing to BEAT Sun Yang, rather than just for 2nd/3rd.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Only Cochrane said publicly that he wanted to beat Sun Yang

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

58.5s

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

GO SUN

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Yang takes a breath before and after turning

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

WR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

14.31.02

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Yang – Cochrane – Mellouli

If not for that horrendous finish in the 400 free, Yang would have broken two WRs

Jean Marie
3 years 9 months ago

I’m sensing one more upset today – the Aussie women will take this relay.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

very unlikely. USA is way ahead in both medley relays.

Jean Marie
3 years 9 months ago

I’m glad I was wrong, but this has been a very wild competition. I think I was almost wanting the Aussies to win.

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

It’s going to be a closer race than people think. Japan should be very good also!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

I wnder what the last split was… he was sprinting like it was 50 free.

Rafael
3 years 9 months ago

3 new Monsters in this generation… Missy Ye and Sun..

CB
3 years 9 months ago

I think I heard 53.49. Not 100 percent sure though.

ZYNG43
3 years 9 months ago

SUN YANG!!!!!!! incredible

drdov
3 years 9 months ago

I wonder if that false start affected him in any way?

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Not necessarily.

He asked for a time out a bit after that.

1,500 is too long of a race to be affected by that kind of incident.

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

i want him to take out a 1500m fast just once to see if he could hold it. maybe next year… also i think he could take a shot at that crazy 800m WR next year.

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

Jaeger did pretty well. I guess the short time between OT and Olympics only affected Zeigler terribly. Maybe she was ill.

CB
3 years 9 months ago

14:52 – that’s a personal best for him, right? He swam very well!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Ledecky and Jaeger are young enough not to be affected by short turn around. Ziegler is not that young anymore

Phil
3 years 9 months ago

Did the short turn around hurt anyone but Lochte (and Phelps, to a degree)? Just about every other American swam faster at the Olympics than at Trials

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

short turn around normally hurt distance swimmers more.

Phil
3 years 9 months ago

Didn’t hurt Ledecky, Jaeger, PVK, Dwyer, Schmitt…

Chris
3 years 9 months ago

She had the flu.

Brian
3 years 9 months ago

She came down with the flu morning after opening ceremonies.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

The cuban discuss thrower already throw 66+!

drdov
3 years 9 months ago

no track and field spoilers please
I’m watching that later!

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

27.81 25.68: 53.49

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

25.68?

What was Agnel’s split in his 200?

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

25.98

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Wow… So Sun Yang outsplit Agnel’s incredible 200 free???

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

his whole last 100m is world class closing for the 200m free. In fact, Yang was only back in a 53.71 in the 200.

Chris
3 years 9 months ago

Something I’ve noticed in distance freestyle races: certain types of people can close with amazing last splits on the last 50 after getting locked in for most of the race. Adlington, Ziegler, Sun, certain college swimmers, even myself. It’s much rarer the 400 im because many swimmers train for it like 4 100s of stroke, whereas Ye might just see it as a 350 with a 100 sprint.

Incidentally, I’m really hating whatever policy is used to allocate seats, because somehow we’ve got whole empty rows when people are paying around $10000 for an hour long swimming session.

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

8 WRs set so far!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

London Olympics FAR exceeded my expectations.

Totally awesome.

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

Absolutely agree!

john26
3 years 9 months ago

Sun Yang closed in 25.68……………………………………………………………………….

lv2srf95
3 years 9 months ago

Its cause he had a 1400m warm up.

NONA
3 years 9 months ago

Pretty much. I’ve read some research that said in the distance races your anaerobic capacity can uild back up over the course of a race, and you are accessing different energy in the sprint to the finish instead of your steady pace throughout.

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

the Chinese have produced the two best closers of all time, Ye & Sun

Ole 99
3 years 9 months ago

Sun trains in Australia.

Jg
3 years 9 months ago

Only for 3 months per year

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

The Dutch, South Africans, Japanese, French and Chinese have done well in this meet. The Australian women have done better than the men I guess. Hungary was OK, not great. I suppose you’d say a lot of “smaller” swimming countries have performed well: Spain, Lithuania, Belorussia. On the “disappointing” list: UK, Russia, Germany? What does everybody here think?

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

This is the first time since Montreal that Australia does not individual gold.

Heads will roll in Canberra after this.

Chris
3 years 9 months ago

The ironic part is that swimmers trained in Australia did well. However, to be fair to the Australians, their only solid chances at individual gold were the men’s 100 free and women’s 100 back, where they both got silver by small margins. The women’s 400 free relay did well, and the only real disappointment was the men’s 400 free. Nonetheless, Aussie pride will demand answers.

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

I think the Australian team was so stunned by that 4th place 400 FR result that they never regained their confidence completely.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

*does not win*

Rafael
3 years 9 months ago

Brazil also underperfomed..

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

Definitely! I forgot that!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Has Germany won any medal at all?

I don’t think they win any, but I could be wrong

DanJohnRob
3 years 9 months ago

No, you’re right!

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

That is totally shocking for a country that has produced the likes of Matthes, Gross, Ender, Otto, Van Almsick, Steffen

Jean Marie
3 years 9 months ago

Hey – Matthes, Ender & Otto were DDR druggies. Be consistent in your criticisms.

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Matthes was not a druggie.

Yes, Ender and Otto were druggies, but that’s not what I was aiming

aswimfan
3 years 9 months ago

Also,
an example:
If USA T&F fails to win gold I would have said that same thing:
“That is totally shocking for a country that has produced the likes of Wilma Rudolph, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Flo-Jo, Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson.

(and the game has changed to: spot the cheaters)

Jiggs
3 years 9 months ago

Germany’s 2012 swimming medals total: 0 (zero)

Enough of this BS, I’m suiting up and going out for the German team in Rio 2016. I’ll still be younger than Dara Torres .

Keith
3 years 9 months ago

I think the Russians were solid. Zueva, Efimova, and Koro in the men’s fly all won individual medals. Plus an unexpected medal in the men’s sprint relay. It’s not like they’ve been a swimming powerhouse lately so I think they did well.

Philip Johnson
3 years 9 months ago

Kromo is back!

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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