Men’s 100 freestyle
Earlier in the meet Vladimir Morozov broke the championships record in the 100 freestyle in the lead off leg of the 4 x 100 freestyle relay in a time of 45.52 and than upset Olympic Champion Florent Manaudou to take the 50 freestyle crown, in tonight’s final he was looking to combine the feats, walk away the 100 freestyle world champion with a new championship record.
At the 50 meter mark Morozov had a lead of 76 one hundredths of a second over American Jimmy Feigen, turning in a time of 21.48 not only ahead of his own championship record (21.62), but also well ahead of Amaury Leveaux world record split of 21.72. Morozov well able to stay well ahead of the field in the last 50 meters, but proved to not have enough to stay on record pace, finishing in a winning time of 45.65.
“Before the race, I thought I had to break the world record to win a gold medal here. That was not really possible for me today,” said Morozov.
“I already broke my personal best time, and it is already improved by 1.7 seconds since last year.”
“I tried to begin very fast, but I think it was a bit too fast, so I was not able to speed up in the last metres.”
The race for the final two medal placings was an exciting coming down to 4 one hundredths of a second between Australian Tommaso D’Orsogna who earned the silver in a time of 46.80, Russian Evgeny Lagunov who collected the bronze touching in a time of 46.81 and Italian Luca Dotto who finished just outside of the medals in a time of 46.84.
“It’s a pity I just missed the second position by 0.01 seconds, but at least I was fast enough to avoid the fourth position,” commented Lagunov.
With Morozov and Lagunov finishing for gold and bronze it is only the third time Russia has had two men on the podium in any discipline in championships history. The previous two were in the 100m and 200m breaststroke in 2000.
Women’s 50 backstroke
Jing Zhao of China repeated as the 50 backstroke world champion in championship record time 25.95 beating the previous record of 26.11 which she set in the semi-finals.
“Today I’m over the moon. Since I stopped using the textile swimming suit, this is my personal best.”
“The opponents were very strong. I was very nervous before the race, maybe that’s how I beat them.”
The strongest of those opponents was Olivia Smoliga of the United States who broke the American national three times during the meet. First in the preliminaries where she surpassed Natalie Coughlin’s record of 27.08 set in 2002 by swimming a time of 26.75. In the semi-finals she improved on her time posting a 26.57 and in the final broke the record once again finishing for the silver in the time of 26.13.
“I am so happy,” said Smoliga. “Honestly, I came into this meet and I knew I had to compete in the 100m and the 50m (backstroke) swim, but then there was also the relay and the preliminary so this is a nice surprise. It’s great to be on the podium twice for the USA. Everything is perfect.”
“I am going back to my college team but hopefully my coach will let me have a break.”
Finishing third in a new Polish national record time of 26.50 was Aleksandra Urbanczyk, who broke her own national record of 26.69 set in 2009.
“It is my first medal at a world championship, so I am over the moon,” said Urbanczyk.
“In sprints you never know what is going on around you. You just push ahead. I only realised I’d won a medal when I looked at the scoreboard. It was a great feeling.”
“The Polish national championships are starting on Tuesday, so I won’t get a chance to celebrate just now. I think Christmas will be a good opportunity to celebrate.”
Men’s 200 backstroke
After winning the 200 freestyle and 200 IM as well as setting world records in the 100 and 200 IM one might think that Ryan Lochte was going to be unstoppable, especially in the 200 backstroke where he holds the championship record and is the reigning world champion, but that was the furtherest thing from Radoslaw Kawecki’s mind.
Kawecki who used his underwater work to collect his first world championship in a new Polish national record time of 1:48.48, beat Lochte by 2 one hundreths of a second, “I think both of us (himself and Ryan LOCHTE, USA) had pretty much the same tactic. We both wanted to wait until the final 50-75m and start pushing really hard.”
“I am happy I came out on top and proved that I was better prepared than LOCHTE (USA).”
Kawecki’s victory was the first time in championships history that a Polish swimmer has stood on top of the medal podium.
Lochte who had his largest lead over Kawecki of 35 one hundredths of a second at the 150 meter mark finished second in a time of 1:48.50 with fellow American Ryan Murphy finishing third in a time of 1:48.86.
“I am pretty tired. I did not expect to win anything here. I was really surprised that I was still quite close to Ryan LOCHTE (USA) after 150m,” said Murphy.
“I tried to dig deep the last 50 metres, and I am happy to win this medal, especially because I had my first short course metres today.”
Murphy also lead Kawecki at 150 meters and was not happy to learn that he was passed by the eventual champion, “I was not able to see Kawecki when we were in the water. So I am not disappointed he passed me in the last part of the race.”
Women’s 200 breaststroke
Coming into the world championships Rikke Moeller Pedersen was already having a great start to the 2012-13 season. At the European Championships the Dane won the 100 breaststroke, setting a European record in the process (1:04.12) and also came away with a win in the 200 breaststroke swimming the fastest time in the world, 2:17.26.
Her successful season has continued with her performances at the world championships. Pedersen collected a bronze in the 100 breaststroke, swimming a best time of 1:04.05 and on the final day of competition the Dane won her first world championship in the 200 breaststroke in both a championship and European record time of 2:16.08.
“It’s awesome, It’s everything to me,” said Pedersen
“It’s my first gold at a world championships, I’m a world champion.”
“I swam faster than the textile record. My goal was to improve my European championships record and I did.”
“Just to be brave and aggressive and to think that I could be the first. I told myself to risk it all. To trust myself and all the work I’ve done.”
American Laura Sogar who lead at the 100 meter mark finished second in a time of 2:16.93,
“I am happy with the result. These are my first world short course championships so I didn’t really have a good idea of what a good time was.”
“It went well, this is my first major international event and I got silver.”
“I was kind of nervous in the hours before but then I took a step back and I remembered that I swim for fun and that I had to enjoy the race. Then it wasn’t so intense and I had fun in the ready room.”
Kanako Watanabe of Japan finished third in a time of 2:19.39 overtaking both Jamaican Alia Atkinson and Russian Maria Temnikov in the last 50 meters.
“I could not see anything. I just tried very hard to beat the other girls,” said Watanbe
“Before the final I was hoping for a medal and I am very happy I have won bronze.”
Men’s 100 IM
In his first swim of the night American Ryan Lochte had to settle for the silver in the 200 backstroke, he did not want to suffer the same fate in the 100 IM, especially having broken the world record in the semi-finals.
Australian Kenneth To did his best to be the second swimmer of the evening to have an upset win over Lochte. To the World Cup Series champion went had a strong lead after the first 50, 62 one hundredths of a second ahead of Lochte and only 6 100 hundredths over the world record split.
Lochte narrowed the gap between himself and To in the breaststroke and overtook the Aussie in the final 25 meters to win the event touching in a time of 51.21, five tenths of a second slower than his semi-final world record.
Winning the event Lochte became the first man to win the 100 IM at three world championships and also tied the record set by himself and Neil Walker for the most medals (7) at one world championships, a record that he is sure to break later tonight.
AlthoughTo finished second in Australian record time 51.38, beating his own record of 51.43 set earlier this year in Dubai, he was far from satisfied with his race, “It’s a bit unfortunate because I performed poorly on a few skills and I could have done better, so I am a bit disappointed.”
“I didn’t do the best breaststroke leg and I could have fixed the freestyle. I gave everything I got but I could do those few skills a bit better.”
George Bovell III of Trinidad and Tobago came home with the bronze finishing in a time of 51.66.
“I’m relieved. I’m happy to get a medal at a championships.”
“This is my ninth or tenth world championships final. I am 29 years old, so it’s pretty good that I got one eventually.”
Women’s 100 butterfly
Italian Ilaria Bianchi collected her country’s second gold medal of the championships winning the women’s 100 butterfly in Italian national time of 56.13, breaking her own record of 56.40 set in November at this year’s European Championships.
“ It is the first time I’ve been really nervous before a race,” said Bianchi.
“It went well. I had weak legs at the start and wanted to swim faster. I came too late at the 50m, so at the turn I told myself to give it all.”
“This year it’s been an escalation, I found what I needed in terms of training. I’ve reached perfection on both the physical and psychological levels. I feel I’m doing what I really need.”
“You think either all the strong swimmers have stopped swimming, or it is strange that I am now coming among the best ones. Until a year ago I was always in the first eight or 16.”
Chinese swimmer Zige Liu finished second in a time of 56.58.
Jemma Lowe of Great Britain finished third in a time of 56.66.
“I am so happy with this race, and with my time,” said Lowe. “It is a personal best, which surprises me. Brilliant to have another medal in the bag. I was not so sure about it when I touched the wall.”
“I had a big break after the Olympic Games. But I am so happy to be back in the pool and I enjoy the short course so much.”
“I hope I can translate it to long course and to Barcelona. I am positive about how it is going and I’m enjoying myself.”
Men’s 50 breaststroke
Aleksander Rognerud Hetland became the first Norwegian to win an event in World Championship’s history, “I just cannot believe it. Beforehand, I thought maybe I can get a medal. Ten years ago, it was my dream to reach the final in the European championships, and now I win gold in the world championships.”
“This was what I was dreaming of when I was a kid. I always told my parents I wanted to become a gold medal winner.”
The separation between first and third was only three one hundredths of a second. Hetland finished in a time of 26.30 with Slovenian Damir Dugonjic finishing second in a time of 26.32 with Florent Manaudou of France finishing third in a time of 26.33.
Dugonic was happy but not satisfied with his performance,“I’m definitely happy. It’s my second ever medal at this championships. I’ve got to be happy, although of course I went for the win. I cannot be sad with a medal.”
“I rushed it too much and I didn’t get into the rhythm. I expected to swim a faster time.”
Women’s 50 freestyle
Aliaksandra Herasimenia became the second swimmer in two events to win their country’s first ever world championships. In the previous event Aleksander Rognerud Hetland became the Norwegian to gold and in winning the 50 freestyle Herasimenia, the Olympic silver medalist became the first swimmer swimmer from Belarus to stand on the top of the medal podium at the world championships.
“I do not have a good start, but I have a very good racing speed. I am the fastest,” said Herasimenia.
Herasimenia finished in a time of 23.64 ahead of Francesca Halsall of Great Britain who collected the silver a time of 23.87 and Jeanette Ottesen Gray of Denmark who finished third in a time of 24.00.
After a disappointing Olympics Halsall was extremely happy to once again find success on the world stage, “It is such a nice feeling, so good to be a medallist again. My split time in the relay was good, and that gave me confidence for this race.”
“I just wanted to go out and enjoy the swimming and the crowd. It is good to be around with all these youngsters, and I am happy I could also contribute.”
“After the Olympics, I was questioning myself if I still was good enough. Now, I know it and I can be back being myself.”
Gray collected her fourth medal in Istanbul setting a new Danish record for most medals in one edition of the championships, she also won her fifth career championships medal to equal the Danish record set by Mette Jacobsen.
“This medal means a lot because I didn’t expect anything. I was happy to be in the final. The 50m is not my primary event. I expected a PB, and that’s what I got, but I didn’t expect a medal.”
Men’s 200 butterfly
Japan’s Kazuya Kaneda was on a mission in the 200 butterfly. Kaneda’s 100 split of 53.21 was 22 one hundredths of a second ahead of the world record pace set by Kaio Almeida of Brazil in 2009. Only 50 meters later though he was almost two seconds behind the world record pace.
Kaneda held off a fast closing Laszlo Cseh to win the event in a new championship record time of 1:51.01 beating the previous mark of 1:51.05 set by Moss Burmester of New Zealand in 2008.
“I am really glad about winning the medal,” said Kaneda. “Recently I failed to win a local 200m butterfly race in Japan so winning here (in Istanbul) is very good.”
“I am confident about my skills underwater, the technical elements, but I am actually a slow racer. I need to work on my speed.”
“This (the success) is not only for us, the team members, but also for the junior swimmers in Japan. I hope it will inspire them and give them motivation to work hard.”
Cseh who was sixth at the 100 meter turn in a time of 54.69 made a late charge winning silver in a time of 1:51.66. The Hungarian was extremely frustrated after his race, ”
“Beforehand, a silver medal could have been satisfying, but it is not. I wanted a better time, and especially my first 100m should have been faster. For the third time, I am beaten by a Japanese swimmer.”
“This is definitely not my best year. My body strength was not good this year. If I could change things from the past, I would have done some things differently. Hopefully, 2013 will be a successful year again.”
Finishing in third was Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov in a time of 1:52.33.
It is interesting to note that the 200m butterfly remains the only men’s discipline at the world short course championships in which the USA has never won a medal.
Men’s 1500 freestyle
With his win in the 1500 freestyle Mads Glaesner of Denmark who won silver in the same event in 2010 won his first world champsionships gold medal and became the second Dane of the evening to stand on top of the medal podium. Glaesner overtook Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri in the last 100 meters to win the event in a time of 14:30.01.
“I knew it was going to be painful and it was. I tried to stick to the Italian guy and it worked,” said Glaesner.
Glaesner is one of the many swimmers who looked at this competition as a form of redemption after poor Olympic performances, “The (2012) Olympic Games were disappointing for us, so it’s good we are doing so great here.”
“(The Olympics) was a very disappointing experience for me and I will never repeat it. I want to go back in 2016 and do better.”
Gregorio Paltrinieri who finished second in a time of 14:31.13 became the youngest male medallist, 18 years 102 days, at this year’s championships.
“Until the 800m I tried to keep the pace and stay next to him (GLAESNER), then I tried to speed up, but I couldn’t make it. In my whole life I’ve never been able to do the final sprint. There are things I need to work on,” said Paltrinieri.
“Something did not quite work, but it’s OK anyway. I’m really happy to win this championships silver.”
“If they told me at the beginning of the year that I would get a silver at the world championships, I wouldn’t believe it.”
Faroese Pal Joensen finished third in a time of 14:36.93, becoming the first medallist in championships history for the Faroe Islands.
“That is just amazing. It is difficult to describe now, because I am so tired, but the joy overwhelms me.”
“I have no idea how the people will react. I am so excited about it. I will go back to Faroe to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with my family, and will then go back to Denmark for training.”
Women’s 200 freestyle
Olympic Champion Allison Schmitt of the Untied States survived a scare in the preliminaries coming seventh narrowly qualifying for the finals. Schmitt had the prototypical ‘gutter ball’ swim winning the event out of lane one. The American took the lead after the first 50 meters and controlled the race from thereon winning in a time of 1:53.54.
“I was just into racing and I can’t complain about coming out with gold,” said Schmitt.
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu finished off a very successful short course season where she won the World Cup circuit and had already collected four World Championships medals going into the 200 freestyle. In winning silver in a time of 1:54.31 she stood on the medal podium for fifth time of the championships she earned the most medals of any female at this year’s competition.
“It was pretty good, but I’m glad it is over. I got pretty tired. I’m happy with my performance. It all went well.”
“I didn’t really think I would be able to get five medals at this championships.”
“I haven’t been a world champion since 2009 (FINA World Championships in Rome). I know this is the short course, but I’m now looking forward to Barcelona and these medals give me a lot of confidence to do really hard training.”
“I had come here to get one championships title. I knew I had more events where I had a chance for a medal and just thought to do as best as I could.”
Spaniard Melanie Costa Schmid finished third in a time of 1:54.45.
“It’s a great success. The other girls are so amazing, I am just happy to be on the podium.”
“I’ve never been really fast in the beginning (of races). That is why I have been swimming the 100m. I am getting better, so we’ll see what happens in Barcelona (the 2013 World Aquatics Championships).”
“I will call my family. I don’t want to celebrate now, because this is not the end of the season for me, it is the beginning of a new one. Now I just want to focus on Barcelona (the 2013 World Aquatics Championships).”
Men’s 4 x 100 medley relay
In the final event of the championships the American men won the 4 x 100 medley relay to give them a clean sweep of the three team events at this meet. That’s a huge bounceback from 2010, where despite having arguably a deeper team overall, the Americans only won a single relay gold (and didn’t even medal in the 400 free relay).
The American relay took the victory in 3:21.03, a truly dominating performance across-the-board. Matt Grevers led off in 50.00, probably the one weak leg if there was one on this relay (he was quite a bit faster individually). Still, most of the backstrokers struggled in the race, and the Americans made the first exchange none-the-less. Kevin Cordes pulled away a little bit more with a 57.15 breaststroke split, though Russia kept things close with a 57.54 from Viatcheslav Sinkevich.
The butterfly leg was the difference maker here. Tom Shields split another outstanding leg with a 48.66 to open up a two-second lead from Nikolay Skvortsov (50.27). This was the leg where the Russians new they might struggle without their top butterflier Evgeny Korotyshkin at the meet, and that is exactly what came true.
Even with Vlad Morozov splitting 44.95 on the anchor (one of the fastest 100’s you’ll ever see), Ryan Lochte almost matched him with a 45.22 of his own to give the Americans a victory. The Russians took 2nd in 3:22.86.
That anchor for Lochte continues to show that he could truly make a run at sprinting toward Rio if he wants to. Albeit in short course, he probably would’ve been 2nd here in the 100 free individually behind Morozov.
Australia and Brazil got looked in a battle for the bronze, both making the final exchange nearly dead-even. As has been the story for the last decade of Brazilian swimming, they were just one great leg short (surprisingly a sprinter) and the Australians took the last podium spot by a full second thanks to a 46.1 to Tommaso D’Orsogna.
The Italians and the Hungarians were both disqualified, though neither was in a medal position.