By Sharon Robb
August 2, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers competed on opening day of the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships at Kazan Arena Stadium.
Colombia’s Jorge Murillo Valdes was 21st in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.67.
“First day completed in the world championships,” Murillo wrote on his Facebook page. “Very happy with the performance of today, No. 21 in the world. Step by step marks the dreams. A shout out to all.”
One of the biggest surprises in the women’s morning heats was U.S. Olympic gold medalist Claire Donahue, SOFLO’s newest member, failing to advance into the semifinals of the 100-meter butterfly, her signature event. She was 20th in 58.77.
SOFLO’s three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson and two-time Colombian Olympian Carolina Colorado begins their quest for a world medal. Atkinson will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke and Colorado swims the 100-meter backstroke. SOFLO teammate and national record holder Timothy Wynter of Jamaica will also compete in the 100-meter backstroke.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum, 21, broke the world record in the 100-meter butterfly semifinals in 55.74 breaking Dana Vollmer’s record of 55.98 set at the 2012 London Olympics. Sjostrum swam a 29.28 split in the final 50 meters.
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu broke her own European record in the 200-meter individual medley and swam the second fastest 200 IM of all-time in 2:06.84 in the semifinals, .46 seconds faster than her morning swim of 2:07.30.
Alia al Shamsi, 15, and Nada al Bedwawi, 17, made history as the first women to represent the United Arab Emirates at the world championships. Bedwawi competed in the 100-meter backstroke and Shamsi swam the 100-meter breaststroke.
In Sunday’s championship finals:
Women’s 400-meter freestyle: World record holder and defending champion Katie Ledecky, 18, won her second world title in 3:59.13, just .76 off her world record. She won by nearly four seconds. “I can’t complain about that,” Ledecky said. “You always want to improve and go best times. It gives me some momentum for the rest of the week.” Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands took the silver in 4:03.02 and Aussie Jessica Ashwood earned the bronze in 4:03.34.
eMen’s 400-meter freestyle: China’s Sun Yang defended his title in 3:42.58, fastest time in the world this year. It was Sun’s sixth world title and tenth career medal. Great Britain’s James Guy took the silver in a national record 3:43.75. It was his first world championship medal. Canadian Ryan Cochrane earned the bronze in 3:44.59, his third world bronze and seventh medal overall. American Connor Jaeger missed the bronze by just 0.2 seconds.
4×100-meter freestyle relay: World record holder Australia (Emily Seebohm, Emma McKeon, Bronte Campbell, Cate Campbell) won by 2.19 seconds in 3:31.48. The Netherlands (Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Maud Van Der meer, Marrit Steenbergen, Femke Heemskerk) took the silver in 3:33.67 and the Americans (Missy Franklin, Margo Geer, Lia Neal, Simone Manuel), defending world champions, settled for a bronze medal in 3:34.61 with Franklin swimming leadoff.
Men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay: Olympic champion France (Mehdy Metella, Florent Manaudou, Fabien Gilot, Jeremy Stravius) won the gold medal in 3:10.74 finishing ahead of Russia (Andrey Grechin, Nikita Lobintsev, Vlad Morozov, Alexander Sukhorukov) in 3:11.19 and Italy (Luca Dotto, Marco Orsi, Michele Santucci, Filippo Magnini) in 3:12.53. In the biggest shocker of the day, the U.S. and Australia failed to make the final for the first time in world championship history. The Americans (Jimmy Feigen, Anthon Ervin, Matt Grevers, Conor Dwyer) finished 11th in 3:16.01 and Aussies (Tommaso D’Orsogna, Kyle Chalmers, Matthew Abood, Ashley Delaney) were 13th in 3:16.34. The U.S. held Nathan Adrian out of prelims, saving him for the final and Anthony Ervin turned in the slowest split of 49.69 since 2007 which sealed the Americans’ fate. “We all just kind of missed,” Feigen said. “A couple of the splits just didn’t work out. We paid the ultimate price.”
Monday’s women’s events are finals in the 100 butterfly and 200-meter individual medley and semifinals in the 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke.
Monday’s men’s events are finals in the 100 breaststroke and 50 butterfly and semifinals in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org