By Sharon Robb
August 4, 2015—After finishing a disappointing fourth in the 200-meter freestyle, Ryan Lochte will get another shot at an individual medal in the 200-meter individual medley at the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships at Kazan Arena.
Lochte, 31, of Daytona Beach, the world and meet record holder and defending world champion in the 200 IM, competes Wednesday in the prelims.
The Florida alum is the top seed in one of his signature events and will compete next to U.S. teammate and former training partner and Florida alum Conor Dwyer in the fifth heat.
Lochte was the top seed after the semifinals of the 200-meter freestyle but couldn’t find another gear in the closing meters of the race.
Nineteen-year-old British swimmer James Guy shocked the men’s freestyle field with his impressive gold medal victory in 1:45.14. Yang Sun of China took the silver in 1:45.20 and world record holder Paul Biedemann settled for the bronze in 1:45.38.
Guy edged Yang by 6/100ths of a second to win his biggest title in swimming. Guy was second to Yang in the 400-meter freestyle on Sunday.
“I never thought I’d race Ryan Lochte head-to-head like that, he is one of my heroes,” said an emotional Guy, who jumped on the lane line and punched the air with his fist after the race.
“So to race him was amazing and to touch my hand on the wall first and be world champion hasn’t sunk in quite yet. I’m so happy. Coming in, I didn’t think that I would make the final of the 200 but I knew I had done some good sessions out in Majorca and back at home.”
Florida’s Jan Switkowski of Poland qualified for the 200-meter butterfly final. The Virginia Tech transfer was sixth in the semifinals in 1:55.42.
Two other swimmers with Florida ties were less fortunate.
South African Sebastien Rousseau of Gator Swim Club was 11th in the 200-meter butterfly heat in
1:56.29. Bolles alum Joseph Schooling of Singapore was 13th in his 200-meter butterfly heat in 1:56.85.
Both failed to get out of the semifinals. Schooling was tenth in 1:56.11 and Rousseau was 13th in
Colombian Jorge Murillo Valdes of South Florida Aquatic Club was 23rd in the 50-meter breaststroke
in 27.99. Aruba’s Jordy Groters of Pine Crest Swimming was 41st in 28.64.
In the 50-meter breaststroke semifinals, Brit Adam Peaty set a world record in 26.42. Peaty broke the record of 26.62 set by Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa in Tuesday morning prelims.
In Tuesday’s other championship final:
Aussie Mitch Larkin, 22, continued his country’s domination of the world championships by winning the 100-meter backstroke final in 52.40.
Larkin knocked off world and Olympic champion Matt Grevers of Team USA. France’s Camille Lacourt took the silver and Grevers had to settle for the bronze.
Larkin is only the third swimmer in history to own both the short and long course world 100-meter backstroke titles.
“It was amazing, I want to do it again,” Larkin said. “This is the moment that you dream of.”
Wednesday’s men’s events are 100-meter freestyle heats and semifinals; 200-meter individual medley heats and semifinals; mixed medley 4×100-meter relay; 200-meter butterfly final; men’s 50-meter breaststroke final and 800-meter freestyle.
The 4×100-meter mixed medley relay makes its debut at the world championships. Former Bolles swimmer Ryan Murphy and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Claire Donahue of South Florida Aquatic Club are expected to swim either in the heats or finals.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com