By Sharon Robb
August 5, 2015—Ryan Lochte is out for redemption at the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships at Kazan Arena.
In Wednesday morning heats, Lochte of Daytona Beach and SwimMAC was top qualifier in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:57.90. Florida alum Conor Dwyer was fourth-fastest qualifier in 1:58.63. Venezuela’s Carlos Omana of Metro Aquatics was 24th in 2:03.54.
Lochte went on to claim the No. 1 seed for Thursday’s final, going 1:56.81 in semifinals and set himself up for a four-peat in the 200 IM. Poland’s Marcin Cieslak of Gator Swim Club was sixth fastest in 1:58.20.
“I probably used too much legs on the backstroke instead of my arms,” Lochte said. “I felt it towards the last four or five strokes of breaststroke. But I just stopped swimming the last 25 meters of freestyle. I know there’s more left, so I’ll save it for tomorrow night. Once I saw I had that lead I just shut it down and tried to save as much energy as possible.”
Lochte is trying to redeem himself after missing a medal in the 200-meter freestyle.
“It wasn’t my day last night,” Lochte said. “I did everything I could and it just didn’t work out. But what I do best, no matter what, is forget about what happened and move on. I am excited to see what I can do. It should be a good race.”
Dwyer tied for eighth in 1:58.54 with Brit Roberto Pavoni forcing a swim-off which Dwyer won, 1:58.18-1:58.26 to earn the eighth spot in the 200 IM finals.
Lochte is stoked he will be joined by three former Gators in the final.
“That’s pretty cool that our background and where we’ve been training at paid off,” Lochte said.
Bolles alum Santo Condorelli of Canada was 11th in the 100-meter freestyle heats in 48.77 and qualified for semifinals. Condorelli qualified for Thursday’s final placing eighth in 48.49 after Russian swimmer Vladimir Morozov, who had the fastest time in the world coming into the meet, was disqualified for a false start in semis, bumping Condorelli into the final.
Condorelli is Canada’s first finalist in the event since Brent Hayden in 2011 when he took a silver medal.
“This gives me another shot, hopefully I can put it to good use and not disappoint,” Condorelli said.
American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago was 24th in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.40.
In Wednesday’s other championship final:
World record holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain won the gold medal in the 50-meter breaststroke in 26.51. South African Cameron van der Burgh took silver in 26.66 and American Kevin Cordes took bronze in 26.86. Brazil’s Felipe Lima, who has trained in South Florida, just missed a medal placing fourth in 26.87. Peaty was also a member of the world-record 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:41.71 with teammates Chris Walker-Hebborn, Siobhan O’Connor and Fran Halsall.
With world record holder Adam Peaty, Great Britain came back and broke the world record in 3:41.71. Peaty was joined by Chris Walker-Hebborn, Siobhan O’Connor and Fran Halsall for the gold medal performance.
Hungarian Laszlo Cseh won his first world title in ten years when he knocked off favorite Chad Le Clos in South Africa to win the 200-meter butterfly. Cseh turned in a blistering split in the final 100 meters to overtake Le Clos, the early leader, 1:53.48-1:53.68. It was Cseh’s second world title and first since he won the 400 IM in 2005.
University of Florida’s Jan Switkowski of Poland took the bronze medal in the 200-meter butterfly in 1:54.10 behind Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh of Hungary (1:53.48) and Chad Le Clos of South Africa (1:53.68). Switkowski worked his way from eighth, seventh and sixth before surging to third.
China’s Yan Sun came from behind to win the 800-meter freestyle in 7:39.96 for his third 800 world title. Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri was second in a European record 7:40.81, taking two seconds off the previous record, and Aussie Mack Horton was third in 7:44.02. Canadian Ryan Cochrane failed to qualify for finals.
Midway through the swimming competition, Great Britain leads the gold medal count with four and seven overall; Team USA has eight medals overall with three gold, four bronze and one silver and Australia has six medals including three gold.
Thursday’s men’s events are: 200-meter backstroke heats and semifinals; 200-meter breaststroke heats and semifinals; 200-meter individual medley final; and 100-meter freestyle.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com