By Sharon Robb
Budapest, Hungary, July 23, 2017—The Dominican Republic’s Marc Rojas of South Florida Aquatic Club made his long course world championship debut Sunday on opening day of the 17th FINA World Aquatic Championships.
Rojas, 23, finished fifth in his 100-meter breaststroke heat in 1:03.65 and fell short of advancing into the semifinals. Rojas will also swim the 50-meter breaststroke.
Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, Aruba’s Jordy Groters, a senior at Missouri, was second in Rojas’ heat in a best time 1:02.95, placing 46th overall.
FGC swimmer, Daniella Van den Berg of Aruba and Florida State swam 4:32.09 in the 400-meter freestyle to finish 33rd.
World record holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain earned the top seed in breaststroke finals in 57.13.
Bolles alum Joseph Schooling set an Asian and Singapore record in the 50-meter butterfly heat. The 22-year-old finished in a best time 23.05 to advance into the semifinals. He beat his own records set in August, 2015.
The U.S. team broke five American records as swimming got underway.
In other events:
American Katie Ledecky, 20, broke her own meet record in the morning heat of the 400-meter freestyle. The five-time Olympic champion shaved 0.07 seconds off the record in 3:59.06. U.S. teammate Leah Smith qualified second in 4:02.00. Ledecky came back to win the event breaking her morning record in 3:58.34, second fastest in history. She is the first woman to win the event at three worlds. Smith was second.
“It was my second-best time ever, a really good swim for me and I can take a lot of positives away from it,” Ledecky said. “Every year is not going to be faster, just trying to build toward 2020.”
Ledecky won a second gold on the winning 4×100-meter relay with the U.S. knocking off defending and Olympic champion Australia.
China’s Sun Yang, 25, dominated the men’s field to win his third world title in the 400-meter freestyle in a world leading 3:41.38. He won by more than a body length over Aussie Mack Horton.
“It is too early to say what it going to happen,” Sun said. “I trained a lot and I must admit I am getting older and suffering some injuries. We will see during the week how it works and I will concentrate on one race after the other.”
The U.S. men won the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with Caeleb Dressel, Townley Haas, Blake Pieroni and veteran Nathan Adrian. Brazil was second. Dressel broke the American record on the leadoff leg in 47.26. Dressel also broke the American record in the 50-meter butterfly.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum broke the 100-meter freestyle world record in 51.71 swimming a relay lead-off leg on the 4×100.
Mallory Comerford set an American 100-meter freestyle relay with a split of 52.59 on the 400-meter freestyle relay American record setter.
Kevin Cordes broke his own American record in the 100-meter breaststroke he set last month in Indianapolis in 58.64 in the semifinals.
In the men’s 400 freestyle relay, the Aussies and Italians were disqualified for false starts.
The opening day attendance was 12,000 fans in Duna Arena.
Brit Tom Daley, 23, won gold in the men’s 10-meter platform on the final day of diving at Danube Arena. Daley knocked off 2016 Olympic champion Chen Aisen. After failing to make finals two years ago at worlds, Daley qualified second for the final and turned it on. Daley received 12 perfect 10-scores during his six-dive list. He scored over 100 points twice and finished with 590.95 points. Chen finished with 585.25 points. It was his first world title since Rome eight years ago when he burst onto the scene. China’s Yang Jian took the bronze. University of Miami redshirt sophomore David Dinsmore finished sixth with 479.75. Earlier in the day, Daley teamed with Grace Reid to win silver in the mixed 3-meter synchro. China’s Li Zheng and Wang Han took the gold. China finished with eight gold medals, two less than 10 won in Kazan. The U.S. team could manage only one bronze medal tied for last with Ukraine.
The sport is re-branding to help boost its popularity and is now going to be called artistic swimming. The re-naming was approved by FINA.
The U.S. men’s team, defeated Russia, 14-11, but it wasn’t enough to advance out of Group play and into the quarterfinals. Alex Bowen and Luca Cupido of the U.S. senior national team each scored four goals. The U.S. needed at least an eight-goal victory over Russia. The U.S. drops into the 13th-16th place bracket play.
France defeated Canada, 10-6, in the round 13-16 semifinals. Ugo Crousillat and Mehdi Marzouki each had three goals.
Australia, Serbia, Hungary, Croatia Italy, Montenegro, Greece and Russia advanced into the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org