By Sharon Robb
GWANGJU, South Korea, July 23, 2019—American Lilly King dominated the field to win the 100-meter breaststroke Tuesday on Day Three of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.
King led from start-to-finish to win in 1:04.93 ahead of Russian rival Yulia Efimova, who was second in 1:05.49. Her splits were 30.29 and 34.64. Italian Martina Carraro took the bronze in 1:06.36.
China’s Sun Yang won his second gold medal of the meet in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:44.93. Yang, who finished second in the race, was awarded the gold medal when Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys was disqualified for a false start. Katsuhiro Matsumoto of Japan took silver in 1:45.22. There was a tie for the bronze medal between Martin Malyutin of Russia and Duncan Scott of Great Britain in 1:45.63.
With Katie Ledecky scratched from the 1500-meter freestyle, the field was wide open for the gold medal. Italian Simona Quadarella won her first major title in a life-time best and national record of 15:40.89. She took the lead early and extended it to more than a full body length.
Germany’s Sarah Kohler was second in 15:48.83, also a national record, and Wang Jianjiahe of China was third in 15:51.00. American Ashley Twichell was fourth in 15:54.19.
Canadian Kylie Masse won the 100-meter backstroke in 58.60. Aussie Minna Atherton was second in 58.85 and American Olivia Smoliga was third in 58.91. Masse is the first woman to repeat in the 100 backstroke since 1975.
Bolles alum Ryan Murphy was shut out of a medal in the 100-meter backstroke. China’s Xu Jiayu won gold in 52.43 in a close finish. Russian Evgeny Rylov was second in 52.67 and Aussie Mitch Larkin was third in 52.77.
Five-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion Katie Ledecky scratched from the 200- and 1500-meter freestyle events, citing medical issues. She lost her first distance freestyle event at an international meet to 18-year-old Aussie Ariarne Titmus. It is the first time Ledecky was not in the 1500 final since 2013.
“Katie has not been feeling well since arriving to Gwangju on July 17 and these precautionary measures are being taken to ensure her well-being and proper recovery, and to allow her to focus her energy on an abbreviated schedule,” USA Swimming national team managing director and former Pine Crest swimmer Lindsay Mintenko said.
In addition to Ledecky, three others scratched from the 200 freestyle: Katinka Hosszu, Emma McKeon and Taylor Ruck.
Among past or current local swimmers results: 100-meter backstroke, 16. Dyan Carter, Trinidad & Tobago, 54.08/16. 54.03; 200-meter freestyle, 53. Jorge Depassier, Chile, 1:53.62; 50-meter breaststroke, Jorge Murillo, Colombia, 28.36; 49. Izaak Bastian, Bahamas, 28.98.
Wednesday’s events include prelims in the women’s 50 backstroke, men’s 100 freestyle, men’s 200 individual medley, women’s 200 butterfly and mixed 4×100 medley relay.
The world championships has brought together a record 2,620 athletes from 194 countries and territories around the world with 76 sets of medals up for grabs in pool swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.
The meet will be streamed and televised by the Olympic Channel and live timing will be available.
Live Results: http://omegatiming.com
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org