Dressel, Manuel, Hosszu Make History; SOFLO’s Atkinson Misses Medal On Final Day Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 28, 2019—Caeleb Dressel, Simone Manuel and Katinka Hosszu set medal records on the eighth and final day of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Sunday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

Dressel, a University of Florida, Clay High School and Bolles Club alum, Dressel became the first man to win eight medals at a championship. Dressel won gold in all four of his individual events, six golds and two silver medals overall, and one world record.

Sjostrum won five medals, one gold, two silvers and two bronze medals, tying Missy Franklin for the most medals in world championship history.

For the second consecutive world championships, Dressel and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum were named Swimmers of the Meet. Dressel had 22 points and Sjostrum had 15 points.

Manuel is the first American woman to sweep the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events and became the first woman to win seven medals in a single world championship. She won the 50 on Sunday in 24.05. Sjostrum was second in 24.07.

Hosszu became the first woman and only the second after Michael Phelps to win five world titles in the same event when she won gold in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:32.07. She was 20 when she won her first 400IM in 2009 in Rome.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, the 2015 silver medalist, left worlds without a medal. Her best finish was fourth in the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.34 on the final day.

SOFLO teammate and Vietnamese Olympian Vien Nguyen was 19th in 4:47.96 in her third and final event at worlds.

Canada, with former Lake Lytal Lightning and Florida State swimmer Will Pisani, enjoyed its best worlds. After winning a bronze medal and setting a national record in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay, Canada finished with a record two gold and six bronze medals, all in Olympic events. Swimmers reached 19 finals, two more than in Budapest in 2017 and most finals since 1978.

South African Zane Wadell was an upset winner in the men’s 50-meter backstroke by 0.06 seconds in 24.43 ahead of Russian favorites Evgeny Rylov in 24.49 and Kliment Kolesnikov in 24.51. It was his first world title.

American Lilly King crushed the women’s 50-meter breaststroke field by 0.16 seconds to defend her title in 29.84, the only swimmer to crack 30 seconds. Italy’s 14-year-old sensation Benedetta Pilato was second in 30.00 and Russian Yuliya Efimova was third in 30.15.

“I didn’t know if it was happy tears or sad tears,” King said. “She’s 14, it doesn’t really matter what kind of tears they were, but I was like, ‘It’s OK, you did fine.”’

Germany’s Florian Wellbrock won the men’s 1500-meter freestyle in 14:36.54. Mykhailo Romanchuk of the Ukraine was second in 14:37.63 and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri was third in 14:38.75.

Japan’s Daiya Seto reclaimed the 400-meter individual medley title in 4:08.95. American Jay Litherland was second in 4:09.22 and Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand was third in 4:12.07.

Kelsi Worrell led the U.S. to a world record and gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay along with 17-year-old Regan Smith, Lilly King and Simone Manuel. The foursome won in 3:50.40, bettering the previous record by more than a second.

Great Britain won the 400-meter medley relay in 3:28.10 knocking off the U.S. men’s team with Dressel at anchor in 3:28.45. Russia was third in 3:28.81.

It was the U.S. team’s 14th gold medal for the week. They also had eight silver and five bronze, less than their 2017 showing. There were ten world records broken, 17 championship records, five junior world records, three African, 12 American, six Asian, five European and seven Oceanian records.

Smith’s opening split of 57.57 set a world record and made her the first woman to go under 58 seconds in the 100 backstroke.

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.

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Dressel Wins Three Titles In One Night, SOFLO’s Atkinson Makes Final On Day Seven Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 27, 2019—Caeleb Dressel pulled off a hat trick on Day Seven of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Saturday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

The 22-year-old swimming sensation defended his 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly titles and was a member of the winning mixed 4×100-meter freestyle that broke a world record in 3:19.40.

Dressel, a University of Florida, Clay High School and Bolles Swim Club alum, is the first swimmer to win at least six gold medals at two world championships.

“It wasn’t easy tonight,” Dressel said. “I don’t want it to be easy, I really don’t.”

Dressel won the 50-meter freestyle breaking his own American record in 21.04 and 100-meter butterfly in 49.66 after breaking the world record in the semifinals in 49.50.

“It doesn’t just come together by accident,” Dressel said. “It’s just about getting in every day and learning event to event, practice to practice.

“But I’m glad it’s over. I certainly don’t want to swim any more than this tonight. Dressel could pocket a seventh gold and eighth medal of the week in Sunday’s 4x100m mixed medley. He also took silver in the 4×100-meter mixed medley.

“Tomorrow I will be ready to swim one more, and one more fast.”

Olympian and world record holder Katie Ledecky, 22, salvaged her world championships with a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle for her fourth consecutive title in the event. It was Ledecky’s 15th world title.

“I got to the pool this morning to warm up and felt a little nauseous again which wasn’t great,” Ledecky said. “I had a brief moment of doubt there, but pulled it together and made it happen today.

“Last night after watching all the fast swimming I said (to my coach) I so, so badly want to go have a good swim tomorrow. Just watching those records tumble… really fired me up.”

After scratching from two events because of illness, Ledecky came from .18 seconds behind to overtake leader Simona Quadarella of Italy and win in 8:13.58.

“I took it out like I usually do, and just kind of relied on my training to bring me home,” Ledecky said. “Simona was having a great race and pulled up right next to me, and when she did that, I kind of felt like I could stick with her and rely on my speed. I just tried to stay calm and relaxed from the 500 to the 750, and decided in the last 100 when I was going to make a move. I just put my legs into it and got my hand on the wall.”

A night after setting a world record in the semi-finals of the women’s 200 backstroke, 17-year-old American Regan Smith returned to win the final.

The only world title to escape the Americans on Saturday was the women’s 50-meter butterfly, won by Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, her first of the meet.

“I’m very happy that I could win another medal especially after such a tough program I’ve been having,” said the Olympic 100 butterfly champion, who had needed an oxygen mask after winning bronze in the 200 freestyle.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club made her first final in the 50-meter breaststroke. She is the fifth fastest qualifier after semifinals in 30.61. She was the silver medalist in the event in 2015. American Lilly King is top qualifier in 29.84.

SOFLO teammate and Vietnam Olympian Vien Nguyen will compete in her third and final event, the 400-meter individual medley on Sunday.

Among other former or current Florida Gold Coast swimmer results: 50-meter freestyle, 47. Cathy Cooper, Panama 26.88, 49. Chade Nersicio, Curacao 27.13, 51. Lauren Hew, Cayman Islands 27.26; 50-meter breaststroke, 4. Alia Atkinson, Jamaica 30.53, 5. Atkinson, 30.61.

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.

TV Schedule: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019/07/17/swimming-world-championships-tv-stream-schedule/

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Dressel, Smith Break World Records, Manuel Sets American Record On Day Six Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 26, 2019—Caeleb Dressel continued his historic run on Day Six of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Friday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

The University of Florida and Bolles Sharks Club alum pursuit of history continued when he broke one of Michael Phelps’ 10-year old world records, this time in the 100-meter butterfly semifinals in 49.50. Phelps record was 49.82 set in 2009. Dressel now owns six of the 10 fastest time in history.

Dressel came back to earn the top seed after the 50-meter freestyle semifinals in 21.18, just 3/100ths of his American record.

Another world record was broken in the semifinals of the women’s 200-meter backstroke. Seventeen-year-old teenager Regan Smith broke Missy Franklin’s record of 2:04.06 set when Franklin was also 17 at the 2012 London Olympics. The high school senior broke the record in 2:03.35.

“I don’t know how to put it into words,” said Smith during her on-deck interview.

Defending champion Simone Manuel held on to win the gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle and set an American record swimming in Lane 1. Manuel won in 52.04. Aussie Cate Campbell took silver in 52.43 and world record holder Sarah Sjostrum of Sweden was the bronze medalist in 52.46. Manuel is only the second woman to repeat as a champion in this event.

Russian Yuliya Efimova won the 200-meter breaststroke to become the first woman to three-peat in 2:20.17. South African Tatiana Schoenmaker was second in 2:22.52 and Canadian Sydney Pickrem was third in 2:22.90.

Russian Evgeny Rylov knocked off three-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy to win the 200-meter backstroke in 1:53.40. The Bolles alum took silver in 1:54.12 and Brit Luke Greenbank was bronze medalist in 1:55.85.

Russia won its third goal medal of the night when Anton Chupkov won the 200-meter breaststroke in a world record 2:06.12. Aussie Matthew Wilson, who had broken the world record at 2:06.67 in semis, was second in 2:06.68 and Japan’s Ippei Watanabe was third in 2:06.73.

Australia won the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in 7:00.85. Russia took silver in 7:01.81 and the U.S. hung on for the bronze in 7:01.96.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club was 36th in the 50-meter butterfly 27.49.

U.S. Olympian and world record holder Katie Ledecky, still not 100 percent, qualified second in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:17.42 behind teammate Leah Smith in 8:17.23.

Among other former or current Florida Gold Coast swimmer results: 50-meter freestyle, 21. Renzo Tjon-A-Joe, Suriname 22.33; 41. Dylan Carter, Trinidad and Tobago 22.65, 82. Jorge Depassier, Chile 24.29; 50-meter butterfly, 41. Chade Nersicio, Curacao 28.45.

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.

TV Schedule: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019/07/17/swimming-world-championships-tv-stream-schedule/

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Aussies Set Relay World Record; Dressel Breaks American Record On Day Five Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 25, 2019—Caeleb Dressel held on to defend his 100-meter freestyle and flirted with a 10-year old world record on Day Five of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Thursday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

The University of Florida and Bolles Club alum did break the American record by 2/10ths in 46.96, third fastest in history and only man to dip under 47 seconds. He was only 0.05 seconds off the 10-year-old world record of 46.91 set by Brazil’s Cesar Cielo.

“It hurt really bad to be honest,” Dressel said. “You don’t always get that magical feeling every night but you’ve just got to shut the brain off and go.

“It took 100 per cent effort and I had someone right there on my tail for me to race,” Dressel said. “I kind of shut off thinking about the race so that helped a lot and having Kyle (Chalmers) right there.”

It was Dressel’s third gold medal and fourth medal overall.

Dressel’s other golds came in the 50-meter butterfly, a non-Olympic event, and 4×100-meter freestyle relay. He took silver in the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay.

“I know I was just off the world record, but really the goal was just to swim the best race that I could, and if that was the time I got tonight, I was happy,” Dressel said. “I’m going to talk to [Coach Gregg] Troy, and I guarantee you the first thing he’s going to say is what we could have done better.”

After scratching from two events because of illness, five-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky returned to the pool to help the U.S. win silver in the 4×200-meter freestyle behind Australia’s world record performance of 7:41.50 with Ariarne Titmus, Madison Wilson, Brianna Throssell and Emma McKeon. The previous record was 7:42.08 held by China. It was the first time the Aussies won a world title in the relay event. The U.S. had won three straight world titles.

“I wasn’t thinking about a world record,” McKeon said. “Was it a 2009 record? To break that this year is so exciting. I was hurting a lot but when it comes to a relay you really give it your all. Just touching the wall and seeing the three others celebrate, it made me so excited,” McKeon said.

Ledecky was joined by Katie McLaughlin, Melanie Margalis of St. Petersburg and Simone Manuel and finished in 7:41.87. Canada took the bronze.

Outspoken American Lilly King was disqualified from the 200-meter breaststroke prelims. She won the third heat in 2:24.56 but was disqualified for not touching the wall with both hands at the same time at the first turn of the four-lap race.

The U.S. team filed a formal protest which was denied by FINA’s appeals process and also lost a jury of appeal.

In other finals:

Boglarka Kapas out-touched Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot to win the women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:06.78.

American Olivia Smoliga won the women’s 50-meter backstroke, a non-Olympic event, in 27.33. She won from Lane Two.

Japan’s Daiya Seto won the men’s 200-meter individual medley in 1:56.14, 0.42 seconds ahead of Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland and 2017 champion Chase Kalisz, ending the Americans’ streak of winning at eight consecutive worlds.

It was the first time a non-American won the event at an Olympics or worlds since 2001, snapping a streak of 12 straight titles among Phelps (seven), Ryan Lochte (four) and Kalisz (one). Kalisz, who swept the IMs at 2017 Worlds, has the 400m IM later this week.

In other news, FINA, the sport’s international governing body, threatened to strip medals and ban swimmers who protest on podiums during the medal ceremonies under a new Code of Conduct provision. Brit Duncan Scott and Aussie Mack Horton failed to acknowledge China’s Sun Yang during two medal ceremonies. Sun is coached by Aussie Denis Cotterell.

Day Six prelims include the men’s 100-yard butterfly, women’s 200-meter backstroke, men’s 50-meter free, women’s 50-meter butterfly, women’s 800-meter freestyle and men’s 4 x 200-meter freestyle 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.

TV Schedule: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019/07/17/swimming-world-championships-tv-stream-schedule/

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Peaty, Dressel, Hosszu Among Gold Medalists; SOFLO’s Atkinson Finishes 11th On Day Two Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 22, 2019—A day after breaking his own world record, Adam Peaty of Great Britain sealed the deal by winning the 100-meter breaststroke at the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships on Monday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

Peaty, 24, made history on opening day as the first man to break 57 seconds in an astounding 56.88, breaking his own world record by 0.22 sconds. He came back in Monday’s finals to win the gold medal in 57.14, fourth fastest swim in history. Peaty is the first male swimmer to win five world championship medals in the breaststroke events.

Brit teammate James Wilby took silver in 58.46 and China’s Yan Zibei won bronze in 58.63.

In the women’s semifinals, Russian Yuliya Efimova(1:05.56), the fastest woman in the world this year, and Amerian Lilly King (1:05.66) are the top two qualifiers for the 100-meter breaststroke.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Ali Atkinson of Jamaica failed to make it into finals tying for 11th in 1:07.11. The four-time Olympian was a bronze medalist in the event in 2015. Atkinson is also entered in the 50-meter butterfly and 50-meter breaststroke.

Canadian Maggie MacNeil knocked off Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum in the 100-meter butterfly. MacNeil, fifth at the turn, found another gear to win in 55.83. Sjostrum was second in 56.22 and Aussie Emma McKeon was third in 56.61. American Kelsi Dahlia was sixth in 57.11.

Sjostrum saw her win streak snapped. She held all 10 of the all-time top 10 times and was the second woman ever to break 56. Her last defeat dates back to December, 2012. MacNeil is now the second fastest woman in history.

Clay High School, Bolles Sharks and University of Florida alum Caeleb Dressel won the 50-meter butterfly in an American and meet record 22.35. Dressel is the first American man to win this event at the world championships. It was his second gold medal of worlds.

“That’s faster than two years ago and a better place than two years ago,” Dressel said. “It’s good, good for Team USA and I’m glad I can be a part of keeping that ball rolling.”

Russian Oleg Kostin was second in a national record 22.70 and Nicholas Santos of Brazil, at age 39, was third in 22.79.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu started her gold medal campaign with defending her title in the 200-meter individual medley. Hosszu was clocked in 2:07.53 and became the first woman to win four straight titles in an event.

China’s 2012 Olympic champion Ye Shiwen was second in 2:08.60, her first medal since 2011 and best time since 2012. Canadian Sydney Pickrem was third in 2:08.70. American Melanie Margalis of St. Petersburg was fourth in 2:08.91.

Among past or current local swimmers results: 100-meter backstroke, 16. Dylan Carter, Trinidad& Tobago 54.03; 100-meter breaststroke, 11. Alia Atkinson, Jamaica 1:07.11; 200-meter freestyle, 53. Jorge Depassier, Chile 1:53.62.

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.

TV Schedule: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019/07/17/swimming-world-championships-tv-stream-schedule/

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Caeleb Dressel Shines On Final Night Of FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships; Hosszu, Le Clos Named FINA Swimmers Of The Year


By Sharon Robb

HANGZHOU, China, December 16, 2018—On the sixth and final night of the 14th FINA World Short Course Championships, Caeleb Dressel saved his best for last.

The Clay High School and Bolles Swim Club alum won the 100-meter freestyle in an exciting finish against Russian Vlad Morozov, 45.62-45.64. Dressel used his closing speed to out-touch Morozov. South African Chad le Clos took the bronze in 45.89.

It was Dressel’s first individual gold medal and short course world title. He also broke his own American record of 45.66 he set earlier in the meet as leadoff leg of the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.

“I actually feel alright right now,” Dressel said. “It was a long meet, but I’ve had meets where I was a lot more tired. This went smoothly. I’m happy to be done, don’t get me wrong, but it was a great performance all around from everyone on the team and it was really exciting to be a part of that.”

Dressel was also a member of the winning 4×100-meter medley relay with a split of 48.28. The U.S. men won in a championship record 3:19.98 breaking the old U.S. record of 3:20.99 set in 2010. Russia was second in 3:20.61 and Japan was third in 3:21.07. Dressel was joined by teammates Ryan Murphy, a Bolles alum, Andrew Wilson and Ryan Held.

“I feel like I’m in really good shape,” Dressel said. “They (his swims) were pretty sloppy to be honest, a lot of them. I feel like I got better as the meet went on because that was faster than the first day of the meet tonight, so I think I was getting better every day. The speed was not quite there, but like I said I think I’m in really good shape. My last 50 was really good in the fly and the free, so I’m not worried about anything and it will be fun year next year at Worlds.”

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu and South Africa’s Chad le Clos were named 2018 FINA Swimmers of the Year. Hosszu’s new coach, Arpad Petrov, was named the top women’s coach and former Coral Springs Swim Club coach Andrea di Nino and coach of Le Clos, was named men’s coach of the year. They were honored at the FINA World Aquatics Gala on Sunday night.

In the other Sunday finals:

The U.S. women’s 4×50-meter freestyle relay team of Madison Kennedy, Mallory Comerford, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia and Erika Brown won in a championship record 1:34.03 ahead of world record holder Netherlands (1:34.55) and Australia (1:36.34).

Mykhailo Romanchuk of the Ukraine overtook early leader and world record holder Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy in the final 25 meters of the 1,500-yard freestyle to win in a championship record 14:09.14. Paltrinieri finished in 14:09.87 and Norway’s Henrik Christiansen was third in 14:19.39.

American Annie Lazor won a three-woman race in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:18.32 ahead of teammate Bethany Gelat in 2:18.62 and Belgium’s Fanny Lecluyse in 2:18.85.

Russia’s Evgeny Rylov surged in the final 50 meters to knock off American and Bolles alum Ryan Murphy, 1:47.02-1:47.34. Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki and Aussie Mitch Larkin tied for the bronze in 1:48.25.

American Kelsi Worrell Dahlia won the 100-meter butterfly in 55.01, just a half second off her world record. U.S. teammate Kendyl Stewart was second in 56.22 and Brazil’s Daiene Dias was third in 56.31.

South African Cameron van der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke in a championship record 25.41 to sweep the breaststroke events. The Olympic gold medalist and world record holder announced his retirement following the meet. Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus took silver in 25.77 and former championship record holder Felipe Lima of Brazil was third in 25.80.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands won the 50-meter freestyle in a championship record of 23.19. Teammate Femke Heemskerk was second in 23.67. Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros was third in 23.76.

The U.S. women’s relay team of Olivia Smoliga, Katie Meili, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia and Mallory Comerford won the 4×100-meter medley relay in a championship record 3:45.58. China was second in 3:48.80 and Italy was third in a national record 3:51.38.

The short course worlds are swum in short course meters and held in the years when FINA does not hold its world championships (currently this means in even years). The short course championship is swimming-only events where world championships feature all five aquatic disciplines.

A field of 960 swimmers, with several top names missing, from 178 countries competed for 46 world titles over six days at the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center Tennis Centre. The center is uniquely shaped like a lotus bowl with an 8,000-seat capacity.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Two More World Records Fall, Le Clos Knocks Off Dressel On Day Three Of FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships; Atkinson Goes For Second Gold On Day Four


By Sharon Robb

HANGZHOU, China, December 13, 2018—Swimmers from Russia and United States broke world records Thursday on Day Three of the 14th FINA World Short Course Championships.

Kirill Prigoda of Russia won the 200-meter breaststroke in a world and championship record 2:00.16. The previous record was 2:00.44 set by Germany’s Marco Koch in November 2016. Prigoda’s best finish before his record performance was a bronze in Doha in 2014.

Prigoda’s record swim was only the second individual world record of the meet.

“I didn’t think about breaking the world record before the competition,” Prigoda said. “When I was standing in front of the pool, my mind was clear and my eyes focused on the water. I just wanted to swim faster and faster. I am happy that my parents were both swimmers and that I am their son. But during the day-to-day training, I just try to swim fast. I think this is why I am here, why I am in swimming, and why I will be here tomorrow and next year”.

The U.S. mixed 4×50-meter medley team broke the second world record. The team of Olivia Smoliga, Michael Andrew, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia and Caeleb Dressel broke the previous U.S. world record of 1:37.17 in 1:36.40. The Netherlands was second in 1:37.05 and Russia was third in 1:37.33.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club qualified third for the 100-meter individual medley final in 58.20. Hungarian world and championship record holder Katinka Hosszu is seeded first in 57.69 and Japan’s Runa Umai is second in 58.04. In addition to the 100IM, Atkinson also has the 100-meter breaststroke on Day Four.

In other Thursday finals:

In a thrilling showdown, South African Chad le Clos won his fourth consecutive gold medal beating American Caeleb Dressel in the 100-meter butterfly in 48.50. Dressel never challenged Le Clos to place second in 48.71. China’s Li Zhuhao was third in 49.25.

“It was the biggest race of my short course career,” Le Clos said. “I was up against the best field by far and this was the main event of the whole week. I am very grateful I got the gold, it was a tough race. I was anxious because I was waiting the whole day for this, the whole week and the past three months because I knew this one could come.

“After the first night, people thought I was winded and I have always told them that is the biggest mistake they can make because after I have lost I come back much stronger. Tonight was important. I needed the win tonight”.

Without American Katie Ledecky in the field, China’s Wang Jianjiahe breeze to the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:04.35. The 16-year-old was under world record pace until the 350-meter mark. Simona Quadarella of Italy was second in 8:08.03 and American Leah Smith was third in 8:08.75.

Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands won the 100-meter freestyle in a championship record 51.14. Teammate Femke Heemskerk, the fastest qualifier, was second in 51.60. American Mallory Comerford was third in 51.63.

While Hungarian Katinka Hosszu faltered to fourth in the 200-meter backstroke, Americans Lisa Bratton (2:00.71) and Kathleen Baker (2:00.79) finished one-two. Aussie Emily Seebohm was third in 2:01.37.

“It is my first World Short Course Championships, I was nervous,” Bratton said. “After having to adjust my body from the long travel, I do feel good this week and expected to win a medal. I felt very excited tonight. I took these championships as an important experience to learn from those big names and to learn how to swim in short course”.

Other Florida swimmer results:

14. Dylan Carter, Trinidad and Tobago, American Heritage Plantation, 50-meter backstroke, 23.73; 34. 50-meter freestyle, 21.98.

30. Patrick Groters, Aruba, NSU University School/Pine Crest Swimming, 100-yard individual medley, 56.56.

55. Renzo Tjon-A-Joe, Surinam, Metro Aquatics, 50-meter freestyle, 22.52.

61. Jhonny Perez, Dominican Republic, Azura alum, 50-meter freestyle, 23.00.

The short course worlds are swum in short course meters and held in the years when FINA does not hold its world championships (currently this means in even years). The short course championship is swimming-only events where world championships feature all five aquatic disciplines.

A field of 960 swimmers, with several top names missing, from 178 countries are competing for 46 world titles over six days at the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center Tennis Centre. The center is uniquely shaped like a lotus bowl with an 8,000-seat capacity.

Prelims are 9 a.m. in China, 8:30 p.m. EST in the U.S. Finals are 7 p.m. in China and 6 a.m. EST in the U.S.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com