SWIMMING: King continues mastery of Efimova and defends 100 m Breast world title

Olympic and World breaststroke champ Lilly King

The most public feud in swimming today has to be between breaststroke stars American Lilly King and Russia’s Yuliya Efimova, who between them own seven World Championships titles in that stroke.

But the American is having it her way now. After sweeping all three distances from Efimova at the FINA Champions Series in Indianapolis earlier this year, she easily outdistanced Efimova in the 100 m Breaststroke final at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju (KOR).

King started off strong and never let up, scorching the first 50 m in 30.29 for a 41/100ths lead and while Efimova is known for her finishing speed – and she got close – King’s second lap was the fastest in the field at 34.64 to Efimova’s 34.79. The final time of 1:04.93 is exactly the same as King’s winning time at the 2016 Rio Games and is the co-11th-fastest ever.

The U.S. had high hopes in the women’s 100 m Backstroke, with world-record holder Kathleen Baker and Olivia Smoliga in the final. Baker got out brilliantly and made the turn as the co-leader with Canada’s Taylor Ruck (28.42), but it was defending champion Kylie Masse (CAN) who had the speed in the end and won (again) in 58.60. Baker faded to sixth, but Smoliga made a charge along with Minna Atherton (AUS) and the Australian touched for silver (58.85) and Smoliga got the bronze (58.91), her first World Championships individual medal.

In the men’s 100 m Backstroke, the U.S. had the last two Olympic Champions in the pool, and Rio champ Ryan Murphy took off from the start, racing to a solid lead at the turn, but he couldn’t hold on. China’s Jiayu Xu defended his 2017 world title – just as Masse did – with a quick 27.21 final lap to win in 52.43, ahead of Russia’s Evgeny Rylov (52.67) and Australia’s Mitch Larkin (52.77), who came from seventh at the turn to the bronze medal. Murphy ended up fourth, 1/100th from the bronze medal and 2012 Olympic winner Matt Grevers (52.82) was fifth.

The women’s 1,500 m was won by Italy’s Simona Quadarella in the absence of the ill Katie Ledecky. Bronze medalist in 2017, Quadarella was in front almost from the beginning and won easily in 15:40.89, almost eight seconds ahead of Germany’s Sarah Kohler. It was a lifetime best for Quadarella by almost eight seconds and is the 12th-fastest swim in the event ever and makes the Italian the no. 4 performer in history. Ledecky owns the top eight marks ever.

The wildest event of the night was the men’s 200 m final, won by Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys in 1:44.69. But he was disqualified after the race for “movement on the blocks” and that gave a repeat victory to China’s Yang Sun (1:44.93), with Japan’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto moving from bronze to silver and Duncan Scott (GBR) and Martin Malyutin (RUS) awarded the bronze medals in a tie for third.

Then came the awards ceremony and Scott – like Australia’s Mack Horton after the 400 m Free – refused to acknowledge Sun, did not shake hands with him, or take pictures with him after the ceremony, standing aside from the other medalists.

Sun isn’t done, by the way. He was the eighth and final qualifier in the 800 m Free, so he’ll be back. Summaries so far:

FINA World Aquatics Championships
Gwangju (KOR) ~ 12-28 July 2019
(Full results here)

SWIMMING

Men

200 m Freestyle: 1. Yang Sun (CHN), 1:44.93; 2. Katsuhiro Matsumoto (JPN), 1:45.22; 3. tie, Martin Malyutin (RUS) and Duncan Scott (GBR), 1:45.63; 5. Filippo Megli (ITA), 1:45.67; 6. Clyde Lewis (AUS), 1:45.78; 7. Dominik Kozma (HUN), 1:45.90; disqualified – Danas Rapsys (LTU).

400 m Freestyle: 1. Sun (CHN), 3:42.44; 2. Mack Horton (AUS), 3:43.17; 3. Gabriele Detti (ITA), 3:43.23; 4. Rapsys (LTU), 3:43.50; 5. Marco de Tullio (ITA), 3:44.86; 6. Xinjie Ji (CHN), 3:45.64; 8. Zane Grothe (USA), 3:45.78.

4×100 m Freestyle: 1. United States (Caeleb Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Zach Apple, Nathan Adrian), 3:09.06; 2. Russia (Grinev, Morozov, Kolesnikov, Rylov), 3:09.97; 3. Australia (McEvoy, Lewis, Graham, Chalmers), 3:11.22; 4. Italy, 3:11.39; 5. Great Britain, 3:11.81; 6. Brazil, 3:11.99; 7. Hungary, 3:12.85; 8. France, 3:13.34.

100 m Backstoke: 1. Jiayu Xu (CHN), 52.43; 2. Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 52.67; 3. Mitch Larkin (AUS), 52.77; 4. Ryan Murphy (USA), 52.78; 5. Matt Grevers (USA), 52.82; 6. Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 53.22; 7. Guilherme Guido (BRA), 53.26; 8. Robert Glinta (ROU), 54.22.

100 m Breaststroke: 1. Adam Peaty (GBR), 57.14; 2. James Wilby (GBR), 58.46; 3. Zibei Yan (CHN), 58.63; 4. Yashuhiro Koseki (JPN), 58.93; 5. Kirill Prigoda (RUS), 59.09; 6. Andrew Wilson (USA), 59.11; 7. Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ), 59.14; 8. Anton Chupkov (RUS), 59.19. (In semifinals: Peaty, 56.88, World Record; old, 57.10, Peaty, 2018).

100 m Butterfly: 1. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 22.35 (American Record; old, 22.57, Dressel, in semifinals); 2. Oleg Kostin (RUS), 22.70; 3. Nicholas Santos (BRA), 22.79; 4. Michael Andrew (USA), 22.80; 5. Szebasztian Szabo (HUN), 22.90; 6. Andrii Govorov (UKR), 22.91; 7. Benjamin Proud (GBR), 23.01; 8. Andrey Zhilkin (RUS), 23.11.

Women

400 m Freestyle: 1. Ariarne Titmus (AUS), 3:58.76; 2. Katie Ledecky (USA), 3:59.97; 3. Leah Smith (USA), 4:01.29; 4. Ajna Kesely (HUN), 4:01.31; 5. Jianjiahe Wang (CHN), 4:03.67; 6. Boglarka Kapas (HUN), 4:05.36; 7. Anna Egorova (RUS), 4:06.16; 8. Veronika Andrusenko (RUS), 4:08.60.

1,500 m Freestyle: 1. Simona Quadarella (ITA), 15:40.89; 2. Sarah Kohler (GER), 15:48.83; 3. Jianjiahe Wang (CHN), 15:51.00; 4. Ashley Twichell (USA), 15:54.19; 5. Maddy Gough (AUS), 15:59.40; 6. Ajna Kesely (HUN), 16:01.35; 7. Kiah Melverton (AUS), 16:01.38; 8. Mireia Belmonte (ESP), 16:02.10.

4×100 m Freestyle: 1. Australia (Bronte Campbell, Throssell, McKeon, Cate Campbell), 3:30.21; 2. United States (Mallory Comerford, Abbey Weitzeil, Kelsi Dahlia, Simone Manuel), 3:31.02 (American Record; old, 3:31.72, National Team, 2017); 3. Canada (Sanchez, Ruck, Oleksiak, MacNeil), 3:31.78; 4. Netherlands, 3:35.32; 5. China, 3:35.83; 6. Sweden, 3:36.33; 7. Japan, 3:36.79; 8. Germany, 3:39.07.

100 m Backstroke: 1. Kylie Masse (CAN), 58.60; 2. Minna Atherton (AUS), 58.85; 3. Olivia Smoliga (USA), 58.91; 4. Taylor Ruck (CAN), 58.96; 5. Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 59.10; 6. tie, Katheen Baker (USA) and Natsumi Sakai (JPN), 59.56; 8. Daria Vaskina (RUS), 59.74.

100 m Breaststroke: 1. Lilly King (USA), 1:04.93; 2. Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 1:05.49; 3. Martina Carraro (ITA), 1:06.36; 4. Reona Aoki (JPN), 1:06.40; 5. Jingyao Yu (CHN), 1:06.56; 6. Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 1:06.60; 7. Molly Renshaw (GBR), 1:06.96; 8. Arianna Castiglioni (ITA), 1:07.06.

100 m Butterfly: 1. Margaret MacNeil (CAN), 55.83; 2. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 56.22; 3. Emma McKeon (AUS), 56.61; 4. Elena di Liddo (ITA), 57.07; 5. Brianna Throssell (AUS), 57.09; 6. Kelsi Dahlia (USA), 57.11; 7. Louise Hansson (SWE), 57.16; 8. Marie Wattel (FRA), 57.29.

200 m Individual Medley: 1. Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2:07.53; 2. Shiwen Ye (CHN), 2:08.60; 3. Sydney Pickrem (CAN), 2:08.70; 4. Melanie Margalis (USA), 2:08.91; 5. Rika Omoto (JPN), 2:09.32; 6. Seoyeong Kim (KOR), 2:10.12; 7. Siobhan O’Connor (GBR), 2:10.43; disqualified – Yui Ohashi (JPN).

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