When winning gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in a new World Record of 2:07.28, Daniel Gyurta, from Hungary, could not imagine that his performance would not last for more than a month and a half. On September 15, 2012, in Gifu (JPN), 18-year-old Akihiro Yamaguchi blasted that mark to set the existing World Record in 2:07.01. Gyurta has of course the Olympic glory, but his outstanding performance was soon forgotten.
In Barcelona, the Magyar 2009 and 2011 champion, was ready for the “revenge”. After being also the fastest of the semis, Gyurta not only outclassed Yamaguchi (in lane 1), but the entire field of this final. Earning gold in 2:07.23, he did not recover the WR performance but proved that he is at the top of his shape. Moreover, he bettered his personal best and established a new Championships Record (the previous mark had been set by Christian Sprenger (AUS) in Rome 2009, in a time of 2:07.31. The Magyar victory also meant another milestone in this event, as he became the first swimmer at the World Championships to have three wins in the 200m breaststroke, and on a consecutive way.
The minor medals went to Marco Koch (GER, silver in 2:08.54) and to Matti Mattsson (FIN, bronze in 2:08.95). These were the first medals for both swimmers at this level, and for Finland this is the first men's podium presence since 1994! Yamaguchi was only seventh in 2:09.57, while 2012 medallists in London – Michael Jamieson (GBR) and Ryo Tateishi (JPN) – missed the podium in Barcelona, finishing respectively in fifth and eighth.
World Record: Akihiro Yamaguchi (JPN), 2:07.01 – September 15, 2012 in Gifu (JPN)
Championships Record: Daniel Gyurta (HUN), 2:07.23 – August 2, 2013 in Barcelona (ESP)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Daniel Gyurta (HUN), 2:07.23 – August 2, in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Kosuke Kitajima (JPN, 2:09.42); 2005 – Brendan Hansen (USA, 2:09.85); 2007 – Kosuke Kitajima (JPN, 2:09.80); 2009 – Daniel Gyurta (HUN, 2:07.84); 2011 – Daniel Gyurta (HUN, 2:08.41)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Daniel Gyurta (HUN, 2009, 2011 & 2013)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Daniel Gyurta (HUN, 2:07.28), 2. Michael Jamieson (GBR, 2:07.43), 3. Ryo Tateishi (JPN, 2:08.29)