With already nine wins in the history of the World Championships in this event (including seven consecutive victories since 2001), the USA had its two strongest assets in the central lanes: Tyler Clary, the fastest of the semis and reigning Olympic champion, and in lane 5 Ryan Lochte, winner of the 200m IM in Barcelona. In this North American duel, Lochte was faster and got the gold in 1:53.79, the best performance of the year. It is Lochte’s 22nd medal at FINA World Championships.
The silver went to a very solid Radoslaw Kawecki, from Poland, touching in 1:54.24, a new European record. It is the first success at this level for the Polish swimmer, aged 21. Clary clinched the bronze, in a time of 1:54.64, far from his personal best of 1:53.41, when he won the Olympic gold one year ago.
The best performer of the season before this final and silver medallist in London, Japan’s Ryosuke Irie (1:54.72 last March in Sydney) finished in fourth, in 1:55.07. A bitter result, after also missing the podium in the 100m back.
World Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA), 1:51.92 – July 31, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Championships Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA), 1:51.92 – July 31, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Ryan Lochte (USA), 1:53.79 – August 2, in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Aaron Peirsol (USA, 1:55.92); 2005 – Aaron Peirsol (USA, 1:54.66); 2007 – Ryan Lochte (USA, 1:54.32); 2009 – Aaron Peirsol (USA, 1:51.92); 2011 – Ryan Lochte (USA, 1:52.96)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Aaron Peirsol (USA, 2001, 2003, 2005 & 2009)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Tyler Clary (USA, 1:53.41), 2. Ryosuke Irie (JPN, 1:53.78), 3. Ryan Lochte (USA, 1:53.94)