Ryan Lochte (USA) earned two gold medals in the sixth session of the swimming competition at the 15th FINA World Championships, having now an accumulated number of 23 awards in FINA’s major event since 2005. His latest successes happened in the 200m backstroke, where he easily revalidated his 2011 title, this time in 1:53.79. In the last final of the evening, he was essential in the triumph of his team in the 4x200m free relay. The other two podium presences of Lochte in Barcelona were in the 200m IM (gold) and in the 4x100m free (silver).
Other highlights of this sixth day included the surprising win of Yulia Efimova (RUS, 2:09.41), in the women’s 200m breaststroke. In the semis, Rikke Pedersen (DEN) had established a new World Record of 2:09.11, but she was slower in the decisive race, getting the silver in 2:20.08. In the men’s 200m breaststroke, Daniel Gyurta, from Hungary, became the first man with three wins in this event, after his golden performances also in 2009 and 2011. His time of 2:07.23 is a new Championships and European record, and is faster than the World Record he had set at the 2012 Olympics, when he won this distance. The current WR holder, Japan’s Akihiro Yamaguchi had a poor performance, finishing seventh.
In the initial final of the day, Cate Campbell (AUS) earned her first world title, by clinching the gold in the 100m free. She left behind her the 2012 Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED, third) and the world record holder in this event since Rome 2009, Germany’s Britta Steffen (sixth).
In semi-final action, Lochte had still energy to qualify first for the 100m butterfly decisive race, while teammate Missy Franklin was also the fastest in the 200m backstroke. In this event, Federica Pellegrini (ITA) could not reach the final, concluding in ninth. In the men’s 50m free, Florent Manaudou (FRA), the Olympic champion, will swim the final in lane 4, after clocking 21.37 in the semis. Cesar Cielo (BRA), 2011 champion and WR holder, has the third time (21.60), while Australian sprinter James Magnussen was only ninth in 21.79.