Two world records in two days for Lochte at World Short Course Championships
Saturday, 15 December 2012
December 15 - Ryan Lochte of the United States secured his second swimming world record in as many days here at the FINA World Short Course Championships, this time by touching the wall in 50.71sec in the men's 100 metres individual medley semi-final today.
After breaking the 200m individual medley world record on the way to securing his fourth gold medal of the Championships last night, this latest feat confirms Lochte's (pictured top) strength in the shorter distance.
He was already under the world record time by the end of the butterfly leg and maintained his perfect form over the following three laps to finish ahead of Australia's Kenneth To and George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago, who finished in 51.47 and 51.66 respectively.
In another outstanding performance, Lithuania's Rūta Meilutytė claimed the 100m breaststroke title in a new Championship record of 1:03.52.
The Plymouth-based 15-year-old, who won the 50m breaststroke gold also in a Championship record time on Thursday (December 13), lead from the outset and was under world record pace at the halfway mark.
Despite not being able to hold the pace in the second two laps, her victory was obvious ahead of Jamaican Alia Atkinson, who finished in 1:03.80 to clinch silver, and Denmark's Rikke Møller Pedersen, who took silver in 1:04.05.
Meilutytė explained why her latest gold medal of the Championships is so important to her.
"This is something I worked for," she said.
"I didn't really train for the, all my thoughts were for the 100m.
"It didn't go the way I wanted this morning [in the heats], finally I got it right now.
"That was the main thing.
"It's the first time I'm actually really happy with my race, with the splits and the process.
"Even if I came last, I would be as happy as I am now."
Having now finished her races, the London 2012 Olympic women's 100m breaststroke gold medallist went on to talk about her experience in Istanbul.
"I'm satisfied," she explained.
"I had so much fun this week.
"It's been an incredible experience, my first World Championships."
Meanwhile, Robert Hurley secured Australia's wait for a gold medal with victory in the men's 50m backstroke.
The 24-year-old former world short course record holder in the discipline finished in 23.04 and was followed by America's Matthew Grevers in 23.17, whose silver adds to his gold in the 100m backstroke, and Russian Stanislav Donets who came home in 23.19 to win the bronze.
Nicholas Santos also claimed Brazil's first gold medal as he won the men's 50m butterfly in a Championship record of 22.22.
After two successive Championship records in the heats of 22.40 and semi-finals in 22.23, the 32-year-old from São Paulo held off 100m butterfly champion Chad Le Clos of South Africa, who won silver when he recorded 22.26, and 100m butterfly silver medallist America's Thomas Shields, who took bronze in 22.46.
There was a second gold for the US women's relay squad as Megan Romano, Jessica Hardy, Lia Neal and Allison Schmitt secured the 4x100m freestyle title in 3:31.01.
The final leg saw Schmitt catch the Australians, who held on for silver in 3:32.90, while Denmark won bronze in 3:33.51.
"Relay is one of the most important events in the United States," Schmitt said.
"It is great to do, especially with these girls.
"Just beating the others and representing USA is great."
Double London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Ye Shiwen of China was victorious in the women's 200m individual medley, as she touched the wall in 2:04.64 to record a Championship record and win her first World Short Course Championship gold after having previously won three silvers.
Established race leader Katinka Hosszú of Hungary claimed the silver – her fourth medal of these Championships – behind Ye in 2:04.72, while Britain's Hannah Miley won bronze in 2:07.12 to add to her 400m individual medley gold.
Ye explained her delight at securing victory ahead of her main rival Hosszú.
"I'm so happy I came in first position today," she said.
"It feels so good.
"I competed against her [Hosszú] many times in many events.
"She races in many different events.
"This time she was stronger than ever.
"Racing against Hosszú made me swim faster."
Ye's compatriot Zhao Jing rubber stamped her status as the one to watch in the women's 50m backstroke when she set a Championship record of 26.11 on her way to the fastest qualifying time, while Russia's Vladimir Morozov is on course for 100m freestyle gold to add to the 50m freestyle world title after winning in the semi-finals in 45.79.
Meanwhile, the semi-finals saw Aleksandra Gerasimenya of Belarus come first in the women's 50m freestyle with 24.13, Italian Ilaria Bianchi in the women's 100m butterfly with 56.60 and Slovenia's Damir Dugonjič in the men's 50m breaststroke with 26.27.
December 2012: America's Lochte sets first world record of 2012 World Short Course Championships
December 2012: Meilutytė claims Lithuania's first FINA World Short Course Championships gold
December 2012: Miley holds off Ye Shiwen to claim world title in Istanbul