Girls rule worlds as swim records tum­ble

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY RY­LAND JAMES

Girl power pre­vailed at the world swimming cham­pi­onships on Mon­day as three women’s records fell and Hungary’s “Iron Lady” Katinka Hosszu lived up to her nick­name.

Af­ter Katie Ledecky bet­tered her own 1500- me­ter freestyle world record in the morn­ing’s heats and Swe­den’s Sarah Sjostrom broke her 100-me­ter but­ter­fly mark, Hosszu claimed the 200 me­ter in­di­vid­ual med­ley (IM) record which has stood since 2009.

The Hun­gar­ian’s achieve­ment was all the more im­pres­sive as the 26-year-old clocked 2 min­utes 06.12 sec­onds to take gold in the 200-me­ter IM fi­nal and shave 0.03 sec­onds off Ariana Kukors’ pre­vi­ous record from the 2009 world cham­pi­onships in Rome.

The U.S. swim­mer set the time in the era of the su­per- fast neo­prene suits, which have since been banned and Hosszu has been chas­ing the record.

“Hon­estly, I was just try­ing to race,” beamed Hosszu, who will also be de­fend­ing her world 400-me­ter IM crown in Kazan.

“Ob­vi­ously, the record was on my mind, it was my goal.

“But be­fore the race I was just try­ing to give my best and race as fast as pos­si­ble, and then there was a record. It was just per­fect.”

Sjostrom was equally as de­lighted as she shaved 0.15 sec­onds off her own record — set in Sun­day’s semi­fi­nals — to re­tain the world ti­tle she won two years ago in Barcelona by win­ning the 100-me­ter but­ter­fly gold.

“I have been wait­ing six years to break my per­sonal best time and now I have taken a few more tenths of a sec­ond off it — fi­nally!” said Sjostrom as Den­mark’s Jeanette Otte­sen came sec­ond with China’s Lu Ying third.

His­toric Gold

Ledecky, who also holds the 800- me­ter record, hinted she could yet send more records tum­bling in Tues­day’s 1500- me­ter fi­nal.

“It felt pretty easy,” said Ledecky, who also came within a sec­ond of her 400-me­ter freestyle world record while win­ning Sun­day’s fi­nal.

“I am pretty shocked that I was able to do that.”

Ledecky only re­cently fin­ished high school in Mary­land, but this is the eighth time the teenager has set a world record in her fledg­ling ca­reer.

It is the fourth time the de­fend­ing cham­pion has bro­ken the 1,500-me­ter record alone hav­ing first achieved the feat in Barcelona two years ago on her way to win­ning the world ti­tle.

Breast­stroke Bat­tle

There will be a bat­tle royal in the women’s 100-me­ter breast­stroke fi­nal on Tues­day with crowd fa­vorite Yuliya Efi­mova of Rus­sia, who is back com­pet­ing af­ter serv­ing a 16-month dop­ing ban for tak­ing steroids, go­ing head to head with 18-year-old Olympic cham­pion Ruta Meilu­tyte.

The Rus­sian was the fastest into Tues­day’s fi­nal af­ter clock­ing 1 minute 05.60 sec­onds in her semi, but Meilu­tyte, the world record holder, touched the wall just 0.04 sec­onds slower.

Aus­tralia’s Emily See­bohm is on course for her sec­ond gold in Kazan.

She was the fastest qual­i­fier into Tues­day’s 100-me­ter back­stroke fi­nal by clock­ing 58.56 sec­onds.

Reign­ing world and Olympic cham­pion Missy Franklin of the U.S. was fifth fastest at 0.86 back, hav­ing beaten See­bohm into sec­ond two years ago in Barcelona.

AP

(Top) Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu kisses her gold medal af­ter the medal cer­e­mony for the women’s 200-me­ter in­di­vid­ual med­ley fi­nal at the Swimming World Cham­pi­onships in Kazan, Rus­sia, Mon­day, Aug. 3. (Above) The United States’ Katie Ledecky cel­e­brates af­ter set­ting a world record dur­ing her heat in the women’s 1500-me­ter at the Swimming World Cham­pi­onships in Kazan, Mon­day.

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