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US dominate first day in the pool events

July 28, 2013

American swimmers dominated proceedings in the Palau Sant Jordi pool on Sunday as they won two out of four medals on offer on the first day of the pool swimming competition at the Fina world championships in Barcelona, Spain.

The US women’s team won the 4×100 metre freestyle relay races, while teenager Katie Ledecky came close to breaking the world record as she won the 400m freestyle event.

The only swimmers who managed to gatecrash the American party was Chinese Olympic champion Sun Yang and the French men’s 4x100m relay team.

Sun became the first gold medal winner by taking first place in the men’s 400m freestyle race in three minutes 41.59 seconds, beating Japan’s Hagino Kosuke by an astonishing 3.23 seconds.

The bronze medal was won by American Connor Jaeger.

The biggest cheer of the evening belonged to local hero Melania Costa Schmid as she received the silver medal for the women’s 400m freestyle event.

A near capacity crowd cheered wildly as the 24-year-old climbed onto the podium.

Costa Schmid was beaten by 2.65 seconds by Ledecky, who was on world record course until the last turn, but still finished in 3:59.82.

The bronze medal went to Lauren Boyle from New Zealand.

In the final event of the session, the US team seemed on course to win a third gold, but France’s Jeremy Stravius seemed to come out of nowhere to deny the US.

France won in 3:11.18 – 0.24 seconds faster than the US, who just edged out Russia for silver. The Russian team took the bronze, finishing just 0.02 seconds behind the US.

In the women’s relay, the defending champions Australia were leading at the last turn, but then could do little as Megan Romano powered past Alcia Coutts to give the US victory in 3:32.31 by 0.12 seconds.

The Netherlands took bronze.

Coutts had earlier managed to qualify for the final of the 200m individual medley, as well as the 100m butterfly.

In the medley, China’s Ye Shiwen, who won the gold medal in London, had the second-fastest time in the semifinals.

Shiwen, who sensationally won the 400m medley in London in world record time and swam the last leg faster than the male winner Ryan Lochte, was beaten by 0.53 seconds by Katinka Hosszu, who swam 2:08.59.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom led a Scandinavian one-two into Monday’s final in the 100m butterfly as she recorded the fastest-time of 57.10.

Dane Jeanette Ottesen Gray was second-fastest – 0.09 seconds slower, followed by Coutts and American Dana Vollmer.

Brazilian butterfly sprinters Nicholas Santos and Cesar Cielo topped the qualifiers in the 50m semifinals. Santos won his heat in 22.81, while the defending champion Cielo was just 0.05 seconds slower.

Yauhen Tsurkin from Belarus had the third-fastest time.

Australian Christian Sprenger swam the fastest time in the semifinals of the men’s 100m breaststroke, winning his race in 59.23.

South African world record holder and Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh was second in the heat – 0.55 seconds behind. His time of 59.78 was equalled by American Kevin Cordes in the semifinal.

Results of Swimming Barcelona 2013


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