Australia’s 4×100-metre medley relay team of Minna Atherton, Jessica Hansen, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell won silver. (AP: Lee Jin-man)
Australia added two medals to its tally on the final night of the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, finishing the meet ranked second in the swimming pool behind the United States, and fourth overall.
- Australia dramatically improved in the result in 2017, when it came eighth
- American Caeleb Dressel set an individual record with eight medals, including six gold
- The Dolphins took silver in the women’s 4×100-metre medley relay
A silver in the women’s 4×100-metre medley relay and Cate Campbell’s bronze in the women’s 50-metre freestyle left Australia with five gold, nine silver and five bronze medals, for a total of 19 swimming medals.
The US team finished atop the medals table with 27, including 14 golds, while Hungary placed third with four gold medals.
Overall, China won the championships with 16 gold medals, with the US second on 15 and Russia third with 12 gold. Australia placed fourth with 7 gold medals thanks to additional success in diving and high diving.
The titles in South Korea have been marked by drug scandals and controversy, but also many world records.
In swimming, it was Australia’s relay teams that dominated, marking the first time the men and women secured the 4×200-metre freestyle title at the same meet.
But the Americans broke the Australian women’s relay dominance on Sunday night, beating the Dolphins in the 4×100-metre medley relay in a world record 3:50.40, with Australia second at 3:53.42.
The US quartet of Regan Smith, Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia and Simone Manuel bettered their own world record of 3:51.55 set in Budapest two years ago. In the lead-off leg, Smith set a backstroke world record of 57.57 seconds.
United States’ Regan Smith set a backstroke world record of 57.57 seconds. (AP: Mark Schiefelbein)
Simone Manuel completed a sweep of the 50-metre and 100-metre freestyles, the first American woman to achieve the feat. She won four golds and six medals overall in the eight-day competition.
Cate Campbell secured Australia’s other final night medal, taking out bronze in the 50-metre freestyle.
Earlier in the competition, teenager Ariarne Titmus broke Kate Ledecky’s seven-year dominance claiming the 400-metre freestyle crown — the Dolphins’ sole individual gold.
Australia’s total of 19 medals almost doubles the result in 2017, when they finished eighth with 10 medals and only one gold.
Dressel sets record with eight medals
Caeleb Dressel of the US begins his leg of the men’s 4×100-metre medley relay final. (AP: Mark Schiefelbein)
American Caeleb Dressel won his eighth medal Sunday, helping the US to silver in the 4×100-metre medley relay after anchor Nathan Adrian got overtaken for gold in the closing seconds.
One night after becoming the first swimmer to win three golds in one night at a worlds for the second time, Dressel set a record with eight medals, including six golds, at the biggest meet after the Olympics.
Dressel’s golds came in the 50-metre and 100-metre freestyle, 50-metre and 100-metre butterfly, mixed 4×100-metre freestyle relay and 4×100-metre freestyle relay. His other silver was in the mixed 4×100-metre medley relay.
Two years ago in Hungary, Dressel tied Michael Phelps’ record of seven golds at a single worlds, including three in one night.
Dressel hauled the US from fourth to first on his butterfly leg with a split of 49.28 seconds.
Britain’s Duncan Scott swam the second-fastest relay split of all time in the anchor leg of the men’s 4×100-metre medley on Sunday, overhauling his US and Russian rivals to secure gold for Britain and deny Dressel a seventh world title.
The Glasgow-born 22-year-old swam an incredible 46.14 seconds, the fastest since American Jason Lezak’s 46.06 at the Beijing Olympics, to give Britain their first win over the US in the event.
“I can’t say I thought I had that split in me,” said Scott, still rubbing his head in disbelief. “I’m just sort of speechless I’ve been able to put that race together.”
Britain’s 4×100-metre medley relay team of Luke Greenbank, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott won gold. (AP: Lee Jin-man)
An elated Adam Peaty said he was so pumped he would not sleep for three days.
“That’s testament to who we are as racers, who we are as people,” said the Olympic and world breaststroke champion of the team, which also included James Guy and Luke Greenbank.
“We just showed that the British are always up for a race.”
Final night results
Caeleb Dressel and Sweden’s Sarah Sjsotrom were the top male and female swimmers. (AP: Lee Jin-man)
Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden became the first woman to win five medals in individual events at a single worlds.
She won the 50-metre butterfly, silvers in the 100-metre fly and 50-metre freestyle and bronzes in the 100-metre freestyle and 200-metre freestyle.
Lilly King won the 50-metre breaststroke, giving the American two victories over Russian rival Yuliya Efimova.
They were denied a third meeting when King was disqualified in the heats of the 200-metre breaststroke for not putting both her hands on the wall at the same time in a turn.
King touched in 29.84, the only swimmer under 30 seconds in the final.
Benedetta Pilato, a 14-year-old Italian, earned a surprise silver in 30 seconds flat and reacted by crying.
“I didn’t know if it was happy tears or sad tears,” King said. “She’s 14, it doesn’t really matter what kind of tears they were, but I was like, ‘It’s OK, you did fine.'”
Efimova, who won the 200-metre and finished second to King in the 100-metre, settled for bronze in 30.15.
Katinka Hosszu of Hungary extended her domination of the 400-metre individual medley, becoming the first woman to win five titles in one event. She swam the four-stroke race in 4:30.39 seconds.
“I wanted to celebrate after the race, but I couldn’t move my arms,” an exhausted Hosszu said.
Ye Shiwen of China took silver, just as she did behind Hosszu in the 200-metre individual medley. Yui Ohashi of Japan claimed bronze.
Japan’s Daiya Seto survived a last-lap challenge to win the men’s 400-metre individual medley in 4:08.95.
Florian Wellbrock of Germany made history with his victory in the 1,500-metre freestyle.
With his earlier win in the 10-kilometer open water race, Wellbrock became the first swimmer to win golds in two sports at a single world championships.
He pulled away going into the final turn to win in 14:36.54.
Zane Waddell of South Africa won the 50-metre backstroke, a non-Olympic event.