The 17th FINA World Swimming Championships commenced this past week and four days into the pool competition, swimmers from all parts of the world are racing up a storm in the Dagály Aquatics Arena in Budapest.
Without a doubt, the highlights have been the four World Records established by swimmers of four different nations. Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden got the ball rolling on night one of the finals leading off her countries 4 x 100m Freestyle relay team with the first sub 52 sec swim in history. Stopping the clock at 51.71 breaking the previous WR held by Australian Cate Campbell.
Night three unearthed an avalanche of record breaking performances with three new marks from Adam Peaty of Great Britain (Men’s 50m Breaststroke), Lilly King of USA (Women’s 100m Breaststroke) and Kylie Masse from Canada (Women’s 100m Backstroke).
Peaty’s sizzling time of 25.95 in the semi-final of the 50m Breaststroke broke the WR he set in the heat with a time of 26.10. His previous best and the WR coming into the meet, a 26.42 from the last World Championships in 2015. All eyes on him tonight in the final – will it be a hat trick of records from heat to final?
2016 Olympic Champion Lilly King has now achieved another significant goal slicing .22 of a second off the record held by former Olympic Champion Ruta Meilutyte. Unfortunately, the expected battle with Russian star Yuliya Efimova, failed to materialise with King dominating from start to finish. Efimova is looking very good though and I expect she will threaten the WR for the 200m event later in the week.
Kylie Masse of Canada is the big news in Hungary today with her history making win in the 100m Backstroke event. Breaking the WR by a mere .02, Masse’s time was significant as the previous WR from Brit Gemma Spofforth, was established at the 2009 World Championships using one of the infamous ‘Rubber’ suits.
As expected, Team USA leads the Gold medal tally with 5 after three days, GBR and China 2 and Canada, Sweden and host nation Hungary with one each.