Americans Race to Six Medals, Two Gold at FINA World Championships (25m)

Americans Race to Six Medals, Two Gold at FINA World Championships (25m)

By USA Swimming  | Thursday, December 13, 2018

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HANGZHOU, China – The United States remained unbeaten in relay action with a world record in the mixed 200-meter medley relay on Thursday, and Lisa Bratton (Richland, Wash./Aggie Swim Club) topped the podium in the women’s 200m backstroke to highlight night three of the 2018 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).

Team USA totaled six medals on Thursday and currently tops the medal table with 17, nine of them gold, through three nights of competition.

Olivia Smoliga (Glenview, Ill./Athens Bulldog Swim Club), Michael Andrew (Lawrence, Kan./Race Pace Club), Kelsi Dahlia (Westampton, N.J./Cardinal Aquatics) and Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Bolles School Sharks/Florida) combined to lead the U.S. to gold in a world-record 1 minute, 36.40 seconds in the mixed 200m medley relay, surpassing a 5-year-old mark also held by Team USA. American swimmers have team up to set four short-course meters relay world records this week.

Bratton led a one-two finish in the women’s 200m back with come-from-behind gold in 2:00.71, just ahead of silver medalist Kathleen Baker (Winston-Salem, N.C./Team Elite/Cal), who touched in 2:00.79.

In addition to anchoring the 200m mixed medley relay to gold, Dressel won silver in the men’s 100m butterfly in 48.71 and set an American record in the semifinals of the men’s 50m freestyle with a time of 20.51.

Bronze medalists on Thursday included Mallory Comerford (Kalamazoo, Mich./University of Louisville) in the women’s 100m free in an American record 51.63 and Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa./Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics), \ in the women’s 800m free in 8:08.75.

A complete look at Thursday’s action: 

Men’s 200m Breaststroke – Final

Gold – Kirill Prigoda (RUS), 2:00.16 (World Record)
Silver – Qin Haiyang (CHN), 2:01.15
Bronze – Marco Koch (GER), 2:01.42
5. Josh Prenot (Santa Maria, Calif./California Aquatics), 2:03.12

Prenot’s time was a lifetime best in the event. 
Prenot also won silver in the men’s 200m individual medley.

Women’s 100m Freestyle – Final

Gold – Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 51.14 (Meet Record)
Silver – Femke Heemskerk (NED), 51.60
Bronze – Mallory Comerford (Kalamazoo, Mich./University of Louisville), 51.63 (American Record)
7. Lia Neal (Brooklyn, N.Y./Team Elite), 52.50

Comerford broke the American record of 51.69 set by Simone Manuel in 2015. 
Comerford has won five medals this week in Hangzhou – 3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze.

Comerford (on her race): “I’m really happy with it. I was just going out to race. Getting beaten by two of the greatest swimmers ever is not too bad. I’m definitely learning, and it’s always an honor to represent the USA and to be able to race in a final.”

Women’s 200m Backstroke – Final

Gold – Lisa Bratton (Richland, Wash./Aggie Swim Club), 2:00.71 
Silver – Kathleen Baker (Winston-Salem, N.C./Team Elite/Cal), 2:00.79
Bronze – Emily Seebohm (AUS), 2:01.37

Bratton won her first career FINA World Championships (25m) medal.
Bratton came from behind to win gold. She was sixth at the 50, fourth at the 100 and third at the 150 – more than a second back. 
Baker wins her first career individual FINA World Championships (25m) medal. 

Bratton (on winning gold): “It feels really good. I just wanted to take my typical race plan. I knew the girls around me would be out. I don’t take it out very hard, so if I had a shot at the hundred – just race it home.” 

Men’s 100m Butterfly – Final

Gold – Chad le Clos (RSA), 48.50
Silver – Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Bolles School Sharks/Florida), 48.71
Bronze – Li Zhuzao (CHN), 49.25
7. Jack Conger (Rockville, Md./Nation’s Capital Swim Club), 50.32

Dressel wins his first individual medal in Hangzhou and has claimed three relay gold medals. 

Women’s 800m Freestyle – Final

Gold – Wang Jianjiahe (CHN), 8:04.35
Silver – Simona Quadarella (ITA), 8:08.03
Bronze – Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa./Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics), 8:08.75
7. Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif./Trojan Swim Club), 8:18.70

Smith wins her second career FINA World Championships (25m) in this event after taking gold in 2016. 
Smith now has four career FINA World Championships (25m) medals. 

Smith (On winning bronze after taking gold two years ago): “Two years ago was really fun winning and it was really fun to represent my country, so I definitely wanted to go again this year. This year the competition has been really awesome. I actually went faster than my time to win two years ago, which is exciting for me. The competition was great and it’s great to race against China’s best in their home country.” 

Mixed 200m Medley Relay – Final

Gold – United States (Olivia Smoliga, Michael Andrew, Kelsi Dahlia, Caeleb Dressel), 1:36.40 (World Record, American Record) 
Silver – Netherlands, 1:37.05
Bronze – Russia, 1:37.33

Team USA broke the world and American record of 1:37.17 set at the 2013 Duel in the Pool. 
The U.S. has won all five relays contested in Hangzhou, setting four world records. 
Dahlia won her fifth medal of the meet; Smoliga claimed her fourth gold medal.
Ryan Murphy, Katie Meili, Kendyl Stewart and Michael Chadwick qualified first in the prelims. 

Smoliga (on representing Team USA on a relay): “Really special. You can’t really put it into words. I think you kind of feed off the energy of your teammates and do as well as you can to make them proud. I hope to do the best job possible. It’s a team effort and everyone swam so well. 

Dressel (on his busy session with three swims): “I feel fine. The 100 fly certainly could have been better, but you just move on. I think Kelsi said it best. I feel like we could have an A, B and C relay in contention for the podium, so it is special, and you really have to prove you spot here. The coaching staff chose the best four they thought would do well tonight and we all did our part.” 

Men’s 100m Individual Medley – Semifinal

1. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 50.90
3. Michael Andrew (Lawrence, Kan./Race Pace Club), 51.44

Andrew advances to Friday’s 100m IM final. 

Men’s 50m Freestyle – Semifinal

1. Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Bolles School Sharks/Florida), 20.51 (American Record) 
10. Michael Andrew (Lawrence, Kan./Race Pace Club), 21.18

Dressel broke the American record twice on Thursday. He posted a time of 20.62 in the prelims.
Dressel qualifies for Friday’s 50m freestyle final.

Women’s 50m Butterfly – Semifinal

1. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 24.84
3. Kelsi Dahlia (Westampton, N.J./Cardinal Aquatics), 24.93 (American Record)
9-tie. Kendyl Stewart (Carlsbad, Calif./Team Elite), 25.66

Dahlia eclipsed her own American record from 2016 by one-hundredth of a second.

Women’s 100m Individual Medley – Semifinal

1. Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 57.69
4. Melanie Margalis (Clearwater, Fla./St. Petersburg Aquatics), 58.33
5. Kathleen Baker (Winston-Salem, N.C./Team Elite/Cal), 58.54

Margalis and Baker advance to Friday’s 100m IM final. 

Men’s 50m Backstroke – Semifinal

1. Evegeny Rylov (RUS), 22.68
2. Ryan Murphy (Jacksonville, Fla./California Aquatics), 22.87 (American Record-Tie)
10-tie. Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill./Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics), 23.22

Murphy moves on to Friday’s 50m back final.  




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