Lochte sets new World record

DUBAI - The USA led the way in Thursday evening’s finals session at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), with three gold medals from seven individual events.

By Alex Leach

Published: Sat 18 Dec 2010, 12:27 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:57 AM

Ryan Lochte is increasingly becoming the star of the show at this meeting and he underlined those credentials with his second gold medal in as many days, claiming the honours in the men’s 400m individual medley with a World Record time (3:55.50s).

The contest was a close affair in the first 300m, until Lochte stretched out for home and held off the dual challenge of Oussama Mellouli (3:57.40s), of Tunisia, and compatriot Scott ‘Tyler’ Clary (3:57.56s) to the backboard.

“I wasn’t really expecting that,” the 26-year-old said. “I we going out there, racing the field, and I had no idea where I was during the race.

“I’m really happy; it was a World Record and you have to be happy with that.”

Rebecca Soni (29.83s) was immediately next to follow suit in the women’s 50m breaststroke, narrowly bettering Australia’s Leiston Pickett (29.84s) and Jin Zhao (29.90s) on the clock to bring up a second success for the States.

“I definitely knew it was close, but I felt better than on Wednesday and I’m very happy. A great 50 metres sets me up nicely for the rest of the meet, for the 100 metre and 200 metre breaststroke, as I like it the longer it gets. It’s funny doing the 50 metres because it’s just such a faster tempo.”

Natalie Coughlin (56.08s) then sealed the terrific treble by registering a Championship Record (CR) in the women’s 100m backstroke at the expense of Chinese duo Zhao (56.18s) and Chang Gao (56.21s).

“I just tried to keep the momentum going and be fearless in the race,” Coughlin said. “The pads are quite slippery for some reason, but I put it all in the pool and had no hesitation.”

Other victors on the night prior to the men’s 4x200m relay showdown were South African Cameron van der Burgh (56.80s) and Stanislav Donets, of Russia, in the men’s 100m breaststroke and backstroke respectively.

Van der Burgh said: “This is a great wrap up to the season; it’s been a long, but great, season and it’s fantastic to at least defend my title as World Record holder.

“Records are meant to be broken, but medals last forever and I’ll be the world champion for the next two years.

“I got the silver medal in Manchester two years ago, so it’s great to be able to improve on that. The 100m was the really important one for me and everything came together. We’ll see what happens in the 50m, but this was the big one.” Donets said: “After the last turn, I noticed on the screen that my head was on the same level as the record line.

“I wanted to break the World Record. I wanted it too much, but I still had the third best result in the world. I’d wanted to swim since Wednesday and I was very confident.”

Donets was not the only Russian to prevail either, with Evgeny Korotyshkin (50.23s) emerging triumphant in the men’s 100m butterfly. Albert Subirats (50.24s), of Venezuela, came second, while Brazil’s Kaio Almeida (50.33s) finished third.

Spain achieved a one-two in the women’s 800m freestyle, where Erika Villaecija and two-time gold medallist Mireia Belmonte achieved first and second respectively.


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