Russia’s Yuliya Efimova won the women’s 50m breaststroke gold at swimming’s world championships on Sunday with Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte second and Jessica Hardy of the USA third.
The 21-year-old Efimova clocked 29.52secs with Meilutyte, who broke the Russian’s world record in the semi-finals, at 0.07sec back and Hardy 0.28 adrift in an American record.
Camille Lacourt claimed the men’s 50 metres backstroke gold with French teammate Jeremy Stravius and the USA’s Matt Grevers tying for second place.
Lacourt, who shared the world 100m backstroke title with Stravius in 2011, touched the wall at 24.42secs, just ahead of Stravius and Grevers who were both 0.08 secs back.
And the 28-year-old was delighted to once again share the podium with Stravius, who continued his fine meet after gold in the 4x100m relay and bronze in the 100m backstroke.
And Lacourt claimed that the gold made up for the disappointment of finishing fifth in the 100m earlier in the week. “It’s wonderful, even more special after what has gone before for me and very important for me personally aside from the joy I feel for having led home a one-two for France.”
Seto holds off Kalisz
Japan’s Daiya Seto held off American Chase Kalisz to win the 400-meter individual medley on the final night of the world championships.
Seto touched in 4 minutes, 8.69 seconds to take an event long dominated by U.S. stars Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Phelps is retired and Lochte has dropped the grueling race, at least for this season.
The 19-year-old Kalisz, who trains at Phelps’ club in Baltimore, was far back after the butterfly and backstroke legs. But he began to close on the breaststroke and nearly caught Seto on a freestyle dash to the finish. He settled for silver in 4:09.22, while the bronze went to Brazil’s Thiago Pereira in 4:09.48. American Tyler Clary was fourth after taking the silver behind Lochte at the 2011 worlds.
Meanwhile, Holland’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo won the women’s 50m freestyle gold with Australia’s Cate Campbell second and Britain’s Fran Halsall third. Kromowidjojo, the Olympic champion, clocked 24.05secs with Campbell, the world 100m champion, at 0.09 back and Britain’s Halsall at 0.25 adrift.
Missy Franklin bids for an historic sixth world championships gold on Sunday.
The 18-year-old Franklin can claim title number six in the women’s 4x100m medley relay having already won the 100 and 200m backstrokes, 200m freestyle, as well as the 4x100 and 4x200m freestyle relay titles with the USA in Barcelona.
Another gold will see her become the first woman to win six at a world championships, matching Ian Thorpe’s tally at Fukuoka, Japan, in 2001, which has only been bettered by Michael Phelps’ seven golds at Melbourne in 2007.