Ok, day 2! Before we dive into the afternoon action of the finals and semifinals – I know I said I won’t write about the morning sessions, but I just can’t ignore what Katie Ledecky did. This girl is phenomenal and this morning she broke her own WR in the 1,500m (15:27.71). I guess she was really upset that she missed the WR in the 400m yesterday, and decided to take it out on the morning heats. Boy was that extraordinary! Her time at the 800m mark – 8:15.29, is merely 4 seconds off the WR in the 800m!!! @#%#$%@#%#$% And it’s a time that probably can win the 800m here, if Katie of the 800m won’t participate. WOW. This is just too much of a mind-fuck. Katie Ledecky – you da real MVP!
Men’s 100m Breaststroke – Final
Well, it all went according to the script. Cameron van der Burgh started out really strong, too strong in fact: he was well under the WR time at the half-way mark. But then he got weaker in the second 50m, and his split was the third worst in the field (in the pool?)! Adam Peaty swam beautifully, kept gaining them meters on Cameron, and eventually got to the wall ahead of him by a mere 0.07 of a second – 58.52 to 58.59. Much worse than his time in the semis, btw. Gold to Peaty, and a fourth consecutive medal in this evet which is not gold for Cameron, the Olympic champion. Hey, I just realized something – he’s just like Renaud Lavillenie! Does this mean that Renaud is destined to not win the gold at the Worlds this year as well??? I hope not… Bronze went to another Brit – Ross Murdoch. Them Brits are really racking up those medals, eh?
Women’s 100m Butterfly – Final
“The Sjostrom Show” continues! After the appetizer in the semis, we got the main course today. What a performance by this wonderful young girl! 55.64, another WR! AND a third gold medal at the 100m butterfly! And I really love the Olympic-rings-combined-with-the-Swedish-flag tattoo she has on her forearm. I really hope she wins the gold next year in Rio. BTW, how come only few of the swimmers have tattoos, and when they do have them they are not as elaborate as the ones that track & fielders have? This is really weird. I mean- they display their bodies way more than the track & fielders, at least the men are. As a big tattoos fan – it really befuddles me… Anthony Ervin is the only one who’s got sleeves.
Anyway, the silver medal went to pretty Jeanette Ottesen, who kept chewing gum on the podium, which I didn’t quite like – but damn she is so pretty that I’ll forgive her. Please marry me Jeanette. I’ll teach you Hebrew and you’ll be guest writer on this blog. The bronze went to Chinese Lu Ying. But none of them had any real chance against Sarah, Ottesen’s time was 1.41 seconds behind her newly set WR…
Men’s 100m Backstroke – Semifinals
Finally – I can write about an Israeli swimmer! Yakov Toumarkin swam in the first semi and finished 5th there, but the second semi was faster and so he finished only 12th overall. Not bad, but not great either. However, he did set a new Israeli record – 53.77, so we can’t ask for more. I mean – we can. but it won’t be really nice and all.
Mitchell Larkin from Australia looked great and set the best time, but my money is on Matt Grevers, the veteran from USA, who won the first semi. And if we’re mentioning pretty female swimmers, let’s also do it for the male ones – Camille Lacourt, also a favorite for the podium and the champion from 4 years ago, is one of the most handsome male swimmers out there. No homo. Well, maybe a little. And don’t count out Irie for the podium places – the dude manages to win medals pretty much everywhere he goes, even if they are not gold ones.
Women’s 100m Breaststroke – Semifinals
Wow, this event’s final is going to be a blast tomorrow! The local Yuliya Efimova is one of the favorites for the gold, although I’m betting on the golden girl from Lithuania – Ruta Meilutyte, who shook the world in London when she won the gold as a 15 year old. A year later she repeated the feat in Barcelona. And now I’m betting on her repeating it again tomorrow in the final. Maybe with a new WR. She’s only 18 but boy is she talented or what! What. Shut up, Michael. I was sorry to see the great veteran Jessica Hardy and the less great but still awesome Rikke Moller Pedersen not managing to qualify for the final.
Oh, and did you see Tonks compete in the first semi??? I thought she was dead! What, nobody here reads Harry Potter??? No? Ok, I’ll go sit in a corner and cry…
Men’s 50m Butterfly – Final
A great final. Manaudou started out not so great, and it was difficult to see who’s leading at first because of the mucho splash that the swimmers did, goddamit. But in the end it was Manaudou who touched the wall first, just as the blog predicted. The time is not great – 22.97, he swam better in the semis, and it’s over half a second behind the WR, but who gives a shit? He’s now the world champion, after 4 years of dominance by Cesar Cielo Filho, who finished only 6th here.
Silver medal went to the other Brazilian – Nicholas Santos. And two swimmers won the bronze – the huge Konrad Czerniak and the less huge Laszlo Cseh, who collected his 10th medal at the World Championships! Damn, you go Laszlo! I didn’t know you have such sprint abilities! Way to go! And boy (Am I overusing the “boy” thing? I probably am) is it comforting to see that there are still several swimmers older than me that are performing at the highest level… I mean, when did I become so fucking old?! I’m only 28 years old, goddamit! But I’m really old for swimming now. There are still a few top-level male swimmers older than me – Laszlo is one of the few, but female swimmers? Really few… Fuck you, time.
Women’s 100m Backstroke – Semifinals
Damn, was this surprising or what. Missy Franklin had a disastrous start at her semi, and she really dragged behind the field until the last 25m. She still finished well behind Madison Wilson. Missy Franklin! This mutant female Michael Phelps! The Olympic and World champion at this event! WTF Missy?! I really hope she will return to her usual self tomorrow, because I find it very hard to imagine her losing here, the same way I found it hard to accept Michael losing. But the competition will be strong as fuck. Emily Seebohm, of the beautifulest name in these Championships set the bestest time in the semis – 58.56. She will be on the podium fo shizzle. Mie Ole Nielsen, who set the second bestest time, will also be a force to consider. Wow. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for Missy!
Oh, and did you see the great Kirsty Coventry? Sadly, she finished only 10th and won’t keep us company in the final…
Men’s 200m Freestyle – Semifinals
And talking about great swims – the final of this event will be the greatest of them all, so far. Just look at the names – Lochte, Biedermann, Sun Yang, Chad Le Clos, James Guy. Wow wow wow!!! I can’t wait! Well, actually I can, I just really don’t want to.
Lochte was THE star of the semis. After swimming not so good in the heats I thought that at 31 years of age he already lost a step and he’s not the Lochte of years past. But the second greatest swimmer of the past 10 years, and the top-10 all-timer pulled out a huuuge performance in the semifinals, and led by a full body length for most of the heat. He set the best time and it will be super interesting to see him tomorrow. And what about Sun Yang? He swam in the same heat as Lochte and didn’t look as his usual self. He’s trying to pull the unbelievable here, and win the quadruple: 200-400-800-1500, something that was never done before (Thorpe once won the 200-400-800). Before today’s semis I thought he has a real chance of accomplishing that, but after what I saw today – boy (again with the “boy thing! Damn it Michael!), I don’t know. Sun Yang is a colossal swimmer, but Lochte looked amazing today and Sun Yang finished only second. And what about James Guy? He set the second best time in the semis, winning his heat. AND he’s the silver medalist from the 400m (and he also reminds me Tom Daley a bit (wow that’s like really important right now)). Damn! And Chad Le Clos? I’ve known him as a butterfly specialist, but the boy has game in the freestyle as well! And let’s not forget the world record holder Paul Biedermann, who I really think is not on the same level as Lochte and Sun Yang, but still – the WR is written under his name. So don’t count him out.
I find it really difficult to make predictions here. I reckon the medals will go to Lochte, Sun Yang and James Guy. I find it hard to bet against Sun Yang and his phenomenal abilities, and I also want him to make history by winning the quadruple of titles, but I will be more than happy if Lochte wins it. He won the gold in this event in Shanghai 2011, to remind you, beating this Michael Phelps dude… And he’s also one of those few elite swimmers who are still older than me. So I’m rooting for Lochte, but I think he’ll have to settle for second place, and boy do I hope to be wrong on this one!
Women’s 200m Individual Medley – Final
Well, the outcome of this one was known in advance. It’s like the 100m butterfly we talked about earlier. Katinka Hosszu tore the field, led from the start, and recorded the fastest or the second fastest split in each style, en route to a new WR – 2:06.12, beating Ariana Kukors’ time by 0.03 of a second. Damn, Katinka! She wrote herself off the 100m backstroke semifinal in order to concentrate on this event, although I think she could’ve pulled out both of them, perhaps without the WR here. I mean – she did record the fastest time in the 100m backstroke in the morning! And she was the clear-cut favorite here… But hey, Katinka knows what she’s doing, so fuck off, Michael. She defended her title from two years ago and she looked really great. I reckon she has a very good chance of winning the medley double here, repeating her performance from Barcelona.
The silver went to 18-years-old Japanese girl – Kanako Watanabe, and the bronze to the Brit Siobhan-Marie O’Connor. Do you see how many Brits are winning medals already?! I’m telling ya, at the end of the Championships they will be second in the overall medals table, behind USA.
So, this concludes our second day of Kazan 2015. I must inform you in advance that tomorrow I won’t be able to publish a post summarizing the events of the day, because I’m attending a wedding in the evening. So I guess we will resume the coverage the day after tomorrow.
Cheers from Petach-Tikva!