So, the Championship is over and it’s now time to make some summaries. If we are looking at the medal standings, we see that USA won the most gold medals – 8, but this was nevertheless a disappointing World Championship for the Americans – they won 13 golds in the previous one. Another nation who was a major disappointment is of course the host nation – Russia. Only uno gold and 4 medals in total – what a terrible haul. The Russians had several huge fuck ups here, and even their one swimmer who was truly excellent – Yuliya Yefimova, is not free of criticism (remember her 200m breaststroke?).
On the good side, Australia had a terrific Championship, winning 7 gold medals and 16 overall, after having just 3 golds two years ago. They almost caught the Americans in the standings, and that’s even without the juggernaut James Magnussen. The Olympics should be very interesting… Another nation who deserves praise is Great Britain, with their 5 gold medals and 9 medals in total, after having just the one bronze (!!!!!!!!!!) in Barcelona. They started out really strong, faded a bit near the end, but still – they deserve every praise.
And now for the individual summaries. I will write separately on the men and the women, and I will give out bronze, silver and copper gold medals for the most outstanding swimmers. I will also mention several other worthy candidates, who didn’t make it to the podium.
Awesome swimmers who didn’t make the podium:
Gregorio Paltrinieri – 1 gold, 1 silver. “Only” two medals – a silver in the 800m and a gold in the 1500m, but I still wanted to single him out. Who knows what might have been, had Sun Yang competed in the 1500m final. Paltrinieri might have won, judging by the heats swim.
Kevin Cordes – 1 gold, 2 silvers, 1 bronze. Four medals is a great haul – he won the most among men (together with Lochte, who had more golds). Two of his medals, including the gold one, came in the relays, but he was still a double medalist in the breaststroke: in the 50m (bronze) and in the 200m (silver).
Camille Lacourt – 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze. Another very good championship for the French backstroke specialist. Defended his 50m title, won a silver in the 100m, and helped the French team win the bronze in the medley relay.
Ryan Lochte – 3 golds, 1 silver. Had the most successful championships for male swimmer in terms of medals, but 3 of them (2 golds, 1 silver) came in the relays. However, also won his 4th consecutive title (and 6th consecutive medal!) in the 200m medley, equaling Hackett’s record. Missed a medal in the 200m freestyle. All in all, one of the greatest swimmers of all time added another good World Championship to his resume.
Mitch Larkin – 2 golds, 1 silver. The King of the backstroke. Won the double title – 100m/200m, and was close to winning a medal in the 50m as well – finished fourth by 0.01 of a second. Did his part in the medley relay and won his leg, but had to settle for silver there.
James Guy – 2 golds, 1 silver. Won the gold medal in perhaps the greatest event of the Championships – the 200m, beating Sun Yang, Paul Biedermann and Ryan Lochte. Also won silver in the 400m. Singlehandedly won GBR the gold medal in the 4x200m relay, with his phenomenal leg.
Florent Manaudou – 3 golds. The toughest omission from the podium. Replaced Cesar Cielo as King of the sprints. Double titles in the 50m butterfly and the 50m freestyle, and also a gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Bronze – Laszlo Cseh – 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze. Gets the nod over Manaudou. Won medals in all the butterfly distances – 50m (bronze), 100m (silver), 200m (gold), the only swimmer, male or female, to do so in one swimming style at these Championships. Showed that he possesses an unknown before sprinting abilities. The fact that he did all of this in his advanced age – 29, also added to the decision to award him the bronze medal. You go Laszlo!
Silver – Adam Peaty – 3 golds. King of the breaststroke. Winner of the 50m/100m double, including a WR in the 50m. Had an amazing leg in the medley relay, which unfortunately wasn’t enough for a medal. But still, was awesome as fuck to watch. Made the breaststroke events some of the most anticipated at the Championships.
Gold – Sun Yang – 2 golds, 1 silver. Missed a chance to make these Championships legen – wait for it – dary, by not swimming in the 1500m final. But still – what a swimmer! Third world title in the 800m. Almost made the 200m-400m-800m treble, by missing the gold medal in the 200m by a mere 0.06 of a second. An amazing swimmer to watch, and one of the only swimmers who possesses this aura of invincibility. I wouldn’t bet against him in any swim, including the 200m.
Awesome swimmers who didn’t make the podium:
Liu Xiang – 1 bronze. The only athlete evar to win medals in both the track & field World Championships and the swimming World Championships.
Yuliya Yefimova – 1 gold, 1 bronze. The only true star of the host nation. Won the great battle with Meilutyte in the 100m breaststroke, and won the bronze in the 50m breaststroke. Could have done beautifully in the 200m, I’m sure, but a terrible miscalculation cost her the place in the semifinals.
Federica Pellegrini – 2 silvers. I’m biased. So what? Sue me. Showed at her relatively advanced age that she can still hold her own against the youngsters, and won the silver in the 200m freestyle, ahead of Missy Franklin and a mere 0.16 of a second behind Ledecky, in the greatest event here, hands down. This was her 6th consecutive medal in the event, which I believe is an all-time record she shares with Lochte. Also singlehandedly won Italy the silver medal in the 4x200m relay, with an amazing leg.
Missy Franklin – 2 golds, 1 silver, 2 bronzes. It’s funny how a swimmer who wins 5 medals is still considered to have a very disappointing Championship, but it’s true. Missy set amazingly high standards for the past 4 years, and for the first time failed to deliver. Still, she collected 5 medals, which is joint-most (although Ledecky and Sjostrom had a better haul). Her only two golds came in the relays, but her amazing leg in the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay was perhaps the only time we saw the REAL Franklin here. Hopefully she will have a better performance in Rio next year.
Katinka Hosszu – 2 golds, 1 bronze. The Iron Lady. Queen of the medleys. A double medley title, just like two years ago. Also won a bronze in the 200m backstroke. Won by huge margins, especially in the 200m medley, where she set a WR. Talk-wise was the second greatest swimmer here after Ledecky. The commentators just didn’t stop talking about her.
Emily Seebohm – 3 golds, 1 bronze. The toughest omission from the podium. The queen of the backstroke, winning the 100m/200m double, and coming close to a medal in the 50m (finished fourth), just like her brother from another mother – Mitch Larkin. Also showed she has freestyle abilities, winning a gold as part of the 4x100m relay quartet.
Bronze – Bronte Campbell – 3 golds, 1 bronze. Narrowly gets the nod over Emily Seebohm due to her amazing splits in the relays. She was always the fastest girl in the pool. The new Sprint queen, winning the 50m/100m double, and also anchored the Australian relay teams to two medals.
Silver – Sarah Sjostrom – 2 golds, 2 silvers, 1 bronze. My new love, Queen of the butterfly. Great abilities across the board, gold medals in the 100m and the 200m butterfly, a bronze in the 50m freestyle and a silver in the 100m freestyle. AND a super-duper-phenomenal-amazing-which-would’ve-won-the-gold first leg in the 4x200m relay final, which showed she has the complete package – from 50m to 200m. Sadly, wasn’t enough for a medal. Nevertheless, finishes these Championships as one of the greatest swimmers in the world, coming into her own element after being a wunder-girl several years ago. Amazing relay performances, probably the best relay swimmer here, which was finally rewarded by a silver in the 4x100m medley.
Gold – Katie Ledecky – 5 golds. Come on. Obvious title is obvious. Done the unheard before 200m/400m/800m/1500m quadruple, setting 3 WR’s in the process, narrowly missing another one in the 400m. It’s amazing how she excels as both a long-distance swimmer and as a middle distance one. And the margins of her victories! 10 seconds ahead of second place in the 800m! 15 seconds in the 1500m! Not to mention her mind-fucking splits during her record-setting swims… Unlike Sun Yang, gives everything she’s got right from the start, storming the WR’s like they were Nazis. I really can’t write enough about this girl. She also has the aura of invincibility, how can anyone bet against her?! I’m more in awe of her abilities than I was with Missy Franklin two years ago, and in fact more than any other swimmer I had the privilege of watching, except for two – Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps, with perhaps a slight advantage over Thorpe.
And what about those All-Handsome Teams you were talking about during these Championships, eh Michael? Well, here they are!
Jeanette Ottesen (a no-brainer)
Federica Pellegrini (captain)
Mie Nielsen (Denmark owns this 1st team!)
Bronte Campbell (I debated furiously with myself which Campbell sister should make the 1st team, but then decided to not decide. One of them definitely has a place there, though. Perhaps instead of Micah Lawrence)
Cate Campbell (Sansa Stark)
Zsuzsanna Jakabos (the weakest swimmer here? the only non-medalist…)
Yuliya Yefimova (a tad overrated in my opinion, but still very pretty)
Camille Lacourt (captain)
Mitch Larkin (a.k.a. Harry Potter when he’s out of water)
Cameron van der Burgh
Ryan Lochte (has that Joey Tribiani-sh look)
Chad Le Clos (probably a starter in most people’s lists)
Filippo Magnini (must have an Italian!)
Chris Walker-Hebborn (them tattoos!)
See you in Budapest 2017!