Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

DUBAI (United Arab Emirates), 30 August – One more record to go and the number of Championship Record will break a magic barrier: it now stands at 39, and watching the quality of the races and the fantastic performances of the globe’s best teen swimmers there is no risk to say it will be well over 40. Day 5 saw 7 more records, a fine day for the US team with 6 medals, two of them gold.Svetlana Chimrova (RUS) is the most prolific record-breaker of the
field: five swims, five new Championship Records – this day she bettered
the mark of the 100m fly, first in the heats then in the semis, also
breaking the 59sec barrier in the afternoon. (She clocked three CRs in
the 50m fly in the previous days.)

The Russian swimmer contributed a lot to push the number of Championship Records towards 40: before the start of the afternoon session it stood at 34, Chimrova made it to 35, then came Ruta Meilutyte and quickly set the 36th. In fact she was quick: she was the top finisher in the first semi-final of the 50m free, clocking 25.19, a new CR. It lived for two minutes as Rosaliya Nasretdinova (RUS) improved it to 25.02 in the next semi-final.

Participants of the first couple of finals didn’t crack the CR this time, though in the first all credits went to Rebecca Mann (USA) who was a class apart in the 1500m free: she won with a 10sec margin, comfortably, we might say. Note that she was member of the US open water swimming team in Barcelona and finished 8th in the 10km event – and instead of going for a holiday she stayed in the pool and trained hard to come up with a fine performance in Dubai.

Rebecca Mann (USA) in action - credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia
Rebecca Mann (USA) in action - credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

As it happened a couple of times before during the championships a dash event was won by a swimmer in an outer lane. And the 50m fly provided an even more unique finish: the first four places went to those swimming on the four outside lanes, the order was that: 7-2-8-1! It meant that Cameron Jones hit the wall first but it was agonisingly tight: the medallists were inside a 0.05sec gap.

In the women’s backstroke dash Gabrielle Fa’Amausili (NZL) was the fastest again after bettering the CR in the yesterday heats. Though she was only third after the semis, in the final she managed to out-touch Daria Ustinova (RUS), champion of the 100m, by 0.07sec – though she was far from her record-breaking effort from the previous day.

^The boys' 50m fly podium - credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia
The boys' 50m fly podium - credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

The boys 400m IM brought the first record-breaking performance of an eventual gold medallist. Joseph Bentz (USA), winner of the shorter medley on Day 2, did it again, though he offered a bit sleepy performance in the morning, clinching the last berth in the final. However, swimming on lane 8, he was in his best: Semen Makovich (RUS) led for most of the race but Bentz came closer and closer and he outpaced his Russian rival with a devastating last 50m (clocking 27.74 to Makovich’s 29.49). So he doubled down the medley titles, and did it by bettering the CR on both occasions.

The 39th Championships Record was delivered by the Russian quartet in the girls 4x100m free relay: they did a splendid job and their win was never in doubt – the race for the silver was rather sharp, the Aussies clinched it by the smallest margin (0.01sec).

Goddess Fortuna favoured the Russians this day: the boy’s 100m free semis resulted a rare three-way tie for the 8th place so a three-competitor swim-off was required with the participation of Paul Powers (USA), Ivan Kuzmenko (RUS) and Jan Holub (POL). And it was the Russian sprinter who emerged the winner, by 0.03sec ahead of Powers. Ironically, they were way faster than in the semis, clocking 50.37 then, and 50.15 and 50.18 respectively in the repetition.

Gabrielle Fa'Amausili (NZL) after her 50m back win - credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia
Gabrielle Fa'Amausili (NZL) after her 50m back win - credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Medallists, Day 5

Boys 50m fly
1. Cameron Jones AUS        23.96  
2. Dylan Carter TRI            23.98
3. Takaya Yasue JPN            24.01

Boys 400m IM
1. Joseph Bentz USA            4:14.97 CR
2. Semen Makovich RUS        4:15.89 
3. Keita Sunama USA            4:17.67

Girls 1500m free
1. Rebecca Mann USA        16:23.89
2. Linda Caponi ITA            16:33.62
3. Isabella Rongione USA        16:35.28

Girls 50m back
1. Gabrielle Fa’Amausili NZL    28.64 
2. Daria Ustinova RUS        28.71
3. Clara Smiddy USA            28.86

Girls 4x100m free relay
1. Russia                3:41.40 CR
(Mariia Baklakova, Rozaliya Nasretdinova, Valeriia Kolotushkina, Daria Ustinova)
2. Australia                3:43.03
(Chelsea Gillet, Jack Shayna, Georgia Miller, Jemma Schlicht)
3. United States            3:43.04
(Cierra Runge, Kathryn McLaughlin, Alexandra Meyers, Mary Schenider)

Championship Records in the Heats and Semis

Boys 50m breast
Peter John Stevens (SLO) – heats: 27.74 CR

Girls 50m free
Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) – semis: 25.19 CR
Rosaliya Nasretdinova (RUS) – semis: 25.02 CR

Girls 100m fly
Svetlana Chimrova (RUS) – heats: 59.30 CR
Svetlana Chimrova (RUS) – semis: 59.11 CR