The Israeli delegation’s hope of ending the swimming World Championships in
Barcelona with an historic medal proved to be unfounded on Sunday when Guy
Barnea and Jonatan Kopolev finished the 50-meter backstroke final in the last
Barnea, who ended the 50m back final in sixth position at the
championships two years ago, clocked a time of 25.14 seconds, 41 hundredths of a
second slower than he recorded to win his semifinal the previous day, touching
the wall seventh of the eight finalists.
Kopolev, who became the first
Israeli swimmer to win a gold medal at the European Championships last May when
he took the gold in the 50m back, also failed to repeat his performance from
Saturday, finishing eighth and last in a time of 25.19s.
relative disappointment, the Israeli duo was still pleased at saving some of the
delegation’s pride by not only becoming the only blue-andwhite swimmers to even
reach a semi in Barcelona, but by also ensuring that Israel had two participants
in the same World Championships final for the first time.
“This is the
highest level there is and it was very special to swim in the final with
Jonatan,” said Barnea. “I feel like I wasn’t as sharp as I was in the semis, but
seventh place in the world is an achievement as far as I’m
Gal Nevo’s frustrating championships ended with further
dejection after he failed to qualify for the final of the 400m individual medley
on Sunday, finishing in 15th place overall after clocking a time of 4:17.95
Franklin claims record 6th gold Meanwhile, American teenager
Missy Franklin became the first woman to win six golds at a single World
Championships when she helped the United States to victory in the 4x100-meter
medley relay on Sunday.
The 18-year-old swam the opening, backstroke leg
in the hilltop pool in Barcelona and the US triumph followed her titles this
week in the 100 and 200 backstroke, 200 freestyle and the 4x100 and 4x200
Franklin’s sixth gold is one more than the previous
record of five she jointly held with compatriot Tracy Caulkins and Australia’s
The only other woman to win six golds at a major swimming
meet was East German Kristin Otto at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
her three world titles at the 2011 championships in Shanghai, Franklin is also
tied for the most golds overall with Trickett on nine.
France were handed
a shock victory in the men’s 4x100-meter medley relay when gold-medal favorite
United States was disqualified.
The Americans touched first in three
minutes 30.06 seconds before the stadium announcer drew gasps from the crowd and
prompted wild celebrations among the French when he announced the US had been
disqualified “for an early exchange.”
Official results showed Kevin
Cordes, swimming the second, breaststroke leg, had jumped early by 0.04
China’s Sun Yang won a second consecutive gold in the men’s
1,500-meter freestyle to complete a rare treble of distance titles on
The Olympic champion and world record holder clocked a time of 14
minutes 41.15 seconds and became only the second man to achieve the feat at a
World Championships after Australian Grant Hackett, who did so at the 2005
edition in Montreal.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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