Israeli swimmer Yakov Toumarkin failed to progress to the semifinals of the 200-meter backstroke at the world championships in Budapest yesterday, finishing in 23rd place overall.
(photo credit: ASAF KLIGER)
Andrea Murez became the second Israeli to reach a semifinal at the swimming world championships on Thursday, finishing the women’s 100-meter freestyle in 16th place overall in Budapest, Hungary.
Murez progressed past the morning heats for the first time in Budapest after clocking a new Israeli record of 54.20 seconds against Maud van der Meer of the Netherlands in a swim-off for the 16th and final berth in the semis. The two had registered an identical time in their heats and a swim-off was held to decide the tie for 16th position.
Murez couldn’t repeat the performance in the evening, finishing in last place among the semifinalists with a time of 54.62s.
Yakov Toumarkin was the only Israeli to have reached a semi in Budpaest prior to Thursday, advancing to the last-16 in the men’s 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley.
Toumarkin competed in the 200m backstroke on Thursday, an event in which he finished in seventh place at the London 2012 Olympics. But he could only manage a 23rd-place finish, recording a disappointing time of 1:59.25 minutes.
Meanwhile, Chase Kalisz continued American dominance of the men’s 200m individual medley as the United States enjoyed a memorable evening at the world championships.
Kalisz’s win set the tone before rising US star Caeleb Dressel snatched victory in the men’s 100 meters freestyle and the American quartet powered to gold in the women’s 4x200 freestyle relay.
Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte had dominated the 200m medley event since 2003 and the only American in the field delivered again as Kalisz posted one minute 55.56 seconds at the Duna Arena.
The 23-year-old produced a Phelpslike roar of celebration and double-arm splash to celebrate his gold medal.
Japanese Kosuke Hagino, the 2013 silver medalist, had cut loose on the backstroke before Kalisz took control on a swift breaststroke leg and freestyle finale.
Hagino touched for silver 0.05 seconds back.
There was a similar outcome in the 100m freestyle when Dressel took off his goggles and hit the water in euphoric style after taking gold in an American record time.
Dressel, 20, dominated the blue riband event from start to finish, clocking a highly impressive 47.17 seconds.
Nathan Adrian secured an American one-two and Mehdy Metella of France took bronze.
China’s bid to win a hat-trick of world titles in the women’s 50m backstroke was scuppered by a jubilant Etiene Medeiros of Brazil.
Medeiros posted a time of 27.14 seconds in the event as she held off defending champion Fu Yuanhui of China by 0.01 seconds in a fingertip finish.
Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus secured bronze.
Local favorite Katinka Hosszu of Hungary had briefly lifted the arena noise to deafening heights in the women’s 200m butterfly final.
Hosszu, 28, set the pace in the opening stages of a race won defiantly by Mireia Belmonte of Spain in two minutes 05.26 seconds. Franziska Hentke took silver with Hosszu landing bronze.
Katie Ledecky then put the disappointment of losing an individual final for the first time at a world championships behind her by anchoring the US to 4x200m relay gold.
Leah Smith, Mallory Comerford and Melanie Margalis had gone stroke for stroke with China before Ledecky powered away on the final leg. Their time of seven minutes 43.39 seconds was just outside the world record.
China finished 1.17 seconds back and Australia took bronze.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom advanced to the women’s 100m free final with the fastest time in Thursday’s semis.
American great Mark Spitz believes she can swim even faster after she became the first woman to go under 52 seconds in the event in Sunday’s relay.
Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Olympics, was left in awe of Sjostrom, who dipped under 52 seconds when leading off Sweden in the women’s 4x100m relay.
Spitz himself became the first man to break 52 seconds in 1970 before posting 51.47 seconds in the blue riband event ahead of his Munich tilt.
“In the 47 years it has taken a woman to go as fast as a man there have been three of four generations that have come and gone since I retired,” Spitz told Reuters on the sidelines of the world championships.
“There will always be a comparison where a woman can be as fast as a man but it’s now a testament to new types of training and cross-training. It’s exciting.”
Sjostrom also became the first woman to win four gold medals in the women’s 100m butterfly – her first coming in 2009 as a 15-year-old – while the garlanded 23-year-old has the 50m in both freestyle and butterfly still to come.
Spitz blitzed to Munich gold in 51.22 and admits Sjostrom has the capability to make further inroads on his Olympic mark.
“Sarah has raw speed and isn’t afraid to use it at the beginning of her races,” said Spitz, who was also a freestyle and butterfly specialist.
“There are no tactics with her and she’s out in front at the start.”Reuters contributed to this report.
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