Israel’s Toumarkin just shy of world championships final

“I’ve been training in this pool since it opened and trying to imagine the crowd. I wasn’t really ready."

Israeli swimmer Yakov Toumarkin (photo credit: ASAF KLIGER)
Israeli swimmer Yakov Toumarkin
(photo credit: ASAF KLIGER)
Yakov Toumarkin came within 17 hundredths of a second of reaching the final of the 100-meter backstroke at the world swimming championships in Budapest, Hungary on Monday.
The 25-year-old clocked a time of 53.92 seconds in the semifinals, 15 hundredths slower than his national record, to finish in 11th place overall and just miss out on a place in the top eight who will contest Tuesday’s final.
Toumarkin was the first Israeli to reach a semifinal in Budapest after being the only blueand- white swimmer to make it through the heats at the Rio Olympics last summer.
He will be hoping to build on his promising form on Monday in the 200m backstroke, which will be contested on Thursday, an event in which he reached the Olympic final at London 2012.
Elsewhere, Katinka Hosszu, roared on by her home crowd, held on to secure Hungary’s first gold medal of the championships after a thrilling women’s 200 meters individual medley final.
Starting from lane four, where the 28-year-old self-titled ‘Iron Lady’ has been training in the build-up to the championships, Hosszu clocked two minutes 07.00 seconds amid deafening noise at a packed Duna Arena.
The Olympic champion’s biggest threat after two easy qualification races came from lane one where Japan’s Yui Ohashi took a well-earned silver.
Ohashi was second throughout and looked to reel in the local favorite on the final freestyle leg. The Japanese finished 0.91 seconds behind Hosszu, with Madisyn Cox of the United States taking bronze.
“This pretty much feels like the very first time I won,” a relieved Hosszu, who could win five individual titles this week told reporters.
“I’ve been training in this pool since it opened and trying to imagine the crowd. I wasn’t really ready. I don’t think you can ever be ready for this kind of atmosphere. It gives an extra energy and motivation. It was just crazy.”
Britain’s Adam Peaty and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden narrowly missed out on world record times as the pair defended their respective titles.
Peaty powered his way to the turn in the men’s 100m breaststroke under the pace he set at last summer’s Rio Olympics.
His would-be challengers were then left trailing in his wake as the 22-year-old clocked a championship record time of 57.47 seconds, 0.34 seconds outside of his personal best.
Sjostrom went even closer just minutes later in the women’s 100m butterfly final as she overtook Therese Alshammar as Sweden’s most decorated swimmer at a world championships.
The 23-year-old, nicknamed ‘Madame Butterfly’, touched just 0.05 seconds shy of her own world record time of 55.48 seconds.
Reuters contributed to this report.