American Ryan Lochte bagged his second gold medal of the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Dubai yesterday as two new world records were set on the second night of competition.
Lochte, 26, was first to get in on the action, claiming his second title here, but more importantly also the first individual world record of the year.
He sped to victory in the 400m individual medley in 3 minutes, 55.50 seconds, slicing close to two seconds off the previous mark set by Laszlo Cseh of Hungary in December last year.
Lochte was then also involved in the second record-breaking race of the night, but had to settle for the silver with his teammates in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
The Americans were neck and neck with the Russian quartet of Nikita Lobintsev, Danila Izotov, Evgeny Lagunov and Alexander Sukhorukov, but it was the Russians who took the gold in a world record time of 6 minutes, 49.04 seconds.
The US team of Peter Vanderkaay, Lochte, Garrett -Weber-Gale and Richard Berens, also dipped under the previous world mark of 6 minutes, 51.05 seconds, set by Canada in August last year, taking silver in 6 minutes, 49.58 seconds. France were third in 6 minutes, 53.05 seconds.
Although Lochte wouldn’t have been pleased to miss out on another world title in the relay, his gold earlier in the evening completes a hat-trick of titles in the 400m individual medley, having also won at the 2006 and 2008 world championships.
In the 100m backstroke, it was Russia’s European champion Stanislav Donets who claimed gold in a championship record time of 49.07 seconds, with Camille Lacourt of France taking silver in 49.80 seconds and Aschwin Wildeboer Faber of Spain bronze in 50.04 seconds.
Meanwhile, South African world record holder Cameron van der Burgh went one better than his silver in Manchester two years ago to take gold in the 100m breaststroke in another championship record time of 56.80.
Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli was second in 57.13 with Brazil’s Felipe Silva taking the bronze in 57.39.
Natalie Coughlin of the US also got in on the record-breaking action, taking gold in the women’s 100m backstroke in a championship record time of 56.08. Zhao Jing of China was second in 56.18 and Gao Chang third in 56.21.
Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin claimed gold in the men’s 100m butterfly in 50.23 seconds with Albert Subirats losing out by just one hundredth of a second, but taking Venezuela’s first medal of the championships, with Brazil’s Kaio Almeida winning bronze.
American Rebecca Soni took top honors in the women’s 50m breaststroke, bagging the gold in 29.83 seconds, while Australia’s Leiston Pickett took silver, also by just one hundredth of a second, with China’s Zhao Jin third in 29.90.
Spain went 1-2 in the women’s 800m freestyle, with Erika Villaecija taking gold in 8 minutes, 11.61 seconds and Wednesday’s double gold medalist Mireia Belmonte the silver in 8 minutes, 12.48 seconds.