Canadian 15-year-old Summer McIntosh on Saturday won another gold medal and Italy pipped the US to the men’s 4x100m medley relay title on the last night of racing at the FINA World Championships.
The US women clinched the country’s record 45th medal of the week by winning their 4x100m medley final. Regan Smith, Lilly King, Torri Huske and Claire Curzan were 0.47 seconds ahead of Australia and 1.23 ahead of Canada.
“Yeah, I’m pretty tired,” Huske said after her sixth medal in a busy week.
Canadian swimmers finished with 11 medals for their most successful worlds.
Veteran Gregorio Paltrinieri also won a thrilling men’s 1,500m freestyle, as Italy ended the swimming worlds with five golds.
Paltrinieri was well under world record pace as he built a huge lead over his rivals before eventually finishing in a championship record 14 minutes, 32.80 seconds.
“I knew that they were coming, but I had quite a big lead. So that was enough for me,” Paltrinieri said. “That was my strategy, actually, to go out fast and try to open a gap with the others. So I’m really glad I did it.”
Only Sun Yang’s world record of 14:31.02 from the 2012 Olympics has been faster. The Chinese swimmer is suspended for doping.
Bobby Finke, who has made an art of finishing strongly to overtake rivals, was unable to catch Paltrinieri, finishing 3.90 seconds behind for a US record 14:36.70.
“In the beginning, I was just trying to keep up with him, but he just kept getting farther and farther ahead,” Finke said. “Hats off to Greg. I wasn’t able to run him down. He had a great race, and I’m really proud of him.”
Finke’s silver was the US’ record-breaking 39th medal this week, eclipsing its tally from Budapest in 2017.
McIntosh wrapped up a highly successful week for Canadian swimming with her second world title after the 200m butterfly, clocking 4:32.04 in the women’s 400m individual medley.
It was yet another world junior record for the teen, who is doing little to keep down expectations.
“I’ve accomplished that and met my expectations when it comes to splits and targets, I mean swimming them and pushing my body as hard as possible. So I’m overall really happy,” she said.
After some confusion, the US’ Justin Ress was confirmed as the men’s 50m backstroke champion.
Ress’ elation at winning the race in 24.12 seconds ended promptly when he was disqualified for being submerged at the finish.
Teammate Hunter Armstrong, who finished two-hundredths of a second behind, was awarded the win, while the 17-year-old Ksawery Masiuk of Poland was bumped up to silver and Italy star Thomas Ceccon grabbed the bronze.
FINA later overturned the disqualification, meaning Ress was awarded gold, Armstrong silver and Masiuk bronze.
“That’s probably the worst possible way a race could go,” Ress said.
“It was shock the whole time,” he said. “Twenty minutes I was just in the chair in the team room, just paralyzed, shocked I got DQ’ed. And then, obviously the overturns rarely happen, so I pretty much lost all hope.”
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