TEAM SPEEDO ATHLETES STRIKE GOLD IN SHANGHAI
1st August 2011: The 14th FINA World Championships came to a thrilling climax in Shanghai, China over the weekend, marking the end of a golden week of swimming for Speedo sponsored athletes and teams.
The ‘Best Male Swimmer’ award for the championships went to Speedo sponsored USA swimmer Ryan Lochte, who secured his fifth gold medal in the 400m Individual Medley in a time of 4:07.13 to cap a memorable week in Shanghai. Earlier in the championships, Lochte set a new world record in the 200m Individual Medley, the first long course meters world record since 2009, and won gold in the 200m freestyle, reinforcing his position as one of the most outstanding competitors in the sport of swimming.
Elsewhere within Team Speedo USA, Michael Phelps won in the 100m butterfly race on Saturday with a time of 50.71. Whilst delighted to claim the medal, Michael immediately set his sights on even better performances to come: "I want to be faster. I will work on my next game. I will watch some races and think about that, how I can be faster."
Michael later swam as part of Team USA’s 4x100m Medley Relay team to secure his fourth gold medal of the championships following successes in the 200m butterfly and the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Lochte and Phelps helped lead Team USA to a total medal count of 31 – 17 gold, six silver and eight bronze. The U.S. won the FINA trophy for best team, topping all other nations in both gold medals won and total medal count.
In addition to Lochte's historic win in the 200m IM, a second record breaking swim was achieved by Team China’s Yang Sun on the final day of competition as he smashed the 10-year-old world record in the 1500m freestyle with a time of 14:34.14. The result marked Sun’s second gold of the week, having already won the 800m freestyle event.
Sun’s phenomenal achievement capped a fine week for Speedo-sponsored Team China, who enjoyed a number of successes in front of a passionate home crowd. Ye Shiwen collected gold in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley, which was followed by a women’s 100m Freestyle triumph courtesy of Zhao Jing. Jiao Liuyang completed the quartet of Chinese gold medalists following the Women’s 200m Butterfly.?
The week got underway with success for the Speedo sponsored Netherlands team in the 4x100m freestyle relay. Team USA dominated the race with Speedo star Natalie Coughlin first in the water and making impressive headway at the first lap. The race looked like it belonged to the USA until Speedo sponsored Femke Heemskerk took the last lap for Netherlands team and touched the wall with a time of 3:33.96. Coughlin also won bronze in the 100m backstroke, her signature event.
Despite settling for silver in that race, there was plenty to cheer for the Speedo sponsored USA Women. Dana Vollmer topped the podium on the third day of swimming in the Women’s 100m Butterfly for her first-ever world championship title and Jessica Hardy took gold in the 50m breaststroke. The USA also emerged victorious in the women’s 4x200m freestyle and 4x100 medley events.
Tyler Clary of Team Speedo USA made a statement at these Championships, winning silver in the 400m IM and bronze in the 200m backstroke; Speedo-sponsored Katie Hoff won gold as part of the women's 4x200m freestyle relay.
Meanwhile, Speedo star Rebecca Adlington (GBR) enjoyed success once again in China, securing gold in the 800m Freestyle with a time of 8:17.51 while Speedo sponsored Kate Ziegler (USA) took bronze in 8:23.36. In doing so, Rebecca achieved the feat of becoming the first British female athlete to become a world champion in a freestyle event. Earlier in the championships, Ziegler won silver in the 1500m freestyle.
Referring to her previous success in Beijing, Rebecca said: "China’s obviously a good luck charm for me. It’s the first gold medal I’ve got at a world championships. Last time I got two bronze medals so I definitely can’t argue."
There was further success for the British team as Speedo sponsored Liam Tancock took gold in the 50m backstroke, retaining the title he first won at the 13th FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy.
Rebecca and Liam’s successes followed the triumph of Speedo sponsored Keri-anne Payne in the opening week of the championships, who became the first official member of the British team for the 2012 Olympics after taking gold in the 10km Open Water event.
For Speedo-sponsored Team Australia, James Magnussen showed why he is regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in swimming by securing his first world championships title in the 100m freestyle. Magnussen was also part of the Australian foursome who triumphed in the 4x100m freestyle relay, which also included Speedo sponsored Eamon Sullivan.
There was also further success for Speedo-sponsored Team Netherlands as Inge Dekker, fresh from the 4x100m freestyle victory, followed up with a gold medal of her own in the 50m butterfly event.
Inge said: "I’m very happy, I’m happy I did a really good race in the final. It’s always tight in the 50m and that was my first individual gold medal and that’s all I ever wanted for this competition."
Jeremy Stravius (FRA) enjoyed a successful week in Shanghai, and contested one of the most thrilling races of the entire championships when he tied for gold with a time of 52.76 with his teammate Camille Lacourt. Jeremy was also a member of the French team who secured a silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay race.
Following a thrilling 16 days of competition at the 14th FINA World Championships, Team Speedo will return home to focus firmly on preparations for the challenges that lie ahead next year in London.