BUDAPEST: Sarah Sjostrom, who has been winning world titles for 13 years, and Summer McIntosh, who has been winning them for four days, both collected their second gold medals of the week in Budapest on Saturday.
Sjostrom, a 28-year-old Swede who won the 50m butterfly less than 24 hours earlier, added the 50m freestyle, her 10th world gold.
McIntosh, a Canadian 15-year-old, held off 16-year-old American Katie Grimes to win the women’s 400m medley title.
McIntosh, who won the 200m butterfly gold on Wednesday, claimed her fourth medal in Budapest in four minutes and 32.04 seconds.
Grimes was 0.63sec back, while another American, Emma Weyant, was a distant third ahead of Hungarian 33-year-old Katinka Hosszu, the defending champion.
“I tried to push my body as much as possible,” said McIntosh. “The crowd gave me so much adrenaline.
“I really felt my body in the backstroke.
“Katie is a top competitor, I like racing against her since we are in the same age group.”
Sjostrom finished her sprint in 23.98 seconds, 0.20sec ahead of Pole Katarzyna Wasick, with Australian Meg Harris and American Erika Brown tied for bronze. This was the Swede’s 20th world championship medal.
“Maybe my mind-set and also a lot of hard work, but also I love what I do,” she said of her longevity.
Sjostrom narrowly missed another medal when she anchored Sweden to fourth in the women’s 100m medley relay that closed the championships. “It’s been a busy four days for me,” she said.
“I feel like it’s business for me too, I just go in and do my job I guess.”
The United States won, anchored by 17-year-old Claire Curzan. Australia were second and Canada, with Penny Olesiak holding off Sjostrom, third.
American Justin Ress won gold in the 50m backstroke in dramatic circumstances after officials overturned his initial disqualification following a lengthy review.
Victory was earlier awarded to compatriot Hunter Armstrong after it was ruled that no part of Ress’s body was above the water as he reached first for the wall.
Ress, who had set the pace in the heats and the semi-finals, was later reinstated as the winner and the medal ceremony held again, with Armstrong taking silver and Polish teenager Ksawery Masiuk having to settle for bronze.
Gregorio Paltrinieri, gold medallist at the Rio Olympics, set a new championship record in the 1,500m freestyle, comfortably finishing ahead of Robert Finke and Florian Wellbrock in a time of 14:32.80.
The Italian looked on course to break Sun Yang’s world record of 14:31.02 but faded in the last 100 metres.
“So many people thought I was finished. I am not a person who lets himself be influenced by others but in these days I had enough doubts,” Paltrinieri, 27, told reporters.
Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte won her first world gold since 2013 when she edged Italian 17-year-old Benedetta Pilato by 0.10sec in the women’s 50m breaststroke final. South African Lara van Niekerk was third.
Meilutyte had not won a major championship medal of any colour since 2015.
“It’s nice to be a world champion,” she said.
Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2022