Mixed Medley Relay - United States smashes world record

With perhaps its four best swimmers at the entire meet, including two of its captains, the United States took a full second off of the world record from last year with a dominating performance at 1:35.15. The team of team captain Ryan Murphy (22.37), team captain Nic Fink (24.96), Kate Douglass (24.09), and Torri Huske (23.73) won over the Italians at 1:36.01, who broke the previous world record and set a new European record.

“We discussed breaking the world record earlier today,” Fink said. “It was definitely mentioned but with all of the different combinations so no one was really sure who would be on the relay. Once the relay line-up was set, we knew what we had to do.”

“We had a team meeting before we came to the pool and we all said,

We are going to get it!

Douglass said. “It's such a great feeling to want something like that and to be able to go out and get it.”

The Italian team of Lorenzo Mora (22.59), Nicolo Martinenghi (24.83), Silvia di Pietro (24.52), and Costanza Cocconcelli (24.07) won silver, while the Canadian team of Kylie Masse (25.71), Javier Acevedo (25.95), Ilya Kharun (22.12), and Maggie MacNeil (23.15) won bronze at 1:36.93.

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Canada had initially touched fifth, with the Netherlands in third and Germany in fourth, but both teams drew disqualifications, elevating Canada to the bronze.

Women’s 800m Freestyle - Lani Pallister golden again

For the second time in two nights, Australia’s Lani Pallister celebrated an individual gold medal, this time in the 800m freestyle after winning the 400m on Tuesday. Pallister had a more comfortable lead this time, touching at 8:04.07 in a six second triumph over New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather, who won her second silver at 8:10.41.

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The time puts Pallister seventh all-time, as she is going for a third individual gold medal in the 1500m freestyle later on in the week when the event makes its World short course debut. Pallister has usurped herself early on in the meet as the potential swimmer of the championships with her two gold medals.

I think today I was really relaxed

Pallister said. “I didn't expect to be swimming the times that I did. I am super stoked to how I put together the 800m free at the beginning of the week. I think it was an Australian record. I relaxed a little bit more because I knew the work that I had done has paid off.”

Fairweather adds to her silver in the 400m freestyle as the New Zealand swimmer, who turns 19 on the last day of the year, is a budding star in distance swimming. Previously, Fairweather’s best time in this was an 8:18.63 from this year.

“It’s so exciting. I mean, I haven't really been swimming the 800 for that long so it's super cool that I was able to pull it out of the bag,” Fairweather said.

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It was nearly an identical podium from the 400m freestyle with Pallister and Fairweather winning gold and silver - the only difference being Japan’s Miyu Namba winning the bronze (8:12.98) over USA’s Leah Smith (8:14.24).

Women’s 100m Backstroke - Kaylee McKeown, Mollie O’Callaghan score 1-2 for Melbourne crowd

We knew it could be anyone’s race coming into the championships and it lived up to our predictions. On the 75 turn, five swimmers were separated by 0.08 seconds, and all eyes in the venue darted to the scoreboard to see who was going to be standing on the podium.

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And when the Melbourne crowd was able to process which numbers went to which swimmers, they erupted in joy as Kaylee McKeown (55.49) and Mollie O’Callaghan (55.62) finished first and second. McKeown, the long course world record holder, won her second medal of the week after her bronze in the 200m IM on Tuesday evening. McKeown should be in for a big medal haul this week as one of the favourites of the Melbourne crowd.

“To be honest, I didn't really see the results and I had to put my goggles back on, and I wasn't sure if I should be having a good reaction, or not,” McKeown said. “But I was really happy when I put my goggles back on and see the number 1 next to my name and to see Mollie (O'Callaghan) finish second to me.”

It's amazing to have two Aussies on the podium and racking in some medals for the Australian team.

O’Callaghan will be on the 4x200m freestyle relay team later in the session as she wins her second medal after being on the world record setting 4x100m freestyle relay team on Tuesday.

The bronze was shared by Claire Curzan (55.74) and Ingrid Wilm (55.74), who finished right ahead of defending champion Louise Hansson (55.89) and one of the pre-race favourites in Kylie Masse (56.18).

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Hansson had the lead at the 50m and looked to spoil the party for the Australians but ultimately McKeown won gold, adding to her Olympic gold in this event from last year.

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O’Callaghan, who has been the one of the major breakthrough swimmers of the year in 2022, won her first backstroke medal on the world level, after winning the 100m freestyle in Budapest at the World Championships in June.

Men’s 100m Backstroke - Ryan Murphy follows up career year with World Short Course title

After finally capturing his first long course World title in the 200m backstroke June, USA’s Ryan Murphy followed that up with a win in the 100m backstroke on Wednesday in Melbourne, swimming a new championship record at 48.50 to put himself second all-time.

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Murphy looked to be in control of himself in the first two rounds, staying visibly reserved in the heat and semi-final rounds, causing everyone to believe he wasn’t going to relinquish the gold medal come the final.

And the final played out exactly as we expected, with Murphy leading from start to finish, challenging Coleman Stewart’s world record every step of the way.

“It felt really good. It's been an incredible hour for me,” Murphy said. “A world record in the relay,  I think we went half a second faster than we thought we were going to go.

“It was great to hit that time, a nice time drop and a championship record as well. 

It's definitely more fun to be racing in Australia, even in weather like this than to be in practice and getting worked every day

Murphy won by over a half second, with Italy’s Lorenzo Mora (49.04) winning the silver medal and Australia’s Isaac Cooper (49.52) winning the bronze, adding another medal to the home nation’s tally.

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Both Murphy and Mora had led off their respective mixed medley relay teams earlier in the night.

“It’s pretty amazing to win two medals in a hour,” Mora said. “Before the 100m Backstroke I was feeling really tired after the relay, but looking at the 50m before [in the relay] I knew I could go fast.”

Rising star Pieter Coetze of South Africa finished fourth with a new African record at 49.60.

Murphy has long been one of the best backstrokers in the world, winning both the 100m and 200m golds at the 2016 Olympics, and was also a World short course medallist in 2012 at age 17 in the 200m backstroke. Ten years later, Murphy is still one of the best backstrokers in the world, showing the true professional he is, staying calm and collected each time he stepped behind the blocks. With this win, he will be equally as tough to beat in the 200m final on Sunday.

Women’s 50m Butterfly - Maggie Mac Neil, Torri Huske share the gold medal

In one of the more impressive swims of the entire week, Canada’s Maggie Mac Neil went from eighth at the 25m to gold medallist at the 50m to share the gold medal with USA’s Torri Huske (24.64).

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We highlighted the women’s 100m butterfly as one of the races to watch at these championships with Olympic champ Mac Neil squaring off against World champ Huske. That race won’t be until Sunday, and there has been added intrigue to it now that they were unable to be separated on the clock in the 50m butterfly.

Huske is just the second American to win this event at the World short course championships, following Jenny Thompson’s three titles in 1999, 2000, and 2004. This is Canada’s first medal in this event.

“I had a lot of adrenaline going into that race,” Huske said. “I was so thankful that it was the 50 fly and not a 100 fly.”

I think we had the first tie last year so a second tie is really cool
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Mac Neil said. “It is fly so it adds a certain amount of pressure on me. There's a lot of learning that I can still do to get better.”


China’s Zhang Yufei, the Olympic champ in the 200m, won the bronze at 24.71 to tie the Asian record.

Men’s 50m Butterfly - Death, Taxes, and Nicholas Santos

For the fourth time, Brazil’s Nicholas Santos is the World short course champion in the 50m butterfly. After initially winning the gold medal ten years ago in Istanbul, Santos didn’t return to the top of the podium until Hangzhou in 2018. Now he has won three straight, including a new championship record at 21.78, just missing his own world record he shares with Szebasztian Szabo at 21.75. Santos, age 42, has indicated this was, in fact, the end of an era.

It's my last race of my career

Santos said. “It wasn't easy to swim in this weather. I am getting old and leaving this to the young guys. I was trying to break the world record, my own record. I was close, but it's not easy. I have tried a few times.

“I leave swimming at 42 years of age and I am really happy and proud. I am a four-time world champion in this event, and I leave the sport as the world record holder, a Pan- American champion and an Olympian. I have travelled to more than 40 countries but tonight was the last event of my career and I want to say a big thank you to World Aquatics.

I tried to inspire people, including many young kids who have watched me swim.

Santos owns the record for oldest medallist at the World short course and long course championships, both of which he accomplished this year in 2022. Every time he dove into the pool, he defied what many thought was possible in this sport, and his career will be defined by the back end of his career where he continued to win medals in the 50m butterfly.

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He had won a 50m butterfly medal at the last four World long course championships and has five total World short course medals in the event. He was the model for longevity and consistency and his age record may last for a few years.

The silver went to Switzerland’s Noe Ponti (21.96) and the bronze went to Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo (21.98). Pre-race favourite and World Cup triple crown winner Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago finished sixth at 22.14.

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Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay - Australia set another world record on backs of Wilson, O’Callaghan, Neale, Pallister

For the second time in two nights, the Australian women closed with a relay world record. This time it was in the 4x200m freestyle relay, as they matched their long course efforts this summer where they now hold both 4x200m relay records simultaneously.

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The team of Madison Wilson (1:53.13), Mollie O’Callaghan (1:52.83), Leah Neale (1:52.67), and Lani Pallister (1:52.24) took nearly two full seconds off the Netherlands’ world record from 2014 with a 7:30.87, with the old record standing at 7:32.85.

The Aussies gave the Melbourne crowd something to cheer about as even without superstar Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus, the Australians are still the best team in the world. Titmus has been poolside doing interviews for Australian TV but is not competing in the championships. Nevertheless, the Australians got it done.

“That was my first ever 4 x 200m final,” Pallister said. “I was a heats swimmer at the beginning of the year. The Australian coaches called me up tonight and trusted me with a ‘dirty double’ of the 800m free and the relay. I wanted to put my best foot forward. I was able to show that I was a versatile swimmer.

“I definitely looked at that record coming into this meet and we thought it was going to be something that was achievable. Without my teammates this would not have been possible-It was a massive team effort and it was crazy to have three world records broken at this meet.”

The silver medal went to Canada with the team of Rebecca Smith (1:52.15), Katerine Savard (1:54.78), Mary-Sophie Harvey (1:54.81), and Taylor Ruck (1:52.73) swimming a 7:34.47 to finish ahead of the Americans at 7:34.70.

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The Americans were represented by Alex Walsh (1:53.90), Hali Flickinger (1:53.48), Erin Gemmell (1:52.23), and Leah Smith (1:55.09).

Semi-finals wrap

Women’s 100m Freestyle semi-finals

Just as predicted before the meet, the gold medal looks to be between Emma McKeon (51.28) of Australia, and Siobhan Haughey (51.69) of Hong Kong, China. The gold and silver medalist from Tokyo are the top two seeds heading into Thursday’s final.

McKeon is coming off of the fastest split of all-time on Tuesday where she was the first woman to break 50 seconds on a relay. The world record is at 50.25, which doesn’t seem to be too much of a stretch for either McKeon or Haughey, who are second and fourth on the all-time rankings.

Men’s 100m Freestyle semi-finals

It was expected to be the race of the meet, and it may be just that, but the top seed is not who we expected. It was hyped to be a race between the short course world record holder Kyle Chalmers and the long course world record holder David Popovici, and it might still end up between those two, but the top seed after semi-finals is Jordan Crooks of the Cayman Islands.

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Crooks, who lives and trains at the University of Tennessee in the United States, swam a 45.55 to grab lane four for Thursday’s final, while Chalmers (45.66) is seeded third and Popovici (45.91) is seeded fifth, meaning those three will all swim next to each other. Popovici’s time was a new world junior record, lowering Kliment Kolesnikov’s time of 46.11 from 2018.

France’s Maxime Grousset (45.58) and Italy’s Alessandro Miressi (45.74) placed second and fourth in what will be one of the most intriguing finals of the entire week.

Women’s 100m Breaststroke semi-finals

Lilly King finally got a head to head win over Ruta Meilutyte this year, with the 2016 Olympic champion taking the top seed for tomorrow at 1:03.33 as the 2012 Olympic champion in second at 1:03.40. These two are two of the best to ever do it, sitting number three and one on the all-time rankings, respectively.

There will be a lot of intrigue around this final as King was battling illness during the World Championships in June and missed the podium entirely. A gold medal performance here in her best event would certainly springboard her into 2023, while a gold for Meilutyte would be another chapter in her rebirth as the best breaststroker in the world after initially retiring in 2019. Meilutyte’s world record comes from all the way back in 2013 when she was 16.

Men’s 100m Breaststroke semi-finals

Speaking of comebacks, Great Britain’s Adam Peaty had missed the Worlds in June due to injury, and is swimming relatively healthy for the first time since April. Although he isn’t the dominant Peaty of 2020, he is still seeded fourth for tomorrow and within a second of his best time, with a real shot at the gold medal.

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Peaty swam a 56.42 in the semi-finals to sit behind 2022 World champ Nicolo Martinenghi (56.01) and World Cup triple crown winner Nic Fink (56.25). Both Martinenghi and Fink are having career years, and a World short course title would certainly be icing on the cake to a great 2022.

China’s Qin Haiyang is seeded third at 56.38 with a shot at the podium as well.