ISTANBUL, Turkey – The United States extended their total medal count to 11 by placing in seven events on the second night of the 2012 FINA World Championships. Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill.), Olivia Smoliga (Glenview, Ill.) and the men’s 4x200m free relay team each walked away from the Sinan Erdem Arena in Istanbul, Turkey with gold medals.
The men’s relay was the closing event of the night. In order, Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Calif.), Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Ill.), Michael Klueh (Evansville, Ind.) and Matt McLean (Sterling, Va.) dominated the 800 meters from start to finish. Lochte led off for the men and blasted out a 1:41.17, the fastest split in the event. Dwyer’s 1:43.04 gave the U.S.’s lead over Germany and Klueh extended it to nearly 2.5 seconds with his 1:43.20 swim. McLean brought it home for the men in 1:43.99 stopping the clock at 6:51.40. Australia would finish second in 6:52.29 and Germany came in third in 6:53.22.
In the men’s 100m backstroke, Grevers narrowly beat out Russia’s Stanislav Donets for the gold medal, his second gold of the meet (4x100m free relay). Grevers’ time of 49.89 was just two-hundredth seconds ahead of Donets (49.91). Grevers broke 26 seconds advancing from third at the 50-meter split to first by the end. Brazil’s Guilherme Guido finished in 50.50 for third place.
Smoliga won her first World Championship medal with a strong finish in the 100m backstroke. Smoliga went out in 27.90 and was in sixth place at the first split, but her 28.74 second-half split – the only second-half split to break 29 seconds – gave her the win in 56.64. Denmark’s Mie Oestergaard Nielsen claimed silver in 57.07 and Czech Republic’s Simona Baumrtova won bronze in 57.18.
Thomas Shields (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Lochte both medaled in the men’s 100m fly. Shields’ went 49.54 for the silver and Lochte swam a 49.59 for the bronze and his fourth medal in two days. South Africa’s Chad Le Clos would win the gold medal and set a Championship record in the process with a 48.82.
Kevin Cordes (Naperville, Ill.) was the bronze medalist in the 100m breast. He finished in 57.83 for his first international medal. Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli won the event in 57.10 and Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic finished second in 57.32. Cordes’ teammate Mike Alexandrov (Champaign, Ill.) finished fifth in 57.86.
In the women’s 800m free, New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle claimed the top spot in 8:08.62. Denmark’s Lotte Friis was second in 8:10.99 and Chloe Sutton (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was third in 8:15.53. It was her first World Championship pool medal.
In other finals action, Michael Weiss (4:07.67) finished seventh in the men’s 400m medley as Japan’s Daiya Seto (3:59.15) won gold. Lithunia’s Ruta Meilutyte won the women’s 50m breast in Championship record-time of 29.44 while Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, Calif.) finished in 30.01 for fifth.
Advancing to tomorrow night’s finals after finishing in the top-eight of their semifinal swims were Hardy (53.41) in the 100m free, Anthony Ervin (Valencia, Calif.) and Josh Schneider (Cincinnati, Ohio) with 21.17 and 21.28 swims, respectively, in the 50m free and both Christine Magnuson (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Claire Donahue (Bowling Green, Ky.) in the 50m fly. Magnuson went 25.65 and Donahue was 25.84.