DAY SEVEN FINALS: USA Caps Historic Night With Mixed 4x100 Free Relay WR

2017 FINA World Championships

July 23-30, 2017
Budapest, Hungary
Dagály Aquatics Arena

Day seven finals at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Saturday night featured some of the most thrilling races of the meet so far. Anytime American superstar Caeleb Dressel swims three races in the same session, you know something electric is bound to go down. While Dressel was beyond impressive, challenging three of the most difficult supersuit world records on the books (50m freestyle, 100m butterfly, and 100m freestyle), Sweden's Sarah Sjöström took one down with a 23.67 in the 50m freestyle.

There was too much fast swimming Saturday night to adequately summarize, so enjoy the stats-heavy, play-by-play details below instead.

Women 50m Butterfly -- FINAL
World Record: 24.43 -- Sarah Sjöström (SWE), 2014
Championship Record: 24.60 -- Sarah Sjöström (SWE), 2017
World Junior Record: 25.51 -- Rikako Ikee (JPN), 2017
American Record: 25.48 -- Kelsi Worrell (USA), 2017

1.) Sarah Sjöström (SWE) -- 24.60 (Championship Record)
2.) Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) -- 25.38
3.) Farida Osman (EGY) -- 25.39
4.) Kelsi Worrell (USA) -- 25.48 (American Record)
5.) Penny Oleksiak (CAN) -- 25.62
6.) Melanie Henique (FRA) -- 25.76
7.) Kimberly Buys (BEL) -- 25.78
8.) Aliena Schmidtke (GER) -- 26.08

This race really was not in question after the 15-meter mark. Sweden's Sarah Sjöström -- who exclusively owns the top 10 all-time record board in this event -- blasted her tempo the last 25 meters to torch the field in 24.60. That time is the second-fastest performance of all time and just a touch off of her 24.43 world record set back in 2014. World record or not, the consistency from Sjöström in this event is something to marvel. Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands got home for the silver in 25.38 and Farida Osman of Egypt -- also a Cal Bear -- stunned for bronze out of lane eight in 25.39.

Men 50m Freestyle -- FINAL
World Record: 20.91 -- Cesar Cielo (BRA), 2009
Championship Record: 21.08 -- Cesar Cielo (BRA), 2009
World Junior Record: 22.00 -- Hexin Yu (CHN), 2014
American Record: 21.15 -- Caeleb Dressel (USA), 2017

1.) Caeleb Dressel (USA) -- 21.15 (American Record)
2.) Bruno Fratus (BRA) -- 21.27
3.) Ben Proud (GBR) -- 21.43
4.) Vladimir Morozov (RUS) -- 21.46
5.) Pawel Juraszek (POL) -- 21.47
6.) Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (FIN) -- 21.67
7.) Kristian Gkolomeev (GRE) -- 21.73
8.) Cesar Cielo (BRA) -- 21.83

Everybody was on the edge of his or her seat prior to the men's splash and dash. So much so, in fact, you could hear a pin drop in Duna Arena. The question on everyone's mind: could anyone challenge Caeleb Dressel? The answer to that turned out to be yes. Brazil's Bruno Fratus -- who has been incredibly consistent this year -- uncorked a 21.27 to earn the silver medal and crack the top 10 list of all-time performers. But this was Dressel's night. The American superstar laid down a 21.15 for the gold medal -- making him the third-fastest performer of all time and giving him the sixth-fastest performance of all time. Most notably, that is the fastest time ever swum in a textile suit. Great Britain's Ben Proud rounded out the podium with bronze in 21.43.

Women 200m Backstroke -- FINAL
World Record: 2:04.06 -- Missy Franklin (USA), 2012
Championship Record: 2:04.73 -- Missy Franklin (USA), 2013
World Junior Record: 2:06.76 -- Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 2017
American Record: 2:04.06 -- Missy Franklin (USA), 2012

1.) Emily Seebohm (AUS) -- 2:05.68
2.) Katinka Hosszu (HUN) -- 2:05.85
3.) Kathleen Baker (USA) -- 2:06.48
4.) Kaylee McKeown (AUS) -- 2:06.76 (World Junior Record)
5.) Kylie Masse (CAN) -- 2:07.04
6.) Hilary Caldwell (CAN) -- 2:07.15
7.) Daria Ustinova (RUS) -- 2:07.35
8.) Regan Smith (USA) -- 2:07.42

Katinka Hosszu -- the 2016 Olympic silver medalist in this event -- snuck into the final in lane one, out of sight for most in the field. At the 150-meter mark, Hosszu flipped first in 1:33.34 to a raucous Hungarian crowd. Kathleen Baker of the United States flipped just behind her in 1:33.65 -- looking to pick up her first international gold medal in an individual event. But over the last 50 meters, Australia's Emily Seebohm shifted into another gear -- busting out an insane 31.38 split to out-touch Hosszu for gold in 2:05.68 to 2:05.85. Baker picked up the bronze in 2:06.48. That time by Seebohm ties her with Missy Franklin for seventh-fastest all-time and is a new Australian record as well.

Women 50m Breaststroke -- Semifinals
World Record: 29.48 -- Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 2013
Championship Record: 29.48 -- Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 2013
World Junior Record: 29.48 -- Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 2013
American Record: 29.60 -- Lilly King (USA), 2017

1.) Lilly King (USA) -- 29.60 (American Record) (Q)
2.) Yulia Efimova (RUS) -- 29.73 (Q)
3.) Katie Meili (USA) -- 30.12 (Q)
4.) Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) -- 30.40 (Q)
5.) Jennie Johansson (SWE) -- 30.41 (Q)
6.) Sarah Vasey (GBR) -- 30.46 (Q)
6.) Arianna Castiglioni (ITA) -- 30.46 (Q)
8.) Rachel Nicol (CAN) -- 30.49 (Q)

Just as we expected, Lilly King and Yulia Efimova are going to have another showdown -- taking lanes four and five, respectively, for Sunday night's final. In the first semifinal, Efimova laid down the gauntlet with a 29.73 -- the only one in her heat to dip below the 30-second barrier. King, who has stated in the past that she loves to chase after times on the board, probably loved being in that position heading into the second semifinal. Naturally, she responded. King threw down a 29.60 to lower her own American record and scare the world record of 29.48. Make no mistake -- she will be gunning for that world record and gold medal Sunday night and will not be pleased with anything less. Katie Meili, who earned the silver medal in the 100m breaststroke earlier in the meet, dropped a quick 30.12 for the third seed and will again be in medal contention.

Men 100m Butterfly -- FINAL
World Record: 49.82 -- Michael Phelps (USA), 2009
Championship Record: 49.82 -- Michael Phelps (USA), 2009
World Junior Record: 50.62 -- Kristoff Milak (HUN), 2017
American Record: 49.82 -- Michael Phelps (USA), 2009

1.) Caeleb Dressel (USA) -- 49.86
2.) Kristoff Milak (HUN) -- 50.62 (World Junior Record)
3.) Joseph Schooling (SIN) -- 50.83
3.) James Guy (GBR) -- 50.83
5.) Laszlo Cseh (HUN) -- 50.92
6.) Zhuhao Li (CHN) -- 50.96
7.) Grant Irvine (AUS) -- 51.00
8.) Mehdy Metella (FRA) -- 51.16

We have officially run out of superlatives for Caeleb Dressel. Approximately 30 minutes after unloading a 21.15 50m freestyle for the gold medal, Dressel turned around to take on a loaded field in the 100m butterfly -- featuring the defending Olympic champion Joseph Schooling. Dressel did something very Phelps-esque tonight -- his presence alone elevated the game of the other competitors. The field knew the buzzsaw they were running into with Dressel, and, subsequently, seven of the eight guys in the field turned sub-24 -- with Laszlo Cseh eighth in 24.01. They knew if they were to have a chance against him they would need to jump on it early. Dressel's first 50-meter split was 23.31 -- 0.05 under Phelps' WR pace. He was followed by Mehdy Metella of France in 23.62 and James Guy of Great Britain in 23.64.

But nobody could hang with Dressel coming home as he threw down a 26.55 closing split to scorch a 49.86 -- the second-fastest performance of all time and only 0.04 off Phelps' WR. That is also the fastest performance ever in a textile suit. Kristoff Milak of Hungary was extremely impressive as well on the back half with a split of 26.77 to claim silver in a new world junior record time of 50.62. Schooling and Guy rounded out the podium in a tie for bronze with matching 50.83s.

Women 50m Freestyle -- Semifinals
World Record: 23.67 -- Sarah Sjöström (SWE), 2017
Championship Record: 23.67 -- Sarah Sjöström (SWE), 2017
World Junior Record: 24.48 -- Rikako Ikee (JPN), 2017
American Record: 24.07 -- Dara Torres (USA), 2008

1.) Sarah Sjöström (SWE) -- 23.67 (WORLD RECORD) (Q)
2.) Pernille Blume (DEN) -- 24.05 (Q)
3.) Simone Manuel (USA) -- 24.12 (Q)
4.) Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) -- 24.20 (Q)
5.) Bronte Campbell (AUS) -- 24.43 (Q)
6.) Anna Santamans (FRA) -- 24.54 (Q)
7.) Xiang Liu (CHN) -- 24.56 (Q)
8.) Aliaksandra Herasimenia (BLR) -- 24.59 (Q)

Sarah Sjöström has been hunting this world record all year, patiently waiting for the prime opportunity to strike. She found that opportunity Saturday night in semifinals. In her second race of the night, Sjöström uncorked a 23.67 -- toppling the 2009 supersuit world record of 23.73 held by Germany's Britta Steffen. Only eight woman in history have ever been under the elusive 24-second barrier, and Sjöström just pushed the global standard even further out of reach. Following in second was the 2016 Olympic champ Pernille Blume of Denmark in 24.05. That time is actually 0.02 of a second faster than the 24.07 she swam for gold in Rio. The third seed is Simone Manuel of the United States in 24.12 -- just 0.03 of a second off her best time from Rio. If her finals performance in the 100m freestyle Friday night is any indication, Manuel is primed for a 23-second swim in the final -- potentially giving Sjöström another run.

Men 50m Backstroke -- Semifinals
World Record: 24.04 -- Liam Tancock (GBR), 2009
Championship Record: 24.04 -- Liam Tancock (GBR), 2009
World Junior Record: 24.94 -- Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 2016
American Record: 24.33 -- Randall Bal (USA), 2008

1.) Camille Lacourt (FRA) -- 24.30 (Q)
2.) Junya Koga (JPN) -- 24.44 (Q)
3.) Matt Grevers (USA) -- 24.65 (Q)
4.) Xu Jiayu (CHN) -- 24.67 (Q)
5.) Justin Ress (USA) -- 24.70 (Q)
6.) Pavel Sankovich (BLR) -- 24.74 (Q)
7.) Jeremy Stravius (FRA) -- 24.81 (Q)
8.) Jonatan Kopelev (ISR) -- 24.84 (Q)

The 2013 World champion in this event, Camille Lacourt of France, continues to rise to the occasion on the biggest stage. At 32 years old, Lacourt dropped the 100m back from his lineup to focus exclusively on the 50, and it is clearly paying dividends through the first two rounds as he took the top seed in 24.30 -- just outside of the top 10 performances of all time. Junya Koga of Japan snagged the second seed in 24.44 and Matt Grevers will have the third seed in 24.65. United States rookie Justin Ress also made it through the the final in fifth with a 24.70.

Women 800m Freestyle -- FINAL
World Record: 8:04.79 -- Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016
Championship Record: 8:07.39 -- Katie Ledecky (USA), 2015
World Junior Record: 8:11.00 -- Katie Ledecky (USA), 2014
American Record: 8:04.79 -- Katie Ledecky (USA), 2016

1.) Katie Ledecky (USA) -- 8:12.68
2.) Bingjie Li (CHN) -- 8:15.46
3.) Leah Smith (USA) -- 8:17.22
4.) Mireia Belmonte (ESP) -- 8:23.30
5.) Boglarka Kapas (HUN) -- 8:24.41
6.) Yuhan Zhang (CHN) -- 8:26.06
7.) Simona Quadarella (ITA) -- 8:26.50
8.) Holly Hibbott (GBR) -- 8:38.63

Katie Ledecky pushed this one hard on the front end. She took out the first 200 meters in 1:59.13 -- 0.29 under her world-record pace from the 2016 Olympics when she set the global standard of 8:04.79. Around the 350-meter mark, Ledecky started to fall off the pace, but she had developed enough of a lead that it did not matter. Ledecky's final time of 8:12 is one that she will certainly be disappointed with; however, she can rest a little easier knowing she just won her sixth consecutive international gold medal in this race. China's Bingjie Li obliterated her personal best of 8:20 to claim the silver medal in 8:15.46 -- making her the third-fastest performer of all time. Leah Smith of the United States also obliterated her personal best of 8:20 to take home the bronze medal in 8:17.22 -- making her the 10th-fastest performer of all time.

Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay -- FINAL
World Record: 3:19.60 -- United States, 2017
Championship Record: 3:19.60 -- United States, 2017
American Record: 3:19.60 -- United States, 2017

1.) United States -- 3:19.60 (WORLD RECORD)
2.) Netherlands -- 3:21.81
3.) Canada -- 3:23.55
4.) Japan -- 3:24.78
5.) Italy -- 3:24.89
6.) Hungary -- 3:25.02
7.) Russia -- 3:25.49
8.) Australia -- 3:25.51

Caeleb Dressel, Nathan Adrian, Mallory Comerford, and Simone Manuel all on the same relay? Come on, now... that's just not fair. In his third race of the night, Dressel blasted the United States out to the lead in 47.22 -- just 0.05 off his American record time of 47.17 set earlier in the meet. Adrian extended the lead even further thanks to a 47.49 split. By the time Comerford dove in, this one was all but done. Comerford did her job with a swift 52.71 split before handing it off to Manuel -- the gold medalist in the individual 100m and American-record holder -- who anchored in 52.18. Their time of 3:19.60 annihilated the world record by almost 3 1/2 seconds. The top seed Netherlands also dipped below the previous world record in 3:21.81 for silver thanks to incredible splits from Kyle Stolk (47.80), Femke Heemskerk (52.33), and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.56). Canada rounded out the podium in bronze with a 3:23.55.


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