In all the Championships a day is dedicated to, fundamentally, speed. In Fukuoka it has corresponded to the seventh and penultimate. It is true that the women’s 800 were scheduled, in which the intractable Katie Ledeckywho has not lost since London 2012, prevailed with 8:08.87 at Bingjie Li (8:13.31) y Ariarne Titmus (8:13.59). The Chinese, however, made an Asian record; and the Australian, from Oceania.
But between semifinals and finals of different styles, there were five tests of 50 meters, one of 100 and another of 200, in addition to the 4×100 mixed relay. And there was an explosion. A feast. Let’s go in parts.
The much-missed Juan Manuel Gozalo liked all sports. Also, of course, swimming. But not the 50 meter freestyle. He argued, with his characteristic vehemence, that his stars didn’t really swim. “But if they measure two metersthey jump into the water and when they come to the surface to start swimming, they have arrived!”
Well not so much. But almost. Some of the world record holders reached or touched two meters: Peter Williams, Matt Biondi, Alexander Popov, Alain BernardOwn Cesar Sky, which has held the record since 2009… And, of course, measuring at least 1.90 is almost mandatory. But there are exceptions. The heights of the finalists in Fukuoka ranged from the 2.02 of the Greek Kristian Gkolomeev and the 2.01 of the American Jack Alexy up to 1.82 of the Australian Cameron McEvoy and the 1.80 of his compatriot Isaac Cooper.
And one of the “short” won: McEvoy. His 21.06 made him the fourth man of all time. His victory was not a surprise. But the advantage of him, enormous, in such a short test, over Alexy (21.57) and the British Benjamin Proud (21.58), who also “only” measures 1.85. When, behind the scenes, the medalists were still studying the complete design of the rewards, he appeared on the benches, in the same distance and the same style, but still in the semifinals, Sarah Sjostromthe great lady of Sweden, an athlete who competes in her country with the greatest local legends.