Ryan Cochrane makes swim worlds final, teen Ledecky crushes world record
Missy Franklin wins 2nd gold medal so far in Barcelona
Two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane advanced to the 800 metre freestyle final at the FINA world championships in Barcelona on Tuesday.
The Victoria native finished with the third fastest qualifying time, touching in seven minutes, 49.58 seconds. Conor Jaeger of the United States posted the fastest time, followed by Sun Yang of China.
The 24-year-old Canadian will try and land on the podium for the first time in Barcelona, after settling for fourth in Sunday's 400 final.
Cochrane has twice previously won bronze at the world championships at the 800 distance, which does not appear on the Olympic programme. The final will take place Wednesday evening in Spain.
Cochrane took silver with a personal best in the 1,500 at last year's London Olympics, denied the victory by a jaw-dropping swim from Yang, who took more than three seconds off the previous world record. Cochrane also has an Olympic bronze, from the Beijing Games in the 1,500.
Barbara Jardin-Rojas of Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Que., was unable to reach the women's 200 freestyle final after claiming the last qualifying spot in the semifinals, with Samantha Cheverton of Pointe-Claire, Que., not advancing in the same event after her heat.
Zach Chetrat of Oakville, Ont., was eliminated in the 200 butterfly, with Edmonton's Richard Funk failing to advance in the 50 breaststroke.
Highlight of the evening
The highlight of the evening session was 16-year-old Katie Ledecky of the United States, who took six seconds off the previous world record in the women's 1,500 metre freestyle.
Ledecky and defending world champion Lotte Friis went at it stroke for stroke much of the race, the Danish swimmer slightly ahead.
But Ledecky edged out front at the 1,300 mark and began to pull away, looking as strong at the end as she did at the beginning. Her time of 15:36.53 seconds beat the previous mark by more than 6 seconds — Kate Ziegler's 15:42.54 in 2007. Friis also went under the old record, 15:38.88, but it was only good enough for silver.
Lauren Boyle did not beat Ziegler's mark, but the New Zealand swimmer was undoubtedly happy to claim bronze.
"I knew we were going pretty fast and I figured that whoever was going to come out on top was probably going to get the world record," said Ledecky. " So I just had to be careful not to push it too early or push it too late and just touch the wall first."
Lithuanian teenager Rutha Meilutyte, who set a world record in the 100 breaststroke in Monday's semifinals, won the final in a time of 1:04.42. Russia's Efmova was second, with Jessica Hardy of the U.S. capturing bronze.
Meiluyte, who won gold in the same event at the London Games, swam 1:04.30 in the semis to break Hardy's world record set in 2009.
American Missy Frankin, whose parents are from Nova Scotia, qualified for the 200 freestyle final in the morning and then went on to win the 100 backstroke final in a time of 58.42 seconds. Australia's Emily Seebohm won silver, with Aya Terakawa of Japan claiming bronze.
Franklin won her second gold, adding to a win with the U.S. in the 4x100 free relay.
Yannick Agnel of France blew away the field — Ryan Lochte included — in the 200 freestyle final.
The big Frenchman pushed the pace right from the start and only seemed to get stronger as everyone else laboured to keep up. He touched in 1 minute, 44.20 seconds, a full body length ahead, setting off another wild celebration from the large French contingent in the crowd.
The Americans did pick up a medal, but not necessarily from the swimmer they expected. Conor Dwyer, a friend and former training partner of Phelps, took the silver in 1:45.32. Danila Izotov of Russia claimed bronze in 1:45.59.
Lochte laboured to the finish in fourth place, 0.05 off to the podium.
"It wasn't my night," Lochte said. "But I have to put it behind me because I still have many races to swim."
In the men's 100 backstroke, Matt Grevers was the winner in 52.93 seconds for a 1-2 American finish. David Plummer finished second, while France's Jeremy Stravius was third.
Ye Shiwen, who won Olympic gold last year in the 200 and 400 individual medley, finished fourth in Tuesday night's 200 final. Katinka Hosszu of Hungary won the race, her second career world championship victory, with Alicia Coutts of Australia and Miramonte of Spain second and third, respectively.
American Cesilie Carlton wins high diving gold
Cesilie Carlton plunged the equivalent of seven stories into the murky waters of Barcelona's harbour.
When the American resurfaced she had won the inaugural gold medal in the extreme sport of high diving at the swimming world championships.
Not bad for someone who is afraid of heights — and flying.
Carlton and teammate Ginger Huber finished 1-2 in the 20-meter platform competition Tuesday in an event that swimming governing body FINA hopes will push aquatics into the X-Games age.
Previously, the highest anyone jumped from in a FINA competition was the 10-metre platform in pool diving.
This event literally brings the sport to new heights.
"I'm afraid of heights," Carlton said. "That's why I go very quickly. I don't look down for a long time. But I know that I have control of what I'm doing.
"The toughest part is looking over," she added.
With files from CBCSports.ca