Day 4 finals began with a Russian relay win (men’s 4x50m free) and it ended the same, with another triumph from their 4x200m quartet. Between the two, Europeans enjoyed a great session with three more individual titles for the Old Continent at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Windsor.
Vladimir Morozov seemed to sacrifice his individual titles on the altar of the 4x50m free relay where he rocketed the Russians to the top of the podium with a 20.71 blast over the anchor leg which he had started in the fourth position. Just minutes later he was back in one of his favourite events, the 100m IM but after a series of wins in the World Cup (where he clinched the overall title as well) and a new WR set in Berlin in August, this time Morozov failed to reach the podium. He came 6th, Germany’s Philip Heintz was the best European in this contest with his 5th place.
The Russian had some rest before lining up at the start of the 50m free but here he was a bit unfortunate as he was out-touched by the Dutch rookie Jesse Puts who reached for the wall 0.04sec ahead of Morozov. The dash featured seven European sprinters, the bronze went to Simonas Bilis, a great piece of news for Lithuania.
Experienced French backstroker Jeremy Stravius hit the wall second behind Japan’s returning great Junya Koga, and ahead of Belorussian Pavel Sankovich.
Among the women, seasoned greats enjoyed some fine moments, too. Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen captured the 50m fly title, she was the only one going under 25sec. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu was a cut above the rest in the 100m IM, earning her 5th gold here in Windsor, tying the meet record of Brooke Hansen (USA, 2004) and Ryan Lochte (USA, 2010) for the most individual titles at one championships.
Soon Hosszu had a shot in the 400m free but wasn’t fresh enough to catch up with the top three which included Russia’s Veronika Popova who finished runner-up. It’s amazing that the Russians collected five silvers and four bronzes so far in individual events but no gold. In the relays they are outstanding, however, at the end of the day they added one more title to their tally (the 4th here in Windsor).
In the 4x200m free they copied the winning method from the sprinters, they were 4th before the last leg but Aleksandr Krastnykh (medallist in the 200m and 400m free) came up with a 1:40 anchor, the best individual effort in the entire race, good enough to push his team to the top, ahead of the Americans. Still, after four days the US leads the medal count with 7 golds, ahead of Hungary, or more precisely, Katinka Hosszu…