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Costa, Sutton, Boyle: Podium 0.06sec Apart

Dec 14, 2012  - Craig Lord

Istanbul, World Short-Course Championships, day 3 finals: 

Women's 400m freestyle

Spain's Melanie Costa got the edge on American Chloe Sutton in a tight finish for the podium prizes, 4:01.18 to 4:01.20 ahead of 800m champion Lauren Boyle (NZL), on 4:01.24 for bronze. No Spanish woman had ever won gold over 400m.

Russia’s Elena Sokolova led the way early in the race, Boyle always close by and ready to take over at the half-way mark and maintaining control until the last 50m. On the way to the last turn, the pressure from Costa and Sutton, 4th in 2010, was tangible and then felt by Boyle as the challengers drove a hard bargain off the wall and clawed their way to the end wall. Sokolova will go to bed wondering whether she may ever cut her fingernails again: 4th in 4:01.49.

It was the slowest podium since 2006, the race going without some big names, including Camille Muffat (FRA), world record holder and Olympic champion.

History in the making:

World s/c Podiums

  • 2012: 4:01.18; 4:01.20; 4:01.24
  • 2010: 3:57.07; 3:58.39; 3:59.52
  • 2008: 3:59.23; 4:01.06; 4:01.11
  • 2006: 4:01.79; 4:03.29; 4:03.63

Most world titles in this event: 2 Claudia Poll (CRC), 1995-97 (in 2002 swimmer suspended after a positive test for nandrolone she claimed must have been in a food drink).