Istanbul, World Short-Course Championships, day 3 finals:
Men's 50m freestyle
Sporting the swiftest 100m free in textile of all-time, from the relay on day 1, Russian Vladimir Morozov sank two Olympic dash champions with a 20.55sec blast that left him just 0.04sec shy of another Olympic champion's best beyond the bodysuits.
If Cesar Cielo (BRA), 2008 Olympic champion, won the Dubai 2010 little-pool crown in 20.51, Morozov was the man of the moment from turn to finish ahead of 2012 Olympic champion Florent Manaudou (FRA), on 20.88, and 2000 joint champion Anthony Ervin, on 20.99. Manaudou looked set to add world s/c crown to the biggest dash prize of all as he set a boiling pace down the first lap but the Russian rocketed off the wall and with 15m to go there was no doubting that Vlad was destined to be the impaler of Olympic kings.
Asked if he felt a keen rivalry with Manaudou, Morozov said: “I don’t really think about who is against me when I race. Today before the race we shook hands and wished good luck to each other. There is no tension between the two of us luckily.”
He became the first Russian to win the short-course dash - Alex Popov never having paid that much homage to 25m pools (though he did break world s/c records along the way), while Ervin, at 31 years 202 days, became the second-oldest medallist in the dash after Britain's Mark Foster.
Dubai 2010 compared:
History in the making:
World s/c Podiums
Most world titles in this event: 4 - Mark Foster (GBR), 1993, 1999, 2000, 2004
All-time textile rankings top 5: