Istanbul, World Short-Course Championships, Day 4 finals:
Women's 200m medley
Relying on the fast freestyle finish that has drawn so much attention to her this year, Olympic champion Ye Shiwen (CHN) overhauled Katinka Hosszu (HUN) for gold in 2:04.64, just 0.04sec away from the world record and equal second best ever.
The winning time established a new world textile best inside the 2:04.91 established by American Caitlin Leverenz in 2011. World Cup queen Hosszu took silver in 2:04.72, the bronze going to 400m winner over Ye, Hannah Miley (GBR) in 2:07.12. Among several leading medley specialists who chose to bypass Istanbul, Leverenz has been singled out as having produced the strongest breaststroke leg at London 2012 in the 400m final, though her effort cam as no surprise given that she is a world-class 200m breaststroke ace with a significant advantage on the rest of the medley field when it comes to that one stroke.
Though Ye relied on the freestyle finish to win today, her homecoming speed fell well shy of the magnitude of a 28.83 finish for gold in the long-course pool over 400m at London 2012 in a final that had Ye swimming faster than five of the men in the equivalent final over the last 100m of the race, while the average among other world-class women was 3sec away.
The Olympic 400, final marked the first time in history that a woman has raced as fast as a man at any point in a race on the way to the Olympic podium. Ye's splits in London were faster than any 50m split over the closing 100m of both the 200m and 400m freestyle finals for women The Chinese 16-year-old did not race freestyle, her best times well away from where she would need to be to get in among the medals and shy of making the cut for her national team.
Shortly after the 200m final, the lights went out in the venue and a a delay ensued. Perhaps someone pulled a plug. The announcer suggested that there is an electrical fire somewhere. Hopefully not.
Dubai 2010 compared:
History in the making
World s/c Podiums
Most world titles in this event: 2 - Yana Klochkova (UKR) 2000-02
All-time textile rankings top 5: