Kawecki Clips Lochte by 0.02sec
Dec 16, 2012 - Craig Lord
Istanbul, World Short-Course Championships, Day 5 finals:
Men's 200m backstroke
Radoslaw Kawecki (POL) upset the former Olympic champion Ryan Lochte (USA) with a 1:48.48 to 1:48.50, the bronze going to the second American to make the podium, Ryan Murphy on 1:48.86.
Lochte had the edge for the first 150m of the race, Kawecki, sixth in the final in 2010 on 1:50.90 when Lochte won the crown in 1:46.68, constantly in third place at every passing split, with Murphy sticking close to his teammate in second.
Perhaps as it was (on a different scale) at London 2012, the next race played on Lochte's mind a touch and the events of the week started to tell as Kawecki tightened the screw with a 27.24 last 50m split that the championship record holder could not match: a 27.61 left Lochte 0.02sec shy of what would have been a sixth gold medal.
"I think both of us had pretty much the same tactic," said Kawecki. "We both wanted to wait until the final 50-75m and start pushing really hard. I am happy I came out on top and proved that I was better prepared than Lochte. It will give me a positive boost. It is always great to be better than a world record holder."
Lochte left the water to get ready for the 100m medley final - which he won for that sixth gold, then left the water for the 200m back medals ceremony and was off to get ready for the closing 4x100m medley relay. He looked tired - no wonder.
The splits compared:
Dubai 2010 compared:
History in the making:
World s/c Podiums
Most world titles in this event: 3 Aaron Peirsol (USA) 2004-08
All-time textile rankings top 5: