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U.S. Swimmers Add Eight More Medals To Set All-Time Record At The World Championships

by Chrös McDougall

Torri Huske prepares to compete in the women's 500meter butterfly final at the 2022 FINA World Championships on June 24, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.

 

After eight long days, the swimming portion of the FINA World Championships concluded Saturday with the women’s 4x100 medley. 
Lilly King had her eye on the prize.
“The faster we finish, the faster we get pizza,” the two-time Olympic champ said. 
She did her part. King, swimming the breaststroke leg, joined Regan Smith, Torri Huske and Claire Curzan to win the event in 3 minutes, 53.78 seconds, holding off the team from Australia by nearly half a second. 
The win marked Team USA’s 17th this week, while American swimmers won a record 45 total medals over eight days of racing in Budapest, Hungary. That eclipsed the previous record of 38 medals the U.S. won at the 2017 world championships. The next best country this week, Australia, won 17 total medals and six golds. 
Eight of the American medals came on Saturday. 
One of the most dramatic finishes came in the men’s 50-meter backstroke, although much of the drama took place outside of the pool. In the race, American Justin Ress touched the wall first at 24.12 seconds to claim his first individual world title. However, a review determined that he was fully submerged on the finish and he was disqualified, thus bumping fellow American Hunter Armstrong into the top spot with a time of 24.14. 
The win was bittersweet for Armstrong. 
“I would have rather taken second and had him with me than having me get the title with the DQ,” said Armstrong, the world record holder in the event. “That’s not how I wanted it.” 
He ended up getting his wish. 
Following the medal ceremony, the disqualification was overturned and Ress indeed regained his world title. Still, the Olympian Armstrong heads home with five medals, including two relay golds. 
Bobby Finke swept the men’s 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle races at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, and then he won the 800 again earlier this week. Even an American record effort wasn’t enough to complete another distance sweep this week, though. Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy, the 2016 Olympic champ, won in a European record time of 14:32.80, with Finke in second at 14:36.70. 
The women’s 400-meter individual medley featured a showdown between two of the sport’s youngest stars. Fifteen-year-old Summer McIntosh of Canada built a solid lead over the first three stokes only for Team USA’s 16-year-old Katie Grimes to reel her back in with a blazing fast freestyle on the final lap. 
It wasn’t quite enough. McIntosh won with a new world junior record of 4:32.04, followed by Grimes at 4:32.67. Fellow American Emma Weyant, the defending Olympic silver medalist, took third in 4:36.00.
Grimes, who was the youngest member of the 2020 U.S. Olympic swim team, leaves with two silver medals. 

Silver medalists, Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew, Nic Fink and Ryan Held of Team United States pose with their medals during the medal ceremony for the Men's 4x100m Medley Relay Final at the Budapest 2022 FINA World Championships on June 25, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. 

 

Ryan Murphy, Nic Fink, Michael Andrew, Ryan Held swam to a time of 3:27.79 in the men’s 4x100 medley, but it was not enough to catch Italy, which won with a European record time of 3:27.51. 
Rounding out the medals Saturday, Olympian Erika Brown tied for third place in the women’s 50 free. She and Australia’s Meg Harris both touched the wall in 24.38 seconds, behind Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström (23.98) and Poland’s Kasia Wasick (24.18). 
Brown, a two-time medalist in Tokyo, added five more medals in Tokyo, including two relay gold medals. 
Huske finished fifth in the 50 free, but with her relay gold later that night she ends the world championships with six medals, three of them gold. The 19-year-old made her Olympic debut in Tokyo, winning a relay silver medal. 
Although the swim racing in the pool has wrapped up, the FINA World Championships continue with diving and open water swimming, both of which begin Sunday. Meanwhile, the water polo tournaments are ongoing. The event wraps up Sunday, July 3. 


Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic Movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.  
 
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