The 16th FINA World Championships were remarkable. For starters, history was made on several fronts.
It’s the first time the FINA aquatic competitions have been held in Russia, let alone in a soccer stadium. The mixed duets (male and female partners) in synchronized swimming and diving were major firsts. And the FINA World Masters Championships were held concurrently with the main Championships for, yes, the first time.
Then there were the records that were broken — in some instances, several times in the same day:
* Women’s 100 butterfly: Swedish swimmer Sarah Sjostrom broke the world record (55.74) in the final event; the next day, she did even better, finishing in 55.64.
* Solo free routine: Russian synchro swimmer Natalia Ishchenko set a Championships record (97.23 points).
* Women’s 1,500m freestyle: U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky broke a world record in the preliminary heat (15:27.71); the next day she set a new world record in the final (15:25.48).
* 200m medley: Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu set a new world mark (2:06.12).
* Men’s 50m breaststroke: In the preliminary heat, South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh set a new record time (26.62); Brit Adam Peaty broke it later that night in the semifinal with his world record time of 26.42. But neither won the world record title in the final.
* Mixed 4x100 medley: In the final, Team Great Britain won gold (3:41.71), breaking a world record that had belonged to the Russian team in the morning, and to the U.S. team in the afternoon.