Katinka Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom break records; Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte make finals at World Championships

Shane Tusup
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Katinka Hosszu could only cover her mouth after swimming the fastest 200m individual medley of all time. Her husband and coach was a little more excited.

Shane Tusup was unmistakable in the stands, for his “Iron Lady” black T-shirt, turned-to-the-side red hat and left bicep tattoo.

And for his celebration, raising his arms, pulling off and shaking that cap, screaming, pointing index fingers, screaming again and beating his chest after the Hungarian Hosszu broke a world record by .03 in repeating as World champion, proving again that she’s the world’s best all-around swimmer.

“She’s been training for eight, 10 hours a day minimum,” Tusup said, according to The Associated Press. “She pretty much eats, sleeps and swims. She runs her swimming as a business. To see the hard work and everything finally pay off in one race at one time is just unbelievable for me.”

Hosszu, nicknamed the Iron Lady of swimming who felt depressed after failing to earn any medal at London 2012, clocked 2:06.12 on Monday to win gold by 2.33 seconds over Japan’s Kanako Watanabe. Great Britain’s Siobhan O’Connor earned bronze.

Hosszu, a three-time Olympian with zero Olympic medals, took down American Ariana Kukors‘ 2:06.15 world record from the fast suit era in 2009. Hosszu entered seven events at Worlds, though she dropped out of the 100m backstroke already.

“This was my biggest goal,” Hosszu said in this FINA interview of her first Olympic event world record. “Being the fastest ever, it’s crazy to even say it. … I say a dream come true, but I feel like I was too worried to dream it last night. I was even just saying, even if I just get a gold, it would be already amazing. Getting the gold and the record was worth it.”

Earlier Monday, Missy Franklin qualified fifth fastest into Tuesday’s 100m backstroke final. Franklin is the reigning Olympic and World champion in the event, but the favorite is Australian Emily Seebohm, who was .86 faster than Franklin in Monday’s semifinals.

Ryan Lochte was the fastest qualifier into Tuesday’s 200m freestyle final in 1:45.36 on his 31st birthday. Lochte, who dealt with knee problems since fall 2013, clocked his fastest time in the event since he finished fourth at the 2012 Olympics.

“That race felt 10 times better than this morning,” Lochte, who is using a new turn off walls and went 1:47.18 in the morning prelims, told Michele Tafoya on Universal Sports. “I’m glad I got back into my groove.”

Lochte will face China’s Sun Yang in the final. Sun is trying to become the first swimmer to sweep the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles at a single Worlds (as is Katie Ledecky). Sun has already earned 400m free gold at these Worlds.

The U.S. won zero medals across four finals Monday, its first medal-less day in the pool at a Worlds/Olympics since at least 2001.

Swimming World Championships: Men’s preview | Women’s preview | TV schedule | Monday results

Adam Peaty became the second British man (and first since 1975) to win a World Championship in an individual Olympic event, overcoming South African Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh in the 100m breaststroke by .07.

Peaty, 20 and the world-record holder, was .41 behind van der Burgh after the first 50 meters. Great Britain’s Ross Murdoch earned bronze. No Americans were in the final.

“Very painful, but I didn’t give up an inch,” Peaty told Tafoya on Universal Sports. “It counted in the back end.”

In the 50m butterfly, a non-Olympic event, France’s Florent Manaudou took gold by .12 over Brazil’s Nicholas Santos. Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh and Poland’s Konrad Czerniak tied for bronze.

Swede Sarah Sjostrom repeated as 100m butterfly World champion and broke the world record for a second straight day. Olympic champion Dana Vollmer, who isn’t competing at Worlds after having a baby earlier this year, previously held the world record.

“I showed myself and everyone else that I can swim this event,” Sjostrom said on Eurosport. “I didn’t feel faster today [than in the semifinals Sunday].”

Sjostrom defeated Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen by .41, followed by Chinese Olympic silver medalist Lu Ying for bronze.  No Americans were in the final.

In semifinals, U.S. Olympic champion Matt Grevers qualified fourth fastest into Tuesday’s 100m backstroke final. He’ll face medal favorites Japanese Ryosuke Irie, Australian Mitch Larkin and French Camille Lacourt. The 2013 World silver medalist David Plummer was ninth overall in the semis, missing the eight-man final.

The 2013 World bronze medalist Jessica Hardy failed to qualify for the 100m breaststroke final. Olympic and World champion and world-record holder Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania and World silver medalist Yulia Efimova of Russia headline Tuesday’s final.

Katie Ledecky breaks 1500m freestyle world record again

Men’s 100m breaststroke
Gold: Adam Peaty (GBR) — 58.52

Silver: Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) — 58.59
Bronze: Ross Murdoch (GBR) — 59.09
4. Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ) — 59.42
5. Jack Packard (AUS) — 59.44
6. Giedrius Titenis (LTU) — 59.56
7. Kirill Prigoda (RUS) — 59.84
8. Hendrik Feldwehr (GER) — 1:00.16

Women’s 100m butterfly
Gold: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) — 55.64
Silver: Jeanette Ottesen (DEN) — 57.05
Bronze: Lu Ying (CHN) — 57.48
4. Emma McKeon (AUS) — 57.67
5. Katerina Savard (CAN) — 57.69
6. Xinyi Chen (CHN) — 57.85
7. Alexandra Nathalie Wenk (GER) — 57.94
8. Noemie Thomas (CAN) — 58.22

Women’s 200m individual medley
Gold: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) — 2:06.12
Silver: Kanako Watanabe (JPN) — 2:08.45
Bronze: Siobhan O’Connor (GBR) — 2:08.77

4. Maya DiRado (USA) — 2.08.99
5. Hannah Miley (GBR) — 2:10.19
6. Sydney Pickrem (CAN) — 2:10.32
7. Melanie Margalis (USA) — 2:10.41
8. Ye Shiwen (CHN) — 2:14.01

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here with redactions.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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