The U.S. won five medals, including a tie for relay gold, on the first day of the six-day world short course swimming championships in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Short course worlds are in a 25-meter pool, a contrast from the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics. Many of the U.S.’ top swimmers are not competing at this meet.
The Americans tied for gold in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay with Canada. Tokyo Olympian Abbey Weitzeil anchored the quartet that also included Kate Douglass, Claire Curzan and Katharine Berkoff.
In individual finals, University of Texas sophomore Carson Foster took silver in the men’s 200m individual medley, two tenths behind Japanese star Daiya Seto. Foster finished third and fourth in the IMs at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where only the top two made the team for Tokyo.
While the Olympics were happening in July, Foster swam a long-course 400m IM in Austin in 4:08.46, which would have won the Olympic gold medal the following day.
Siobhán Haughey of Hong Kong won the women’s 200m freestyle in 1:50.31, breaking Swede Sarah Sjöström‘s world record by .12. In Tokyo, Haughey grabbed silver in the 100m and 200m frees to become Hong Kong’s first Olympic swimming medalist.
American Paige Madden took bronze on Thursday, five months after taking 4x200m free relay silver and placing seventh in the 400m free at the Olympics.
Rio Olympian Melanie Margalis earned bronze in the 400m individual medley, 1.08 seconds behind winner Tessa Cieplucha of Canada. American Emma Weyant, silver medalist in Tokyo, was fourth.
Austrian Felix Auböck won the men’s 400m freestyle in 3:35.90 for his first medal in any world championships. Auböck, who like Haughey swam collegiately at Michigan, was fifth in the 400m free at the Olympics. Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui, the surprise Tokyo gold medalist, was 10th in the heats on Thursday.
Italian Alberto Razzetti overtook American Trenton Julian in the last 50 meters to win the men’s 200m butterfly. Julian, who was fifth at Olympic Trials, ended up in fourth place.
Also notable, there were 14 disqualifications in men’s and women’s breaststroke events between preliminary heats and semifinals. DQs are most common in breaststroke for illegal dolphin kicks.
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