The World Aquatics Championships ended in Kukuoka with China leading the medal table for all aquatic disciplines, with a total of 20 gold medals, and Australia, who added 15 in a tournament defined three days before the end.
The United States, the world’s greatest power, eventual champion and great favorite at Budapest 2022, was third with seven gold medals in one of its worst performances in history, perhaps surprising to those who follow swimming. are not in the world.
Leading up to the final day, USA Swimming’s powerful marketing machine, along with various publications, tried to simulate a higher level or performance that had never happened throughout the tournament, as well as casting doubt on some Chinese swimmers.
The fall of the Americans was even more painful, as they also lost the world hegemony in pool swimming to Australia.
After the Qualifying Nationals a month earlier, the column warned about the difficulties and controversies surrounding Fukuoka’s team formation. Some are inevitable, such as the current lows of its star, Caleb Dressel, who was kicked off the team, far from his best numbers. But it also added “friendly fire” with the unimaginable and inexplicable technical/political decision to exclude standout sprinter Michael Andrew, who, if he had participated and because of his qualifying record, could have secured two or three medals.
The team was then not only technically at a disadvantage, but lacked leadership, which was very evident in the relay, where it was unusually beaten in most tests by Australia, and even China and England. had never before been defeated in history by either.
It wasn’t enough to balance the balance, however, with the presence of exceptional long-distance runner Kathy Ledecky, who teamed up with Australian Mollie O’Callahan, Lithuanian Ruta Meilutite, Swedish sprinter Sarah Sjöström and young Canadian Summer McIntosh. Winner of the 400 medley, he was the best swimmer of the World Cup.
Among the men, Frenchman Léon Marchand led the way, becoming the most accomplished swimmer in the world with his world record for the 400 medley. Chinese Haiyang Qin, with new world records in the 50 and 200 breaststroke, and Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui are the new kings of the long-distance events.
France and to a lesser extent Italy and Hungary had a good tournament, although with ups and downs, that if they did not exist would have sent the Americans to fifth or sixth place in the final table.
There has also been a strong resurgence in Britain, which has many promising youngsters. In other aquatic disciplines, China dominated diving and Germany outright dominated open water.
In artistic swimming, the absence of Russia, the dominant country for more than 20 years, and the change of judges’ scores, to which a kind of aquatic VAR was added, showed a good level of Spain and a festival of surprises in the final. The score, which is expected to stabilize in Paris next year.
Argentina competed in all disciplines except jumps, and had the best performance with a South American record of 12th place in the 100 breaststroke by Macarena Ceballos and 16th place in the 50 backstroke by Andrea Barino. The rest of the delegation failed to clear the qualifiers or qualifying group cut.
Another World Cup of Games in which the United States has been the undisputed historical leader, dominating today it has also lost to China and Australia, meaning that there is a very serious caveat to its prospects in the medal tally of all Games. Games Olympics in Paris 2024. If it wants to outdo the Chinese in a duel of sporting superpowers with vastly different talent recruitment and development systems, it will undoubtedly need to win back the medals lost today in swimming, and which generally tend to move forward. Let’s keep Just for game result.