There were truly bizarre scenes at the Budapest World Swimming Championships, as the gold medal in the men’s 50m backstroke was awarded twice and the US national anthem was also played twice.
In the opening race of the evening Justin Ress was disqualified after a video review for finishing completely underwater when he hit the wall first.
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His training buddy Hunter Armstrong took gold and won in 24.14 seconds. Ksawery Masiuk, a 17-year-old from Poland, initially took silver, 0.35 seconds back, with Italian Thomas Ceccon, who set a world record in the 100m backstroke on Monday by borrowing the bronze.
Armstrong wiped away a tear as he stepped off the podium after receiving the gold at the evening’s first medal ceremony.
“I am very disappointed that my teammate was disqualified and hopefully Team USA’s protest will succeed,” he said.
He got his wish when a jury upheld the appeal. Ress came out only to stand on the top step of the podium and receive his gold medal at the championships final medal ceremony.
“I felt every human emotion there is in the space of 30 minutes, so that’s nice,” Ress tweeted Sunday morning.
Sarah Sjostrom, who has been winning world titles for 13 years, and Summer McIntosh, who has been winning them for four days, both took their second gold medal of the week in Budapest.
Sjostrom, a 28-year-old Swede who won the 50-meter butterfly less than 24 hours earlier, added the 50-meter freestyle, her 10th world gold.
McIntosh, a Canadian 15-year-old, stopped 16-year-old American Katie Grimes to win the women’s 400m individual medley title.
McIntosh, who won gold in the 200-meter butterfly on Wednesday, took her fourth medal in Budapest in four minutes and 32.04 seconds.
Grimes was 0.63 seconds back, while another American, Emma Weyant, was a distant third ahead of Hungary 33-year-old Katinka Hosszu, the defending champion.
“I tried to push my body as much as possible,” McIntosh said. “The crowd gave me so much adrenaline.
“I really felt my body in the backstroke.
“Katie is a top competitor, I enjoy racing her because we are in the same age group.” Sjostrom finished her sprint in 23.98 seconds, 0.20 seconds ahead of Pole Katarzyna Wasick, with Australia’s Meg Harris and American Erika Brown tied for bronze.
The Swede took her first European title at age 14 and her first world title a year later in 2009. This was her 20th World Cup medal.
“Maybe my way of thinking and also a lot of hard work, but I also love what I do,” she said of her longevity.
Sjostrom narrowly missed another medal when she took Sweden to fourth in the women’s 100-meter medley that closed the championships.
“It’s been a busy four days for me,” she said.
“I feel like it’s a business for me too. I’ll just go in and do my job I guess.”
The United States won, anchored by 17-year-old Claire Curzan. Australia came in second and Canada, with Penny Olesiak holding off Sjostrom, third.
Ceccon had preemptively retaliated by swimming the leg in the breaststroke when Italy defeated the Americans, the reigning champions and world record holders in the 100-meter individual medley final. Great Britain came in third.
That was a fifth gold for Italy after Gregorio Paltrinieri previously swam the second fastest time in history in the men’s 1500m freestyle to take his third world title in the distance.
The 27-year-old Italian shot away at the start and set a furious pace. He ran at world record pace for much of the race before fading at the end to finish in 14 minutes 32.80 seconds and miss Sun Yang’s mark by 1.78 seconds.
American Bobby Finke was second, 3.90 sec back, with Florian Wellbrock third at 4.14.
Paltrinieri said he was motivated by finishing fourth in the 800m.
“I came out thinking I wanted to destroy the pool,” he said after becoming the oldest 1500m world champion ever.
“In a few months I’ll be 28. But I’m still learning.”
Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte won her first world gold since 2013 when she led Italy’s 17-year-old Benedetta Pilato by 0.10 seconds in the women’s 50m breaststroke final. South African Lara van Niekerk came in third.
Meilutyte hadn’t won a major championship medal in any color since 2015. “It’s nice to be a world champion,” she said.
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