China's Fu falls short, Xu into final at FINA worlds

Fu fell short by a slim 0.01 second gap with a time of 27.15 seconds.

From left:  Silver medal winner Fu Yuanhui of China, gold medal winner Etiene Medeiros of Brazil and bronze medal winner Aliaksandra Hersimenia of Belarus pose on the podium during the awarding ceremony of the women's 50m backtstroke final at the 17th FINA World Championships 2017 in Budapest, Hungary, 27 July 2017.

China's Fu Yuanhui finished as runner-up in the women's 50m backstroke final, by one-hundredth of a second behind Brazil's Etiene Medeiros, while Chinese male backstroke icebreaker Xu Jiayu sat atop the 200m semifinals at the 17th FINA World Championships here on Thursday.

After a semifinal elimination in 100m backstroke, her main competitive event, Fu made a strong comeback in the 50m backstroke, while falling short by a slim 0.01 second gap with a time of 27.15 seconds. The third place went to Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus.

Fu could not hold back her tears at the award ceremony.

"I felt that the loss this time seemed quite different to me. I took my training systematically during the past six months, and had no distraction. I didn't expect such a bad result here," she said.

Another Chinese swimmer Wang Xueer ranked sixth in the event.

Xu won the first title for Chinese male backstroke swimmers at the World Championships with his triumph in 100m backstroke in Budapest, and says he gained much confidence from his history-making victory.

He clocked one minute and 54.79 seconds to lead all 16 semifinalists in the 200m event.

"I thought that I swam fast, so I didn't push myself too hard with a big margin ahead. After the 100m victory, I should prove myself with the best result in 200m," Xu said, also expressing his strong eagerness to get back the 0.01 second deficit for his teammate Fu.

"I hope to win that 0.01 second back for her," he added.

China built on their top finish in the women's 4x200m freestyle heats to claim second position in the final with a time of 7:44.96. The United States won the gold medal, while the bronze went to Australia.

Olympic bronze medalist Wang Shun placed third in the men's 200m individual medley with a time of 1:56.28, with the title going to Chase Kalisz of the United States at 1:55.56. Qin Haiyang ranked sixth at 1:57.06, beating the world junior record.

"I had lackluster performance in the 200m free. Since then, I had my own goals in 200m individual medley step by step, first targeting at the semifinals spot, then the final berth," Wang felt that he could not have endured any surprise in the final.

Forty minutes later, Qin appeared in the 200m breaststroke semifinals, while crashing out from the event with Mao Feilian. Anton Chupkov of Russia renewed the world junior record with a time of 2:07.14.

Spain's Mireia Belmonte won her first gold medal at the worlds in the women's 200m butterfly, with Zhang Yufei and Zhou Yilin ranking fifth and eighth respectively.

Caeleb Remel Dressel and Nathan Adrian, both of the United States, recorded a 1-2 finish in the men's 100m freestyle.

Also on Thursday, Shi Jinglin made it into the final in the women's 200m breaststroke final with her fourth position, while Zhu Menghui failed to move further in the women's 100m freestyle semifinals.

Special Reports