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OTHERS > Stars hit pool at meet in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Stars start to take the center stage as the World Short Course Swimming Championships get under way. Turkish relay team advances to the final in a big achievement for the hosts

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Turkish swimmer Buse Günaydın competes at the women’s 50m backstroke heats at the Sinan 
Erdem Dome in Istanbul. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah Gürel

Turkish swimmer Buse Günaydın competes at the women’s 50m backstroke heats at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah Gürel

The World Short Course Swimming Championships started in Istanbul yesterday, with international stars and Turkish hopefuls taking to the pool.

American superstar Ryan Lochte, arguably the biggest name on the bill, comfortably made his way to the 100m men’s butterfly semifinals at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul. The semifinals were scheduled for the evening session yesterday and the final will be held tonight.

Host Turkey’s first achievement came in the men’s 4x100m relay yesterday, with the national team advancing to the final. That final was also held in the evening session yesterday after the Hürriyet Daily News went to print.

Among individual swimmers, Turkey’s İskender Başlakov, a swimmer of Belarus-Turkish descent, and Dilara Buse Günaydın made the best starts. Başlakov advanced to the semifinals in the men’s 100m backstroke while Günaydın was named the first in the substitute list for the women’s 50m backstroke semifinals.

Four months after the London Olympics, the World Short Course Swimming Championships have brought together some of the top names in the sport.

The competition features eight Olympic champions, among them Lochte, the four-time Olympic champion and individual medley specialist, who is taking part in his third competitive event since leaving the British capital.

His U.S. compatriot Allison Schmitt will also be present. In London, the 22-year-old won five medals, three of them gold, and will be on the starting blocks for her favored event, the 200m freestyle.

Olympic 100m backstroke gold medalist Matt Grevers is out for his first world title despite the event in Turkey being his first outing in short-course racing for six years.

China, second on the overall medal table behind the United States, is looking to 16-year-old Ye Shiwen to carry its hopes after she won the 200m and 400m individual medley, setting a new world record in the longer event.

France is represented by a smaller team of just nine swimmers only three weeks after its national championships. Heading the list is Florent Manaudou, who surprisingly took the 50m freestyle crown in London.

Australia is looking to bounce back after a disappointing Olympics that left them without an individual gold medalist for the first time since 1976 and look to be building for the future by sending a young team. Germany is led by star couple Britta Steffen and Paul Biedermann, while Federica Pellegrini and Filippo Magnini head the Italian team.

TODAY’S PROGRAM

Morning session
Women’s 100m Freestyle heats
Men’s 400m Individual Medley heats
Women’s 50m Butterfly heats
Men’s 50m Freestyle heats
Women’s 100m Individual Medley heats
Men’s 4x200m relay heats
Women’s 800m Freestyle heats

Evening session
Women’s 100m Freestyle semifinals
Men’s 400m Individual Medley final
Women’s 50m Breaststroke final
Men’s 100m Backstroke final
Women’s 50m Butterfly semifinals
Men’s 50m Freestyle semifinals
Women’s 100m Backstroke final
Men’s 100m Breaststroke final
Women’s 100m Individual Medley semifinals
Men’s 100m Butterfly final
Men’s 4x200 relay final

December/13/2012

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