Recap: 2017 FINA Swimming World Championships

Every four years, the swimming performances at the Summer Olympic Games usually overshadows the following biennial FINA World Championships. However, the 2017 FINA World Championships hosted record-breaking swimming performances each day of the competition.

In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest.

Legendary Katie Ledecky performed strong with five gold medals and one silver, which fell short of tying with Missy Franklin’s record of six gold medals at a singleWorld Championships. This year, Ledecky had her first loss at a World Championships by placing silver in the 200-meter freestyle. The 20-year-old now holds 14 world titles, which is more than any other female swimmer and follows only Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte’s record number of titles.  

Italy’s Federica Pellegrini shocked many with her victory in the 200-meter freestyle that broke Ledecky’s undefeated streak. Pellegrini has won gold in the 200-meter freestyle at everyWorld Championships since 2005 – totaling in seven gold medals. This makes Pellegrini the first swimmer in history to win seven world medals in one event. Additionally, Pellegrini holds the current world record in the 200-meter freestyle from the 2009 World Championships, which is the longest-standing mark in women’s swimming.  

Simone Manuel, who became the first African-American to win a gold medal in an individual swimming event in the Rio Olympic Games, took gold in the 100-meter freestyle over the world-record holder Sarah Sjöström from Sweden. Manuel’s 100-meter freestyle victory in Budapest also set a new American record.

Following USA’s Lily King and Russian’s Yulia Efimova’s rivalry that started in the Rio Olympic Games, the 100-meter breaststroke was one of the most highly anticipated swimming events in Budapest. King came out on top in the 100-meter breaststroke and 50-meter breaststroke, while Efimova won the 200-meter breaststroke event.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, also known as the “Iron Lady,” was dominant last year in the Rio Olympic Games, but delivered gold-medal performances in the 200-meter individual medley and 400-meter individual medley. This year, the Hungarian-born swimmer became the first woman to win the 400-meter individual medley in Hungary.  

On the men’s side, standout performances came from Team USA’s Chase Kalisz and Caeleb Dressel.   

Beating his silver-medal performance in the Rio Olympic Games, Kalisz won gold in the 200-meter individual medley and the 400-meter individual medley, which broke Michael Phelps’ 2007 World Championships record. Kalisz is now the third-best performer in the 400-meter individual medley event’s history – following behind Phelps and Lochte.

Dressel made history as the first person to win three gold medals in one night of a major international competition with his gold-medal performances in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Additionally, Dressel won gold in the 100-meter freestyle, 4×100-meter medley relay, 4×100-meter mixed medley relay and 4×100-meter mixed freestyle relay – which tied him with Phelps’ record of seven gold medals at the World Championships.

Veteran Matt Grevers finished the 2017 World Championships with four medals, which included: silver in the 100-meter backstroke, gold in the 4×100-meter medley relay, gold in the 4×100-meter mixed medley relay and bronze in the 50-meter backstroke.

Team USA finished the 2017 FINA World Championships with 18 gold medals and 38 medals overall – the most all-time medals at a World Championships.
Click here to watch replays of all the events at the 2017 FINA World Championships.


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Claire McDaniel

Claire is a swimming and nutrition expert who loves to educate and motivate others to healthier living. She swam competitively for 18 years, is a five time All-American, a Division I National Champion, was co-captain of Team USA at the 2007 World University Games and was named a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. She also has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. After swimming, Claire started coaching and has coached all over the US and even in Switzerland! Her experience and expertise about both swimming and health fuel her passion for Clear Comfort’s mission – to make swimming a 100 percent healthy activity for swimmers, coaches, lifeguards and pool staff.