BARCELONA, SPAIN – Kosuke Hagino won a second silver medal at the FINA World Swimming Championships on Thursday, becoming the first Japanese to make the podium in the men’s 200-meter individual medley in major international competition, including the Olympic Games.
The 18-year-old Hagino, who snared Japan’s first medal of the championships on Sunday with silver in the men’s 400-meter freestyle, clocked a time of 1 minute, 56.29 seconds. American Ryan Lochte won the gold in 1:54.98, while Brazil’s Thiago Pereira came in 0.01 seconds behind Hagino for the bronze.
“I feel extremely happy to win the silver,” Hagino said. “I’m glad that I was able to finish with a strong freestyle lap and make the podium, but it’s a shame I couldn’t record a personal best.
“Next time I have a chance to challenge Lochte, I will fight even harder to come out on top.”
Compatriot Aya Terakawa won her second bronze medal of the championships with a third-place finish in the women’s 50-meter backstroke.
The 2012 London Olympic bronze winner finished in 27.53 seconds, just behind gold medalist Zhao Jing (27.29) and runner-up Fu Yuanhui (27.39), both of China.
“I was going all-out for the gold,” Terakawa said. “With the top three places separated by such a small margin, I feel that I put in a good effort.
“Toward the end, I burned through all my reserves. If I could have finished a bit stronger, the outcome may have been better.”
Terakawa, 28, claimed her first medal of the meet with a bronze in the women’s 100-meter backstroke on Tuesday.
Lochte, meanwhile, barely celebrated after his race, letting out a deep breath as he squinted to see his winning time.
“The first two days I wasn’t myself,” Lochte said. “I was too worried about the outcome of each race, about finishing first, about my times, and that’s not me. I am a swimmer who is really relaxed and goes out there to have fun.”
James Magnussen was much more animated after winning the men’s 100 free, swimming’s glamour event, a victory he was denied last summer in London. The Australian swimmer known as “The Missile” hopped on the lane rope, flexing his muscles for the crowd while the fans from Down Under shouted “Oi! Oi! Oi!”
“It was really emotional,” Magnussen said. “That last sort of 15 meters I really used the last 12 months of experiences that I’ve gone through, and I was really aggressive toward the wall at the end. I’m just stoked that I got there.”
Russia’s Vladimir Morozov, who does much of his training in Southern California, was the leader at the turn, just ahead of American Nathan Adrian, the Olympic champion.
Magnussen was nearly a second off the pace, but he powered through the water on the return lap to win in 47.71. Jimmy Feigen also relied on a strong finish to get the silver in 47.82, leaving Adrian to settle for the bronze at 47.84. Morozov faded to fifth.
At the Olympics, Magnussen was a big favorite in the 100 free, but Adrian edged him for the gold medal by a hundredth of a second — the smallest margin possible in swimming. The Missile didn’t even make the final of the 50 free, becoming one of the symbols of an underachieving Australian men’s team that failed to win a gold medal.
The Aussie men already have two in Barcelona: Magnussen and Christian Sprenger in the 100 breaststroke.
Magnussen was asked if beating Adrian was especially sweet after what happened in London.
“No,” he said. “You know, if Adrian wasn’t such a nice guy, it might be. You just can’t hate him because he’s so nice. I was just doing it for myself tonight.”
The Americans were happy with their showing, especially Feigen. While Magnussen celebrated, a smiling Adrian put his arm around his teammate, who took the bulk of the blame for the U.S. settling for silver in the 4×100 freestyle relay.