Torri Huske prepares to compete in the women's 500meter butterfly final at the 2022 FINA World Championships on June 24, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.
After eight long days, the swimming portion of the FINA World Championships concluded Saturday with the women’s 4x100 medley.
Lilly King had her eye on the prize.
“The faster we finish, the faster we get pizza,” the two-time Olympic champ said.
She did her part. King, swimming the breaststroke leg, joined Regan Smith, Torri Huske and Claire Curzan to win the event in 3 minutes, 53.78 seconds, holding off the team from Australia by nearly half a second.
The win marked Team USA’s 17th this week, while American swimmers won a record 45 total medals over eight days of racing in Budapest, Hungary. That eclipsed the previous record of 38 medals the U.S. won at the 2017 world championships. The next best country this week, Australia, won 17 total medals and six golds.
Eight of the American medals came on Saturday.
One of the most dramatic finishes came in the men’s 50-meter backstroke, although much of the drama took place outside of the pool. In the race, American Justin Ress touched the wall first at 24.12 seconds to claim his first individual world title. However, a review determined that he was fully submerged on the finish and he was disqualified, thus bumping fellow American Hunter Armstrong into the top spot with a time of 24.14.
The win was bittersweet for Armstrong.
“I would have rather taken second and had him with me than having me get the title with the DQ,” said Armstrong, the world record holder in the event. “That’s not how I wanted it.”
He ended up getting his wish.
Following the medal ceremony, the disqualification was overturned and Ress indeed regained his world title. Still, the Olympian Armstrong heads home with five medals, including two relay golds.
Bobby Finke swept the men’s 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle races at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, and then he won the 800 again earlier this week. Even an American record effort wasn’t enough to complete another distance sweep this week, though. Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy, the 2016 Olympic champ, won in a European record time of 14:32.80, with Finke in second at 14:36.70.
The women’s 400-meter individual medley featured a showdown between two of the sport’s youngest stars. Fifteen-year-old Summer McIntosh of Canada built a solid lead over the first three stokes only for Team USA’s 16-year-old Katie Grimes to reel her back in with a blazing fast freestyle on the final lap.
It wasn’t quite enough. McIntosh won with a new world junior record of 4:32.04, followed by Grimes at 4:32.67. Fellow American Emma Weyant, the defending Olympic silver medalist, took third in 4:36.00.
Grimes, who was the youngest member of the 2020 U.S. Olympic swim team, leaves with two silver medals.