While the Olympics are the ultimate goal for every athlete that thrives at swimming, diving and everything else in the pool, the 2013 FINA World Championship from Barcelona is one of the most prestigious events in the sport.
How many medals will the United States win?
Not only is there an eclectic mix of short- and long-distance races for both men and women—standard-style swim meet and an expansive open-water competition—but the event also features synchronized swimming, water polo, diving and high diving.
With the frenzy of the 2012 Olympics from London still fresh in the minds of most swimmers and fans of the sport, the excitement surrounding this event is through the roof.
All information and event results via official FINA Championships website.
Spyridon Gianniotis, Greece, Open Water (10-Kilometers)
After missing out on a medal at the 2012 London Olympics, Greek open-water star Spyridon Gianniotis found redemption in Barcelona after swimming an impressive time of 1:49:11.8 and winning the gold medal in the 10-kilometer race.
Gianniotis had to earn this victory, as eventual second-place finisher Thomas Lurz of Germany (1:49:14.5) pushed the champion to his limit. The Greek star also beat out Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, who led most of the race and finished third with a time of 1:49:19.2.
The difference for Gianniotis was his decision to not race the five-kilometer race the day before. With full energy and complete rest, the Greek star made the right choice to focus on the 10-kilometer event and now has a gold medal to show for it.
Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao, China, 3-Meter Synchronized Diving
The Chinese domination of the diving meets at worldwide competitions continues at the Barcelona Championships as Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao won a gold medal in the three-meter synchronized diving portion of the event.
As one of the first competitions of this year's championship, the pressure on Minxia and Tingmao to start China’s defending efforts off on the right foot was through the roof, but the duo shined and brought home the gold with a score of 334.20.
The five-round score was an impressive 31.8 points better than second-place finishers Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape of Italy and proved that the Chinese diving team was ready to assert its dominance once again.
Full Medal Standings (via FINA.org)
*Updated as of June 23 at 9:30 a.m. ET