The Associated PressGWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — Simone Manuel wasn’t swimming up to her standards, and she felt her relay anchor leg that resulted in a silver medal for the U.S. proved it.
Then she remembered it’s about bouncing back.
Manuel did just that Friday in the 100 freestyle, winning her second straight title at the world championships on a day when three world records fell — the men’s 100 butterfly and 200 breaststroke and the women’s 200 backstroke.
Relegated to Lane 1 with the slowest qualifying time, the American led all the way and touched first in 52.04 seconds, beating Cate Campbell of Australia by 0.39 seconds.
“Not everybody has a perfect swim every time so I just needed to regroup and put on a good face,” the 22-year-old Texan said. “I’m a veteran on the team, so I have to be able to show a little bit of poise in these hard moments.”
Manuel was unable to hold off Campbell on the anchor leg of the 4x100 free relay earlier in the meet, with Australia claiming gold and the U.S. silver.
“I did take that relay really hard because I didn’t feel like I did as best as I possibly could,” Manuel said.
She made up for it in the 100 free.
Manuel was the only woman under 25 seconds on the opening lap.
She knocked 1.27 seconds off her time from the morning semifinals that landed her in the far outside lane.
Manuel became the second woman to win multiple titles in the 100 free, joining Kornelia Ender of the former East Germany, who won in 1973 and ’75.
Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, the world-record holder, took bronze.
In 2016, Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual swimming gold at the Olympics when she tied Canada’s Penny Oleksiak for gold in Rio de Janeiro.
Mack Horton rallied Australia to victory in the men’s 4x200 freestyle relay, putting them in front with a lap to go. Clyde Lewis, Kyle Chalmers, Alexander Graham and Horton won in 7:00.85.
Russia took silver in 7:01.81. The U.S. team of Andrew Seliskar, Blake Pieroni, Zach Apple and Townley Haas earned bronze in 7:01.98.
Sun Yang swam China’s anchor leg against Horton, but he wasn’t able to move up and his team finished sixth in his final event.
Sun swept the 200 and 400 freestyles, winning the 200 via disqualification and beating Horton in the 400.