Former Bulldogs Chase Kalisz and Olivia Smoliga grabbed gold on the final day of competition on the 17th FINA World Championships Sunday at Danube Arena. C. Kalisz earned his second individual medley title and O. Smoliga was part of a world record breaking 4×100 medley relay team.
After claiming the men’s 200-meter individual medley title on Thursday, Kalisz coasted to victory in the 400-meter individual medley on Sunday. The American became the first swimmer at Worlds to sweep the event since 2011, which also was the last time the United States won the 400-meter individual medley.
Kalisz pulled away on the breaststroke leg and cruised to the finish in 4:05.90, nearly 2½ seconds ahead of the silver medalist, Hungary’s David Verraszto (4:08.38). Japan’s Daiya Seto grabbed the bronze with a time of 4:09.14.
Kalisz broke the meet record of 4:06.22 that training partner Michael Phelps set in 2007. Only Phelps (4:03.84), Ryan Lochte (4:05.18) and now Kalisz have ever been under 4:06 in the event.
“It’s a huge step for me,” Kalisz said. “This is what I came here for. I am really excited about this.”
Jay Litherland of the United States placed fifth as he reached the wall in 4:12.05.
Smoliga led off for the Americans during the prelims of the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay, touching the wall in 59.52 in her 100-meter backstroke split. She earned her gold as the Americans posted a world record time of 3:51.55 in the finals. Russia was second in 3:53.38 and Australia took third in 3:54.29.
Chantal Van Landeghem recorded a 100-meter freestyle anchor leg of 53.08 as Canada came in fourth in 3:54.86.
Kalisz, Smoliga and Van Landeghem capped their Georgia careers in March, while Litherland is a rising senior for the Bulldogs.