Zirk finishes fifth at World Swimming Championships in Melbourne
Estonia's Kregor Zirk finished fifth in final of the men's 200m butterfly at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Melbourne, Australia.
Zirk improved on his own Estonian national record for the event by 17 hundredths of a second, posting a time of 1 minute 50.51 seconds, which was enough to secure fifth place.
"To swim a personal best in a title race is always a good sign that your preparation has been effective," said Zirk afterwards. "To be honest, I made more mistakes in the final than I did in the prelims, several of my turns were quite long," he said.
First place went to Chad le Clos of South Africa, who was crowned world champion after setting a new African record of 1 minute 48.27 seconds. Japan's Daiya Seto won silver (+0.95) and Noe Ponti of Switzerland took bronze (+1.15).
Zirk, who was just 1.09 seconds away from the medal positions, said he had given it his best shotm but there was still room for improvement.
"I gave it my all in today's final, I didn't miss a beat and the result was the best swim of my life. I'm especially happy for my former training partner Chad le Clos, who deserved his win today," Zirk said.
"Of course, I went for a medal in the final, but even if a couple of turns would had been cleaner, the top three today was in a class of its own," he added. "I'm happy with my own record, I swam the best race of my life, but I can't control the other guys' performances."
Zirk will be back in action on December 18, the final day of the competition, as he takes part in the 200m freestyle. I have a couple of days to recover now and I'm in a good mood going into the start of the freestyle," he said.
In the women's 100m medley, Maria Romanjuk finished in 19th place with a time of 1 minute 01.32 seconds, missing out on the semi-finals.
Armin Evert Lelle finished 34th in the men's 50m backstroke with a time of 24.69 seconds.
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Editor: Michael Cole