The second FINA World Aquatics Championships were held in Cali, Columbia in 1975 between July 19 and 27. The athletes of the United States and East Germany were outstanding again. World Championships history…continued!
Despite the distance, almost exactly the same number of athletes (682) competed in Colombia as two years before, at the first edition in Belgrade (686).
Just as in Yugoslavia, again two nations were dominating the Championships, showing perfectly the aquatics power relations of the era. The athletes in stars and stripes won 16 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals, meanwhile the sportsmen of the GDR collected 11 first, 7 second and 5 third places. Hungary clinched the third place on the medal table with 3 gold and 1 silver. The Colombian home team was not able to conquer any medals this time.
Diving: Dibiasi is still on the top
On the 10m platform! The Italian Klaus Dibiasi – just as in Belgrade – won this event, and became again the silver medallist behind the American Phil Boggs in the 3m event as two years before. As we all know, history repeats itself: among the women Soviet Irina Kalinina from 3m, while the American Janet Ely triumphed from the platform.
Swimming: the Tim Shaw-show
The American swimmer is part of the illustrious company that won in swimming and in water polo at the Olympic Games. In Cali, nobody was able to beat him on 200, 400 and 1500 metres freestyle (he played as a water polo player in 1984, Los Angeles).
The athletes of the most successful nation in Columbia were phenomenal in swimming, they won - besides Shaw – in the100 metres freestyle, 100 and 200 butterfly, 4 x 100 metres freestyle and medley races. The DDR won only one gold, in 100 backstroke by Roland Matthes. The title of 4 x 200 freestyle attached to West Germany. In 100 and 200 metres breaststroke, the British phenomenon, David Wilkie finished at the first place. The Hungarian András Hargitay (now head coach of the national swim team preparing for the Budapest 2017 World Championships) stayed unbeaten in 200 and 400 metres individual medley, while his compatriot Zoltán Verrasztó beat the world in 200 metres backstroke.
The dry numbers: 10 wins of 14 races, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals. Only one country could achieve this: East Germany. Kornelia Ender alone won 4 races and became the second once. However, Shirley Babashoff also flew back to the US with 2 gold and 3 silver medals after the World Championships.
Synchronised Swimming: the American golden factory
As in 1973, they won in solo, duet and team routine. And just like in Belgrade the second and the third place went to the same nations in all events (2nd place Canada, 3rd Japan).
Water Polo: The victory of the Soviet Union
Hungary was not able to defend the World champion title, this time the winners of Belgrade only clinched silver as the USSR got the gold, beating Hungary and playing a draw against the third Italy.