2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Day four of the 2022 World Championships is here, the halfway mark of the meet. It will feature the women’s 50 back, men’s 100 free, men’s 200 IM, and women’s 200 fly.
One of the most exciting races of the session will be the men’s 100 freestyle. Tokyo Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel is the top seed and he has been having a strong meet so far, winning gold in the 50 fly Sunday. But look out for Romanian teenage phenom David Popovicithe 2nd seed, who won gold in the 200 free yesterday with a world junior record-setting time. He touched the wall with a full one-second lead over the field in that race.
The women’s 200 fly is led by Tokyo Olympic champion Zhang Yufei of China who just won bronze in the 100 fly. Americans Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger round out the top three seeds followed by Japan’s China Hayashi and 2019 World champion Boglarka Kapas of Hungary. Smith will have a double-swim today, starting off the session as the 5th seed in the women’s 50 back. This will be the first individual race of the meet for Flickinger, Hayashi, and Kapas.
We will end the session with heats of the mixed 4 × 100 medley relays where Great Britain holds the world record from their performance at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Women’s 50 Backstroke
- World Record: 26.98, Liu Xiang (CHN) – 2018 Asian Games
- Championship Record: 27.06, Zhao Jing (CHN) – 2009 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: n/a
- 2019 World Champion: Olivia Smoliga (USA), 27.33
Top 16 Qualifiers
- Kylie Masse (CAN) – 27.26
- Katharine Berkoff (USA) – 27.49
- Ingrid Wilm (CAN) – 27.55
- Regan Smith (USA) – 27.70
- Analia Pigree (FRA) – 27.75
- Medi Eira Harris (GBR) – 27.83
- Silvia Scalia (ITA) – 27.86
- Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 27.94
- Jie Chen (CHN) – 27.95
- Maaike de Waard (NED) – 28.04
- Mimosa Jallow (FIN) – 28.06
- Theodora Drakou (GRE) – 28.12
- Kira Toussaint (NED) – 28.17
- Simona Kubova (CZE) – 28.37
- Eunji Lee (KOR) – 28.38
- Paulina Peda (POL) – 28.47
This race gave Canada some serious momentum this morning, launching Tokyo Olympic silver medalist in the 100 back Kylie Masse into the top semifinals spot and her teammate Ingrid Wilm in 3rd. In heat four, Masse came within .08 of her entry time while Wilm took .08 off hers.
USA’s Katharine Berkoff barreled down the pool to a time within .37 of the lifetime best time she posted at the US Trials in April. Regan Smith, who won bronze in the 100 back in Tokyo, started her busy morning off strong with a 4th place finish. She still has the 200 fly later.
20-year-old Analia Pigree had a tight race with Kaylee McKeown in heat two, finishing .19 ahead of the Australian who placed 4th in this event at the 2019 World Championships.
Notably, the Netherlands Kira Toussaint, who placed 8th in this event at the 2019 World Championships, squeaked into the semifinals in 13th place. Sweden’s Louise Hanssonwho won bronze in this event at the 2021 World Short Course Championships recently, finished in 21st place and missed the semi’s.
Men’s 100 Freestyle
- World Record: 46.91, Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 2009 World Championships
- Championship Record: 46.91, Cesar Cesar (BRA) – 2009 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Caeleb Dressel (USA), 47.02
- 2019 World Champion: Caeleb Dressel (USA), 46.96
Top 16 Qualifiers
- David Popovici (ROU) – 47.60
- Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 47.95
- Andrej Barna (SRB) – 48.15
- Joshua Liendo Edwards (CAN) – 48.16
- Maxime Grousset (FRA) – 48.17
- Zhanie Pan (CHN) – 48.19
- Jacob Henry Whittle (GBR) – 48.23
- Lorenzo Zazzeri (ITA) – 48.29
- Nandor Nemeth (HUN) – 48.33
- Brooks Curry (USA) – 48.38
- Mikel Schreuders (ARU) – / Dylan Carter (TTO) – 48.40
- Szebasztian Szabo (HUN) – 48.47
- Lewis Edward Burras (GBR) / Ruslan Gaziev (CAN) – 48.49
- Alessandro Miressi (ITA) – 48.51
And David Popovici does it again! Coming off his 200 free win less than 24 hours ago, the Romanian 17-year-old swam the fastest prelims time out of the middle of heat 10 with Andrej Barna close behind in lane three. Popovici came within .30 of his entry time so he may still have more in the tank for the semi’s. His back-half speed is what set him apart as he split the race 23.03 / 24.57. He was the fastest of the three swimmers who split the final 50 meters under 25.00.
Caeleb Dressel was in heat 11, racing France’s Maxime Grousset. This swim was one second off the time it took him to win this race in 2019 which is still his lifetime best time. He didn’t break 47.00 to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics and has been swimming low-47’s in this event since the 2017 World Championships where he won gold with a 47.17.
Notably, Mikel Schreuders cracked the Aruban national record while Dylan Carter broke the Trinidad and Tobago National record. They tied each other for 11th place despite swimming in different heats. Schreuders beat his own record from the 2019 Pan American Games by .68, putting the record below 49.00 for the first time. Carter also broke his own record from the 2019 World Championships where he placed 12th by .12. This swim a huge improvement for Schreuders who missed the semi’s at this meet in 2019 after placing 35th.
Andrej Barna was consistent with his entry time, about .11 off it, to earn a top-3 spot going into the semifinals. Josh Liendo kept the ball rolling for Canada. He actually had the fastest 50 meter split in the field (22.76) whereas Barna split a 22.86 and Dressel split a 22.84.
Men’s 200 Individual Medley
- World Record: 1: 54.00, Ryan Lochte (USA) – 2011 World Championships
- Championship Record: 1: 54.00, Ryan Lochte (USA) – 2011 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Wang Shun | (CHN), 1: 55.00
- 2019 World Champion: Daiya Seto (JPN), 1: 56.14
Top 16 Qualifiers
- Carson Foster (USA) – 1: 57.94
- Chase Kalisz (USA) – 1: 58.25
- Jeremy Desplanches (SUI) / Daiya Seto (JPN) – 1: 58.29
- Ron Polonsky (ISR) – 1: 58.31
- Hubert Kos (HUN) – 1: 58.47
- Matthew Sates (RSA) – 1: 58.61
- Leon Marchand (FRA) / Alberto Razzetti (ITA) – 1: 58.70
- Lewis Clareburt (NZL) – 1: 58.76
- Gal Cohen Groumi (ISR) – 1: 59.34
- Se-Bom Lee (AUS)-1: 59.37
- Dominik Torok (HUN) – 1: 59.41
- Tom Dean (GBR) – 1: 59.44
- Wang Shun | (CHN) – 1: 59.51
- Hugo Gonzalez (ESP) – 1: 59.53
The Americans crushed the prelims of this race, despite being a little off their entry times. 20-year-old Carson Foster swam a lifetime best time of 1: 56.65 to qualify for this meet at the US Trials in April while Chase Kalisz has broken 1:57.00 before. Kalisz has made the World Championship podium in this event twice already (winning gold in 2017 and bronze in 2019).
Foster’s strength was on the butterfly and backstroke where he split 24.95 / 29.14 compared to Kalisz’s 25.61 / 29.86. But then Kalisz did what he does best, catch everyone on the breaststroke and freestyle. He split 33.65 / 29.13 compared to Foster’s 34.36. / 29.49.
Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Wang Shun | finished in 15th place, sneaking into the semifinals in a lower spot than expected. He was in the middle of heat five, flanked by Japan’s Daiya Seto and France’s Leon Marchand who went off this morning. 20-year-old Marchand (who won the 400 IM on Saturday) had one of the fastest butterfly splits in the field-24.99 compared to Seto’s 25.21. But defending world champion Seto made up for lost ground in the middle. Jeremy Desplancheswho won bronze in this event in Tokyo, tied for third going into the semifinals with Seto out of heat four.
Watch out for South Africa’s Matt Sates in the semifinals. He had the fastest finishing speed by far, closing out the race with a 50 free split of 27.81 as the only swimmer to finish the race in under 28 seconds.
Women’s 200 Butterfly
- World Record: 2: 01.81, Liu Zige (CHN) – 2009 Chinese National Games
- Championship Record: 2: 03.41, Jess Jess (AUS) – 2009 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Zhang Yufei (CHN), 2: 03.86
- 2019 World Champion: Boglarka Kapas (HUN), 2: 06.78
- Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 2: 07.26
- Hali Flickinger (USA) – 2: 07.31
- China Hayashi (JPN) – 2: 08.63
- Elizabeth Dekkers (AUS) – 2: 08.98
- Regan Smith (USA) – 2: 09.02
- Zhang Yufei (CHN) – 2: 09.21
- Boglarka Kapas (HUN) / Helena Bach (DEN) – 2: 09.24
- Maria Jose Mata Cocco (MEX) – 2: 09.32
- Laura Stephens (GBR) – 2: 10.07
- Abbey Lee Connor (AUS) – 2: 10.10
- Lana Pudar (BIH) – 2: 10.20
- Jiaming Zhu (CHN) – 2: 11.20
- Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2: 11.22
- Leah Polonsky (ISR) – 2: 11.40
- Chiho Mizuguchi (JPN) – 2: 11.65
Heat one was the fastest heat of this event where Canada’s Summer McIntosh beat her entry time by one-third of a second to secure the top spot going into the semifinals. McIntosh and USA’s Hali Flickinger dueled in the middle of the pool in that heat with McIntosh taking out the race in a blistering 50 split of 28.43 compared to Flickinger’s 28.80. While Flickinger gradually ate away at the young Canadian’s lead, that initial 50 split gave McIntosh what proved to be an insurmountable lead even though Flickinger finished the race .10 faster than her with a final 50 split of 33.65.
Also in heat one, Maria Jose Mata Cocco broke her own Mexican national record by .14. She set the previous mark in May 2021 at an Olympic qualifying meet.
Olympic gold medalist Zhang Yufei placed 6th overall, about 5 seconds off her entry time. She went out strong as usual in 1: 00.09 (the fastest first 100 split in the field) but she struggled a bit on the back half and finished in 1: 09.12. Yufei is coming off a bronze medal win in the 100 fly earlier in this meet. Japan’s Kina Hayashi won Yufei’s heat with consistent splits, but she finished about two seconds off her entry time.
Regan Smith and Flickinger rounded out the Tokyo Olympic podium in this event in 2nd and 3rd place with lifetime best times of 2: 05.30 and 2: 05.65, respectively. They will likely give 15-year-old McIntosh a closer race in the semifinals.
Mixed 4 × 100 Medley Relay
- World Record: 3: 37.58, Great Britain – 2021 Tokyo Olympics
- Championship Record: 3: 38.56, United States – 2017 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Great Britain, 3: 37.58
- 2019 World Champion: Australia, 3: 39.08
Top 8 Qualifiers
- USA (Ryan Murphy/Lilly King/Michael Andrew/Erika Brown) – 3: 43.16
- NED (Kira Toussaint/Arno Kamminga/Nyls Korstanje/Marrit Steenbergen) – 3: 43.48
- GBR (Medi Eira Harris/James Wilby/Jacob Peters/Anna Hopkin) – 3: 43.64
- AUS (Isaac Alan Cooper/Matthew Wilson/Brianna Throssell/Meg Harris) – 3: 44.58
- CHN (Jiayu Xu/Jingyao Yu/Changhao Wang/Yujie Cheng) – 3: 44.92
- JPN (Ryosuke Irie/Reona Aoki/Naoki Mizunuma/Rika Omoto) – 3: 45.08
- ITA (Michele Lamberti/Arianna Castiglioni/Elena di Liddo/Manuel Frigo) – 3: 46.44
- GER (Ole Braunschweig/Anna Elendt/Angelina Kohler/Jan Eric Friese) – 3: 46.54
Heat four was a close race between the United States and Great Britain. USA’s Ryan Murphy got the United States off to an early lead with a 100 back split of 52.40 and handed it off to Lilly King who swam a 1: 06.79 100 breast. Michael Andrew took charge on the butterfly (50.69) while Erika Brown finished the race in 53.28.
Great Britain was also in heat four where Medi Eira Harris swam the backstroke leg in 1: 00.09. Then, Wilby was able to run down Lilly King with a 58.94 breaststroke split but Andrew’s butterfly leg was .4 faster than Peters’ 51.49. Hopkin closed the race slightly faster than Brown in a time of 53.12.
But the semifinals will be an even closer battle because the Netherlands came within .28 of the United State’s time in heat three. Their team of Toussaint (1: 00.45), Kamminga (58.70), Korstanje (51.12), and Steenbergen (53.21) would have caught the US after the breaststroke and would have been neck-and-neck with them until the end.