Adam Peaty’s World Record, Dressel’s AR/CR Highlight Semis at Worlds

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Adam Peaty after his world record in the 100 breast; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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World Swimming Championships

Gwangju 2019 

Day 1 semifinals

An exciting slate of semifinals on day one of the FINA World Swimming Championships included a world record from Adam Peaty in the men’s 100 breast, a American and Championships record from Caeleb Dressel in the men’s 50 fly and impressive efforts from Sarah Sjostrom and Katinka Hosszu to lead the way in the women’s 100 fly and women’s 200 IM, respectively.

Women’s 100 Fly

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom swam a controlled 56.29 to capture lane four for Monday’s final. Sjostrom holds the world record, set at 55.48 on her way to Olympic gold three years ago in Rio. She didn’t need to swim that fast in the semifinal, but Canada’s Maggie MacNeil provided a bit of drama in the pursuit of lane four as she stuck with the Swede in their second semifinal heat.

MacNeil ended up taking second in 56.52, just missing the Canadian record of 56.46. Penny Oleksiak holds that national record from her silver medal-winning swim behind Sjostrom at the 2016 Olympics. The 19-year-old MacNeil improves to 10th all-time in the event, passing 2000 Olympic gold medalist Inge de Brujin on the all-time list.

The 100 fly final will come before the 200 IM, meaning that Sjostrom will have the next crack at becoming the first woman to win four straight World titles in one event. Katie Ledecky had the first chance in the 400 free, only to come up short, leaving Sjostrom and Katinka Hosszu to take their shots on night two.

The other six qualifiers for the final finished within a tenth of each other, with France’s Marie Wattel finishing at 57.00 and Australia’s Emma McKeon and Brianna Throssell coming in just behind at 57.01 and 57.02, respectively. McKeon won silver at the last World Championships, and American Kelsi Dahlia, the bronze medalist from 2017, took seventh at 57.06.

Sweden’s Louise Hansson was the last qualifier at 57.10, making this final the fastest in history. That locked out American Katie McLaughlin in ninth, despite her lifetime-best performance of 57.23.

Top eight finishers:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 56.29
  2. Maggie MacNeil (CAN), 56.52
  3. Marie Wattel (FRA), 57.00
  4. Emma McKeon (AUS), 57.01
  5. Brianna Throssell (AUS), 57.02
  6. Elena di Liddo (ITA), 57.04
  7. Kelsi Dahlia (USA), 57.06
  8. Louise Hansson (SWE), 57.10

Men’s 50 Fly

American Caeleb Dressel, the seven-time gold medalist from the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, will go into the final as the big favorite after he dropped the American and World Championship records in the semifinals. Dressel swam a time of 22.57, two tenths ahead of anyone else in the field.

Dressel’s time broke his own American record of 22.76 set in the semifinals of the last World Championships. He also beat Milorad Cavic’s meet record of 22.67 from the 2009 meet in Rome.

Andrii Govorov, who set the world record in the event last year at 22.27, qualified third in 22.80, just behind 39-year-old Brazilian Nicholas Santos (22.77). Russia’s Oleg Kostin took fourth in 22.88, and American Michael Andrew also got under 23 seconds with his time of 22.95. That qualified Andrew for his first World Championships final after a disappointing 100 breast heats swim that saw him miss out on the top-16 altogether.

Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo (23.09), Great Britain’s Ben Proud (23.14) and Russia’s Andrey Zhilkin (23.21) also qualified for the final.

Top eight finishers:

  1. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 22.57 AR/CR
  2. Nicholas Santos (BRA), 22.77
  3. Andrii Govorov (UKR), 22.80
  4. Oleg Kostin (RUS), 22.88
  5. Michael Andrew (USA), 22.95
  6. Szebaztian Szabo (HUN), 23.09
  7. Ben Proud (GBR), 23.14
  8. Andrey Zhilkin (RUS), 23.21

Men’s 100 Breast

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty has completed one of his ultimate career goals, taking down the 57-second barrier in the men’s 100 breast. Peaty achieved a time of 56.88, crushing the world record of 57.10 that he set at last year’s European Championships. Peaty went out in 26.63 and returned in 30.25, both splits quicker than his previous WR-splits of 26.75 and 30.35.

Peaty now ranks a whopping 1.4 seconds ahead of anyone else in history. He now owns the top 16 performances ever recorded, as well as 18 of the top 19 swims and 22 of the top 25.

Italy’s Fabio Scozolli tried to stay with Peaty down the first 50 meters of the race, but when Peaty was out under world-record pace, the race was over. As is his custom standard, no one could stay close to the British superstar, and he ended up posting the top qualifying time by almost two seconds.

Four others broke 59 in the heat, including China’s Yan Zibei (58.67), Great Britain’s James Wilby (58.83), Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (58.89) and the USA’s Andrew Wilson (58.95). Yan moved up to eighth all-time with his swim.

Most interestingly, Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich, the second-fastest performer in history (58.29), missed the final after qualifying second in prelims. After a 58.87 in the morning, Shymanovich finished 12th in 59.38.

Wilson’s time of 58.95 made him the first American to break 59 since the 2017 World Championships, and only Kevin Cordes (58.64) and Cody Miller (58.87) have gone quicker among U.S. men.

Russia’s Kirill Prigoda took the final spot for Monday evening with his 59.21, locking out Scozolli by one hundredth.

Top eight qualifiers:

  1. Adam Peaty (GBR), 56.88
  2. Yan Zibei (CHN), 58.67
  3. James Wilby (GBR), 58.83
  4. Yasuhiro Koseki (JPN), 58.89
  5. Andrew Wilson (USA), 58.95
  6. Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ), 59.03
  7. Anton Chupkov (RUS), 59.15
  8. Kirill Prigoda (RUS), 59.21

All-Time Performers:

  1. Adam Peaty, GBR, 56.88 (2019)
  2. Ilya Shymanovich, BLR, 58.29 (2019)
  3. Cameron van der Burgh, RSA, 58.46 (2012)
  4. James Wilby, GBR, 58.54 (2018)
  5. Brenton Rickard, AUS, 58.58 (2009)
  6. Hugues Duboscq, FRA, 58.64 (2009)
  7. Kevin Cordes, USA, 58.64 (2017)
  8. Igor Borysik, UKR, 58.67 (2009)
  9. Yan Zibei, CHN, 58.67 (2019)

Women’s 200 IM

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu posted an impressive 2:07.17 to lead the 200 IM semifinals. While short of her 2:07.03 from prelims, Hosszu’s time ranks as the 11th-best in history, surpassed only by seven of her own performances and three efforts from the supersuit era, two from Ariana Kukors and one from Stephanie Rice.

Hosszu will enter Monday’s final as the overwhelming favorite for a fourth-straight World title, although Sarah Sjostrom will have her shot earlier in the evening in the 100 fly to become the first woman to ever win four straight.

Canada’s Sydney Pickrem qualified second in 2:08.83, just off her Canadian record of 2:08.61. Pickrem was the third qualifier for the 200 IM final at the 2017 World Championships, only to pull out after 50 meters in the final when she choked on water. Pickrem won her first World Champs medal later that week with a silver in the 400 IM, and she could add another in this 200 IM final.

USA’s Melanie Margalis (2:09.14), China’s Ye Shiwen (2:09.58) and Japan’s Rita Omoto (2:09.68) also broke 2:10. Japan’s Yui Ohashi, the silver medalist two years ago, took sixth in 2:10.04, and Kora’s Kim Seoyeong took seventh in 2:10.21 for the home country’s first finalist of the meet.

Siobhan O’Connor, the Olympic silver medalist from 2016, got the eighth spot in the final, ahead of a 2:10.72 tie for ninth between the USA’s Ella Eastin and Switzerland’s Maria Ugolkova at 2:10.72.

Top eight qualifiers:

  1. Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2:07.17
  2. Sydney Pickrem (CAN), 2:08.83
  3. Melanie Margalis (USA), 2:09.14
  4. Ye Shiwen (CHN), 2:09.58
  5. Rita Omoto (JPN), 2:09.68
  6. Yui Ohashi (JPN), 2:10.04
  7. Kim Seoyeong (KOR), 2:10.21
  8. Siobhan O’Connor (GBR), 2:10.49