A pair of WR holders barely snuck in to the A-final thanks to countries with more than two top-8 swimmers, and a trio of medal-favorites crashed out into the B-final.
In the men’s 100 free, World Record holder Cesar Cielo, who was riding a high after his world-best 50 fly time yesterday, had the 10th fastest time in prelims, but slid up into the 8th qualifying spot thanks to 3 Americans and 3 Australians being ahead of him. Expect some outside smoke tonight.
In the 100 breaststroke, Aussie Brenton Rickard, who is also the World Record holder in that event, tied for the 9th fastest time in that event, but Japanese Swimmer Yuta Suenga and American Mike Alexandrov (with whom he tied) were knocked down by the 2-A-finalists rule. Even more importantly for him, this allowed him to avoid a swim-off and focus his efforts on tonight’s final.
Three other gold-medal contenders were not so luck. In the 400 IM, Ariana Kukors, who is ranked 7th in the world in this event this year, finished third overall behind teammates Caitlin Leverenz and Elizabeth Beisel to get bumped into the B-final.
Michael Phelps was a similar story, as he was seated 4th (.03 out of 3rd) after the prelim, but will be bumped into the B-final by the top 2 qualifiers: Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary. A silver lining for Phelps is that this is an event that he was just testing after claiming to give it up, and he can now focus on swimming a great lead-off leg on the relay.
And finally, Emily Seebhom, another gold-medal favorite, missed the A-final in the 50 back after having the 6th fastest time in prelims. She was just outtouched by teammate Grace Loh (28.39-28.44) for the second Australian spot. This result is probably less surprising than the two Americans in the 400 IM, as 50 meter races are always unpredictable, and this was Seebhom’s second race of the session. She is still a strong medal hopeful in the 100 free that will kick off tonight’s finals.
To see this morning’s full results, check out Omegatiming.com. To see the seeding for tonight’s Finals broken down, including the 2-per country rule, check out the results on star-meets.org.