We saw our first World Record in the 100 breaststroke semi-finals last tonight from Ruta Meilutyte. That for sure got me fired up for day 3 prelims in Barcelona here on the East Coast.
We’ll see the new 100 breaststroke World Champion Christian Sprenger showcase his sprint speed against the likes of World Record holder Cameron Van Der Burgh. Van Der Burgh was out at 26.8 in the 100 last night., just .2 off his record 50 record set in 2009.
Ironwoman & new 200 IM World Champion Katinka Hosszu will square off in her only event of the day, the 200 freestyle, right next to Missy Franklin this morning – for those NCAA swimming nerds out there, this is a former USC Trojan and future Cal Bear match up.
Both women will have race Federica Pellegrini from Italy, who makes her individual debut today in Barcelona.
And lastly, the 200 butterfly. This is the first international competition without Michael Phelps in this event – enough said right there. It’s go time!
The events for preliminaries of day 3 are as follows: Men’s 50m Breaststroke, Women’s 200m Freestyle, Men’s 200m Butterfly, Men’s 800m Freestyle
For those of you whose favorite swimmer has some doubles tonight, here is the event order for day 3 finals:
Men’s 200m Freestyle FINAL
Women’s 100m Backstroke FINAL
Men’s 50m Breaststroke SEMI
Women’s 1500m Freestyle FINAL
Men’s 100m Backstroke FINAL
Women’s 200m Freestyle SEMI
Men’s 200m Butterfly SEMI
Women’s 100m Breaststroke FINAL
Men’s 50 Breaststroke PRELIMS
Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA) found himself with a silver medal last night in the 100 breaststroke. He had .4 on the field at the turn, out in 26.83, flirting closely with his own world record of 26.67 from the tech suit era in 2009.
This morning in the preliminary heats of the 50 breaststroke, Van Der Burgh knocked out about a tenth from last night to finish at 26.78. That is an excellent time, especially coming off an emotionally charged night last night.
Last night’s bronze medalist, Felipe Lima (BRA) is 2nd to Van Der Burgh at 27.11. Lim was out second at the turn last night in the 100 at 27.27.
If you take a look closely at the splits from last night, you see that these two men were the only two in the field to come home in 32+. They play up to their speed in the front half of their 100s. My guess is the World Record is definitely in danger, possibly even tonight.
The new World Champion Christian Sprenger from Australia finds himself in 4th, 27.30. He was just .06 faster today in the 50 than his first 50 last night.
Other finalists from last night that have qualified for semis tonight are Kosuke Kitajima from Japan in 9th, 27.43 & Damir Dugonjic from Slovinia in 11th, 27.48.
Team USA may find themselves with no finalists in this event based on their morning swims today. Kevin Steel is 10th in 27.45 and 7th palce finisher in the 100 last night Kevin Cordes failed to advance out of the heats, finishing 21st (27.76 vs. 27.38 in Indy).
Top 16: Van Der Burgh, RSA; Lima, BRA; Snyders, NZL; Sprenger, AUS; Strelnikov, RUS; Zorzi, RSA; Biaorong, CHN; Gomes Junior, BRA; Kitajima, JPN; Steel, USA; Szulich, POL; Dugonjic, SLO; Pesce, ITA; Murphy, IRL; Skagius, SWE; Karvonen, FIN
Women’s 200 Freestyle PRELIMS
Camille Muffat (FRA) had a bit of a disappointing first day, finishing 7th in the 400 freestyle. She had won gold in London the 400 freestyle, and silver in the 200 freestyle behind Allison Schmidt (who is not here in Barcelona).
Muffat looked strong this morning, topping the field at 1:56.53. She was our world leader in this event, and she is about a second over that time from the French Championships.
Her teammate Charlotte Bonnet is 4th, 1:56.82. She dropped .6 off her start time to dip under 1:57 for the first time.
Katinka Hosszu swam her fastest time of the year, finishing 2nd in 1:56.73.
Federica Pellegrini (ITA) looks dangerous. This morning she looked easy, cruising to a 3rd place finish at 1:56.79. This was her individual debut here in Barcelona, and a smart move by Pellegrini to swim the 200 here in Barcelona. Her performances in London were flat, finishing 5th in this event, but she has more in the tank for sure here in Barcelona.
Missy Franklin rounded off our top 5 here in preliminaries. Her time, 1:56.90, rounded off the five sub 1:56s we saw this morning. She will have a tough double tonight with this event and final of the 100 backstroke, but the order here plays into her favor versus the London Olympics.
Melanie Costa Schmid (ESP) knocked off .9 from her best time this year to finish 6th at 1:57.01.
Other semi finalists who have been 1:56 this year include Bronte Barrett from Australia (1:57.14, 7th), Sarah Sjostrom from Sweden (1:57.64, 9th) & Kylie Palmer from Australia (1:57.67, 10th). Tonight these women have to be sub 1:57 if they want a chance in the finals tomorrow.
Top 16: Muffat, FRA; Hosszu, HUN; Pellegrini, ITA; Bonnet, FRA; Franklin, USA; Costa Schmid, ESP; Barratt, AUS; Heemskerk, NED; Sjostrom, SWE; Palmer, AUS; Vreeland, USA; Mizzau, ITA; Coleman, SWE; Yuhan, CHN; Lucie-Smith, NZL; Rojas-Jardin, CAN
Men’s 200 Butterfly PRELIMS
The times here in the preliminaries of the 200 butterfly were a bit slower than what we’ve seen all year. USA’s Tyler Clary took advantage of that and swam his best time of the year, 1:56.03, to finish as the top seed for semi-finals.
This is the first time probably since the 2000 Olympics we haven’t seen Michael Phelps name for Team USA in this event. Tyler Clary did his job, and so did rookie Tom Luchsinger. He finished 3rd, 1:56.32.
Defending Olympic champion Chad Le Clos (RSA) is 2nd, 1:56.21. His swim this morning looked very controlled, making it look like a morning warm up. He’s my favorite for this event; he makes the 200 butterfly look easy, like really easy.
Our world leader Pawl Korzeniowski from Poland is 7th, 1:56.61. He’s been 1:55.26, just showing how a lot of these men were swimming with their reserves. History has shown that in this event the swimmers get faster as they advance from heats to semis to finals.
The second and third swimmers in the world this year, Grant Irvine (AUS) and Bence Biczo (HUN) will need much better swims tonight in semis. They find themselves 12th and 9th respectively.
Only 1.3 separates our top seed from 16th place. This should be a good race to see who advances to finals out of semi finals tonight.
Top 16: Clary, USA; Le Clos, RSA; Luchsinger, USA; Skvortsov, RUS; Yin, CHN; De Deus, BRA; Korzeniowski, POL; Kobori, JPN; Biczo, HUN; Peng, CHN; Matsuda, JPN; Irvine, AUS; Coelho, FRA; Isaac Schooling, SIN; Stjepanovic, SRB; Pavoni, GBR; Coci, ROU
Men’s 800 Freestyle PRELIMS
It was the men’s turn to swim the non-Olympic distance events. The top eight here this morning will swim in finals tomorrow night.
After what some may say was a “risky” preliminaries swim in the 400 freestyle, Connor Jaeger made sure he was the dominate force this morning in the 800 freestyle. He is our top seed at 7:49.28, about three seconds off what we saw from him in Indianapolis.
I know it’s hard to bet against Sun Yang or Ryan Cochrane, 2nd (7:49.37) and 3rd (7:49.58) after this morning, but Jaeger has had a whirlwind year since the Olympic Trials last summer. I pick him and his great hair for the upset!
Each of those three men swam in their own heats this morning, but only .3 separates the three of them. While most are saying how relaxed Yang looked, Cochrane and Jaeger were solid the whole race splitting 29-mids consistently. Yang may run away it in the last 300 or so, but the other two may push him through the first part of the race.
Team USA got two swimmers in the top eight for finals tomorrow with a great swim by Michael McBroom who finished 4th in 7:50.62. Just like Jaeger, he was about three seconds off his time from Indianapolis at Trials.
Distance freestyle turned open water star Ous Mellouli (TUN) qualified for his first pool final this morning. Ous Mellouli won gold in the 5k and bronze in the 10k open water competitions here in Barcelona last week. Originally it was unsure if Mellouli was returning to the sport at all post London, but he sure has stepped up here in Barcelona every time he hits the water whether its the lake or pool.
Out of the top eight, there was one swimmer to drop time to earth a berth into the final heat. Jordan Harrison from Australia shaved two seconds from his start time to lock in 8th place at 7:52.55.
Top 8: Jaeger, USA; Yang, CHN; Cochrane, CAN; McBroom, USA; Mellouli, TUN; Joensen, FAR; Paltrinieri, ITA; Harrison, AUS