6 events will be swum at the preliminary session of day 6 at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. A year post the London Olympics and this meet has been anything but dull. We’ve had three world records thus far, and with three days left there is a potential for more.
The splash and dash event of the week for the men is on the line up today. With names like the defending Olympic Champion Florent Manaudou, World Champions Cesar Cielo and James Magnussen, 100 freestyle Olympic Champion Nathan Adrian, former Olympic Champion and comeback kid Anthony Ervin and the fastest ever in the 50 yard freestyle Vladimir Morozov, this race is a must watch.
Fourth place finisher in the 100 butterfly Jeanette Ottesen Gray (DEN) is the top seed in the 50m butterfly. She’ll be challenged by the bridesmaid of the meet, Alicia Coutts and Netherlands sprint phenom Ranomi Kromowidjojo. Christine Magnuson will get her first and only event of the week a shot tomorrow; her freshness may be a huge advantage over the field.
Ryan Lochte will be coming off a sharp win in the 200 IM last night, and will be debuting his 100 butterfly on the international scene. He will have his hands full with 200m butterfly Olympic and World Champion Chad Le Clos and top performer this year Steffen Deiber.
Missy Franklin doesn’t seem to ever stop. She is 4-4 here in Barcelona, with a pending 5th final tonight in the 100m freestyle. The 100m freestyle will be her hardest for gold, and then she has this semifinal two events later. Franklin and Liz Pelton are seeded 1-2 in this event; they could follow in the steps of Lochte and Clary tonight in their final.
Team USA dominates the 4x200m freestyle relay. Even though the women were behind after three legs last night, it is hard to bet against Missy Franklin as your anchor. In the men’s race today, it is USA’s gold to lose.
With 2×400’s, 2×1500’s, 1×200, will Katie Ledecky have some gas in the tank for 2×800’s? She has a solid heat with her this morning, with Lotte Friis, who also broke the WR in the 1500 but placed second to Katie, and fellow American Chloe Sutton.
Events for day 6 are as follows –
Men’s 50m Freestyle
Women’s 50m Butterfly
Men’s 100m Butterfly
Women’s 200m Backstroke
Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay
Women’s 800m Freestyle
A look ahead to tonight timeline –
Women’s Freestyle 100m FINAL
Men’s Backstroke 200m FINAL
Women’s Backstroke 200m SEMIFINAL
Men’s Freestyle 50m SEMIFINAL
Women’s Breaststroke 200m FINAL
Men’s Butterfly 100m SEMIFINAL
Women’s Butterfly 50m SEMIFINAL
Men’s Breaststroke 200m FINAL
Men’s Freestyle 4x200m FINAL
Men’s 50m Freestyle PRELIMS
The field is stacked here in the men’s 50 freestyle. In a race this short, with this many big names, no mistakes can be made. The Olympic champion Florent Manaudou (FRA) tops the field here after preliminaries in a 21.72.
Cesar Cielo trying to make a three peat here at world championships is 2nd right behind Manadou at 21.76. Cielo’s teammate Marcelo Chierighini is 8th at 22.01.
Unranked Andrii Govorov from the Ukraine had previously never been under the :22 second mark. He broke the barrier this morning to find himself 3rd at 21.80. Matthew Abood (AUS) was top twenty in the world, shaved a tenth off his time, to fall into the 4th spot.
The American duo out of Cal, Anthony Ervin and Nathan Adrian, find themselves 5th (21.87) and 6th (21.88). The Russian Rocket Vladimir Morozov is 7th at 21.95.
The 100 freestyle world champion James Magnussen is all the way down in the 11th seed after this morning at 22.04.
Great Britain’s Adams Brown failed to make the semi-final after beating Mark Foster’s super suit British record at the British World Championship Trials. He finished 17th at 22.30
Top 16: Manaudou, FRA; Cielo, BRA; Govorov, UKR; Abood, AUS; Ervin, USA; Adrian, USA; Morozov, RUS; Chierighini, BRA; Takacs, HUN; Shioura, JPN; Magnussen, AUS; Schoeman, RSA; Grechin, RUS; Richard Bovell, TRI; Bousquet, FRA; Trandafir, ROU
Women’s 50m Butterfly PRELIMS
We have a tie for our top seed here in the women’s 50 butterfly. Jeanette Ottesen Gray and Francesca Halsall are 1st at 25.69. Gray (DEN) was 4th in the 100 butterfly earlier this week, but out first at the wall in that race against the field. Halsall (GBR) was top ten in the world and shaved another .3 off her start time.
The Chinese seem to be strong is the 50s of stroke, with Ying Lu who was previously unranked finished 3rd at 25.82. It’s not the Australian name we expected in the 4th spot, but with a .7 time drop, Brittany Elmslie finished at 26.03.
Her teammate Alicia Coutts, the silver medalists in the 100 butterfly this week, surprisingly finished 18th, out of the semi-final. She was ranked #2 in the world heading into Barcelona with a time of 25.78, and she swam a 26.56 this morning.
In her first and only race of the meet, Christine Magnuson is 5th at 26.15, just slightly off her time in Indianapolis. Dana Vollmer is 7th at 26.29. Vollmer is known for her 50 speed in the 100, and hopefully she can translate that into the 50 here.
Inge Dekker is 6th (26.15) to finish just two places above her teammate Ranomi Kromowidjojo in 8th (26.31).
Top 16: Halsall, GBR; Ottesen Gray, DEN; Lu, CHN; Elmslie, AUS; Magnuson, USA: Dekker, NED; Vollmer, USA; Kromowidjojo, NED; Di Pietro, ITA; Buys, BEL; Batchelor, NZL; Osman, EGY; Tao, SIN; Chimrova, RUS; Mainvolle, CAN; Henique, FRA
Men’s 100m Butterfly PRELIMS
Swimming right on his world best time here in 2013, Russian Evgency Korotyshkin is 1st at 51.55.
The 200 butterfly world champion Chad Le Clos from South Africa showed us some speed clocking in at 51.88 this morning to finish 2nd, hovering right around his best time this year.
Typically known for the 200 versus the 100, Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh cut off .7 from his start time this morning. He rounded off the top three finishing at 51.89.
From Serbia Ivan Lendjer was previously unranked, but cut .3 off his start time to be the fourth and last of the sub :52 second swimmers this morning at 51.95.
5th through 8th place were tight and only separated by .09 of a second. Matteo Rivolta form Italy (52.00), Yauhen Tsurkin from Belarus (52.03), Steffen Deibler from Germany (52.07), and Niolay Skvortsov from Russia (52.09) rounded off those places, respectively.
Yesterdays 200 IM bronze medalist, Thiago Pereira (BRA) swam 52.23 this morning to finish 12th. He finished just above the two Americans, Ryan Lochte (13th, 52.26) and Eugene Godsoe (USA, 52.38).
Lochte has a tough schedule tonight, he has to conserve where he can for a possible triple tonight. We saw Godsoe in the 50 get better every time he swam, I expect him to do the same here in the 100.
Top 16: Korotyshkin, RUS; Le Clos, RSA; Cseh, HUN; Lendjer, SRB; Rivolta, ITA; Tsurkin, BLR; Deibler, GER; Skvortsov, RUS; Czerniak, POL; Rock, GBR, Korzeniowski, POL; Pererira, BRA; Lochte, USA; Godsoe, USA; Fujii, JPN; Geintz, GER
Women’s 200m Backstroke PRELIMS
America’s golden girl Missy Franklin herself sits 1st here in the 200 backstroke at 2:07.57. Like most of the time she swims, she made this look very easy. She’s got a tough double tonight, with the 100 freestyle, her toughest individual event, first followed by this semi-final two events later.
Missy’s teammate on USA and in the near future at Cal, Liz Pelton is down in the 8th spot at 2:09.56. Pelton is second in the world to Franklin and will need a better swim if she wants to make the final.
Australian Belinda Hocking finished right behind Franklin at 2:07.64, just about a half a second off her best this year that has her ranked third.
Cutting 1.5 off her start time here this morning, Canadian Hilary Caldwell is 3rd at 2:07.81. A solid swim from start to finish, averaging :32 per 50 throughout the race. Her teammate Sinead Russel is 6t at 2:09.24.
Daria Ustinova from Russia is 4th, 2:08.69.
Hungarian Katinka Hosszu in her fifth individual event this week is 5th at 2:08.93. Hosszu was known for her medleys and butterfly in college, but explored her backstroke in the World Cup series. She scratched the 100 back after preliminaries to focus on the 200 IM, and she doesn’t have another individual event until day 8, so we’ll see here if she continues with this event.
Just about even splitting her race this morning (out in 1:04.30, back in 1:05.1) Daryna Zevina from the Ukraine is 7th at 2:09.31.
Italy’s freestyle star, Federica Pellegrini, who is top ten in the world in this event this year, finished 10th at 2:10.65.
Top 16: Franklin, USA; Hocking, AUS; Caldwell, CAN; Ustinova, RUS; Hosszu, HUN; Russell, CAN; Zevina, UKR; Pelton, USA; Nay, AUS; Pellegrini, ITA; Prinsloo, RSA; Verraszto, HUN; Akase, JPN; Otsuka, JPN; Baumrtova, CZE; Bai, CHN
Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay PRELIMS
Team USA find themselves qualified first by almost two seconds. The team of Matt McLean, Michael Klueh, Charlie Houchin and Ricky Berens finished at 7:08.05. They are the favorites for tonight’s final.
Houchin had the fastest split of the morning at 1:45.66. That will definitely earn him a spot onto tonight’s final with the likes of Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer.
The question will be the last swimmer, will McLean’s lead off (1:47.63) be taken over Beren’s anchor split (1:47.06), which were separated by about .6. Or will Connor Jaeger earn that spot, even though he didn’t swim the 200 individually here in Barcelona?
Russia is second at 7:09.87 with the team of Danila Izotov, Nikitas Lobintsev, Artem Lobuzov and Alexander Sukhorukov. Danila Izotov is their best swimmer, finishing 3rd earlier this week in the 200 individually. Doesn’t look like Russia could rest their big guns this morning.
Japan rounds off the top 3, finishing at 7:09.98 with a team of Takeshi Matsuda, Sho Sotodate, Yuki Kobori and Daiya Seto. China, who qualified 8th, will get a big boost from replacing their 1:50 split swimmer with Sun Yang.
Biggest surprise of the morning was the failure of the Australian men. They will miss out on a lane tonight with a 9th place finish this morning. There is so much talent on their team, but they have just failed in the relays here in Barcelona. They misjudged their competitors and with two splits at 1:49, it cost them a finals berth.
Swimming is one of the most popular sports in Australia. I expect this failure by the team is get smashed by their media.
Top 8: USA, Russia, Japan, France, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, China
Women’s 800m Freestyle PRELIMS
We’re into the Olympics distance events here in Barcelona, starting with the women’s 800 freestyle. The top eight women will compete in the final tomorrow night.
She’s won the 400m, 1500m and Katie Ledecky will go for a sweep of the distance events tomorrow in the 800m freestyle. She cruised an easy 8:20.65 to take the top seed, barely using her legs at all in the race and split 31-mids pretty much the entire race.
Her teammate from USA, Chloe Sutton, snuck in for 8th at 8:27.41. She went a best time in the morning of the 1500m, but was off her best from Indianapolis by about 3 seconds here in Barcelona this morning. But nonetheless, it is great to have two Americans in the final.
While it was the Ledecky and Friis show in the 1500m, the 800 may be a bit more even. A swimmer that could upset could be Lauren Boyle from New Zealand, who set a new Oceania Record with her time of 8:21.00, which places her second. She had a great 1500, and she looked great this morning as well, solid splitting from start to finish.
Lotte Friis finds herself in 3rd at 8:23.00. She swam right next to Ledecky this morning in heat 4. They were pretty even at the 400 mark, but by the 600m mark Ledecky had pulled away.
In her fifth individual event of the week, Mireia Belmonte Garcia is 4th at 8:25.03. She has had one monster of a schedule this week, already swum the 400m free once, 1500m free twice, 200m IM three times, 200 butterfly three times plus relays. She will have this final tomorrow, then the 400m IM on day 8.
Rounding off the top eight are Boglarka Kapas form Hungary in 5th, 8:25.26 and Martina De Memme in 6th, 8:26.85. Andreina Pinto in 7th from Venezula at 8:27.03.
Jazmin Carlin from Great Britain who was our second seed of the meet and had the top time in the world this year has failed to qualify for the final again, after finishing 9th in the 1500m earlier this week.
Top 8: Ledecky, USA; Boyle, NZL; Friis, DEN; Belmonte Garcia, ESP; Kapas, HUN; De Memme, ITA; Pinto, VEN; Sutton, USA