2015 FINA World Championships: Day 5 Prelims Preview


Women’s 100m Freestyle

To start off the session the women’s 100m freestyle will have 10 heats, with the last three being circle seeded. Heat 7 features the world champion in this event from 12 years ago, Hanna-Maria Seppala of Finland. Now past her prime, this will likely be the last world championships for the 30 year-old as she pushes for a fourth straight Olympic berth next year. The first of the circle seeded heats features some big names from the 200m final just last night. Silver medalist Federica Pellegrini will have lane 1, bronze medalist Missy Franklin will have lane 5 and Shen Duo and Femke Heemskerk, who also swam in the 200 final, will have lanes 3 and 4. Despite missing the medals in the 200 Heemskerk had a blistering 51.99 split on the 400 free relay. Heat 9 will feature Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, Simone Manuel of the United States and 2011 world champion Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus. Sjostrom will be looking for a repeat performance of her 100 fly from the start of the competition. The final heat features 2012 Olympic champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, along with Cate Campell and Bronte Campbell in the middle of the pool. Cate is seeded first with a time of 52.62, but Bronte had the fastest relay split of anyone from the first night splitting 51.77. Cate split 52.22 on the anchor. Also in this heat will be Chantal van Landeghem of Canada, who upset Natalie Coughlin in this event at the Pan American Games just a few weeks ago. Also slated to swim in the final heat is Katinka Hosszu, who is coming off a disappointing session in which she missed the medals of the 200 free and failed to qualify for the 200 fly final.

Men’s 200m Backstroke

The men’s 200 backstroke will have four heats with the last three being circle seeded. Heat 2 will have 100m finalist Xu Jiayu of China and 2013 silver medalist in this event Radoslaw Kawecki of Poland. The 3rd heat will have Russian Evgeny Rylov, Ryosuke Irie of Japan and Ryan Murphy of the USA. Murphy posted a 52.18 lead off leg in the mixed medley relay preliminaries, a time that would have won the individual event. He was well off of that in the final, but nonetheless he is clearly on form and the 200 is definitely his better event, as he is coming off a NCAA title and American record in the event this past March. The final heat will feature 2012 Olympic champion Tyler Clary and 100m back world champion Mitch Larkin, side by side in lanes 4 and 5. Clary will look to have a better performance here than he did in the 200 fly as he missed the final. Larkin will look to continue his hot streak at these championships.

Women’s 200m Breastroke

The women’s 200 breastroke will have 5 heats. Heat 3 features 100m champ Yuliya Efimova and Japan’s Rie Kaneto, the 3rd ranked swimmer in this event coming in. It also has the Canadian duo of Kierra Smith and Martha McCabe, who went 1-2 at the Pan American games. McCabe won a bronze in this event in 2011. Heat 4 features Americans Breeja Larson and Micah Lawrence, along with Japan’s Kanako Watanabe who is a major threat in this race. Lawrence will be looking to rebound from her poor performance in the 100. The 5th and final heat features world record holder Rikke Moller Pedersen of Denmark and China’s Shi Jinglin. Jinglin will look to continue the momentum after a strong performance in the 100 making the final, while Pedersen will look to rebound in her strongest event after finishing 12th in the 100. Viktoria Zeynep Gunes of Turkey will also be in the final heat. She is a rising star who made the final in both 100 and 200 two years ago but had a disappointing 100 finishing 17th.

Men’s 200m Breastroke

The men’s 200 breast will also go, with a total of six heats being swum. Glenn Snyders will swim in the 3rd heat. Snyders is more of a sprinter and is coming off a final in the 50 breastroke, so look for him to improve upon his 2:13.34 entry time and make a stab at the semi-finals. The first circle seeded heat features some big names, with Yasuhiro Koseki of Japan, Daniel Gyurta of Hungary and Christian vom Lehn of Germany in the centre of the pool. Also swimming in lane 1 will be 50 and 100m breast silver medalist Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa. van der Burgh has never swum the 200m on this big of a stage so it will be interesting to see what kind of performance he puts forth. Heat 5 features Dmitriy Balandin and Adam Peaty in the middle of the pool, who both have had strong performances at this meet thus far. Peaty’s best events are the sprints so it will be interesting to see how he performs here, while Balandin is primarily a 200m swimmer so we should expect him to swim very well after he performed exceptionally in the 50 and 100. Also in this heat will be 2013 bronze medalist Matti Mattsson of Finland in lane 0, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Ryo Tateishi of Japan in lane 6 and Brazil’s Felipe Franca Silva in lane 8. The final heat will have Andrew Willis of Great Britain in lane 3, Marco Koch of Germany in lane 4, and American Kevin Cordes in lane 5. Also in this heat will be Pan American champion Thiago Simon of Brazil in lane 2.

Women’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay

The women’s 4x200m free relay will close off the morning session. The teams don’t have entry times, but those hardly mean anything going into a meet anyway (for relays). The first heat features USA in lane 5, Russia in 6 and Hungary in 8. The Americans are the defending world champions so they will be tough to beat. Their preliminary roster will likely consist of Chelsea Chenault, Cierra Runge, Shannon Vreeland and Leah Smith, with Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky subbing in for the final. The Russians were 9th in 2013 and 4th at the European championships last year, but look for them to try and do something special on their home turf. Hungary won bronze at the European championships last year and will most likely have 1500 bronze medalist Boglarka Kapas and 200 IM champion Katinka Hosszu swimming for them in the morning. Canada will also be swimming in lane 1. They finished 6th in 2013. The 2nd heat features China in lane 2, Italy in 3, Australia in 5, France in 7 and Sweden in 8. China was 4th in 2013, Australia was 2nd and Italy won the European championships last year. France was 5th at the Euro’s last year after winning bronze in 2013 and Sweden had a surprise silver last year after not even fielding a team in 2013. Sarah Sjostrom was a big key to their success in that race splitting a blistering 1:53.64. Australia’s preliminary squad will likely consist of Melanie Wright, Bronte Barratt, Leah Neale and either Jessica Ashwood, Brianna Throssell or Madison Wilson. Emma McKeon will for sure be there in the final but as of now it is unclear who will be swimming the prelims.

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Lazy Observer

Methinks the GOAT should focus on his own progress. And staying sober.

Lazy Observer

To clarify, while I admire Phelps, and I am sure he was prompted to touch on their performance by a journalist, I think he should reserve such commentary for after the competition is over. Who wants to hear that one of your all-time greatest swimmers is disappointed in your performance before it is over?


He is entitled to his opinion and obviously, he was asked by the reporter to evaluate the team’s performance, however, I am sure Lochte was *thrilled* to get a phone call (or whatever) from him to step up…


Finally, men’s 200 breast. The event I’ve been waiting for. That world record had better enjoy it’s last ~12 hours of life.


I’m looking for Kanako Watanabe to potentially pop the WR in the 200 breast finals. She had the fastest closing 50 in the 100 breast final, and she also blasted the back half of her 200 IM to get silver after placing 5th in the 100 breast semis just 15 minutes earlier.

I’d like to see Sarah Sjostrom lead off the 800 free relay for Sweden and drop a 1:54 low or 1:53 high just as if to say “You can put me on your Christmas card list, Ledecky.”

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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