2017 FINA World Championships: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


It’s finally here. The first races for hardware will kick off at 11:30am eastern in Budapest, including finals for the men’s and women’s 400 free and the men’s and women’s 4×100 free relay. Katie Ledecky will be shooting for a world record in her 400 free tonight, and there are four other semifinals taking place tonight. To get a deeper analysis on tonight’s finals session, you can check out the day 1 finals preview right here.

LIVE STREAM (if you have the Olympic Channel)


  • WR – 3:40.07, BIEDERMANN Paul: 26 JUL 2009
  • CR – 3:40.07, BIEDERMANN Paul: 26 JUL 2009
  • WJR – 3:44.60, HORTON Mack: 1 APR 2014
  1. Sun Yang, China 3:41.38
  2. Mack Horton, Australia 3:43.85
  3. Gabriele Detti, Italy 3:43.93

It was all Sun Yang of China tonight in the men’s 400 free. As the field crept towards the 200 mark, Yang moved out front and never looked back. He had built an insurmountable lead by the 300 mark, and he turned on his kick and buried the field, winning gold in 3:41.38. His rival, Australia’s Mack Horton, turned in the silver medal time of 3:43.85, just edging Italy’s Gabriele Detti (3:43.93). Cameras picked up a visible glare from Sun in Horton’s direction, continuing to fuel their heated rivalry.

Park Taehwan was close for fourth at 3:44.38, unable to touch ahead of Horton and Detti. Felix Auboeck, of Austria, ended up 5th (3:45.21) as he is building off of a very impressive freshman year at the University of Michigan. James Guy of GBR (3:45.58) touched just ahead of the USA’s Zane Grothe (3:45.86), while Aussie David McKeon finished 8th in 3:46.27.


  • WR – 55.48, SJOSTROM Sarah: 7 AUG 2016
  • CR – 55.64, SJOSTROM Sarah:  3 AUG 2015
  • WJR –  56.46 OLEKSIAK Penelope: 7 AUG 2016
  1. Sarah Sjöström, Sweden 55.77
  2. Emma McKeon, Australia 56.23
  3. Kelsi Worrell, USA 56.74
  4. Rikako Ikee, Japan 56.89
  5. Penny Oleksiak, Canada 57.07
  6. An Sehyeon, South Korea 57.15
  7. Zhang Yufei, China 57.29
  8. Svetlana Chimrova, Russia 57.64

Kelsi Worrell held on for the win in semifinal 1, going 56.74, just off of her prelims swim of 56.44, a PR. Worrell held off a late charge from Rikako Ikee of Japan, who was just behind her tonight in 56.89.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström, unsurprisingly, took control of semifinal 2, taking the win in 55.77. She’ll take the top seed going into finals tonight. Australia’s Emma McKeon had an outstanding swim for 2nd in that heat, going 56.23 to tie Jessica Schipper’s Australian national record and take the 2nd seed for tonight’s final.

Rio medalist Penny Oleksiak was fifth (57.07) in prelims, followed by South Korea’s An Sehyeon (57.15). China’s Zhang Yufei (57.29) and Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova (57.64) also made it into tonight’s final.


  • WR – 22.43, MUNOZ PEREZ Rafael: 5 APR 2009
  • CR – 22.67, CAVIC Milorad: 27 JUL 2009
  • WJR – 23.39, LI Zhuhao: 29 SEP 2015
  1. Caeleb Dressel, USA 22.76
  2. Andrii Govorov, Ukraine 22.77
  3. Nicholas Santos, Brazil 22.84
  4. Ben Proud, GBR 22.92
  5. Joseph Schooling, Singapore 22.93
  6. Henrique Martins, Brazil 23.13
  7. Tim Phillips, USA 23.25
  8. Andrii Khloptsov, Ukraine 23.31

Caeleb Dressel was out flying, quite literally, to win semifinal 1 of the men’s 50 fly. He tore past the American record of 22.91 held previously by Bryan Lundquist, set in 2009, by going 22.76. That’s a huge swim for him, and he’s making a case to be a prime gold medal contender tomorrow night. GBR’s Ben Proud was right there for second in the semifinal, also under 23 seconds at 22.92.

Andrii Govorov made it to the wall first in the 2nd heat, going 22.77 to take the 2nd seed for the final right behind Dressel. Brazil’s Nicholas Santos was right behind in 22.84, with Joseph Schooling of Singapore also under 23 seconds in that 2nd semifinal to move on to the final at 22.93.

Santos’s teammate Henrique Martins made the final in 6th (23.13), followed by American Tim Phillips (23.25) and Ukraine’s Andrii Khloptsov. The Ukrainian is young– he was born in 1998.


  • WR – 3:56.46, LEDECKY Katie USA: 7 AUG 2016
  • CR – 3:59.06, LEDECKY Katie USA: 23 JUL 2017
  • WJR – 3:58.37, LEDECKY Katie USA: 23 AUG 2014
  1. Katie Ledecky, USA 3:58.34
  2. Leah Smith, USA 4:01.54
  3. Li Bingjie, China 4:03.25

It wasn’t her fastest swim ever, but Katie Ledecky was still well ahead of the competition with a 3:58.34 to take the women’s 400 free in Championship record fashion. Additionally, it was the second-fastest time in history, behind only her own world record. USA had the 1-2 sweep, with Leah Smith grabbing silver at 4:01.54, a bit off of her lifetime best but faster than her prelims swim. Smith makes history with Ledecky, as it’s the first time since 1978 that Americans have both been on the podium at Worlds in this race on the women’s side.

China’s Li Bingjie touched third for the bronze 4:03.25, a great swim for the teenager. Another teenager was just behind, as Australia’s Ariarne Titmus was fourth in 4:04.26, just ahead of Hungary’s distance star Boglarka Kapas (4:04.77). Hungary was well-represented in this final, as yet another teenager, Ajna Kesely, posted a 4:05.77 for 6th overall.

China’s Zhang Yuhan (4:06.03) and Russia’s Veronika Popova (4:07.59) rounded out the final.


  • WR – 57.13, PEATY Adam GBR: 7 AUG 2016
  • CR – 58.18, PEATY Adam GBR: 2 AUG 2015
  • WJR – 59.23, MARTINENGHI Nicolo’ ITA: 2 JUL 2017
  1. Adam Peaty, GBR 57.75
  2. Kevin Cordes, USA 58.65
  3. Cody Miller, USA 59.08
  4. Andrius Sidlauskas, Lithuania 59.12
  5. Yan Zibei, China 59.15
  6. Yasuhiro Koseki, Japan 59.18
  7. Ross Murdoch, GBR 59.23
  8. Kirill Prigoda, Russia 59.24

Semifinal 1 went to Cody Miller at 59.08, just ahead of his prelims swim. He lurked for most of the race, coming home very hard at the end to edge ahead of the competition. Kirill Prigoda of Russia was there for 2nd at 59.24. It was a slow semifinal, as only Miller and Prigoda made the final.

Adam Peaty cracked his own championship record with a 57.75 in the 2nd heat, finishing well ahead of the field. Still, Kevin Cordes was 58.64 to take 2nd, within nine tenths of Peaty. Cordes also broke his own American record, and he holds the two-fastest times in American history.

Lithuania’s Andrius Sidlauskas (59.12), China’s Yan Zibei (59.15), and Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (59.18) were all bunched up in semifinal 2, and they all make the final. Peaty’s teammate Ross Murdoch was 59.23 to also squeak into the final.


  • WR – 2:06.12 HOSSZU Katinka: 3 AUG 2015
  • CR — 2:06.12 HOSSZU Katinka: 3 AUG 2015
  • WJR – 2:09.98, IKEE Rikako: 29 JAN 2017
  1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 2:07.14
  2. Melanie Margalis, USA 2:08.70
  3. Sydney Pickrem, Canada 2:09.17
  4. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, GBR 2:09.72
  5. Kim Seoyeong, South Korea 2:09.86
  6. Madisyn Cox, USA 2:09.97
  7. Runa Imai, Japan 2:10.15
  8. Yui Ohashi, Japan 2:10.45

Sydney Pickrem took it to the field in semifinal 1, going 2:09.17 to win the heat. That makes for a Canadian record for Pickrem, who trains collegiately with the Texas A&M Aggies. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor of GBR, last year’s Olympic silver medalist in this event, was 2nd in that semifinal at 2:09.72. She’ll have to really pick it up if she wants to medal, however.

Semifinal 2 was faster than the first, with Katinka Hosszu topping the field with a 2:07.14. American Melanie Margalis had a great swim, her 2:08.70 marking a PR as well as making her the second-best American performer ever, behind only Ariana Kukors. Another American, Madisyn Cox, utilized a very hard-pushed back-half to race her way to a 2:09.97 for 6th going into the final, with South Korea’s Kim Seoyeong right ahead at 2:09.86.

Japan’s Runa Imai (2:10.15) and Yui Ohashi (2:10.45) both made it in at 7th and 8th for the final.


  • WR – 3:08.24, United States: 11 AUG 2008
  • CR – 3:09.21, United States: 26 JUL 2009
  1. USA 3:10.06
  2. Brazil 3:10.34
  3. Hungary 3:11.99

Caeleb Dressel. His spot in the limelight might begin at this meet. He already blasted an American record in the 50 fly earlier in the session, and he then led off this relay with a 47.26, taking down David Walters’ American record in that, too. The Americans were out to a sizable lead thanks to Dressel, with Brazil on their tails the whole time. Things got dicey between Townley Haas‘s and Blake Pieroni‘s legs, and the pressure was definitely on for Nathan Adrian.

Diving in against Bruno Fratus, Adrian had a very small lead, and his anchor duty skills would be tested once again. Fratus kept it close, but Adrian muscled it out to the wall to give Team USA the gold at 3:10.06. Brazil settled for 2nd at 3:10.34, though Marcelo Chierighini had a 46.85 split.

Hungary came out of nowhere for the bronze– they were not medal contenders on paper before this meet started. Dominik Kozma broke his Hungarian record from prelims with a 48.26, and the heroic split from Richard Bohus (47.21) really made the difference for them.


  • WR – 3:30.65, Australia: 6 AUG 2016
  • CR – 3:31.48, Australia: 2 AUG 2015
  1. USA 3:31.72 AR
  2. Australia 3:32.02
  3. Netherlands 3:32.64

The women’s relay did not disappoint following the men’s race. Sarah Sjöström set fire to the world record with a 51.71 leading off for Sweden, while Mallory Comerford popped a 52.59 to break the American record leading off Team USA. Sjöström’s lead took Sweden far thanks to a 52.68 second split from Michelle Coleman, but after the third leg, USA and Australia pulled ahead.

Kelsi Worrell split a very strong 53.16, but Bronte Campbell‘s 52.14 second split got Australia back into the race. Katie Ledecky and Brittany Elmslie both split 53.83’s, but it was Simone Manuel with a dominant 52.14 anchor leg to hold off Emma McKeon (52.29).

Sweden fell to 5th, with the Netherlands pulling up to bronze thanks in part to a 51.98 split from Ranomi Kromowidjojo. Canada ended up fourth in 3:33.88, getting 52.9’s from Chantal van Landeghem and Penny Oleksiak.

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bobo gigi
5 years ago

Very quick thoughts

Men’s 400 free. Sun Yang very strong. I’m sure it will make smile some people. I don’t see how he can lose the 200 free. The rest was globally pretty slow. Smith out in prelims….

Women’s 100 fly. Sjöström on her own planet. She should break the world record in final. McKeon destroys her best time. She’s the clear favorite for silver. Very open for bronze between Worrell, Ikee and Oleksiak. Hopefully for Worrell she hasn’t already shown all her cards in prelims and semis. I prefer when a swimmer saves her/his energy before the final and swims faster and faster throughout the rounds. And not the opposite.

Men’s 50 fly. Dressel crazy star as usual. Proud… Read more »

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Dressel crazy start as usual. Not crazy star. But he’s a star too. 🙂
Imagine if Ervin version 2016 had Dressel’s start! He would have swum under 21!

Reply to  bobo gigi
5 years ago

Was just wondering whether you were going to do a recap. And there you are.

Don\'t Worry About it
5 years ago

I think Simone is in a good spot, remember last year she lead off 53.3 on the relay before dropping all the way down to 52.70. I think she’s in a good spot to challenge for silver and take back her AR.

5 years ago

Didn’t clark smith swim the 400 free? Why can’t he seem to get it together in LCM?

stanford fan
Reply to  karl
5 years ago

didnt make finals

5 years ago

The camera direction drives me nuts when they try to make things visually interesting cutting to tight shots when the race is on across the whole pool and positions are changing. They shouldn’t switch to close-ups unless someone has a Ledeckian lead.

Reply to  Justsayin
5 years ago

even then they shouldn’t zoom in, people are following certain swimmers or want to know who is fighting for the other medals.

Years of Plain Suck
Reply to  Justsayin
5 years ago

Thank goodness for colored lane lines. Otherwise, it would be even more confusing when the director switches shots.

E Gamble
5 years ago

Could someone please get a message to whoever is filming this for NBC that the most important part of a race is the start and to stop being cute and going to underwater views. ?

Reply to  E Gamble
5 years ago


crooked donald
Reply to  E Gamble
5 years ago


5 years ago

Live on the Olympic channel – most Americans have Fios and they carry that channel as part of the normal lineup.

crooked donald
5 years ago

Well, it was a great first day, except Clark Smith Clark Smith’d.

Reply to  crooked donald
5 years ago

Yeah – i wish him to rebound in the 800 free and see what he can do

Reply to  crooked donald
5 years ago

It wasn’t that bad for Clark. He hit a rough patch in the third 100 of the 400. He needed a near PB to make the final. Not everyone in the race was in that situation.

crooked donald
Reply to  marklewis
5 years ago

It was Worlds. It was time to do his PB. Everyone knew it would take 3:45 to make the final.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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