2017 FINA World Championships: Day 1 Finals Preview


After a fast and exciting opening preliminary session, the first finals session of the 2017 World Championships is upon us.

Leading us off will be the men’s 400 free, where Austrian Felix Auboeck is the surprising top seed after setting a massive national record in the prelims at 3:44.19. He’ll be alongside the defending champion Sun Yang who wasn’t far behind this morning in 3:44.55.

Italian Gabriele Detti, who is the 2nd fastest man in the world this year, will be out in lane 1, while reigning Olympic champ Mack Horton will swim in lane 2 and former Olympic and World Champion Park Tae Hwan will swim from lane 6. If this race comes down to the final sprint, Auboeck (26.80) and Sun (26.94) were the best coming home this morning.

Next up we’ll have the world record on watch in the women’s 100 fly, as Sarah Sjostrom easily stormed to the top time of the morning in 55.96, under world record pace at the 50. Her world record stands at 55.48 from Rio.

American Kelsi Worrell also had an impressive morning swim, moving to #5 on the all-time performers list with a best time of 56.44. Worrell will swim alongside Japanese star Rikako Ikee in the first semi, and Sjostrom will be joined by Australian Emma McKeon and 2016 silver medalist Penny Oleksiak in the second semi.

In the first semi of the men’s 50 fly Caeleb Dressel will hunt down the American Record of 22.91 after coming close this morning in 22.97. He’ll be joined by Ben Proud (23.11), Henrique Martins (23.34) and veteran Laszlo Cseh (23.41).

Andriy Govorov headlines the second semi after throwing down a time of 22.92 in prelims, while Joseph Schooling (23.05) will have lane 5 after lowering his own Asian Record this morning. World #1 Nicholas Santos (23.24) will swim in lane 3.

We’ll have another world record on watch in the women’s 400 free after Katie Ledecky lowered her meet record this morning in an easy 3:59.06. Leah Smith is the clear favorite for silver qualifying in 4:02.00, while 16-year-old Australian Ariarne Titmus searches for a medal after breaking her own age group Aussie Record in the morning for the 3rd seed (4:04.26).

In the men’s 100 breast we’ll see Adam Peaty back in action after cruising to the top seed in 58.21. Assuming he goes sub-58.46, he’ll own the ten fastest swims in history after this session. The meet record of 58.18 will likely go, and the world record of 57.13 will be on watch come the final.

Americans Cody Miller and Kevin Cordes have to now be considered the favorites for silver and bronze after Cameron van der Burgh was a no-show for his heat.

Hometown favorite Katinka Hosszu impressed in the 200 IM heats this morning in a time of 2:07.49, less than a second and a half off her world record. She’ll be joined by Americans Madisyn Cox and Melanie Margalis in the second semi, while the first one includes Canadian Sydney Pickrem (2:10.14) and British duo Siobhan O’Connor (2:10.42) and Hannah Miley (2:11.32).

There were no surprises in relay qualifying this morning, with all of the usual suspects advancing to the final. Brazil will have lane 4 in the men’s final, surrounded by Australia and the US. Based off prelim splits, Townley Haas (47.60) will join Nathan Adrian and Caeleb Dressel for the Americans in the final. The fourth member is up in the air, as Blake Pieroni (48.40) on the lead-off and Zach Apple (48.16) were both solid this morning.

The US women performed well for the top seed in 3:33.35, followed by the Netherlands at 3:34.26 and then Australia, Sweden and Canada all at 3:35.

Mallory Comerford sizzled to a 52.47 anchor leg, and Kelsi Worrell split 53.27. That will move those two into the final alongside Simone Manuel. The final spot is up in the air. Katie Ledecky was splitting 52s in Rio so she could go, and if not it will likely go to Lia Neal who led-off in 53.94 in prelims.

The Canadians will move in Penny Oleksiak and Chantal van Landeghem, likely for Michelle Toro and Rebecca Smith, which moves them into medal contention. Emma McKeon will join the Australians, while Bronte Campbell‘s status is up in the air.

Relay lineups will be announced soon.

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Three Olympic gold medalists in the 400 free are all swimming in the 400 free final tonight. Park won in 2008, Yang in 2012, and Horton in 2016.


This was THE race of the prelims session. That second-to-last heat was awesome to watch, and Austria randomly with the top seed. Can’t wait for the final!


How can these be viewed online?


Am I the only one who thinks Pieroni out performed Apple since his 48.4 was from a flat start as opposed to Apple’s 48.16 from a flying start?

stanford fan

you’re not the only one – pieroni’s on the final relay


he easily did that . Pieroni is becoming a real super relay swimmer ( on both relays ) for Team Usa .

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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