2017 FINA World Championships: Day 3 Finals Preview


Tonight’s session includes 5 finals and 3 semi-finals, all set to be must-see swimming. We’ve already seen two world records and countless national records fall through 2 days of these world championships, pointing to the fact that athletes from around the globe are showing up ready to race, with any post-Olympic slump being rendered just a faraway thought.

One of the world records broken already was the men’s 50m breaststroke, with British gold medalist and world dominator, Adam Peaty, clocking a time of 26.10 to become the fastest man ever in the event. He’ll see what’s left in the tank tonight in the semi-final, as he’ll try to hold on to the pole position against a fighting South African in Cameron van der Burgh, now the 4th fastest man of all-time and super quick Brazilian in Joao Gomes.

Peaty isn’t the only wicked-fast Brit in the pool tonight, as two of his countryman will be battling in the dogfight of a men’s 200m freestyle race about to transpire at Danube Arena. The field is absolutely stacked, including reigning Olympic champion Sun Yang of China, American dynamo Townley Haas, along with the reigning world champion, James Guy and his rising star teammate, Duncan Scott. Park Tae Hwan was quiet in the men’s 400m free, but slid into tonight’s 200 free final as the 8th-seeded swimmer, so he could bring some outside smoke to spoil someone’s parade when all is said and done.

Queen of the pool, Katie Ledecky, is slated to pull a double tonight, taking on both the 1500m freestyle final and 200m free semi-final. She is the absolute favorite in the former event, with several competitors vying for podium spots right behind her. Spaniard Miriea Belmonte will take to the pool, as will the bronze medalist in the event from 2015, Hungary’s own Boglarka Kapas. Her teammate Anja Kesely, who recently claimed multiple titles at European Junior Championships, could also prove a threat for a minor medal in the race.

Ledecky’s other race, the semi-final of the women’s 200m freestyle, is a little fuzzy at this point, with several stars ready to take the pole position. Current world record holder Federica Pellegrini of Italy is right in the mix, as is Hungary’s Iron Lady, Katinka Hosszu, fresh off of her monster 200m IM victory. However, another medalist will try to earn a spot in the final to add more hardware to her total in Australia’s Emma McKeon, a multi-event swimmer who already scored silver here in the 100m fly. Sweden’s Michelle Coleman is always a threat, so also beware what she throws down in semi #2.

Both the men’s and women’s 100m backstroke finals take place tonight, giving swim fans an array of talent for whom to cheer. Americans Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers are both gunning for the gold, but will need to get past China’s Xu Jiayu who holds the top seed. Double world champion from 2015, Australian Mitch Larkin, can pop out a giant swim here, as could the ever-consistent Ryosuke Irie out of lane 6.

Emily Seebohm of Australia will look to defend her world title from 2015 in the women’s version of the 100m back event, a race which will be without the reigning Olympic gold medalist Hosszu. The Hungarian scratched out of last night’s semi-final in this event in order to focus solely on the 200m IM. But Seebhom will still have a tough field, with Olympic silver medalist Kathleen Baker and countrywoman Olivia Smoliga ready to make their mark. On-fire Canadian Kylie Masse was just .06 shy of the world record with her semi-final swim, so she’s carrying that momentum into what could be a historic outing tonight.

The home crowd will go wild during the men’s 200m butterfly semi-final as both Laszlo Cseh and Tamas Kenderesi are set to compete. With Olympians Daiya Seto, Jack Conger, Chad Le Clos and Masato Sakai all targeting a spot in the final, there very well may be several key players left out of the top 8 after the event is done and dusted. For Le Clos, he opted out of the 200m free in order to give more energy to this event, so look for a statement swim from the South African tonight.

Finally, the women’s 100m breaststroke may prove to be the race of the evening, as America’s Lilly King and Russia’s Yuliya Efimova are set to go head-to-head in this thrilling showdown. Efimova enters tonight as the top seed, having notched a semi time just .01 outside of the world record. But, King herself produced a mark less than 2 tenths away from the Russian, indicating both are ready to pounce and make history tonight. There’s always a chance, however, that a dark horse could enter the scene, however, as Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte rocked her best time since 2013, showing the world that she’s back in full form after a couple of injury-ridden years. America’s Katie Meili and British standout Sarah Vasey are also vying for podium spots in the sure-to-be intense contest tonight.

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Expect a new world record in the men 100 back from Xu; could go as fast a a 51.4.

Lane Four


Justin Thompson

He looks good. I think he’ll win by at least half a second.


Finals this evening (i.e. 11:30am EST) are going to be SICK!!


Two interesting duels in W200 semis: Ledecky-McKeon and Pellegrini – Hosszu.
First pair are major contenders. The second one are swimmers who don’t want to lose such contest even in semi.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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