2017 FINA World Championships: Day 4 Finals Preview


We’ll see if the world record-breaking streak can continue into the evening, as we already saw the mixed 4×100 medley standard fall this morning, courtesy of the United States. Key battles are lined up for tonight in Budapest, with 5 medal races at stake. Both Katie Ledecky and Adam Peaty will be in the water this evening, and by now we know what tends to happen when they enter the pool.

Ledecky is the top seed in the women’s 200m freestyle final, where the American will try to add to her 1500m and 400m freestyle golds already here at Danube Arena. She was also a member of the gold medal-winning women’s 4x100m free relay, which means the Stanford swimmer surpassed Missy Franklin as the female having earned the most gold medals across World Championships, with more races to go.

However, hometown hero Katinka Hosszu will also be contesting the 200m freestyle race tonight, one of two races in which the Iron Lady will appear. She’s also racing the 200m fly semifinal later in the session. Emma McKeon, the shining light for Australia thus far these championships with 2 silvers, will try to rain on the field’s parade in pursuit of her nation’s first gold at these championships. She’ll be right next to Ledecky in lanes 4 and 5 in tonight’s contest.

Daiya Seto of Japan enters tonight’s 200 fly final as the top seed and will have Olympic silver medalist teammate Masato Sakai in the final, but both will also have a Hungarian in his midst in the form of multiple Olympic medalist Laszlo Cseh. Cseh looked strong in his semi last night, securing a solid time of 1:54.22, but his teammate Tamas Kenderesi of Rio bronze medal fame was also sub-1:55 with a semi time of 1:54.98.

America’s Jack Conger will be looking for his first international championships medal individually, but will most likely need to put up a lifetime best in order to top the stacked field. South Africa’s Chad Le Clos erratically split 53.30/1:01.70 last night, so his strategy for tonight’s final could differ vastly.

Peaty already proved he is the untouchable British Lion in the men’s sprint breaststroke events, but even he recognizes he’ll need to seal the 50 breaststroke deal with the medal that actually comes with the speedy times. His 25.95 was eye-popping and on the brink of unbelievable from last night, and the question on everyone’s’ minds is if the 22-year-old has more fuel in the tank, knowing he’ll have the mixed medley relay at the end of the session.

The last individual final comes in the form of the men’s 800m freestyle, where we’ll get to see Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri take on red-hot Chinese swimmer Sun Yang, who has already collected 2 golds here at Danube Arena America’s Zane Grothe will be threatening outside smoke in lane 8, but a swimmer who will not be in the mix is Australia’s Mack Horton. The 400m freestyle silver medalist here says that the 800 ‘doesn’t rank too highly.’

The semifinals within tonight’s session will be must-see races as well, beginning with the men’s 100m freestyle. The world leader, Duncan Scott, will be looking to avenge his 4th place 200m freestyle finish. He comfortably made it into the 1st sf with a time of 48.46. Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini scored the field’s fastest 4x100m free relay split on night one, cranking out a 46.85 as an indication of what may come here individually.

The 2nd sf includes both Americans in this race, Nathan Adrian and Caeleb Dressel, teammates from the gold medal-winning 4×100 free relay. But, Aussie Cameron McEvoy clocked the field’s only sub-48 second outing thus far with a time of 47.97. Like teammate Emma McKeon, McEvoy is chasing Australia’s first gold medal of these championships.

China has a chance to earn another backstroke medal in the women’s 50m sprint, with Fu Yuanhui already having earned the 4th fastest time ever in 27.21. She’ll try to hang on to the pole position in tonight’s semifinal against the likes of Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros and Canada’s newly-minted 100m world record holder Kylie Masse.

As mentioned, Katinka Hosszu will take on a 2nd event in the form of the women’s 200m butterfly, but all she needs to do is swim a time well enough to make it into the top 8 for tomorrow night. The 1500m freestyle silver medalist, Mireia Belmonte, looks like the favorite thus far in this event, but China’s Zhang Yufei holds the 2nd fastest time headed into tonight with 2:07.50.

One of the most cut-throat races of these entire championships is the men’s 200 IM, were we already saw 3 times in the 1:56 range and 2 in the 1:57 range. Keep in mind it took 1:56.61 for Japan’s Kosuke Hagino to take silver behind Michael Phelps in Rio, so we’re already past that with semifinals and finals yet to go.

Chase Kalisz will try to carry on the 2IM torch, but GBR’s Max Litchfield is riding the momentum of a new national record from this morning. Daiya Seto will take on the double tonight after having already raced the 200 fly final earlier in the session. His goal will be to just make the 2IM final and he most likely won’t go after a best time tonight intentionally. But, that may be what it will take in this ridiculously-talented field.



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Most exciting night yet. Can’t wait.


Hoszu holds the top speed with 2:07.25, not Yufei, however the Chinese girls seem to be more dangerous than Belmonte at the moment. Hope I am wrong and we can see a hard and fair battle in between Mireia and Katinka tomorrow.

tea rex

If I raced Ledecky in the mile yesterday, I would be finishing right about….. now.

About Loretta Race

Loretta 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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