2017 FINA World Championships: Day 7 Finals Preview


The second-to-last finals session from Budapest features nine more events on the schedule, including five 50m races.

The women’s 50 fly final opens things up, as Sarah Sjostrom seeks her second gold and third individual medal of the championships. Her meet record of 24.96 is certainly in jeopardy.

In the battle for silver and bronze, all of the other seven are in the hunt. Kelsi Worrell leads the charge with her 25.57 semi, and will look to get under the 2009 American record of Dara Torres (25.50).

For the third time we’ll see Caeleb Dressel do the 50 free / 100 fly double, beginning in the splash n’ dash where he’ll have lane 4. Dressel set a new American record of 21.29 in the semis, and is favored to sweep the sprint freestyle events. If he does, he’d be the first to do it since Cesar Cielo in 2009.

Vladimir Morozov came out of the semis seeded 2nd in 21.45, and Ben Proud and Bruno Fratus are dead-locked at 3rd in 21.60.

Next will be the women’s 200 back, which was incredibly fast in the semi-finals. Two women went under the gold medal winning time in Rio, and all but the Olympic bronze medalist Hilary Caldwell, who qualified 8th, went faster than Caldwell went to win that medal last summer.

Emily Seebohm tied her Australian record in the semis and looks to defend her title, but 100 back champion Kylie Masse is right there, one tenth back, and took off over a second from her previous best in the semis as the two went 2:05.8 and 2:05.9.

American Kathleen Baker sits 3rd, while Olympic silver medalist Katinka Hosszu will be out in lane 1 and Caldwell in lane 8.

There will then be two semis in the women’s 50 breast, with Yuliya EfimovaKatie Meili and Ruta Meilutyte swimming in the first heat. Then heat 2 will feature Lilly King, who was just a tenth outside of her American record this morning, and defending champion Jennie Johansson.

Dressel will then be back in the water for the 100 fly, which is scheduled to be about 32 minutes after the 50 free (about the same as yesterday prelims, longer than semi-finals). Based on what he’s shown, there’s no reason why he can’t walk away with two individual gold medals tonight. He could perhaps also become the 3rd man ever under 50 seconds in the 100 fly, with the 49.82 world record all of a sudden on notice.

Joseph Schooling may have something to say about that, however. He was over seven tenths slower than Dressel in the semis, but maybe he hasn’t shown his cards yet? His best time of 50.39 is still a long ways from Dressel’s back-to-back 50.0 swims, so will see what he has in the tank.

James Guy (50.67) and Kristof Milak (50.77) were faster than the Olympic champ in the semis though, and threaten to leave him off the podium altogether.

Pernille Blume and Sarah Sjostrom will go from lane 4 in two semis of the women’s 50 free, with Simone Manuel and Ranomi Kromowidjojo joining them in lane 5. These are the four expected to battle for three medals tomorrow.

Two more semis will follow in the men’s 50 back. Defending gold and silver medalists Camille Lacourt and Matt Grevers will swim in semi 1, and Junya KogaXu JiayuJustin Ress and Jérémy Stravius head up a loaded 2nd semi.

Katie Ledecky will be looking for a three-peat in the women’s 800 final, and shouldn’t have a problem doing so. Leah Smith is the #2 seed and will seek to make it another 1-2 finish for the U.S., like they did in the 400.

China’s Li Bingjie and Spain’s Mireia Belmonte will both threaten Smith for the silver, and perhaps hometown Hungarian Boglarka Kapas has big swim in her.

Things will finish off with the mixed free relay, where the U.S. is expected to swap in a whole new squad, headlined by 100m free winners Dressel and Manuel. Nathan Adrian, who was runner-up in the men’s 100, and Mallory Comerford, who was 4th in the women’s, make that team absolutely loaded and well within reach of breaking the world record by three or four seconds.

The Americans will have lane 5, with threats all over the pool including Australia in lane 8, Canada in lane 3 and Hungary in lane 6. The Netherlands will have lane 4.

Lineups will be announced prior to the session.

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Part of me wants to see Schooling’s face after being beaten by a WR, a 17 year old and a man who only swims fly to get a relay medal…


Regan Smith has a good lane between Hosszu and Baker. Hosszu earlier at the race and Baker later will help her with great time working as “rabbits”.


Meanwhile back in the USA, Regan’s home state Minnesota where the LC State meet is held at the U of MN. Big controversial decision made by Meet Host and/or Officials caused concerns and anger. Here is my post in a different article: am a great RS fan, as seen from my many comments. They stopped the meet in the middle of an event (of State Meet!) without prior notification to swimmers or coaches. I have never seen so many visibly and verbally angry swimmers, coaches, and parents (lot of them from Riptide, Regan’s team) in the stands and on deck! Yes we are proud of her as fellow Minnesotans, but such a decision made some swimmers waiting behind the blocks… Read more »

John Kelly

Anybody else notice that the only person who would have qualified from the Olympic semi-finals in the 100 fly at Rio for the 100 fly tonight was Joe Schooling. That’s how fast this final is.

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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