While swimming at the World Championships in Budapest doesn’t get underway until the 23rd of July, the other events will all begin next week, with things kicking off on Friday the 14th with diving and synchronized swimming prelims. Open water swimming will then get underway on Saturday, with the men’s 5k up first.
In the 5k, defending world champion Chad Ho of South Africa will be competing, though 2015 silver and bronze medalists Rob Muffels (GER) and Matteo Furlan (ITA) will not. American David Heron will be back after finishing 6th in Kazan, and he’ll be joined by 2012 pool Olympian Andrew Gemmell.
A few other pool swimmers will be in the mix: Timothy Shuttleworth of Great Britain, Jack McLoughlin of Australia, Eric Hedlin of Canada, and David Brandl of Austria.
In the 10k we’ll see 2015 world champion Jordan Wilimovsky square-off with 2016 Olympic champ Ferry Weertman, who was also 2nd to Wilimovsky in Kazan. The American managed to finish 4th in the pool in the 1500 free and then follow-up with a 5th in the 10k in Rio, but has opted to completely focus on the 10k this summer, sitting out of the U.S. World Trials at the end of June.
Olympic bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier will also be in the mix, as ten of the top eleven finishers in Rio will be competing. The only one missing is Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece, who won silver in Rio at the age of 36, the oldest man in the field.
Other 10k entries include 2012 bronze medalist Richard Weinberger of Canada, American Brendan Casey, and Brit Jack Burnell, who was disqualified both in Rio and at U.S. Open Water Nationals in May.
Italy’s Simone Ruffini will defend his world title in the men’s 25k, and will be joined by the likes of countryman Matteo Furlan who won bronze, and well-known Hungarian Gergely Gyurta.
Tunisian Ous Mellouli, who famously won 1500 Olympic gold in 2008 and followed up with 10k open water gold in 2012 (plus 1500 bronze) is entered to swim all three distances, but has announced that he’s withdrawn from the championships due to a training injury.
The women’s 5k will feature defending champion Haley Anderson of the U.S., alongside teammate Ashley Twichell who was 6th back in 2015 but has made significant strides since. Twichell won silver in the 800 free at the 2016 Short Course World Championships, and then blew away the field at Open Water Nationals in the 10k for the win. She was 3rd in the 5k behind Anderson and Italian Rachele Bruni who won’t swim the 5k but will be in the 10k in Budapest.
2015 silver medalist Kalliopi Araouzou of Greece will be there, as will 10k Olympic champ Sharon van Rouwendaal who was 4th in the 5k in Kazan. Another notable name competing is Australian Kiah Melverton, who’s known more for her abilities in the pool.
The 10k will feature seven of the top ten from Rio, including gold and silver medalists van Rouwendaal and Bruni. 2015 world champion Aurelie Muller is in the lineup, as are the Americans Twichell and Anderson.
van Rouwendaal and Muller are also slated to swim the 25k, as are all three medalists from 2015: Ana Marcela Cunha, Anna Olasz, and Angela Maurer. Becca Mann and Cathryn Salladin will be the American representatives.