2018 FINA World Cup Day 2 Prelims: Michael Andrew On The Move


Prelims Highlights

All eyes may be on the heated points battle between Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu on the women’s side, but American Michael Andrew is already putting together one heck of a meet here in Singapore.

On day 1, the 19-year-old Race Pace Club swimmer collected 2 silver medals behind Russian Vlad Morozov, but managed to fire off new personal bests in both events. His time of 51.16 in the 100m IM was a huge new career fastest mark, while the teen’s 50m free time of 20.94 represented his first outing ever to dip under the 21-second threshold.

It looks like Andrew is on the move again on day 2, clocking the fastest 50m backstroke time of the morning. Leading the pack in 23.13, MA has notched yet another personal best, shaving .01 off of his previous fastest of 23.14 earned in Beijing.

Behind him and capable of threatening speed himself is China’s Xu Jiayu, the man who’s been tearing up the national record books this World Cup. Xu was also well under 24 seconds this morning, registering the 2nd seed in 23.38.

Another American finished in the top 3 for tonight’s final in 20-year-old Christopher Staka. In his first meet representing the United States on foreign soil, Staka did his nation proud, clocking 23.58 to be right in the mix for a medal tonight.

A former student-athlete for the University of Alabama, Staka is currently enrolled in Cabrillo College and is reportedly in the process of transferring to another NCAA Division I program.

MA was back at it in the 50m breaststroke, earning his 2nd top seed with a morning time of 26.19. That’s a quick outing for Andrew, whose personal best rests at the 26.15 he collected in Beijing.

Looks like Dutch racer Femke Heemskerk got the lap count right this morning to claim the top seed in the women’s 200m freestyle, registering an AM effort of 1:55.98. Yesterday Heemskerk missed out on a 400m freestyle medal after miscounting the laps and stopping at the 350m mark before continuing.

Aussie Madi Wilson slid into the #2 spot in the women’s 200m free field, notching a time of 1:57.18, just .12 ahead of 3rd seeded Liu Yaxin of China. Lone British swimmer Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Chinese Olympic champion from 2012 Ye Shiwen are also into tonight’s final with respective morning outings of 1:57.49 and 1;57.53.

Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori threw down the fastest 200m IM of the morning in a time of 1:56.23. That held off Hong Kong’s Kenneth To, who won the World Cup Series in 2012 representing Australia, as the Olympian touched in 1:56.27 for the 2nd seed.

Two Australians are ready to surge this evening, with Matthew Wilson and Mitch Larkin taking the 3rd and 4th seeds in times of 1:56.26 and 1:56.63, respectively. Larkin is coming off of the men’s 50m backstroke, where he took the 4th seed behind Andrew, Xu and Staka.

Wang Shun of China, who rocked a new Chinese National Record in the 100m IM last night, sneaked into the final as the 7th seeded swimmer with a morning outing of 1:57.05.

Hosszu already crossed the 900 FINA performance point line with her prelims swim in the 100m backstroke. The multiple Olympic gold medalist touched in 56.92 to represent the only swimmer of the morning to dive under 57 seconds.

Hot on her heels, however, is Australia’s Minna Atherton, along with Brisbane Grammar teammate Emily Seebohm. The Aussies finished with the 2nd and 3rd seed, respectively, with times of 57.49 and 58.03.

Newly-minted 50m backstroke National Record for Netherlands, Kira Toussaint, is ready to make her mark again on this meet, having claimed the 4th seed in 58.61.

Sjostrom produced the fastest 50m fly time of the morning, touching in 25.02 for a big lead over Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo. Kromo earned a morning swim of 25.62, while South Africa’s Tayla Lovemore also went sub-26 in a prelim effort of 25.65. Lovemore’s time overtakes her own previous National Record of 25.76 from the Budapest stop.

Four men were under the 48-second mark in the men’s 100m freestyle this morning, led by Russian points leader Vlad Morozov‘s time of 47.03. Morozov already set a new World Cup Record with the 45.16 notched in Beijing, so he has the capacity to do some major damage this evening.

Trying to stop him will be USA’s Blake Pieroni, who registered a prelims mark of 47.58, while Aussie Kyle Chalmers rounded out the top 3 in 47.67. Fun fact – Chalmers holds the World Junior Record in this event with the 46.12 he busted out at the Tokyo stop back in 2016.

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3 years ago

Vlad Morozov just swam 44.95 100 Free

3 years ago

Can Sarah break the WR in 50fly?

Reply to  Adam
3 years ago

Sarah didn’t swim 200free in the morning. Probably she doesn’t want her 50 fly to be disturbed by the double in the evening.
Actually she needs 24.66 only to secure her win of World Cup. I prefer this race to be swum exactly how it was done in Tokyo. So Ranomi Kromowidjojo will win $50,000 in the this cluster and has some chance to be the third overall bypassing Efimova earning with that another $50,000. Sjostrom by not winning will lose $500 only.

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

Agree, but I hope she can make another PB tonight in this event.

E Gamble
3 years ago

Not for nothing…Michael Andrew is usually seated first in nearly all of his events after prelims. Vlad gets him in the finals. 😕 Let’s go Michael.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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