2018 FINA Short Course World Championships
- Tuesday, December 11th – Sunday, December 16th
- Hangzhou, China
- Tennis Centre, Hangzhou Olympic & International Expo Center
- SCM (25m)
- Prelims: 9:30 am local, 8:30 pm ET / Finals: 7:00 pm* local, 6:00 am ET
- U.S. Live Stream (Finals – First Three Days)
- U.S. Live Stream (Prelims, Finals Last Day)
- FINA TV Livestream (All Sessions)
- Live Results (Omega)
* the final night of finals will be one hour earlier, starting at 6:00 pm local and 5:00 am ET
Day One finals at 2018 FINA Short Course World Championships will feature four semi-finals, five individual finals, and two relay finals. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, who is entered in eight events this week, will swim two of them on Tuesday night. She is top seed in the 400 IM, having qualified with 4:23.59 which is 4.15 seconds faster than European Champion Fantine Lesaffre of France, the second-fastest qualifier of the morning. Only two heats of men’s 100 breaststroke and one of women’s 100 backstroke will separate Hosszu from her two performances. Having qualified third in the 100 back (57.09) she will contest the second semi-final from lane 5. Hosszu pulled off the same double at the 2016 Short Course Worlds in Windsor, Canada. There, she won the 400 IM and placed 5th in the 100 back semi-final. This time she is swimming in a semi-final heat against USA’s Olivia Smoliga, who put up a blistering 55.47 in prelims to set the American Record, and LCM World Record-holder Kathleen Baker (57.16). Hosszu has held the SCM World Record in this event since 2014, when she went 55.03 at FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha.
The men’s 100 backstroke semi-finals should be equally as exciting. The three most recent SCM World Record-holders, Matt Grevers, Kliment Kolesnikov and Xu Jiayu, as well as reigning Olympic 100 backstroke champ and LCM World Record-holder Ryan Murphy, will all be battling for spots in the final. The top time of the morning, however, came from Brazil’s Guilherme Guido, who broke his country’s National Record with 49.57. Murphy put up 49.72 in prelims; he was followed by Xu in 49.83 and Grevers in 50.12. Kolesnikov qualified 11th for semis with 50.76, 1.86 seconds off his seed time of 48.90. Kolesnikov also qualified for the 200 IM final on Tuesday, but scratched that event to focus on the backstroke.
Day One will also feature the men’s and women’s 4×100 freestyle relays. In the women’s race, Team USA qualified first by over 3 seconds with Lia Neal, Veronica Burchill, Erika Brown, and Kelsi Dahlia. The first three were all in the 52.6-52.8 range, while Dahlia brought it home in 51.2. Mallory Comerford is likely to take over a leg in finals but the Americans still have 3 seconds to drop to contend for the World Record in this event (3:26.53), which was set by Netherlands in 2014 in Doha. The Dutch women qualified second this morning with Kim Busch, Maaike de WAARD, Valerie van Roon, and Ranomi Kromowidjojo. Only Kromowidjojo broke 53 seconds; she anchored the quartet in 52.4. But with Femke Heemskerk (who has gone 51.29 already this year) and Kromowidjojo (who’s been 51.01), Netherlands should be in contention for the gold.
The men’s 4×100 free is likely to be a battle between Russia and the United States. Brazil is likely to be in the mix, as well. Russia’s Evgeny Rylov (46.09), Ivan Kuzmenko (46.58), Mikhail Vekovischev (46.32), and Ivan Girev (46.17) combined for the morning’s top time of 3:05.16. Brazil (Matheus Santana, Marcelo Chierighini, Breno Correia, and Cesar Cielo) were second with 3:05.70. Team USA used Ryan Held, Kyle de Coursey, Michael Jensen, and Matt Grevers who were 3rd out of heats in 3:05.72. Held had the fastest leadoff of the morning with 45.82; he broke the American Record with his swim. The U.S. has enormous depth, though; Caeleb Dressel and Blake Pieroni are likely to swim in finals and Jack Conger could swim a leg as well. But the Russians have Vladimir Morozov who went 44.95 in November. And Vladislav Grinev and Kolesnikov have both been 46.4s this year. Russia won this event at the 2016 World Championships in Windsor. The United States owns the World Record (3:03.30 from 2009), while France has the Championship Record (3:03.78 from 2014).