2018 SC World Championships: Day 1 Prelims Preview


* the final night of finals will be one hour earlier, starting at 6:00 pm local and 5:00 am ET

Things will kick off at the 2018 Short Course World Championships in Hangzhou shortly with a massive eleven event slate for the opening session.

On the men’s side we’ll see preliminary heats in the 400 free, 200 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, 200 IM and 400 free relay, while the women will contest the 200 free, 50 breast, 400 IM, 100 back and 400 free relay. All events 200 and up will advance the top-8 swimmers directly to the final, while the 50s and 100s will have the top-16 make it through to the semis.

Among the highlights for the men will be the first glimpse of the stacked 100 back field in the water, with reigning backstroke Olympic champ Ryan Murphy swimming his first short course metres race in years and the three fastest men in history in Kliment KolesnikovXu Jiayu and Matt Grevers also in the lineup. Both entered with long course times, Grevers will be out in lane 0 in heat 3, while Murphy finds himself in lane 8 in heat 4. Xu and Kolesnikov will have lane 4 in heats 4 and 5 respectively.

We’ll also see Katinka Hosszu kick off her typically busy program with a pair of swims in the women’s 400 IM and 100 back, and newly minted LC world record holder Kathleen Baker and Australian Emily Seebohm will join her in the latter.

Chad Le Clos will begin his hunt for a third consecutive gold medal in the men’s 200 fly, and Michael Andrew will ease into a very busy schedule with just the 100 breast slated for the first session. The official teams have yet to be released for the relays, but chances are we’ll have to wait until finals to see the SCM debut for Caeleb Dressel.

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Caeleb should be swimming prelims. He’s never done an official scm race before (I think). Would be dumb to just debut in the finals


I’d like to see him lead off the 4×1 in prelims today. Maybe I’m too excited.


I wonder if we might see some missed turns? At any rate, surely he’s been practicing SCM lately. I’m not too concerned, at worst we see a misspaced turn or two. He has many races to work it out this week.


As an Aussie my heart is hoping for a Mitch larkin of 2015 performance with him fighting for the title in the 100. However, if we witness Ryan Murphy in anything similar to Pan Pac form, Rio form or 2016 NCAA form then he wins and its not even close. Kolesnikov, Grevers, Larkin and Xu will make it an INCREDIBLY fast race (Potentially 3-5 48s?!?) however if Murphy is on form he wins in 48-3-48.6.

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I’m not sure I’m as optimistic about the times, but I would LOVE to see a handful of people under 49.


Normally I would be on the cautious side when it comes to times as well, however with Xu having been a 48 already this year (he swims well at big meets), Kolesnikov swimming well in a variety of events and his swims in lc indicate to me he is good for another 48 second performance, Larkin was 49.3 or so in Singapore so I would love to see him at least better that swim here, Grevers could do absolutely anything and if the race is close i feel as though he will almost certainly be in it. And Murphy… well with what he managed to do in sc yards compared to others who swam very well in scm just tells… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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