2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Day 1 Preview


The first session of pool swimming at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships is chock-full full of World Record holders and other icons. Of the 8 events featured on the first day, 4 will have no semi-finals and go straight through evening finals where medals will be awarded: the men’s 400 free, the women’s 400 free, the men’s 400 free relay, and the women’s 400 free relay.

Sunday morning will also play host to preliminary rounds of the women’s 200 IM, women’s 100 fly, men’s 50 fly, and men’s 100 breast. Medal rounds for those events will come on Monday evening (Gwangju time).

Day 1 Morning Events:

  • Women’s 200 IM – Prelims
  • Men’s 400 free – Prelims
  • Women’s 100 fly – Prelims
  • Men’s 50 fly – Prelims
  • Women’s 400 free – Prelims
  • Men’s 100 breast – Prelims
  • Women’s 400 free relay – Prelims
  • Men’s 400 free relay – Prelims

5 out of 6 individual events on day 1 will include the World Record holder in that event: Katinka Hosszu in the 200 IM, Sarah Sjostrom in the 100 fly, Andrii Govorov in the 50 fly, Katie Ledecky in the 400 free, and Adam Peaty in the men’s 100 breaststroke. The only exception is the men’s 400 free, where now-retired Paul Biedermann holds the World Record at 3:40.07.

The relays will feature an Australian women’s team that is, largely, also the one that broke the World Record – with the exception of no Shayna Jack, who mysteriously withdrew from the meet at the last minute. Australia is still the favorite without her, but the World Record suddenly looks like a higher bar.

Day 1 Morning Session’s Top Storylines to Follow:

  • Ella Eastin was a last-minute addition to the US women’s roster in the 200 IM, replacing Kathleen Baker. Eastin was not great at the World University Games, taking silver in the 200 IM in 2:12.24. But, we expect she wasn’t at full taper there. Eastin has missed out on opportunities to show peak form in unusual circumstances in the last 2 years (DQ, mono), so this is her chance to show the world she’s a threat in Tokyo.
  • Spain’s Mireia Belmonte has been injured on-and-off for the last few years. The 200 IM prelims is the first test of her conditioning and health at this year’s World Championships.
  • Adam Peaty was aggressive in prelims of the 100 breaststroke at last year’s European Championships before backing off in the semis and breaking the World Record in finals. He’s been under 58 seconds 10 times in his career. There’s really very little risk to him of not advancing (even a mediocre Peaty is better than anyone else in the world), but if he’s going to dip under 57 seconds, we’ll be looking for markers in prelims.
  • The American men don’t have anyone seeded higher than 10th in the men’s 100 breaststroke. They sure would feel a lot better about being able to hold off Peaty and Great Britain in the medley relay if either Michael Andrew or Andrew Wilson (who will both swim in a heat against Peaty) could get under 59 on a flat start. Andrew will have a double in both sessions with the 50 fly: the start of his all-four-50s meet.
  • Katie Ledecky doesn’t get challenged often internationally in the 400, but Australian teen Ariarne Titmus was 3:59.35 at Australia’s Trials. Ledecky is still the favorite, but her margin-for-error is much smaller than it has been historically.
  • Ukraine’s Andrii Govorov was electric in the men’s 50 fly in 2018, ultimately lowering the World Record to 22.27. His best in 2019 is 22.87: 6-tenths away from that swim. What’s his follow-up this year? Can he recapture the magic, or is the motive gone with the goal achieved? This is a deep field with the likes of Oleg Kostin and Caeleb Dressel chasing him.
  • Speaking of which, Caeleb Dressel will start the chase for what could be as many as 9 gold medals in the 50 fly and the 400 free relay (though he’s probably not swimming prelims in the latter).
  • Speaking of which, again, who will the Americans use on the 400 free relay? Dressel, for sure, will get a free pass to finals. Does the reliable Nathan Adrian get a pass, or does he have to prove his training is back up to speed after missing time with testicular cancer? Did Zach Apple’s 48.0 flat-start in the individual, and 47.7 on a relay lead-off, at the World University Games earn him a pass? Will the Americans use Townley Haas on this relay? Lots of questions for Team USA in the men’s 400 free relay.

Racing kicks off at 10AM Gwangju time, and 9PM US Eastern Time.

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1 year ago

Sun Yang definitely doesn’t have the 400 Free world record

Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Save this link for the upcoming days: https://www.reddit.com/r/LiveTvLinks/comments/asojj8/sports_channels/

You can find the Olympic channel on there.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

It’s just helping people 🤷🏾‍♂️

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Heyitsme
1 year ago

I know right..

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago


Small bird
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

I think Braden is just doing some Classic CYA…. he could easily delete post

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

You must be fun at parties, Braden.

Reply to  Pinodee
1 year ago

Or he is a business owner?

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

I’m just guessing here, but it’s possible, just possible, that Braden is obliged to say something along these lines, so it doesn’t appear that SwimSwam is supporting circumventing/undermining regular pay per view channels, which could conceivably make Swimswam legally liable. As I say, it’s just a guess, but be aware that as the host here he doesn’t quite get to spout off in the carefree manner the rest of us do.

WV Swammer
1 year ago

Any word on the relay order for prelims?

Reply to  WV Swammer
1 year ago

Doubt it will be out for hours yet. Usually at the start of the session they publish relay line-ups.

WV Swammer
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

I guess it is just 7am in Gwangju, will be probably between 8 and 9 EST I presume

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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