2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Day 1 Preview

2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

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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DMacNCheez
2 years ago

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

Philip Johnson
2 years 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.

Heyitsme
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

It’s just helping people 🤷🏾‍♂️

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Heyitsme
2 years ago

I know right..

Swimming4silver
Reply to  Philip Johnson
2 years ago

but IT’S ILLEGAL!

Small bird
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

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

Pinodee
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

You must be fun at parties, Braden.

JimSwim22
Reply to  Pinodee
2 years ago

Or he is a business owner?

HonestObserver
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years 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
2 years ago

Any word on the relay order for prelims?

Dee
Reply to  WV Swammer
2 years 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
2 years ago

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

Marklewis
2 years ago

Looking at the start list, the USA ‘s mens 400 free relay is in Heat 1 with none of the other top teams. Kind of strange.

They will have clear water to swim in as no one else will be close to them.

torchbearer
Reply to  Marklewis
2 years ago

They can take it nice and easy then like 2017….or maybe not!

Marklewis
Reply to  torchbearer
2 years ago

The coaching staff is no doubt trying to avoid any relay disasters considering the medal stakes involved. Hopefully there’s no confusion about what order they should swim as well.

Philip Johnson
2 years ago

Who else is watching fencing tho

HOYA13
2 years ago

This is a bit off topic, but what is the rationale for having different event lineups for men v. women at these big meets? Are there events where you’re more likely to have male crossover swimmers v female? Just seems like a lot of juggling when you could just have matching lineups for both genders.

50free
Reply to  HOYA13
2 years ago

Back to back 1500s could get a bit boring? My only guess

Yabo
Reply to  HOYA13
2 years ago

Probably to give ppl with double finals adequate rest and also make sure each final session is roughly around the same time

younggunbuckdude
2 years ago

i say apple with that 47.7 flat start needs to be on finals of the relay, that was one of the fastest times in us history and 3rd among active swimmers (dressel, adrian). Unfortunately, i agree that adrian needs to prove himself. Coming off of any surgery is tough, but i hope ole faithful can do it keep it up!

SeanSwim
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

They might end up saving Dressel, Pieroni, and Apple and throw Adrian, Chadwick, Haas, and Seliskar on the relay in prelims

joe
Reply to  SeanSwim
2 years ago

Seli was only 48.99 at Pan Pacs. I don’t see a reason to give him a prelims swim. Apple should have to show in prelims that he is in the same range he was at WUGs.

SeanSwim
2 years ago

I’m so excited!! 2 1/2 hours!
Really curious how the prelim line ups will be ordered

My prediction is
USA Men – Apple – Haas – Chadwick – Adrian,
unless they trust Apple is in WUGs form, then
Haas – Chadwick – Seliskar – Adrian

USA Women – Geer – Weitzel – Neal – Dahlia. Possibly McLaughlin or Ledecky but doubtful

AUS Women – B. Campbell (3rd at trials) – Wilson – Throsell – C. Campbell, save McKeon for finals due to 100 Fly and many other events to come? Or possibly put Leah Neale in prelims.

Anyone else have thoughts?

And another thing – who do they have lead off in finals – Dressel or… Read more »

DMacNCheez
Reply to  SeanSwim
2 years ago

They’d be silly to not use Dressel. Apple has had one lights out meet and needs to prove he can do it again here.

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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