2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Day 2 Prelims Live Recap


Day 2 Prelims heat sheets.

Day 2 prelims of the 2019 FINA World Championships feature five events, four of which are headlined by World Record holders, including: Ryan Murphy (USA), 100 backstroke; Kathleen Baker (USA), 100 backstroke; Lilly King (USA), 100 breaststroke; and Katie Ledecky (USA), 1500 freestyle. The men’s 200 freestyle, meanwhile, is absent Paul Biederman (Germany), who set the mark during the super-suited 2009 World Championships at 1:42.00. Nonetheless, the title of fastest-ever is far from a gold-medal guarantee.

For Murphy, the biggest challengers are Xu Jiayu of China and countryman Matt Grevers. Murphy and Grevers are the 2016 and 2012 Olympic gold medalists, respectively, in the 100 back, though Xu bested them both for gold at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. Baker, meanwhile, must overcome Canadian Kylie Masse, the former World Record holder in the 100 backstroke and fastest in the world this year. Team USA’s Olivia Smoliga has also been looking dangerous, and youngsters Taylor Ruck (Canada) and Kaylee McKeown (Australia) can’t be counted out either.

Lilly King has been the world’s foremost female sprint breaststroke specialist since 2016, though Yulia Efimova from Russia has never lingered far behind King in the 100. Though a 200 specialist, Efimova remains the 3rd-fastest performer all-time behind King and former-World Record holder/2012 Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte.

The women’s 1500 freestyle is Katie Ledecky‘s race to lose, though that’s also what most swim fans (at least in the United States) thought about the 400, which she lost to Australian Ariarne Titmus. Since this is just the prelims and the finals are not until Tuesday evening, there is no imminent danger for Ledecky in the 1500.

The men’s 200 freestyle is one of the more wide-open events, though the favorite has to be China’s Sun Yang. Americans Townley Haas and Andrew Seliskar, as well as Australian Kyle Chalmers and Clyde Lewis, and Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys, ought to make for an exciting show down tomorrow.


Women’s 100 Backstroke – PRELIMS

  • World Record: Kathleen Baker (United States), 2018, 58.00
  • Junior World Record: Regan Smith (United States), 2019, 58.45
  • World Championships Record: Kylie Masse (Canada), 2017, 58.10
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Kylie Masse (Canada), 58.10

Taylor Ruck had the lead at 50 meters in 28.86, but Kaylee McKeown surged over the second 50 to touch first in 59.25, right on her time from Aussie Trials. Ruck touched second in 59.82, while Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands took 3rd in heat 4 in 1:00.27.

Kylie Masse led through 50 meters, but was overpowered by Minna Atherton, though briefly, following and incredible underwater from the Australian. Ultimately, Masse got to the wall first in 58.91, though Atheron still produced a 59.22, also right on her best time, to easily slip into the top 16.

Katinka Hosszu, the 2016 Olympic champion, was a declared false start in the final heat, leaving lane 2 empty. Kathleen Baker took the race out fast and held on to touch first in her heat in 59.31. Teammate Olivia Smoliga touched 2nd in 59.55, while Great Britain’s Georgia Davies slipped under 1:00 to finish 3rd in the heat in 59.84.

Overall, 9 women finished under 1:00 in the prelims, while positions 10 through 16 ranged from 1:00.05 to 1:00.66.


  1. Kylie Masse, Canada, 58.91
  2. Minna Atherton, Australia, 59.22
  3. Kaylee McKeown, Australia, 59.25
  4. Kathleen Baker, United States, 59.31
  5. Olivia Smoliga, United States, 59.55
  6. Taylor Ruck, Canada, 59.82
  7. Georgia Davies, Great Britain, 59.84
  8. Simona Kubova, Czech Republic, 59.95
  9. Margherita Panziera, Italy, 59.99
  10. Natsumi Sakai, Japan, 1:00.05
  11. Laura Riedemann, Germany, 1:00.15
  12. Kira Toussaint, Netherlands, 1:00.27
  13. Anastasia Fesikova, Russia, 1:00.38
  14. Ingeborg Loyning, Norway, 1:00.47
  15. Chen Jie, China, 1:00.64
  16. Daria Vaskina, Russia, 1:00.66

Men’s 100 Backstroke – PRELIMS

  • World Record: Ryan Murphy (United States), 2016, 51.85
  • Junior World Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (Russia), 2017, 53.38
  • World Championships Record: Aaron Piersol (United States), 2009, 52.19
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Xu Jiayu (China), 52.44

Matt Grevers and Mitch Larkin were the main focus in heat 5 of prelims, though Guilherme Guido from Brazil took the heat in a brisk 52.95, leading from start to finish, producing a new South American Record when he hit the wall.

Issues with the backstroke wedges abound for both women and men in this morning’s prelims, though nobody so far has seemed diminished by the minor delays plaguing almost every heat.

Xu Jiayu won heat 6 in a steady 52.85, looking relaxed the entire way, pushing his entire shoulder out of the water with every stroke. There has been a minor delay in getting the results following heat 6; heat 7, the final heat of the prelims, is standing behind the blocks waiting.

Results were ratified and Jiayu’s 52.85 is official. Japan’s Ryosuke Irie was second in the heat in 53.38, while Romania’s Robert Glinta took third in heat 6 in 53.64, 1/100th ahead of countryman Daniel Martin at 53.65.

Heat 7 began with disaster; Italy’s Simone Sabbioni had a major issue with the wedge a the start and did not swim the entire race; according to the commentators, Sabbioni did not get past 15 meters. As heat 7 walks away, Sabbioni prepares for a time trial to qualify for the semifinals, with immense support from the crowd.

Sabbioni was originally to swim in lane 6 of heat 7; in his time trial, he swims in lane 5. However, Sabbioni falls again from lane 5. Finally, in his third attempt at the start, still in lane 5, Sabbioni gets off to a good start, and flips at 50 meters in 25.98. Sabbioni ultimately recorded a time of 53.85 to qualify 13th for tonight’s semifinals.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Dylan Carter was given a re-swim after going 55.33 in heat 5, tying for 30th overall. In his time trial, Carter posted a time of 54.03, a mere .01 ahead of original 16th-place finisher Thomas Ceccon of Italy. Carter’s results have been verified, and Ceccon is out of the semifinals.


  1. Xu Jiayu, China, 52.85
  2. Guilherme Guido, Brazil, 52.95
  3. Mitch Larkin, Australia, 53.12
  4. Matt Grevers, United States, 53.22
  5. Ryosuke Irie, Japan, 53.38
  6. Evgeny Rylov, Russia, 53.45
  7. Robert Glinta, Romania, 53.64
  8. Daniel Martin, Romania, 53.65
  9. Ryan Murphy, United States, 53.69
  10. Markus Thormeyer, Canada, 53.77
  11. Mikita Tsmyh, Belarus, 53.81
  12. Apostolos Christou, Greece, 53.82
  13. Simone Sabbioni, Italy, 53.85
  14. Kliment Kolesnikov, Russia, 53.89
  15. Luke Greenbank, Great Britain, 53.95
  16. Dylan Carter, Trinidad & Tobago, 54.03*
  17. Thomas Ceccon, Italy 54.04 — BUMPED OUT OF SEMIFINALS

Women’s 100 Breaststroke – PRELIMS

  • World Record: Lilly King (United States), 2017, 1:04.13
  • Junior World Record: Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania), 2014, 1:05.39
  • World Championships Record: Lilly King (United States), 2017, 1:04.13
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Lilly King (United States), 1:04.13

Reona Aoki of Japan posted a 1:06.81 to take the 4th heat of the women’s 100 breaststroke, easily besting Great Britain’s Molly Renshaw (2nd, 1:07.43) and Anna Belousova (3rd, 1:07.56), though Renshaw charged at the end.

Lilly King dominated the 5th heat of the 100 breast in a casual 1:06.31. China’s Yu Jingyao also slipped under 1:07 to take 2nd in the heat behind King in 1:06.91. Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni charged over the final 15 meters to touch 3rd in 1:07.09, just ahead of Alia Atkinson (4th, 1:07.25). Team USA’s Micah Sumrall was 5th in the heat in 1:07.81.

Yulia Efimova was 8th at 50 meters, but surged over the final 20 meters to take the win in heat 6 with a 1:06.58. Italy’s Martina Carraro was right alongside Efimova, touching in 1:06.62, and South African Record holder/World University Games gold medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker finished 3rd in the heat in 1:06.76, about 4/10ths off her African Record.


  1. Lilly King, United States, 1:06.31
  2. Yulia Efimova, Russia, 1:06.58
  3. Martina Carraro, Italy, 1:06.62
  4. Tatjana Schoenmaker, South Africa, 1:06.76
  5. Reona Aoki, Japan, 1:06.81
  6. Yu Jingyao, China, 1:06.91
  7. Arianna Castiglioni, Itlay, 1:07.09
  8. Alia Atkinson, Jamaica, 1:07.25
  9. Fanny Lecluyse, Belgium, 1:07.27
  10. Lisa Mamie, Switzerland, 1)7.30
  11. Jessica Vall, Spain, 1:07.32
  12. Jessica Hansen, Australia, 1:07.38
  13. Molly Renshaw, Great Britain, 1:07.43
  14. Anna Belousova, Russia, 1:07.56
  15. Alina Zmushka, Belarus, 1:07.69
  16. Micah Sumrall, United States, 1:07.81

Men’s 200 Freestyle – PRELIMS

  • World Record: Paul Biederman (Germany), 2009, 1:42.00
  • Junior World Record: Ivan Girev (Russia), 2017, 1:46.40
  • World Championships Record: Paul Biederman (Germany), 2009, 1:42.00
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Sun Yang (China), 1:44.39

Kyle Chalmers and Sun Yang chose to take the first 100 meters easy in the 5th heat of the 200 freestyle. By 150, Sun was nearly even with Dominik Kozma, and pulled ahead to ultimately win in 1:46.2 Though seemed to struggle Chalmers to find his footing after the 150-meter turn, he surged in the final 30 meters to touch 2nd behind Sun in 1:46.36, pushing Kozma to 3rd in 1:46.25.

Duncan Scott, Townley Haas, and Andrew Seliskar highlight heat six of the men’s 200 freestyle. Haas flipped 51.69 at 100 meters, but Scott got the touch in 1:46.45, just .01 ahead of Fernando Scheffer of Brazil. Haas finished 5th in 1:46.85, while Seliskar finished just ahead in 1:46.74.

James Guy took the race out fast in the final heat, flipping at 100 meters in 51.37. Guy continued to lead through 150 with a 1:18.62, leading by nearly a body-length. Guy held on to touch first in 1:46.18.


  1. James Guy, Great Britain, 1:46.18
  2. Sun Yang, China, 1:46.22
  3. Martin Malyutin, Russsia, 1:46.29
  4. Kyle Chalmers, Australia, 1:46.36
  5. Duncan Scott, Great Britain, 1:46.45
  6. Fernando Scheffer, Brazil, 1:46.46
  7. Katsuhiro Matsumoto, Japan, 1:46.51
  8. Dominik Kozma, Hungary, 1:46.55
  9. Danas Rapsys, Lithuania, 1:46.60
  10. Ji Xinjie, China, 1:46.62
  11. Mikhail Dovgalyuk, Russia, 1:46.72
  12. Andrew Seliskar, United States, 1:46.74
  13. Townley Haas, United States, 1:46.85
  14. Clyde Lewis, Australia, 1:46.93
  15. Filippo Megli, Italy, 1:46.95
  16. Maarten Brzoskowski, Netherlands, 1:47.06

Women’s 1500 Freestyle – PRELIMS

  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2018, 15:20.48
  • Junior World Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2014, 15:28.36
  • World Championships Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2015, 15:25.48
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Katie Ledecky  (United States), 15:25.48

Marlene Kahler of Austria won the first of three heats of the women’s 1500 in 16:32.00. Singapore’s Ching Hwee Gan, who turned 16-years-old today, touched 2nd in 16:44.65. Racing in front of a home crowd, Han Dakyung touched 3rd in 16:49.13.

Simona Quadarella (Italy), Ashley Twichell (United States), Kiah Melverton (Australia), and Anja Kesely (Hungary) square off in heat two.

Quadarella and Twichell hold the lead through 400 meters, flipping at 4:11.4 and 4:11.7, respectively. Kesely and Melverton have held steady in 3rd and 4th, leaving a broad gap between the top 4 swimmers in the heat and the rest of the pack. At 700 meters, Kesely has begun to close the gap, pulling further ahead of Melverton and making up some ground on Twichell. Quadarella, meanwhile, has opened up a lead of fully one second by 800 meters in front of Twichell. By 1200, Quadarella had opened the gap up to over 2 seconds ahead of Twichell. Kesely lingered about a second behind Twichell, but made up ground over the next 100 meters. At 1400, Quadarella led by 3 seconds; the following 50 saw Kesely–utilizing a frantic turnover rate–rocket past Twichell.

Quadarella easily won the heat in 15:51. 59. Kesely finished 2nd in 15:54.48, Twichell 3rd in 15:56.22, and Melverton 4th in 15:59.92. With Ledecky yet to swim in the 1500, we should be guaranteed at least 5 swimmers sub-16:00 in the 1500 going into the final.

Ledecky took the race out fast, just .06 over World Record pace with a 58.56 to the feet at 100 meters. Through the first 400 meters, Ledecky has swam in clean water, flipping 4:07.64. Ledecky finished the race in 15:48.90, easilty the fastest qualifier into the top 8. Spain’s Mireia Belmonte missed the final, finishing in 16:08.37 for 9th overall.


  1. Katie Ledecky, United States, 15:48.90
  2. Simona Quadarella, Italy, 15:51.59
  3. Sarah Kohler, Germany, 15:54.08
  4. Anja Kesely, Hungary, 15:54.48
  5. Ashley Twichell, United States, 15:56.22
  6. Kiah Melverton, Australia, 15:59.92
  7. Wang Jianjiahe, China, 16:00.17
  8. Maddy Gough, Australia, 16:02.75

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4 years ago

This has got to be the most entertaining comments section of all time. Kudos to you all.

4 years ago

Macneil!?!?!? Dangg

4 years ago

Mixed 4×100 medley

– Mitchell Larkin
– Matthew Wilson
– Emma McKeon
– Cate Campbell

– Ryan Murphy
– Andrew Wilson
– Kelsi Dahlia
– Simone Manuel

– Luke Greenbank
– Adam Peaty
– Alys Thomas
– Freya Anderson

– Evgeny Rylov
– Anton Chupkov
– Svetlana Chimrova
– Mariia Kameneva

4 years ago

Men 800 fr
– Mykhailo Romanchuk
– Florian Wellbrock
– Gabriele Detti
– Sun Yang

Women 200 fr
– Ariarne Titmus
– Taylor Ruck
– Emma McKeon
– Sarah Sjoestroem

Men 200 fly
– Kristif Milak
– Tamas Kenderesi
– Daiya Seto
– Chad le Clos

Men 50 br
– Adam Peaty
– Felipe Lima
– Joao Gomes
– Fabio Scozzoli

4 years ago

Wow the comments on this post are so savage..

4 years ago

I am very disappointing with the Germans so far. Yesterday just one semifinal, today just only one semifinal and one final by Sahra Koehler. 10 years ago in Rome many Germans swimmers were on top but today the time has changed…No TV broadcast, no money a lot of chaos in the German Swimming association and controversy between the new “leader” kurschilgen and the old one Lambertz…It will be tough to climb the hill up in the future.

Reply to  Martin
4 years ago

1) You realize that in 2009 Germany had the supersuits?
2) Who exactly did disappoint you so far? Noone who went out in the heats should have made the semifinal and noone who went out in the semifinal should have made the final. If Köhler and Wellbrock would have swum the 400 free yesterday, then Germany would have 4 final participations by now, at the 2017 world championships Germany had 0 final participations in the same events. Guess how many final participations Germany had at the end of the 2017 world championships … 3! Right now Germany already has 2 with 2 x Wellbrock, Koch, Kusch, 2 x Heintz, Köhler (800 free), Hentke, men’s 800 free relay, women’s 800… Read more »

4 years ago

After seeing Correia so-so today it seems pinheiros Albertinho group totally missed nailing the taper (Breno chiereghini spajari) all seem to be missing endurance

4 years ago

After swimming the 10K + other open water races, dropping down to the 1500 for Twichell has to feel like the best taper! I hope she gets on the podium in finals. Go USA!

Reply to  Coach
4 years ago

Yes congrats to Twichell for making the Olympic team

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six with the Clay Center Tiger Sharks, a summer league team. At age 14 he began swimming club year-round with the Manhattan Marlins (Manhattan, KS), which took some convincing from his mother as he was very …

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