2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Day 2 Preview


Day 2 Prelims heat sheet.

Of the five events contested this morning, only one, the women’s 1500 freestyle, will advance directly to the finals featuring the 8 fastest swimmers. Given the duration and intensity of the race, the final will take place Tuesday evening and not later today (Monday).

Preliminary rounds of the men’s 200 freestyle, men’s 100 backstroke, women’s 100 backstroke, and women’s 100 breaststroke, will take place today, advancing the top 16 swimmers to the semifinals tonight (tomorrow morning for U.S. viewers). Each race will go on to feature a semifinal of two heats–16 swimmers total–in the evening session.

Day 2 of the 2019 FINA World Championships features some of swimming’s most hyped-up rematches of 2019: Ryan Murphy, Xu Jiayu, and Matt Grevers in the men’s 100 backstroke; Kathleen Baker and Kylie Masse in the women’s 100 backstroke; Lilly King and Yulia Efimova in the women’s 100 breaststroke; and Sun Yang versus the world in the men’s 200 freestyle.

Day 2 Morning Events:

  • Men’s 200 Freestyle – Prelims
  • Men’s 100 Backstroke – Prelims
  • Women’s 1500 Freestyle – Prelims (Final Tuesday night)
  • Women’s 100 Backstroke – Prelims
  • Women’s 100 Breaststroke – Prelims

Like in day 1, all but one of the races on day 2 will feature the World Record holder in that event, with the exception being a Paul Biederman-less men’s 200 freestyle, where Biederman’s record of 1:42.00 is likely safe. The others include Lilly King in the women’s 100 breaststroke, Ryan Murphy in the men’s 100 backstroke, Kathleen Baker in the women’s 100 backstroke, and Katie Ledecky in the women’s 1500 freestyle.

Day 2 Morning Session’s Top Storylines to Follow:

  • Lilly King will begin her quest for a 1:03 in the 100 breaststroke. King set the World Record at the 2017 World Championships in 1:04.13 and has been vocal about her goal to be the first woman under 1:04. Russian Yulia Efimova will challenge King in the 100, though whenever Efimova is in the pool she tends to bring the best out of King.
  • Fresh off a gold medal and South African Record at the World University Games, Tatjana Shoenmaker stands to become the first woman in the history of the continent to break 1:06 in the 100 breaststroke, if she carries through with her recent momentum. She swam a 1:06.32 in Italy a couple of weeks ago.
  • The two fastest men in the history of the 100 backstroke, Ryan Murphy and Xu Jiayu, begin their gold medal campaign today. 2017 silver medalist Matt Grevers will also vie for a spot in the semifinals, a feat that should be no problem for any of the three. Murphy and Jiayu are two of only three men who have ever broken the 52-second barrier in swimming and together represent the fastest and second-fastest performers all-time, respectively, in the race, with PRs of 51.85 and 51.86, respectively.
  • Andrew Seliskar hits the pool for his first-ever World Championships event, the 200 freestyle. Seliskar exploded onto the international scene last summer with a victory in the 200 freestyle at the 2018 U.S. Summer National Championships. At Pan Pacs, Townley Haas got the better of Seliskar, but the Americans still went 1-2. With the rest of the world in the mix, they’ll have to fight a lot harder.
  • Kylie Masse will initiate her efforts to defend her 2017 World Championship and reclaim her 100 backstroke World Record from American Kathleen Baker. Baker withdrew from the FINA Champions Series in Budapest citing a broken rib from coughing, and ceded her chance to swim the 200 IM at these Championships to Ella Eastin. She hasn’t raced in months, and so there’s a lot of unknowns for her coming into her signature event.
  • Fresh off a shocking loss in the 400 freestyle, Katie Ledecky will look for redemption in the women’s 1500 freestyle. Though she probably won’t take it too hard in prelims, her final Tuesday evening will definitely be one to watch.
  • Italian Simona Quadarella, who was a favorite to at least final in the women’s 400 freestyle, withdrew from the event to focus on longer races, specifically the 800 and 1500. Quadarella gets her first chance to see if the bet to sit out the 400 paid off with the prelims of the 1500 today.
  • Spain’s Mireia Belmonte failed to make it out of the heats in either of her first two events, the 200 IM and 400 freestyle. After missing major competitions in 2018 due to injury, Belmonte appears not to have regained her top form just yet.
  • Controversial distance king Sun Yang hits the pool again to defend his 2017 title in the men’s 200 freestyle. Sun won the 400 on day 1 for the fourth-consecutive occasion of the World Championships. His presence at these championships has caused some controversy given his alleged behavior with anti-doping officials. Though he has a hearing with the Court of Arbitration of Sport in September, every additional medal Sun wins will salt the wounds of those that do not believe he is “clean.”

In This Story

Leave a Reply

8 Comment threads
35 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
29 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

I’m sure this has been asked 500 times already, but is there a (legally viewable) livestream available in the US? FINA is non-US, right?

Here’s the legal links and schedule: https://swimswam.com/full-television-live-stream-schedule-for-2019-world-championships-in-the-usa/

Anything else, you’re on your own.


there is a youtube video that comes up when it starts. look up swimming world championships 2019 live. worked for me for day one


You have to have a subscription to the Olympic Channel, or wait for the NBC recaps. Luckily a stream of the Olympic channel online isn’t hard to find if you want to go down that road.


Hulu with live TV gives you the Olympic channel. There is a free trial…


Commenter Philip Johnson, it’s your time to shine.

Peaty the Potato

Luke Greenbank to drop a monster 52.9 in heats. You heard it here first.


I doubt it but if does get in the upper mid 52 range and Guy’s fly is back to his 2017 form then maybe Britain can do it in the Medley. I anticipate the U.S being Murphy ~51.8 Wilson ~58.8 Dressel ~49.7 Adrian/Apple 47.0 So that’s probably a near WR or even better relay, similar to 2017. Best Case scenario for GBR is probably Peaty 56.3 (based on him dropping half a second of his individual in rio) Guy 50.6 (about his best individual time) Scott 47.0 So in order to match the U.S with Peaty, Guy, and Scott all at their absolute best Greenback will need to be 53.4. Not implausible but I wouldn’t put money on it. It… Read more »

Peaty the Potato

Yeah I’d say that’s fair analysis. Doesn’t Greenbank train with Mel Marshall at Loughborough as well? I know he likes the 200 but I’d have thought they’d have thrown everything they had at the 100 knowing that the backstroke leg for GB is the missing piece of the puzzle right now.

m d e

Your conservative estimate of the US is not very conservative.

You’re predicting best, or near best, swims from every swimmer.


Wilson and Dressel have gone within a tenth of those times in individual races, so I’d say those are conservative estimates considering they have a relay start. Adrian goes 47.0 (at the slowest) when there’s any pressure. He’s been as fast as 46.60, so that’s not really a huge thing to expect. Murphy at his own WR is the only really high expectation there, IMO.

Me e

Dressel did 49.76 on the relay at 2017 worlds.

Wilson has done within a tenth of that time once. It was a fairly large pb.

Adrian went a 47.08 last night. Closer to 47.1 then 47.0.

And you projected a Murphy world record.

I could easily see a solid US Swim that is more like 52.2/50.0/59.0/47.3

That would put them well over a second behind what you predicted. That would be conservative. Wouldn’t be what I’d predict necessarily. but I think it is quite likely one of the swimmers performs like my splits (or worse).

MC mCghee

All of these guys will probably be about half a second faster, Caeleb looks like he’s going to have a killer meet, Wilson has dropped a substantial amount of time, putting him in a good position, Adrian is the most consistent anchor on the planet, and we’ll see where Murphy is comes his races. Still, super stoked for this race and I’m excited to see what it comes down too!

Ol' Longhorn

Agree. Based on the U.S. free relay (not to mention how many other U.S. swims have been flat so far —- MA in the 100 breast, Ledecky, Dressel lead off, Dahlia fly and relay, etc.), it would be conservative to say at least one person would be well off his best. Could be any of them, but 0.5 sec off the best in the free relay so far.


Wouldnt go as far as you, but both Loughborough squads are looking fast recently, so there is good reason to be hopeful for Greenbank. Joe Litchfield & Emily Barclay at WUG a few weeks medalling. Peaty & Wilby here looking on it. Also Marie Wattel dropping a HUGE 100fl best yesterday. Luff are on fire!


I probably sound stupid asking this, I apologize, but why are there two different Loughborough squads? Are they two completely different places or if not how is it decided which swimmers train with who? I never understood why Peaty and Wilby don’t train together

Peaty the Potato

Dee is probably better suited than me to answer this, but might be to do with students vs high performance athletes?
Loughborough is one of GBs swimming performance centres and so people train there who aren’t actually students, but equally a lot of people who make it onto the national team also study there as well.


Yeah; Loughborough Uni squad & National Centre squad.


Not stupid at all. Loughborough Uni (Wilby, Wattel) & National Centre (Peaty, Greenbank) are different squads, yep.


In the 100m freestyle, we’ve seen more swimmers “break” through the gate and see more casual 47’s both in season and at championships (compared to the 2013-2017 period). Hopefully this progress translates to the 200free sooner rather than later– for now, opening 50’s above 24.5 would be a good start


I think part of it is alot of the guys stuck at 1:45 swim their races like they’re going for a 1:43. I know that’s just the way some guys like Haas are but I think alot of them could benefit from saving some of that gas from a sub 51 opening 100 for the back half in their swims. Feels like the 200 and 400 have really stagnated, like not just from the suit era Thorpe was 1:44.1 and 3:40.0 in 2001, 18 years later those times are guaranteed wins at Worlds… Btw Thorpe split that 24.8 51.4(26.6) 1:18.3(26.9) 1:44.1(25.8) Obviously Thorpe was a generational talent and I’m not saying that if people took the race slower they’d have… Read more »

How much can CD bench?

And we can only imagine where MP would have put the 400 record if he’d swum it at 07 worlds or in Beijing

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

Read More »