2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Day 3 Preview


Day 3 prelims heat sheets.

Would that we could say that the 2019 FINA World Championships have gone off without a hitch so far, but multiple malfunctions with the backstroke wedges on day 2 caused a small riot among fans and participants alike. While the evening session of day 3 will feature finals of both the men’s and women’s 100 backstrokes, the morning session contains only events requiring a forward-facing start: the men’s 50 breaststroke, women’s 200 freestyle, men’s 200 butterfly, and men’s 800 freestyle.

Every event contested this morning will advance to a semifinal of 16 swimmers tonight, with the exception of the men’s 800, which will advance the top 8 swimmers only to the championship final Wednesday night.

Day 3 Morning Events:

  • Men’s 50 Breaststroke – Prelims
  • Women’s 200 Freestyle – Prelims
  • Men’s 200 Butterfly – Prelims
  • Men’s 800 Freestyle – Prelims (Final Wednesday night)

For the second morning in a row, no relays will be contested today, though fans will get previews of the women’s 800 freestyle relay by way of the women’s 200 freestyle prelims and semifinals (tonight).

This session is budgeted over a relatively timeline of only 1 hour and 47 minutes, with fully 42 minutes given to the final race of the morning, the men’s 800 freestyle, which consists of four heats. Though it is expected to end at 11:47 am local time, it will likely be at least a few minutes later than that, based on what we’ve seen.


  • Adam Peaty is fresh off a World Record in his signature event: the 100 breaststroke. On Sunday, the British breaststroke sensation blasted a 56.88 in the semifinals of the 100 breast to lower his own World Record by 22/100ths and distinguish himself further as the only man sub-57 in the event. Peaty is also the World Record holder in the 50 breaststroke, and given his improvement in the 100, a World Record Watch should be in full effect for all viewers.
  • Katie Ledecky will be back in the pool looking for redemption in the 200 freestyle. After the seemingly-invincible Ledecky was beaten in the 400 Sunday by Ariarne Titmus of Australia, swim fandom has been in a speculative state wondering how Ledecky will respond in her other races. While there is little to no worry about her ability to leave the rest of the field in her wake in the 800 and 1500, the 200 has been a struggle for Ledecky since losing the race to Italy’s Federica Pellegrini at the 2017 World Championships, and tying with Australian Emma McKeon for silver. At the 2018 Pan Pacs, Ledecky was again bested in the 200, this time be Canada’s Taylor Ruck, who will also race today.
  • Allison Schmitt, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and American Record holder in the 200 freestyle, will race her signature event alongside the likes of Ledecky, Pellegrini, and all the rest. Schmitt retired after the 2016 Rio Olympics, but came back in 2018, qualified for the Pan Pacs team, and in Tokyo cemented herself as the next-best American 200 freestyler to Ledecky. Schmitt enters the race with a bit of an underdog status that could work in her favor.
  • The budding rivalry between Australia and China in distance and mid-distance freestyle continues with the men’s 800 freestyle, where arch-rivals Sun Yang and Mack Horton will once again face off, though in separate preliminary heats. Though Sun has a history of scratching the longer races last-minute, there is reason to believe he is taking the 800 seriously now that it is an Olympic event for men. Were he to win the 800 next summer he would simultaneously become the first man to ever win the event in the Olympics and the first man to win Olympic gold in the 200, 400, 800, and 1500 meter freestyle races.
  • Hungary’s Kristof Milak takes on the 200 fly, an event he is favored to win. For viewers, perhaps the most exciting thing about watching Milak swim is now how far he distances himself from the field, but how close he edges towards Michael Phelps‘ elusive 1:51.51 World Record. Milak’s lifetime best is a 1:52.7, but there’s no time like the World Championships to drop a big time.
  • Young Americans Zach Harting and Justin Wright will have the opportunity to prove their metal in the 200 fly. Harting won the bronze medal in the 200 fly at Pan Pacs in 2018, but Wright, the 2018 U.S. National Champion in the event, failed to make the championship final, adding nearly 2 seconds to his time from U.S. Nationals during the prelims.

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Before we all predict the podium finishers in the Women’s 200mm free, lets figure out the eight who will qualify for the Final. Getting to the finals will not be easy, there are a lot of very fast women racing 200mm.


Titmus, McKeon, Ruck, Pellegrini, Haughey, Ledecky, Oleksiak, Bonnet

Sjostrom will not swim I think.

But the way the meet is going at least 1-2 of the names above will not make the final




I predict (read: hope) Sjostrom will not swim this. But ppl will predict some subset of Titmus, Rick, McKeon, Pellegrini for the medals.

7.874 inches

Man, a 200 millimeter race sure would be quick.

Steve Nolan

Solid username solidarity.


True! Whoever has longer fingernails…


Pellegrini will always be my choice for a medal in the 200.


this could be a very quiet session for USA


dont think Schmitty is going far with it


well it’s been a relatively quiet champs so far

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 …

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