2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


Get hype: We’re about to see Sun Yang pursue his third gold medal of the 2019 World Championships, Kristof Milak swim the 200 fly for his first worlds gold medal in the event, and Caeleb Dressel swim the 100 free after going a 47.32 in prelims.

The first event of the night, the men’s 800 freestyle, will showcase the ever-controversial Sun Yang, as well as Italians Gabriele Detti and Gregorio Paltrinieri. It’s no secret Sun has his eye on the 800 in Tokyo 2020. If he were able to claim the 800 gold medal in Tokyo, he would simultaneously become the first man to ever win the 800 freestyle in the Olympics, and the first man to win the 200, 400, 800, and 1500 gold medals.

The final of the women’s 200 free will feature World Record holder Federica Pellegrini, 400 freestyle champion Ariarne Titmus, as well as Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey, a quiet breakout star of these championships who does not have a medal to her name (yet), but has posted impressive freestyle times whenever she dives in the pool.

After a swim-off, Hungarian Tamas Kenderesi qualified 8th for the finals of the men’s 200 fly. He will race with countryman Kristof Milak, the favorite to win the race, and Chad le Clos, Zach Harting, and Daiya Seto for the 200 butterfly crown in Gwangju.

Adam Peaty is the favorite in the men’s 50 breaststroke. In fact, if he were to lose the 50 breast tonight, it would be one of the biggest upsets in a championships full of upsets.

Similar to Peaty, the United States is the overwhelming favorite in the mixed 4 x 100 medley relay, where the Americans are the 2017 World Champions and World Record holders.

After a scorching 47.32 in the prelims of the 100 freestyle, the world is eager to see what else Caeleb Dressel has in store. 2016 Olympic Champion and 2019 world-leader Kyle Chalmers posted a pedestrian 48.66 to place 10th, though he likely has a lot more in store.

Defending 200 IM Champ Chase Kalisz should coast through the semis, though the times will undoubtedly get faster. Expect to see Daiya Seto, Mitch Larkin, and Jeremy Desplanches in the medal conversation post-semifinals.

The women’s 50 backstroke is headlined by some of the fastest women in history, including 2015 World Champion Fu Yuanhui, 2017 World Champion Etiene Medeiros, and 2018 Short Course World Champion Olivia Smoliga, plus World Junior Record holder (though no longer a junior) Minna Atherton.

Men’s 800 Freestyle – FINAL

  • World Record: Zhang Lin (China), 2009, 7:32.12
  • World Junior Record: Mack Horton (Australia), 2014, 7:45.67
  • World Championships Record: Zhang Lin (China), 2009, 7:32.12
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Gabriele Detti (Italy), 7:40.77

For the first final in 12 years, no American swimmers will race in the men’s 800 tonight.

Gabriele Detti takes the early lead through 100 meters, followed closely by teammate Gregorio Paltrinieri and Frances David Aubry. Sun Yang lingers in lane 8, but at 200 meters is only 7th.

At 300 meters Paltrinieri has extended his lead; going into 400 meters Paltrinieri is a body-length ahead of the field, flipping in 3:48.92. 500 meters shows Paltrinieri extend the lead further, flipping 4:46.42. Sun Yang‘s hopes for a medal seem diminished as he sits in the 8th position at 600.

Paltrinieri will not lose this race and it’s now a battle for silver. Norway’s Henrik Christiansen sits 2nd at 700, distancing himself from Australia’s Jack McLoughlin. McLoughlin is passed on the final 50 meters by Aubry.

Paltrinieri’s winning time of 7:39.27 is the 6th-fastest in history and a European Record. Christiansen’s silver-medal effort ends in 7:41.28, while Aubry finished clearly ahead of McLoughlin for bronze in 7:42.08.

Defending champion Gabriele Detti of Italy finished 5th in 7:43.89, ahead of Sun Yang who was 6th in 7:45.01.


Women’s 200 Freestyle – FINAL

Penny Oleksiak is the early leader at 50 meters, but by 100, Ariarne Titmus has taken the lead, only .05 over World Record pace.

Federica Pellegrini surges ahead of Titmus over the final 50 to touch first in 1:54.22. Titmus takes silver in 1:54.66, barely holding off Sarah Sjostrom who takes bronze in 1:54.78. Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong finished 4th in 1:54.89.

Pellegrini has won a medal in each of the last 8 editions of the World Championships, four of which have been gold.

China’s Yang Junxuan finished 5th with a new World Junior Record of 1:55.43, shaving a full half-second from her mark set yesterday. Penny Oleksiak, the leader at 50 meters, finished 6th in 1:56.59. France’s Charlotte Bonnet hit the wall 7th in 1:56.95, and Japan’s Rio Shirai rounded out the field in 8th in 1:57.14.

Sarah Sjostrom was met by medical staff after exiting the pool, who administered oxygen to the Swedish star. She was able to leave the deck herself a couple moments later.


Men’s 100 Freestyle – SEMIFINAL

  • World Record: Cesar Cielo (Brazil), 2009, 46.91
  • World Junior Record: Kyle Chalmers (Australia), 2016, 47.58
  • World Championships Record: Cesar Cielo (Brazil), 2009, 46.91
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Caeleb Dressel (United States), 47.17

Kyle Chalmers won the first semifinal in exactly the same time he won Olympic gold in 2016: 47.58. The only other sub-48 in the field was Russia’s Vladislav Grinev in 47.82. France’s Clément Mignon was 3rd in 48.25, and Hungary’s Nandor Nemeth 4th in 48.29. 2016 Olympic silver medalist Pieter Timmers of Belgium finished 8th in the first semifinal in 48.91.

Caeleb Dressel was a full head and shoulders above the competition at just 15 meters, but Marcelo Chierighini turned first at 50. Dressel nearly matched his prelims time with a 47.35 to finish the race. Chierighini finished 2nd in 47.76 and Blake Pieroni 3rd in 47.87, his first time under 48.


  1. Caeleb Dressel, United States, 47.35
  2. Kyle Chalmers, Australia, 47.58
  3. Marcelo Chierighini, Brazil, 47.76
  4. Vladislav Grinev, Russia, 47.82
  5. Blake Pieroni, United States, 47.87
  6. Clément Mignon, France, 48.25
  7. Nandor Nemeth, Hungary, 48.29
  8. Breno Correia, Brazil, 48.33

Women’s 50 Backstroke – SEMIFINAL

  • World Record: Liu Xiang (China), 2018, 26.98
  • World Junior Record: Minna Atherton (Australia), 2016, 27.49
  • World Championships Record: Zhao Jing (China), 27.06
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Etiene Medeiros (Brazil), 27.14

Olivia Smoliga finished in the precarious 4th position in the first semifinal in 27.76. Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros, the 2017 World Champion, won the first semifinal heat in 27.69, just ahead of Georgia Davies in 27.72. Australia’s Kaylee McKeown was 3rd in 27.73. Only .04 separated the first 4 finishers in the first semifinal heat.

Kathleen Baker won the second semifinal in 27.62, the fastest time of the evening. Austria’s Caroline Pilhatsch finished 2nd in the heat in 27.77, and Kira Toussaint 3rd in 27.78. 2015 World Champion and 2017 silver medalist Fu Yuanhui of China placed 9th overall after the second heat of semifinals concluded.


  1. Kathleen Baker, United States, 27.62
  2. Etiene Medeiros, Brazil, 27.69
  3. Georgia Davies, Great Britian, 27.72
  4. Kaylee McKeown, Australia, 27.73
  5. Olivia Smoliga, Untied States, 27.76
  6. Caroline Pilhatsch, Austria, 27.77
  7. Kira Toussaint, Netherlands, 27.78
  8. Daria Vaskina, Russia, 27.79

Men’s 200 Butterfly – FINAL

  • World Record: Michael Phelps (United States), 2009, 1:51.51
  • World Junior Record: Kristof Milak (Hungary), 2017, 1:53.89
  • World Championships Record: Michael Phelps (United States), 2009, 1:51.51
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Chad le Clos (South Africa), 1:53.33

Chad le Clos took the race out fast in a blazing 24.13, pursued by Milak. Le Clos was still under World Record pace at 100, turning in 52.55. Milak turned in 52.88 at the 100, matching Michael Phelps’ World Record split to the hundredth. Milak is ahead of World Record pace at 150, turning in 1:21.57, overtaking le Clos.

Milak buried the field and Phelps’ World Record to touch in an incredible 1:50.73. Milak is now the first swimmer in history to break the 1:51 barrier.

Japan’s Daiya Seto crushed his best time and slipped under 1:54 for the first time to win silver in 1:53.86, while Chad le Clos won bronze in 1:54.15, just ahead of young Italian Federico Burdisso, who touched 4th in 1:54.39.

Milak’s splits were 24.66, 28.22 (52.88), 28.69 (1:21.57), and 29.16 for a total time of 1:50.73. No other swimmer in the field cracked 30 on the final 50 meters with the second-fastest split being a 30.11 from Ukrain’s Denys Kesil who finished 5th in 1:54.79.

American Zach Harting finished 6th in 1:55.69. Brazilian Leonardo de Deus was 7th in 1:55.96, and Hungarian Tamas Kenderesi, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, finished 8th in 1:57.10.


Men’s 50 Breaststroke – FINAL

  • World Record: Adam Peaty (Great Britain), 2017, 25.95
  • World Junior Record: Nicolo Martinenghi (Italy), 2017, 26.97
  • World Championships Record: Adam Peaty (Great Britain), 2017, 25.95
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Adam Peaty (Great Britain), 25.95

No World Record for Adam Peaty, but he still dominated the final of the 50 breast with a 26.06 to win gold. Brazil’s Felipe Lima claimed silver in 26.66, while countryman Joao Gomes won bronze in 26.69.

Russia’s Kirill Prigoda was shut out of the medals finishing 4th in 26.72. Ilya Shymanovich placed 5th in 26.85, just ahead of Yan Zibei who set a new Asian Record in 26.86 to place 6th.

American Michael Andrew finished 7th in 26.93, while Italian Fabio Scozzoli was disqualified.


Women’s 200 Butterfly – SEMIFINAL

  • World Record: Liu Zige (China), 2009, 2:01.81
  • World Junior Record: Suzuka Hasegawa (Japan), 2017, 2:06.29
  • World Championships Record: Jessica Schipper (Australia), 2:03.41
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Mireia Belmonte (Spain), 2:05.26

Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas won the first semifinal heat in a dominant 2:07.33. German Franziska Hentke touched 2nd in 2:08.14, while Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova was 3rd to the wall in 2:08.30.

Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot were dominant in the second semifinal heat, finishing a full body-length ahead of the next nearest swimmer. Flickinger was just off her morning time to touch 1st in 2:06.25. Drabot set a new lifetime best time to finish 2nd in 2:06.59. Hungary’s Liliana Szilagyi was 3rd in 2:07.83, and Alys Thomas 4th in 2:08.26.

Defending World and Olympic Champion Mireia Belmonte of Spain finished 8th in the 2nd heat and 16th overall in 2:12.72.


  1. Hali Flickinger, United States, 2:06.25
  2. Katie Drabot, United States, 2:06.59
  3. Boglarka Kapas, Hungary, 2;07.33
  4. Liliana Szilagyi, Hungary, 2:07.83
  5. Franziska Hentke, Germany, 2:08.14
  6. Alys Thomas, Great Britain, 2:08.26
  7. Svetlana Chimrova, Russia, 2:08.30
  8. Laura Stephens, Great Britain, 2:09.06

Men’s 200 IM – SEMIFINAL

  • World Record: Ryan Lochte (United States), 2011, 1:54.00
  • World Junior Record: Qin Haiyang (China), 2017, 1:57.06
  • World Championships Record: Ryan Lochte (United States), 2011, 1:54.00
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Chase Kalisz (United States), 1:55.56

Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland was in command of the first semifinal, and despite a zig-zagging backstroke leg, still finished 1st in the heat in 1:56.73. Germany’s Philip Heintz finished 3rd in 1:56.95, and Japan’s Daiya Seto, silver medalist in the 200 fly already tonight, finished 3rd in the first semifinal in 1:57.10. Despite a strong backstroke leg, Mitch Larkin faded to 4th in the heat with a 1:57.45. American Abrahm DeVine was 5th in 1:57.91.

Andrey Zhilkin was exactly on World Record pace at 50 meters, turning in 24.89. Chase Kalisz and Laszlo Cseh surged in the backstroke, and Kalisz made his move on the breaststroke, splitting 33.3, pulling ahead of Cseh by 1.2 seconds at 150. Kalisz won the heat in 1:57.34, Duncan Scott was 2nd in 1:57.83, while Wang Shun touched 3rd in 1:57.98. Cseh placed 5th in the heat in 1:58.17 and will not advance to the final, finishing 10th overall.


  1. Jeremy Desplanches, Switzerland, 1:56.73
  2. Philip Heintz, Germany, 1:56.95
  3. Daiya Seto, Japan, 1:57.10
  4. Chase Kalisz, United States, 1:57.34
  5. Mitch Larking, Australia, 1:57.45
  6. Duncan Scott, Great Britain, 1:57.83
  7. Abrahm DeVine, United States, 1:57.91
  8. Wang Shun, China, 1:57.98

Mixed 4 x 100 Medley Relay – FINAL

  • World Record: United States (Grevers, King, Dressel, Manuel), 2017, 3:38.56
  • World Junior Record: Russia (Prikhodko, Chupkov, Pakhomov, Openysheva), 2015, 3:45.85
  • World Championships Record: United States (Grevers, King, Dressel, Manuel), 2017, 3:38.56
  • 2017 Defending World Champions: United States (Grevers, King, Dressel, Manuel), 2017, 3:38.56

Evgeny Rylov vaulted the Russian squad into the lead with a huge personal best time of 51.97 on the backstroke, scaring Ryan Murphy‘s World Record of 51.85. Rylov is now only the 4th swimmer in history to break 52 in the 100 backstroke and the 4th-fastest performer all-time. Lilly King produced a 1:04.94 on the breaststroke, but was passed by nearly every the other team, as every squad except the US used a male breaststroker.

Caeleb Dressel posted an otherworldly 49.33 in the butterfly to put the Americans back in first. Simone Manuel took over for the Americans on the freestyle, and Cate Campbell dove in for the Australians. Campbell passed Manuel in the final 25 meters to get the Australians to the wall first, splitting a 51.10 to Manuel’s 52.34.

The Aussies beat the Americans by .02 with a 3:39.08 to 3:39.10. Great Britain took the bronze in 3:40.68, just .10 ahead of Russia who placed 4th in 3:40.78.


  • GOLD: Australia (Larkin, Wilson, McKeon, Campbell), 3:39.08
  • SILVER: United States (Murphy, King, Dressel, Manuel), 3:39.10
  • BRONZE: Great Britain (Davies, Peaty, Guy, Anderson), 3:40.68

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3 years ago

Hahaha, you guys are crazy…Love it

3 years ago


Reply to  IM FAN
3 years ago

Mathew Wilson will break the world record in the 200 breast?

Reply to  Truth
3 years ago

Regan Smith will lead off the medley relay?

Reply to  IM FAN
3 years ago

Look dawg I’m sorry. I was bored and got carried away. I won’t do this again I swear

3 years ago

1300- Time to go to bed

3 years ago


3 years ago


3 years ago


3 years ago

Meanwhile let’s try to hit 1300, amirite

3 years ago

Excuse Dr.Yeet, MD’s behavior.

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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