2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


Day 4 prelims heat sheets.

Tonight’s prelims session features one swim-off for a spot in the finals of the men’s 200 fly, as well as the preliminary rounds of the women’s 50 backstroke, men’s 100 freestyle, men’s 200 IM, women’s 200 butterfly, and the mixed 4 x 100 medley relay.

The swim-off for the finals in the men’s 200 fly features 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist Tamas Kenderesi and Bulgaria’s Antani Ivanov. The winner will get to race in the finals tonight.

The women’s 50 backstroke features two of three 100 backstroke medalists in Minna Atherton (silver) and Olivia Smoliga (bronze), as well as speedsters Etiene Medeiros of Brazil and Fu Yuanhui of China. Speaking of speed, Caeleb Dressel, Kyle Chalmers, Shinri Shioura, Marcelo Chierighini, and Vladislav Grinev all highlight what is sure to be a fantastic 100 freestyle.

Americans Chase Kalisz and Abrahm DeVine make their Gwangju debut in the prelims of the 200 IM. Kalisz is the defending World Champion, but Japan’s Daiya Seto has been on fire all year and ought to make the race interesting. Also watch out for Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches, who casually dropped a 1:57 at the Budapest stop of the FINA Champions Series in May.

2017 champion Mireia Belmonte of Spain will swim the 200 fly, though has had a rough meet so far, placing no better than 8th in any race. Hali Flickinger from the United States is a major contender for a spot on the podium, and might even be good enough to upset the Belmonte of 2016-2017.

The session will end with the prelims of the mixed 4 x 100 medley relay, where the United States are the defending champions and World Record holders.

Men’s 200 Butterfly – SWIM-OFF

  • 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

Kenderesi, who is known for incredible closing speed, took the race out fast, leading at the 50 and 100, though he only turned at 58.56 at the 100. Ivanov took over the lead at 150 in a sluggish 1:30, but then Kenderesi turned on the jets to touch first in 1:59.39. Ivanov touched 2nd in 1:59.52. For comparison, both men went 1:56.25 in the semifinals last night.

At the 150, Kenderesi turned in 1:31.13 (32.57 split) to Ivanov’s 1:30.80 (31.96 split). Kenderesi was 28.26 over 28.72 for Ivanov.

Winner: Tamas Kenderesi, Hungary, 1:59.39

Women’s 50 Backstroke – PRELIMS

  • 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 swam with a suit that was ripped at the right shoulder. The suit held up through the race, and Smoliga finished first in 27.96 ahead of Russia’s Anastasia Fesikova who touched in 28.02. Poland’s Alicja Tchorz managed a 3rd-place finish in the heat in 28.14.

Great Britain’s Georgia Davies bested Smoliga’s time in the next heat with a 27.92, the only swimmer sub-28 in the heat. Finland’s Mimosa Jallow edged Kathleen Baker for 2nd, hitting the wall 28.04 to 28.17. Aussie youngster Kaylee McKeown finished 4th in 28.23, ahead of World University Games 50 backstroke champion Silvia Scalia of Italy, who finished 5th in 28.30.

The 5th and final heat was won by Fu Yuanhui of China, the 2015 World Champion and 2017 silver medalist, in 27.70, easily the fastest swim of the morning. 2017 World Champion Etiene Medeiros of Brazil touched 2nd in 27.85 for the second-fastest time overall in the heats, jsut ahead of Kira Toussaint from the Netherlands, touched 3rd in 27.86. Julie Kepp Jensen of Denmark also finished sub-28 in 27.95 for 4th, and Simona Kubova of the Czech Republic 5th in 28.00.


  1. Fu Yuanhui, China, 27.70
  2. Etiene Medeiros, Brazil, 27.85
  3. Kira Toussaint, Netherlands, 27.86
  4. Georgia Davies, Great Britain, 27.92
  5. Julie Kepp Jensen, Denmark, 27.95
  6. Olivia Smoliga, United States, 27.96
  7. Simona Kubova, Czech Republic, 28.00
  8. Anastasia Fesikova, Russia, 28.02
  9. Mimosa Jallow, Finland, 28.04
  10. Alicja Tchorz, Poland, 28.14
  11. Kathleen Baker, United States, 28.17
  12. Maaike de Waard, Netherlands/Chen Jie, China, 28.19
  13. Kaylee McKeown, Australia, 28.23
  14. Caroline Pilhatsch, Austria, 28.28
  15. Daria Vaskina, Russia, 28.29

Men’s 100 Freestyle – PRELIMS

  • 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

Switzerland’s Nils Liess put up a 49.42 in just the second of thirteen heats in the men’s 100 freestyle. While that time isn’t considered competitive at the World Championships, he finished over three seconds ahead of the heat runner-up. Through heat 6, Liess still has the fastest time.

Alexei Sancov of Moldova took heat 7 in 50.05.

Daniel Zaitsev of Estonia took heat 8 in 49.44, still not quite as fast as Liess, but the first swimmer since heat 2 to break the 50-second barrier. Luke Gebbie of the Philippines was half-a-second behind Zaitsev, but nonetheless managed a sub-50 performance as well, touching in 49.94. Ari-Pekka Liukkonen came in 3rd in the heat in 49.98.

South Korea’s Jaehoon Yang got the crowd so hype the officials asked the swimmers to step down off the blocks before the start of heat 10. Yang ultimately finished 2nd in the heat in 49.37, just behind Ali Khalafalla of Egypt who finished in 49.22.

Caeleb Dressel dusted the field off the start and held the lead through 50 meters, flipping in 22.68. He extended his lead with his incredible underwater kicks, and ultimately won the heat in a blazing 47.32, assuaging doubts about Dressel’s condition for this World Championships despite Team USA’s slow start and setbacks. Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini finished 2nd in 47.95.

Duncan Scott and Chad le Clos both DFS’d the 12th heat of the 100 freestyle, leaving clean water for France’s Clement Mignon and Russia’s Vladislav Grinev. Mignon led at 50 meters, but Grinev made up the ground to win the heat in 47.92. Mignon finished 2nd in 48.20, and USA’s Blake Pieroni 3rd in 48.31.

Bruno Blaskovic from lane 10 blasted out to the lead at 50 meters, but ultimately finished last in the heat in 49.24. Brazil’s Breno Correia won heat 13 in 48.39, which, by comparison to Dressel, seems slow, though ranks as the 7th-fastest time overall in the heats. Italy’s Alessandro Miressi ended up 2nd in 48.57 behind Correia, while Aussies Clyde Lewis and Kyle Chalmers finished 3rd and 4th in 48.63 and 48.66, respectively. Russia’s Vladimir Morozov, and easy pick for at least a spot in the final, if not a medal, finished 8th in the heat in 49.09 and will not advance to the semifinals.


  1. Caeleb Dressel, United States, 47.32
  2. Vladislav Grinev, Russia, 47.92
  3. Marcelo Chierighini, Brazil, 47.95
  4. Clément Mignon, France, 48.20
  5. Blake Pieroni, United States, 48.31
  6. Nandor Nemeth, Hungary, 48.36
  7. Breno Correia, Brazil, 49.39
  8. Alessandro Miressi, Italy, 48.57
  9. Clyde Lewis, Australia, 48.63
  10. Kyle Chalmers, Australia, 48.66
  11. Shinri Shioura, Japan/Katsumi Nakamura, Japan, 48.68
  12. Mehdy Metella, France, 48.71
  13. Pieter Timmers, Belgium/He Junyi, China, 48.76
  14. Dylan Carter, Trinidad and Tobago, 48.77

Men’s 200 IM – PRELIMS

  • 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

Laszlo Cseh seemed the early leader in the 200 IM, but Caio Pumputis of Brazil touched first at 50 meters. Cseh got back to the first position at the 100 meter turn, but was passed by Daiya Seto at 150. Cseh finished 1st overall in heat in 1:57.39. Wang Shun of China, the short course world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, finished 5th in heat 4 in 1:59.18. Italy’s Thomas Ceccon scratched the race.

Abrahm DeVine turned first at 100 meters in heat 5, and was able to hold on through the 150-meter turn, but was passed by Germany’s Philip Heintz, Russia’s Andrey Zhilkin, and Australia’s Mitch Larkin on the freestyle, ultimately touching 4th in 1:59.26

Chase Kalisz took the race out conservatively on the butterfly and backstroke legs, but then made up most of that ground on the breaststroke, turning just behind Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches. Kalisz passed Desplanches on the freestyle to touch first in heat 6 in 1:58.20, pushing Desplanches down to 2nd in 1:58.43. 200 freestyle co-bronze medalist Duncan Scott finished 3rd in 1:58.57. Scott earlier scratched the prelims of the 100 freestyle to focus on this event.


  1. Laszlo Cseh, Hungary, 1:57.79
  2. Daiya Seto, Japan, 1:57.90
  3. Chase Kalisz, United States, 1:58.20
  4. Jeremy Desplanches, Switzerland, 1:58.43
  5. Duncan Scott, Great Britain, 1:58.57
  6. Philip Heintz, Germany, 1:58.71
  7. Andrey Zhilkin, Russia, 1:58.73
  8. Mitch Larkin, Australia, 1:58.75
  9. Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Australia, 1:58.86
  10. Alexis Santos, Portugal, 1:59.01
  11. Wang Shun, China, 1:59.18
  12. Abrahm DeVine, United States, 159.26
  13. Leonardo Coelho Santos, Brazil, 1:59.37
  14. Raphael Stacchiotti, Luxembourg, 1:59.62
  15. Tom Dean, Great Britain, 1:59.64
  16. Gabriel Lopes, Portugal, 1:59.76

Women’s 200 Butterfly – PRELIMS

  • 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

Hali Flickinger won heat 3 of the women’s 200 fly commandingly, touching in a fast 2:05.96. Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas took 2nd in the heat in 2:07.60, and Liliana Szilagyi third in 2:08.16.

Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi sat out the prelims of the 200 fly, leaving lane 7 open. Great Britain’s Alys Thomas led start to finish in heat 4, turning at 1:01.00 at 100 meters. Thomas won the heat in 2:08.69. Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, the 2017 World Champion, finished 6th in 2:10.63, qualifying for the semifinals in 16th.


  1. Hali Flickinger, United States, 2:05.96
  2. Boglarka Kapas, Hungary, 2:07.60
  3. Liliana Szilagyi, Hungary, 2:08.16
  4. Svetlana Chimrova, Russia, 2:08.26
  5. Katie Drabot, United States, 2:08.33
  6. Franziska Hentke, Germany, 2:08.69
  7. Alys Thomas, Great Britain, 2:08.69
  8. Laura Stephens, Great Britian, 2:09.03
  9. Ana Monteiro, Portugal, 2:09.43
  10. Hiroko Makino, Japan, 2:09.88
  11. Brianna Throssell, Australia, 2:09.91
  12. Ilaria Cusinato, Italy/Suzuka Hasegawa, Japan, 2:10.03
  13. Laura Lahtinen, Finland, 2:10.39
  14. Zhu Jiaming, China, 2:10.54
  15. Mireia Belmonte, Spain, 2:10.63

Mixed 4 x 100 Medley Relay – PRELIMS

  • 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

Switzerland led through the first 250 meters of heat 4, but were overtaken by Russia, Great Britain, and Japan by the time the butterfly was over. Russia held onto first through 350 meters, and despite hard charges by Great Britain and Canada’s Yuri Kisil, touched first.

The United States led off with Matt Grevers, who touched in 52.75, faster than he swam in the final of the 100 backstroke last night where he placed 5th. Grevers handed off to Andrew Wilson, who held onto the lead through the 200-meter changeover. Kelsi Dahlia extended the lead slightly over the butterfly, but were challenged by Australia in the freestyle. Mallory Comerford managed to hold off a fast-charghing Bronte Campbell to finish first in 3:41.23.

China was disqualified in heat 5. If they had been in the final, China could have loaded up the front half of their relay with individual medalists Xu Jiayu (gold, 100 backstroke) and Yan Zibei (bronze, 100 breaststroke).


  1. United States, 3:41.23
  2. Australia, 3:42.22
  3. Russia, 3:43.30
  4. Great Britain, 3:43.37
  5. Canada, 3:44.03
  6. Italy, 3:44.48
  7. Netherlands, 3:44.67
  8. Germany, 3:45.20

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4 years ago

Lazslo Cech qualifing fifth olympics age at nearly 34 this morning. Semifinal number one qualifier today night.

4 years ago

Lazslo Cech qualifing fifth olympics age nearly 34. Heats number one qualifing.

4 years ago

I feel bad for that 15 year old dude from Northern Mariana Islands who got beaten by a girl at the world champs. 15 year old kids can be cruel back at home.
On the other hand, he is in the world champs and I am sitting at home writing about him so he is probably good

Reply to  Swimmer
4 years ago

Yes, he got to go to Korea and watch Dressel, Chalmers, the Campbells, Ledecky etc from close quarters… he will be OK!

Reply to  torchbearer
4 years ago

And Smog’s wardrobe malfunction !

Reply to  Swimmer
4 years ago

If kids in Northern Mariana Islands are anything like kids in the US, his classmates will ask him “Did you win?” When he says no, they won’t care about anything else.

Bring back textiles
4 years ago

I have just realized i don’t support the sport of swimming anymore.

I am satisfied to know that these world class swimmers on average will never earn more than 100k in their careers, while we have rookies in the NBA signing multi million dollar contracts.

And with all this drama and petty hatred towards one another, I am glad Swimming has dropped in viewership since Michael left, and will stay at the bottom.

Reply to  Bring back textiles
4 years ago

You hate petty drama but you love the nba?

4 years ago

Anybody else from the USA nervous AF with that delay in posting the relay results? Jeebus, I was sweating bullets.

Much better session for the Americans. No clunker swims, everyone advanced, with a couple very exciting first round swims from Caeleb Dressel and Hali Flickinger.

While I appreciate Greevers throwing down such a great effort for the a prelims relay, I’d have much rather seen him do that in the final last night.

4 years ago

Sun Yang still has Australian swim coach but is he still training in Australia? I know he trained in Australia for the 2016 Olympics but has he been allowed to train in Australia since Mack Horton’s protest in Rio.

Reply to  anonymous
4 years ago


4 years ago

Why was China DQed?
Changeover too quick?

Reply to  Anon
4 years ago

Protesting sun yang

Reply to  Sqimgod
4 years ago

Stop it. You are posting this in every recent article.

Reply to  Anon
4 years ago

Dolphin kicks on the breaststroker as they entered the water…

4 years ago

Shymanovich had the second fastest breast split (58.20) just behind Wilby (58.16) but Belarus finishes 9th. Shymanovich didn’t even make the individual 100 breast final

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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