2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- All sports: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- Pool swimming: Sunday, July 21 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- The Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, Korea
- Meet site
- Competition Schedule
- FinaTV Live Stream
- Entry Lists
And so begins day 5 of 8 of the 2019 FINA World Championships. Today’s morning session is solidly middle-distance, with the lone sprint being the prelims of the women’s 100 freestyle. There is one relay today: the women’s 4 x 200 freestyle.
Day 5 Morning Events:
- Women’s 100 Freestyle – Prelims
- Men’s 200 Backstroke – Prelims
- Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Prelims
- Men’s 200 Breaststroke – Prelims
- Women’s 4 x 200 Freestyle Relay – Prelims
European countries won the medal tally on day 4. The Americas, Asia, and Australia are strong in the events swimming prelims today, meaning that by the end of day 6 finals, the medal table, by region, could veer closer to even.
Day 5 Morning Session’s Top Storylines to Follow:
- Evgeny Rylov is on a hot streak that Ryan Murphy might not be able to put out. Rylov has won two silver medals so far at these World Championships: one in the 400 free relay and one in the 100 backstroke. Rylov is the 2017 World Champion in the 200 back, but last night (day 4), Rylov fired off a massive 51.97 leading off Russia’s mixed medley relay. When Rylov won his silver medal in the 100 back he was only a 52.67, though he was 52.44 in semifinals. Rylov has the world’s fastest time in the 200 back this season, and if he can produce another time like he did leading off the relay, perhaps the butterfly won’t be the only iconic 200 of stroke World Record to fall in Gwangju.
- 2017 and 2019 100 backstroke World Champion Xu Jiayu of China should be another medal-threat in the 200 back. Though better known for his speed, Xu placed 5th in the 200 at the 2017 World Championships in 1:55.26, and won the 2018 Asian Games in 1:53.99, making him the 3rd-fastest performer in the world in 2018 behind Rylov (1:53.36) and Murphy (1:53.57).
- After taking day 4 off, Canada’s Taylor Ruck is expected to be back in the pool for the prelims of the women’s 100 freestyle. Ruck scratched the 200 free on day 3 to focus on the 100 back, but came away from the backstroke without a medal anyways. Ruck might be on the prelims of Canada’s 4 x 200 free relay as well, though the coaches could also save her exclusively for finals.
- World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom and mixed medley relay hero Cate Campbell will race the 100 freestyle prelims as well. Before the day is over, either one of them could have lowered the World Record yet again.
- Siobhan Haughey has broken the Hong Kong record in the 200 freestyle twice already at this World Championships, and contributed a 52.8 100 freestyle split in the women’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay. If Haughey can produce a 52-anything flat start she will stand a great chance of breaking into the championship final tomorrow.
- Speaking of great freestylers, what do we know about Katie Ledecky possibly swimming the prelims of the 4 x 200 relay? Well, so far nothing, but it could happen, either as a trial-run to gauge whether or not she’s fit to swim in the finals and in the prelims of the 800 Friday morning, or as a way of proving she can bounce back and is deserving of a spot on the ‘A’ team in finals.
- Lilly King and Yulia Efimova will go head-to-head again in the women’s 200 breaststroke. In 2017, Efimova won gold and King placed 4th. Since then, King has spent a lot of time practicing for the 200. American teammate Micah Sumrall was the 2018 U.S. National Champion in the 200 breast and 2018 Pan Pacs Champion, so she’s also one to watch.
- Josh Prenot dives in for his one and only race at these World Championships: the men’s 200 breaststroke. Prenot is the 2016 Olympic silver medalist but hasn’t performed quite at the level he realized in 2016. At the 2018 Pan Pacs, Prenot placed 5th in the 200 breast, but was 2:07.28, only .11 off his American Record time. If Prenot can must another 2:07-low in the finals, he should be in contention for a spot on the podium.
- 200 breaststroke World Record holder Ippei Watanabe of Japan will face off against Prenot, 2016 Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan, and perhaps most interesting of all, Russian duo Kirill Prigoda and Anton Chupkov. Chupkov won the gold at the 2017 World Championships, and Prigoda gold at the 2018 Short Course World Championships, also setting a new World Record.