2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Day 6 Preview


The day 6 prelims session of the 2019 FINA World Championships will feature the men’s 100 fly, women’s 200 backstroke, men’s 50 free, women’s 50 fly, women’s 800 free, and men’s 4 x 200 freestyle relay.

Speaking realistically, only about half of those World Records are in danger (sorry, Phelps). Unless Ledecky makes a ridiculous rebound, the women’s 800 free is safe. The suited men’s 4 x 200 freestyle relay is also quite safe, though the men’s 100 fly and 50 freestyle records have to face an oncoming Caeleb Dressel, and the women’s 50 fly showcases its own record holder in Sarah Sjostrom.

Day 5 of the 2019 FINA World Championships was pretty exciting: First, Boglarka Kapas made it a Hungarian sweep taking gold in the women’s 200 butterfly. Caeleb Dressel and Kyle Chalmers went head-to-head in the men’s 100 free with Dressel barely getting the better of Chalmers in a new American Record time of 46.96 to Chalmers’ 47.08. Matthew Wilson tied the World Record in the men’s 200 breaststroke in the second semifinal. Co-World Record holder Ippei Watanabe of Japan nearly chased down Wilson in the final stretch. In the final event, both Australia and the United States broke the World Record in the women’s 4 x 200 freestyle relay, but Australia got the gold.

So, are you ready for more?

Day 6 Morning Events:

  • Men’s 100 Butterfly – Prelims
  • Women’s 200 Backstroke – Prelims
  • Men’s 50 Freestyle – Prelims
  • Women’s 50 Butterfly – Prelims
  • Women’s 800 Freestyle – Prelims
  • Men’s 4 x 200 Freestyle Relay – Prelims

The men’s 100 butterfly, women’s 200 backstroke, men’s 50 freestyle, and women’s 50 butterfly will all advance the top 16 swimmers to the semifinals tonight. From there, the top 8 qualifiers will race in the championship final tomorrow. The 800 freestyle will advance only the top 8 to the final tonight, but the top 12 will punch their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The women’s 800 free, meanwhile, will advance the top 8 qualifiers to the final tomorrow evening.

Day 6 Morning Session’s Top Storylines to Follow:

  • Caeleb Dressel has come up short of World Records twice already this week. Dressel won the 50 butterfly in 22.35, but missed Andrii Govorov‘s World Record by .08. Yesterday, in the 100 freestyle final, Dressel touched in 46.96, just .05 short of the Cesar Cielo‘s World Record. Dressel only missed the 100 buttefly World Record by .04 at the 2017 World Championships, and after posting a 49.33 fly split in the mixed medley relay and considering that he’s gone best times in his other two individual events, it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which he doesn’t break Michael Phelps‘ elusive 100 butterfly World Record of 49.82 from 2009.
  • Speaking of Michael Phelps and records, Kristof Milak will be back in the pool to see what he’s capable of in the 100 fly. Milak destroyed Phelps’ 200 butterfly World Record in a 1:50.73, matching Phelps’ record split at 100 meters (52.88) exactly. Milak is the World Junior Record holder in the 100 fly with a 50.62 from the 2017 World Championships, a swim that won him silver behind Dressel. Whether or not Milak can get past Dressel is a point of debate, but one thing is clear: the 100 fly is going to be exciting!
  • 2016 Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling, shadowboxing champion Chad le Clos, and Youth Olympic Games champion Andrei Minakov are several notable others in a stacked 100 butterfly field that might for the first time in LCM World Championship history, require a sub-51 to get a lane in the top 8.
  • Katie Ledecky has announced that she is “95% sure” she’ll swim the 800 freestyle prelims today. Ledecky has been sick since arriving in Korea, and it showed in her 400 freestyle final, where she finished more than three seconds over her lifetime best and took 2nd to Australian phenom Ariarne Titmus. Though she swam the heats of the mile and still managed to record the top time in the field, she scratched the final and withdrew from the 200 freestyle.
  • Titmus will also swim the 800 freestyle–her longest event of the meet–as will Italy’s Simona Quadarella, the champion in the 1500 sans Ledecky. It’s difficult to make predictions about how the field will stack up against Ledecky when we don’t really know how fit Ledecky is to be competing, but if she is confident in her ability to race, the rest of the world better race like she’s the same ole Katie they’re used to seeing leave other swimmers and records in her wake.
  • Sarah Sjostrom is back to defend her 50 fly title and try to make it a three-peat. Sjostrom is the World Record holder in this non-Olympic event and the odds-on favorite to win, but Canadian Maggie MacNeil, who upset Sjostrom in the 100 fly, could duplicate the upset.
  • Americans Regan Smith and Kathleen Baker will race the prelims of the 200 backstroke. For Baker, the 200 backstroke is one race in a pretty loaded lineup. For Smith, the 200 back is her one and only event of this year’s World Championships. Baker is the 2018 Pan Pacs champion and Smith the bronze medalist.
  • Katinka Hosszu, Kylie Masse, Kaylee McKeown, Taylor Ruck, and Minna Atherton will also race the 200 back and are all good bets on making the final.

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1 year ago

Interested as to how the US will form its relay line-up for prelims
Based on the individual, I would think they would make Haas and Seliskar earn their spots and save Apple and Pieroni directly for finals. I think Seliskar is close to his best form at this meet, his prelim swim was relatively easy and he just got too excited for the semis and went out way to fast, I’d lead him off and I think (if he swims it how he usually does) he will drop a 1:45 high/1:46 low.
Hopefully they swim SELISKAR – LEVANT – GROTHE OR APPLE – HAAS in prelims and lead-off SELISKAR OR APPLE, then in finals
DRESSEL – PIERONI… Read more »

5 second rule
Reply to  SeanSwim
1 year ago

Can’t believe they’re not considering Regan Smith. At least in the prelims!

Reply to  5 second rule
1 year ago

She’ll prove them wrong at Nationals, don’t you worry!

1 year ago

Baeleb looking at team USA right now
comment image

Reply to  Pvdh
1 year ago

Except he would never. He is way too kind and humble

Reply to  Pvdh
1 year ago

I’ll see you at the top with the most upvotes sir

Reply to  Pvdh
1 year ago

i’ll see you at the top

1 year ago

Idk if any of y’all heard but J Schools went 49.33 in practice in a secret location off the coast of Singapore and is ready to unleash his speed unto the world. Be. Ready.

Reply to  Dcswim
1 year ago

51.9 tops for schooling

Reply to  Bill
1 year ago

lol originally I had 52.9 but that seemed extreme… turns out I was right

Reply to  Dcswim
1 year ago

I think you mean 59.33, based off his swims this year /s

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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