2019 FINA World Championships: Day 5 Finals Live Recap


The 2019 FINA World Championships continue tonight in Gwangju with day 5 finals. Tonight’s individual medal races include the women’s 200 fly, men’s 100 free, women’s 50 back, and men’s 200 IM. We’ve also got finals of the women’s 4×200 free relay. Semifinal action includes the women’s 100 free, men’s 200 breast, women’s 200 breast, and men’s 200 back.

Among the exciting races to watch tonight is the showdown between World Champion Caeleb Dressel ot the USA and Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers of Australia. The sprint titans will battle in the final round tonight, with Dressel leading the way after coming within 2 tenths of his American Record twice in the prelims and semis. The women’s 100 free semis are loaded with the defending Olympic and World Champion Simone Manuel (USA), the current World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), and the all-time #2 Cate Campbell (AUS).

Among the swimmers looking for their first individual medals of the meet tonight are 100 back World Record holders Ryan Murphy and Kathleen Baker, who both missed the podium in the 100 back. Murphy will swim semifinals of the men’s 200 back, an event in which he’s the reigning champion, after topping prelims. But Russia’s Evgeny Rylov, who was just a tenth shy of Murphy’s 100 back World Record on the mixed medley relay leadoff, is the defending World Champion and headlines the other semifinal heat. Baker is the top qualifier for tonight’s 50 back final.

Russia’s defending World Champions Anton Chupkov and Yuliya Efimova look to defend their 200 breast titles. The USA’s Chase Kalisz will also have a shot to defend a title tonight in the 200 IM.


  • 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


  1. GOLD- Boglarka Kapas (HUN), 2:06.78
  2. SILVER- Hali Flickinger (USA), 2:06.95
  3. BRONZE- Katie Drabot (USA), 2:07.04

The USA’s Katie Drabot took it out quick as she led by a nail over teammate Hali Flickinger at the halfway mark. Drabot continued to lead through the 150, but the field caught up to them on the final 50. Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas surged into the finish to clip Flickinger for gold, 2:06.78 to 2:06.95, while Drabot wound up 3rd, less than a tenth behind Flickinger in 2:07.04. Darbot and Flickinger make up the first U.S. medal duo in this event at a major international meet since 1978.

Kapas earned Hungary’s first ever gold in this event. Her 3rd 50 speed was dramatically faster than the rest of the field. She was 8th at the 100 mark, but dropped a 31.13 to pull up to 4th and set herself up to make her move down the stretch. Germany’s Franziska Hentke nearly caught Drabot for bronze, also employing her back half speed. Hentke was 7th at the 100, just ahead of Kapas, and took 4th overall in 2:07.30.

Great Britain’s Alys Thomas (2:07.48) and Hungary’s Liliana Szilagyi (2:07.68) were also just tenths shy of the podium.


Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 52.43
  2. Cate Campbell (AUS), 52.71
  3. Emma McKeon (AUS), 52.77
  4. Taylor Ruck (CAN), 53.04
  5. Mallory Comerford  (USA), 53.10
  6. Femke Heemskerk (NED), 53.16
  7. (T-7) Simone Manuel (USA), 53.31
  8. (T-7) Freya Anderson (GBR), 53.31

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom set the World Record in this event at the 2017 World Championships, but she didn’t win the title. This time, she’ll be chasing the gold as she leads the way through the semis. Sjostrom hit the wall in 52.43, touching just ahead of Australia’s Cate Campbell in 52.71. Those two appear to be the favorites for the gold, but Australia’s Emma McKeon was also sub-53 in this round with a 52.77 to win the 2nd heat.

The Americans got both swimmers into the final. Mallory Comerford touched 4th in heat 1 with a 53.10, narrowly behind Canada’s Taylor Ruck (53.04). Simone Manuel is tied for the 7th seed in 53.31 with Great Britain’s Freya Anderson. Fellow British sprinter Anna Hopkin, who had a big swim in prelims to take the 3rd seed in 53.21, missed out on the final with a 53.65 for 13th tonight.

The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the 2012 Olympic Champion in this race, was one spot shy of making it back as she finished 9th overall in 53.43. Teammate Femke Heemskerk will represent the Netherlands in the final as she finished 6th in semis with a 53.16.


  • 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


  1. GOLD- Caeleb Dressel (USA), 46.96
  2. SILVER- Kyle Chalmers (AUS), 47.08
  3. BRONZE- Vladislav Grinev (RUS), 47.82

Caeleb Dressel used his start to his advantage as usual as he shot off the blocks to an early lead. Dressel flipped in 22.29, just a tenth off World Record pace. At that point, he was half a second ahead of Australia’s Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers. This was a clear two-man race to the finish as they separated themselves from the field down the stretch. Chalmers made a big push to almost chase down Dressel at the finish, but Dressel held him off to take the win with a 46.96. Chalmers earned the silver in 47.08, just hundredths shy of Cameron McEvoy’s Australian Record.

Dressel’s time tonight is a new American Record by 2 tenths. It was just 5 hundredths short of the World Record and is now the fastest textile time in history. Dressel is now the 3rd man to ever break 47 and the only person to do so in textile. It makes him the 3rd fastest performer ever and stands as the 3rd fastest performance ever. Only Cesar Cielo (46.91) and Alain Bernard (46.94) have been faster during the supersuit era.

Russia’s Vladislav Grinev, Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini, and the USA’s Blake Pieroni were stroke-for-stroke in the race for bronze. It was Grinev getting his hand to the wall first in 47.82, with Pieroni hundredths back in 47.88. Chierighini, who took it out quick as he flipped 2nd behind Dressel, was only a tenth away from bronze in 47.93.


  • 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


  1. GOLD- Olivia Smoliga (USA), 27.33
  2. SILVER- Etiene Medeiros (BRA), 27.44
  3. BRONZE- Daria Vaskina (RUS), 27.51

The USA’s Olivia Smoliga clipped her own American Record to earn her first individual gold at a major international meet (short course excluded). Smoliga reached the wall in 27.33, lowering her former mark of 27.43 from 2018. Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros, the 2017 champion in this race, was just a tenth behind for silver in 27.44. Russia’s Daria Vaskina rounded out the podium in 27.51.

Great Britain’s Georgia Davies and Australia’s Kaylee McKeown tied for 4th in 27.65. A few hundredths behind was the USA’s Kathleen Baker, the top qualifier through semis. Baker touched 6th in 27.69, within a tenth of her time from the semis round (27.62).


Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Matthew Wilson (AUS), 2:06.67
  2. Anton Chupkov (RUS), 2:06.83
  3. Andrew Wilson (USA), 2:07.86
  4. Zac Stubblety-Cook (AUS), 2:07.95
  5. Erik Persson (SWE), 2:08.00
  6. Ippei Watanabe (JPN), 2:08.04
  7. Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ), 2:08.19
  8. Marco Koch (GER), 2:08.28

Australia’s Matthew Wilson was over half a second under World Record pace as he turned at the 100. The line started to creep up on the final 50, but Wilson held on to tie the World Record in 2:06.67. Japan’s Ippei Watanabe, who first set the record back in 2017, finished 3rd in that heat with a 2:08.04 to qualify for the final. Another Australian, Zac Stubblety-Cook, was the 2nd fastest man in heat 2 to qualify 4th for the final.

Defending World Champion Anton Chupkov topped the first semifinal heat in 2:06.83. The USA’s Andrew Wilson took it out quick in that heat, but Chupkov came from behind as Wilson touched 2nd in the heat with a 2:07.86. That was a best for Wilson by half a second and makes him the 4th fastest American ever.

Reigning Olympic Champion Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ) qualified 7th for the final in 2:08.19. Josh Prenot (USA), the Olympic silver medalist in this race, missed out on the final with a 2:08.77 for 13th. Also missing the final were China’s Qin Haiyang (2:09.11), who set the World Junior Record in this race back in 2017, and Great Britain’s James Wilby (2:08.52), the 100 breast silver medalist.


  • 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


  1. GOLD- Daiya Seto (JPN), 1:56.14
  2. SILVER- Jeremy Desplanches (SUI), 1:56.56
  3. BRONZE- Chase Kalisz (USA), 1:56.78

Japan’s Daiya Seto won his first Worlds gold since 2015 as he was the first to the wall tonight. It was also his first ever Worlds gold in this event. Seto and Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches were very close throughout the race, but Seto had the closing speed to inch ahead and win it in 1:56.14 to Desplanches’ 1:56.56. Desplanches’ time was a new Swiss Record, which he’s now broken twice this week. He’s Switzerland’s first medalist in this event at a World Championships.

As Seto won the race, he snapped the USA’s winning streak in the event. They had won 8 Worlds titles in a row with Chase Kalisz winning in 2017, but Kalisz finished 3rd tonight. He turned in 8th at the first 50 and 7th after backstroke, pulling up on the back half to take bronze in 1:56.78. Germany’s Philip Heintz also used his back half speed. He was 8th at the halfway mark, but finished closely behind Kalisz for 4th in 1:56.86.

Australia’s Mitch Larkin, the fastest man in the world this year, was 7th in 1:57.32. Larkin’s Australian Record time of 1:55.72 from last month remains the top time of 2019.


  • World Record: Rikke Moller Pedersen (Denmark), 2013, 2:19.11
  • World Junior Record: Viktoria Gunes (Turkey), 2016, 2:19.64
  • World Championships Record: Rikke Moller Pedersen (Denmark), 2013, 2:19.11
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Yulia Efimova (Russia), 2:19.64

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 2:21.20
  2. Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 2:21.79
  3. Sydney Pickrem (CAN), 2:23.11
  4. Molly Renshaw (GBR), 2:23.16
  5. Ye Shiwen (CHN), 2:23.49
  6. Fanny Lecluyse (BEL), 2:23.76
  7. Kelsey Wog (CAN), 2:24.17
  8. Kaylene Corbett (RSA), 2:24.18

Defending World Champion Yuliya Efimova (2:21.20) of Russia nabbed the first semifinal win, using her 3rd 50 speed to edge ahead of South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker. Touching the wall in 2:21.79, Schoenmaker, the Commonwealth Champion in 2018, took down her own South African Record in the event. Also qualifying out of that heat were Great Britain’s Molly Renshaw (2:23.16) and China’s Ye Shiwen (2:23.49). Ye has been making a comeback at this meet, as her 200 IM silver was her first major international medal since she swept the IMs at the Olympics in 2012.

Canada’s Sydney Pickrem, the 200 IM bronze medalist, won the 2nd semifinal heat in 2:23.11, leading that heat by over a second. Belgium’s Fanny Lecluyse was the 2nd woman to the wall there in 2:23.76, just ahead of Canadian Kelsey Wog (2:24.17). South Africa will have 2 in this final as Kaylene Corbett finished 4th in the heat and qualified 8th with a 2:24.18.

The event was without Lilly King, who was disqualified in prelims for a one-handed touch. The USA’s appeal was denied, and that DQ was upheld by the Jury of Appeal. There will be no Americans in the final, as Micah Sumrall finished 11th in the semis with a 2:25.41.


  • World Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA), 2009, 1:51.92
  • World Junior Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (Russia), 2017, 1:55.14
  • World Championships Record: Aaron Peirsol (USA), 2009, 1:51.92
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 1:53.61

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 1:55.48
  2. Ryan Murphy (USA), 1:56.25
  3. Luke Greenbank (GBR), 1:56.60
  4. Jacob Pebley (USA), 1:56.65
  5. Markus Thormeyer (CAN), 1:56.96
  6. Adam Telegdy (HUN), 1:57.07
  7. Radoslaw Kawecki (POL), 1:57.24
  8. Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 1:57.26

Russia’s Evgeny Rylov put himself in a good position to vie for back-to-back titles in this event. Rylov cruised to victory in the first semifinal by a second and a half in 1:55.48 ahead of Canada’s Markus Thormeyer, topping the semis. Thormeyer, who qualified 5th for the final in 1:56.96, took advantage of the opportunity that was presented after Xu Jiayu’s scratch, which happened just a few hours before the event. He was 17th in prelims with a 1:58.16. His time tonight was a new Canadian Record.

A close race in heat 2 saw Ryan Murphy (USA), the Olympic champion and 2017 Worlds silver medalist in this race, cruise through the front half before picking up the pace on the final 50 to win the heat in 1:56.25. He touched just ahead of Great Britain’s Luke Greenbank (1:56.60), who qualified 3rd. Fellow Olympic backstroke finalist Jacob Pebley (USA), the 2017 Worlds bronze medalist in this event, was a nail behind Greenbank in 1:56.65.

Japanese backstroke veteran Ryosuke Irie, a multi-time Worlds and Olympic medalist in this race, snuck into the final at 8th in 1:57.26. He was just 7 hundredths ahead of Germany’s Christian Diener (1:57.33) to make the cut.


  • World Record: China, 2009, 7:42.08
  • World Junior Record: Canada, 2017, 7:51.47
  • World Championships Record: China, 2009, 7:42.08
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: USA, 7:43.39


  1. GOLD- Australia, 7:41.50
  2. SILVER- USA, 7:41.87
  3. BRONZE- Canada, 7:44.85

The 2009 World Record in this event was taken down as both the Australians and Americans were under the mark tonight. Australia got off to the lead with Ariarne Titmus leading off in a 1:54.27, marking a new Australian Record in the individual 200 free. Simone Manuel led off for the USA in 1:56.00, making her the 7th fastest American in history.

Katie Ledecky then made her return for the USA, pulling the Americans ahead with her 1:54.61 split to go by Madison Wilson. The Americans maintained their lead as Melanie Margalis took on the 3rd leg, but Brianna Throssell closed the gap a bit for Australia. Katie McLaughlin dove in with the lead, but Emma McKeon closed in to give Australia the win in a new World Record time of 7:41.50. The USA’s 7:41.87 is the new American Record.


  1. Australia- Titmus (1:54.27), Wilson (1:56.73), Throssell (1:55.60), McKeon (1:54.90)
  2. USA- Manuel (1:56.00), Ledecky (1:54.61), Margalis (1:55.81), McLaughlin (1:55.36)
  3. Canada- Sanchez (1:57.32), Ruck (1:56.41), Overholt (1:56.26), Oleksiak (1:54.36)

Canada took 3rd in 7:44.85, picking up a new Canadian Record along with the bronze. Penny Oleksiak was their anchor, splitting a 1:54.36 to move them ahead of China (7:46.22).

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Good but not Great
4 years ago

Sjoey Stroem lol!

Good but not Great
4 years ago

Will Magic Maggie strike twice?

4 years ago

he has the mixed free & medley relays if those count.

4 years ago

Why does “Oceanian” hate the US team so much?

4 years ago

1077 comments so far …….

4 years ago

Not currently. He’s less than a tenth away from 3 WRs. (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly).

Reply to  Bob
4 years ago

.24 off in the 50 free…

Good but not Great
4 years ago

Imagine if he had had the same as Dressel, race would’ve been separated only by .02!

The Tokyo rematch will be the most hype race ever, the stakes of the title of who is really the best 100 freestyler (the edge is on Dressel right now but Chalmers is the Olympic champion and adding another would make him just look inevitable and that he was held back by his surgery) and also for the WR, since I assume neither of them will go for it prior considering Dressel won’t do a full taper for Trials and Chalmers will be catious after seeing 2 of his country men send big statements at Aussie trials only to falter at the Olympics.

Good but not Great
Reply to  Good but not Great
4 years ago

oops typo yep, Chalmers actually made all of his improvement over his previous swims on the front half this time, though a 24.2 on the back in still fire

4 years ago

Now hopefully they women can get a reliable lead off to compete with titmus, or even a another 1:55 low, I’m just hoping the Aussie don’t sweep the relays and lock out the American for the first time since 2009, if McLaughlin can spilt a low 56 in the prelims I would definitely use her in the final. If regan smith goes under 2:05.1 I don’t see any reason not to use her in the final lead off of the relay.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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