2019 FINA World Championships: Day 7 Finals Live Recap


We’re on to day 7 finals at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju. Swimmers are gearing up to compete for individual medals in the women’s 50 fly, men’s 50 free, men’s 100 fly, women’s 200 back, and women’s 800 free . We’ll also see a relay final tonight as swimmers compete in the mixed 4×100 free relay. Semifinals tonight include the women’s 50 free, women’s 50 breast, and men’s 50 back.

The USA’s Caeleb Dressel is 2-for-2 in individual golds so far and has an individual double tonight in the 50 free and 100 fly. Dressel was just 3 hundredths shy of his own American Record in the 50 free semis and looks to become the first man to ever break 21 in textile. His 21.18 last night was done after the 100 fly semis, so he’ll be a bit fresher for the 50 free this time as that event comes first. Then he’ll look for a 4th individual gold and to defend another title as he steps up for the 100 fly shortly after. He already owns the World Record now with his 49.50 from last night and is 1.5 seconds ahead in seed times.

Teenage phenom Regan Smith, also of the USA, set a World Record in the 200 back semifinals. Smith blew away the field and her best time as she became the first woman to break 2:04 in 2:03.35. Smith will compete in her first ever Worlds final tonight and is the heavy favorite to win gold here.

World Record holders Sarah Sjostrom (50 fly) of Sweden, Lilly King (50 breast) of the USA, and Kliment Kolesnikov (50 back) of Russia will compete in the semis of their respective stroke 50s. American distance legend Katie Ledecky, the 800 free World Record holder and 2-time Olympic champion, returns to the pool for an individual final tonight after scratching the 1500 free final and 200 free prelims due to illness earlier in the meet. Teammate Leah Smith and Ledecky qualified 1-2 for the final, but Australia’s Ariarne Titmus, who topped Ledecky in the 400 free on day 1, is also in this race.



  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2014, 24.43
  • World Junior Record: Rikako Ikee (Japan), 2017, 25.33
  • World Championships Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2014, 24.43
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 24.60


  1. GOLD- Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 25.02
  2. SILVER- Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 25.35
  3. BRONZE- Farida Osman (EGY), 25.47

It was a close battle for gold until Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom surged ahead in the final 15 meters, earning her 3rd-straight title in this event with a 25.02. The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo repeated as the silver medalist in 25.35, while Farida Osman earned Egypt’s first medal of the meet in 25.47 for bronze.

The USA’s Kelsi Dahlia was 4th in this race for the 2nd Worlds in a row, this time just a hundredth short of the podium. Dahlia tied her American Record tonight in 25.48. She’s now swum that time on 3 occasions. She set the exact same mark at the 2017 Worlds meet and 2018 U.S. Nationals. France’s Marie Wattel, who set the French Record in semis, was 5th tonight in 25.50.


  • World Record: Cesar Cielo (Brazil), 2009, 20.91
  • World Junior Record: Michael Andrew (United States), 2017, 21.75
  • World Championships Record: Cesar Cielo (Brazil), 2009, 20.91
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Caeleb Dressel (United States), 21.15


  1. GOLD- Caeleb Dressel (USA), 21.04
  2. (TIE) SILVER- Bruno Fratus (BRA), 21.45
  3. (TIE) SILVER- Kristian Gkolomeev (GRE), 21.45

Caeleb Dressel‘s signature start got him the early lead as he earned gold for the USA in his first of 3 events tonight. Dressel took down his own American Record and Championship Record in 21.04, making him the 3rd fastest performer in history. Behind him, there was a tie between Brazil’s Bruno Fratus and Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev for silver in 21.45. Fratus had shoulder surgery in Fall 2018 and just returned to competition this March.

Russia’s Vlad Morozov was the first man off the podium with a 21.53 for 4th place. Great Britain’s Ben Proud, the 4th fastest man ever in this race, finished a couple hundredths back with a 21.55 for 5th. The USA’s Michael Andrew put up a 21.62 for 6th.


  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2017, 23.67
  • World Junior Record: Rikako Ikee (Japan), 2017, 24.33
  • World Championships Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2017, 23.67
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 23.69

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 24.05
  2. Cate Campbell (AUS), 24.07
  3. Pernille Blume (DEN), 24.14
  4. Simone Manuel (USA), 24.21
  5. Mariia Kameneva (RUS), 24.33
  6. Anna Hopkin (GBR), 24.34
  7. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 24.38
  8. (TIE 8TH) Liu Xiang (CHN), 24.46
  9. (TIE 8TH) Bronte Campbell (AUS), 24.46

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo were back on the blocks very shortly after earning their 50 fly medals. Both women earned a spot in the 50 free final, with Sjostrom once again coming out on top with a 24.05. Kromowidjojo took the 7th spot for finals in 24.38.

Australia’s Cate Campbell won the first semis heat in 24.07. Her sister, Bronte Campbell, will have to swim off for the last spot in finals with China’s Liu Xiang later in the session as they tied for 8th in 24.46.

Simone Manuel (USA), who won the 100 free title last night, was 2nd in her heat to Sjostrom, qualifying 4th with a 24.21. Manuel is the reigning 100 free Olympic champion as well, but we’ve also got the reigning 50 free Olympic champion in the mix. Denmark’s Pernille Blume was the 3rd qualifier for finals with a 24.14. Manuel’s teammate Abbey Weitzeil wound up 10th through semis with a 24.58.

Great Britain’s Anna Hopkin became the 2nd fastest British swimmer in history as she qualified 6th for the final in 24.34.


  • World Record: Lilly King (USA), 2017, 29.40
  • World Junior Record: TARGET TIME, 2013, 29.86
  • World Championships Record: Lilly King (USA), 2017, 29.40
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Lilly King (USA), 29.40

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Lilly King (USA), 29.84
  2. Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 30.12
  3. Benedetta Pilato (ITA), 30.17
  4. Martina Carraro (ITA), 30.23
  5. Alia Atkinson (JAM), 30.61
  6. Ida Hulkko (FIN), 30.91
  7. Jessica Hansen (AUS), 30.92
  8. Anna Elendt (GER), 31.10

The USA’s Lilly King is the top seed going into finals and the only woman under 30 in the semis round as she dominated her heat by over half a second in 29.84. Russia’s Yuliya Efimova, the 200 breast champion here, was the 2nd seed as she won her heat in 30.12. The rivalry continues as they battle next to each  other in finals tomorrow. King won the 100 breast here, but Efimova took the 200 (where King was disqualified).

Italian 14-year-old Benedetta Pilato became the first Italian woman under 30 in prelims, but was a couple tenths shy of her Italian Record tonight as she finished in 30.17. Teammate Martina Carraro, the 100 breast Italian Record holder, was the 4th qualifier in 30.23. Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, the silver medalist in this race in 2015, qualified 5th in 30.61.



  1. GOLD- Caeleb Dressel (USA), 49.66
  2. SILVER- Andrei Minakov (RUS), 50.83
  3. BRONZE- Chad Le Clos (RSA), 51.16

The USA’s Caeleb Dressel gets it done again. Dressel was out a couple of tenths slower than his World Record pace from semis, but was still way ahead of the field. He continued to extend his lead through the back half, defending his title in 49.66. That was the 2nd fastest swim in history, just over a tenth shy of his World Record from last night. He now joins Crocker, Phelps, and Le Clos as the 4th man to earn repeat titles in this race.

Russia’s Andrei Minakov lowered the Russian Record again to take silver in 50.83. South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, an Olympic butterfly champion who earned back-to-back World titles in this race in 2013 and 2015, earned the bronze in 51.16. Kristof Milak of Hungary was just off the podium in 51.26. He was a few tenths slower than his 50.95 from semis. Milak won the 200 fly earlier in the meet, shattering Michael Phelps’ World Record in the process. Both Phelps’ fly World Records have been erased here as Dressel broke his 100 fly mark.

France’s Mehdy Metella was 5th to the wall in 51.38. Great Britain’s James Guy, who earned bronze in this race in 2017, took 7th tonight in 51.62.


  • World Record: Regan Smith (USA), 2019, 2:03.35
  • World Junior Record: Regan Smith (USA), 2019, 2:03.35
  • World Championships Record: Regan Smith (USA), 2019, 2:03.35
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Emily Seebohm (Australia), 2:05.68


  1. GOLD- Regan Smith (USA), 2:03.69
  2. SILVER- Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 2:06.26
  3. BRONZE- Kylie Masse (CAN), 2:06.62

Regan Smith flipped in 59.4, almost a full second under World Record pace. That split, to the feet, would have made the final in the 100 back earlier in the meet. Still nearly a second under her World Record pace at the final turn, she fell off that pace on the final 50, but dominated the field as she put up the 2nd fastest time in history. Smith earned her first ever individual Worlds title in 2:03.69.

It was a 1-2 finish for the teenagers in this race as Australia’s Kaylee McKeown nabbed silver in 2:06.26. Canada’s Kylie Masse, the 100 back World Champion, earned the bronze in 2:06.62. Italy’s Margherita Panziera nearly ran down Masse at the finish, but came up just short as she missed the podium by hundredths in 2:06.67. Canada’s Taylor Ruck rounded out the top 5 in 2:07.50. Australia also had 2 in that final with Minna Atherton (2:08.26) finishing 6th.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, an Olympic and Worlds medalist in this race, finished a distant 8th in 2:10.08 behind teammate Katalin Burian (2:08.65). Hosszu was 7th at the 50 and trailed the whole race after.


  • World Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (Russia), 2018, 24.00
  • World Junior Record: Kliment Kolesnikov (Russia), 2018, 24.40
  • World Championships Record: Liam Tancock (Great Britain), 2009, 24.04
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Camille Lacourt (France), 24.35

Finals Qualifiers:

  1. Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS), 24.35
  2. Robert Glinta (ROU), 24.53
  3. Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 24.56
  4. Ryan Murphy (USA), 24.64
  5. Zane Waddell (RSA), 24.72
  6. Xu Jiayu (CHN), 24.73
  7. Michael Andrew (USA), 24.76
  8. Apostolos Christou (GRE), 24.86

Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov, the World Record holder in this race, topped semis in 24.35 ahead of Olympic backstroke finalist Robert Glinta (ROU) in 24.53. Qualifying 6th overall and touching 3rd in that heat was China’s Xu Jiayu (24.73), the World Champion in the 100 back.

We’ll also see the 200 back champion in the final, with Russia’s Evgeny Rylov qualifying 3rd in 24.56. Rylov topped heat 1 over the USA’s Ryan Murphy (24.64). The other American in this race, Michael Andrew, qualified 7th in 24.76. Andrew is now the first man in history to make the Worlds final in all 4 stroke 50s.

South Africa’s Zane Waddell made it into the final with a 24.72. Greece also got one into the final as Apostolos Christou took 8th in 24.86. France’s Jeremy Stravius, a Worlds silver medalist in this race in 2013, finished 11th in 24.98.


  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2016, 8:04.79
  • World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 2017, 8:11.00
  • World Championships Record: Katie Ledecky (United States), 8:07.39
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Katie Ledecky (United States), 8:07.39


  1. GOLD- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:13.58
  2. SILVER- Simona Quadarella (ITA), 8:14.99
  3. BRONZE- Ariarne Titmus (AUS), 8:15.70

After a rocky start to the World Championships, Katie Ledecky finally won gold for the USA. Earlier in the meet, Ledecky was upset in the 400 free, taking silver in that race. She then scratched the 1500 free final and 200 free prelims due to illness. This was her last chance at a gold medal, and she got the job done. Ledecky took it out with the lead, but Italy’s Simona Quadarella overtook that lead after the 400. It was a close race throughout the back half. Quadarella, the 1500 free World Champion, had a small lead going into the final 50, but Ledecky turned it on to take the win in 8:13.58. That gives Ledecky her 4th-straight title in the event.

Quadarella earned the silver in 8:14.99, a new Italian Record. Australia’s Ariarne Titmus blasted a 28.89 final 50 to secure the bronze in a new Australian Record time of 8:15.70. Titmus lowered her former record from 2018 Pan Pacs by over a second. The German Record, which stood for 32 years, also went down as Sarah Kohler took 4th in 8:16.43. Team USA’s Leah Smith finished behind her with an 8:17.10 for 5th.


  • World Record: USA, 2017, 3:19.60
  • World Junior Record: Canada, 2017, 3:26.65
  • World Championships Record: USA, 2017, 3:19.60
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: USA, 3:19.60


  1. GOLD- USA, 3:19.40
  2. SILVER- Australia, 3:19.97
  3. BRONZE- France, 3:22.11

The USA and Australia were nearly dead even with their leadoffs as Caeleb Dressel clocked in at 47.34 to edge out Kyle Chalmers (47.37) by a nail. Zach Apple then picked up the lead for the Americans on the 2nd leg with a 47.34 of his own. Australia then took over the lead as Emma McKeon split a 52.06 on the 3rd leg. It came down to Simone Manuel and Bronte Campbell (52.36), as Manuel split a 52.00 to earn the USA a gold in a new World Record time of 3:19.60. Australia’s 3:19.97 was a new Australian Record.


  • USA- Dressel 47.34, Apple 47.34, Comerford 52.72, Manuel 52.00
  • AUS- Chalmers 47.37, Lewis 48.18, McKeon 52.06, B. Campbell 52.36
  • FRA- Mignon 48.44, Metella 47.78, Bonnet 52.87, Wattel 53.02

The race for bronze was tight between France and Canada. The Canadians were in 8th at the halfway mark, while France’s Mehdy Metella split a 47.78 on the 2nd leg to put them in 4th. Marie Wattel (53.02) anchored for France to pull them ahead of Russia (3:22.72) for the bronze. Canada was just off the podium in 4th a 3:22.54. They nearly caught France as Penny Oleksiak split a 52.00 on the anchor. Notably, Oleksiak tied for the fastest split of the field with Manuel. The two also tied for Olympic gold in 2016. Russia wound up behind them in 5th, highlighted by a 47.31 split by Vlad Morozov on the 2nd leg.


  • World Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2017, 23.67
  • World Junior Record: Rikako Ikee (Japan), 2017, 24.33
  • World Championships Record: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 2017, 23.67
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), 23.69
  1. Bronte Campbell (AUS), 24.36
  2. Liu Xiang (CHN), 24.53

Bronte Campbell dropped a tenth from her semi-final swim in 24.36 to win the swim-off with Liu Xiang and advance to tomorrow’s final in the women’s 50 free.

Campbell won the 2015 World title in this event and has now made four consecutive finals dating back to 2013.


  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 24.05
  2. Cate Campbell (AUS), 24.07
  3. Pernille Blume (DEN), 24.14
  4. Simone Manuel (USA), 24.21
  5. Mariia Kameneva (RUS), 24.33
  6. Anna Hopkin (GBR), 24.34
  7. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 24.38
  8. Bronte Campbell (AUS), 24.46*
  9. Liu Xiang (CHN), 24.46

*swim-off winner

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Philip Johnson
1 year ago

I’m sad we’re almost done, but have enjoyed my time here.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

same here , fantastic swimming week & swim nerd community fun all together = Great summer

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 year ago

Damn, quoting Mr. Rogers?

1 year ago

Mixed relay lineup

US – Dressel, Apple, Comerford, Manuel
AUS – Chalmers, Lewis, McKeon, B Campbell

Reply to  Zanna
1 year ago

Without C1 anchoring for the Aussies, it seems like the Americans have the odds firmly on their side.

Reply to  N P
1 year ago

Without C1 they don’t stand a chance.

Reply to  Lopez
1 year ago

You might have to eat your words I think

Reply to  Samesame
1 year ago

I hope not, I had 100 on Aus to win at 10 to 1 and I cashed out.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Zanna
1 year ago

Dressel/Chalmers rematch, love it.

Reply to  Zanna
1 year ago

why C2 but not C1? Australia has no chance with dressel faster than chalmers, apple faster than lewis, and manuel (likely) faster than C2

Reply to  anon
1 year ago

Dressel touched Chalmers out the other night, so even on a good night Chalmers is capable of beating him, and it probably won’t be a good night, it’s his 3rd swim of the night and Chalmers is fresh.

I think Chalmers probably will be faster than him tonight. Doesn’t mean much though.

Reply to  Jred
1 year ago

lets have fun watching it …they respect each other so much / great swimming will be the win

Reply to  Zanna
1 year ago

Chalmers ahead of Dressel in the lead off.

1 year ago

Incorrect info in caption. Regan swam 200 back final in 2017 in Budapest.

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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