2019 FINA World Championships: Day 8 Finals Preview

2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

The final session of what’s been one of the most drama-willed World Championships meets in a long time is finally here. While this morning’s prelims session was relatively short, with only four events, tonight we will get a full eight-event schedule, all of which will obviously be finals, meaning that we’ll have eight medal ceremonies this evening.

Day 8 Finals Events:

  • Men’s 50 Back
  • Women’s 50 Breast
  • Men’s 1500 Free
  • Women’s 50 Free
  • Men’s 400 IM
  • Womens’s 400 IM
  • Men’s 400 Medley Relay
  • Women’s 400 Medley Relay

Day 8 Storylines to Follow:

  • Men’s 50 Back – World record holder Kliment Kolesnikov has looked solid through the prelims and semis, and he has to be considered the favorite for gold. The minor medals are definitely up grabs. Contenders for those include Kolesknikov’s country mate Evgeny Rylov, who won gold in the 200 back and silver in the 200 back so far, Robert Glinta, who’ll be in lane 5 and in the hunt for Romania’s first medal of the meet, and Ryan Murphy, who hasn’t been having a great meet by his standards, but should still be a threat here. It’s also worth noting that this is Michael Andrew‘s last opportunity for an individual medal after having made the finals of all four 50m events this week.
  • Women’s 50 Breast – Once again, we’ll have the world record holder in lane four, this time in the form of Lilly King. She’ll have a familiar opponent next to her in the form of Yulia Efimova. Also watch out for 14 year-old Benedetta Pilato of Italy. She went 30.17 in semis, and if she can clear the “best time” standard of 29.86, she’ll be the first to own the official junior world record in this event.
  • Men’s 1500 Free – Four men touched within two seconds of each other in prelims, setting up what should be a tight race. The top qualifier was Gregorio Paltrinieri, who will earn his second gold medal of the meet if he can come out on top tonight.
  • Women’s 50 Free – Five of the eight finalists from 2017 will be swimming here again tonight, including all three medalists. Just like in the two 50s earlier in the session, the world record holder will be in lane 4, this time Sarah Sjostrom. She’ll be gunning for her second gold and fifth overall medal of the week. One more medal would move her ahead of Missy Franklin, and only behind Katie Ledecky and Natalie Coughlin, in terms of total number of World Championship medals.
  • Men’s 400 IM – The big shocker here is that defending champion Chase Kalisz didn’t make the final. Kalisz’s absence means that it should be Daiya Seto‘s race to lose, as he’s been almost three seconds faster than anyone else in the world this year.
  • Women’s 400 IM – And we’re back to lane 4 being occupied by the world record holder, Katinka Hosszu. If she can win this event, this will mark the 4th-straight time that Hosszu has swept the IM events at Worlds, and her 5th title in this event. The other two medalists in the 200 IM earlier this week, Ye Shiwen and Sydney Pickrem, are both in this final, as is Yui Ohashi, who went 4:32.00 last November.
  • Women’s 400 Medley Relay – We’re assuming that the US will use 17 year-old Regan Smith on leadoff, despite not swimming the individual 100 back. She went 58.40 in-season, and after knocking 3 seconds off her personal best in the 200 back (and setting the world record) two days ago, Smith could very well be flirting with a sub-58 time (and another world record). Smith and Lilly King should give the USA a front half that’ll be hard to beat, although the Aussies will counter with 100 fly bronze medalist Emma McKeon and the always-clutch Cate Campbell on free.
  • Men’s 400 Medley Relay – There will be a few different teams in the mix here, but even more intriguing might be the individual splits. Keep an eye on the leadoff legs to see if anyone flirts with breaking 52.0 after what felt like a relatively slow individual 100 back earlier this week. Adam Peaty and Caeleb Dressel could each put up the fastest relay split ever, after setting new world records in the 100 breast and 100 fly, respectively, earlier this week. And assuming the US puts veteran Nathan Adrian on the anchor leg, it’ll be interesting to see if his experience is enough to justify using him here after Zach Apple split 46.8 on the 4×100 free earlier this week.

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Anon

USA will win both medley relays easily. Everyone keeps talking about Peaty but they don’t have a backstroker and Dressel is two seconds faster than Guy, removing any advantage Peaty would bring

Siobhan

Watch out for the Russians!

Ben

This didn’t age well.

Texas Tap Water

HOT TAKES!

REGAN SMITH TO BREAK 100 BACK WR, USA TO WIN BOTH MEDLEY RELAYS IN WORLD RECORDS AND MICHAEL ANDREW TO WIN HIS FIRST INDIVIDUAL MEDAL!

MARK MY COMMENT!

Zanna

That could happen

Troy

Michael Andrew won’t win a medal.

William Charles Alexander

Dont have to shout… agree on Regan to be first woman under 58 second barrier in the lead off backstroke leg; disagree on the rest.

MKW

Thanks to Mel and the SwimSwam staff who put in time this past week on coverage, you guys rock!

Comments section was awesome, you guys have a great sense of humor and love the international flavor!