2021 SC World Championships: Day 1 Heats Live Recap

2021 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

The moment has arrived. The 2021 SC World Championships are kicking off this morning (or, if you’re in the Western hemisphere, tonight) in Abu Dhabi. The first session of the meet is going to be action packed, as we’ll get the heats of the men’s 400 free, 200 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, 200 IM, and 4×100 free relay, as well as the women’s 200 free, 50 breast, 400 IM, 100 back, and 4×100 free relay. Follow along with us here for event-by-event updates.

The women’s 200 free will give us our first look at Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey, who has been tearing up the swimming world all year. Haughey is coming off 2 Silver medals at the Tokyo Olympics (100 free/200 free), and an equally great ISL season this fall. Haughey is the top seed in the 200 free this morning, and has been nearly 2 seconds faster this year than anyone else in this field.

With no Coleman Stewart at this meet for Team USA, Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov enters as the top seed in the men’s 100 back by a healthy margin. Kolesnikov will still have a battle on his hands, however, as Romania’s Robert Glinta has been racing well.

It might not appear so in the heats, but the men’s 100 breast ought to be one of the more exciting races this week. Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich is the top seed, and the World Record holder, but USA’s Nic Fink has been on fire in recent weeks. Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi and Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga should be right up there at the top too.

MEN’S 400 FREESTYLE – HEATS:

  • World Record: 3:32.25 – AGNEL Yannick FRA (FRA) 15 NOV 2012
  • Championship Record: 3:34.01 – RAPSYS Danas (LTU) 11 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 3:37.92 – SATES Matthew (RSA) 7 OCT 2021

START LIST

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Felix Auboeck (AUT) – 3:37.91
  2. Kieran Smith (USA) – 3:38.61
  3. Antonio Djakovic (SUI) – 3:39.06
  4. Luc Kroon (NED) – 3:39.17
  5. Max Litchfield (GBR) – 3:39.34
  6. Danas Rapsys (LTU) – 3:39.38
  7. Alfonso Mestre (VEN) – 3:39.52
  8. Marco de Tullio (ITA) – 3:39.53

It took a sub-3:40 to make into the final here in Abu Dhabi, marking a fast opening event for the meet. Perhaps most notably, Olympic Champion Ahmed Hafnaoui (TUN) missed out on qualifying for the final, finishing 10th in 3:40.30.

Leading the way this morning was Austrian Felix Auboeck, who swam a 3:37.91. The swim was nearly a personal best for the 25-year-old, whose top time of 3:37.48 from 2020 stands as the Austrian Record as well. Auboeck swam a well-paced race this morning, splitting 1:48.21 on the first 200, then coming home in 1:49.70.

The USA’s Kieran Smith, swimming his first SCM 400 free (according to USA Swimming’s database) took 2nd in 3:38.61. Switzerland’s Antonio Djakovic came in 3rd, leading a very tight pack of 3rd-8th.

Notably, Venezuela’s Alfonso Mestre broke the Venezuelan Record en route to finishing 7th this morning, and grabbing a lane for tonight’s final.

WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – HEATS:

  • World Record: 1:50.43 – SJOSTROM Sarah (SWE) 12 AUG 2017
  • Championship Record: 1:50.78 – SJOSTROM Sarah (SWE) 7 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 1:52.85 – SANCHEZ Kayla SGP (CAN) 16 DEC 2018

START LIST

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Rebecca Smith (CAN)/Siobhan Haughey (HGK) – 1:52.86
  2. Paige Madden (USA) – 1:53.30
  3. Charlotte Bonnet (FRA) – 1:54.43
  4. Joanna Evans (BAH) – 1:54.51
  5. Katja Fain (SLO) – 1:54.61
  6. Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 1:54.63
  7. Marrit Steenbergen (NED) – 1:54.70

Canada’s Rebecca Smith clocked a new personal best by 0.06 seconds to tie Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey for the top seed in tonight’s final. Despite the fact that Smith and Haughey swam in different heats, they swam incredibly similar races, which just happened to result in a tie. Smith was out slightly faster on the first 50, but at the 100 mark, Haughey flipped in 54.48, while Smith was 54.55. Smith then out-split Haughey by just 0.04 seconds on the 3rd 50, and 0.03 seconds on the final 50, pulling things even.

The swim was a best for Smith, while for Haughey, it was quite tame given what we’ve seen her do all fall. Even with Smith’s personal best this morning, Haughey has still been 2 seconds faster in 2021 than any other swimmer in the field, setting herself up nicely for tonight.

USA’s Paige Madden also clocked a lifetime best to grab a middle lane for tonight, posting a 1:53.30. Madden pushed the 3rd 50 hard this morning, splitting 28.77, which was the fastest 3rd 50 in the field by 3-tenths of a second.

15-year-old Summer McIntosh (Canada) clcoked a personal best of 1:54.63 to qualify for the final. Like Joanna Evans (Bahamas), McIntosh was out fairly slow compared to the rest of the field. Both women split 55.78 on the opening 100. McIntosh has already proven at a young age that she’s able to compete against elite senior competition, so we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on her tonight.

On the other side of things, there were two fairly surprising misses this morning. Czech Barbora Seemanova and GBR’s Freya Anderson finished 9th and 10th respectively, missing out on the final.

MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY – HEATS:

  • World Record: 1:48.24 – SETO Daiya (JPN) 11 DEC 2018
  • Championship Record: 1:48.24 – SETO Daiya (JPN) 11 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 1:49.89 – WANG Kuan-Hung (TPE) 16 NOV 2020

START LIST

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Trenton Julian (USA) – 1:50.32
  2. Chad le Clos (RSA) – 1:50.63
  3. Noe Ponti (SUI) – 1:50.82
  4. Kregor Zirk (EST) – 1:50.92
  5. Alberto Razzetti (ITA) – 1:51.33
  6. Antani Ivanov (BUL) – 1:51.49
  7. Jose Martinez (MEX) – 1:51.58
  8. Tomoe Hvas (NOR) – 1:51.83

In a tight prelims of the 200 fly, USA’s Trenton Julian led the field with a 1:50.32 in his first SCM 200 fly of his career. Julian is coming off an excellent summer of racing. After narrowly missing the U.S. Olympic Team, Julian got down to 1:54.71 in the LCM 200 fly. It was a great prelims performance for Julian, although he’ll need to be faster tonight, as Chad le Clos has been 1:48.32 before.

Le Clos came in 2nd this morning with a 1:50.63. The race tonight should be very interesting, as both le Clos and Julian have a tendency to take races out really hard. The battle might turn into a war of attrition, and in that scenario, whichever swimmer is able to hold on longer will come out on top.

Switzerland’s Noe Ponti chipped half a second off his personal best to finish 3rd this morning, cracking his own Swiss Record. Ponti was one of the fastest closers in the field this morning, splitting 57.38 on the 2nd 100. Fastest closing 100 honors go to Mexico’s Jose Martinez, who closed in 57.34.

Similar to Ponti, Estonia’s Kregor Zirk clipped his own national record this morning, posting a 1:50.92 for 4th. The previous record stood at 1:51.14, which he just swam at the ISL Finals on December 4th.

Zach Harting (USA) missed out on finals, finishing 11th with a 1:52.40.

WOMEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE – HEATS:

  • World Record: 28.56 – ATKINSON Alia (JAM) 6 OCT 2018
  • Championship Record: 28.81 – MEILUTYTE Ruta (LTU) 3 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 28.81 – PILATO Benedetta (ITA) 21 NOV 2020

START LIST

Top 16 Qualifiers:

  1. Alia Atkinson (JAM) – 29.55
  2. Sophie Hansson (SWE) – 29.57
  3. Benedetta Pilato (ITA)/Ida Hulkko (FIN) – 29.73
  4. Mona McSharry (IRL) – 29.90
  5. Veera Kivirinta (FIN) – 30.02
  6. Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR) – 30.08
  7. Jhennifer Conceicao (BRA) – 30.11
  8. Lydia Jacoby (USA)/Fanny Lecluyse (BEL) – 30.16
  9. Andrea Podmanikova (SVK)/Alina Zmushka (BLR) – 30.17
  10. Nika Godun (RSF) – 30.32
  11. Klara Thormalm (SWE) – 30.39
  12. Kotryna Teterevkova (LTU) – 30.41
  13. Florine Gaspard (BEL)/Molly Renshaw (GBR) – 30.45

** Florine Gaspard won the swim-off with a 30.11, advancing to semifinals tonight, and bumping Molly Renshaw out.

No real surprises here, other than the tie for 16th, which will result in a swim-off to determine who advances to semifinals. Molly Renshaw and Florine Gaspard will be participating in the swim-off later in the session, and we’ll be sure to update accordingly with the outcome.

World Record holder Alia Atkinson led the field here, touching just under a second off her personal best of 28.56. Sophie Hansson was just a hair behind, touching in 29.57, which is a new personal best by 0.11 seconds.

33-year-old Jessica Vall (Spain) finished 19th this morning with a 30.56.

MEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE – HEATS:

  • World Record: 48.33 – STEWART Coleman (USA) 29 AUG 2021
  • Championship Record: 48.95 – DONETS Stanislav (RSF) 19 DEC 2010
  • World Junior Record: 48.90 – KOLESNIKOV Kliment (RSF) 22 DEC 2017

START LIST

Top 16 Qualifiers:

  1. Kacper Stokowski (POL)/Guilherme Guido (BRA) – 50.38
  2. Shaine Casas (USA)/Lorenzo Mora (ITA) – 50.40
  3. Pavel Samusenko (RSF) – 50.52
  4. Kliment Kolesnikov (RSF) – 50.55
  5. Apostolos Christou (GRE) – 50.80
  6. Robert Glinta (ROU) – 50.83
  7. Christian Diener (GER) – 50.88
  8. Gabriel Fantoni (BRA) – 50.92
  9. Thomas Ceccon (ITA) – 51.01
  10. Tomas Franta (CZE) – 51.04
  11. Armin Lelle (EST) – 51.09
  12. Radoslaw Kawecki (POL) – 51.25
  13. Hugo Gonzalez (ESP) – 51.35
  14. Markus Lie (NOR)/Yohann Ndoye-Brouard (FRA) – 51.46

The ties keep rolling in, and with them, we’ll have another swim-off. This one will be between Norway’s Markus Lie and France’s Yohann Ndoye-Brouard. We also had a tie at the top, with Kacper Stokowski and Guilherme Guido both posting 50.38. Shaine Casas and Lorenzo Mora also tied for 3rd, swimming 50.40.

Kliment Kolesnikov was 2 seconds off his seed time this morning, coming in 5th. So far, Kolesnikov is still the favorite, as no one did anything this morning that threatens his 48.5.

Brazil, Italy, Russia (RSF), and Poland all advanced two swimmers to the semifinals.

WOMEN’S 400 IM – HEATS:

  • World Record: 4:18.94 – BELMONTE Mireia (ESP) 12 AUG 2017
  • Championship Record: 4:19.86 – BELMONTE GARCIA Mireia (ESP) 3 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 4:23.33 – YE Shiwen (CHN) 12 DEC 2012

START LIST

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Ilaria Cusinato (ITA) – 4:30.27
  2. Tess Cieplucha (CAN) – 4:30.62
  3. Melanie Margalis (USA) – 4:30.75
  4. Ellen Walshe (IRL) – 4:30.78
  5. Bailey Andison (CAN) – 4:31.08
  6. Zsuzsanna Jakabos (HUN) – 4:32.02
  7. Katie Shanahan (GBR) – 4:32.75
  8. Emma Weyant (USA) – 4:32.97

2 Tokyo Olympic finalists advanced to finals here in Abu Dhabi. Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato led the field this morning, swimming a 4:30.27. Cusinato finished 8th in the LCM 400 IM in Tokyo. Conversely, USA’s Emma Weyant, who won Silver in Tokyo, narrowly made it into the final this morning, finishing 8th. Weyant’s American teammate, Melanie Margalis, will be swimming in the middle of the pool tonight after finishing 3rd this morning.

Canada also had a strong showing this morning, taking 2nd and 5th with Tess Cieplucha and Bailey Andison.

 

MEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE – HEATS:

  • World Record: 55.28 – SHYMANOVICH Ilya (BLR) 26 NOV 2021
  • Championship Record: 56.01 – van der BURGH Cameron (RSA) 12 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 57.27 – MARTINENGHI Nicolo (ITA) 16 DEC 2017 / 11 DEC 2018

START LIST

Top 16 Qualifiers:

  1. Arno Kamminga (NED) – 56.19
  2. Ilya Shymanovich (BEL) – 56.20
  3. Nic Fink (USA) – 57.02
  4. Fabian Schwingenschlogl (GER) – 57.07
  5. Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) – 57.43
  6. Yan Zibei (CHN) – 57.45
  7. Antoine Viquerat (FRA) – 57.53
  8. Michael Andrew (USA) – 57.54
  9. Danil Semianinov (RSF) – 57.66
  10. Matej Zaboknik (CZE) – 57.71
  11. Bernhard Reitshammer (AUT) – 57.76
  12. Berkay Ogretir (TUR) – 57.79
  13. Erik Persson (SWE) – 57.86
  14. Halyang Qin (CHN) – 57.88
  15. Lucas Matzerath (GER) – 58.07
  16. Oleg Kostin (RSF) – 58.11

In a fairly pedestrian prelims, Arno Kamminga and Ilya Shymanovich showed they’re still in their top form from earlier this fall. The pair were the class of this morning clocking low 56s. Nic Fink, arguably the hottest breaststroker in the world right now after massive performances in the ISL final, touched in 57.02 this morning.

We can’t take too much from the times this morning, since it will almost certainly be massively different in semifinals tonight. It would be shocking if a 57 is fast enough to make the top 8 in semifinals tonight, but time will tell on that front.

Michael Andrew finished 8th this morning with a 57.54. Andrew, to no one’s surprise, took the race out fast, splitting 26..58 on the first 50, but was much slower coming home, splitting 30.98.

WOMEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE – HEATS:

  • World Record: 54.89 – ATHERTON Minna (AUS) 27 OCT 2019
  • Championship Record: 55.03 – HOSSZU Katinka (HUN Doha) 4 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 55.99 – NIELSEN Mie Oe (DEN) 13 DEC 2013

START LIST

Top 16 Qualifiers:

  1. Katharine Berkoff (USA) – 55.92
  2. Kira Toussaint (NED) – 55.95
  3. Kylie Masse (CAN) – 56.12
  4. Louise Hansson (SWE) – 56.41
  5. Rhyan White (USA) – 56.76
  6. Simona Kubova (CZE) – 57.06
  7. Anastasiya Shkurdai (BLR) – 57.07
  8. Maaike de Waard (NED) – 57.09
  9. Letian Wan (CHN) – 57.36
  10. Maggie MacNeil (CAN) – 57.42
  11. Holly Barratt (AUS) – 57.72
  12. Peng Xuwei (CHN) – 57.82
  13. Silvia Scalia (ITA) – 58.05
  14. Hanna Rosvall (SWE) – 58.33
  15. Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR) – 58.39
  16. Caroline Pilhatsch (AUT) – 58.43

Katharine Berkoff made the most out of her first SCM 100 backstroke, clocking a 55.92 to lead prelims. With the swim, Berkoff is now tied for the #4 American all-time in the event. Netherlands’ Kira Toussaint, the fastest swimmer in the world this year (55.42) clocked a 55.95 for 2nd this morning.

Kylie Masse, the former World Record holder in the LCM 100 back, took 3rd in 56.12. Israel’s Anastasia Gorbenko qualified for her 2nd semifinal of the day. Gorbenko made semis of the 50 breast earlier in the session, before taking 15th this morning in the 100 back. She’ll be facing a tough double tonight as she attempts to advance again.

MEN’S 200 IM – HEATS:

  • World Record: 1:49.63 – LOCHTE Ryan (USA) 14 DEC 2012
  • Championship Record: 1:49.63 – LOCHTE Ryan (USA) 14 DEC 2012
  • World Junior Record: 1:51.45 – SATES Matthew (RSA) 2 OCT 2021

START LIST

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Daiya Seto (JPN) – 1:52.38
  2. Carson Foster (USA) – 1:52.59
  3. Alberto Razzetti (ITA) – 1:53.19
  4. Andreas Vazaios (GRE) – 1:53.38
  5. Duncan Scott (GBR) – 1:53.74
  6. Wang Shun (CHN) – 1:53.95
  7. Yakov Toumarkin (ISR) – 1:53.97
  8. Kieran Smith (USA) – 1:54.01

Superstar IM’er Daiya Seto grabbed the top spot for finals tonight, pacing the field with a 1:52.38. Seto established the lead early, splitting 24.22 on fly and 27.90 on back, hitting the 100 mark almost half a second ahead of anyone else.

In his debut, USA’s Carson Foster swam a 1:52.59 to finish just behind Seto, and as the only other swimmer under 1:53.

Italy’s Alberto Razzetti advanced to finals for the 2nd time today. Razzetti had already 5th in the 200 fly this morning, then bettered that by finishing 3rd in the IM. He used his fly speed to post one of the faster fly splits in the field on the IM – 24.46.

American Kieran Smith held on to qualify for his 2nd final of the day as well. Smith had previously finished 2nd in the 400 free at the beginning of the session, and notched an 8th-place finish in the 200 IM.

WOMEN’S 4×100 FREESTYLE RELAY – HEATS:

  • World Record: 3:26.53 – Netherlands – 5 DEC 2014
  • Championship Record: 3:26.53 – Netherlands – 5 DEC 2014

START LIST

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Netherlands – 3:31.39
  2. United States – 3:31.91
  3. China – 3:31.95
  4. Sweden – 3:32.06
  5. Russian Swimming Federation – 3:32.83
  6. Canada – 3:33.11
  7. Hungary – 3:36.20
  8. Austria – 3:38.77

Netherlands posted the fastest time of the morning, with Kim Busch (53.44), Marrit Steenbergen (52.13), Tessa Giele (53.26), and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.56) teaming up for a 3:31.39, which was over half a second faster than any other country. It was Steenbergen’s stellar 52.13 split that ultimately made the difference, and pushed the Dutch squad over the edge, and into Lane 4 tonight.

For the USA, Kate Douglass led off in a 52.98, then Claire Curzan (52.97), Katharine Berkoff (52.95), and Torri Huske (53.01) helped the Americans to a 2nd-place qualification.

The fastest split in the field was thrown down by none other than Sarah Sjostrom, who torched a 51.45 on the 2nd leg of Sweden’s relay. There must be something about the 2nd leg, because Canada’s Kayla Sanchez was almost as fast on her relay, splitting 51.76.

MEN’S 4×100 FREESTYLE RELAY – HEATS:

  • World Record: 3:03.03 – United States – 11 DEC 2018
  • Championship Record: 3:03.03 – United States – 11 DEC 2018

START LIST

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Russian Swimming Federation – 3:06.02
  2. United States – 3:06.78
  3. Italy – 3:07.00
  4. Netherlands – 3:07.16
  5. Brazil – 3:08.40
  6. Great Britain – 3:09.25
  7. China – 3:09.41
  8. Switzerland – 3:12.74

Russia (Russian Swimming Federation) grabbed Lane 4 for tonight’s final, beating out the USA thanks in large part to Andrei Minakov‘s 45.94 on the 3rd leg. RSF also had Vlad Morozov on the lead-off (47.07), Aleksandr Shchegolev (46.01), and Daniil Markov (47.00).

RSF had the fastest two splits in the field with Minakov and Shchegolev. The next-fastest split was Ryan Held, who anchored the USA’s relay in 46.17.

In This Story

52
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
52 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mia
4 months ago

Has Manuel retired? I haven’t seen her at any meets recently… I was curious because I am doing an early prediction for 2022 worlds this year and wanted to make sure I should add her in

anonymus2024
5 months ago

Side note on Krzysztof’s Chmielewski New European Junior Record in 200 fly for 9th place just 0.01s behind Tomoe Hvas!

Yup
5 months ago

Ah, if only MA had come home in 30.69……

Vitto0113
5 months ago

Razzetti doin double 200 fly/200 Im finals these afternoon in less than an hour. Not bad

Last edited 5 months ago by Vitto0113
Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Vitto0113
5 months ago

Kieran doing a 400 free/200 IM double is even better.

Patrick
5 months ago

Crazy how even the splits in that womens US relay were. All within 6 hundredths.

Aquajosh
5 months ago

Sweden should have a fantastic women’s medley relay.

Daeleb Creseel
5 months ago

Anybody saw Kamminga’s last kick? Such obvious butterfly kick

Splash
5 months ago

Quick correction: Coleman and Kameneva had quicker lead offs than Douglass. She was not “field leading”