2021 SC World Champs: Day 4 Prelims Live Recap


Having cleared the halfway point of the 2021 World Short Course Swimming Championships, day 4 will feature a shorter prelims session than the ones that we’ve seen so far.

The session will be bookended by the men’s 4×50 and 4×200 freestyles and will feature 4 individual events in between. Top seeds Kira Toussaint, Kylie Masse, and Maggie MacNeil are the leading trio in the women’s 50 backstroke, set to lead the pack in each of the three fastest heats.

Following that, we’ll see another sprint race in the form of the men’s 50 butterfly. It’s a loaded field, which features not one, but two world holders. Nicholas Santos and Szebasztian Szabo have both been as fast as a 21.75 in the event and will each be on the hunt for gold.

Next, the women’s 400 free and 100 breast will occur and we’ll see Siobhan Haughey set herself up to bid for her third gold medal of the meet. In the 100 breast, world record holder Alia Atkinson will look for redemption following a semi-final disqualification in the 50 breast.

Men’s 4×50 Freestyle

  • World Record: 1:21.80 – United States – 14 DEC 2018
  • Championship Record: 1:21.80 – United States – 14 DEC 2018

Top 8:

  1. Italy / Russia – 1:24.95
  2. USA – 1:25.61
  3. Netherlands – 1:25.70
  4. China – 1:26.58
  5. Belgium – 1:26.82
  6. Switzerland – 1:27.05
  7. Lithuania – 1:27.28

The Italians put forth a strong contingent for their prelims effort in the men’s 4×50 relay. They won heat 1 of the event as Leonardo Deplano opened up with a 21.49 to out-split Zach Apple‘s 21.62. Alessandro Miressi and Manuel Frigo followed up with respected splits of 21.12 and 21.39, but Lorenzo Zazzeri‘s 20.95 sealed the deal for the team.

The USA was a bit slower, touching in second with a 1:25.61 but will certainly be faster during finals. After Zach Apple in their prelims lineup Hunter Tapp, Kieran Smith, and Tom Shields were all solid with 21s, but as the sprint freestyle specialists takeover in finals, the USA should be in contention for gold.

Heat 2 went to the Russians who also dipped under 1:25.95 to tie for first heading into the final. Vlad Morozov opened up with a 21.33 for the team and while no other men crack 21, they managed to fend off the top seeds from the Netherlands.

The Dutchmen were less than a second slower, touching in a 1:25.70, which will get them into the final in 4th place. Joining those 4 countries in the final will be China, Belgium, Switzerland, and Lithuania.

Notably, the British and Slovakian teams for this event did not swim, while Poland got disqualified.

Women’s 50 Backstroke

  • World Record: 25.60 – TOUSSAINT Kira (NED) 14 NOV 2020 / 18 DEC 2020
  • Championship Record: 25.67 – MEDEIROS Etiene (BRA) 7 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 26.13 – SMOLIGA Olivia (USA) 16 DEC 2012

Top 16:

  1. Maggie MacNeil (CAN)
  2. Louise Hansson (SWE)
  3. Kylie Masse (CAN) / Kira Toussaint (NED)
  4. Maaike de Waard (NED) / Analia Pigree (FRA)
  5. Simona Kubova (CZE)
  6. Silvia Scalia (ITA)
  7. Hanna Roswall (SWE)
  8. Caroline Pilhatsch (AUT)
  9. Holly Barratt (AUS)
  10. Mary-Ambre Moluh (FRA)
  11. Danielle Hill (IRL) / Peng Xuwei (CHN)
  12. Julie Kepp Jensen (DEN)
  13. Daryna Zevina (UKR)

Kylie Masse did what she needed to qualify for the 50 backstroke final and won heat 5 of the event in a 26.30. The time is a bit slower than she’s been this week, having provided a 25.92 on Canada’s national record-breaking 4×50 medley relay.

Kira Toussaint swam two heats later and exactly matched Masse’s time with a 26.30. Toussaint has also been quicker in the past and holds the world record at a 25.60 from 2020. The 50 backstroke will be a shot at redemption for Toussaint who was left off the podium in the 50 earlier this week, placing 4th to Louise Hansson, Kylie Masse, and Katharine Berkoff.

The duo of Masse and Toussaint will advance in a tie for 4th behind the fastest two women from heat 6.

Masse’s teammate Maggie MacNeil pulled off the win in the 6th heat with a 25.98, slightly trailing her 25.84 Canadian record from just a few weeks ago. She’ll be the top seed in the final, followed by Swedish 100 backstroke champ Louise Hansson.

Hansson was a 26.27 here but has the potential to challenge for a spot atop the podium considering her 100 back victory and 25.61 PB and Swedish record in the event from a few weeks ago.

Toussaint’s teammate Maike de Waard and up-and-coming French backstroke Analia Pigree also tied, each hitting a 26.39 during prelims for 5th place. Simona Kubova will advance to semi-finals in 7th place, followed by Silvia Scalia.

The USA’s sole entrant in this event Rhyan White did not end up racing, meaning the country will not have any representatives in the semi-finals or the final.

Men’s 50 Butterfly

  • World Record: 21.75 – SANTOS Nicholas (BRA) 6 OCT / SZABO Szebasztian (HUN) 6 NOV 2021
  • Championship Record: 21.81 – SANTOS Nicholas (BRA) 15 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 22.34 – MINAKOV Andrei (RSF) 18 DEC 2020

Top 16:

  1. Dylan Carter (TTO)
  2. Nyls Korstanje (NED)
  3. Szebasztian Szabo (HUN)
  4. Josh Liendo (CAN) / Noe Ponti (SUI)
  5. Matteo Rivolta (ITA)
  6. Grigori Pekarski (BLR)
  7. Sun Jiajun (CHN)
  8. Nicholas Santos (BRA)
  9. Daniel Zaitsev (EST)
  10. Abdelrahman Sameh (EGY)
  11. Roman Shevliakov (RSF)
  12. Thomas Ceccon (ITS)
  13. Tom Shields (USA)
  14. Jose Martinez (MEX)
  15. Oleg Kostin (RSF)

On-fire Canadian Josh Liendo swam a 22.52 from the 4th-last heat of the men’s 50 butterfly final to lower his freshly-set Canadian record and qualify for the semi-finals. Liendo broke the former Canadian record on day 2 of the meet in the opening 50 of his 100 butterfly prelims, making it fairly clear he would be challenging this mark again.

He got the record down from a 23.13 to a 22.52 here, which is nearly a second faster than the 23.31 at which it stood when the meet began. Noe Ponti swam one heat after Liendo and threw down a 22.52 to match Liendo’s time. Ponti also broke a national record here, taking out the Swiss mark of 22.75 that he set just a few weeks ago at Swiss Championships.

Three men in the following two heats managed to out-swim Liendo and Ponti in the form of Dylan Carter, Nyls Korstanje, and Szebasztian Szabo. Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter was the quickest man in the field, splitting a 22.36 to narrowly miss his national record and PB of 22.25. He was followed by Dutchman Korstanje (22.40) and co-world record holder Szabo of Hungary.

Szabo’s fellow world record holder in the event Nicholas Santos missed out on a top 8 finish with his 22.66, meaning he’ll need to move up in order to have a spot in the final. Beating Santos for a top 8 finish were Italy’s Matteo Rivolta, Grigori Pekarski of Bulgaria, and China’s Sun Jiajun.

Women’s 400 Freestyle

  • World Record: 3:53.92 – TITMUS Ariarne (AUS) 14 DEC 2018
  • Championship Record: 3:53.92 – TITMUS Ariarne (AUS) 14 DEC 2018
  • World Junior Record: 3:53.97 – WANG Jianjiahe (CHN) 4 OCT 2018

Top 8:

  1. Li Bingjie (CHN) – 4:01.26
  2. Anastasiia Kirpichnikova (RSF) – 4:01.35
  3. Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 4:01.82
  4. Siobhan Haughey (HKG) – 4:02.57
  5. Anna Egorova (RSF) – 4:02.66
  6. Paige Madden (USA) – 4:03.03
  7. Isabel Gose (GER) – 4:03.13
  8. Joanna Evans (BAH) – 4:03.58

The top three swimmers here in the form of Li Bingjie, Anastasiia Kirpichnikova, and Summer McIntosh all raced in the same prelims heat, making for an incredibly down-to-the-wire race.

In the final heat of the event, Li Bingjie ultimately took control at the end and touched the wall with a 4:01.26, which was just 0.09 quicker than Russian competitor Kirpichnikova. Summer McIntosh also got under 4:02 with a 4:01.82.

All three of those women have been under 4 minutes before. Bingjie holds a PB of 3:57.99 in the 400 free from 3 years ago at this same meet. She won bronze there to Ariarne Titmus (3:53.92) and teammate Wang Jianjiahe (3:54.56) who holds the Chinese record at a 3:53.97.

McIntosh and Kirpichnikova both swam their PBs earlier this fall in a 3:57.75 Canadian record and 3:59.18, respectively. Bingjie and Kirpichnikova have already won medals at this meet in the 800 freestyle, which Summer McIntosh decided to drop for load management purposes.

The leading trio is not impenetrable considering 100 and 200 freestyle champion Siobhan Haughey‘s 4:02.57 prelim swim for 4th rank heading into the final. Haughey has been faster in recent weeks, having swum a 3:57.06 Hong Kong record during the ISL season.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

  • World Record: 1:02.36 – MEILUTYTE Ruta (LTU) 12 OCT 2013 / ATKINSON Alia (JAM) 6 DEC 2014 / 26 AUG 2016
  • Championship Record: 1:02.36 – ATKINSON Alia (JAM) 6 DEC 2014
  • World Junior Record: 1:02.36 – MEILUTYTE Ruta (LTU) 12 OCT 2013

Top 16:

  1. Sophie Hansson (SWE) – 1:04.50
  2. Mona McSharry (IRL) – 1:04.59
  3. Alia Atkinson (JAM) – 1:04.88
  4. Tang Qianting (CHN) – 1:04.94
  5. Molly Renshaw (GBR) – 1:05.03
  6. Kotryna Teterevkova (LTU) – 1:05.15
  7. Emelie Fast (SWE) – 1:05.36
  8. Jessica Vall (ESP) – 1:05.42
  9. Anastasia Gorbenko (ISR) – 1:05.47
  10. Eneli Jefimova (EST) – 1:05.57
  11. Martina Carraro (ITA) – 1:05.61
  12. Emily Escobedo (USA) – 1:05.69
  13. Lisa Mamie (SUI) – 1:05.83
  14. Evgeniia Chikunova (RSF) – 1:05.90
  15. Nika Godun (RSF) – 1:06.08
  16. Lena Kreundl (AUT) – 1:06.33

50 breaststroke bronze medalist Sophie Hansson returned to the pool for the 100 prelims, delivering the leading time of 1:04.50. That’s a solid swim for Hansson who holds a PB and national record of 1:04.44 from the Swedish Championships last month.

Ireland’s Mona McSharry was just 0.09 seconds behind Hansson in the heats with a 1:04.59, while world record holder Alia Atkinson was third in a 1:04.88. Atkinson is tied with Ruta Meilutyte as the fastest woman in history at a 1:02.36 but the best she’s been this year is a 1:03.58.

McSharry on the other hand has a best time of 1:04.36, which is also an Irish record from 2 years ago at European Championships. China’s Tang Qiantang was 4th in the prelims and also dipped under 1:05 with a 1:04.94, while Molly Renshaw of Great Britain placed 6th in a 1:05.03.

In Lydia Jacoby’s absence, Emily Escobedo will be the only American in the semi-final following her 12th place finish of 1:05.69. Anastasiia Gorbenko, who won the 50 breaststroke, is the 9th fastest entrant into the semi.

We didn’t see as many disqualifications here as we did in the 50 breast heats but notable breaststroker Arianna Castiglioni was disqualified once again. That’s 2-for-2 DQs for the Italian breaststroker who was the second seed in this event with a 1:03.90. Castiglioni was only entered in the 50 and 100 breast, meaning she was eliminated from her only 2 individual events during the prelims round.

Ida Hulkko of Finland, who finished 6th in the 50 earlier in the meet, was also disqualified during the 100 prelims.

Men’s 4×200 Freestyle

  • World Record: 6:46.81 – Brazil – 14 DEC 2018
  • Championship Record: 6:46.81 – Brazil – 14 DEC 2018

Top 8

  1. Russia – 6:54.83
  2. Italy – 6:56.52
  3. Brazil – 6:56.56
  4. China – 7:00.19
  5. Norway – 7:01.03
  6. Ireland – 7:02.35
  7. USA – 7:02.88
  8. Turkey – 7:09.89

Russia and Italy will be the top two seeds in both men’s relays they raced today after this event. The Russian men posted a field-leading time of 6:54.83 from heat 1, while the Italians and Brazilians both came in two seconds later.

All three of those teams beat the entirety of the second heat, which China won in a 7:00.19. The most notable part of the heat was arguably the fact that Ireland managed to out-swim the American contingent with a 7:02.35 to the USA’s 7:02.35.

Joining those 5 countries in the final will be Norway in 5th after their 7:01.03 and Turkey with a 7:02.88.

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2 years ago

“Kirpichnikova and McIntosh both swam their PBs earlier this fall in a 3:57.75 Canadian record and 3:59.18, respectively. “

Name order should be switched

Last edited 2 years ago by CanSwim13
2 years ago

Will Toussaint or Atkinson break the Roar curse tonight? About 5 events so far where Roar swimmers had solid shots at medals and they’ve repeatedly missed or been disqualified or DNS

Reply to  Sub13
2 years ago

Well Toussaint got 3 relay medals.. They don’t count? 😉

2 years ago

Who’s the US got for the finals 4×200 team? Russia seems to have quite a few options.

Reply to  Troyy
2 years ago

Apple and Smith or maybe Brinegar?
This one is Russia’s to lose though. They still have Shchegolev in reserve.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Troyy
2 years ago

Julian was fine on leadoff. They can sub in Casas (he was fast in SCY in the 200 free) and K. Smith. Foster should be faster in final. That gives them an average of about 1:43 per leg. They should be in the hunt.

Awsi Dooger
2 years ago

I didn’t realize Haughey was going to swim the 400 here. Good stuff. I assumed the schedule wouldn’t allow it. But I guess it’s only overly taxing for those who throw in the 800 also. The 200-100-400 triple is nicely spaced.

2 years ago

USA made 4 x 200 final in 7th place. Could not beat Ireland in their heat

Last edited 2 years ago by Tomek
Reply to  Tomek
2 years ago

Wait, did they actually use mandrew for prelims? I didn’t watch it

Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
2 years ago

What in god’s name was that relay performance from the U.S.? 😬

Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
2 years ago

Beaten by Ireland?!! 🤨

2 years ago

Castiglioni DQed again!!!!

2 years ago

what is with this meet and the amount of ties lol