2021 SC Worlds Picks & Previews: Men’s IM Events

2021 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Thursday, December 16th – Tuesday, December 21st
  • Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • SCM (25m)
  • Prize Money
  • Meet Site
  • Entries

Men’s 100m IM

Tokyo Olympic Finalists Participating: N/A

The men’s 100 IM is akin to the 50m freestyle where anything can happen in this fast and furious test of strength and power.

To boot, this non-Olympic event is stacked with talent, including Great Britain’s Duncan Scott, Canada’s Finlay KnoxGreek swimmer Andreas VazaiosItaly’s Thomas Ceccon and sole Japanese World Championships participant Daiya Seto.

That’s not even considering the trio of swimmers who landed atop the podium 3 years ago in Hangzhou. At those 2018 FINA Short Course World Championships, Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov took gold while Italian Marco Orsi and American Michael Andrew wound up with silver and bronze respectively.

As of right now, of the men competing here in Abu Dhabi, Orsi owns the fastest time with his 50.95 he clocked at this year’s European Short Course Championships. Kolesnikov is next with a season-best of 51.15 while Seto is also right there in 51.29.

Seto has been taking a tour of the United States, making stops at the University of Georgia, the University of Michigan, as well as Flagstaff Arizona where he is currently training under former University of Alabama head coach Coley Stickels. We’ll see what altitude does for Seto this time around with this competition beginning just days from now.

Top 3 Picks:

  1. Marco Orsi, Italy (SB: 50.95)
  2. Kliment Kolesnikov, Russia (SB: 51.15)
  3. Daiya Seto, Japan (SB: 51.29)

Men’s 200m IM

Tokyo Olympic Finalists Participating:

As of right now, Japan’s Seto owns the fastest time in the world with a season-best of 1:50.66 from October. As we mentioned, the 27-year-old father of two has been touring the United States, absorbing different coaching methodologies and philosophies he intends on incorporating into his ongoing journey to Paris 2024.

Behind Seto, Greek national record holder Andreas Vazaios owns the next-fastest time in 1:51.15 while rising South African star Matt Sates sits as the 3rd fastest man in the world right now a PB of 1:51.45. Also in the mix is GBR’s versatile Scott, who simply can not be counted out of any race.

Although Wang Shun of China earned the gold medal at this summer’s Olympic Games, the man has yet to race this event this season, making him somewhat of a crapshoot as we look at Abu Dhabi predictions.

Top 3 Picks:

  1. Daiya Seto, Japan (SB: 1:51.01)
  2. Duncan Scott, Great Britain (SB: 1:51.78)
  3. Wang Shun, China (N/A)

Men’s 400m IM

Tokyo Olympic Finalists Participating:

The men’s 400m IM field is void of the majority of the Olympic final participants but a heated race is still expected to ensue.

Surprisingly, world leader Seto of Japan missed making the Olympic final in front of his virtual home crowd in Tokyo this summer, which means the man is on a mission to make it happen here in Abu Dhabi.

3 years ago the field saw Seto crush a time of 3:56.43 to easily defeat his competitors in Hangzhou with the only sub-4:00 result. He owns the fastest time of the season in 3:57.85, while young Ilya Borodin owns the #2 time in the world in 3:58.83.

Italian Razzeti lurks as a possible medal contender, owning a season-best of 4:00.34 and once again Scott is always in consideration as a scrapper who amassed four pieces of hardware in Tokyo.

American Carson Foster out of the University of Texas is another young gun who may make some waves, although the former Cincinnati kid is a little untested in short course meters.

Foster owns a lifetime best of 4:08.46 in long course in the 4IM, a time he registered just this past summer after narrowly missing the Olympic team. That translates to a 4:02.06 in SCM, which means if he brings his A-game he may contend for a minor medal.

However, Seto emits the airs of a man with redemption on his mind and is the sole swimmer representing Japan here in Abu Dhabi for extra incentive to do his nation proud.

Top 3 Picks:

  1. Daiya Seto, Japan (SB: 3:57.85)
  2. Ilya Borodin, Russia (SB: 3:58.83)
  3. Duncan Scott, Great Britain (SB: 4:00.37)

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Noah
6 months ago

Guess this has to be changed. Rip Sates

ddd
6 months ago

I think it will be a pretty difficult challenge because there are Kolesnikov and ORSI, but I want to see Seto wins 3 IM.

Bob Dobbalina
6 months ago

Will Michael Andrew be allowed to fly internationally and enter another country without his vaccine?

Redhawk
6 months ago

Foster is getting big time slept on in 400 IM. Untested in SCM? Sure. But a 4:08/3:35 LCM/SCY split bodes pretty well in my opinion….I think he can win

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Redhawk
6 months ago

If he gets run down by Finke and Litherland, will he be able to hold off a charging Duncan Scott?

Swimmerfromjapananduk

And seto that’s hungry for redemption

Redhawk
Reply to  Swimmerfromjapananduk
6 months ago

I’d say Carson is too after posting the fastest 4 IM in the world while watching the Olympics from the couch

Sub13
Reply to  Redhawk
6 months ago

When did he post the fastest 400IM in the world? According to FINA his fastest 400IM this year was at trials.

dddddddd
Reply to  Sub13
6 months ago

he went 4:08 a few weeks after

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Sub13
6 months ago
Sub13

Oh interesting. I wonder why FINA doesn’t recognise it. It’s not in their 2021 rankings.

Redhawk

Could be close. I think its more about if he can live up to the pressure. He posted the fastest 400 IM in the world…..after failing to make the Olympic team. Finke and Litherland are two of the best closers in the game. The latter may be the best closer ever.

Scott will also be at the end of a huge program and might not have as much closing speed as Litherland at the beginning of trials or Finke when he’s being himself.

Last edited 6 months ago by Redhawk
Hookem
6 months ago

Carson Foster?

David Granero Sánchez
6 months ago

Hugo González has to be named, at least, in the 200IM

SCM > Bathtub Yards
Reply to  David Granero Sánchez
6 months ago

Everyone’s gangsta until they have to face Daiya “the dinosaur” Seto.

Swim Fan
6 months ago

We can’t possibly forget about Keanan Dols in the 2IM!

Steve Nolan
6 months ago

I’m not surprised he’s not in it because he has so many other entries, but MA’s short-course 200 IM has gotta be way better than his long course one, right? (I’d assume he’d fall apart so much less.)

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 months ago

His biggest problem is that he really doesn’t want to swim the 200 IM. He did the 200 IM because it was his best shot at making the Olympic team. Next time around it probably won’t be (he won’t improve, Foster and others will be primed up). He really would love to just swim 50’s and do a 100 breast to stay on the relay.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
6 months ago

Maybe? I remember he was super jazzed to go after the 4 stroke 50s at WCs a couple years ago, but that seemed like it was just where they were at the time. Seemed like he was open to going wherever it made the most sense to go based on how he was swimming / the field.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 months ago

First, his dad has basically said it. He likes to sprint. Second, if you wanted to be the best 200 IMer, you’d be swimming it all the time. He swam it basically for one season leading up to Tokyo, and he knows he’ll never not suck on that last 50 in the race. It can’t be fun knowing you’re going to be run down while in pain every single time. He’ll probably emphasize the other stroke 100’s, but with guys like Heilman coming up, and Dressel still there, fly is out for the team. Back, he has a long way to drop to make it top 2 even after Murphy retires.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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