2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
- LCM (50-meter format)
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- Day 3 Finals Heat Sheets
Medals will be on the line in five events during Day 3 finals at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, with swimmers in the men’s 200 free, women’s 1500 free, women’s 100 back and women’s 100 breast vying for a spot on the podium.
DAY 3 LINKS
Perhaps the greatest amount of intrigue for the session comes in the men’s 200 free, where 17-year-old David Popovici has separated himself from the pack after dropping a new World Junior Record of 1:44.40 in the semi-finals.
Popovici, who many have deemed the next superstar in men’s freestyle swimming, has a chance to win his first major international long course medal, and could also become just the second Romanian male to win a medal at the World Championships. The only other medal came in the 400 free at the 2003 Worlds in Barcelona, where Dragos Coman won bronze.
In the women’s 1500 free, Katie Ledecky is in a position to reclaim the crown she won three straight times from 2013 to 2017, having been forced to pull out of event at the 2019 World Championships due to illness. She has never lost an international final in this race.
The women’s 100 back, expected to be one of, if not the race of the meet now has a clear favorite in American Regan Smith, who was only two-tenths off the world record in the semi-finals. Two-time defending world champion Kylie Masse was nearly a full second back, while Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Kaylee McKeown scratched the event to focus on the 200 IM.
The men’s 100 back saw Greek veteran Apostolos Christou stun the field with a semi-final swim of 52.09, annihilating his previous best time of 52.77. Italian Thomas Ceccon (52.12) is right on his tail, while pre-race favorites Hunter Armstrong (52.37) and Ryan Murphy (52.80) from the United States have their work cut out for them.
The women’s 100 breaststroke? Lilly King, the two-time defending world champion, surprisingly finds herself out in Lane 8 for tonight’s final, and she was less than a tenth away from missing the top eight altogether after clocking 1:06.40 on Sunday. A trio of swimmers hit 1:05s in the semis, led by Germany’s Anna Elendt (1:05.62), who has now been sub-1:06 four times in the last three months.
Supplementing those finals will be a trio of semi-final rounds in the men’s 50 breast, women’s 200 breast and men’s 200 fly.
SWIMSWAM WATCH PARTY
MEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – FINAL
- World Record: 1:42.00, Paul Biedermann (GER) – 2009 World Championships
- Championship Record: 1:42.00, Paul Biedermann (GER) – 2009
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Tom Dean (GBR), 1:44.22
- 2019 World Champion: Sun Yang (CHN), 1:44.93
- David Popovici (ROU), 1:43.21 WJR
- Hwang Sunwoo (KOR), 1:44.47
- Tom Dean (GBR), 1:44.98
- Drew Kibler (USA), 1:45.01
- Felix Auboeck (AUT), 1:45.11
- Kieran Smith (USA), 1:45.16
- Lukas Märtens (GER), 1:45.73
- Elijah Winnington (AUS), 1:45.82
Romanian David Popovici delivered an unbelievable performance to win gold in the men’s 200 freestyle, clocking another World Junior Record while becoming the youngest-ever swimmer under 1:44 in history.
Popovici, 17, touched in a time of 1:43.21, smashing his WJR of 1:44.40 set during the semi-finals and launching into fourth on the all-time performers’ list while producing the second-fastest textile swim in history.
The only textile swim quicker than Popovici’s performance tonight is the 1:43.14 produced by Yannick Agnel at the 2012 Olympic Games. Popovici also puts up the fifth-fastest swim ever, period.
All-Time Performances, Men’s 200 Freestyle (LCM)
- Paul Biedermann (GER), 1:42.00 – 2009 World Championships
- Paul Biedermann (GER), 1:42.81 – 2009 World Championships
- Michael Phelps (USA), 1:42.96 – 2008 Olympic Games
- Yannick Agnel (FRA), 1:43.14 – 2012 Olympic Games
- David Popovici (ROU), 1:43.21 – 2022 World Championships
- Michael Phelps (USA), 1:43.22 – 2009 World Championships
- Michael Phelps (USA), 1:43.31 – 2008 Olympic Games
- Paul Biedermann (GER), 1:43.65 – 2009 World Championships
- Michael Phelps (USA), 1:43.86 – 2007 World Championships
- Danila Izotov (RUS), 1:43.90 – 2009 World Championships
In the race, it was reigning Olympic champion Tom Dean getting out to an aggressive start, leading the field with a 49.81 opening 100.
Popovici, not far behind in 49.96, then made his move on the third 50, out-splitting Dean by nearly eight-tenths in 26.31 to open up a massive lead before closing in 26.94 and winning comfortably by well over a second.
Popovici is also the first Romanian male to win a swimming World Championship title and the second ever to win a medal.
Fellow teenage phenom Hwang Sunwoo executed an optimal race strategy after going out too hard in last summer’s Olympic final, snagging silver in a Korean Record of 1:44.47 to overtake Dean. Hwang sat fourth at the 100 in 50.72 and then had the second-fastest third 50 (26.61) and third-fastest final 50 (27.14).
Dean fell off on the last 50, recording the slowest split in 28.07, but held on for the bronze in 1:44.98, fending off a charge from American Drew Kibler (1:45.01) and Austrian Felix Auboeck (1:45.11), who both set personal best times.
After looking a bit off and only sneaking into the final in eighth, American Kieran Smith had a much stronger showing, getting out to a fast start (50.35) before putting up a strong time of 1:45.16 to finish sixth.
WOMEN’S 1500 FREE – FINAL
- World Record: 15:20.48, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2018 Indianapolis Pro Swim Series
- Championship Record: 15:25.48, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2015
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Katie Ledecky (USA), 15:37.34
- 2019 World Champion: Simona Quadarella (ITA), 15:40.89
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 15:30.15
- Katie Grimes (USA), 15:44.89
- Lani Pallister (AUS), 15:48.96
- Moesha Johnson (AUS), 15:55.75
- Simona Quadarella (ITA), 16:03.84
- Beatriz Pimentel Dizotti (BRA), 16:05.25
- Viviane Jungblut (BRA), 16:13.89
- Kristel Kobrich (CHI), 16:20.24
It was never in doubt. Katie Ledecky is once again the world champion in the women’s 1500 freestyle, roaring to a dominant victory in a time of 15:30.15.
Ledecky wins the event for a fourth time, having won three straight from 2013 until 2017 before being forced to withdraw from the race due to illness in 2019. It’s also her 17th World Championship gold medal, the most ever by a female swimmer.
The time stands up as Ledecky’s sixth-fastest ever (and thus the sixth-fastest all-time), and the quickest she’s been since March of 2020.
In the battle for silver, American Katie Grimes was locked in a fight with Australian Lani Pallister, with Pallister holding a one-second lead at the 1000 before Grimes pulled even with 400 to go. Grimes then broke away, holding 31s down the stretch to place second in 15:44.89, downing her previous best time of 15:51.36 by a wide margin and moving into ninth on the all-time performers list.
Pallister also set a new PB to win bronze in 15:48.96, moving into 13th all-time.
It was a 3-4 finish for Australia as Moesha Johnson set her second best time in as many days, clocking 15:55.75 after swimming on her own for virtually the entire race.
MEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE – SEMI-FINALS
- World Record: 25.95, Adam Peaty (GBR) – 2017 World Championships
- Championships Record: 25.95, Adam Peaty (GBR) – 2017
- 2019 World Champion: Adam Peaty (GBR), 26.06
Top 8 Qualifiers:
- Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA), 26.56
- Michael Andrew (USA), 26.73
- Nic Fink (USA), 26.74
- Lucas Matzerath (GER), 26.99
- Simone Cerasuolo (ITA), 27.01
- Yan Zibei (CHN), 27.07
- Bernhard Reitshammer (AUT), 27.11
- Felipe Franca Silva (BRA), 27.20
Fresh off winning his first World Championship title last night in the men’s 100 breaststroke, Nicolo Martinenghi has set himself up to take a run at a second tomorrow after qualifying first out of the semi-finals in a time 26.56.
The 22-year-old set a best time and Italian Record earlier this year in 26.39, which ranks him third all-time in the event.
Italy has never won this event at Worlds, with just one silver going to Fabio Scozzoli back in 2011.
The American duo of Michael Andrew (26.73) and Nic Fink (26.74) went 1-2 in the first semi to qualify second and third for the final. Both swimmers set lifetime bests in the 26.5 range at the U.S. Trials in late April.
The Gomes DQ results in his teammate, Felipe Franca Silva, getting bumped up into the final.
Germany’s Lucas Matzerath was the fourth swimmer to crack 27 seconds, doing so for the first time in 26.99 to qualify fourth overall.
WOMEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE – FINAL
- World Record: 57.45, Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 2021 Australian Olympic Trials
- Championship Record: 57.57, Regan Smith (USA) – 2019
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 57.47
- 2019 World Champion: Kylie Masse (CAN), 58.60
- Regan Smith (USA), 58.22
- Kylie Masse (CAN), 58.40
- Claire Curzan (USA), 58.67
- Wan Letian (CHN), 59.77
- Emma Terebo (FRA), 59.98
- Kira Toussaint (NED), 59.99
- Peng Xuwei (CHN) / Medi Harris (GBR), 1:00.01
Regan Smith and Kylie Masse went toe-to-toe in the final of the women’s 100 backstroke, but it was Smith who ultimately got her hand on the wall first to win her first world championship title in the event.
The two swimmers led the field at the 50 in 28-low, with Smith holding a slight lead, and then the American began to extend her lead over the second lap. Masse, the two-time defending champion, made a big push over the final few meters, but it wasn’t quite enough as Smith claimed gold in 58.22, with Masse not far back in 58.40.
It’s the first win for the U.S. since Missy Franklin in 2013.
The times were well off their career-bests, and Smith was significantly faster (57.65) in last night’s semis.
It was actually the other American, Claire Curzan, who had the fastest back-half split in the field at 30.07, moving up alongside the two favorites towards the end to earn bronze in 58.67. The 17-year-old set a best time of 58.39 earlier this year.
There was a massive gap to the rest of the field from there, with China’s Wan Letian claiming fourth in 59.77. Wan owns a PB of 59.63, set last September.
MEN’S 100 BACKSTROKE – FINAL
World Record: 51.85, Ryan Murphy (USA) – 2016 Olympics Championship Record: 52.09, Apostolos Christou (GRE) – 2022
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Evgeny Rylov (ROC), 51.98
- 2019 World Champion: Jiayu Xu (CHN), 52.43
- Thomas Ceccon (ITA), 51.60 WR
- Ryan Murphy (USA), 51.97
- Hunter Armstrong (USA), 51.98
- Yohann Ndoye Brouard (FRA), 52.50
- Apostolos Christou (GRE), 52.57
- Ksawery Masiuk (POL), 52.75
- Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 52.83
- Robert Glinta (ROU), 53.63
With a mustache no less, Italian Thomas Ceccon absolutely annihilated the world record in the men’s 100 backstroke, winning the world title in a scintillating time of 51.60.
Ceccon, 21, shatters the previous world record by a quarter of a second, taking down Ryan Murphy‘s mark of 51.85 set at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Ceccon’s previous best time in the event was 52.23, set on the lead-off leg of Italy’s mixed medley relay at the Tokyo Olympic Games. He placed fourth in the individual final in 52.30.
Murphy, who has yet to win an individual LC world title, got out to a blistering start, flipping in 25.02 at the 50 to take the early lead.
Ceccon was second in 25.14, and came back in a scorching 26.46 to book the win.
Murphy neared his former WR to crack 52 seconds in 51.97 for the silver, his best finish ever in the event after winning bronze in 2017.
His American teammate Hunter Armstrong nearly matched Ceccon’s closing ability, splitting 26.54 on the way home to win bronze in 51.98, becoming the sixth man in history under 52 seconds.
In fact, there were only seven sub-52 swims in history coming into this session, including one of them coming on a mixed medley relay (and therefore not officially recognized everywhere). And then in this heat alone, there were three more, bringing the total to 10.
All-Time Performances, Men’s 100 Backstroke (LCM)
- Thomas Ceccon (ITA), 51.60 – 2022 World Championships
- Ryan Murphy (USA), 51.85 – 2016 Olympic Games
- Xu Jiayu (CHN), 51.86 – 2017 Chinese Nationals
- Aaron Peirsol (USA) / Ryan Murphy, 51.94 – 2009 U.S. Nationals / 2018 Pan Pacs
- Ryan Murphy (USA) / Evgeny Rylov (RUS) / Ryan Murphy (USA), 51.97 – 2016 Olympics / 2019 World Championships / 2022 World Championships
- Evgeny Rylov (RUS) / Hunter Armstrong (USA), 51.98 – 2021 Olympic Games / 2022 World Championships
Greek veteran Apostolos Christou, who produced a stunning 52.09 in the semi-finals to knock nearly seven-tenths off his best time, ended up fifth in 52.57, overtaken by France’s Yohann Ndoye Brouard (52.50) down the stretch.
WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE – SEMI-FINALS
- World Record: 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini – 2009 World Championships
- Championships Record: 1:52.98, Federica Pellegrini – 2009
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Ariarne Titmus (AUS), 1:53.50
- 2019 World Champion: Federica Pellegrini (ITA), 1:54.22
Top 8 Qualifiers:
- Freya Anderson (GBR), 1:56.05
- Madi Wilson (AUS), 1:56.31
- Mollie O’Callaghan (CHN), 1:56.34
- Charlotte Bonnet (FRA), 1:56.54
- Yang Junxuan (CHN), 1:56.75
- Taylor Ruck (CAN), 1:56.80
- Isabel Gose (GER), 1:56.82
- Tang Muhan (CHN), 1:56.87
It was a tight set of semi-finals in the women’s 200 freestyle, with the top 10 swimmers all finishing within nine-tenths of one another.
Coming out on top was Great Britain’s Freya Anderson, who moved through the field over the back-half of the first semi to touch first in 1:56.05, ousting her previous best time by .01.
Australia’s Madi Wilson matched Anderson’s final 50 split of 29.15 to touch second in the heat in 1:56.31, qualifying second overall for the final, while France’s Charlotte Bonnet and Canada’s Taylor Ruck, who led the heat through the 150, advanced fourth and sixth.
18-year-old Aussie Mollie O’Callaghan took control of the second semi on the last 50, pulling away to victory in a time of 1:56.34 to advance third overall. O’Callaghan set a PB of 1:54.94 at the Australian Trials in May.
China’s Yang Junxuan, the top qualifier from the heats, took second in 1:56.75 to make the final in fifth, while Americans Leah Smith (1:56.90) and Claire Weinstein (1:56.94) finished ninth and 10th overall and are locked out of the final.
None of the Tokyo Olympic medalists will compete in the championship final as, after Ariarne Titmus opted not to attend and Siobhan Haughey pulled out due to injury, Canadian Penny Oleksiak had a blatant false start in the first semi-final. Oleksiak seemingly knew she was going to be disqualified, appearing to give up towards the end of the race and touch eighth in the heat.
Qualifying eighth at 1:56.87, China’s Tang Muhan will be the swimmer with the fastest best time in the final, having been 1:54.26 at the Chinese National Games in September 2021.
MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY – SEMI-FINALS
- World Record: 1:50.73, Kristof Milak (HUN) – 2019 World Championships
- Championships Record: 1:50.73, Kristof Milak (HUN) – 2019
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Kristof Milak (HUN), 1:51.25
- 2019 World Champion: Kristof Milak (HUN), 1:50.73
Top 8 Qualifiers:
- Kristof Milak (HUN), 1:52.39
- Tomoru Honda (JPN), 1:54.01
- Noe Ponti (SUI), 1:54.20
- Leon Marchand (FRA), 1:54.32
- Luca Urlando (USA), 1:54.50
- Tamas Kenderesi (HUN), 1:54.79
- Alberto Razzetti (ITA), 1:54.87
- James Guy (GBR), 1:54.91
Defending champion Kristof Milak delivered the easiest-looking 1:52 200 fly anyone’s ever seen, cruising through the second semi to qualify first into the final in a time of 1:52.39.
Milak, the world record holder at 1:50.73, produces the 10th-fastest swim in history, and now owns seven of the top 11 times ever recorded.
Urlando had a strong opening 150 but held on to clock 1:54.50 and qualify for the final in fifth, though he had the slowest last 50 of the top eight in 31.21.
Switzerland’s Noe Ponti re-broke his National Record from the prelims in 1:54.20 to win the first semi and qualify third, while Leon Marchand broke the 20-year-old French National Record in 1:54.32 to advance in fourth.
It required a sub-1:55 swim to make the final, with Great Britain’s James Guy sneaking into the final spot in 1:54.91.
Overall, this event was quicker than Tokyo and significantly faster than Gwangju. Last year, it took 1:55.31 to make the final, and in 2019, 1:56.25 tied for eighth and required a swim-off.
WOMEN’S 100 BREASTSTROKE – FINAL
- World Record: 1:04.13, Lilly King (USA) – 2017 World Championships
- Championship Record: 1:04.13, Lilly King (USA) – 2017
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Lydia Jacoby (USA), 1:04.95
- 2019 World Champion: Lilly King (USA), 1:04.93
- Benedetta Pilato (ITA), 1:05.93
- Anna Elendt (GER), 1:05.98
- Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 1:06.02
- Lilly King (USA), 1:06.07
- Reona Aoki (JPN), 1:06.38
- Sophie Hansson (SWE), 1:06.39
- Tang Qianting (CHN), 1:06.41
- Molly Renshaw (GBR), 1:06.60
The women’s 100 breaststroke final was an incredibly tight battle, but in the end it was Italian Benedetta Pilato getting her hands on the wall first in a time of 1:05.93, winning her first career world championship title.
Pilato, who is typically known more for her drop-dead speed as the silver medalist in the 50 breast from 2019, had to come back from fourth at the 50 to earn the victory, splitting 30.67/35.26 to claim the gold medal.
The 17-year-old owns a best time of 1:05.70, set in early April. At last summer’s Olympic Games, Pilato was disqualified in the preliminaries of this event.
Earning the runner-up spot was Germany’s Anna Elendt, who has been knocking 1:05s all year and was the lone swimmer in the field to close sub-35 in 34.97, touching in 1:05.98 for her first major international podium.
Picking up bronze was the legendary Ruta Meilutyte, the world champion in this event from 2013 who retired from the sport in 2019 and was suspended shortly thereafter until 2021 for being absent during anti-doping testing.
Dabbling in training for the last year, the Lithuanian showed up at these championships on unknown form, but showed no signs of rust tonight as she got out to a fast start (30.29) and held on to take third in 1:06.02.
Two-time defending world champion Lilly King moved through the field after turning sixth at the 50, but couldn’t quite bridge the gap up to the podium and finishes fourth in 1:06.37.
This event wasn’t fast relative to recent history, as 1:05.93 marks the slowest winning time in the event since 2005.