2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
- LCM (50-meter format)
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- Day 6 Prelims Recap
It’s time for Day 6 of the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest. In this session, we have five more finals, including the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay where the US men will seek redemption after failing to make the podium at last summer’s Olympic Games. Other finals on the schedule today include the women’s 100 freestyle, men’s 200 backstroke, women’s 200 breaststroke, and men’s 200 breaststroke.
The session will also feature the semi-finals of the men’s 100 butterfly, women’s 200 backstroke, men’s 50 freestyle, and women’s 50 butterfly.
Day 6 Finals Full Schedule:
- Women’s 100 Freestyle – Final
- Men’s 100 Butterfly – Semi-finals
- Women’s 200 Backstroke – Semi-finals
- Men’s 50 Freestyle – Semi-Finals
- Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Final
- Men’s 200 Backstroke – Final
- Women’s 50 Butterfly – Semi-finals
- Men’s 200 Breaststroke – Final
- Men’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay – Final
Women’s 100 Freestyle
In the absence of Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell, Siobhan Haughey, and defending Champion Simone Manuel, along with Shayna Jack, the field looks to be wide open. The field may not be as deep as its been in recent years, but there are still several big names headlining this final. World record holder Sarah Sjostrom enters the race as one of the favorites to make the podium, she’ll be in lane 5 after qualifying second out of the semi finals.
Australian Mollie O’Callaghan is also in contention for gold after posting a 52.85 out of semis, taking the top seed and setting herself up with a middle lane. 2016 Olympic Champion Penny Oleksiak will be in lane 6, looking to win her first individual long course World Championships medal in this race. Oleksiak already owns several relay medals from Canada’s relays at this meet and has been performing strongly so far. The Canadians also have Kayla Sanchez in the final swimming in lane 7, right next to Oleksiak.
Notably, both Americans also made the final here, and both have the potential to push for a medal. Torri Huske qualified 3rd out of semis and will be swimming in the middle of the pool, right alongside the top competitors. Claire Curzan, meanwhile, barely squeaked into finals, qualifying 7th. However, she nearly matched her best time during semis and has already dropped multiple 52-point relay splits this week. China’s Yujie Chang and Frenchwoman Marie Wattel round out the rest of the field.
Women’s 200 Breaststroke
Lilly King is out for redemption after failing to make the podium in the 100 breaststroke, an event in which she holds the World Record. King swam well in the semi-finals, posting a time of 2:22.58 to qualify second for the final. After her swim in the semis, King brushed off comments made by her coach Ray Looze that implied that she was only operating at 80% capacity here. King will be swimming next to her American teammate Kate Douglass, who swam a time of 2:23.79 to qualify 4th out of the semis.
The field will be led by Australian Jenna Strauch, who posted a new personal best of 2:22.22 to claim the top seed entering finals. Lithuanian Kotryna Teterevkova should also be in contention after having a strong performance in the semis that saw her post a time of 2:23.66, which ranked 3rd overall. There are several other swimmers in the field who could make an impact as well, including Abbie Wood, Kelsey Wong, and Molly Renshaw.
Men’s 200 Backstroke
This race will bubble down to a battle between the United States and Great Britain, after the two nations claimed half (4/8) of the spots for the final.
Former 100 backstroke world record holder Ryan Murphy leads the charge for the Americans after claiming the top seed by a wide margin (1:55.43). Despite being the 2016 Olympic Champion in both the 100 and 200 backstroke, Murphy has yet to claim his first individual World Championship medal. However, he has set himself up well here. He will be joined by teammate Shaine Casas, who qualified 6th for the final after seemingly shutting it down over the final 50 meters during the semi-finals. Casas holds a lifetime best of 1:55.46, which should get him on the podium if he can match it.
The pair will be pursued by Great Britain’s duo of Brodie Williams and Luke Greenbank, who took the 2nd and 3rd qualifying spots out of semis. WIlliams posted a new personal best of 1:56.17 with his swim in the semis. Greenbank, like Murphy, is pursuing his first individual Long Course World Championship gold after finishing 3rd to Murphy and Evgeny Rylov in 2019.
Men’s 200 Breaststroke
Zac Stubblety-Cook. That’s the name to watch. The newly minted world record holder in this event, Stubblety-Cook easily cruised through the semi-finals, posting the fastest time in the field by 2 seconds (2:06.72). The Australian may be one of the biggest gold medal locks of the competition as the only man to ever have gone 2:05 in the 200 breaststroke.
There will be a much tighter race for the rest of the podium, led by Iceland’s Anton McKee, who set a new national record in the semi finals. He’ll be pursued by Yu Hanaguruma, Erik Persson, and Matti Mattsson, who were all tightly bunched in the semis. Watch for American Nic Fink, who only qualified 7th for the final and will be swimming in an outside lane. Fink has had an extremely strong competition so far, claiming gold in the 50 breaststroke and bronze in the 100 breaststroke as he looks to become the first person to medal in all three breaststroke events at the World Championships.
Men’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay
The US men are out for redemption after failing to medal for the first time in this event’s history at the Olympic Games last summer. The team qualified 1st out of prelims this morning with the team of Carson Foster, Trey Freeman, Coby Carrozza, and Trenton Julian. Expect two of those swimmers to be swapped out for Drew Kibler and Kieran Smith tonight.
Brazil had a strong performance to claim the second seed for the final, though they may not have too many reserves left to use on the finals relay. Even without the presence of Duncan Scott, the team stands as one of the medal favorites. This morning, Great Britain swam the lineup of Dean, Richards, Litchfield, and Whittle to qualify 6th for an extremely tight final.
SEMIFINAL QUICK HITS
- In the absence of world record holder Caeleb Dressel, Hungarian Kristof Milak looks to win the men’s 100 butterfly ahead of a home crowd. He’ll be racing in the 2nd semi final of the event today, alongside Olympic medalist Noe Ponti and American Michael Andrew.
- American Phoebe Bacon leads a crowded field in the women’s 200 backstroke that features Kaylee McKeown, Rhyan White, Kylie Masse, and several other notable names. The field should be extremely tight during the semi-finals, and watch for a potential medal favorite to possibly miss the final.
- 100 butterfly champion Torri Huske will fight for a spot in the finals of the women’s 50 butterfly after only qualifying 10th this morning. She’ll face a double tonight with the 100 freestyle final shortly before it. Claire Curzan, Sarah Sjostrom, and Marie Wattel will also be taking on the same double. Zhang Yufei from China was the top qualifier out of prelims with a time of 25.39.