2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- June 18-25, 2022 (pool swimming)
- Budapest, Hungary
- Duna Arena
- LCM (50-meter format)
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It’s here – the final prelims session of the 2022 World Championship. This morning’s session is short and sweet, featuring heats of the women’s 400 IM, men’s 4×100 medley relay, and women’s 4×100 medley relay.
The only individual event of the morning, the women’s 400 IM ought to be a really fun race. Canadian 15-year-old Summer McIntosh has been on a tear this past week in Budapest, and after clocking a 4:29 in the event earlier in the year, she should be considered the favorite. Defending Olympic champion Yui Ohashi of Japan is in the mix, also she’s been off her performances from last summer this week. The American duo of Emma Weyant and Katie Grimes is also formidable.
WOMEN’S 400 IM – PRELIMS
- World Record: 4:26.36, Katinka Hosszu, HUN (2016)
- World Champs Record: 4:29.33, Katinka Hosszu, HUN (2017)
- Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champ: Yui Ohashi (JPN) – 4:32.08
- 2019 World Champ: Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 4:30.39
Top 8 Qualifiers:
- Summer McIntosh (CAN) – 4:36.15
- Katie Grimes (USA) – 4:36.68
- Emma Weyant (USA) – 4:38.52
- Ge Chutong (CHN) – 4:38.95
- Katinka Hosszu (HUN) -4:39.15
- Yui Ohashi (JPN) – 4:39.52
- Jenna Forrester (AUS) – 4:40.20
- Ageha Tanigawa (JPN) – 4:40.70
Canadian 15-year-old Summer McIntosh and American 16-year-old Katie Grimes were in a league of their own in the 2nd heat. McIntosh, the #1 swimmer in the world this year, was particular great, pulling away from Grimes a bit on the breast leg. Grimes, a phenomenal distance swimmer, came back a bit on McIntosh on freestyle, but McIntosh would touch first in 4:36.15.
McIntosh and Grimes were especially notable on the fly leg, splitting 1:00.81 and 1:01.43 respectively.
Emma Weyant, the Silver medalist in this event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, was way back at the halfway point of the race, but a fantastic breaststroker leg brought her up to 3rd at the 300m turn. She was able establish herself as the clear #3 heading into the finish of heat 2, safely qualifying for the final.
Heat 3 developed into a race between defending Olympic Champion Yui Ohashi and World Record holder Katinka Hosszu. For the 33-year-old Hosszu, this swim was great, as she hasn’t had the greatest World Championships of her career this past week. This morning, she looked strong and in control, pulling ahead of the field on the breaststroke leg. Ohashi would push her on the freestyle leg, and the pair would trade the lead back and forth all the way into the finish, but Hosszu would get her hand on the wall first in 4:39.15.
MEN’S 4×100 MEDLEY RELAY – PRELIMS
- World Record: 3:26.78, USA (2021)
- World Champs Record: 3:27.28, USA (2009)
- Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champ: USA – 3:26.78
- 2019 World Champ: Great Britain – 3:28.10
Top 8 Qualifiers:
- USA – 3:32.91
- France – 3:32.98
- Italy – 3:33.02
- Australia – 3:33.20
- Great Britain – 3:33.56
- China – 3:33.61
- Germany – 3:33.98
- Austria – 3:34.06
Spain put together a fantastic race in heat one, winning in 3:36.10. The Spaniards and South Korea traded the lead throughout the race, but Spanish anchor Sergio de Celis Montalban, impressively, was able to beat out South Korean star Hwang Sunwoo, splitting 48.89 to Sunwoo’s 49.19 . Although it was a great performance from Spain, they would just miss out on advancing to finals, finishing 12th.
France was able to win heat 2, thanks in large part to a great heats swim of 47.35 by anchor Maxime Grousset. Leon Marchand was on the relay, although he was only 52.09 on the fly split this morning, so we’ll see if he has more in the tank for tonight.
The USA posted the top time of the morning, with Nic Fink and Trenton Julian putting together a solid middle 200 for the team. Fink split 59.57 on breast, while Julian was 51.35 on fly. The Americans have some changes to be made for finals, as Ryan Murphy will likely take over backstroke duties, and Michael Andrew will surely make his way onto the team, whether that’s for breaststroke or butterfly.
Italy will be a team to watch tonight. Although they were relaxed this morning, their front half includes the Gold medalist in the 100 back, Thomas Ceccon, and the Gold medalist in the 100 breast, Nicolo Martinenghi.
WOMEN’S 4×100 MEDLEY RELAY – PRELIMS
- World Record: 3:50.40, USA (2019)
- World Champs Record: 3:50.40, USA (2019)
- Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champ: Australia – 3:51.60
- 2019 World Champ: USA – 3:50.40
Top 8 Qualifiers:
- Australia – 3:56.77
- Netherlands – 3:57.48
- Sweden – 3:57.81
- Canada – 3:58.38
- Italy – 3:59.40
- China – 3:59.55
- USA – 4:00.06
- France – 4:01.45
Australia put together a really solid prelims swim, clocking the top time of the morning with a 3:56.77. We know they can be faster tonight, as Kaylee McKeown was only 59.06, a far cry from her personal best. They’ll also likely swap out Madi Wilson for Mollie O’Callaghan on the free leg, although Wilson posted a very quick 52.63.
Netherlands put together a great relay this morning as well, although it’s unclear what changes they’ll be able to make to their lineup for finals. Sweden finds itself in a similar position, as their relay this morning already featured Sophie Hansson, Louise Hansson, and Sarah Sjostrom.
The USA was less than impressive this morning, finishing 7th with a 4:00.06. The U.S. lineup was questionable to say the least. Rhyan White was off, splitting just 1:00.12 on backstroke, then Alex Walsh made an appearance to swim breaststroke, swimming a 1:07.60. Perhaps most confusing, Natalie Hinds swam the fly leg, splitting 58.88, and Erika Brown was 53.46 on the free leg. We can expect the relay to be significantly faster tonight, as they’ll likely swap out all 4 legs.
Great Britain finished 4th in the first heat, but was disqualified.