2023 World Championships: Day 3 Prelims Live Recap




Day 3 of the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka will be underway shortly. We welcome you back to our live recaps, where we’ll be covering this morning’s action in real time.

This will be the quickest prelims session so far in this meet, as there are only 4 events this morning. Day 3 prelims will feature heats of the men’s 50 breast, women’s 200 free, men’s 200 fly, and the men’s 800 free. Of course, that means semifinals of these events will be competed in tonight’s session, with the exception of the men’s 800 free, for which the top 8 this morning will advance to the final tomorrow night.

After dominant performances through all three phases of the men’s 50 breast over the past two days, China’s Qin Haiyang will be back in action this morning in the men’s 50 breast. While Haiyang isn’t the fastest 50 breaststroker on paper coming into this meet, the 57.69 he posted last night in the 100 breast final demands respect. More importantly, Haiyang was out in a sizzling 26.96 in the 100 last night, so he’s already proven he has plenty of speed to draw on. There is no Arno Kamminga in the men’s 50 breast today, however, the other two swimmer who tied for silver in the 100 breast last night, Nicolo Martinenghi and Nic Fink, will be in the field. Fink is the defending champion in this event, having earned the gold with a 26.45 last year.

In one of the more highly anticipated events of the meet, the women’s 200 free will see another battle between Australian stars and the 16-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh. Most notably, Ariarne Titmus, who won the women’s 400 free in a stunning World Record performance on Day 1, will be in this field. She’s the top seed, coming in with a 1:53.31. The record has stood the test of time, however, based on Titmus’ 400 free a few days ago, it really does seem possible that she takes down Federica Pellegrini‘s legendary World Record of 1:52.98. Of course, that won’t happen this morning, but it’s still a great thing to get on the radar.

The men’s 200 fly doesn’t feature World Record holder Kristof Milak for the first time in quite a while. His absence opens up the field a ton, and it’s Japan’s own Tomoru Honda who comes in as the top seed. He’ll be tested, however, as France’s Leon Marchand, who is fresh off a jaw-dropping World Record in the 400 IM, is also in the field.

This year’s World Championship features a very deep field in the men’s 800 free. Though prelims heats of distance events can often be a bit of a dull affair, this morning’s should be quite exciting. That’s because no one in this field has the luxury of really being able to take their foot of the gas too much. It will be almost as much of a battle just to get into the final as it will be to win a medal tomorrow night.


  • World Record: Adam Peaty, Great Britain – 25.95 (2017)
  • World Junior Record: Nicolo Martinenghi, Italy – 26.97 (2017)
  • Championship Record: Adam Peaty, Great Britain – 25.95 (2017)
  • 2022 World Champion: Nic Fink, United States – 26.45
  • Top 16 at 2022 Worlds: 27.64


  1. Qin Haiyang (China) – 26.34
  2. Nicolo Martinenghi (Italy) – 26.64
  3. Sun Jiajun (China) – 26.76 (TIE)
  4. Sam Williamson (Australia) – 26.76 (TIE)
  5. Joao Gomes (Brazil) – 26.81
  6. Nic Fink (United States) – 26.91
  7. Lucas Matzerath (Germany) – 26.94
  8. Simone Cerasuolo (Italy) – 27.06
  9. Bernhard Reitshammer (Austria) – 27.11
  10. Caspar Corbeau (Netherlands) – 27.15
  11. Peter Stevens (Slovenia) – 27.20
  12. Arkadios Aspougalis (Greece) – 27.23
  13. Emre Sakci (Turkey) – 27.28
  14. Michael Houlie (South Africa) – 27.31
  15. Yuya Hinomoto (Japan) – 27.35
  16. Valentin Bayer (Austria) – 27.36

Following his Asian Record in the men’s 100 breast last night, China’s Qin Haiyang was back in action this morning, and he did not skip a beat. Haiyang roared to a new personal best of 26.34 this morning, taking down the Asian Record in the process. Not only was it a record performance, Haiyang is once again looking like the class of the field, as he was 0.30 seconds faster than this morning’s #2 finisher, Nicolo Martinenghi.

China had a great team performance in the event this morning, as Sun Jiajun came in 3rd as well, clocking a 26.76. He actually ended up in a tie with Australia’s Sam Williamson for 3rd.

Italy had a very good 1-2 punch as well. Of course, Martinenghi was 2nd this morning in 26.64. Fellow Italian Simone Cersuolo was right up there as well, swimming a 27.06 for 8th.


  • World Record: Federica Pellegrini, Italy -1:52.98 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Summer McIntosh, Canada – 1:53.91 (2023)
  • Championship Record: Federica Pellegrini, Italy -1:52.98 (2009)
  • 2022 World Champion: Yang Junxuan, China – 1:54.92
  • Top 16 at 2022 Worlds: 1:58.84


  1. Mollie O’Callaghan (Australia) – 1:55.68
  2. Summer McIntosh (Canada) – 1:55.88
  3. Ariarne Titmus (Australia) – 1:56.20
  4. Siobhan Haughey (Hong Kong) – 1:56.56
  5. Marrit Steenbergen (Netherlands) – 1:56.66
  6. Liu Yaxin (China) – 1:56.93
  7. Freya Anderson (Great Britain) – 1:57.12
  8. Nikolett Padar (Hungary) – 1:57.35 (TIE)
  9. Barbora Seemanova (Czech Republic) – 1:57.35 (TIE)
  10. Erika Fairweather (New Zealand) – 1:57.36
  11. Bella Sims (United States) – 1:57.71
  12. Claire Weinstein (United States) – 1:57.93
  13. Janja Segel (Solvenia) – 1:58.02
  14. Snaefridur Jorunnardottir (ISL) – 1:58.14
  15. Janna van Kooten (Netherlands) – 1:58.16
  16. Valentine Dumont (Belgium) – 1:58.23

Mollie O’Callaghan didn’t waste the opportunity to set the tone in the women’s 200 free, leading this morning’s prelims with a 1:55.68. O’Callaghan is very much a contender to win gold in this event, and she’s been on fire so far in Fukuoka. In case you missed it, MOC clocked a blistering new PB of 52.08 leading off the Australian women’s 4×100 free relay on the first day of the meet. Given that swim, it seems likely she has quite a bit left to give in this 200 free.

After a disappointing swim in the final of the women’s 400 free, in which she missed the podium, Canadian 16-year-old Summer McIntosh looked much better this morning, speeding to a 1:55.88 for 2nd overall.

Ariarne Titmus came in 3rd this morning with a 1:56.20. Titmus was incredible in the women’s 400 free final a few days ago, blowing away the World Record, so we can expect she’ll be much faster in the later phases of this race.

In a somewhat concerning finish for the United States, Bella Sims and Claire Weinstein were 11th and 12th respectively this morning.

Snaefridur Jorunnardottir set a new Icelandic Record en route to qualifying for the semifinal, tearing to a new PB of 1:58.14.


  • World Record: Kristof Milak, Hungary – 1:50.34 (2022)
  • World Junior Record: Kristof Milak, Hungary – 1:53.79 (2017)
  • Championship Record: Kristof Milak, Hungary – 1:50.34 (2022)
  • 2022 World Champion: Kristof Milak, Hungary – 1:50.34
  • Top 16 at 2022 Worlds: 1:56.87


  1. Tomoru Honda (Japan) – 1:54.21
  2. Arbidel Gonzalez (Spain) – 1:54.99
  3. Krzysztof Chmielewski (Poland) – 1:55.02
  4. Kuan-Hung Wang (Taiwan) – 1:55.17
  5. Alberto Razzetti (Italy) – 1:55.35
  6. Carson Foster (United States) – 1:55.36
  7. Leon Marchand (France) – 1:55.46
  8. Thomas Heilman (United States) – 1:55.59
  9. Niu Guangsheng (China) – 1:55.69
  10. Teppei Morimoto (Japan) – 1:55.72
  11. Denys Kesil (Ukraine) – 1:55.75
  12. Noe Ponti (Switzerland) – 1:55.85
  13. Ilya Kharun (Canada) – 1:55.93
  14. Richard Marton (Hungary) – 1:56.03
  15. Lewis Clareburt (New Zealand) – 1:56.23
  16. Matthe Temple (Australia) – 1:56.51

In a very tight prelims of the men’s 200 fly, top seed Tomoru Honda delivered, speeding to the fastest time of the morning in 1:54.21. It was a very strong morning swim for Honda, giving him a great deal of momentum heading into the semifinal tonight. He was out fast, splitting 54.35 on the opening 100, and came home in 59.86, holding his pace pretty well.

France’s Leon Marchand, who tore down Michael Phelps’ last remaining World Record in the 400 IM two days ago, was 7th this morning with a 1:55.46. While that might feel like an underwhelming swim for Marchand, trust that he has quite a bit left in the tank. Marchand was out in 55.10 on the first 100m this morning. We know he can be considerably faster tonight. For context, Marchand split 54.27 on the opening 100m of his 400 in prelims on Sunday morning, so there is no doubt he can take his 200 fly out way faster than he did this morning.

Arbidel Gonzalez broke the Spanish Record with a blistering 1:54.99, notching the 2nd-fastest time of the morning. Gonzalez shattered the Spanish Record, which stood at 1:56.42 from 2016.

In his first World Championships swim, American 16-year-old Thomas Heilman has a good swim, taking 8th in 1:55.59.


  • World Record: Zhang Lin, China – 7:32.12 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Lorenzo Galossi, Italy – 7:43.37 (2022)
  • Championship Record: Zhang Lin, China – 7:32.12 (2009)
  • 2022 World Champion: Bobby Finke, United States – 7:39.36
  • Top 8 at 2022 Worlds: 7:47.46


  1. Sam Short (Australia) – 7:40.90
  2. Ahmed Hafnaoui (Tunisia) – 7:41.97
  3. Lukas Martens (Germany) – 7:42.04
  4. Daniel Wiffen (Ireland) – 7:43.81
  5. Bobby Finke (United States) – 7:43.87
  6. Mykhailo Romanchuk (Ukraine) – 7:44.07
  7. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy) – 7:44.89
  8. Guilherme Costa (Brazil) – 7:45.80

The men’s 800 free prelims turned out to be the bloodbath we were expecting. The most shocking miss was Germany’s Florian Wellbrock, who came in 9th with a 7:45.87. Wellbrock was a favorite to win a medal in the event this year, especially after his awesome open water performances last week.

Meanwhile, Australian 19-year-old Sam Short continues to impress. Short got out to the lead in the first of the circle-seeded heats this morning and didn’t look back. Short rocketed to a 7:40.90, marking an exceptional morning swim for the rising distance superstar.

Reigning Olympic 400 free champion Ahmed Hafnaoui clocked a 7:41.97 for 2nd this morning, putting himself right next to Short for tomorrow night’s final. Hafnaoui even-split his race, splitting 3:50.82 on the first 400m and coming home in 3:51.15.

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Michael Andrew Wilson
11 months ago


Last edited 11 months ago by Michael Andrew Wilson
The alpha dog
11 months ago

8 boys will go under 7.40 in the 800 final tomorrow, change my mind.

Reply to  The alpha dog
11 months ago

I don’t think Costa or Paltrinieri will. Could easily have 6 guys under 7:40 though

11 months ago

Pretty sure that those 10k/5k had an effect on Wellbrock. It just takes too much of a toll on him.

It was the same 2019 in Gwangju: Won the 10k → failed in the heats for the 800 free → (won the 1500m)

Lucky for him that the 10k in Paris will be after the pool events.

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Clutch
11 months ago

paltrinieri also had an underwhelming 800 last year when he won the 1500 and 10k. I know the open water events came at the end last year, but it could say something about the aerobic work required to swim a 10k detracting from an 800

Last edited 11 months ago by Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Clutch
11 months ago

he did not get to the finals, but Rasovszky dropped PB-s and qualified for Paris in both 800 (from 7:52 to 7:47) and 400m after the open water medals.

Last edited 11 months ago by zzzzz
11 months ago

Sun Yang has the textile best in the 800 with a 7.38.57. There’s a good chance it will be broken tomorrow. I like Short for the win but wouldn’t rule out Hafnaoui.

11 months ago

this 800 final is going to be very tight. probably Short or Finke for gold but Hafnaoui certainly could get in there. And honestly nobody is out of the question for medals, very deep field

11 months ago

Temple out of 200 fly

Reply to  Rafael
11 months ago

Not a bad idea tbh. Glad he proved he could qualify but the final conflicts with Mixed Medley

Reply to  Sub13
11 months ago

Sensible move. Solid enough outing in an off event to show reasonable form but final realistically out of reach.

Reply to  Rafael
11 months ago

Well he is best friends with Chalmers after all … so scratching out of fly event is nothing new LOL

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Rafael
11 months ago


Last edited 11 months ago by Fukuoka Gold
Chris Bailey
11 months ago

is there a listing of fastest non qualifying swims?

Reply to  Chris Bailey
11 months ago

omega timing has everything

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Chris Bailey
11 months ago

The full results link is stickied in the article

11 months ago

Really enjoying how the 800 has shaped into a genuine crossover between 400 and 1500 swimmers and the mix of strategies that comes with it

Reply to  Isla
11 months ago

Definitly agree. Probably a result of including the 800m for the Olympic Games. It got a lot more attractive for 400m swimmers.

Reply to  Isla
11 months ago

really hope it becomes like that for the women’s side since it just seems like a playground for ledecky to win it every single time

Reply to  swimmerfromjapananduk
11 months ago

Well the 800 is different on the women’s side since the event they added was the mile for them

Reply to  Yabo
11 months ago

That means that the field in 800 is even more stagnant. Ledecky almost never raced against a stack field in an 800/1500

Reply to  Isla
11 months ago

I know Kieran Smith wants to be more of a sprinter (and 48.5 is legit), but his lengthy catch up stroke would be ideal for the 800. I wish he’d try going 200/400/800 instead of 100/200/400.

Reply to  Isla
11 months ago

Yep. Very interesting for race strategy. Short and Hafnaoui are more 400/800 swimmers. Paltrinieri, Finke, Wiffen, Romanchuk, Wellbrock are more 800/1500 swimmers.

Ian Liells
Reply to  Greenangel
11 months ago

Nope. Short is also an ever improving 1,500 m swimmer…just wait.