2023 World Champs Day 1 Prelims Scratch Report: Wiffen and Quadarella out of the 400 FR

by Spencer Penland 8

July 22nd, 2023 International, News



The first session of the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan is almost here. With the action just a few hours away, let’s get to our scratch report for day 1 prelims.

The first session of the meet will feature heats of the women’s 200 IM, men’s 400 free, women’s 100 fly, men’s 50 fly, women’s 400 free, men’s 100 breast, and men’s 400 IM. For this scratch report, we’re focusing only on scratches within the top 20 seeds in each event.

We have a couple of pretty big scratches to report in the 400 freestyles. First up, Irish distance star Daniel Wiffen has pulled out of the men’s 400 free this morning. That move comes as a bit of a surprise, since Wiffen has been swimming extremely well so far this year. He was 8th seed coming into the meet, boasting a personal best of 3:44.35, which he just swam in April of this year at the Stockholm Open. As the 8th seed, Wiffen stood a good chance of advancing to the final tonight, however, he won’t be competing.

We haven’t yet received news on any sort of illness or injury, so for now we’ll assume that the move was made in an effort for Wiffen to put more focus into the 800 and 1500 free, where he is seeded even higher.

Also scratching the men’s 400 free is Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys. Coming into the meet as the 14th seed, Rapsys has been as fast as 2:46.56 in the event this year. Rapsys holds the Lithuanian Record in the event with his career best mark of 3:43.36, which he swam in April of 2019. He’s also entered in the 100 and 200 free in Fukuoka this week, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for him on the start lists moving forward.

The women’s 400 free saw Italian distance star Simona Quadarella scratch. The 9th seed in the event, it’s not a totally unexpected move for Quadarella, who fares much better in the 800 and 1500 free than the 400. She was entered with a 4:04.77, a time which she swam last summer.

The women’s 200 IM saw Sydney Pickrem scratch as well. We already knew that was the case, however, as Pickrem announced she was withdrawing from the meet due to “personal circumstance” about two weeks ago. She was facing a tough field in the women’s 200 IM, however, Pickrem was still a medal contender, as she was only seeded 1.01 seconds behind #3 seed Kaylee McKeown.

The only other top 20 scratch we have to report this morning is Belgium’s Roos Vanotterdijk, who has pulled out of the women’s 100 fly. Vanotterdijk was the 16th seed in the event, coming in right on the bubble to advance to the semifinals tonight.

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Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
2 months ago

Really loving that the closed captioning is calling her “Arianna Tetanus.”

2 months ago

So is swimswam doing a live show again this year?

2 months ago

Here I sit
Made my picks
And they false started

Reply to  BearlyBreathing
2 months ago

RIP buddy

2 months ago

So McKeown hasn’t dropped the 200IM then like a lot predicted. Surely she wouldn’t pick it over the 100 back again, where she has WR potential, so I guess she’s doing both.

Reply to  Jimmyswim
2 months ago

The 200 IM final only clashes with the 100 back semi in which McKeown could just cruise through (but at the risk of securing only an outside lane in the 100 back final).

Last edited 2 months ago by Chris
Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Jimmyswim
2 months ago

last year we didn’t know about her 100 back scratch until her lane was visibly empty

2 months ago

Is it too late to change my Pickems