2023 World Cup Berlin Day 2 Prelims Recap: Zhang & Sjostrom To Face-Off In 50 Fly


Day two of the Berlin stop of the World Aquatics World Cup series continued the momentum from day one, with impressive morning performances produced on both the men’s and women’s sides.

American Michael Andrew staked his claim on the men’s 50m back, putting up one of two sub-25 second performances out of the heats.

24-year-old Andrew stopped the clock in a time of 24.71 while Aussie national record holder Isaac Cooper was next in line with a mark of 24.96.

Italy’s Thomas Ceccon is in the mix, carrying a 3rd-seeded time of 25.07 into tonight’s final, while Poland’s World Championships bronze medalist Ksawery Masiuk claimed the 6th seed in 25.37.

Andrew also took on the men’s 200m IM during the session, registering a mark of 2:01.00 to comfortably slide into the 4th seed.

Taking the top spot in that 2IM was South African Matt Sates, with the 20-year-old former Georgia Bulldog turning in a time of 2:00.24.

Danas Rapsys of Lithuania captured the 2nd seed in a time of 2:00.93, following up his big-time 400m free performance last night which saw him capture gold in 3:44.86.

Trenton Julian of the United States held steady as the 5th seed in 2:01.79 but stars n’ stripes teammate Kieran Smith settled for 9th and first reserve in a morning mark of 2:02.76.

But Andrew wasn’t done, as the American tripled upon events this morning by also racing in the 50m breaststroke heats. MA logged a time of 27.28 to capture the 4th seed but it was China’s Qin Haiyang who turned heads in a big way.

As we reported, 24-year-old World Record holder Qin fired off a morning time of 26.30 to break the World Cup Record. His result fell just .10 outside of his own Asian Record and just .01 shy of what it took him to win the gold at this year’s World Championships.

Behind Qin this morning was Dutch Olympic silver medalist Arno Kamminga who clocked 27.14 while British powerhouse Adam Peaty rounded out the top 3 performers out of the heats in 27.17.

The women’s 200m free prelims saw Kiwi ace Erika Fairweather follow up her 400m free victory from last night with a top-seeded performance of 1:57.12 this morning.

Fairweather stood her ground against Olympic silver medalist Siobhan Haughey with the Hong Kong racer posting 1:58.79 to flank Fairweather. Haughey was the bronze medalist last night in the 400m free, hitting a new national record of 4:05.30 in that longer race.

Versatile Dutch athlete Marrit Steenbergen will also be in tonight’s 2free final, logging a morning result of 1:59.10 while Ausie Lani Pallister, the 400m free silver medalist from yesterday, will also be targeting gold with her morning outing of 1:59.19.

Torri Huske landed in 5th place this morning in 1:59.45 and Germany’s Isabel Gose‘s time of 1:59.70 also puts her in contention.

Huske also tried the women’s 50m fly on for size this morning, with the 22-year-old American stopping the clock in a time of 26.01 to secure the 3rd seed.

Ahead of her was the 6-time gold medalist at this year’s Asian Games, Zhang Yufei of China. Zhang posted a solid 25.44 to hold a slight advantage over last night’s 50m freestyle victor Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden. Sjostrom registered 25.69 in this event in which she took gold this year in Fukuoka in 24.77.

Cate Campbell of Australia notched the 5th seed, courtesy of her morning swim of 26.26 and a 2nd American, Beata Nelson, sneaked into the final in 8th with her time of 26.37.

16-year-old Estonian Eneli Jefimova was the top athlete out of the women’s 100m breast, with the teen notching a time of 1:06.98. That put up a warning to last night’s 200m breast winner Tes Schouten of the Netherlands who clocked 1:07.05 as the 2nd-seeded swimmer.

For Jefimova, she owns the Estonian national record with the 1:06.18 produced at this year’s World Championships. Schouten, too, is a national record holder, owning the Dutch standard of 1:05.71 from a domestic meet this past April.

Back from injury, Australia’s Jenna Strauch sits 5th in a heats outing of 1:07.96 while Lithuana’s weapon Ruta Meilutyte lurks as the 8th seed in 1:09.07.

Additional Top Seeds

  • After ripping a new World Cup Record en route to gold last night in the 50m back, Olympic multi-gold medalist Kaylee McKeown of Australia was back at it. The 22-year-old notched the sole time of the women’s 100m back field this morning under a minute, scoring 59.61 to land lane 4. Dutch swimmer Maiike de Waard was the next-fastest swimmer in 1:00.60, while Canada’s Kylie Masse rounded out the top 3 in 1:00.73.
  • There wasn’t anything crazy in the men’s 100m freestyle race this morning, as just 2 competitors dipped under the 49-second threshold. Leading the way was Trinidad & Tobago’s Dylan Carter with the former USC Trojan turning in a time of 48.68. Dutchman Stan Pijnenburg posted the next-quickest time in 48.94 while Zac Incerti of Australia also put his hat in the ring with a 3rd-seeded 49.14. As a refresher, Incerti withdrew from this year’s World Championships due to injury.
  • Hungary’s Richard Marton was the top men’s 200m fly performer out of the prelims. Marton logged 1:58.53 to hold a half-second advantage over Japan’s Takumi Terada who hit 1:59.01. Sates (1:59.22) and Julian (2:00.00) are also among the top 8 in this event.


  • Aussie Mitch Larkin was also well out of the men’s 50m back final, hitting 26.09 for 18th.
  • USA’s Claire Weinstein posted a morning time of 2:00.59 to place 11th out of the women’s 200m free heats.
  • 20-year-old Gabor Zombori of Hungary, 200m breast World Junior Record holder Dong Zhihao of China and USA’s Sean Grieshop all fell short of the men’s 200m IM final. Zombori clocked 2:02.97 for the 11th seed, Dong touched in 2:03.41 for 12th while Grieshop put up 2:03.95 as the 13th-seeded swimmer.
  • Chad Le Clos of South Africa was relegated to the 13th seed in the men’s 100m free after posting a morning mark of 49.92. Ahead of him but also out of the final was Aussie Cody Simpson who placed 12th in 49.51.

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Juan Cena
2 months ago

Let’s go, can’t wait to watch more MA 200 IM races. It would be nice if he got back to his old IM form and was able to push Marchand for the first 150 in Paris.

Reply to  Juan Cena
2 months ago

He scratched the 2iM final.

Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

He wants to race the 50s and take on Qin in the 50breast.

Fukuoka Gold
Reply to  Juan Cena
2 months ago

He ain’t doing anything in 200 IM

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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