2024 World Championships: Day 7 Prelims Live Recap


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Day 7 Prelims Preview Article

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  • Women’s 50 Freestyle
  • Men’s 50 Backstroke
  • Women’s 50 Breaststroke
  • Mixed 4×100 Freestyle Relay
  • Men’s 1500 Freestyle

The seventh preliminary session of the Doha 2024 World Swimming Championships will be filled with one lap sprints, starting with the women’s 50 free, where world record holder Sarah Sjostrom will highlight the final heat. We will also see the heats of the men’s 50 backstroke and women’s 50 breaststroke, where Hunter Armstrong (USA) and Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) are the top seeds.

In addition to the 50m distances, we will also see the prelims of the mixed 4×100 free relay and the men’s 1500 free. The mixed relay has a number of medal contenders, with Team USA, Australia, and China all submitting strong prelim lineups. Sweden has notably withdrawn, but were expected to be major contenders with the likes of Sarah Sjostrom, Michelle Coleman, and Bjorn Seeliger.

The men’s 1500 free will end the session, and there will be four heats. Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui is the defending champion, and is the 2nd fastest performer in the history of the event. However, given he missed the finals in both the 400 and 800, Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri look like the top contenders. Germany’s Florian Wellbrock is one to watch out for too, despite missing the 800 final earlier in the meet. Wellbrock competed in the Open Water component of these championships, and noted that he recovered better this year compared to last year.


  • World Record: 23.61 — Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden (2023)
  • Championship Record: 23.61 — Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden (2023)
  • World Junior Record: 24.17 — Claire Curzan, United States (2021)
  • 2023 World Champion: 23.62 — Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden
  • Olympic ‘A’ Qualifying Time: 24.70, Olympic ‘B’ Qualifying Time: 24.82

Top 16 Qualifiers:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 23.91
  2. Kate Douglass (USA) – 24.19
  3. Shayna Jack (AUS) – 24.30
  4. Katarzyna Wasick (POL) – 24.36
  5. Anna Hopkin (GBR) – 24.70
  6. Michelle Coleman (SWE) – 24.75
  7. Taylor Ruck (CAN) – 24.84
  8. Kornelia Fiedkiewicz (POL) – 24.85 & Melanie Henique (FRA) – 24.85
  9. Marrit Steenbergen (NED) – 24.86
  10. Julie Kepp Jensen (DEN) – 24.97
  11. Farida Osman (EGY) – 25.01
  12. Neza Klancar (SLO) – 25.05
  13. Kim Busch (NED) – 25.08
  14. Lyu Yue (CHN) – 25.10
  15. Kalia Antoniou (CYP) – 25.21

Poland’s Katarzyna Wasick took control of heat 10 from the very first stroke. The 2022 silver medalist in the event stormed through the lap in 24.36, winning by 0.39 over Sweden’s Michelle Coleman. Coleman clocked in at 24.75, continuing her successful season after grabbing gold in this event at the European Short Course Championships.

Shayna Jack of Australia, who secured individual bronze in yesterday’s 100 free final, posted a dominant win in heat 11. She was a bit behind through the first 15 meters, but accelerated down the backstretch to touch in 24.30. The time was 0.06 faster than we saw in the previous heat, and 0.21 off her season best time from December.

World record holder Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden was the highlight of heat 12. She stopped the clock in a sub-24 performance (23.91), with American Kate Douglass clocking a huge best time for 2nd in the heat. Douglass stopped the clock in 24.19, eclipsing her previous lifetime best marker of 24.38 from the U.S. Open in December.

Sjostrom will start as the favorite in tonight’s 50 butterfly final, which will occur before the semifinals of the 50 free.

The top four really separated themselves from the field this morning, all swimming 24.3 or faster. Great Britain’s Anna Hopkin posted the 5th fastest time in 24.70, while 100 free champion Marrit Steenbergen (NED) clocked 24.86 for 10th place status.


Top 16 Qualifiers:

  1. Ksawery Masiuk (POL) – 24.58
  2. Hunter Armstrong (USA) – 24.66
  3. Hugo Gonzalez (ESP) – 24.72
  4. Isaac Cooper (AUS) – 24.75 & Pieter Coetze (TSA) – 24.75
  5. Michael Andrew (USA) – 24.82
  6. Michele Lamberti (ITA) – 24.88
  7. Ole Braunschweig (GER) – 24.94
  8. Yoon Jihwan (KOR) – 25.01
  9. Ulises Saravia (ARG) – 25.02
  10. Apostolos Christou (GRE) – 25.03
  11. Bjorn Seeliger (SWE) – 25.10
  12. Miroslaw Knedla (CZE) – 25.14
  13. Adrian Santos (NZL) – 25.15
  14. Andrew Jeffcoat (NZL) – 25.16
  15. Evangelos Makrygiannis (GRE) – 25.18

The 200 backstroke champion from last night, Hugo Gonzalez (24.72) of Spain, claimed victory in the first circle seeded heat. Gonzalez also claimed silver in the 100 back earlier in the meet, and looks to have hopes to medal in all three backstroke distances. Australian Isaac Cooper (24.75) was 2nd in the heat after missing the final in Fukuoka. Cooper will swim in tonight’s 50 free final, which will occur before the semifinals of this event.

South Africa’s Pieter Coetze, who snagged bronze in yesterday’s 200 back, touched in 24.75 to win the penultimate heat. It was a close race down to the touch with Michael Andrew (24.82), but he got his hand on the wall first nonetheless. Andrew will have the same double as Cooper tonight, with the 50 free final and the semifinals of this event.

Defending champion Hunter Armstrong was out-touched by Poland’s Ksawery Masiuk in the final heat, with the pair posting the two fastest times of the morning. Masiuk finished in 24.58 while Armstrong hit the touchpad in 24.66. Italy’s Michele Lamberti (24.88) and Germany’s Ole Braunschweig (24.94) placed 3rd and 4th in the heat, breaking 25-seconds as well.

Eight swimmers dipped under the 25-second threshold this morning, with 25.18 being the cut-off for a semifinals appearance.


Top 16 Qualifiers:

  1. Benedetta Pilato (ITA) – 29.89
  2. Tang Qianting (CHN) – 29.93
  3. Ruta Meilutyte (LTU) – 30.05
  4. Lara Van Niekerk (RSA) – 30.28
  5. Ida Hulkko (FIN) – 30.36
  6. Veera Kivirinta (FIN) – 30.53
  7. Mona McSharry (IRL) – 30.72
  8. Sophie Hansson (SWE) – 30.83
  9. Sophie Angus (CAN) – 30.86 & Silje Slyngstadli (NOR) – 30.86
  10. Dominika Sztandera (POL) – 30.91
  11. Anita Bottazzo (ITA) – 30.94
  12. Chang Yang (CHN) – 31.02
  13. Fleur Vermeiren (BEL) – 31.08
  14. Piper Enge (USA) – 31.09
  15. Ana Pinho Rodrigues (POR) – 31.25

The 100 breaststroke champion from night two made her presence known in the first circle seeded heat. Tang Qianting touched in 29.93 for the win, just 0.01 outside her own Asian record from September. Lara Van Niekerk of South Africa touched for 2nd in the heat, posting 30.28. Chang Yang touched in 31.02 for 3rd.

Benedetta Pilato of Italy, the former world record holder and the currently world junior record holder, showcased her high stroke rate en route to winning heat four. She recorded a time of 29.89 for the win, a time that was 0.04 ahead of Tang’s performance in the previous heat. Ireland’s Mona McSharry (30.72) was 2nd in the heat, while Sophie Hansson (30.83) of Sweden hit the wall 3rd.

After missing the semifinals of the 100 breast earlier in the competition, Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania claimed the final heat win. She finished in a time of 30.05, and is the defending champion and world record holder in this event. She really looked to shut things down with 10 meters to go, a promising sign heading into the next round. Ida Hulkko of Finland hit the wall in 30.36 for 2nd place, while her teammate Veera Kivirinta (30.53) rounded out the top three.

It took a time of 31.25 to advance to the next round, with American Piper Enge posting the 15th fastest time of the morning in 31.09.


  • World Record: 3:18.83 — Australia (2023)
  • Championship Record: 3:18.83 — Australia (2023)
  • World Junior Record: 3:24.29 — Australia (2023)
  • 2023 World Champion: 3:18.83 — Australia

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. China – 3:24.47
  2. Canada – 3:24.78
  3. Australia – 3:25.30
  4. Italy – 3:26.06
  5. United States – 3:28.76
  6. Netherlands – 3:29.23
  7. Slovakia – 3:31.67
  8. Hong Kong – 3:32.19

China claimed the top qualifying spot for tonight’s mixed 4×100 freestyle relay final. Their prelims foursome of Wang Haoyu (48.28), Ji Xinjie (47.86), Yu Yiting (53.90), and Ai Yanhan (54.43) stopped the clock in a new Asian record time of 3:24.47. The previous record stood at 3:24.67, set by Japan at the 2019 World Championships. Pan Zhanle is highly likely to be added to the relay tonight, with Li Bingjie another possibility.

Canada posted the 2nd fastest time of the morning, as 200 IM champion Finlay Knox led them off in 48.93. Javier Acevedo (47.98), Rebecca Smith (54.45), and Taylor Ruck (53.42) comprised the final three legs to help them post a time of 3:24.78.

Australia was 3rd overall, with Kai Taylor (48.73), Jack Cartwright (48.03), Alexandria Perkins (54.58), and Abbey Harkin (53.96) finishing in a final time of 3:25.30. Shayna Jack and Brianna Throssell will likely join the squad later today.

Italy was 4th this morning, while Team USA clocked 3:28.76 for 5th. Luke Hobson led the Americans off in the fastest time he’s ever been (48.50), beating his former time of 48.92 from June.


  • World Record: 14:31.02 — Sun Yang, China (2012)
  • Championship Record: 14:31.54 —Ahmed Hafnaoui, Tunisia (2023)
  • World Junior Record: 14:46.09 — Franko Grgic, Croatia (2019)
  • 2023 World Champion: 14:31.54 —Ahmed Hafnaoui, Tunisia
  • Olympic ‘A’ Qualifying Time: 15:00.99 , Olympic ‘B’ Qualifying Time: 15:05.49

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Florian Wellbrock (GER) – 14:48.43
  2. David Aubry (FRA) – 14:49.01
  3. David Bethlehem (HUN) – 14:51.48
  4. Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) – 14:51.83
  5. Sven Schwarz (GER) – 14:53.08
  6. Daniel Wiffen (IRL) – 14:54.29
  7. Fei Liwei (CHN) – 14:54.36
  8. Kuzey Tuncelli (TUR) – 14:54.98

Six of the top eight qualifiers came from the third of four heats. Germany’s Florian Wellbrock leads the way after missing the 800 free final earlier in the meet. His time of 14:48.43 garnered him the heat win over David Aubry (14:49.01) of France.

The top four all came from that heat, with Hungary’s David Bethlehem (14:51.48) and Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk (14:51.83) representing the top four qualifiers. Fei Liwei of China was 5th in this heat, but advances in 7th position.

Daniel Wiffen of Ireland, who touched for gold in the men’s 800 free earlier in the meet, won the final heat to rank 6th overall. Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy and Kuzey Tuncelli of Turkey battled the whole way for 2nd in the heat, with Tuncelli splitting 28.16 over the final 50 to touch ahead of Paltrinieri. The heat was notably much slower than the previous one, so Tuncelli advanced while Paltrinieri missed out in 9th.

16-year-old World Junior Champion Tuncelli owns a best time of 14:54.16 from July, so he just missed that mark today en route to advancing to the Worlds final (14:54.98).

Paltrinieri is known to prefer swimming from the outside lanes in finals, so it seems he misjudged the pace of the heat.

Defending champion Ahmed Hafnaoui (15:09.02) missed out on the final in 17th place, as he did in both the 400 and 800 distances.

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1 month ago

7 seconds PB by Betlehem.

1 month ago

PB by Tuncelli?

Reply to  John26
1 month ago

Just missed. He was 14:54.16 at the EYOF last July.

Bill Lumberg
1 month ago

nice Kate

Honest Observer
1 month ago

During a long meet, swimmers with busy schedules tend to get more tired (and a touch slower) as the meet goes on. But when a swimmer swims progressively faster during the course of a meet, it’s often an indication that they weren’t rested to begin with (i.e., that the meet itself is more restful than their normal practice schedule would be). That Douglass is doing her first PB of the meet towards the end of the week would seem to indicate she didn’t do too much of a taper.

Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

Wasn’t her 200 IM a PB?

Honest Observer
Reply to  swimz14
1 month ago

Just looked it up, my mistake, I’d thought she’d missed by a little. Should have checked first.

Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

She did a PB on day two.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

“Douglass did not swim a PB in the 2 IM” is like the biggest meme of this meet so far

Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

She’s absolutely tapered. She said herself in an interview that she came to this meet because tapering in February is normal for her with college championship season, and she wasn’t worried about it affecting her long-term training. She also did do a PB in her first event and was near her PB in the 100 free prelims. Really, the only off day she had was yesterday.

Last edited 1 month ago by Yikes
Reply to  Honest Observer
1 month ago

Honestly jet lag, not sleeping well, nerves, foreign foo, hydration, illness, and so on can also be variables that affect competitors.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anonymous
1 month ago

Michael Andrew is very disappointing, I really do not understand why he is focusing on non Olympic 50s at every meet. How does he expect to perform in the real events (100 breast and 100 fly) if he never races anything over a 50 anymore? Or is he giving up on those too just like he gave up on the 2IM? What is he doing racing the 50 back?

Last edited 1 month ago by Swammer
Steve Nolan
Reply to  Swammer
1 month ago

comment image

Reply to  Swammer
1 month ago

$$$$ in the 50’s,

Reply to  Swammer
1 month ago

Because he only qualified for the 50’s at this meet.

Alison England
1 month ago

A shame Imogen Clark wasn’t able to attend this meet.

1 month ago

This just shows how cutthroat the prelims of men’s 800 and 1500 free are. Even at this worlds with some big names absent, we still have people misjuding prelims and missing finals. As Wellbrock said, it is easy to misjudge the efforts and pace required for distance swimming, especially racing in different heats.

In Paris, it might takes an all out effort to make finals for the big names, god knows what time is required for finaling (7:42, 14:45?). It might be so fast in the prelims that it doesn’t make finals conducive for fast swims, as swimmers can’t recover enough.

Reply to  Adrian
1 month ago

They should add semis to sort it out!

1 month ago

Man I’m going to bat for Ahmed Hafnaoui. I have seen so many comments on so many posts complaining when athletes like Dressel or Peaty or Milak don’t swim. But Hafnaoui, who is having a difficult season himself, shows up and swims anyways, people complain and ask why he even bothered??
Everyone will deal with their own mental health problems or fitness problems differently. Why are we not celebrating that Hafnaoui is using this meet as a learning experience? He is one of the best distance swimmers in the world today, but he is also a human being. Bold of this comment section to trash talk an individual who is going through his experiences the best way he knows how.

Reply to  bigfriendlyswimpodcast
1 month ago

Well said!

McIntosh McKeown McKeon McEvoy
Reply to  bigfriendlyswimpodcast
1 month ago

I can’t upvote you more!

Reply to  bigfriendlyswimpodcast
1 month ago

Agreed. And also no one saw him coming previously, both times when he shocked the world with his performances, so people bagging him or underestimating him isn’t going to affect him. He’s very much still a massive threat in Paris.

Reply to  bigfriendlyswimpodcast
1 month ago

SPEAK ON IT 🗣️🗣️🗣️

Reply to  bigfriendlyswimpodcast
1 month ago

Let’s not oversell it. I see four comments that mention him, and I would maybe describe one as “trash talk,” and pretty light at that. One is asking if he’s given any interviews, another is asking about the coaching change, and a third is mentioning that Bobby Hurley praised him.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

comment image

Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago


Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

I meant on several other posts as well whenever he missed a final, but I see what you mean