Fukuoka 2023, Day 7 North America Recap: Jersey Boys Impress, Liendo Rebounds For Silver


On the 2023 U.S. World Championships team, there are more swimmers from New Jersey than they are from any other state. Six of these swimmers—Jack Alexy, Dare Rose, Nic Fink, Henry McFadden, Matt Fallon, and Destin Lasco—are on the American men’s team for pool swimming, and have been performing very well for the most part.

Alexy and Rose in particular, who are both rookies on the senior international stage, have been impressing the most as of late. On Saturday, they brought back two individual medals for the United States, as Alexy set a best time of 21.58 to take silver in the 100 free, while Rose went a best time of 50.46 for 100 fly bronze. Later on in the session, Alexy led off Team USA’s mixed free relay in a time of 47.68 to help them get silver.

In addition, Alexy and Rose are amongst the small group of American swimmers who have set their season-best times in an individual final at these World Championships (other members of this group include Carson Foster, Katie Ledecky, Ryan Murphy, Thomas Heilman, Nic Fink, Jillian Cox, and Bobby Finke), which shows how well they handled their first time on the big stage.

On a struggling U.S. men’s team, Alexy and Rose are rookies that have high potential to get better in a year—which will be super beneficial for the Paris Olympic Games. Alexy is creeping closer and closer to Dressel’s American records and will be very useful on relays. Meanwhile, Rose is developing into one of the best fliers in the world. If they can continue their streak of momentum, the American men could be in a much better spot in Paris than they were this year in Fukuoka.

Also of note is that four “Jersey Boys” are responsible for 6 out of the 11 individual medals earned by the American men, while three of them—Alexy, Rose, and Fink—are part of the “setting season-bests during the Worlds finals” club. Fallon came close as well, going just 0.03 seconds slower than his best time in the 200-breast final.

List Of Individual Medals Won By American Men (New Jersey swimmers bolded):

Liendo Bounces Back

In an effort to focus on the 100 fly final, Canada’s Josh Liendo scratched the final of the 50 free, which was only 33 minutes before the 100 fly. Headed into Worlds, he had been a solid favorite to win gold in the event, but after he was well off his best time in the 100 free and missed the final, the prospects of him winning gold seemed more uncertain.

However, Liendo rebounded from his 100 free to set a personal best of 50.34, shaving 0.02 seconds off of his own Canadian record. He didn’t win gold, as Maxime Grousset produced an unexpected 50.14 to take the win, but his silver was the first medal for the Canadian men’s team.

Liendo’s medal wasn’t the first rebound produced by Canada. Just two days ago, Summer McIntosh came back from a disappointing finish in the 400 free to take the 200 fly World title in a world junior record time, winning her country’s first gold medal.

Other North American Highlights:

  • American Gretchen Walsh picked up her first-ever World Championships medal: a bronze in the 50 fly. However, she then missed the final of the 50 free later in the session, while her teammate Abbey Weitzeil made it back. Torri Huske also swam in the 50 fly final, placing fifth.
  • American Ryan Held, who was able to swim this race by virtue of winning a swim-off, clocked a 21.72 to finish fifth in the men’s 50 free final. Jordan Crooks of the Cayman Islands finished sixth.
  • American Regan Smith finished second in the women’s 200 back, though her time from U.S. Nationals would have taken gold. Canada’s Kylie Masse finished fifth, while Rhyan White was sixth.
  • Americans Justin Ress and Hunter Armstrong both qualified for the men’s 50 back final, and will be favored to go 1-2 tomorrow.
  • American Lilly King qualified for the 50 breast final, while her teammate Lydia Jacoby lost a swim-off to Sophie Hansson and will be out.
  • American Katie Ledecky won her country’s four gold medal with a historic 800 free victory. Meanwhile, her teammate Jillian Cox broke 8:20 for the first time, clocking a 8:19.73 to finish sixth.
  • Alongside Alexy, Matt King, Weitzeil, and Kate Douglass took silver in the mixed free relay. The Canadian team of Liendo, Ruslan Gaziev, Maggie MacNeil, and Mary-Sophie Harvey were fourth.

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4 months ago

If you dig deeper, all of the individual US men’s medals were earned by Jersey, Florida, and Ohio.

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
4 months ago

Wow that’s an unexpectedly small group of US swimmers setting a season’s best in a final.

I note that the only two women on that list are the two in the 800 free. That no other US woman has hit their times from trials or before goes a long way to explaining their underperformance. Australia would likely lead the medal table anyway, but the difference in gold wouldn’t be as stark.

The US men are described as struggling, but they have exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations for them coming into the meet. Opposite to the US women in that respect.

USA could end the meet on a high though. They look good for both medley relays, the 50 back with… Read more »

4 months ago

New Jersey could make quite the men’s medley relay: Lasco/Fink/Rose/Alexy

4 months ago

Happy for Dare, Josh and Gretchen’s medals today!

About Yanyan Li

Yanyan Li

Although Yanyan wasn't the greatest competitive swimmer, she learned more about the sport of swimming by being her high school swim team's manager for four years. She eventually ventured into the realm of writing and joined SwimSwam in January 2022, where she hopes to contribute to and learn more about …

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