Pieter Timmers of Belgium broke his own Belgian national record in the men’s 100m freestyle this morning in order to qualify fourth for the championship final.
Timmers was a 48.22 this morning to take just over three-tenths off his 48.54 record that he swam at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
In putting up a 48.22, Timmers qualified for his first major international final of his career. At both the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 World Championships, Timmers fell short of his goal of making the finals. He qualified for the semifinals at both competitions but failed to advance beyond that.
The 100m freestyle is currently wide open especially after Russian favorite Vlad Morozov was disqualified in semifinals.
Now, Timmers will have the opportunity to medal if he can get closer to a 48.00. Cameron McEvoy of Australia was the fastest this morning, dropping a 47.94 to take the top seed.
Also ahead of Timmers is Ning Zetao of China and Frederico Grabich of Argentina. Ning has been a 47-mid this season, and will be a tough man to beat.
Grabich on the other hand is definitely in sights for Timmers. He set a new Argentinian national record of 48.11 at the Pan American Games in Toronto a few weeks ago, and will likely be in that range.
Throw in defending Olympic champ Nathan Adrian, Marcelo Chierighini, and Santo Condorelli, and Timmers will need to have the race of his life if he wants to secure a medal or even retain his spot in the top four.