Rapsys, Wellbrock Vault Atop Freestyle World Rankings In Stockholm


Day 2 of the Swim Open Stockholm event yielded some standout swims, including Sarah Sjostrom and Anton Chupkov following up their impressive swims on day 1 with another win each, but Germany’s Florian Wellbrock and Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys were the ones who stole the show.

After finishing as the runner-up in yesterday’s 400 free final, Wellbrock exploded today in the 1500 freestyle timed final, knocking over nine seconds off the German National Record and nearly fifteen off his own best time. He clocked 14:40.69, destroying the 27-year-old national record of 14:50.36, held by Jörg Hoffmann. Hoffmann posted that time at the 1991 World Championships in Perth, where he edged out Australian legend Kieran Perkins for the gold. Wellbrock takes over the top spot in this year’s world rankings by nearly fifteen seconds, passing Japan’s Syogo Takeda who was previously ranked #1 at 14:55.42 (a time nearly identical to Wellbrock’s previous all-time best of 14:55.49).

Finishing as the runner-up in the race was Ukrainian Mykhailo Romanchuk, the 2017 World Championship silver medalist in the event. He went 14:50.91, sticking with Wellbrock until about the 1000m mark before he fell off the pace. His countryman Sergiy Frolov also cracked 15 minutes for 3rd in 14:56.81.

Rapsys won the 200 back on day 1, finishing not far off his best time, but managed to lower his personal best on day 2 in the 200 freestyle (and the Lithuanian National Record). Out like a shot in 24.03, the Lithuanian out-split the field on all four 50s to take the decisive win in 1:45.12. Previously sitting 2nd in the world behind Sun Yang with his PB of 1:45.35 from January, Rapsys overtakes the #1 spot, passing Sun by 0.03. Last night’s 400 winner Henning Mühlleitner of Germany took 2nd in 1:48.15.

Sjostrom followed up her 50 fly win on day 1 with another decisive gold in the 100 fly, clocking 56.35. That swim edges her past Japan’s Rikako Ikee (56.38) for the top spot in the world. Belgium’s Kimberly Buys placed 2nd in 59.39.

In the men’s 100 breast Chupkov used a 31.21 back half to run down the early leaders and claim gold in 59.61. Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus was 2nd in 1:00.10, with Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis 3rd in 1:00.27. Chupkov’s Russian countryman Kirill Prigoda had a solid swim in the B-final, clocking 1:01.12.


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Ex Quaker
2 years ago

Rapsys and Sun Yang are looking like the favorites for fastest times this summer. How many times has Rapsys been 1:45 in the last year now?

Reply to  Ex Quaker
2 years ago

Today is his third time (and new PB).

Ex Quaker
Reply to  Emanuele
2 years ago

Incredible. Remarkable consistency!

Reply to  Ex Quaker
2 years ago

I’d throw Haas in there for the 200 free

2 years ago

People like him have a tendency to drop these crazy times on or near home soil and not replicate it on the international stage. I genuinely do believe in ‘home pool advantage’ for some swimmers, as mentally similar facilities and pool amenities truly do make a difference. I frankly don’t see anyone challenging Sun for the crown of 200m free, he’s probably the worlds best bet to go 1:43.

Reply to  Andover
2 years ago

So sweden is a home advantage for a Lithuanian?

Reply to  Andover
2 years ago

Hm, 1.40,85 at short course euros 🙂

Reply to  ITR
2 years ago

Lochte was 1:41scm in December when he went 1:44lcm next summer

2 years ago


About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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