Short Course World Championships Day Five Prelims Live Recap

Today is the last day of competition at the Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

2014 Short Course World Championships


  • World Record: 1:37.04 – Denmark – 2013 1:35.64 – Netherlands – 2014

Nothing seems to be able to stop the tear that the Dutch women have been on in these Championships, especially in the relays. In the very first race of the morning, Esmee Vermeulen (25.09), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (23.01), Maud van der Meer (23.89), and Inge Dekker (23.75) combined to go a 1:35.74 and absolutely obliterate the old standard of 1:37.04 set by Denmark last year.

What’s especially impressive about this relay is that the Dutch broke the record with the third-slowest lead-off leg of the top 8 finishers. With the addition of Femke Heemskerk, this relay should run away with this relay without the slightest challenge whatsoever. Additionally, the Dutch were the only relay to have any of its swimmers break 24 seconds this morning, and they had three members do it.

Following behind them are France (1:37.76), the United States (1:37.87), Italy (1:38.47), Denmark (1:38.55), China (1:38.67), Japan (1:39.92), and Brazil at 1:40.12

Event results in PDF format here


  • 2012 World Champ: 1:48.48 – Radoslaw Kawecki – Poland
  • 2010 World Champ: 1:46.68 – Ryan Lochte – United States
  • Meet Record: 1:46.68 – Ryan Lochte – United States – 2012
  • World Record: 1:46.11 – Arkady Vyatchanin – Russia – 2009

Japan’s Ryosuke Irie was the sole competitor to break 1:50 this morning as he touched the wall in a 1:49.57. He was out in a 53.03, the fastest of all competitors, and looked comfortable on the back half with a 56.54 second 100.

He has two Americans right on his tail though, as Tyler Clary (1:50.05) and Ryan Lochte (1:50.35) follow in order behind Irie. Clary’s last 50 of 27.84 was the second fastest of all competitors and his second 10o split of 56.10 was the overall fastest split of all morning swimmers.

Rounding out the top 8 are Israel’s David Gamburg and Japan’s Yuki Shirai at 1:53.83, Australia’s Mitch Larkin (1:51.11), Columbia’s Omar Pinzon (1:51.29), and Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki (1:51.44).

Kawecki is the reigning world champion in this event, and he was dangerously close to not making it back for a final swim. Only 0.15 seconds separated him from Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys. However, despite a slightly slower morning swim, Kawecki can not be taken for granted in the final swim, even from an outside lane, as he has run down the likes of Lochte before in large championship meets.

Event results in PDF format


  • 2012 World Champ: 2:16.08 – Rikke Moller Pedersen – Denmark 
  • 2010 World Champ: 2:16.39 – Rebecca Soni – United States
  • Meet Record: 2:16.08 – Rikke Moeller Pedersen – Denmark – 2012
  • World Record: 2:14.57 – Rebecca Soni – United States – 2009

Japanese swimmers went back to back this morning as Kanako Watanabe cruised to the top time in the 200 breast at a 2:18.45. Notably, she did not have the fastest split on any of her legs, but rather just put together a very solid four 50’s to post the top time.

It gets a little bit tight behind her as Russia’s Vitalina Simonova (2:18.80), Canada’s Kierra Smith (2:18.95), China’s Shi Jinglin(2:18.98), Japan’s Rie Kaneto (2:19.16), Denmark’s Rikke Moeller Pedersen (2:19.24), Canada’s Martha McCabe (2:19.49), and Russia’s Mariia Astashkina (2:19.71) follow for 2nd-8th.

Pedersen, the reigning World Champ in this event, looked to take the race out nice and strong before easing off the pedal. She was out in a 1:06.99, second to only Watanabe amongst qualifiers, but turned in two 35 second splits to fall back slightly from the early morning leaders.

Notably, Russia’s Astashkina is only 15 years old, and will be the youngest competitor in the final by three years. Very impressive for the young teenager.

Event results in PDF format here


  • 2012 World Champ: 1:51.01 – Kazuya Kaneda -Japan 
  • 2010 World Champ: 1:51.56 – Chad le Clos – South Africa
  • Meet Record: 1:51.01 – Kazuya Kaneda -Japan 1:50.82 – Daiya Seto – 2014
  • World Record:  1:48.56 – Chad le Clos – South Africa – 2013

The Japanese continued their hot streak this morning as Daiya Seto blitzed the field to a new meet record in a 1:50.82. The swim eclipsed the standard set by his own countryman, Kazuya Kaneda, back in 2014. Seto was particularly good in his 2nd 100, with the fastest 3rd and 4th 50’s of all competitors in the event this morning. Seto is known more for his IM prowess, but it’s not surprising to see him deliver a record-setting performance after how good he has been all week. He also has a personal best of 1:49.68 from the Tokyo stop of the World Cup circuit just one month ago.

Following behind Seto are Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (1:51.24), South Africa’s Chad le Clos (1:51.37), Denmark’s Viktor Bromer (1:51.81), Australia’s Grant Irvine (1:52.12), the United States’ Tom Shields (1:52.64), Russia’s Aleksandr Kudashev (1:52.66), and Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsvov (1:52.67).

Despite how good Seto was this morning, it’ll be far from an easy race for him tonight. Le Clos and Shields have both had fantastic weeks here in Doha, and Le Clos set a new world record in the 100 meter fly three days ago. Expect it to be a very close race tonight.

Notably missing the final heat was the United States’ Tyler Clary as he had to settle for 13th with a 1:53.39. Clary was coming off his 200 back though, so it’s very likely the fatigue caught up with him, especially on the last day of competition at these Championships.

Event results in PDF format here


  • 2012 World Champ:  1:53.59 – Allison Schmitt – United States
  • 2010 World Champ: 1:52.29 – Camille Muffat – France  
  • Meet Record: 1:52.29 – Camille Muffat – France
  • World Record: 1:51.17 – Federica Pellegrini – Italy – 2009

The women’s 200 free is shaping up to be just as exciting as expected as the three circle-seeded heat winners all turned in times within a half second of the meet record.

Touching in first was the Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk (1:52.54), but she only holds a very narrow margin over Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom (1:52.60) and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (1:52.81). All three swimmers have a legitimate chance of breaking the world record in this event as well since they are three swimmers this year that have broken into the 1 minute 51 second range already this year.

Rounding out the top 8 are the United States’ Shannon Vreeland (1:53.81), Italy’s Federica Pellegrini (1:54.04), France’s Charlotte Bonnet (1:54.48), Russia’s Veronika Popova (1:54.63), and Sweden’s Michelle Coleman (1:54.85).

This may be the race to watch tonight, and we could very well see the fastest 200 free heat in history in the process.

Event results in PDF format here


  • 2012 World Champ:  3:21.03 – United States
  • 2010 World Champ: 3:20.99 – United States 
  • Meet Record: 3:20.99 – United States – 2010
  • World Record: 3:19.16 – Russia – 2009

France posted the top time this morning as Benjamin Stasiulis (50.89), Giacomo Perez-Dortona (57.01), Mehdy Metella (50.15), and Clement Mignon (45.92) combined to go a 3:23.97. Perez-Dortona and Mignon posted the fastest splits for their respective legs amongst all swimmers, with Mignon being the only swimmer to dip under 46 seconds on the freestyle leg amongst morning swimmers. They are just 0.37 seconds off the French national record of 3:23.60 that was set back in 2010.

Following behind them were Australia (3:24.62), Russia (3:25.02), Germany (3:25.79), the United States (3:26.29), Japan (3:26.39), Brazil (3:26.52), and Great Britain (3:26.81).

Event results in PDF format here


  • 2012 World Champ:  3:49.87 – Denmark
  • 2010 World Champ: 3:48.29 – China
  • Meet Record: 3:48.29 – China – 2010
  • World Record: 3:45.56 – United States – 2011

Denmark grabbed the top time in the 4×100 Medley Relay this morning as Mie Nielsen (57.38), Rikke Moeller Pedersen (1:05.90), Jeanette Ottesen (56.91), and Pernille Blume (52.71) teamed up to go a 3:52.90. Nielsen’s split was the only one of the four that led all competitors for her respective leg.

The rest of the top 8 are Japan (3:53.14), Australia (3:53.66), Sweden (3:53.70), Italy (3:54.32), Finland (3:55.35), Germany (3:55.69), and Russia (3:55.77).

Notably, the United States did not qualify for the final heat as they touched in 9th for a 3:56.39.

Event results in PDF format here

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6 years ago

It is hard to believe the USA women 4 x 100 medley relay would not be in a top 8 at world championship meet. I could not foresee Finland relay beating USA A team at major competition. I do believe it is a very first time the USA team would not qualify to Championship final at world championships not counting DQ’s. Ledecky and Franklin cannot hide the fact the USA Swimming is getting weaker. Some did not believe US tennis could get to the low level it is at right now.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Tom
6 years ago

Yes it’s pretty shameful for the women’s medley relay to not qualify for the final. Kathleen Baker awfully slow on backstroke. Leverenz and Donahue very average like all week. And Weir is the past. But I think you draw fast conclusions. It was a C or D medley relay for USA. If you put for example Courtney Bartholomew on backstroke (50.01 in yards this week, it means something around 55.50/56.00 in SCM), Jessica Hardy on breaststroke, Kendyl Stewart, Kelsi Worrell or even Beata Nelson (a short course beast) on fly and the new US sprint Queen Simone Manuel, then I think you will not draw the exact same conclusions. Because I’m sure that team would have won the gold in… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Bobo, I think BRA may also pose a big problems for US.. Joao Gomes went a terrible 58,4 on the morning.. França will go into the 55 realm.. Only that change will put brazil with a sub 3:24 team.. also Henrique went only 47,5.. with Cielo I would expect a 45 low..I think Bra France maybe US will all be on the 3:20/21 range..

bobo gigi
Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

You’re right. I’ve perhaps forgotten to mention the Brazilian team in my picks. I thought it was all France vs USA. You make me doubt suddenly. 🙂
Brazil can win on paper. Yes.
But I still pick France.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Sheets for final release..

Manadou will swim back..Locthe closes for US.
Bra with Cielo and França
RUS with Morozov
Australia with Mcevoy.

Reply to  Tom
6 years ago

Not so fast, Debbie Downer. Even in long course, the US women missed finals and got 10th at 2009 Worlds in Rome with their “B” team, behind Brazil in 8th and the Denmark team (now seeded 1st) in 9th. Then the USA women proceeded to bounce back and take gold at Worlds/Olympics in ’11, ’12, and ’13. It’s not over yet. And instead of their “B” team, this is more like their C/D/E team, with the exception of Donahue. It’s short course worlds, so even less of the top swimmers are here compared with ’09. It’s not just Ledecky and Franklin who aren’t there: Bootsma, Pelton, Hardy, Lawrence, Larson, Stewart, Manuel, Neal, Romano, Smoliga. I’m probably forgetting some others too.… Read more »

Reply to  Tom
6 years ago

Thanks for a song Bodo. It was one of my favorite songs during my late teen years. I agree the overall poor performance is the result of poor selection process but without checking I would think similar process was used in the past. As for tennis I referred primarily to men’s side but even women will be in trouble once Williams sisters retire. It upsets me that representing the country in a world championship seem less important than swimming in college invitational meet.

6 years ago

So bummed for Rapsys, at least he’s having new PB’s and was the fastest teenager.

bobo gigi
6 years ago

My picks for todays’ finals

Women’s 4X50 free. Netherlands for gold. France with a little medal chance but it will be tough with Denmark and USA.
Men’s 100 free. Florent Manaudou with a new world record ahead of Cielo.
Women’s 50 back. Emily Seebohm. After 3 silver medals she wants the gold.
Men’s 200 back. Finally the first individual gold medal for USA? It will be tough for Lochte. I pick Larkin. And in my opinion Lochte should scratch to focus on the 100 IM later.
Women’s 200 breast. RMP doesn’t look fantastic this week but it should be enough to win.
Men’s 100 IM final. If Lochte has not swum the 200 back earlier,… Read more »

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

If it’s up to Lochte, he’ll swim both the 2Back and the 100 IM. It wouldn’t be his style to drop one, he’s always been about racing against the best, not counting gold medals. The coaches may decide to have him drop one of them, but I doubt it at this stage. I do agree that if he swims the 2back it diminishes his chances for gold in the IM. But then again, unlike you, I don’t consider him a favorite in the 100 IM anyway, even if he doesn’t swim the 2Back. I think any of the top 4 seeds could take it, including Hagino, who showed good speed in the 100 fly.

Along with the men’s 100… Read more »

Reply to  liquidassets
6 years ago

According to omegatiming Hosszu is on lane one of the 50m back final. However, it’s just a warming up for her and there is long resting period before 200m free final so I think your point is completely valid.

I bet Sjöström and Heemskerk would be quite annoyed at losing to Hosszu in a 200 free. Anyway, it will be tight and something to look forward.

Reply to  SwimFanFinland
6 years ago

And I didn’t forget Pellegrini. She is a competitor and capable of doing almost anything when it counts.

Reply to  SwimFanFinland
6 years ago

Oh right I must have been looking at the 50 fly or something? As it turns out it was Sjostrom’s night anyway.

Reply to  liquidassets
6 years ago

Like I said. .. He needs to drop the 2 backIf he wants the good in the IM… but you’re right, he will probably swim both!

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Agree almost 100%..

About 50 breast.. I Think it will be close close..França said on interview he took it easy on the last meters.. But It is between Peaty and França..

Men Medley will be fun to watch, but the best race will be the 200 free..

Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

França will win simply because Peaty’s pullouts are awful. Same story as the 100.

CT Swim Fan
6 years ago

Yes many of the top swimmers are missing, but my complaint if you will is seeing some events where there was only 1 American who swam in the prelims. There is really no excuse for that.

6 years ago

If these world championships have to be a failure for Team Usa , maybe than it will bring deeper reflection as for the selection method done by Usa Swimming organisation . No govern swimming organisation is safe from making sometimes huge mistakes . They have to clear the matter as soon as possible . When we see that no American is in the final of the 100 free , that for me is an indication of unbeleivable poverty at this stage . I can’t find other words : Feigen , 12TH and Dwyer 16 th on 16 semi-finalists !!!! No even Grevers or Schneider !! I feel sadness when i see these results . How come ? I hope it… Read more »

Russ Davis
6 years ago

There are probably Americans swimming better at three other meets this weekend, including Andrew Seliskar by himself in Canada. If you send the C team to a world meet, you get C team results.

6 years ago

Manaudou’s swimming the 100m back leadoff for the Medley relay. Any thoughts people?

6 years ago

Picks for today’s finals
Women’s 4×50 free relay
Men’s 100 free Florent Manaudu (with out the WR because he is going to swim in 4×100 a few minutes before like most of the finalists)
Women’s 50 back Emily Seebohm
Men’s 200 back Riosuke Irie
Women’s 200 breast Kanako Watanabe (not RMP)
Men’s 100 medley Ryan Lochte
Women’s 100 fly Sarah Sjostrom (I hate her!)
Men’s 50 breast Adam Peaty
Women’s 50 free Ranomi Kromowidjojo (WR less 23 seconds)
Men’s 200 fly Chad le Clos (with WR because if he doesn’t do it he ‘ll lose)
Men’s 1500 free Gregorio Paltrinieri (with WR?)
Women’s 200 free Katinka Hosszu (… Read more »

Reply to  swimmer
6 years ago

A bit confused about your reasoning, Swimmer.

What do you mean by Manaudou having swum a 4×100 beforehand? It’s a women’s 4×50, as you rightly say.

I doubt Ranomi can crack 23. Overly optimistic there.

Also – who would Chad lose to if he doesn’t break the WR? I don’t buy that Seto and Shields can get into the 1.48s.

No way Paltrieiri breaks the WR for the 1500m. Agree he’s got a good shot at winning. Will come down to him and Harrison.

And 🙁 at your hate for Denmark and Sjostrom.

About Varun Shivakumar

Varun Shivakumar hails from Hoffman Estates, IL and swam competitively for 16 years. He swam both backstroke events at Northwestern University, and ranks fifth in the school’s All-time performances list in the 200 yard backstroke. Representing NASA Wildcat Aquatics, he also competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials in Omaha, NE …

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