The first day of competition at the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) is scheduled to begin today at 9:30 AM local time in Doha, Qatar.
With the absence of French superstar Yannick Agnel at these championships, the men’s 200 free will pit Russia’s Danila Izotov against the United States’ Conor Dwyer in preliminary action, while Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli and Australia’s Cameron McEvoy will also surely be factors. Ryan Lochte is a two-time World short course champion in this event and will not be in the circle-seeded heats based on his seed time.
Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson and Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte will go head-to-head in the women’s 50 breaststroke to determine the top qualifier for the semifinal rounds tonight. This is one of the sprint breaststroke World Records that Meilutyte does not own, but she is the reigning World Champion. We may see some of her speed in morning action as she typically puts herself well ahead of the field even in preliminary action. Atkinson was a 29.15 just over a month ago at the Beijing World Cup, so look for her to continue to be in good form here.
Another race to watch will be when Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu gets her first taste of action at these World Championships in the 200 fly this morning, and this is the first of a whopping 10 events that she is scheduled to compete in while in Doha. She is not the top seed in this event holder as Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia comes in the top seed and European Record at 2:01.52. Both swimmers have won world titles previously, so expect a conservative effort from the two this morning. Hosszu will also return in the 100 back, where she is the top seed over Austrailia’s Emily Seebohm (Hosszu seeded at 55.34, Seebohm seeded at 55.47), and then she will compete for the THIRD time this morning in the 400 IM which is the final individual event of the morning.
27-year old Brazilian Felipe Silva will have his hands full in the men’s 100 breast as he tries to take down reigning World Champion Cameron van der Burgh within his own heat. Also in the mix is Japanese newcomer Yasuhiro Koseki, who is the Asian record holder (56.34) from earlier this February at the Japanese SC Championships, and British speedster Adam Peaty.
The men’s 100 fly will feature another short course showdown between the United States’ Tom Shields and reigning world champion Chad Le Clos. The absence of Michael Phelps on the United States’ roster also allows Ryan Lochte to compete for the second time today in this event.
2014 Short Course World Championships
- Meet website
- Doha, Qatar
- December 3-7, 2014 (Wednesday through Sunday)
- Prelims 9:30 am / Finals 6:00 pm (local time)
- Start Lists
- Live results
- Live photo stream
Men’s 200 Freestyle – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 1:41.92 – Ryan Lochte – Poland
- 2010 World Champ: 1:41.08 – Ryan Lochte – United States
- Meet Record: 1:41.08 – Ryan Lochte – United States – 2010
- World Record: 1:39.37 – Paul Biedermann – Germany – 2009
Hungary’s Dominik Kozma raced to the top spot in the men’s 200 free this morning with a 1:42.35. His time just edged Venezuela’s Cristian Quintero (1:42.45) from Heat 6, while three more swimmers from the final heat (Danila Izotov/1:42.45, Velimir Stjepanovic/1:42.66, and Daniel Smith/1:42.67) followed immediately after. Rounding out the top 8 were Le Clos of South Africa (1:42.84), Peter Bernek of Hungary (1:42.85), and Ryan Lochte (1:42.97).
Cameron McEvoy (1:43.37) and Conor Dwyer (1:43.38) both did not qualify for the final with disappointing 13th and 14th place finishes respectively. Also well off top form was Tunisia’s Mellouli who finished a distant 21st at 1:44.24.
Quintero’s swim absolutely decimated his own previous Venezuelan national record in this event of 1:45.33 from 4 years ago. His exceptional success on the NCAA level has already been noted by American audiences, and it is nice to see him deliver a huge swim like he did this morning on an international stage.
Women’s 50 Breast – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 29.44 – Ruta Meilutyte – Lithuani
- 2010 World Champ: 29.83 – Rebecca Soni – United States
- Meet Record: 29.44 – Ruta Meilutyte – Lithuania – 2012
- World Record: 28.80 – Jessica Hardy – United States – 2009
Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson was the fastest performer this morning with a field-leading time of 29.48. She was very comfortable with almost an entire second ahead of the rest of her heat, although the Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis is right behind her in a 29.62.
Also securing her spot in one of the middle lanes is Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania with her third place finish this morning in a 29.72. Though she surely has plenty of speed left, it is worthwhile to mention her trademark quick reaction time off the blocks was present this morning as she got off the blocks in +0.61 seconds.
Rounding out the top 8 are Australia’s Leiston Pickett (29.96), Australia’s Sally Hunter (30.06), Belgium’s Fanny Lecluyse (30.13), the United States’ Emma Reaney (30.20), and Russia’s Valentina Artemeva (30.22). Notably, 200 lcm meter breaststroke world record holder Rikke Moeller Pedersen of Denmark also secured a second swim with a 12th place finish at 30.64.
Men’s 100 Back – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 49.89 – Matt Grevers – United States
- 2010 World Champ: 49.07 – Stanislav Donets – Russia
- Meet Record: 48.95 – Stanislav Donets – Russia – 2010
- World Record: 48.94 – Nicholas Thoman – USA – 2009
Matt Grevers paced the competition in the 100 back with a 50.19 effort this morning. Grevers easily posted the fastest first 50 of all participants this morning with a 24.15 first 50 before cruising to a heat win by over a half-second. Grevers is the reigning World Champion in this event and he is already not far off what he went two years ago in Istanbul.
Behind Grevers was Australian Mitch Larkin in a 50.54 and Israeli standout David Gamburg (50.64). Both Larkin and Gamburg were under 26 seconds on their back halves to support some very consistent splits overall. Rounding out the top 8 were France’s Benjamin Stasiulis (50.66), Ryosuke Irie (50.72), Germany’s Christian Diener (50.75), the United States’ Eugene Godsoe (50.79), and Great Britain’s Christopher Walker-Hebborn (50.81).
Notably, meet record holdder and 2010 World Champion Stanislav Donets of Russia sealed his spot in the semifinal rounds with a 50.99. Donets will likely have a lot left for the subsequent rounds as he was only out in a 24.97 this morning. The 31-year old veteran had the fourth fastest back half of all swimmers this morning with a 26.02 second 50.
Women’s 200 Butterfly – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 2:02.20 – Katinka Hosszu – Hungary
- 2010 World Champ: 2:03.59 – Mireia Belmonte Garcia – Spain
- Meet Record: 2:02.20 – Katinka Hosszu – Hungary – 2012
- World Record: 2:00.78 – Liu Zhige – China – 2009s
To no one’s particular surprise at all, ironwoman Katinka Hosszu sped to the fastest time of the morning in the 200 fly with a 2:02.42. This is only two tenths of a second slower than what she was to win the world title two years ago in Turkey, and it also clips her top time this year of a 2:02.99 from the Moscow World Cup. Additionally, Hosszu’s first 100 (58.87) is almost three-quarters of a second faster than she was when she set the meet record and her personal best of 2:02.21 in 2012.
Following over a second behind Hosszu is Spanish superstar Mireia Belmonte Garcia in a 2:03.71. Belmonte Garcia was much more conservative than Hosszu in her approach with an opening half of 1:00.01 before returning in a strong 1:03.60. This should be a very interesting final tonight as Hosszu will potentially have three events to swim during that finals session.
Finishing third through eighth were China’s Zhang Yufei (2:04.71), Australia’s Brianna Throssell (2:05.03), Germany’s Franziska Hentke (2:05.17), the United States’ Cammille Adams (2:05.35), Japan’s Miyu Nakano (2:05.44), and Italy’s Alessa Polieri (2:05.68). Notably, world record holder Liu Zige missed the final with a 10th placed finish at 2:06.07.
Men’s 100 Breast – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 57.10 – Fabio Scozzoli -Italy
- 2010 World Champ: 56.80 – Cameron van der Burgh – South Africa
- Meet Record: 56.80 – Cameron van der Burgh – South Africa – 2010
- World Record: 55.61 – Cameron van der Burgh – South Africa – 2009
Great Britain’s Adam Peaty got off to a great start with a field-best time of 57.02 in the 100 breast. This absolutely demolished his seed time of 58.54, and also set a new national record as he cleared Michael Jamieson‘s 57.52 standard from last year’s Duel in the Pool championships. Additionally, Peaty’s 50 split was just 0.02 seconds off Andrew Weatheritt’s national record of 26.70 from this past June.
Despite Peaty’s impressive swim, he only holds a slim margin over Brazil’s Felipe Silva who turned in a 57.13 in preliminary action. Silva was particularly impressive in his splitting as he took out his race in a 27.25 before returning in a 29.88, making him the only swimmer to return in under 30 seconds on his back half.
Rounding out the top 8 are Russia’s Kirill Prigoda (57.53), France’s Giacomo-Perez Dortogna (57.57), the United States’ Cody Miller (57.57), the United States’ Bradley Craig (57.64), Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic (57.65), and Russia’s Oleg Kostin (57.74)
World record holder Cameron van der Burgh was a bit back in 57.97 though he did place 13th in the morning, thus securing a second swim for tonight. Van der Burgh was out under 27 seconds in his first 50, so it is very possible that he eased off to leave something in the tank for the semifinal. Additionally, Perez-Dortogna is within striking distance of the French national record of 57.24 held by Hugues Duboscq from back in 2009.
Women’s 100 Back – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 56.64 – Olivia Smoliga – United States
- 2010 World Champ: 56.08 – Natalie Coughlin – United States
- Meet Record:
56.08 – Natalie Coughlin – United States – 201055.70 – Katinka Hosszu – Hungary – 2014
- World Record: 55.23 – Shiho Sakai – Japan – 2009
Just one hour after claiming the top morning time in the 200 butterfly, Katinka Hosszu was at it again with a new meet record of 55.70 in the 100 back. Hosszu’s splitting was absolutely phenomenal with an opening leg of 27.21 before returning in a 28.49 on her second 50. She is still a little shy of her national/European record time of 55.34 from the Hong Kong stop of the World Cup circuit just 2 months ago.
Nearly a full second behind Hosszu was Australia’s Emily Seebohm (56.59) while the other middle lane swimmer from the circle seeds, Mie Nielsen (57.05), snagged third overall. Rounding out the top 8 were Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina (57.07), the United States’ Kathleen Baker (57.11), Brazil’s Etienne Pires de Medeiros (57.36), Australia’s Madi Wilson (57.48), and the Czech Republic’s Simona Baumrtova (57.61).
Baker’s swim clipped nearly seven tenths off her best time from earlier this year (57.79) from the Tokyo stop of the World Cup circuit, and with the absence of Natalie Coughlin in this event, she will lead the American front when she swims it again tonight.
Men’s 100 Butterfly – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 48.82 – Chad Le Clos – South Africa
- 2010 World Champ: 50.23 – Evgeny Korotyshkin – Russia
- Meet Record: 48.82 – Chad Le Clos – South Africa – 2012
- World Record: 48.48 – Evgeny Korotyshkin – Russia – 2009
Japanese superstar Kosuke Hagino surprised the field with the top time after prelims with a 49.83. This clipped his personal best of 50.26 from the Japanese National Championships back in February, and he also established a new national record by just nipping the previous standard of 49.90 by Ryo Takayasu from back in 2009. Hagino used his trademark closing speed to take the 8th heat overall , with his opening split being a 23.73 before coming home in an event-best 26.10 back half.
A half second back from Hagino was South Africa’s Chad Le Clos in a 50.35, who had to work to emerge as the heat winner over Australia’s Tommaso D’Orsogna (50.39, 4th). Wedged between those two swimmers was the United States’ Ryan Lochte in a 50.38, which was good enough to win the second circle-seeded heat. All of these swimmers appear to be very conservative in their morning swims based on their splits, and it should be noted that Lochte had the second-fastest first 50 of all qualifiers with a 23.37 opening leg.
Rounding out the top 8 were the United States’ Tom Shields (50.43), Evgeny Korotyshkin (50.54), Australia’s David Morgan (50.61), and Venezuela’s Albert Subirats (50.62).
Women’s 400 Individual Medley – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 4:23.14 – Hannah Miley – Great Britain
- 2010 World Champ: 4:24.21 – Mireia Belmonte Garcia – Spain
- Meet Record:
4:23.14 – Hannah Miley – Great Britain – 20124:21.05 – Katinka Hosszu – Hungary – 2014
- World Record: 4:20.83 – Katinka Hosszu – Hungary – 2014
Katinka Hosszu saved her best for last this morning as she absolutely demolished the field en route to setting a new meet record at 4:21.05. Hosszu led by over a second and a half after the fly leg and never looked back as she holds an over 5 second margin over the rest of the field. She is also knocking on the door of her own world record from earlier this year, and it is worthwhile to mention that her freestyle leg from today’s swim was faster than she was in August. Considering she did not have anyone to race in prelims, this is a pretty exciting indicator of where she’ll be in tonight’s final.
Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia was second in a 4:26.16, but she has a pesonal best of 4:21.23 from almost exactly a year ago at the 2013 European Short Course Championships. Since it is very likely that she was a bit conservative this morning, we coudld see her challenge Hosszu if she is in top form for the final. She will also have a 200 butterfly final tonight, but then again, so will Hosszu.
Rounding out the top 8 are Great Britain’s Hannah Miley (4:27.45), the United States’ Caitlin Leverenz (4:28.43), the United States’ Elizabeth Beisel (4:28.75), the Czech Republic’s Barbara Zabadova (4:29.95), Japan’s Miho Takahashi (4:30.20), and Japan’s Sakiko Shimizu (4:31.20).
Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 3:06.40 – United State6
- 2010 World Champ: 3:04.78 – France
- Meet Record: 3:04.78 – France – 2010
- World Record: 3:03.30 – United States – 2009
The Italians came to play in the 4×100 Free Relay as Luca Dotto (47.32), Luca Leonardi (46.98), Marco Belotti (47.35), and Marco Orsi (46.00) took the top of the morning in a 3:07.65. Notably, veteran sprinter Filippo Magnini was not on the morning relay so it is likely we will see him subbed into the relay tonight. Also, it is interesting to point out that the Italians had the fastest average exchange time for their 2nd-4th legs at 0.11 seconds.
The other 7 teams that qualified this morning are Brazil (3:07.84), France (3:07.94), the United States (3:08.05), Russia (3:08.15), Australia (3:08.28), Japan (3:09.11), and Belgium (3:09.43).
Brazil’s Cesar Cielo was particularly speedy this morning as he split a 45.53 on the second leg of his team’s relay. Cielo was a 46.08 flat-start back in the beginning of September, and this is still the fastest time in the world this year, so it is good to see him posting a quick split early in the meet.
The United States did not use Conor Dwyer, Matt McLean, Ryan Lochte, or Cullen Jones this morning, so they have plenty of options that they can if they want to adjust the lineup for finalst onight.
Surprisingly, China did not qualify for the final tonight despite getting a 46.13 split from upcoming superstar Ning Zetao.
Women’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay – Prelims
- 2012 World Champ: 7:39.25 – United States
- 2010 World Champ: 7:35.94 – China
- Meet Record: 7:35.94 – China – 2010
- World Record: 7:35.94 – China 2010
The Netherlands cruised to 1st place after the morning heats as Inge Dekker (1:54.80), Esmee Vermeulen (1:55.56), Sharon van Rouwendaal (1:54.14), and Femke Heemskerk (1:54.70) easily bested the rest of the teams in the event with a 7:39.20 leading effort. They are over 4 seconds ahead of second-placed Sweden (7:43.87), while China is third in a 7:44.42.
Rounding out the rest of the top 8 are the United States (7:44.81), Australia (7:45.18), Russia (7:45.51), Japan (7:45.97), and Hungary (7:46.21).
After a less than satisfactory 200 fly swim earlier in the session, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom was a comfortable 1:53.95 anchor leg on her team’s relay, and this split was the second-fastest of all competitors this morning (China’s Qiu Yuhan was a 1:53.45 on the leadoff leg for them and Russia’s Veronika Popova was a 1:53.12 on the third leg of their relay). It is very likely we will see her a bit faster tonight when podium places are decided.
Additionally, since Hungary qualified for a second swim tonight, it is now very much possible that Katinka Hosszu will swim 4 events in the finals session if Hungary elects to place her on the relay.