USA Swimming Finalizes Stroke 50s for 2019 World Championships

USA Swimming has finalized the stroke 50s for the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships. In short: the breaks fell right where they were projected to fall when we wrote about them in mid-May: two weeks before the USA Swimming mandated deadline for swimmers to put up qualifying swims in the events.

This means that the USA will only have 1 entry in both the women’s 50 fly and the women’s 50 breaststroke. Hands of coaches were a little tied in those events, as there were no other swimmers eligible by combination of USA Swimming and FINA guidelines: all other swimmers with A times (FINA’s requirement for entering 2 swimmers in an event) were not already on the roster (USA Swimming’s requirement for taking the 2nd spot in these events where available).

Men’s 50 fly Michael Andrew Caeleb Dressel
Men’s 50 back Ryan Murphy Michael Andrew
Men’s 50 breast Michael Andrew Andrew Wilson
Women’s 50 fly Kelsi Dahlia No Swimmers Available
Women’s 50 back Olivia Smoliga Kathleen Baker
Women’s 50 breast Lilly King No Swimmers Available

Rather than add new swimmers to the roster, USA Swimming will leave those spots vacant.

The Process for filling vacant spots in the 50 meter stroke events:

The vacant spot will be filled by the swimmer already on the roster with the fastest time in that event between March 1, 2018 and June 1, 2019.

The US went without medals in the women’s 50 breaststroke in 2015 and in 2003, but in every other edition, they’ve taken at least one medal. Their 3 golds, 3 silvers, and 4 bronze medals are a better record in that event than any country since it was first offered at the World Championships in 2001. Katie Meili, who took bronze in 2017, was qualified for the US roster, but declined her spot. Lilly King, the defending World Champion, will be the only American entrant.

The American women have had much less success in the 50 fly. In fact, Jenny Thompson’s silver medal in 2003 is the only American medal at the long course edition of the World Championships in this event. Kelsi Worrell, the only American entrant in 2019, was the #2 qualifier through to the final in the last edition of the meet in 2017, but finished 4th (albeit in a new American Record of 25.48).

On the men’s side, all spots will be filled. Michael Andrew has been officially awarded the 2nd spot in the men’s 50 backstroke, and Andrew Wilson has been awarded the 2nd spot in the men’s 50 breaststroke (the only swims up for grabs). For Andrew, the current World Leader in the 50 backstroke, he will now swim all 4 stroke 50s at the World Championships, in addition to the 100 breaststroke. He’ll also have a probable spot in the men’s 400 medley relay, and a possible spot in the mixed 400 medley relay, depending on how coaches decide to stack that event.

The 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships begin on July 12th in Gwangju, South Korea. The pool swimming portion begins on July 21st at the Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center.

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Just one thing

Michael Andrew the man of many 50s


Honestly, the only 50 I could see him with a great shot at winning is backstroke

Philip Johnson

He’s got a shot at the free. A 21.46 has to garner some respect.


He’s going to have to drop some time if he wants to beat Dressel or Proud


Can’t leave Bruno out of that convo man, he’s already dropped a 21.3 and 21.4 at a couple of meets recently


Bruno is tough to beat nowadays ….he is on fire

Texas Tap Water

Rooting for MA to win medals in all 50s


50 breast I would be surprised if the podium is not peaty Lima and joao as they are far ahead of world
50 fly with Santos dressel govorov proud
50 free he will need to step up with dressel proud fratus on top of their game
50 back is his best shot but will need to improve if kolesinikov is on wr level


And MA has beaten Dressel and Fratus in the 50 free


MA has beaten Proud in the 50 fly


I think hes far more likely to miss the podium in all 4 than make the podium in more than 1


I’d take that bet in a heartbeat.


Wanna wager?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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