2018 SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Russian sprint superstar Vlad Morozov had an electric year at the FINA World Cup Series, where he won the title by a landslide margin of 171 points and took 22 event titles across freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and IM disciplines. That included sweeps of the series in the 50 free and the 100 IM, and World Record breaking, then World Record tying, performances in the 100 IM.
Even after showing that versatility all fall long, though, Morozov has ratcheted back to his primary Olympic distances for next weeks’s World Short Course Championships: the 50 and 100 free. He’s the top seed in the 50 (20.31) ahead of Britain’s Ben Proud; and holds the same position in the 100 (44.95) more than a second ahead of the #2 seed: American Blake Pieroni (46.25). Morozov is the Meet Record holder in the 100 free, and while he won the 2012 title in both races, he took neither in 2016 where he had a bigger schedule (that included a silver medal in the 100 breast).
That doesn’t mean that Morozov won’t be busy, however. Of the 6 relays available to him, he swam on, and won gold medals in, 5 at the 2016 Short Course World Championships – with the exception being the 800 free relay. With Russia sending effectively a full roster, they’re contenders to repeat in all 5 of those relays, though the Americans have a better squad than normal (including Caeleb Dressel) and should challenge for those titles.
- See Also: Full Men’s Relay Previews Here
In his absence, the defending World Champion Michael Andrew becomes the top seed in the 100 IM in 51.16. But, just because Morozov isn’t racing doesn’t meant that Russia won’t be hot-on-his-heels: the #2 seed is Russian Sergei Fesikov in 51.22, and the #3 seed is Kliment Kolesnikov in 51.35.
If Morozov had swum the 100 IM, it would have given him triples in the evening sessions on both Thursday, December 13th and Friday, December 14th.
Morozov’s Potential Schedule (50 and 100m races are prelims/semis/finals; all others are prelims/finals)
Tuesday, December 11th
- No Entries
Wednesday, December 12th
- Mixed 200 free relay (Prelims/Finals)
Thursday, December 13th
- 50 free (Prelims/Semis)
- Mixed 2o0 medley relay (Prelims/Finals)
Friday, December 14th
- Men’s 200 free relay (Prelims/Finals)
- 50 free (Finals)
Saturday, December 15th
- Men’s 200 medley relay (Prelims/Finals)
- 100 free (Prelims/Semis)
Sunday, December 16th
- 100 free (Finals)
- Men’s 400 medley relay (Prelims/Finals)