World Record and upset watches are on high alert during Monday night’s finals session at the 2013 FINA World Championships. Here’s a reminder of which races we’ll see at the Palau on day 2 of the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain:
Men’s 100 breaststroke (FINAL)
Women’s 100 fly (FINAL)
Men’s 100 backstroke (SEMI)
Women’s 100 breaststroke (SEMI)
Men’s 50 fly (FINAL)
Women’s 100 backstroke (SEMI)
Men’s 200 free (SEMI)
Women’s 200 IM (FINAL)
This has the potential to be a wild finals session. In all three of the Olympic finals (men’s 100 breast, women’s 100 fly, women’s 200 IM) the defending Olympic Champions don’t come in as the top seed. When I say ‘Olympic Champions,’ these aren’t just swimmers who slid their way to titles. These three are World Record holder Cameron van der Burgh, World Record holder Dana Vollmer, and Olympic Record holder Shiwen Ye.
What’s more, Matt Grevers, the defending Olympic Champion in the 100 backstroke, Ryan Lochte, and Yannick Agnel will all have to be sharp in their semi-final swims to ensure that they advance to finals.
As the hopes for a World Record in the 100 breaststroke or 100 fly fade for this meet, other World Record potential events rise-up. The women’s 100 breaststroke World Record only hangs on by a tenth after the morning swimming of Ruta Meilutyte.
The men’s 50 fly final still looks out of reach of Rafa Munoz’s World Record, but it could still be the best 50 meter race we’ve ever seen, with five guys going under 23 seconds in just the semi-finals, and the next two-best finalists (Steffen Deibler and Florent Manaudou) certainly seeming well capable of doing so.
And for those who missed it, Katinka Hosszu, as a wake-up swim before her 200 IM final tonight, was a 59.40 in the 100 backstroke: a new Hungarian National Record by far. She was just making sure that everyone knew just how good she’s gotten this year, though, as she scratched out of the semi-final as the second seed. All of a sudden, that leaves Missy Franklin out on an island in that race; she was a 59.13 in prelims, which was way faster than anybody but Hosszu went in prelims (Pelton at 59.9 was the only other swimmer under a minute).
Perhaps she’s able to go 59-low on a cruise, or perhaps the slow pace of the prelims caught her off-guard,but if anybody is going to challenge Franklin in this race, they need to rev their engines a little bit in the semi-finals.