World Championships Roundup: WR Holder Zhao Jing Out of 50 Backstroke

Big news coming out of China for those making your World Championship selections is that the World Record holder in the 50 backstroke, Zhao Jing, will not be swimming that event in Shanghai. She will instead focus on the 100 and 200 backstrokes, where she is probably the favorite to win both. Remembner that Jing is the defending World Champion in the 50 in both short course and long course. Also interesting is that butterflier Jiao Liuyang will swim at the Military World Games in Brazil, the meet that tales Cerdeira is skipping World’s to swim at, and thus will be a late-arrival in Shanghai. That sort of jetlag could be very detrimental to her medal hopes. In the women’s 800, current World number two Zuanxu Li will not be competing, being dropped in favor of Shiwen Yao, who won the 400 at last year’s Asian Games. Li will focus on the 1500 instead…

…As I mentioned, Sun Yang’s focus is his battle with Tae Hwan Park. It appears that Park is thinking along the same lines, with his announcement that his goal, after already having won an Olympic gold, is a World Record. With his best chance seeming to be in the 400, things could be fantastic in that 400 free. This is the most buzz we’ve seen surrounding this race in years…

…Some more controversey surrounding Cesar Cielo has popped up, though this time it’s not about drug tests. The CBDA appears to have mnufactured some drama where they sent Cielo and his coach Alberto Pinto ahead to Macao, where Brazil will hold their pre-World’s camp, to avoid the media frenzy that could surround the departure and arrival of the rest of the Brazilian team. They even went so far as to act flabergasted when he didn’t show up at the gate for the team’s flight, with one official saying that he wasn’t told where Cielo is or that he wouldn’t be on the team flight. Seems like an unlikely story. All else is quiet on the Cielo front…

…Not specifically related to the World Championships, but Universal Sports’ documentary titled “Stroke Kings” about American swimmers Ryan Lochte and Ed Moses has been delayed. It was supposed to air last night. No reason has been given for the delay, and they are still working on a new launch date…

…Alexander Dale Oen looked ready to make Christ Desantis’ fearless pick of Norwegian ace Alexander Dale Oen in the 100 breaststroke look really good. He became the second man under a minute in the 100, his best race, with a 59.98 at the Norwegian Championships, which is one of the very last meets to go off before World’s. He broke off a 27.5 in the 50 breaststroke (7th in the world) and a 2:12.76 in the 200 breastsroke, which are both very strong efforts for him (video below)…


…After Sun Yang set his priorities on the 400 free and his chief rival Tae-Hwan Park, more swimmers are sharing which events they’re planning on going after the hardest. Spain’s Erika Villaecija has placed the 800 free, the Olympic event, as her main target in Shanghai. In order of emphasis, she will also swim the 10km open water and the 1500. Probably a smart move for her, as that 800 is her best chance for a medal in London…

…After some scares, especially Elliott Keefer who was most affected by some severe Midwest storms that shut down Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports, Team USA successfully departed for Brisbane, Australia yesterday for their pre-World’s training camp. Keefer routed through Houston and eventually made the flight on time. The great Michael Phelps also got stuck on a changeover in Chicago. The USA Diving and Open Water National Teams are reported to be traveling straight to Shanghai…

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12 years ago

WOW! I predicted that, just the other day on this site! ha…always on the cards thought, pretty obvious. Zhao’s 50 training times will have been dropping quickly since she started to re-concertrate on the 200BK after 2009! For me, this might just open the door for Herasimenia! whom btw i predicted the 50m free bronze like braden!

12 years ago

I think dropping the 50 only makes her that much more dangerous in her other events particularly the 200. Also if Oen’s at only at 212.7 when he’s going sub60, watch what he can do when he returns to sub210…. Im starting to believe we may see 2 men under 59.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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