2022 FINA WORLD AQUATIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
After a whirlwind opening morning of the preliminaries, the first final session of the 2022 World Championships has arrived.
With the men’s 400m individual medley moving from the last day to the first day for this year’s edition, we will have five medal events in the day 1 finals rather than the usual four.
Swimmers will compete for a spot on the podium in the men’s 400 freestyle and 400 individual medley relays, the women’s 400 freestyle, and then the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle relays.
Perhaps the highlight of the heats was the searing gaps we saw in the men’s 400m freestyle relay, as there were a total of 15 under-48 heats, including three from the top-ranked Americans. This immediately put the American side in an interesting situation regarding roster decisions, with Drew Kibler be excluded from the preliminary relay and Ryan held (47.11), justin ress (47.57) and Brooks Curry (47.76) all achieving splits that would normally have earned them a place in the final.
In the end, Kibler was left out of the final relay and the three will join Caeleb Dressel tonight.
Update: Kibler did not swim due to COVID-19 protocols.
We also saw four men crack 23 in the 50 fly, led by Dylan Carter (22.87), while one of the pre-race favourites, Nicola Santoswas a bit off and finds himself in lane 1 of the second semi-final after posting a time of 23.46.
In the women’s 200 individual medley, the American Alex Walch clinched the top seed in 2:09.41, while her teammate Lea Hayes qualified second in 2:09.81 to break her 15-16 age group national record.
In the individual finals, Felix Auboeck arrives with the top seed in the men’s 400m freestyle, a spot he also held in 2017 before finishing fifth in the final. The most notable miss this morning was Australian Mack Hortonexcluded from the final in ninth (3: 46.57).
In the women’s 400 freestyle, everything was Katie Ledecky in the preliminaries, adding another sub-4:00 to his list in 3:59.79. from Canada Summer McIntosh is second in 4:03.19, while China Li BingjieOlympic bronze medalist last year, was off the pace and finished 10th in 4:08.25.
The top four scheduled had strong performances in the men’s 400 IM heats, led by Leon Marchandwho broke his French record in 4:09.09. Carson Foster made an impressive LC Worlds debut in 4:09.60, and Hunt Kalisz is third at 4:10.32 (all three were in the same heat) and advances to the final after missing out in 2019.
Daia Setothe defending champion who has won this event at three of the last four world championships, won the final round to qualify fourth as he appears to be in much better shape than he was at the 2021 Olympics.
The Australian women and the American men were big favorites for the upcoming 400 freestyle stints, and things didn’t change much in the preliminaries. Australia, keeping their big guns in the holster, still had a 52.9 lead over Madi Wilson and a leg of 52.98 of Meg Harris.
Men’s 400m freestyle – Final
- World record: 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (GER) – 2009 World Championships
- Championship record: 3:40.07, Paul Biedermann (GER) – 2009 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Ahmed Hafnaoui (TUN), 3:43.36
- 2019 World Champion: Sun Yang (CHN), 3:42.44
- Elijah Winnington (Australia), 3:41.22
- Lukas Märtens (GER), 3:42.85
- Guilherme Costa (BRA), 3:43.31
- Felix Auboeck (AUT), 3:43.58
- Marc de Tullio (ITA), 3:44.14
- Kim Woomin (KOR), 3:45.64
- Kieran Smith (US), 3:46.43
- Trey Freeman (USA), 3:46.53
The men’s 400 freestyle was all we could have asked for as the fastest swimmers in the world over the past two years faced off in an epic showdown.
Australian Elie Winnington got off to a fast start, was overtaken by Germany Lukas Martens on the fifth 50, then roared home in 26.50 to solidify the win in a time of 3:41.22.
Winnington’s swim betters his previous record of 3:42.65, set at the 2021 Olympic Trials, and ranks him fifth on the all-time performer list (No. 3 in a textile suit).
The victory was also Australia’s first since the nation won five consecutive titles from 1994 to 2005. Additionally, it is the first time an Asian nation has not won the 400 freestyle since 2009, along with China Sun Yang having won the last four and South Korean Tae Hwan Park claiming victory in 2011.
Märtens, who was the world’s fastest swimmer this year with a time of 3:41.60, may have made his move a bit too early as he got no response when Winnington exploded on the final turn. However, the German held on to silver in 3:42.85, beating another South American record for the Brazilian. Guilherme Costa (3:43.31), who took bronze.
Felix Auboeckthe preliminaries seed in an Austrian record 3:43.83, lowered that time to 3:43.58 to take fourth place.
The top three swimmers were all faster than the time it took to win Olympic gold last year (3:43.36).
Women’s 100m butterfly – Semi-finals
- World record: 55.48, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 2016 Olympic Games
- Championship record: 55.53, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 2017 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Maggie MacNeil (CAN), 55.59
- 2019 World Champion: Maggie MacNeil (CAN), 55.83
- Torri Huske (US), 56.29
- Marie Wattel (FRA), 56.80
- Claire Curzan (US), 56.93
- Brianna Throssel (Australia), 56.96
- Louise Hanson (SWE), 56.97
- Zhang Yufei (CHN), 57.03
- Lana Pudar (BIH), 57.67
- Farida Osman (EGY), 57.91
American Torri Huske looked solid en route to the top seed for the women’s 100m butterfly final, dominating the second semi-final with a time of 56.29.
Huske was the only swimmer in the peloton under 26, clocking 25.82, and will be the swimmer to beat on Sunday as she holds a lead of more than half a second over the next fastest swimmer.
France Marie Wattel (56.80) and American Claire Curzan (56.93) both hit highs of 56 to go 1-2 in the first half, while the Aussie Brianna Throssel broke 57 seconds for the first time in 56.93 to qualify fourth.
The most remarkable thing that stands out from this event is the shape of China Zhang Yufei, who looked a little off form and only qualified sixth in 57.03. Zhang is the third fastest swimmer in history with her Asian record of 55.62, set in September 2020.
Overall, this event was much slower than it was at the Tokyo Olympics, which isn’t a huge surprise considering we’re missing half of last year’s final. Last summer it took 57.19 to qualify for the final, 57.91 this year.
Men’s 50m butterfly – Semi-finals
400m freestyle women – Final
- World record: 3:56.40, Ariarne Titmus (AUS) – Australian Championships 2022
- Championship record: 3:58.34, Katie Ledecky (USA) – 2017 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Ariarne Titmus (AUS), 3:56.69
- 2019 World Champion: Ariarne Titmus (Australia), 3:58.76
Men’s 100m breaststroke – Semi-finals
- World record: 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2019 World Championships
- Championship record: 56.88, Adam Peaty (GBR), 2019 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Adam Peaty (GBR), 57.37
- 2019 World Champion: Adam Peaty (GBR), 57.14
200 IM women – Semi-finals
- World record: 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2015 World Championships
- Championship record: 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – 2015 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Yui Ohashi (JPN), 2:08.52
- 2019 World Champion: Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2:07.53
Men’s 400 IM – Final
- World record: 4:03.84, Michael Phelps (USA) – 2008 Olympics
- Championship record: 4:05.90, Hunt Kalisz (USA) – 2017 World Championships
- Olympic Champion 2021: Hunt Kalisz (USA), 4:09.42
- 2019 World Champion: Daia Seto (JPN), 4:08.95
Men’s 4×100 freestyle relay – Final
- World record: 3:08.24, USA – 2008 Olympics
- Championship record: 3:09.06, USA – 2019 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: United States, 3:08.97
- 2019 World Champion: United States, 3:09.06
Women’s 4×100 freestyle relay – Final
- World record: 3:29.69, Australia – 2021 Olympics
- Championship record: 3:30.21, Australia – 2019 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Australia, 3:29.69
- 2019 World Champion: Australia, 3:30.21