Christian Sprenger at the 2012 Olympics
Courtesy of: Rob Schmacher - USA Today Sports
FINA World Championships editorial coverage is proudly sponsored by SpeedoUSA. For all the latest coverage, check out our event coverage page.

BARCELONA, Spain, July 28. ALTHOUGH Kosuke Kitajima is looking to return to the top of the podium for the first time since 2003, an unbelievably loaded semifinal field qualified today in the men's 100-meter breaststroke prelims at the FINA World Championships.

Australia's Christian Sprenger posted the top time of the morning with a 59.53. He leads the way this year with a scorching time of 59.05 from Australian Nationals, with no one else even coming close. Last summer, Sprenger took silver in this event at the London Olympics but was part of the breaststroke dolphin kick controversy from the swim as both he and event winner Cameron van der Burgh took obviously illegal kicks but were not caught due to FINA's lack of desire to permit underwater cameras for judging. Could Sprenger and van der Burgh be looking to get away with illegal kicks again?

Russia's Kirill Strelnikov popped a second-seeded time of 59.80 to move to fourth in the world rankings in the event, while Italy's Fabio Scozzoli and Kitajima both clocked times of 59.88. Scozzoli already ranks second in the world with a 59.77 from Italian Nationals, while Kitajima moved up to fifth in the world as just one of a handful of men to break 1:00 this year. Snyders joined that small group with a fifth-seeded time of 59.92.

USA's Kevin Cordes (1:00.01), van der Burgh (1:00.02) and Brazil's Felipe Lima (1:00.06) qualified sixth through eighth.

Great Britain's Ross Murdoch (1:00.08), Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr (1:00.08), USA's Nicolas Fink (1:00.18), Great Britain's Michael Jamieson (1:00.20), Brazil's Joao Gomes Jr. (1:00.24), Italy's Mattie Pesce (1:00.32), Slovenia's Damir Dugonjic (1:00.36) and Lithuania's Giedrius Titenis (1:00.44) also made the semifinal.

Results: FINA World Championships: Men's 100 Breast Prelims