2013worldsspeedo Christian Sprenger
Courtesy of: Joan Marc Bosch
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BARCELONA, Spain, July 28. WITH underwater cameras hard to come by at the FINA World Championships, the swimming world may never know how authentic the men's 100-meter breaststroke competition is this year.

Two swimmers who were both seen on camera at the 2012 London Olympics using illegal dolphin kicks wound up near the top of the semifinal heats this evening. Australia's Christian Sprenger clocked a 59.23 to lead the way, while Olympic gold medalist Cameron van der Burgh took second in 59.78. Van der Burgh actually admitted after his 100 breast victory a year ago that he cheated to make sure he stayed ahead of the other cheaters in the event.

Meanwhile, American breaststroke star Kevin Cordes also finished second as he matched van der Burgh's 59.78 with one of his own to lead the first semifinal heat. Cordes is the heir apparent to Brendan Hansen, who has often been named the unnamed champion with illegal dolphin kicks happening in the 2008 and 2012 events ahead of Hansen. Cordes jumped to third in the world rankings with his swim.

Slovenia's Damir Dugonjic (59.80), Brazil's Felipe Lima (59.84), USA's Nicolas Fink (59.84), Italy's Fabio Scozzoli (59.90) and Japan's Kosuke Kitajima (59.92) picked up the rest of the championship lanes, while Russia's Kirill Strelnikov was the hard luck ninth-place finisher with a sub-1:00 59.94.

Kitajima is looking to reclaim some magic after winning in 2003 and 2007 along with a runner-up effort to Daniel Gyurta in 2011. He could become the first man to win three titles in the 100 breast if he can produce a special effort in the finale.

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