FINA World Championships editorial coverage is proudly sponsored by SpeedoUSA. For all the latest coverage, check out our event coverage page.
BARCELONA, Spain, August 3. AUSTRALIA’s Cate Campbell is looking to become the fifth woman to ever sweep the sprint freestyle events after leading qualifying this morning in the women’s 50-meter freestyle event.
Campbell matched her seed time of 24.27 to lead all swimmers this morning by a large margin, and could give Ranomi Kromowidjojo’s textile best of 24.05 a run during semis this evening. Along with her 100-meter freestyle victory from earlier in the week, Campbell could join just four other women to have pulled off the sprint free sweep. China’s Le Jingyi (1994), The Netherlands’ Inge de Bruijn (2001), Australia’s Libby Trickett (2007) and Germany’s Britta Steffen (2009) are the only other swimmers to have accomplished the feat.
Great Britain’s Fran Halsall qualified second in 24.60, while Campbell’s sister Bronte took third overall with a 24.65 as the Aussies have a powerful 1-2 punch with the Campbell sisters.
The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who took runner-up status in 2011, qualified fourth in 24.68, while Germany’s Dorothea Brandt surged to fifth in 24.78 after world-record holder Britta Steffen turned down her offer to take her place this week. Canada’s Chantal Van Landeghem finished sixth in 24.89.
USA’s Simone Manuel gave herself a belated birthday present as the now 17-year-old swimmer blazed to a seventh-place 24.93 in prelims just a day after turning 17. Since rules state that she will be considered 16 this entire meet, that broke Manuel’s 15-16 U.S. National Age Group record of 25.01. She’s also faster than the 17-18 mark owned by Kara Lynn Joyce with a 25.00 from 2004, and is the only 18-and-under ever to break 25 seconds. It’s only a matter of time before she takes down Joyce’s mark in the next two years.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom (24.99) and USA’s Natalie Coughlin (25.00) finished just behind the youngster in eight and ninth-place, respectively.
Canada’s Victoria Poon (25.01), Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk (25.01), Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray (25.04), Bahamas’ Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (25.15), The Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk (25.19), Finland’s Hanna-Maria Seppala (25.20) and Denmark’s Pernille Blume (25.23) also made the way into the semifinal heats.