FINA World Championship Podium Predictions: Women’s Edition

Column by John Lohn, Swimming World senior writer

BASKING RIDGE, New Jersey, July 4. WITH less than three weeks separating us from the start of the World Championships in Shanghai, we begin our predictions for the competition with a look at the women's events. In two weeks, we'll provide picks for the men's events. We look forward to hearing your thoughts as well.

50 Freestyle
Gold: Ranomi Kromowidjojo
Silver: Britta Steffen
Bronze: Therese Alshammar
**The way the Dutchwoman has been performing this year prevented my selection of the reigning Olympic titlist.

100 Freestyle
Gold: Femke Heemskerk
Silver: Britta Steffen
Bronze: Fran Halsall
**Yep, another Dutch pick in a sprint-freestyle event, with Britta Steffen earning her second silver medal.

200 Freestyle
Gold: Federica Pellegrini
Silver: Kylie Palmer
Bronze: Allison Schmitt
**The way Palmer looks heading into Shanghai, she made me pause for a second before going with the incumbent.

400 Freestyle
Gold: Rebecca Adlington
Silver: Federica Pellegrini
Bronze: Camille Muffat
**This event should provide one of the finest duels of the women's competition. Expect Chloe Sutton to make a push for a podium position.

800 Freestyle
Gold: Rebecca Adlington
Silver: Chloe Sutton
Bronze: Kate Ziegler
**The pick of Ziegler sneaking in for the bronze medal is a hunch that she'll ratchet it up for her first World Champs since 2007.

1500 Freestyle
Gold: Chloe Sutton
Silver: Lotte Friis
Bronze: Kate Ziegler
**The longer the race, the better for Sutton. Not only is she an extreme talent, she's one of the more likable people in the sport. Everything about Sutton oozes a feel-good sense.

50 Backstroke
Gold: Aya Terakawa
Silver: Anastasia Zueva
Bronze: Gao Chang
**Not going to lie. I'm not a fan at all of the 50-meter stroke events. My preference sits with the Olympic program.

100 Backstroke
Gold: Aya Terakawa
Silver: Natalie Coughlin
Bronze: Anastasia Zueva
**Terakawa put down the world's top time of the year in April, but Coughlin has the experience and it wouldn't be a surprise if the two-time Olympic champ ruled.

200 Backstroke
Gold: Kirsty Coventry
Silver: Elizabeth Beisel
Bronze: Belinda Hocking
**Coventry hasn't done much this year, but history suggests she'll rise up.

50 Breaststroke
Gold: Rebecca Soni
Silver: Yulia Efimova
Bronze: Leisel Jones
**This event will be the toughest for Soni in her pursuit of a breaststroke sweep.

100 Breaststroke
Gold: Rebecca Soni
Silver: Leisel Jones
Bronze: Yulia Efimova
**Looking for Soni to go 1:04 and reaffirm her standing over Jones.

200 Breaststroke
Gold: Rebecca Soni
Silver: Yulia Efimova
Bronze: Amanda Beard
**There was a real urge to pick Amanda Beard for the bronze-medal slot, so I went with it.

50 Butterfly
Gold: Therese Alshammar
Silver: Sarah Sjostrom
Bronze: Marieke Guehrer
**The veteran Alshammar has long been the class of this event.

100 Butterfly
Gold: Sarah Sjostrom
Silver: Dana Vollmer
Bronze: Alicia Coutts
**With her home country behind her, Liu Zige is a strong pick for medal in her weaker butterfly event.

200 Butterfly
Gold: Liu Zige
Silver: Jiao Liuyang
Bronze: Kathleen Hersey
**Another hunch pick with Hersey in the bronze position.

200 Individual Medley
Gold: Ariana Kukors
Silver: Stephanie Rice
Bronze: Ye Shiwen
**Alicia Coutts would have been a medal pick, but her 100 fly final earlier in the night will take some out of the Australian.

400 Individual Medley
Gold: Stephanie Rice
Silver: Elizabeth Beisel
Bronze: Li Xuanxu
**Had a real tough time picking what is a jammed-up event.

400 Freestyle Relay
Gold: Netherlands
Silver: United States
Bronze: Australia
**This was a fairly easy selection given the way the Dutch have looked this year.

800 Freestyle Relay
Gold: Australia
Silver: United States
Bronze: China
**The Aussies made themselves the favorites with that impressive demonstration of power and depth at their World Champs Trials.

400 Medley Relay
Gold: United States
Silver: China
Bronze: Australia
**Not a good feeling for this event. It could go a lot of different ways.

Follow me on Twitter: @johnlohn

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