ROME, Italy, July 30. WORLD record holder Aaron Peirsol topped qualifying from the first semifinal at the men's 200 back at the FINA World Championships. He set up a head-to-head battle with Japan's Ryosuke Irie tomorrow evening.
Peirsol lowered the meet record with a top seeded time of 1:54.06. The performance cleared the 1:54.32 set by Ryan Lochte in 2007. Meanwhile, Irie finished under the former record as well with a second-seeded 1:54.14. Peirsol is looking for redemption after missing the 100 back finale due to a miscalculation.
"It's an eight day meet, so I had some time to gather myself again," Peirsol said about missing the 100 back final. "I've been able to watch my team do well, and that's inspired me. It's been a waiting game. Two days has felt like two weeks. We are having a good time."
Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin (1:54.90) and Stanislav Donets (1:55.25) finished third and fourth, while Lochte qualified fifth in 1:55.39.
Poland's Radoslaw Kawecki (1:55.62), South Africa's George Du Rand (1:55.75) and Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer (1:55.78) completed the championship field.