ROME, Italy, July 29. A suddenly healthy David Walters of the United States just missed the American record in the men's 100 free during preliminary qualifying at the FINA World Championships.
Walters, who has been battling an illness recently, dropped the hammer en route to a top qualifying time of 47.59 from heat 21. His performance just missed Michael Phelps' American record of 47.51 set as part of the amazing men's 400 free relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Sweden's Stefan Nystrand (47.66), South Africa's Lyndon Ferns (47.79), France's Alain Bernard (47.80), Canada's Brent Hayden (47.83), France's Fred Bousquet (47.89), Russia's Evgeny Lagunov (47.92) and Brazil's Cesar Cielo (47.98) cleared 48 seconds to make the top eight. Ferns lowered his national record of 47.94.
Russia's Andrey Grechin (48.13), the United States' Nathan Adrian (48.13), Croatia's Duje Draganja (48.18), Brazil's Nicolas Oliveira (48.22), Italy's Filippo Magnini (48.23), Australia's Matt Targett (48.26), Poland's Konrad Czerniak (48.32) and Canada's Joel Greenshields (48.43) made up the rest of the semifinal draw.
Draganja bettered his national mark of 48.25 after going out at world record pace with a 22.44 first 50. Czerniak also downed his national standard of 48.49 set in May.