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SHANGHAI, China, July 29. LAST night featured the first long course world record in the post techsuit era with Ryan Lochte's epic swim in the men's 200 IM at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Meanwhile, several transcendent swims occurred with James Magnussen and Missy Franklin breaking out in a big way in freestyle action.
Will day six have another groundbreaking swim on offer?
Men's 50 free
World record: Cesar Cielo, BRA, 20.91
Textile best: Fred Bousquet, FRA, 21.36sf
It took a 22-low to make the semifinal of the men's 50 free to start the morning session off. Brazil's Cesar Cielo, the defending world champion in the splash-and-dash, tied with USA's Nathan Adrian and Trinidad's George Bovell for the top seeds with matching 22.03s. Cielo, who missed defending his world title in the men's 100 free, will be looking for some redemption just a week after being cleared to compete at the FINA World Championships with a warning after a positive doping test for furosemide.
"The swim wasn't much of a disappointment, and I feel I couldn't have done better," Cielo said. "I've done well with a lot of inspiration and concentration. I'm looking forward to some top speed tonight."
Great Britain's Adam Brown (22.08), Hungary's Krisztian Takacs (22.15), Sweden's Stefan Nystrand (22.15), Russia's Sergey Fesikov (22.16) and Italy's Marco Orsi (22.16) picked up the rest of the top eight spots.
Australia's Matthew Abood (22.17), France's Alain Bernard (22.19), South Africa's Gideon Louw (22.21), Italy's Luca Dotto (22.25), Brazil's Bruno Fratus (22.26), Australia's Matt Targett (22.31), South Africa's Roland Schoeman (22.32) and Russia's Andrey Grechin (22.33) also made the semifinals.
"It's a little bit different from what I pictured," Abood said. "I'm just doing the best I can, and focusing on the finish and start."
Some top swimmers surprisingly missed semis. Defending silver medalist Fred Bousquet finished 21st with a 22.38, while Canada's Brent Hayden tied for 17th with a 22.34. USA's Cullen Jones also missed transferring with a 20th-place 22.37.
Women's 50 fly
World record: Therese Alshammar, SWE, 25.07sf
Textile best: Therese Alshammar, SWE, 25.37
In one of the few events that might be as much of a shoo-in as Rebecca Soni in the breaststrokes, Sweden's Therese Alshammar cruised in prelims with a 25.68 for the top seed. She will be gunning for her world record of 25.07 this week, as well as her textile best of 25.37.
Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen might be one of the few that can catch her with a second-seeded 25.88, while USA's Dana Vollmer placed third in 25.98.
China's Lu Ying (26.16), Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom (26.17), USA's Christine Magnuson (26.20), The Netherlands' Inge Dekker (26.32), France's Melanie Henique (26.37) and Japan's Yuka Kato (26.37) qualified fourth through eighth.
"I have no pressure on me here, because it is my first major international competition," Lu said. "I am treating the world championships as a learning experience. Of course, everyone wants to medal though."
Estonia' Triin Aljand (26.43), Singapore's Li Tao (26.43), The Netherlands' Marleen Veldhuis (26.50), Australia's Marieke Guehrer (26.59), Brazil's Daynara De Paula (26.60), South Africa's Vanessa Mohr (26.69) and Israel's Amit Ivry (26.83) also grabbed transfer spots.
Men's 100 fly
World record: Michael Phelps, USA, 49.82
Textile best: Ian Crocker, USA, 50.40
USA's Tyler McGill captured the top time in the preliminary heats with a 51.76, and will be looking for his first individual world medal. He has a gold medal as a prelim swimmer on the gold-medal winning U.S. relay in the men's 400 medley relay from 2009, but is looking for that breakthrough swim individually.
Japan's Takuro Fujii qualified second in 51.82, while the timeless Geoff Huegill of Australia picked up third in 51.83. Kenya's Jason Dunford snatched fourth in 51.87, while Michael Phelps put together an effortless fifth-seeded time of 51.95 for the U.S.
"I'm fine with my time today," Phelps said. "I'm looking forward to semifinals tonight."
Poland's Konrad Czerniak (52.10), Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin (52.18) and Germany's Ben Starke (52.26) qualified sixth through eighth.
The Netherlands' Joeri Verlinden (52.27), Australia's Sam Ashby (52.27), Hungary's Laszlo Cseh (52.40), Slovenia's Peter Mankoc (52.46), South Africa's Chad Le Clos (52.54), Germany's Steffen Deibler (52.54), Sweden's Lars Frolander (52.56) and Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski (52.57) also earned the right to keep competing for the world title with spots in the semifinal rounds.
Serbia's Milorad Cavic fell out of contention with an 18th-place time of 52.67 after taking silver in 2009 to Phelps.
Women's 200 back
World record: Kirsty Coventry, ZIM, 2:04.81
Textile best: Zhao Jing, CHN, 2:06.46
Fresh off an epic 200 free leadoff for the U.S. textile best effort in the women's 800 free relay, USA's Missy Franklin put herself into medal contention in the distance dorsal with a top-seeded time of 2:07.71. Ukraine's Daryna Zevina (2:08.35) and USA's Elizabeth Beisel (2:08.40) were the two closest finishers to Franklin. Beisel, the bronze winner in 2009, should be able to improve her lot through semis.
Australia's Belinda Hocking and Meagen Nay tied for the fourth seed with matching 2:08.50s, while Canada's Sinead Russell continued her breakout meet with a sixth-seeded 2:08.92. Defending champ Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe cruised in with a seventh-place 2:09.03, while Japan's Shiho Sakai took eighth in 2:09.25.
The Netherlands' Sharon Van Rouwendaal (2:09.65), Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds (2:10.02), France's Alexianne Castel (2:10.38), China's Zhao Jing (2:10.40), Spain's Duane Da Rocha (2:10.41), New Zealand's Melissa Ingram (2:10.59), Great Britain's Stephanie Proud (2:10.65) and Canada's Genevieve Cantin (2:11.09) grabbed the rest of the semifinal spots.
Russia's Anastasia Zueva, fresh off winning the 50 back world title last night, finished a surprising 17th out of semis with a 2:11.23. Zueva had been the defending silver medalist in the event.
Men's 800 free relay
World record: USA, 6:58.55
Textile best: USA, 7:03.24
The United States looks in good shape to win its fourth consecutive world title in the distance freestyle event after clocking a 7:08.84 to lead qualifying. Dave Walters, Conor Dwyer, Ricky Berens and Peter Vanderkaay put together the time, finished more than a second ahead of second seeded Japan.
Japan's Takeshi Matsuda, Yoshihiro Okumura, Sho Uchida and Shogo Hihara finished second in 7:10.46, while France's Jeremy Stravius, Gregory Mallet, Sebastien Rouault and Yannick Agnel qualified third in 7:11.60.
Australia (7:11.80), Italy (7:12.18), China (7:12.19), Great Britain (7:13.15) and Germany (7:13.31) also made the championship finale tonight. Russia, the defending silver medalist squad, surprisingly fell to 11th with a 7:14.12 in an morning that has witnessed plenty of medal winners from 2009 not even make it out of prelims.
Women's 800 free
World record: Rebecca Adlington, GBR, 8:14.10
Textile best: Janet Evans, USA, 8:16.22
Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington, the world record holder in the event, put together a strong preliminary swim with an 8:22.27 to make a move for her first world title. Denmark's Lotte Friis, who has already won the 1500 free earlier in the meet, took second in qualifying with an 8:23.07.
USA's Chloe Sutton, who had been snakebit earlier in the meet with a pair of ninth-place finishes in the 400 and 1500 freestyle events, finally made her way into a finale with a third-seeded time of 8:27.72. After winning the 400 free at the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships, this meet had been disappointing for the Mission Viejo Nadadore. Sutton, however, now has a chance to earn her first world championship medal in the finale.
USA's Kate Ziegler gave the Americans two swimmers in the championship finale with a fourth-seeded 8:28.28, while Australia's Katie Goldman took fifth in 8:28.35.
Hungary's Boglarka Kapas (8:28.40), New Zealand's Lauren Boyle (8:28.50) and South Africa's Wendy Trott (8:28.75) also made the championship eight.