FINA World Championships, Swimming: Jeremy Stravius Cracks 53 Seconds To Lead 100 Back Semis

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SHANGHAI, China, July 25. NEARLY an entire regime change will occur in the men's 100 back finale after the results came rolling in from the semifinals at the FINA World Long Course Championships.

France's Jeremy Stravius was the only swimmer to crack 53 seconds with a leading time of 52.76. The big storyline, however, is that only one 2009 podium placer even made it to the finale. Match that with Aaron Peirsol's retirement, and the men's 100 back is a wide open chasm of opportunity.

Defending champion Junya Koga of Japan took 14th with a 54.16, while defending bronze medalist Aschwin Wildeboer of Spain took 12th in 54.03 as both missed the final eight. Germany's Helge Meeuw, the defending silver medalist, is still in play after qualifying fifth with a 53.34.

Meanwhile, Japan's Ryosuke Irie earned the second seed in 53.05, while textile best Camille Lacourt of France cruised into the third seed with a 53.09. Lacourt owns the best time in a textile with a 52.11 from last year.

USA's David Plummer (53.30), USA's Nick Thoman (53.49), Great Britain's Liam Tancock (53.60) and New Zealand's Gareth Kean (53.69) also made the championship finale.

"This is my best swim this year," Plummer said. "I need to go faster for tomorrow's final. I need to set myself for the first 50 meters. I need to be next to the guy that's going to be fast."

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