ROME, Italy, July 29. THE men's 200 IM preliminary round featured all 16 semifinal qualifiers breaking 2:00, while Hungary's Laszlo Cseh shook off an illness en route to a European record at the FINA World Championships.
Cseh hit the wall in 1:56.34 to lower his continental standard of 1:56.52 set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Eric Shanteau used a monster breaststroke leg of 32.28 to grab the second seed in semis with a 1:57.65, while Australia's Leith Brodie placed third in 1:57.66. Brodie crushed Ian Thorpe's national mark of 1:59.66 set in 2003. Brazil's Thiago Pereira matched Brodie's time to dip under his Brazilian record of 1:57.79 set in 2007.
The United States' Ryan Lochte (1:57.94), Great Britain's James Goddard (1:58.40), Hungary's Gergo Kis (1:58.48) and Israel's Gal Nevo (1:58.55) finished fifth through eighth. Nevo beat his national standard of 1:59.66 set in Beijing.
Japan's Ken Takukawa (1:58.60), Italy's Alessio Boggiatto (1:58.81), Germany's Yannick Lebherz (1:58.94), South Africa's Darian Townsend (1:58.96), Brazil's Henrique Barbosa (1:59.21), Japan's Takuro Fujii (1:59.26), Great Britain's Joseph Roebuck (1:59.65) and Estonia's Martin Liivamagi (1:59.95) also made the semifinal.
Lebherz broke the 2:00 barrier for the first time, lowering his national record of 2:00.09 set in March. Liivamagi smashed his national mark of 2:01.37 set in 2007.