ROME, Italy, July 28. PRELIMS of the men's 800 free set up a potentially epic finale tomorrow night at the FINA World Championships.
Tunisia's Ous Mellouli qualified first in 7:41.82, just a few seconds off Grant Hackett's world record of 7:38.65. His performance crushed his African record of 7:51.03.
Canada's Ryan Cochrane qualified second with a 7:43.61, which cut nearly four seconds from his national record of 7:47.11 from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Italy's Federico Colbertaldo finished third in 7:44.29. That readout smashed the Italian record of 7:48.13 previously held by Samuel Pizzetti.
Great Britain's David Davies checked in with a fourth-place 7:45.89 to best his national mark of 7:50.49 set in June. Russia's Yuriy Prilukov claimed the fifth seed with a 7:46.05, clearing his national record of 7:46.64 set in 2005.
China's Zhang Lin (7:48.75), Spain's Marco Rivera (7:49.09) and the United States' Peter Vanderkaay (7:49.71) completed the rest of the championship field. Rivera wiped out his national standard of 7:52.55 set in April.