ROME, Italy, July 27. WORLD record holder Aaron Peirsol played the semifinal round too cool, and missed out on the championship final by .10 seconds in the men's 100 back at the FINA World Championships.
Peirsol checked in with a ninth-place 53.22 to miss a chance to defend his world record and title.
"I thought I was in a better place than I was, obviously," Peirsol said. "That is a big surprise for me and a bit of a disappointment. I'll be watching from the stands too. At least we got one American with Matt Grevers in there. I just completely misjudged where I was. It is what it is."
Japan's Junya Koga set a meet record with a 52.39 to lead semis, and break Aschwin Wildeboer's mark of 52.93 set in prelims. Germany's Helge Meeuw (52.49) and Japan's Ryosuke Irie (52.73) completed the top three, all from the first semifinal.
Wildeboer (52.76), Grevers (52.82), Greece's Aristeidis Grigoriadis (53.03), Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin (53.11) and Great Britain's Liam Tancock (53.12) snagged the rest of the transfer spots.