BERLIN, Germany, November 14. THE first day of prelims at the FINA World Cup stop hosted in Berlin produced a world record in the men's 100 IM courtesy of Russia's Sergey Fesikov.
Women's 800 free slower seeds
Germany's Jaana Ehmcke posted the fastest time of the morning with an 8:27.66, while a pair of Americans clocked the second and third-fastest times by way of Samantha Shellem (8:29.14) and Maya DiRado (8:34.26).
Men's 100 free
It took a sub-47 time just to make finals with Sweden's Stefan Nystrand leading the way with a 46.10. Canada's Brent Hayden placed second in 46.13, while Germany's Steffen Deibler gave the home crowd something to cheer for with a national-record time of 46.23. That effort cleared his standard of 46.65 set at the Durban stop this year.
Australia's Matthew Abood finished fourth in 46.49, while Russia's Evgeny Lagunov touched fifth in 46.53. Brazil's Nicolas Oliveira (46.58), Russia's Andrey Grechin (46.67) and South Africa's Lyndon Ferns (46.76) completed the championship heat.
Women's 200 free
The top eight women in the 200 free all cleared 1:57 to make the finale. Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom paced the pack with a 1:55.59, while Japan's Haruka Ueda touched second in 1:55.96. Australia's Merinda Dingjan (1:56.16) and Canada's Jennifer Beckberger (1:56.20) qualified third and fourth.
Russia's Daria Belyakina (1:56.26), Germany's Silke Lippok (1:56.45), Brazil's Tatiana Lemos-Barbosa (1:56.47) and Canada's Alexandra Gabor (1:56.81) also made the championship finale.
Men's 50 breast
The South Africans went 1-2-6 in the sprint breast prelims with Cameron van der Burgh (25.63) and Roland Schoeman (25.95) both eclipsing 26 seconds. Compatriot Neil Versfeld qualified sixth in 26.58.
Brazil's Felipe Silva touched third in 26.31 with Kazakhstan's Vlad Polyakov qualifying fourth in 26.53. Italy's Fabio Scozzoli (26.58), Alessandro Terrin (26.76) and Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr (26.78) also earned final spots.
Women's 100 breast
After missing the 100 breast finale during the Stockholm stop, Jessica Hardy did not plan on having a repeat today. Compared to her 1:07 from Stockholm, Hardy put together a swift 1:40.38 to qualify first overall. Australia's Leisel Jones wasn't far behind with a second-seeded effort of 1:04.53. Japan's Nanaka Tamura joined them under 1:05 with a third-place 1:04.99 to break Asami Kitagawa's national mark of 1:05.17 set in February 2009.
The Netherlands' Moniek Nijhuis lowered her national record with a 1:05.13 for fourth. That time wiped out her 1:06.63 set last year. Meanwhile, Germany had a block of swimmers take fifth through seventh; Kerstin Vogel (1:05.46), Sarah Poewe (1:05.54) and Carolina Ruhnau (1:05.55). All three beat Poewe's national mark of 1:06.02 set back in 2004. China's Sun Ye snatched the final transfer spot into finals with a 1:05.76.
Men's 400 IM slower seeds
Spain's Alan Cabello led the way during the slower seeded heats with a 4:08.25, while Venezuela's Leopoldo Andara placed second in 4:14.50. Germany's Markus Deibler finished third in the morning heats with a 4:16.50.
Women's 100 fly
Australia's Felicity Galvez topped the preliminary heats with a time of 56.31, while Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen qualified second in 56.87. Japan's Yuka Kato clocked a third-place 56.88 to lower her national standard of 56.91 set a week ago.
The Netherlands' Inge Dekker touched fourth in 56.90, while Great Britain's Fran Halsall claimed fifth in 56.95. France's Diane Bui Duyet (56.96), China's Liu Zige (57.06) and Norway's Ingvild Snildal (57.35) comprised the rest of the top eight.
Men's 100 back
The finale of the 100 back could feature some incredibly fast swimming with the lineup assembled. Peter Marshall of the U.S. qualified first in 50.33, while Japan's Junya Koga claimed second in 50.40 to down the Japanese record of 51.08 set by Syohei Uchida in February of this year.
Australia's Ashley Delaney placed third in 50.46, while Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin (50.64) and Stanislav Donets (50.73) qualified fourth and fifth. Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer (50.79), France's Ben Stasiulis (50.89) and Russia's Artem Dobovskoy (51.33) also made finals.
Women's 50 back
The women's sprint back championship heat will definitely have an Asian feel to it as China's Xu Tianlongzi (26.75), Zhao Jing (26.78) and Gao Chang (27.09) qualified second, third and seventh, while Japan's Shiho Sakai (26.82) touched fourth.
Germany's Daniela Samulski led the way with a 26.45, while Brazil's Fabiola Molina (27.02), Ukraine's Daryna Zevina (27.07) and Australia's Marieke Guehrer (27.10) grabbed the rest of the finale spots.
Notably, Rachel Bootsma of the U.S. put on a strong performance with a 10th-place 27.20, not far off Natalie Coughlin's American record of 27.08.
Men's 200 fly
Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov picked up the top seed with a 1:52.44, while Japan's Takeshi Matsuda finished second in 1:52.64. Brazil's Frederico Castro posted a third-place time of 1:52.91, while Australia's Nick D'Arcy took fourth in 1:52.99.
South Africa's Chad Le Clos (1:53.16), Portugal's Diogo Carvalho (1:53.70) and The Netherlands' Joeri Verlinden (1:53.74) qualified fifth through seventh. Le Clos lowered his national record of 1:54.13 set in Stockholm, while Carvalho downed his mark of 1:54.13 set last year. Meanwhile, Michael Phelps nearly missed out of the finale with an eighth-place time of 1:53.82.
Women's 200 IM
The U.S. had a strong showing in the medley event with three of the top eight spots going to the Red, White and Blue. Missy Franklin (2:09.14), Whitney Myers (2:09.43) and Julie Stupp (2:10.01) qualified third, fourth and sixth overall.
China's Li Jiaxing earned the top seed with a 2:08.76, while Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds (2:08.91) finished second. Russia's Darya Belyakina (2:09.46), Sweden's Stina Gardell (2:10.46) and South Africa's Mandy Loots (2:10.54) each earned lanes in the finale as well.
Men's 400 free
Germany's Paul Biedermann led the middle distance qualifying with a time of 3:38.84, while Australia's Robert Hurley touched second in 3:39.18. Italy's Federico Colbertaldo (3:39.49) and Germany's Christian Kubusch (3:39.57) qualified third and fourth.
Denmark's Mads Glaesner (3:39.80), Switzerland's Dominik Meichtry (3:40.59) and Tunisia's Ous Mellouli (3:41.31) and Ahmed Mathlouthi (3:41.68) completed the top eight.
Women's 50 free
Sweden's Therese Alshammar paced the splash-and-dash with a 23.64, while The Netherlands went 2-3 with Hinkelien Schreuder (23.71) and Inge Dekker (23.83) finishing second and third.
Lara Jackson (23.85) and Jessica Hardy (24.12) placed fourth and fifth for the U.S., while Australia's Sally Foster (24.21) and Marieke Guehrer (24.26) touched sixth and seventh. Great Britain's Fran Halsall completed the top eight in 24.31.
Men's 200 breast
South Africa's Neil Versfeld cruised in prelims for the top seed with a 2:02.56. That time cleared his national record of 2:02.67 set in Stockholm.
Spain's Melquiades Alvarez touched second in 2:05.35, while Brazil's Henrique Barbosa (2:05.76) and Tales Cerdeira (2:05.97) placed third and fourth.
Kazakhstan's Vlad Polyakov (2:06.03), Russia's Grigory Falko (2:06.09), Japan's Yuta Suenaga (2:06.19) and Great Britain's Kristopher Gilchrist (2:06.21) comprised the rest of the championship field.
Men's 100 IM
Russia's Sergey Fesikov clipped the world record in the sprint medley during prelims with a time of 50.95 out of heat five. That time wiped out Ryan Lochte's global mark of 51.15 set in 2008. Fesikov had been tracking down the world record lately, with as fast of as time as a 51.45 during the Moscow stop of the World Cup.
Here are the comparative splits:
Fesikov: 22.78, 50.95 (28.17)
Lochte: 23.77, 51.15 (27.38)
Meanwhile, South Africa's Gerhard Zandberg (51.79) and Darian Townsend (52.54) qualified second and third, while Lithuania's Vytautas Janusaitis (52.76) and Croatia's Dominik Straga (52.81) took fourth and fifth.
The Netherlands' Robin Van Aggele (52.97), Germany's Markus Deibler (52.98) and Slovenia's Peter Mankoc (53.05) also gained the chance to gun for the sprint medley title tonight.
Women's 200 back
Japan's Shiho Sakai claimed the top seed in the event with a 2:02.16, while Ukraine's Daryna Zevina touched second in 2:03.90. Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds (2:05.31) and Japan's Aya Terakawa (2:05.32) qualified third and fourth.
Meanwhile, Australia's Belinda Hocking (2:05.49), Missy Franklin of the U.S. (2:06.08), South Africa's Mandy Loots (2:06.61) and Whitney Myers of the U.S. (2:06.68) also picked up spots in the finale.
Men's 50 fly
Germany's Steffen Deibler threatened his world record of 22.06 with a 22.12 during prelims. South Africa's Roland Schoeman joined him in the 22-low range with a 22.18 for second place.
Brazil's Nicholas Santos (22.42) and Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin (22.61) made up the top four, while Australia's Geoff Huegill (22.63), France's Fred Bousquet (22.64), Germany's Johannes Dietrich (22.68) and Croatia's Alex Puninski (22.70) will also vie for the title this evening.