BERLIN, Germany, October 22. THE FINA World Cup series moves to the German capital today, with Olympic and world championship medalists providing the highlights of the opening short course meters prelim session.
Women's 800 freestyle
Laura Lajuen and Patricia Aschan, both of Finland, provided the top two times in the early heats of this timed-final event. Lajunen led the way with an 8:47.39, and Aschan was close behind with an 8:47.50. Lena Stiefvatter of Germany was third with an 8:49.34. Also competing in the opening race was Breanna Siwicki of Canada (8:53.29), Pauline Toutain of Switzerland (8:53.39) and Rachel Tseng of Singapore (9:21.05).
Men's 100 freestyle
Matt Abood of Australia, part of Australia's world championship-winning 400 freestyle relay, led qualifiers in the sprint event with a 47.77. Stefan Nystrand of Sweden posted the second-fastest time with a 48.00, and Tiago Venacio of Portugal was third with a 48.27. Brent Hayden of Canada (48.30), Andrii Govorov of Russia (48.47), Pieter Timmers of Belgium (48.50), Filippo Magnini of Italy (48.50) and Steffen Deibler of Germany (48.72) will line up for the final.
Women's 200 freestyle
Allison Schmitt of the United States led the qualifying round with a 1:55.11, just ahead of Germany's Daniela Schreiber's 1:55.19. Also swimming under 1:56 was Missy Franklin of the USA (1:55.81), Angie Bainbridge of Australia (1:55.83) and Silke Lippok of Germany (1:55.93). Chelsea Chenault of the United States (1:56.75), Joanne Jackson of Great Britain (1:56.87) and Pernille Blume of Denmark will also swim in the championship final.
Men's 50 breaststroke
Li Xiayan swam a 27.08 to qualify fastest through prelims. Also swimming in the championship final will be Robin Van Aggele of the Netherlands (27.11), Glenn Snyders of New Zealand (27.12), Erik Steinhagen of Germany (27.42), Stanislav Lakhtyukhov of Russia (27.42), Marco Koch of Germany (27.56), Georgios Syrianos of Greece (27.76) and Aleksander Hetland of Norway (27.77).
Women's 100 breaststroke
Denmark's Rikke Moller Pedersen posted a 1:06.18 to earn the top spot in the final. Jennie Johansson of Sweden was second in 1:06.34 and Andrea Kropp of the United States finished third with a 1:06.74. Also earning places in the final were Dorothea Brandt of Germany (1:07.26), Jenna Laukkanen of Finland (1:07.32), Sally Foster of Australia (1:07.41), Darae Jeong of Korea (1:07.51) and Lisa Fissneider of Italy (1:07.59).
Men's 400 individual medley
Chase Kalisz of the United States swam the fastest time in the early heats of this timed-final event, posting a 4:12.80. Diogo Carvalho of Portugal was right behind in 4:13.45, followed by Markus Deibler of Germany with a 4:13.93. Rounding out the top eight finishers in the opening heats were Maksym Shemberev of Ukraine (4:15.55), Chris Christensen of Denmark (4:15.71), Ward Bauwens of Belgium (4:17.82), Dominik Dur of Austria (4:18.85) and Jan David Schepers of Germany (4:19/11).
Women's 100 butterfly
Four previous medalists at the European championships in this event will race in tonight's finale, taking the top four places after prelims. Therese Alshammar of Sweden and Great Britain's Fran Halsall raced in the final heat of prelims and tied with matching times of 57.88. Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark posted the third-fastest time with a 58.23 and Otylia Jedrzejczak of Poland was fourth with a 58.62.
Maria Ugolkova of Russia qualified fifth with a 58.80. Allison Schmitt, normally known for her freestyle prowess, stepped up for the sprint butterfly and qualified sixth with a 59.33. Kimberly Buys of Belgium was seventh in 59.50 and Alexandra Wenk of Germany was eighth with a 59.52.
Men's 100 backstroke
Aschwin Wildeboer of Spain, the former world record holder in the short course and long course versions of this event, was the top qualifier with a time of 51.70. Ryan Bennett of Great Britain was second in 52.80 and the third qualifier was Stefan Herbst of Germany with a 52.87. Gerhard Zandberg of South Africa (53.11), Jacob Pebley of the United States (53.11), Radoslaw Kawecki of Poland (53.12), Cheng Feiyi of China (53.19) and Jan-Philip Glania of Germany (53.30) rounded out the championship field.
Women's 50 backstroke
Elizabeth Simmonds of Great Britain led a talented field of backstrokers into the final with a top time of 27.00. Rachel Goh of Australia (27.13), Belinda Hocking of Australia (27.28), Daryna Zevina of Ukraine (27.34), Anastasia Zueva of Russia (28.11), Katarina Milly of Slovakia (28.17), Jenny Mensing of Germany (28.28) and Hanna-Maria Seppala of Finland (28.32) will compete in the final.
Men's 200 butterfly
Tonight's 200 fly final could provide the tiebreak for wins in this event on the World Cup circuit between Hidemasa Sano of Japan and Chad Le Clos of South Africa. Both have won this event twice, with Sano winning the last two matchups. Sano led qualifying with a 1:53.09, with Le Clos second in 1:55.13. Pawel Korzeniowski of Poland, a former world champion in the event, qualified third in 1:55.29 and will look to break the hold Sano and Le Clos have at the top of the podium. Also competing in the final will be Egon van der Straeten of Belgium (1:55.85), Tim Wallburger of Germany (1:56.10), Michael Rock of Great Britain (1:56.29), Tom Siara of Germany (1:56. 72) and Vladimir Stjepanovic of Serbia (1:56.80).
Women's 200 individual medley
Hye Ra Choi of Korea swam the top qualifying time of 2:10.98 in the prelims, followed by Izumi Kato of Japan (2:11.09) and Sophie Allen of Great Britain (2:11.46). The remainder of the lanes in the championship final will be filled by Erica Morningstar of Canada (2:11.54), Theresa Michalak of Germany (2:12.21), Fanny Lecluyse of Belgium (2:12.89), Seo Yeong Kim of Korea (2:13.36) and Aimee Willmott of Great Britain (2:13.40).
Men's 400 freestyle
Paul Biedermann and Christian Kubusch will give the German crowd plenty to cheer for as they line up for the final as the top two qualifiers. Biedermann, the world record holder, posted a 3:44.85, with Kubusch second in 3:46.20. Ross Davenport of Great Britain was third-fastest in 3:46.86. Also set to compete in the final will be Stefan Sorak of Serbia (3:47.14), Fran Johannessen of Denmark (3:47.24), Sergii Frolov of Ukraine (3:47.48), David Brandl of Austria (3:47.88) and Yuya Horihata of Japan (3:47.91).
Women's 50 freestyle
Fran Halsall posted the fastest qualifying time of 24.26 in the splash-and-dash preliminaries. Britta Steffen of Germany, the long-course world record holder, was second in 24.29. Therese Alshammar, the reigning long course world champion, qualified third in 24.30. Rounding out the roster for the championship final will be Daniela Schreiber of Germany 24.47, Angie Bainbridge of Australia (24.71), Jeannette Ottesen of Denmark (24.72), Dorothea Brandt of Germany (24.74) and Hanna-Maria Seppala of Finland (24.87).
Men's 200 breaststroke
Germany's Marco Koch was fastest in the preliminaries, swimming a 2:07.28. Second place in prelims went to Kazuki Otsuka of Japan with a 2:08.12 and third went to Mike Brown of Canada with a 2:09.15. Paul Kornfeld of Canada (2:10.22), Naoya Tomita of Japan (2:10.30), Kyuwoong Choi of Korea (2:10.65), Glenn Snyders of New Zealand (2:11.12) an Tomas Klobucnik of Slovakia (2:11.17) will complete the championship final field.
Men's 100 individual medley
Michael Phelps stepped up for his first race of the meet, qualifying first in 52.87. Great Britain's James Goddard and Liam Tancock will flank Phelps in the final, posting times of 53.05 and 53.26, respectively. Also set to compete in the final are Sergei Fesikov of Russia (53.26), Kenneth To of Australia (53.42), Dmitry Zhlin of Russia (53.95), Markus Deibler of Germany (53.98) and Yuma Kosaka of Japan (54.33).
Women's 200 backstroke
In a rare accomplishment, Missy Franklin posted a 2:03.61 in today's preliminaries, the exact time she posted in prelims earlier this week in Moscow. As a reminder, the time is not far off her American record of 2:02.01 she set last December at the short course world championships. Daryna Zevina of Russia qualified second in 2:04.79, while Australia's Belinda Hocking, the runner-up to Franklin at the long course worlds, qualified third with a 2:05.60. Rounding out the championship final field will be Jenny Mensing of Germany (2:06.51), Elizabeth Simmonds of Great Britain (2:07.80), Anastasia Zueva of Russia (2:08.69), Kimberly Buys of Belgium (2:08.86) and Brooklynn Snodgrass of Canada (2:09.31).
Men's 50 butterfly
Andrii Govorov of Russia will lead a talented field of sprinters into tonight's final, posting a top time of 23.16. The finalists will include Olympic medalist Geoff Huegill of Australia (23.21), Belgium's Francois Heersbrandt (23.27), world record holder Steffen Deibler (23.32), 100 fly world record holder Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia (23.39), world championship medalist Tyler McGill of the United States (23.53), Great Britain's Antony James (23.54) and Olympic medalist Milorad Cavic of Serbia (23.61).