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BARCELONA, Spain, August 2. IF this morning is any indication, the swimming world is going to see some scary fast swims in the women’s 50-meter fly the rest of the way at the FINA World Championships.
Great Britain’s Fran Halsall and Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray tied atop the leaderboard with matching 25.69s in the sprint fly event. Halsall’s time broke her British record of 25.86 from 2011, while Ottesen Gray has a Danish record of 25.29 on her resume from last year.
China’s Lu Ying raced to third overall with a 25.82 as the only other sub-26 of the morning. She’s looking to take down Zhou Yafei’s Chinese record of 25.57 from the 2009 World Championships, which also stands as the Asian record in the event.
Meanwhile, defending champion Inge Dekker cruised in prelims with a 26.15 to qualify sixth overall. She’s looking to join compatriot Inge de Bruijn as the only swimmers to ever win a pair of world titles in the sprint fly since its inception in 2001.
Australia’s Brittany Elmslie (26.03), USA’s Christine Magnuson (26.12), USA’s Dana Vollmer (26.29), The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo (26.31) and Italy’s Silvia Di Pietro (26.31) comprised the rest of the top eight swimmers out of prelims.
Belgium’s Kimberly Buys (26.35), New Zealand’s Sophia Batchelor (26.45), Egypt’s Farida Osman (26.45), Singapore’s Li Tao (26.48), Russia’s Svetlana Chimrova (26.51) and Canada’s Sandrine Mainville (26.52) are also safely through to semis.
France’s Melanie Henique and Germany’s Alexandra Wenk, however, are not as they tied for 16th with matching 26.54s to set up a swimoff, which Henique won handily, 25.94 to 26.78.