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BARCELONA, Spain, August 4. USA’s Chase Kalisz was lauded as The Future for Team USA in the 400 IM last summer after just missing the Olympic squad behind the likes of Michael Phelps, and this morning he began to realize some of that potential by leading prelims of the distance medley at the FINA World Championships.
Kalisz nearly picked off his lifetime best in the morning with a sizzling 4:11.87. That swim just missed his best time of 4:11.83 set at U.S. Nationals earlier this summer that stands seventh in the world this year. He’s looking to keep the world title in the hands of the Americans as the U.S. has won it the previous three straight meets with Phelps winning in 2007 and Ryan Lochte going back-to-back in 2009 and 2011.
Japan’s Daiya Seto, currently ranked third in the world with a 4:10.90 from the Japan Open, checked into the second seed with a time of 4:12.96, while USA’s Tyler Clary eased through prelims with a 4:13.55.
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, the world-leader with a sizzling 4:07.61 from Japanese Nationals, made sure he had a chance at the world title by posting a fourth-place 4:13.80. Hagino is the favorite to deliver Japan its first world title in the distance medley as he’s been consistently putting up strong 400 IMs.
Hungary’s David Verrastzo placed sixth overall in 4:14.15, while Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes pocketed seventh in 4:14.52. Fraser-Holmes is the second-ranked swimmer in the world this year with a 4:10.14 from Australian Nationals.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s Thiago Pereira snared the final spot in the finale with an eighth-place time of 4:15.81. This after he was rumored within the blogging community that he would miss the event this time around.