BEIJING, China, February 2. THE third night of preliminary action at the Good Luck Beijing China Open featured some decent in-season times as the international field continues to adjust to the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube) in Beijing. The women's 100 breast even witnessed a Korean national record fall.
Women's 400 free prelims
After winning the 800 freestyle title, China's You Meihong put herself in a good spot to contend for the 400 free crown with a top-seed 4:11.22. Otylia Jedrzejczak of Poland picked up the second seed with a 4:12.26, while Romania's Ionela Cozma (4:12.67) and China's Zhu Qianwei (4:13.46) touched third and fourth, respectively.
China's Li Mo (4:14.52), Germany's Annika Lurz (4:14.58), China's Yu Rui (4:15.89) and China's Zhu Wenrui (4:19.17) completed the top eight.
Men's 100 free prelims
It will be interesting to see if Sweden's Stefan Nystrand has enough in the tank to make an in-season run at Pieter van den Hoogenband's world record time of 47.84 after clocking the second-best time ever with a 47.91 at the Paris Open last summer.
Nystrand already tore up the global short course record books during the World Cup series last fall with standards in the 50 free (20.93) and 100 free (45.83). But, will Nystrand be able to make a push towards the world record over long course tomorrow morning during finals after qualifying first in 49.31.
China's Huang Shaohua qualified second in 50.01, while Sweden's Petter Stymne placed third in 50.03. Germany's Steffen Deibler picked up fourth in 50.34, while Brazil's Nicholas Dos Santos finished fifth in 50.38.
Papua New Guinea's Ryan Pini (50.69), Germany's Paul Biedermann (50.85) and Sweden's Christoffer Vikstrom (50.95) rounded out the championship finalists.
Women's 100 breast prelims
Unless today's rather large slow up in time from a 2:27.11 in prelims compared to a 2:36.32 in finals in the 200 breast is just an exception, China's Qi Hui probably won't improve upon her top-seed time of 1:08.22. However, if the bad showing in finals is just an aberration, she may take a run in the 100 breast at the Chinese national record of 1:06.64 held by Luo Xuejuan since the 2004 Athens Games.
Korea's Seul Ki Jung eclipsed her national record of 1:09.98 set at the World University Games in Bangkok last summer with a second-place time of 1:09.48 during prelims tonight, while China's Sun Ye placed third in 1:09.78.
China's Liu Xiaoyu (1:10.15), Japan's Nanaka Tamura (1:10.35), Japan's Megumi Taneda (1:10.66), Sweden's Rebecca Ejdervik (1:10.69) and Korea's Su Yeon Back (1:10.89) grabbed the rest of the championship lanes.
Men's 200 breast prelims
Japan's Ryo Tateishi posted the swiftest time of prelims with a 2:13.89, while Hungary's Laszlo Cseh (2:14.16) and Daniel Gyurta (2:15.20) stopped the clock second and third, respectively.
Japan's Yuta Suenaga (2:15.47) and Poland's Slawomir Kuczko (2:16.03) snared fourth and fifth place, while China's Xue Ruipeng (2:16.34), Korea's Su Jong Sin (2:17.04) and Kazakhstan's Yevgeniy Ryzhkov (2:17.22) comprised the rest of the top eight.