FINA World Championships editorial coverage is proudly sponsored by SpeedoUSA. For all the latest coverage, check out our event coverage page.
BARCELONA, Spain, July 31. THE Australian Missile James Magnussen made a huge statement this morning with a sub-48 second time to lead all swimmers in the men’s 100-meter free prelims at the FINA World Championships.
Magnussen, the defending champion, raced out to a 23.02 at the 50 before coming home in 24.69 o clock a sizzling 47.71 this morning. That was nearly a second faster than anyone else out of prelims. Magnussen is swimming with a chip on his shoulder this year after losing to Nathan Adrian in the 100-meter freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics last summer even though he entered the heavy favorite. There was even talk that his own teammates cheered on his loss due to Magnussen’s cockiness heading into London. This year, he’s been swimming like a man possessed as he already has a world-leading 47.53 from Australian Nationals.
Poland’s Konrad Czerniak qualified second in 48.50, while Russia’s Nikita Lobintsev turned in a third-place 48.51 as the rest of the qualifiers seemed to have cruised a bit this morning. Japan’s Shinri Shioura poppe a fourth-seeded time of 48.52 to win his heat, nearly breaking the Japanese record of 48.49 set by Takuro Fujii at the 2009 East Asian Games.
Cuba’s Hanser Garcia Henandez (48.54), Australia’s Cameron McEvoy (48.59), Russia’s Vlad Morozov (48.67) and Belgium’s Pieter Timmers (48.76) made up the rest of the top eight qualifiers heading into semis.
USA’s Jimmy Feigen (48.86) and Nathan Adrian (48.93) qualified ninth and 12th, respectively, with Adrian’s time being a bit of a surprise as he took his swim pretty easy and it nearly cost him. The reigning Olympic champion will need to put on a bit more steam during the semifinal heats to set up a heavyweight matchup with Magnussen in the finale.
The Netherlands’ Sebastiaan Verschuren (48.88), Italy’s Luca Dotto (48.88), Italy’s Filippo Magnini (49.02), France’s Fabien Gilot (49.07). Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini (49.08) and Great Britain’s Adam Brown (49.39) snared the other transfer spots into the semifinal heats.