FINA World Championships editorial coverage is proudly sponsored by SpeedoUSA. For all the latest coverage, check out our event coverage page.
BARCELONA, Spain, August 2. WITH a new focus on non-freestyle events, Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray could pick up her second career world title if semis of the women’s 50-meter fly are any indication at the FINA World Championships.
Ottesen Gray, who tied for the 100 free world title in 2011, took to the top seed in the sprint fly tonight with a 25.50, this after a new focus on her non-freestyle events. Her time tonight tied for eighth all time on the performance list and is a personal best.
This March, Ottesen Gray decided to change up her freestyle technique, electing not to compete in the freestyle events here in Barcelona. Although, in a bit of gamesmanship, she did keep them on her schedule just to keep her options open if she felt up to part with the new change in her stroke.
The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo raced into second with a time of 25.68, while Great Britain’s Fran Halsall threw down a 25.90 to qualify third.
In one of the best stories of the night, France’s Melanie Henique blasted a fourth-seeded time of 25.95. That’s a strong time for the Frenchwoman, but is even more impressive considering she had to win a swimoff against Germany’s Alexandra Wenk, 25.94 to 26.78, just to get into the finale after the pair tied for 16th. She now has a legitimate shot at making the podium, and could have missed out completely.
USA’s Dana Vollmer (26.06), defending champion Inge Dekker (26.11), Egypt’s Farida Osman (26.12) and China’s Lu Ying (26.12) also earned transfer spots into what should be an exciting finale. Osman downed the African record in the process.