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BARCELONA, Spain, August 2. OLYMPIC silver medalist Evgeny Korotyshkin led a group of four swimmers under 52 seconds this morning in the men’s 100-meter fly prelims at the FINA World Championships.
Korotyshkin turned in a time of 51.55 to pace prelims, just missing his second-ranked time of 51.53 from Russian Nationals earlier this year. While Korotyshkin has won a pair of short course world titles, he has never stood atop the podium at a long course international event. He took bronze in the 50 fly in 2003 here in Barcelona, and silver in the 400-meter medley relay in 2005, but the grizzled veteran is definitely looking for his first international gold medal following his silver in the 100 fly last summer at the Olympics.
South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, who already won the 200 fly title earlier this week and shared the 100 fly silver medal with Korotyshkin last summer, will be looking for his second long course world title after clocking a 51.88 for second this morning.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, another veteran who medaled back in 2003 the last time Barcelona hosted Worlds, qualified third in 51.89. Cseh will likely go down as one of the most unsung swimmers in the sport’s history. With the likes of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte sucking in the spotlight, Cseh has still managed to win eight medals at worlds including a title in the 400 IM in 2005. If he medals in this event, that would be his sixth straight World championship with a medal.
Serbia’s Ivan Lendjer (51.95), Italy’s Matteo Rivolta (52.00), Belarus’ Yauhen Tsurkin (52.03), Germany’s Steffen Deibler (52.07), and Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov (52.09) completed the top eight.
Poland’s Konrad Czerniak (52.12), Great Britain’s Michael Rock (52.13), Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (52.16) and Brazil’s Thiago Pereira (52.33) qualified ninth through 12th. Meanwhile, the Americans played it a bit close to the vest with Ryan Lochte (52.26) and Eugene Godsoe (52.38) taking 13th and 14th. Lochte actually turned eighth in his heat with a 24.78 and had to turn on the speed to make semis.
Japan’s Takuro Fujii (52.50) and Germany’s Philip Heintz (52.52) finished 15th and 16th, while the ever-popular Joseph Schooling of Singapore just missed semis with a 17th-place 52.56.