INDIANAPOLIS, October 8. PERHAPS inspired by Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli’s win in the 400 IM only minutes before, Algeria’s Salim Iles clocked the fastest time in the semifinals of the men’s 50 free. Iles, 28, touched in 21.77.
Croatia’s Duje Draganja, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in this event and a University of California graduate, was second swiftest in 21.84, while the USA’s Jason Lezak and Sweden’s Stefan Nystrand were only one-hundredth behind at 21.85. Another hundredth back were Britain’s Mark Foster, the former WR-holder and Argentina’s Jose Meolans, the defending champion.
The USA’s Nick Brunelli (21.92) and Brazil’s Nicholas Santos (21.96) round out an outstanding – and very fast – final field. A field in which every one of the finalists has a legitimate shot at the gold.