By John Lohn
MONTREAL, Canada, July 26. TAKE your pick. When the final of the men’s 200 butterfly is held on Wednesday night, the finishing order is a major tossup. Call it the Phelps effect. Changing his schedule for the World Champs, Michael Phelps decided to not defend his world title in the event. That choice opened the door for a number of athletes.
Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski will enter the championship heat as the top seed, after winning his semifinal race in 1:56.11. But, Korzeniowski will have some major heat from the likes of Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda and China’s Wu Peng. Matsuda delivered a time of 1:56.14 and Wu touched the wall in 1:56.33. The other man to break 1:57 was Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov (1:56.88).
Germany’s Helge Meeuw was fifth in 1:57.07 and Greece’s Ioannis Drymonakos took down the sixth slot for the final with an effort of 1:57.09. American Davis Tarwater, a training partner of Phelps with Club Wolverine, earned the seventh seed with a swim of 1:57.16 and Japan’s Ryuichi Shibata took the last berth to the final in 1:57.36.