DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, October 7. SOUTH Africa's Chad Le Clos set himself up for another big payday as the second prelims session of short course meters swimming wrapped up in the Dubai stop of the FINA World Cup.
Le Clos will race in three events in tonight's finals: 100 butterfly, 200 IM and 200 back. He could walk away with as much as $9,000 when this first of seven legs of the World Cup tour concludes, and put himself at the top of the overall series leaderboard. Also, many of the women's events will be swum as timed finals, as fewer than eight competitors signed up for each race.
Women's 100 freestyle
Ranomi Kromowidjojo topped all qualifiers with a swift prelim time of 53.89. The Dutch sprinter broke the Australian-Italian strangehold on the top 10 worldwide in the event, posting the sixth-fastest time in the early stages of the short course season. Placing second in prelims was Sze Hang Yu of Hong Kong with a 55.31, just edging out Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands, who touched in 55.32. Rounding out the top eight qualifiers were Wang Shijia of China (55.68), Dorothea Brandt of Germany (55.78), Li Yue of China (56.02), and Sweden's Petra Granlund (56.56) and Louise Hansson (56.96).
Men's 200 freestyle
The host nation could win its first event of the meet, with Velimir Stjepanovic qualifying first for tonight's finale with a 1:51.00. Coming in second was Italy's Samuel Pizzetti with a 1:51.18. Both swimmers will be contesting this event in finals just minutes after swimming in the timed finals of the 1500 freestyle. Rounding out the top eight were Kristian Kron of Sweden (1:51.85), Tiago Ferraro of the UAE (1:52.27), Gustav Ledjstroem of Sweden (1:52.46), David Wong Kai Wai of Hong Kong (1:52.86), and Russia's Semen Makovich (1:53.23) and Andrey Tombovskiy (1:53.41).
Men's 100 breaststroke
Marco Koch of Germany is looking for the breaststroke triple, with a top qualifying time of 1:00.68. Well back in second was Yuma Kosaka of Japan with a 1:02.35, just ahead of Nelson Westby of the United States, who touched in 1:02.43. The UAE's Mubarak Al Besher (1:02.46), Giulio Zorzi of South Africa (1:02.74), Azad Al-Barazi of Syria (1:03.03), Jayaprakash Agnishwar of India (1:03.32) and Jinyang Tan of Singapore 91:04.29) will also swim in tonight's final.
Men's 100 butterfly
Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin, the reigning short course world champion in this event, will be the top qualifier in tonight's final with a time of 53.55. Dinko Jukic of Austria qualified second with a 54.54, and Andrey Tambovskiy qualified for his second final with a third-place time of 55.10. Also swimming in the final will be Velimir Stjepanovic of the UAE (55.12), Alexander Kudaqshev of Russia (55.18), Jason Dunford of Kenya (55.62), South Africa's Chad Le Clos (55.92) and Rami Anis of Syria (56.00).
Women's 100 backstroke
Nine swimmers were signed up to compete in today's prelims, but with the scratch of Fabienne Nadarajah, making tonight's finals was just a formality, as all eight competitors will get a second swim: Daryna Zevina of Ukraine (59.71), Miyuki Takemura of Japan (1:00.81), Simona Baumrtova of Czechoslovakia (1:05.99), Gabriella Austin of the UAE (1:08.93), Sweden's Petra Granlund (1:10.73), and the UAE's Jenny Balac (1:12.13), Rhea Castelino (1:13.50) and Charlotte Lechner (1:13.97).
Men's 50 backstroke
Nelson Silva of Brazil topped the qualifying field with a prelim time of 25.57. Taking the rest of the championship field spots were Masafumi Yamaguchi of Japan (26.05), M. Humaid Al Ghaferi of the UAE (26.19), Kristian Kron of Sweden (26.27), Russia's Evegeny Korotyshkin (26.27), Kevin Riazanov of the UAE (26.84), Gene Laurence of the UAE (27.39) and Ayman Klzie of Syria (27.85).
Men's 200 individual medley
Dinko Jukic of Austria qualified first for the final with a 2:03.57. Yuma Kosaka of Japan qualified second with a 2:04.28, with Semen Makovich of Russia taking the third spot with a 2:04.29. Also lining up for the championship final will be Maksym Shemberev of Ukraine (2:04.47), South Africa's Chad Le Clos (2:06.15), Jayaprakash Agnishwar of India (2:06.38), Masafumi Yamaguchi (2:06.74) and Obaid Ahmed al Jasmi of the UAE (2:08.22).
Men's 50 freestyle
Andrii Govorov of Ukraine took the top spot in prelims with a 22.07. He and Jason Dunford of Kenya (22.58) will likely be the top competitors for the win, with Krisztian Takacs of Hungary (22.86) also looking to be in the mix. Also competing in the finale will be five swimmers from the UAE: Velimir Stjepanovic (23.30), Kevin Riazanov (23.44), Tiago Ferraro (23.51) and Obaid Ahmed al Jasmi (23.70). Kenya's Ramadhan Vyombo (23.80) will also compete in the final.
Women's 200 breaststroke
Nine competitors stepped up for this event. Making the final were China's Fan Rong (2:27.12) and Wu Yuele (2:29.63), Tanja Smid of Slovenia (2:32.81), Liu Xiaoyu of China (2:34.18), Barbora Zavadova of Czechoslovakia (2:34.57), Hannah Taleb of the UAE (2:39.73), Lianna Swan of Pakistan (2:50.37) and Sarah Brooke Duncan of the UAE (2:56.55). Caroline Ruhnau of Germany drew a disqualification.
Men's 200 backstroke
Sweden's Kristian Kron topped all qualifiers with a prelim time of 2:06.89. Nelson Silva of Brazil (2:07.42), South Africa's Chad Le Clos (2:16.03), UAE's Simon Chivers (2:16.48), Babu Pranam of India (2:17.18), and the UAE's Alistair Allan (2:17.80), Kayan Bharucha (2:25.60) and Ibrahim Al Hammadi (2:29.22) will also compete in the finale.