2018 FINA Short Course World Championships: Two World Records Fall on First Night

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Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

The first night of finals from the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships featured seven finals and four semi-finals with world records falling in two events. Not only did world records fall, but the second fastest time ever was also achieved by the second place finisher in both those events.

Daiya Seto and Chad Le Clos got under the existing world record in the 200 butterfly, while the United States and Russia were both under the 4×100 free relay world record to close out the night.

Danas RapsysAriarne TitmusMallory Comerford and Wang Shun also climbed up the world rankings with their swims tonight. Katinka Hosszu also claimed a gold medal in the 400 IM for her fourth straight medal in that event.

Men’s 400 Free

Lithuanian Danas Rapsys led from start to finish in the 400 free final on the first night of the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships with a 3:34.01 on Tuesday night in Hangzhou. The time is a new championship record for the Lithuanian, breaking Peter Bernek’s 3:34.32 from the 2014 Worlds.

Rapsys took control early and did not let up as he got his meet started off in a big way. Rapsys moved up to third all-time with his swim in the 400 free as he sits only behind world record holder Yannick Agnel and former record holder Paul Biedermann. Rapsys lowered his best time from the 3:36.65 he swam in the heats.

Norway’s Henrik Christiansen won the silver medal with a 3:36.64 as he moved up to 13th all-time in that event as Gabriele Dettti won the bronze medal at 3:37.54. Detti is swimming in his first major meet after injuring his shoulder this summer and sitting out European Championships.

American Zane Grothe finished off the pace in sixth place with a 3:38.99. There was not another second American entered in the race.

Russia’s Martin Malyutin (3:37.75) and Aleksandr Krasnykh (3:37.97) finished fourth and fifth place, just off the podium.

Poland’s Wojciech Wojdak and Brazil’s Fernando Scheffer (3:39.40) also swam in the final.

All-Time List:

  1. Yannick Agnel, FRA, 3:32.25 (2012)
  2. Paul Biedermann, GER, 3:32.77 (2009)
  3. Danas Rapsys, LTU, 3:34.01 (2018)
  4. Peter Bernek, HUN, 3:34.32 (2014)
  5. Grant Hackett, AUS, 3:34.58 (2002)
  6. Park Tae Hwan, KOR, 3:34.59 (2016)
  7. Ian Thorpe, AUS, 3:34.63 (2002)
  8. Zhang Lin, CHN, 3:34.66 (2009)

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Women’s 200 Free

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus had a monster last 50 in the final of the 200 free on Tuesday night at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou. Titmus used a 28.19, the fastest last 50 in the field to run down American Mallory Comerford to take the gold medal at 1:51.38.

Titmus broke the Oceania record in the 200 free, breaking Emma McKeon’s record of 1:51.66 from 2015. Titmus moved up to fourth all-time with her swim here in the 200 free.

Comerford finished in second at 1:51.81, which moves her up to eighth all-time in the event and lowers the American Record she set in the preliminaries. Comerford led for about 175 meters before Titmus ran her down the final 25.

The bronze medal went to Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands at 1:52.36. She did not go a best time but adds an eleventh World Short Course Championship medal to her collection.

All-Time Rankings:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, SWE, 1:50.43 (2017)
  2. Federica Pellegrini, ITA, 1:51.17 (2009)
  3. Katinka Hosszu, HUN, 1:51.18 (2014)
  4. Ariarne Titmus, AUS, 1:51.38 (2018)
  5. Camille Muffat, FRA, 1:51.65 (2012)
  6. Emma McKeon, AUS, 1:51.66 (2015)
  7. Femke Heemskerk, NED, 1:51.69 (2014)
  8. Mallory Comerford, USA, 1:51.81 (2018)

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Men’s 100 Back Semi-Final

China’s Xu Jiayu cruised to the top time in the 100 back semi-finals on Tuesday night at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. Xu swam a 49.21 as he inched close to his world record he set a few weeks ago at the 2018 FINA World Cup. Xu heard plenty of cheers from the home crowd as he is the top seed heading into tomorrow ahead of Brazil’s Guilherme Guido (49.45) and USA’s Ryan Murphy (49.52).

The second American Matt Grevers (49.97) also broke 50 seconds and also qualified for the final tomorrow in the fifth seed. Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov (49.62) is the fourth seed for tomorrow.

Romania’s Robert Glinta (49.98), Germany’s Christian Diener (50.04) and Australia’s Mitch Larkin (50.12) also reached tomorrow’s final.

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Women’s 50 Breast Semi-Final

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson swam the top time in the 50 breaststroke semi-finals on Tuesday night at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships with a 29.54 as she will have lane four in tomorrow’s final.

Atkinson is ahead of a trio of European swimmers who broke 30 seconds in the semi-finals in Italy’s Martina Carraro (29.79), Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte (29.80) and Finland’s Jenna Laukkanen (29.83). American Katie Meili advanced to the final as well with a 30.09.

The second American entered in the meet was Molly Hannis, who did not swim in the preliminaries because of a family emergency.

Belgium’s Fanny Lecluyse (30.15) and Finland’s Ida Hulkko (30.18) also qualified for the final. There was a tie for eighth between Australia’s Jessica Hansen and Japan’s Miho Teramura (30.20).

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Men’s 200 Fly

Japan’s Daiya Seto was well out in front of world record pace and was dueling with South Africa’s Chad Le Clos in the final of the 200 butterfly at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. Le Clos held the world record and also took it out hard in the final tonight in Hangzhou.

Seto held on over the final 25 as Le Clos, as well as his own world record, were charging hard on the Japanese man. Seto hung on in the end for a new world record of 1:48.24 to take down Le Clos’s 1:48.56 from the 2013 FINA World Cup in Singapore. Le Clos also got under his world record, but will settle for the African Record at 1:48.32.

This is Seto’s first world record in his career as the 24-year-old picked up his 11th World Short Course Championships medal. Seto won the silver medal at the 2014 Worlds and the bronze in 2016 in this event.

China had more to cheer about as the country picked up its first medal of the championships with Li Zhuhao winning the bronze medal at 1:50.39.

American Zach Harting finished in fifth in the final at 1:51.57 as he is now the second fastest American all-time in the 200 fly behind Tom Shields. Harting finished behind Russia’s Aleksandr Kharlanov (1:50.67), who finished in fourth place.

Brazil’s Luiz Melo (1:51.99), Australia’s Nic Brown (1:52.10) and Bulgaria’s Antani Ivanov (1:52.40) also swam in the final.

All-Time Rankings:

  1. Daiya Seto, JPN, 1:48.24 (2018)
  2. Chad Le Clos, RSA, 1:48.32 (2018)
  3. Laszlo Cseh, HUN, 1:49.00 (2015)
  4. Tom Shields, USA, 1:49.05 (2015)
  5. Kaio Marcio, BRA, 1:49.11 (2009)
  6. Nikolay Skvortsov, RUS, 1:49.46 (2009)
  7. Takeshi Matsuda, JPN, 1:49.50 (2011)
  8. Pawel Korzeniowski, POL, 1:50.13 (2009)

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Women’s 400 IM

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won her second straight 400 IM world short course title on Tuesday night at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. Hosszu successfully defended her 2016 title with a 4:21.40 in the 400 IM as she has medaled in this event at four straight World Short Course Championships. She won the bronze in 2012, silver in 2014, gold in 2016, and now gold again in 2016.

Hosszu was never touched in the 400 IM final as she was flirting with Mireia Belmonte’s world record for 300 meters before falling off it in the freestyle leg. Belmonte was not competing at the World Short Course Championships this week. USA’s Melanie Margalis won the silver medal with a 4:25.84 as she used her impressive back half to win her second medal at the World Short Course Championships. Margalis won bronze in the 200 IM in 2014. Margalis is now the third fastest American all-time and the eleventh fastest all-time in the 400 IM.

Margalis distanced herself from bronze medal winner Fantine Lesaffre of France (4:27.31). Lesaffre won the bronze medal ahead of Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato (4:27.88).

France also had another swimmer in the final with veteran Lara Grangeon finishing in fifth place at 4:29.56.

Japan’s Sakiko Shimizu (4:31.07), Spain’s Catalina Corro (4:31.63) and Japan’s Miho Takahashi (4:35.62) also competed in the final.

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Men’s 100 Breast Semi-Final

Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli led a field of seven 56’s in the 100 breast semi-finals on Tuesday night at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. Scozzoli, 30, is just 0.01 ahead of Russia’s Kirill Prigoda (56.31) as those two will be in the middle of the pool in tomorrow night’s final.

It is a stacked field with not a lot of room to move as the top eight are separated by less than a full second. World record holder Cameron van der Burgh (56.90) moved through to the final as the 30-year-old is still at the top of his game nine years after setting the world record in this event. USA’s Andrew Wilson also advanced to the final with a 56.92 for the seventh seed.

The other American was Michael Andrew, who finished in tenth place in the semi-finals at 57.24. Andrew did not advance to the final.

Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (56.42), Belarus’s Ilya Shymanovich (56.43), China’s Wang Lizhuo (56.89) and Netherlands’s Arno Kamminga (57.09) also advanced to the final.

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Women’s 100 Back Semi-Final

The Americans are on top of the 100 back semi-finals with Olivia Smoliga, fresh off an American Record in the heats, and Kathleen Baker on top. Smoliga (56.13) and Baker (56.27) will swim in lanes four and five respectively in the 100 back final tomorrow night at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China.

Those two are ahead of a pretty solid field with the likes of Olympic Champion Katinka Hosszu (56.46) and 2015 World Champion Emily Seebohm (56.84). Great Britain’s Georgia Davies (56.49) also qualified for the final by placing fourth.

Australia’s Minna Atherton (57.05), Czech Republic’s Simona Kubova (57.18) and Japan’s Emi Moronuki (57.32) also qualified for the final.

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Men’s 200 IM

China’s Wang Shun heard the roar from the home Chinese crowd in Hangzhou on Tuesday night at the FINA World Short Course Championships in the 200 IM final. Wang led from start to finish to please the Chinese crowd. He won the final with a 1:51.01 to move up to third all-time in the event and break his own Chinese record from the Tokyo World Cup this year. Wang now sits behind Ryan Lochte and Japan’s Kosuke Hagino in the all-time rankings.

Team USA also picked up a third silver medal on the night with Josh Prenot out-touching Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori for second place. Prenot split a 27.62 on the freestyle to run down Fujimori and touch at 1:52.69 to Fujimori’s 1:52.73.

Prenot moved up to 22nd all-time with his swim and is now the third fastest American all-time behind Lochte and Michael Phelps.

Australia’s Mitch Larkin just missed out on a medal as he placed fourth at 1:52.78. Brazil’s Caio Pumputis finished in fifth at 1:53.05 as he is coming off a successful sophomore semester at Georgia Tech.

Brazil’s Jordan Coelho (1:53.38), Poland’s Jan Switkowski (1:53.96) and New Zealand’s Bradlee Ashby (1:54.01) also swam in the final.

All-Time Rankings:

  1. Ryan Lochte, USA, 1:49.63 (2012)
  2. Kosuke Hagino, JPN, 1:50.47 (2014)
  3. Wang Shun, CHN, 1:51.01 (2018)
  4. Daiya Seto, JPN, 1:51.09 (2018)
  5. Laszlo Cseh, HUN, 1:51.36 (2015)
  6. Darian Townsend, RSA, 1:51.55 (2009)
  7. Chad Le Clos, RSA, 1:51.56 (2014)
  8. Markus Rogan, AUT, 1:51.72 (2009)

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Women’s 4×100 Free Relay

The United States saw a huge split from Mallory Comerford on the third leg of the 4×100 free relay on Tuesday night in Hangzhou, as Comerford split a 51.09 to blow by the Netherlands to give Louisville teammate Kelsi Dahlia the lead on the anchor leg. Team USA won the final with a 3:27.78, a little off the world record of 3:26.53 from the Netherlands in 2014.

The United States held off the Netherlands as Dahlia split a 51.40 to hold off Ranomi Kromowidjojo (50.77), who had the fastest split of anyone in the final. Olivia Smoliga (52.71), Lia Neal (52.58), Comerford (51.09) and Dahlia (51.40) won the first gold medal for the Americans at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships.

The Dutch took the lead at the halfway point with Femke Heemskerk splitting a 50.93, which was the second fastest split of anyone in the field. But Maaike de Waard was run down by Comerford on the third leg as the former split a 53.13. The Netherlands took the silver medal at 3:28.02 with Kim Busch (53.19), Heemskerk (50.93), de Waard (53.13) and Kromowidjojo (50.77).

Those two countries were well in front of the rest of the field as China got its first women’s medal of the championships with a bronze here in the relay. Zhu Menghui (52.58), Yang Junxuan (52.28), Liu Xiaohan (53.26) and Wang Jingzhuo (52.80) swam for the Chinese as they held off Japan (3:31.68) and Russia (3:32.48) for the bronze.

Germany (3:33.27), Hong Kong (3:40.25) and Turkey (3:41.25) also swam in the final.

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Men’s 4×100 Free Relay

Caeleb Dressel got things started with a new American Record in the 100 free in the final of the 4×100 free relay at 45.66, breaking the hours old record that was set by Ryan Held in the heats of the relay. Dressel moved up to 11th all-time in the 100 free with his swim.

Dressel was followed by Blake Pieroni (45.75), Michael Chadwick (45.86) and Ryan Held (45.76) as those four broke the nine-year-old world record in the 4×100 free relay at 3:03.03. The United States held that world record from all the way back in the 2009 Duel in the Pool.

Held held off Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov to get the gold medal and the world record for Team USA. Kolesnikov (45.46) and Vladimir Morozov (45.06) had impressive splits on the back half but it was not enough to catch the Americans. Vladislav Grinev (46.38), Sergei Fesikov (46.21), Kolesnikov and Morozov were also under the old world record at 3:03.11. That is the second time tonight that the silver medal winner was under the world record, but will not be recognized as the world record holder for obvious reasons.

Brazil finished with the bronze medal at 3:05.15 with Matheus Santana (46.83), Marcelo Chierighini (46.37), Cesar Cielo (46.340 and Breno Correia (45.61). Those four held off the Italians (3:05.20), who finished in fourth. Notably, the Italians were led off by Santo Condorelli (46.76), who has represented Canada for the last few years, including at the 2016 Olympics. Condorelli is now racing internationally for Italy.

Australia (3:06.49), Japan (3:07.87), China (3:10.55) and Belarus (3:10.59) also swam in the final.

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