2018 FINA Short Course World Championships: Seto Captures Fourth Straight 400 IM Title On Night Five

Jul 17, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Alia Atkinson of Jamaica competes in the women's 100m breaststroke final the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports Images

The FINA World Swimming Championships continues today in Hangzhou, China with seven more finals and four semi-finals scheduled.

Plenty of swimmers continued to add to their medal haul tonight, including Japan’s Daiya Seto who made history by winning his fourth straight 400 IM and narrowly missing the world record in the event.

Check out all of the recaps from the fifth night of finals below:


Order of Events

  • Men’s 4×50 Medley Relay
  • Women’s 200 IM
  • Men’s 100 Freestyle Semi-Finals
  • Women’s 100 Butterfly Semi-Finals
  • Men’s 50 Butterfly
  • Women’s 50 Freestyle Semi-Finals
  • Men’s 50 Breaststroke Semi-Finals
  • Women’s 50 Backstroke
  • Men’s 400 IM
  • Women’s 100 Breaststroke
  • Women’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay

Men’s 4×50 Medley Relay

The Russian team opened the fifth night of finals with a win in the 4×50 medley relay, just missing the championship record by .03 and touching exactly one tenth of a second off the world record. The team of Kliment Kolesnikov (22.87), Oleg Kostin (25.36), Mikhail Vekovishchev (22.09), and Evgeny Rylov (20.22) posted a time of 1:30.54 to grab the win.

That just beat out the American team of Ryan Murphy (22.73), Michael Andrew (26.16), Caeleb Dressel (21.70), and Ryan Held (20.31). Murphy had the Americans in first after the backstroke, but the U.S. team fell back to fourth after Andrew’s breaststroke leg and couldn’t recover their lead over the final 100. Their time does establish a new American record in the event. In third was Brazil in 1:31.49.

Notably, last night’s 50 free World Champion Vlad Morozov was absent from the relay. With a 20.33 flat start 50 last night, his anchor leg could have potentially pushed the Russian team past the world record.

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Women’s 200 IM

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu was about 1.5 seconds off her world record in the 200 IM but still had no trouble winning the first individual event of the night, touching first by more than a second in 2:03.25. The only doubt of Hosszu dominance in the event came over the backstroke leg, when Kathleen Baker dropped a 30.77 split to rocket to first place while Hosszu fell back to third.

The Hungarian Olympic gold medalist made it all up on the breaststroke leg, however, distancing herself further over the final 50 to grab the win. In second was Melanie Margalis (2:04.62), who broke Caitlin Leverenz’s 2011 American record of 2:04.91.

Baker ended up with the bronze (2:05.54), which is the world record holder’s first international medal in the 200 IM.

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Men’s 100 Freestyle Semi-Finals

South African Chad le Clos was the fastest of all men through semi-finals of the 100 free, touching first in 45.89. That is just a tenth off of his own South African record from the 2017 FINA World Cup. Just behind him was last night’s 50 free champion Vlad Morozov in 45.93.

Morozov flirted with Amaury Leveaux’s world record in this event earlier this year, dropping a 44.95 that was .01 off his record and that currently stands as the fastest time in the world this year.

Behind Morozov was Caeleb Dressel in 46.09, setting up what should be an exciting final tomorrow between the top 3. Morozov’s teammate Vladislav Grinev (46.23) also qualified for the final in fourth, while Dressel’s teammate and 200 free World Champ Blake Pieroni qualified sixth in 46.31. Also appearing in the final will be Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura (46.24) and Lithuania’s Simonas Bilas (46.46).

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Women’s 100 Butterfly Semi-Finals

American Kelsi Dahlia paced all qualifiers through the semi-finals of the women’s 100 butterfly, touching first in 55.09. That is just off her own American record of 54.84 from earlier this year that is also the fastest time in the world this year.

More than a second back qualifying second is Italy’s Elena di Liddo in 56.06, which broke Ilaria Bianchi’s 2012 Italian record in the event. Bianchi herself qualified for the final tomorrow night in seventh (56.79).

In third was Ai Soma (56.31) from Japan, followed by Brazil’s Daiene Dias (56.40). Dahlia’s teammate Kendyl Stewart qualified fifth in 56.62), with China’s Zhang Yufei (56.77) and Wang Yichun (56.80) also making it in the top 8.

With world record holder Sarah Sjostrom opting out of these World Championships, Dahlia should be the strong favorite for gold and may be able to give the Swede’s world record a run tomorrow night in the final.

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Men’s 50 Butterfly

Top seed and world record holder Nicholas Santos held onto his position out of finals to take gold tonight and establish a new championship record of 21.81 in the 50 butterfly. The 38-year-old, who set the world record for this event earlier this year, also wont his event back in 2012 at the SC World Championships in Istanbul.

Just behind him in second was le Clos, who had a quick turnaround from the men’s 100 free to grab the silver here in 21.97. In third was Dylan Carter representing Trinidad and Tobago in 22.38, a new national record that breaks Carter’s 2016 mark.

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Women’s 50 Freestyle Semi-Finals

Dutch world record holder Ranomi Kromowidjojo led all qualifiers through the 50 free semi-finals, leading by a quarter second with a 23.50. To put into perspective Kromowidjojo’s dominance in this event in short course meters, that is still about six-tenths off of her own world record.

In second was Dutch teammate Femke Heemskerk (23.75), followed by Brazil’s Emily Medeiros (23.82). Qualifying fourth was American Mallory Comerford in 23.83, which is just .01 off of Dara Torres’ American record in the event.

Also making it into the final tomorrow will be Russia’s Mariia Kameneva (23.87), Australia’s Holly Barratt (23.89), China’s Zhu Menghui (23.95), and American Madison Kennedy (24.00).

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Men’s 50 Breaststroke Semi-Finals

South African Cameron van der Burgh set himself up for a second World Championship title tonight in the 50 breaststroke, touching first in a close semi with a 25.76. The Olympic gold medalist announced after his win in the 100 breast earlier this week that he will be retiring from competitive swimming following the conclusion of this meet, making this tomorrow’s final the last individual race of his career.

Just behind him in second was Germany’s Fabian Schwingenschlogl (25.87), with the two followed closely by Joao Gomes (25.94), Kirill Prigoda (25.95), Ilya Shymanovich (25.95), Huseyin Emre Sakci (25.97), Oleg Kostin (26.00), and Felipe Lima (26.01).

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Women’s 50 Backstroke

American Olivia Smoliga officially lowered her American record even further in tonight’s final of the 50 backstroke, although she just missed her lifetime best in the event. Smoliga touched first in 25.88 to break the American record of 25.97 she set earlier this week leading off the 4×50 medley relay. She was faster later in the week leading off the 4×50 medley relay (25.85), although that time does not count officially because it came in a mixed relay event. She is the only American in history to break 26 seconds in the event.

In second was Austria’s Caroline Pilhatsch (25.99), which stands as the new Austrian national record. Taking bronze was Australian Holly Barratt in 26.04.

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Men’s 400 IM

Japan’s Daiya Seto made history in the men’s 400 IM, winning his fourth straight short course World Championships title in the event. Seto touched in 3:56.43, the only swimmer in the field under 4:00. Seto was also just off of his own Asian record of 3:56.33 in the event, and was just under a second away from Ryan Lochte’s world record.

This continues a strong meet for the 24-year old, who broke the world record in the 200 fly on the opening night of the meet.

Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes was second in 4:02.72, just beating out Brazilian Brandonn Almeida (4:03.71).

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Women’s 100 Breaststroke

World record holder Alia Atkinson won a close 100 breast final tonight to secure her third straight short course World Championship title in the event. The 30-year old touched first in 1:03.51, just a tenth ahead of American Katie Meili (1:03.63). Atkinson has actually tied the world record in this event twice, first tying Ruta Meilutyte’s record at this meet in 2014 before tying it again at the world cup in 2016.

Atkinson and Meili were well ahead of the rest of the field, with bronze going to Australian Jessica Hansen (1:04.61).

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Women’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay

The Chinese team of Li Bingjie (1:54.56), Yang Junxuan (1:53.06), Zhang Yuhan (1:53.94), and Wang Jianjiahe (1:52.52) put together a solid second half to grab gold and break their national record with a 7:43.08. That time is only a little over a second off of the Netherlands 2014 world record.

In second just over a second back was the U.S. team of Leah Smith (1:55.85), Comerford (1:53.00), Margalis (1:53.59), and Erika Brown (1:52.86).  Their time of 7:35.30 took down the old American record from 2010 in the event. Just behind them in third was the team of Australia, who were second heading into the last leg but couldn’t hold off a charging Erika Brown. The Australian team also set a new national record.

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