2018 FINA World Cup Day One Prelims: Michael Andrew Grabs Two Top Seeds In Doha

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The second stop of the 2018 FINA World Cup kicked off today in Doha, Qatar after a fast start to the first cluster last week in Kazan. Many of the same international stars were on hand today through heats of the men’s 400 free, men’s 100 butterfly, men’s 100 breaststroke, and the men’s and women’s 50 freestyle.

Michael Andrew was the big star of the morning, swimming his way to two top seeds. He started off in the 100 butterfly, earning the middle lane for tonight with a 52.55. Andrew won that event last week in Kazan over Olympic gold medalist Chad le Clos with a 51.96 after posting a 52.60 in the prelims. While le Clos was not in that event today, runner-up Ryan Coetzee from Kazan is, after qualifying fourth in 54.04. Coetzee was just .04 behind Andrew in Kazan, so don’t be surprised to see a race between these two tonight.

Andrew’s other top seed came in the 50 freestyle, where he posted the only sub-22 swim of the morning to earn his second top seed and close out the session. He touched in 21.92, nearly fourth-tenths faster than second qualifier Andrii Govorov and .07 faster than Andrew’s second place finish in the event last week. Also lurking there is Vlad Morozov, who was the champion in the event in Kazan. He was 22.35 this morning, but was also a full second faster in the finals of the event in Kazan last week when he set a World Cup record in this event with a 21.49.

Russian Kirill Prigoda earned the top seed in the men’s 100 breast (1:00.50) over Arno Kamminga (1:01.01) and Anton Chupkov (1:01.08). Chupkov won this event and the 200 breast in Kazan last week, so expect there to be some shuffling in the place order come finals. Also watch Felipe Lima, who was runner-up to Chupkov and also joined him under a minute in the event.

Sarah Sjostrom she broke the World Cup record in this eventcontinued her dominance in the sprint events with a 24.21 to lead all qualifiers in the women’s 50. Like Morozov, at last week’s stop in Kazan with a 23.83. She was followed by four women from the Netherlands, including Ramoni Kromowidjojo (24.78) and Femke Heemskerk (24.92).

Spain’s Marcos Gil Corbacho was the fastest through the heats of the men’s 400 free, touching in 4:01.12 to qualify just ahead of American Blake Pieroni (4:02.02).

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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