2018 FINA World Short Course Championships: Dressel, Comerford Lead Day Two Heats

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The second morning of the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships featured seven preliminary events. The Americans continued their strong start from night one with Mallory ComerfordKelsi Dahlia and Caeleb Dressel putting up the top times in their respective events.

Every American that swam this morning qualified for the next round tonight in their events. Australia’s Jack Cartwright is also the top seed in his event as the finals of the men’s 200 free, women’s 200 fly, and the women’s 4×50 medley relay will be swum tonight. The mixed 4×50 free relay will also be swum tonight.

Women’s 4×50 Medley Relay

The American team of Kathleen Baker (26.89), Katie Meili (29.26), Kendyl Stewart (25.22) and Erika Brown (23.55) qualified first for the 4×50 medley relay final with a 1:44.92. They are seeded ahead of China (1:45.53) as the Americans are expected to come back to finals with three fresh swimmers.

The projected lineup for the Americans looks to be Olivia Smoliga, Meili, Kelsi Dahlia and Madison Kennedy, but the coaches will make that public later.

Japan is the third seed at 1:46.02 as the Czech Republic (1:46.31) and the Netherlands (1:46.99) are fourth and fifth. Australia is the sixth seed at 1:47.49 and could come back with more speed tonight with Emily Seebohm is available to strengthen the team.

Russia (1:47.73) and Italy (1:47.81) also qualified for the final.

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Men’s 200 Free

The men’s 200 free was a very stacked field with some big names missing the A-Final after the competitive heats. Australia’s Jack Cartwright (1:41.83) put up the top time in the heats on Wednesday morning at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. Cartwright was the only swimmer to break 1:42 in the heats as Brazil’s Luiz Melo (1:42.13) is the second seed.

Brazil had another finalist in Breno Correia (1:42.64) who is the fourth seed. The Brazilians have had a solid 2018 in terms of freestyle sprinting, since they put up one of the top times in the 4×100 free relay this summer at the Pan Pacs, and also won the bronze medal last night in the same relay.

Lithuania’s 400 free champion Danas Rapsys (1:42.39) put up the third fastest time in the heats as he will be looking for his second gold of the meet.

American Blake Pieroni just snuck into the final with a 1:42.90 for eighth place. China’s Ji Xinjie (1:42.70), Russia’s Martin Malyutin (1:42.76) and Russia’s Mikhail Vekovishchev (1:42.77) also qualified for the final.

The Americans did not have a second swimmer in the event. Notable A-Final misses came from South Africa’s Chad Le Clos (1:43.19, 10th) and Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic (1:43.40, 11th).

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Women’s 100 Free

USA’s Mallory Comerford has continued her impressive short course meters meet at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou with a 52.18 in the 100 free heats to lead the field going into the semi-finals.

Comerford is ahead of a solid field that includes Championship Record holder Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands. Heemskerk qualified second for the semi-finals with a 52.27 this morning. Heemskerk is ahead of Sweden’s Michelle Coleman (52.37) and Brazil’s Larissa Oliveira (52.87).

It seems Heemskerk has been around forever in this sport and every meet she goes to, she is accompanied by Ranomi Kromowidjojo. She qualified for the semi-finals with a smooth 52.93 for the fifth seed.

Czech Republic’s Barbora Seemanova (52.94) and Russia’s Mariia Kameneva (53.00) also qualified for the semi-finals.

The other American in the field was Lia Neal, who qualified seventh at 52.99.

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Men’s 100 Fly

American Caeleb Dressel got his World Short Course Championships started last night with a new American Record in the 100 free leading off the 4×100 free relay team to a new world record. Dressel swam his first individual event in the 100 butterfly on Wednesday morning in Hangzhou with a 49.23. Dressel is ahead of South Africa’s Chad Le Clos (49.34) and Germany’s Marius Kusch (49.54).

Those three were the only swimmers to break 50 seconds in the heats. Italy’s Piero Codia, who had the fastest time of anyone at any of the major meets this summer, is the fourth seed at 50.07 as he will challenge the likes of Dressel and Le Clos if they meet in the final.

USA’s Jack Conger (50.20) also moved through to the semi-finals as he is the fifth seed.

China’s Li Zhuhao (50.29), Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto (50.34) and France’s Mehdy Metella (50.42) also qualified for the final.

Italy’s Matteo Rivolta, who was the second seed coming in to the meet, was disqualified and did not swim any further than the first 10 meters. It was unclear if he just broke a streamline or cramped up on the start, but he will not move on to the semi-finals.

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Women’s 200 Fly

There were only three short heats in the women’s 200 butterfly on Wednesday morning at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships with American Kelsi Dahlia on top. Dahlia posted a 2:03.51 to lead the heats and get lane four for tonight’s final.

Dahlia is ahead of Hungarian Katinka Hosszu (2:04.68), who was the number one overall seed coming in to the meet. Hosszu has won this event twice at the World Short Course Championships, taking the gold medals in 2012 and 2016.

France’s Lara Grangeon (2:05.11), Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa (2:05.19) and Nao Kobayashi (2:05.28) are third, fourth and fifth as it will be a competitive race for the bronze medal.

China’s Zhang Yufei will also hear the roars of the Chinese crowd as she had the fastest first 100 of anyone in the prelims. She is the sixth seed at 2:05.99.

Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi (2:06.40) and Portugal’s Ana Monteiro (2:06.49) also qualified for the final.

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Mixed 4×50 Free Relay

The United States put up the top time in the mixed 4×50 free relay heats on the second morning of the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships. The Americans had Michael AndrewMichael ChadwickOlivia Smoliga and Madison Kennedy swimming for them this morning as they qualified first with a 1:29.80. They are ahead of Russia (1:29.96) as the only two countries to break 90 seconds.

Australia (1:30.12), Japan (1:30.32), Netherlands (1:30.56) and Brazil (1:30.78) all have chances at medals in the final as they will bring in their A Teams tonight.

Finland (1:31.51) and Italy (1:31.88) also qualified for the final.