2018 FINA World Short Course Championships: Seto Chases 400 IM World Record

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

The penultimate heats session of the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships featured nine total events with the likes of superstars Katinka HosszuRanomi Kromowidjojo and Caeleb Dressel in action.

The potential for world records could continue to night five in China with the likes of Daiya Seto in the 400 IM, Mykhailo Romanchuk in the 1500, and the United States in the men’s 4×50 medley relay.

Men’s 4×50 Medley Relay

Brazil put up the top time in the men’s 4×50 medley relay with a 1:32.18 on Saturday morning at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. The Brazilians, fresh off a world record last night in the 4×200 free relay, posted the top time in the 4×50 medley relay, a relay they are more widely known for dominating.

Guilherme Guido (22.98), Felipe Lima (25.47), Matheus Santana (22.96) and Cesar Cielo (20.77) swam for the leading Brazilians.

The Americans had Matt Grevers (23.36), Andrew Wilson (26.01), Jack Conger (22.36) and Michael Chadwick (20.81) as they will swim in lane three. Ryan MurphyMichael AndrewCaeleb Dressel and Ryan Held are expected to come in tonight for the A-team in the final. The Americans have a chance for another relay world record as it stands at 1:30.44 from Russia at the 2017 European Short Course Championships.

Brazil is ahead of Italy (1:32.20) and the United States (1:32.37). Russia (1:32.40) and Germany (1:32.64) are also within striking distance of a medal tonight. Brazil (2014) and Russia (2016) have taken the only gold medals in this event at the World Short Course Championships.

Japan (1:33.01), Australia (1:33.06) and Turkey (1:33.11) also qualified for the final. The Turkish qualified after doing a re-swim at the end of the heats session. Their backstroker had slipped on the start in the earlier heats, and were allowed to re-swim after a protest.

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Women’s 200 IM

The last two Olympic Champions Katinka Hosszu (2016) and Ye Shiwen (2012) put up the top two times in the 200 IM heats on Saturday morning at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. Hosszu was a 2:05.42 as she will be looking for her third straight World Short Course title in this event.

Ye is the second seed at 2:06.45 ahead of American Kathleen Baker (2:06.57) and Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato (2:07.11).

The second American Melanie Margalis qualified in fifth for the final tonight as she swam a 2:07.39. She has been fourth at the last two major meets in this event so she will be fighting like mad for a podium spot.

Australia’s Abbey Harkin (2:07.45) and Emily Seebohm (2:07.78) squeaked into the final, as did Japan’s Sakiko Shimizu.

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Men’s 400 IM

Japan’s Daiya Seto, who broke a world record in the 200 fly on night one of competition, was under the 400 IM world record for 300 meters in the heats on day five at the FINA World Short Course Championships. Seto cruised in the freestyle with a 4:00.50 as he easily qualified in first place. Seto has won three straight world titles in this event and is looking for an unprecedented four. Ryan Lochte (06, 08, 10) and Matthew Dunn (95, 97, 99) also won three World Short Course titles.

Seto could chase down Lochte’s world record of 3:55.50 from the 2010 Worlds in Dubai.

Seto is well in front of the rest of the field with Brazil’s Brandonn Almeida (4:04.58) and Ecuador’s Tom Peribonio (4:05.08) sitting in second and third. Almeida and Peribonio both swim at the University of South Carolina. Peribonio was tied for third with Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes.

Japan’s Tomoya Takeuchi (4:05.21), Hungary’s Peter Bernek (4:05.49), Gergely Gyurta (4:06.13) and Portugal’s Joao Vital (4:06.93) also qualified for the final.

The lone American to compete was Kieran Smith as he finished in 13th at 4:08.52.

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Women’s 100 Fly

American Kelsi Dahlia put up the top time in the 100 butterfly heats on Saturday morning at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou. Dahlia swam a 55.46 as she was a 54.84 earlier in the year at the FINA World Cup in Budapest. Dahlia could be chasing her own American Record by the time we hit the final.

Dahlia is well in front of second place, who is Japan’s Ai Soma (56.52). The other American was Kendyl Stewart as she is the third seed at 56.57. Italy also picked up two semi-finalists with Elena Di Liddo (56.62) and Ilaria Bianchi (56.85).

China’s Wang Yichun qualified for the semi-finals along with Zhang Yufei. Wang is the youngest swimmer to qualify as she is thirteen years of age.

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Men’s 100 Free

American Caeleb Dressel was the only one under 46 seconds in the heats as he swam in a non-seeded heat to take the top spot at 45.98. Dressel set the American Record earlier in the week at 45.66 leading off the 4×100 free relay.

Dressel is searching for his first individual gold medal of the meet as he was second in the 100 fly and 50 free already in this meet. The 100 free is his last chance to win a gold medal individually.

Russia’s Vladimir Morozov, who won the 50 free earlier in the meet, is the second seed at 46.20. His Russian teammate Vladislav Grinev (46.38) is the third seed.

The other American was Blake Pieroni (46.39) as he qualified fourth for the semi-finals. Pieroni won the 200 free already at the World Short Course Championships in China.

Lituania’s Simonas Bilis (46.39), Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini (46.89) and Ireland’s Shane Ryan (46.97) also qualified for the semi-finals as all three of them swam at the NCAA level.

Some big names made the semis including France’s Mehdy Metella (46.99), Italy’s Alessandro Miressi (46.94), Australia’s Cameron McEvoy (47.08), Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys (47.11) and South Africa’s Chad Le Clos (47.17).

Brazil’s Cesar Cielo scratched and did not swim in the heats.

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Women’s 50 Free

Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands and Holly Barratt of Australia, both over 30 years of age, qualified first and third in the heats of the women’s 50 free on Saturday morning at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou. Heemskerk swam a 23.90 while Barratt swam a 23.94. Those two plus Mariia Kameneva of Russia were the only three swimmers under 24 in the heats.

Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros (24.00) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (24.07) of the Netherlands qualified in fourth and fifth as those two might have the most speed of anyone who qualified for the semi-finals. Kromowidjojo has won this event at the 2010, 2014 and 2016 World Short Course Championships as she is going for a fourth gold in the event.

Of the 13 times this event has been contested at the World Short Course Championships, the Netherlands has won the gold medal six times.

Americans Mallory Comerford (24.18) and Madison Kennedy (24.24) also qualified for the semi-finals in sixth and tenth respectively.

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Men’s 50 Breast

Ilya Shymanovich of Belarus was the only one to break 26 in the heats of the 50 breast on day five at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou. Shymanovich is ahead of Brazil’s Felipe Lima (26.09) and Joao Gomes (26.11), as the Brazilians have gathered some momentum late in the championships.

30-year-olds Cameron van der Burgh (26.20) and Fabio Scozzoli (26.20) tied for sixth place in the heats as they will both advance to the semi-finals. Those two swam next to each other six years ago in the 100 breast final at the Olympics. Van der Burgh announced his retirement after these championships and will be looking for his second goal of the meet, after winning the 100.

The two Americans, Michael Andrew and Andrew Wilson, did not advance to the semi-finals, placing 18th and 17th respectively.

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Women’s 4×200 Free

Australia put up the top time in the 4×200 free relay heats on day five at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships. The Aussies will have lane four tonight in the final at 7:40.72 as they are ahead of Russia (7:41.24) and the United States (7:44.64).

Carla Buchanan (1:56.37), Minna Atherton (1:55.08), Abbey Harkin (1:55.74) and Ariarne Titmus (1:53.53) will likely all return for the Australians tonight. The Americans had Lia Neal (1:56.67), Veronica Burchill (1:57.02), Erika Brown (1:55.32) and Leah Smith (1:55.63) swimming for them, as Mallory Comerford is expected to swim in the final. She was second in the individual 200 free.

Italy (7:44.82) and China (7:45.22) will also battle for the bronze medal. China will likely bring in Wang Jianjiahe for the final as she did not swim on the prelims relay.

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Men’s 1500 Free

The men’s 1500 final will be a tightly contested one tomorrow night with Mykhailo Romanchuk of the Ukraine (14:21.50) taking on the likes of the reigning Olympic and World Long Course Champion Gregorio Paltrinieri (14:28.90) of Italy. Paltrinieri is the fourth seed as Romanchuk cruised to the number one seed for tomorrow night’s final.

Paltrinieri’s world record stands at 14:08.06 from the 2015 European Short Course Championships, and it could be challenged by Romanchuk by the time we get to the final.

Also in that race will be France’s Damien Joly (14:28.25), Norway’s Henrik Christiansen (14:28.90) and USA’s Zane Grothe (14:29.03) as those three were separated by less than a second from the heats. Behind Romanchuk, the rest of the field is tightly bunched so it could be a big race behind the Ukrainian for the rest of the podium spots.

France’s David Aubry (14:30.72), Hungary’s Akos Kalmar (14:31.94) and Czech Republic’s Jan Micka (14:33.15) also qualified for the final.

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