2018 FINA World Short Course Championships: Dressel, Andrew Qualify First For Semi-Finals

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The third morning of the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships from Hangzhou, China featured the heats of the men’s 100 IM, women’s 50 fly, men’s 50 back, women’s 100 IM, men’s 50 free, women’s 200 back, men’s 200 breast and mixed 4×50 medley relay.

Caeleb Dressel officially broke an American Record and Katinka HosszuEmily Seebohm and Kathleen Baker each qualified for two events tonight.

Michael Andrew also put up a solid double and Ranomi Kromowidjojo proved she is still at the top of her game on this third morning of prelims from the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships.

Men’s 100 IM

Michael Andrew put up the top time in the 100 IM heats on Thursday morning at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. Andrew is the top seed heading into semi-finals as he is looking to defend his 2016 gold medal he won in Windsor, as that was his first ever international gold medal.

Andrew is ahead of Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov (51.69) and Italy’s Marco Orsi (51.86), who are not normally known as IM’ers, but the 100 is short enough for hard core sprinters to give a go. Norway’s Markus Lie (52.12) is the fourth seed as he is ahead of the 200 IM champ Wang Shun (52.15) from China.

Brazil’s Caio Pumputis (52.31), who is in his sophomore year at Georgia Tech, qualified sixth at 52.31. Russia’s Sergey Fesikov (52.33) and Japan’s Hiromasa Fujimori (52.35) also qualified for the semi-finals. There was not a second American in the event.

Australia’s Mitch Larkin scratched out of the heats and did not swim.

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Women’s 50 Fly

Ranomi Kromowidjojo put up the top time in the 50 butterfly heats on Thursday morning in Hangzhou, China, at the FINA World Short Course Championships. Kromowidjojo has been one of the best sprinters in the world since winning a gold medal in the 4×100 free relay at the 2008 Olympics, and has been one of the most consistent athletes over the last nine years. She is now 28 and still at the top of her game. She is the top seed in the 50 fly at 25.32.

Canada’s Haley Black is the second seed at 25.43 as the Auburn grad broke the Canadian record with that swim. It was previously held by Katerine Savard (25.51). Black is tied with France’s Melanie Henique (25.43).

American Kelsi Dahlia is the fourth seed at 25.49, as she will chase her American record of 24.94 from the 2016 Worlds.

China’s Wang Yichun (25.66), Belarus’s Anastasiya Shukrdai (25.82), Netherlands’s Maaike de Waard (25.83) and Germany’s Aliena Schmidtke (25.87) also qualified for the semi-finals.

American Kendyl Stewart also qualified for the semi-finals by placing 14th (26.09).

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Men’s 50 Back

Brazil’s Guilherme Guido is the top seed in the 50 backstroke preliminaries with a 23.00. Guido and American Matt Grevers (23.39) were the only swimmers born in the 1980’s that qualified for the semi-finals on day three at the FINA World Short Course Championships.

Guido, 31, is ahead of 24-year-old Shane Ryan of Ireland (23.03) and Christian Diener (23.15) of Germany.

Russia’s duo of Kliment Kolesnikov (23.16) and Evgeny Rylov (23.16) tied for fourth place in the heats. The other American was Ryan Murphy as he placed sixth in the heats at 23.25.

Romania’s Robert Glinta (23.38), China’s Xu Jiayu (23.39) and Australia’s Mitch Larkin (23.49) also qualified for the semi-finals.

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Women’s 100 IM

Katinka Hosszu, fresh off a 200 butterfly gold last night, came back this morning at the FINA World Short Course Championships with the top time in the 100 IM heats. Hosszu is ahead of Melanie Margalis (58.87) of the United States and Runa Imai (58.99) of Japan moving through to the semi-finals. Hosszu has won three straight World Short Course titles in the 100 IM, winning in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

Australia’s Emily Seebohm (59.11) and USA’s Kathleen Baker (59.52) also qualified for the semi-finals as both will meet Hosszu in the 200 back later in the session.

China’s Ye Shiwen (59.24), who won two gold medals six years ago at the London Olympics, qualified fifth for the semi-finals. Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson (59.69) also qualified for the semi-finals.

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Men’s 50 Free

American Caeleb Dressel officially broke the 50 free American Record on Thursday morning at the FINA World Short Course Championships with a 20.62 in the heats. Dressel swam a 20.43 leading off the 4×50 mixed free relay the other night but that swim did not count as an official American Record. Dressel has a chance to lower that record in the semis and the final. Dressel has been known to get better as the meet goes on.

Dressel is ahead of a very talented field as it will be a very stacked final tomorrow night with the likes of Russia’s Vladimir Morozov (20.89), Australia’s Cameron McEvoy (20.97) and Great Britain’s Ben Proud (20.98). Those four were the only ones to break 21 seconds in the heats as it could take a world record to win the gold medal.

Immediately after the race McEvoy said: “I feel excellent, it is the first time I have been under 21 in a heat and the first time I have been under 21 in an international competition, so I feel good.

“It is impressive that there are four guys under 21 seconds in the heats alone,” he added.

The other American to qualify was Michael Andrew, who placed seventh at 21.25. He is behind defending champion Jesse Puts (21.19) and NC State grad Simonas Bilis (21.10).

Long course world record holder Cesar Cielo (21.39) and 2014 NCAA champions Brad Tandy (21.38) and Kristian Gkolomeev (21.40) also qualified for the semi-finals.

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Women’s 200 Back

American Lisa Bratton posted an incredible swim in the 200 back heats on Thursday morning at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou, China. Bratton posted a 2:01.00 to put her ninth all-time in the 200 back. She is now the third fastest American in that event behind Missy Franklin (2:00.03) and Kathleen Baker (2:00.69). Bratton just finished her eligibility at Texas A&M and is in her first year of professional swimming.

Bratton is over a second and a half ahead of Australia’s Emily Seebohm (2:02.68) and USA’s Kathleen Baker (2:03.44), who swam the 100 IM earlier in the heats. Also in the 100 IM was Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who just squeaked her way into the final with a seventh place effort at 2:03.96 as she is tied with Russia’s Daria Ustinova (2:03.96).

Italy’s Margherita Panziera, who was the European Champion this summer in this event, is the fourth seed at 2:03.85 ahead of the Japanese duo of Sayaka Akase (2:03.87) and Emi Moronuki (2:03.93).

Australia’s Minna Atherton notably missed the A-Final in ninth at 2:03.98. She won the bronze last night in the 100 back for her first individual international medal on the senior level. She was world junior champion in 2015 in this event.

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Men’s 200 Breast

China’s Qin Haiyang gave the Hangzhou something to cheer about on Thursday morning at the FINA World Short Course Championships with the top time in the 200 breast heats. Qin made a late charge on Russia’s Kirill Prigoda in his heat as Qin will have lane four for the final tonight with a 2:01.64 heat swim.

Prigoda was flirting with Marco Koch’s WR for 150 meters before falling off of it on the last 50. Prigoda is the second seed for tonight at 2:01.82 as those two were the only ones under 2:02. World Record holder Koch is third at 2:02.83.

Only one American qualified for the final with Olympic silver medalist Josh Prenot in fourth at 2:03.23 as he is looking to add another medal to his collection after winning a silver in the 200 IM on night one.

The other American was Andrew Wilson did not advance to the final, placing ninth at 2:04.02.

Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (2:03.41), Sweden’s Erik Persson (2:03.51), Russia’s Mikhail Dorinov (2:03.84) and Netherlands’s Arno Kamminga (2:03.88) also qualified for the final.

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Mixed 4×50 Medley Relay

The United States almost broke the world record in the 4×50 mixed medley relay on Thursday morning at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Championships in Hangzhou. The team of Ryan Murphy (22.77), Katie Meili (29.13), Kendyl Stewart (24.95) and Michael Chadwick (20.48) nearly broke the 1:37.17 WR from the 2013 Duel in the Pool. Team USA swam a 1:37.33 this morning.

That world record famously came during the tie-breaker to decide the Duel in the Pool in Scotland as Eugene GodsoeKevin CordesClaire Donahue and Simone Manuel might have to say goodbye to their world record a little later today with Team USA likely bringing in a fresher team for finals.

Germany is the second seed at 1:38.39 while Australia is third at 1:38.71.

Italy (1:38.75), Russia (1:38.85), Japan (1:39.00), Finland (1:39.02) and the Netherlands (1:39.02) also qualified for the final.

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