2019 FINA World Championships Predictions: Battle of the Heavyweights in the Men’s 50 Fly

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The men’s 50 fly is the first event in our series of predictions for the 2019 FINA World Championships without a clear favorite. World record holder Andriy Govorov of the Ukraine is currently ranked third in the world this year with a 22.87. He sits behind 39-year-old Nicholas Santos and Russia’s Oleg Kostin. Govorov had the upper hand over the reigning World Champion Ben Proud at Europeans last summer.

The Ukrainian won by .30 at Europeans over Proud last summer and looked to be the man in the event in the world. But Brazil’s Santos broke the world record in short course meters last fall, becoming the oldest swimmer to break a world record in swimming. Santos did not originally qualify to swim for the World Championships, but received a special invitation from FINA to swim the 50 fly after his stellar performances at the Champions Series this fall. He will be looking to improve on his silver medal from the 2017 Worlds. Govorov won bronze in Budapest two years ago and will also be looking to improve on that placing.

Kostin won the bronze medal at Europeans last summer and has thrown his name into the hat to win the gold medal in Gwangju this summer.

USA’s Michael Andrew and Caeleb Dressel also have strong chances at winning medals in this event. Dressel set the American record in the semifinals at the 2017 Worlds but faded to fourth in the final. Andrew is making his long course Worlds debut this year as he currently sits sixth in the world rankings. Andrew races around the world enough that he shouldn’t be intimidated by the big stage.

The 50 fly will be one of Dressel’s early events and could get him rolling into his schedule. Dressel’s schedule gets heavier in the second half of the meet, with the 100 free falling on day five and the 50 free and 100 fly on day seven.

Current Records:

World Record: 22.27, Andriy Govorov, UKR – 2018
Championships Record: 22.67, Milorad Cavic, SRB – 2009
American Record: 22.76, Caeleb Dressel – 2017

2017 World Champion: Ben Proud, GBR – 22.75
2018 Fastest Time: Andriy Govorov, UKR – 22.27
2019 Fastest Times:

  1. 22.60, Nicholas Santos, BRA
  2. 22.74, Oleg Kostin, RUS
  3. 22.87, Andriy Govorov, UKR
  4. 22.99, Szebazstian Szabo, HUN
  5. 23.06, Andrey Zhilkin, RUS
  6. 23.09, Michael Andrew, USA
  7. 23.10, Luka Erakovic, SRB
  8. 23.24, Caeleb Dressel, USA

Swimming World’s team of Andy RossDan D’AddonaDavid RiederDiana Pimer and Taylor Covington will be selecting their medalists for the World Championships in each event. Read below who everybody picked.

Andy’s Picks:

  1. Nicholas Santos
  2. Andriy Govorov
  3. Ben Proud

Dan’s Picks:

  1. Caeleb Dressel
  2. Andriy Govorov
  3. Ben Proud

David’s Picks:

  1. Caeleb Dressel
  2. Andriy Govorov
  3. Ben Proud

Diana’s Picks:

  1. Andriy Govorov
  2. Caeleb Dressel
  3. Ben Proud

Taylor’s Picks:

  1. Caeleb Dressel
  2. Andriy Govorov
  3. Ben Proud

2019 FINA World Championships Predictions:

Day 1:

Day 2: