Adam Peaty Storms to Top Seed in 50 Breaststroke Semifinals

adam-peaty-100-breast-final-2019-world-championships

Editorial content for the 2019 World Championships coverage is sponsored by FORM Swim Goggles. See full event coverage. Follow FORM on Instagram at @FORMSwim #swimwithform FORM Swim-Logo

World Swimming Championships (Adam Peaty)

Gwangju, Day 3

Semifinals

Men’s 50 Breaststroke

A gold medal and world record already pocketed from the 100 breaststroke earlier in the World Championships, Great Britain’s Adam Peaty took the next step toward gold in the 50 breast with his latest dominant showing. Clocking 26.11, Peaty posted the fifth-fastest time in history and advanced to the final with a half-second margin over No. 2 qualifier, Felipe Lima of Brazil, who was timed in 26.62.

Peaty now owns the seven-fastest performances of all-time and, make no mistake, his primary competition in the final will be the clock. With Peaty so far ahead of the field, the main question is whether Peaty can lower his world record of 25.95. Peaty has twice cracked the 26-second barrier, his second-quickest effort sitting at 25.99.

While Lima advanced to the final as the second seed, his countryman Joao Gomes was fifth in 26.84, giving Brazil a chance to place a pair on the podium. Between the Brazilians were Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli (26.70) and Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich (26.77). China’s Yan Zibei was sixth in 26.86, just ahead of the USA’s Michael Andrew in 26.88.

Russia’s Kirill Prigoda and Denmark’s Tobias Bjerg tied for eighth in 27.08, but Prigoda won a swimoff for the last spot in the final, 27.09 to 27.16.

1. Adam Peaty, Great Britain 26.11
2. Felipe Lima, Brazil 26.62
3. Fabio Scozzoli, Italy 26.70
4. Ilya Shymanovich, Belarus 26.77
5. Joao Gomes, Brazil 26.84
6. Yan Zibei, China 26.86
7. Michael Andrew, United States 26.88
8. Kirill Prigoda, Russia 27.08
Tobias Bjerg, Denmark 27.08

Women’s 200 Freestyle

Could an eighth straight medal, and fourth gold, be on the horizon for Italy’s Federica Pellegrini in the 200 freestyle? A medalist in the event at every World Championships since 2005, Pellegrini topped the semifinals of her prime event, going 1:55.14. That performance placed Pellegrini ahead of Australia’s Ariarne Titmus (1:55.36) and Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey (1:55.58), with Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom qualifying fourth in 1:55.70. Titmus is looking for her second gold medal of the week after winning the 400 free on Night One.

One of the most-anticipated events on the program heading into the meet, the 200 free suffered a blow to its status when Katie Ledecky and Emma McKeon bowed out due to illness, and Taylor Ruck withdrew to conserve energy for her hefty schedule. Taking advantage of the absence of those big guns, China’s Yang Junxuan moved into the final in fifth position, and behind a world junior record of 1:55.99.

Rounding out the field for the final were France’s Charlotte Bonnet (1:56.19), Canada’s Penny Oleksiak (1:56.41) and Japan’s Rio Shirai (1:56.82).

1. Federica Pellegrini, Italy 1:55.14
2. Ariarne Titmus, Australia 1:55.36
3. Siobhan Haughey, Hong Kong 1:55.58
4. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden 1:55.70
5. Yang Junxuan, China 1:55.99
6. Charlotte Bonnet, France 1:56.19
7. Penny Oleksiak, Canada 1:56.41
8. Rio Shirai, Japan 1:56.82

Men’s 200 Butterfly

Hungary’s Kristof Milak left no doubt who the favorite is to capture the gold medal in the 200 fly, as the 19-year-old made a statement in the semifinals with a time of 1:52.96. That effort gave Milak a cushion of more than two seconds over the No. 2 qualifier, the United States’ Zach Harting (1:55.26). Milak was the silver medalist in the 100 fly at the World Champs in Budapest in 2017, and his first world crown can now be sensed.

Japan’s Daiya Seto, who has enjoyed a sterling season and will be among the medal contenders in the medley events, earned the third seed in the 200 fly with a time of 1:55.33, ahead of the 1:55.71 of Brazil’s Leonardo de Deus. Two-time world champion Chad le Clos of South Africa qualified fifth in 1:55.88, with Italy’s Federico Burdisso (1:55.92) and the Ukraine’s Denys Kesyl (1:55.95) in sixth and seventh.

Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi and Bulgaria’s Antani Ivanov tied for eighth in 1:56.25, necessitating a swimoff for the last spot in finals.

1. Kristof Milak, Hungary 1:52.96
2. Zach Harting, United States 1:55.26
3. Daiya Seto, Japan 1:55.33
4. Leonardo de Deus, Brazil 1:55.71
5. Chad le Clos, South Africa 1:55.88
6. Federico Burdisso, Italy 1:55.92
7. Denys Kesyl, Ukraine 1:55.95
8. Antani Ivanov, Bulgaria 1:56.25
Tamas Kenderesi, Hungary 1:56.25