Australians Chalmers, Larkin, Seebohm Quick in Singapore World Cup Prelims

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Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Australians Kyle Chalmers, Mitch Larkin and Emily Seebohm were impressive in the morning prelims at the 2016 FINA World Cup stop in Singapore. The World Cup is resuming for its third and final cluster after a week-and-a-half hiatus.

Chalmers put up a quick swim in his World Cup debut, leading the way in the men’s 100 free in 47.40, ahead of countrymen Tomasso D’Orsogna (48.09) and Brayden McCarthy (48.21). Russia’s Vladimir Morozov, who has won the event in each of the first six World Cup meets, qualified fifth in 48.29, and he figures to have a big challenge with the Olympic gold medalist in the event (Chalmers) on hand.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (1:57.08) topped Aussies Carla Buchanan (1:57.21) and Madison Wilson (1:57.22) in the women’s 200 free. Hosszu also qualified second in the 100 fly in 57.83, just behind Canada’s Katerine Savard (57.60). Hosszu later qualified third in the 50 back in 27.27, well behind Seebohm (26.68) and Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina (26.82).

Hosszu was comfortably first in the women’s 200 IM in 2:11.23, and she then wrapped up a busy morning with a top-seeded time of 2:06.89 in the 200 back. Seebohm (2:07.20), Wilson (2:07.58), Zevina (2:07.62), Canada’s Hilary Caldwell (2:07.84) and China’s Wu Yixin (2:07.90) figure to make this a good race in the finals session.

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson finished first in the 1:04.91, a full second ahead of the rest of the field, but the rest of the pack is tightly bunched. The USA’s Molly Hannis (1:05.98), Russia’s Yulia Efimova (1:06.13), Canada’s Rachel Nicol (1:06.45) and the USA’s Breeja Larson (1:06.81) all figure to contend.

Brazil’s Felipe Lima topped a tight field in the men’s 50 breast, touching in 26.85. Just behind was South Africa’s Roland Schoeman (26.96), Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (27.18) and Morozov (27.26). World Champion Larkin topped the heats of the men’s 100 back in 51.10, just ahead of Australian countryman Bobby Hurley (51.39).

Japan’s Daiya Seto edged countryman and Olympic silver medalist Masato Sakai for the top seed in the men’s 200 fly, 1:58.85 to 1:58.93. 2012 Olympic gold medalist Chad le Clos qualified sixth in 2:01.55. Seto later qualified first in the 100 IM in 53.71, but on either side of him in the final will be Belarus’ Pavel Sankovich (54.11) and the USA’s Josh Prenot (54.28).

Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk earned lane four for the final of the men’s 400 free with his 3:46.77. Germany’s Marco Koch edged Japan’s Ippei Watanabe for the top spot in the men’s 200 breast, 2:10.13 to 2:10.41.

Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen continued her strong series as she qualified first in the women’s 50 free in 24.56. Canada’s Michelle Williams was right behind in 24.65, and Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia qualified third in 24.71.

The morning session wrapped up with the men’s 50 fly, and Schoeman took the top seed in 23.01. Australia’s David Morgan was second in 23.07, and China’s Peng Wang took third in 23.15. Le Clos was fourth in 23.26.