FINA Short Course World Championships Day 6 Prelims: US Women Sprint Relay, Shaine Casas Claim Top Seed

fina-Aug 1, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Abbey Weitzeil (USA) competes in the women's 50m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Abbey Weitzeil. Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro

The final day of the 2021 FINA Short Course World Championships began with the last heats session of the meet from Abu Dhabi.

The session starts with the women’s 200 freestyle relay, then the men’s 200 backstroke, women’s 200 breaststroke then the men’s and women’s 400 medley relays.

The U.S. women took the top seed in the 200 free relay, while Shaine Casas claimed the top spot in the 200 backstroke. Meanwhile, a Sjostrom-less Swedish medley relay also claimed the top seed.

FINA Short Course World Championships: Women’s 200 Freestyle Relay

The U.S. took the top seed in the 200 free relay, finishing less than two seconds off the meet record in the event.

Katharine Berkoff (24.43), Torri Huske (24.44), Kate Douglass (23.39) and Abbey Weitzeil (23.62) touched the wall in 1:35.88 to hold off the field by four tenths.

The Netherlands took the second seed with Kim Busch (24.30), Marrit Steenbergen (24.16), Tessa Giele (23.95) and Maaike de Waard (23.86) finishing in 1:26.27.

The third seed went to Sweden with Sarah Sjostrom (23.50), Michelle Coleman (23.98), Sara Junevik (24.31) and Hanna Rosvall (24.76) finishing in 1:36.55.

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Men’s 200 Backstroke

Shaine Casas of the U.S. put together a strong swim to take the top spot in the 200 backstroke. Casas, who already has a world title under his belt, touched the wall in 1:49.82.

He started strong at 25.04 and was able to hold off the field by nearly seven tenths of a second.

Czech Republic’s Jan Cejka took the second spot in 1:50.50, ahead of France’s Yohann Ndoye-Brouard (1:50.71) and Germany’s Christian Diener (1:51.06).

Casas is about three seconds off the meet record (1:46.68, Ryan Lochte, 2010) with his prelims time and four away from Mitch Larkin’s world record of 1:4563.

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Women’s 200 Breaststroke

Russian Swimming Federation’s Evgeniia Chikunova took the top seed in the 200 breaststroke after closing with a 35.40 split to hang on by three quarters of a second.

Sweden’s Sophie Hansson took the second seeding 2:20.31 and looks to be in striking distance, along with Great Britain’s Molly Renshaw (2:20.33), who was just two hundredths behind Hansson.

Italy’s Francesca Fangio took the fourth seed (2:20.53), followed by USA’S Emily Escobedo (2:31.30) and Canada’s Tessa Cieplucha (2:21.35).

Ireland’s Mona McSharry and Czech Republic’s Kristyna Horska tied for the seventh seed in 2:21.59 to both qualify for finals.

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FINA Short Course World Championships: Men’s 400 Medley Relay

The Russian Swimming Federation took the top seed in the men’s 400 medley relay.

Pavel Samusenko (50.48), Alexander Zhigalov (57.74), Roman Shevilkov (50.70) and Vladislav Grinev (46.09) came together to finish in 3:25.01. The time is six seconds off the meet record.

Italy took the second seed with Thomas Ceccon (50.96), Nicolo Martinenghi (56.90), Alberto Razzetti (50.48) and Lorenzo Zazzeri (47.24) finishing in 3:25.58.

USA was third with Hunter Tapp (52.52), Will Licon (57.40), Trenton Julian (49.25) and Zach Apple (46.80) touching the wall in 3:25.97.

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Women’s 400 Medley Relay

Sweden took the top seed in the 400 medley relay even without Sarah Sjostrom participating in the heats.

Hanna Rosvall (57.86), Emelie Fast (1:05.59), Louise Hansson (56.04) and Michelle Coleman (53.18) took the top spot in 3:52.67.

Canada’s Kylie Masse (56.62), Sydney Pickrem (1:05.46), Katerine Savard (57.41) and Summer McIntosh (53.55) touched thew all in 3:53.04.

Italy was third with Silvia Scalia (57.71), Martina Carraro (1:05.66), Ilaria Bianchi (57.39) and Costanza Cocconcelli (52.92) finishing in 3:53.68.

The U.S. took the fourth seed in 3:52.73 with Katharine Berkoff (56.62), Kate Douglass (1:05.06), Torri Huske (58.81) and Paige Madden (53.24).

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