FINA World Championships Predictions: Men’s 50 Free

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The field for the men’s 50 free at the FINA World Championships will be missing some familiar names, including the reigning Olympic gold medalist and the reigning World Champion.

Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin won’t be in Budapest after he was sixth in the event at U.S. Nationals. World Champion and Olympic silver medalist Florent Manaudou is taking the year off from competition.

Rio Bronze medalist Nathan Adrian will be in the field, but his 100 free has been much stronger than his 50 so far this season, as he ranks only 10th in the world at 21.87.

Right now, the favorite looks like 22-year-old Brit Ben Proud, who has the top time in the world this year. The only man in the field with a major title to his credit? Cesar Cielo, the Brazilian 2008 Olympic gold medalist and 2009/2011/2013 World Champion, back after missing out on a spot in the Olympic Games last year.

Read below to see what Swimming World’s trio of experts think will happen in Budapest. David RiederJohn Lohn and Andy Ross will each offer their predictions for who will finish on the podium.

Men’s 50 Free

Current Records:

World Record: Cesar Cielo, BRA (2009) — 20.91
Championship Record: Cesar Cielo, BRA (2009) — 21.08
American Record: Nathan Adrian (2015) — 21.37

2015 World Champion: Florent Manaudou, FRA — 21.19
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist: Anthony Ervin, USA — 21.40
2017 World No. 1: Ben Proud, GBR — 21.32

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: Ben Proud, GBR
Silver: Caeleb Dressel, USA
Bronze: Vladimir Morozov, RUS

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: Caeleb Dressel, USA
Silver: Ben Proud, GBR
Bronze: Vladimir Morozov, RUS

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: Ben Proud, GBR
Silver: Caeleb Dressel, USA
Bronze: Cameron McEvoy, AUS

Previous Events

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

Day Four:

Day Five:

Day Six:

Day Seven:



  1. Shaheen Alghofari

    Juicy one this…i say . Dressel morosov and proud Joe Stott Betsy Perry

    • Betsy Perry

      I hope it’s McEvoy 1st but I think he’s got a better chance in the 100, it’ll be Dressel or Proud in 50 imo.. no Ervin

    • Shaheen Alghofari

      Morosov did a 21.8 in training other day though he s in with a shot

    • Joe Stott

      Reverse of what you said

    • Shaheen Alghofari

      Ok we will see all good predictions here except Betsy Perry thinking mcevoy is gonna win

    • Betsy Perry

      No, as I said I don’t think he will win the 50. Proud or dressel

    • Shaheen Alghofari

      Yes but you have to decide 1 . I think proud govorov morosov dressel Chad le clos could win but I decided on dressel

  2. avatar

    I think Vlad Morozov will get it this time. He has struggled a lot with this event in LCM, but after shifting his focus from 50/100 free, to only 50 free this time around, I think it may pay off for the LA-based Russian. His 21.8 effort in practice was impressive, just hoping he gets his taper right. Caeleb Dressel and Ben Proud will challenge him for the splash’n’dash-throne, though.

  3. Michał Balicki

    Paweł Juraszek a czemu o tobie nie piszą??😕😕

  4. Pete Fitzpatrick

    The battle between fast twitch and slow twitch fibers!

  5. avatar
    Arthur Camargo

    And Fratus? Nobody swam more times under 22 seconds this year. I think he have good chances.

Author: David Rieder

David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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