ROME, Italy, July 31. WHILE still not under 21 as produced in his world record swim, France's Fred Bousquet led the semifinal rounds of the men's 50 free at the FINA World Championships.
Bousquet clocked a 21.21 – the fourth-fastest swim in history, to top semis. That swim beat the meet record of 21.29 set by Duje Draganja in the first semifinal, which put Draganja as the second seed and cleared the 21.37 set by Cesar Cielo in prelims.
France's Amaury Leveaux claimed the third seed with a 21.32, while Cielo eased into finals with a 21.35. Cullen Jones of the U.S. clipped his American record of 21.41 with a 21.40 to earn the fifth seed.
Sweden's Stefan Nystrand (21.45) and the United States' Nathan Adrian (21.46) placed sixth and seventh.
Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell and Hungary's Krisztian Takacs set up a swimoff for the final transfer spot with matching 21.65s.
In the swimoff, Bovell closed out Takacs, 21.20 to 21.42. Bovell moved up to fourth all time in the event, and would have been seeded first with that swim out of the semifinal round. Incidentally, Bovell also broke Bousquet's meet record of 21.21.