Kosuke Hagino Touches Out Chase Kalisz for Top Seed in 200 IM

Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

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Men’s 200 IM

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have won every single World and Olympic title in the men’s 200 IM since 2003, but in their absence Japan’s Kosuke Hagino has looked like the favorite to win the World title this year. He qualified first in the event’s prelims in 1:56.46, just off his second-ranked time of 1:56.01.

The American who will attempt to fill the shoes of Phelps and Lochte, Chase Kalisz, used a strong breaststroke leg to pull up alongside Hagino in the final heat, and he ended up finishing just behind in 1:56.48, improving on his fourth-ranked time of 1:56.51. Great Britain’s Max Litchfield was third in 1:56.64, posting the No. 5 time in the world rankings.

Japan’s Daiya Seto, seeded first for Wednesday night’s 200 fly final, was fifth in 1:57.55, and he was followed by Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches (1:57.59), Australia’s Clyde Lewis (1:58.06) and Germany’s Phillip Heintz (1:58.99).

China’s Qin Haiyang broke the World Junior Record with a time of 1:59.01, qualifying eighth for the semis, while his heralded countryman, Olympic silver medalist Wang Shun, ended up 11th in 1:59.56.

Greece’s Andreas Vazaios was ninth in 1:59.29, and Israel’s Yomar Toumarkin finished 10th in 1:59.49. Also making the semi-finals were American Abrahm DeVine (1:59.65), Great Britain’s Mark Szaranek (1:59.68), Portugal’s Alexis Santos (1:59.69), New Zealand’s Bradlee Ashby (2:00.20) and Italy’s Federico Turrini (2:00.23).