Nathan Adrian, Jimmy Feigen Light Up 100 Free Semis With USA 1-2

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BARCELONA, Spain, July 31. AFTER a morning that injected a bit of concern into the hearts of the American fans, Nathan Adrian and Jimmy Feigen let the world know that they were keeping their powder dry with a 1-2 finish in the men’s 100-meter freestyle semifinals at the FINA World Championships.

Adrian, who is looking to become the first man since Alexander Popov backed up Olympic gold with a world championship twice in the 90s, clocked a 47.95 this evening to counter the 47.71 offered up by Australian rival James Magnussen this morning. Adrian’s time moved him to third in the world this year, as the Olympic champ bounced back from a surprising 12th-ranked time of 48.93 this morning. Adrian is also recovering from an illness earlier this week that led to an unfortunate vomiting situation during the medal ceremony for the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay.

Feigen, meanwhile, nearly broke 47 himself with a strong 48.07 to top the second semifinal of the night. That puts him fifth in the world this year as he could be looking at a medal during the finale. The last time the U.S. placed a pair of swimmers on the podium in the men’s 100-meter freestyle was 1986 when Matt Biondi (48.94) and Tom Jager (49.79) finished 1-3 that year with France’s Stephane Caron taking silver in 49.73.

The time should provide Feigen a confidence boost after he had Jeremy Stravius overhaul him on the anchor leg as France downed the U.S. in the men’s 400-meter free relay on night one.

Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini, coming off a strong outing at the NCAA Championships this year, qualified third in 48.11, while Magnussen matched Russia’s Vlad Morozov with 48.20s as the duo eased into finals.

France’s Fabien Gilot (48.21), Australia’s Cameron McEvoy (48.43) Italy’s Luca Dotto (48.46) rounded out the rest of the championship finale, in what should be an exciting finish tomorrow night.