World Championships: Bruno Fratus Opens Strong in Pursuit of Fourth Straight Medal in 50 Freestyle

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World Championships: Bruno Fratus Opens Strong in Pursuit of Fourth Straight Medal in 50 Freestyle

Seeking a fourth consecutive medal at the World Championships in the 50-meter freestyle, Brazilian veteran Bruno Fratus led qualifying into the semifinals of the event at Duna Arena in Budapest. The bronze medalist at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Fratus covered his lap in 21.71, just .01 ahead of Canada’s Joshua Liendo. The third spot in the morning session went to American Michael Andrew in 21.74.

Liendo and Andrew were racing their second events of prelims, as they both comfortably advanced to the semifinals of the 100 butterfly less than an hour earlier. There were 12 athletes to dipped under the 22-second barrier, with the fourth and fifth positions going to Great Britain’s Ben Proud (21.76) and the Ukraine’s Vladyslav Bukhov (21.87).

Like the 100 butterfly earlier in the session, the 50 freestyle opened without two-time defending world champion and reigning Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel. A day earlier, USA Swimming announced Dressel’s withdrawal from the remainder of the competition in order to address a medical condition. Dressel’s absence significantly opened the door for the opposition, as the one-lap sprint was the event in which Dressel was most-heavily favored.

Great Britain’s Lewis Burras went 21.89 for sixth and Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev was next in 21.90, followed by Dutchman Thom de Boer (21.91).

 

50FRee(MPrelims)

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