World Championships, Day Two Semifinals: WJR For David Popovici; Crooks, McKeon, Martinenghi & King Lead Way

David Popovici: Photo Courtesy: Simone Castrovillari

A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet

Deep Blue Media

World Championships, Day Two Semifinals: WJR For David Popovici; Crooks, McKeon, Martinenghi & King Lead Way

David Popovici set a world junior record (WJR) of 45.91 in the 100 free semis en-route to qualifying fifth for Thursday’s final at the World Short-Course Championships in Melbourne.

The Romanian went in the first semi where he came back on the final 25 to finish second behind Maxime Grousset who clocked 45.58.

Day 2 Results

Live Results

Jordan Crooks reproduced his fine form from the prelims with the Cayman Islands swimmer, who studies and trains at the University of Tennessee, booking lane four in 45.55 after holding off the late charge by world record-holder Kyle Chalmers (45.66) in the second semi.

Also through are Alessandro Miressi (45.74), 100 back world record-holder Thomas Ceccon (46.13), Pan Zhanie (46.19) and Tom Dean (46.20).

It’s still early days in the short-course pool for Popovici whose 2022 has so far included the 100-200 free double at both the World Championships in Budapest and Europeans in Rome where he set the WR of 46.86 over two lengths, reducing to history Cesar Cielo‘s supersuit mark from 2009.

There were also four golds at the European Juniors and three at the world juniors.

He split 10.68/22.40/34.30 before coming home in 11.61 to lower the WJR mark of 46.11 set by Kliment Kolesnikov in December 2018.

It came as somewhat of a shock to the 18-year-old who said:

“I didn’t think I would be breaking any more junior records this year but it looks like I did, so it was a pleasant surprise.

“I didn’t think I would be swimming this fast, but sometimes I can doubt myself

“I think that I am my biggest critic.

“I am still learning and I am going to learn some more during the final.”

 Not that Popovici has learned to enjoy the small pool, saying:

“I swam well, but against my will because I still hate short course. 

“I have to adapt but it’s looking good.

“I am currently learning and I just came from the lesson.

“Tomorrow for the final, once more, I am going to class again.”

men 100 free melb

Women’s 100m Freestyle

In the much anticipated women’s 100m freestyle semi-finals it was Olympic champion Emma McKeon from Australia who came out on top in semi-final two in a dress rehearsal of what may well unfold in tomorrow night’s final.

McKeon (who split 49.96 – the fastest time ever recorded by a woman in Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay world record on the opening night) clocked 51.28 ahead of Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey (51.69) and Australia’s Madi Wilson (51.82) – the top three overall.

McKeon was the freestyle sprint star at last year’s Tokyo Olympics winning the 50-100m freestyle double – and she now has the chance to add her first individual short-course gold to her decorated medal tally.

It remains to be seen if she can crack Cate Campbell’s 2017 world record of 50.25 – but if the 49.96 is any indication she’s right on the target.

Also qualifying for the top eight are: Marrit Steenbergen (NED) 51.85, Beryl Gastaldello (FRA) 52.09), Torri Huske (USA) 52.11, Natalie Hinds (USA) 52.16 and Taylor Ruck (CAN) 52.27.

women 100 free semis melb

Men’s 100m Breaststroke

The men’s 100m breaststroke final will feature Adam Peaty and Nicolo Martinenghi – who won gold and bronze at the Tokyo Olympics – plus Nic Fink, four-time medal winner in Budapest.

Peaty hasn’t competed on the global stage since Tokyo after which he competed on TV show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ before injury intervened to force his withdrawal from the World Championships.

In his absence, Martinenghi won the world title ahead of Arno Kamminga – absent from Melbourne – and Fink.

Peaty won the first semi in 56.42, followed by a nod of the head, before Martinenghi booked top spot for the final in the second semi in 56.01 ahead of Fink (56.25) and Qin Halyang (56.38).

m100br melbourne

Women’s 100m Breaststroke

When American breaststroking queen Lilly King left her last World SC Championships in 2016 in snow-covered Windsor (CAN) she packed four gold and one silver medal in her luggage as she headed home for Christmas.

On night three of these Championships, King will be hoping to turn that silver to Jamaican ace Alia Atkinson into gold in the 100m breaststroke final for an early Christmas present in 2022.

Olympic champion in 2016, King is the fastest qualifier for the final in 1:03.33, marginally ahead of Lithuania’s 2012 Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte who also won this title in Istanbul the same year.

Other qualifiers are Reona Aoki (JPN) 1:04.13, Ted Schouten (NED) 1:04.31, Qianting Tang (CHN) 1:04.36, Lara Van Niekek (RSA) 1:04.36, Mai Fukasawa (JPN) 1:04.45 and Sydney Pickrem (CAN) 1:05.08.



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