World Championships: Nicolo Martinenghi Leads Field in Semifinals of 100 Breaststroke; Michael Andrew Locked Out

Nicolo Martinenghi Kazan

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World Championships: Nicolo Martinenghi Leads Field in Semifinals of 100 Breaststroke; Michael Andrew Locked Out

No race on the men’s program is missing its top-end firepower like the 100-meter breaststroke, due to the absence of British superstar Adam Peaty. The three-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist in the event, Peaty suffered a broken foot during dryland training in the leadup to the World Championships.

With Peaty on the sideline, Nicolo Martinenghi is among the athletes looking to stand on the top of the podium.

The bronze medalist in the event at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Martinenghi narrowly earned the top seed for the final of the 100 breast. The Italian touched the wall in 58.46, less than a tenth of a second clear of the 58.55 of American Nic Fink, the veteran who gets better with age. Martinenghi and Fink battled throughout the first semifinal and will see Dutchman Arno Kamminga in the mix for the medals in the final.

Kamminga, who was the runnerup to Peaty in Tokyo, won the second semifinal in an effort of 58.89, the last of the sub-59 clockings. Kamminga has enjoyed a strong preparation season and will be a factor for the gold medal, although he will likely have to slice at least a half-second off his semifinal performance. Kamminga, along with Peaty, is one of only two individuals to ever crack the 58-second barrier in the event, with Peaty owning the world record at an eye-popping 56.88.

The surprise of the semifinals was the ninth-place finish of Michael Andrew, who was expected to be a medal contender heading into the World Champs. Coming off the semifinals of the 50 butterfly earlier in the session, Andrew didn’t rebound from that swim and went only 59.63 to miss the final by one spot. His ninth-place time was .11 shy of what was needed to race for a medal.

Kamminga took a moment to reflect on Peaty’s absence, and its influence on the event.

“Yes, of course,” he said of a changed dynamic. “It’s not only Peaty missing. It’s the Russians (and Belarus), so you see the field is much, much slower than normal. It is different racing but I am glad I did two races today and won both of them, so I’m happy.”


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