World Cup Budapest, Day 1 Prelims: Ilya Shymanovich Returns As Neutral Athlete, Ninth In 100m Breaststroke

Ilya Shymanovich: Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

World Cup Budapest, Day 1 Prelims: Ilya Shymanovich Returns As Neutral Athlete, Ninth In 100m Breaststroke

Ilya Shymanovich returned to international competition as a neutral athlete when the third and final leg of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup got under way on Friday in Budapest.

Belarus pair Shymanovich and Anastasiya Shkurdai appeared in the men’s 100m breaststroke and women’s 50 free respectively.

It follows the announcement by World Aquatics last month that swimmers from Russia and Belarus – banned since the former’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 – could return as neutral athletes (NIA, Neutral Independent Athlete).

Shymanovich, the 2021 world short-course 100 breaststroke champion, finished ninth in the prelims, locked out of the final by one place and 0.45secs while Shkurdai was 15th.

Olympic 200 fly champion Kristof Milak had been slated to make his return to competitive waters after withdrawing from the World Championships with physical and mental exhaustion.

However, the crowd at the Duna Arena won’t be seeing their hometown favourite and it’s unclear when he’ll return to competition.

Kaylee McKeown and Qin Haiyang head the respective women’s and men’s World Cup rankings after the meets in Berlin and Athens.

Here’s how day one of prelims unfolded:

Women’s 400m Freestyle

Erika Fairweather is chasing the triple crown following her first-place finishes in Berlin and Athens.

On Friday, the New Zealander posted the fastest time of 4:06.74 ahead of 2022 European bronze medallist Ajna Kesely (4:08.88) and Lani Pallister – runner up in the first two legs – (4:09.28).


Men’s 400m Freestyle

World champion Sam Short booked top spot in 3:49.83 ahead of Danas Rapsys who came home in 27.61 to book the lane alongside the Australian in 3:50.94.

Friday’s final promises to be a corker with Rapsys going for the triple crown, Kieran Smith next through in 3:51.63.

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Women’s 50m Backstroke

Kaylee McKeown swept the backstroke events in Berlin and Athens and came within 0.04 of Liu Xiang’s 26.98 world record in the Greek capital.

The world champion was the only woman inside 28secs in 27.47 ahead of Kylie Masse (28.08) and Ingrid Wilm (28.22).

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Men’s 200m Backstroke

Josh Edwards-Smith of Australia led the way in 2:00.12 ahead of Apostolos Christou (2:00.57) and Roman Mityukov (2:00.64).

Thomas Ceccon – chasing the 100 triple crown – and Adam Telegdy of Hungary were next through in 2:00.73.

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Women’s 200m Butterfly

Zhang Yufei has shown consistent quality throughout 2023 with a roll-call to make your eyes water…..

On course for the triple crown, the Chinese swimmer posted 2:09.89, more than two seconds swifter than 2019 world champion Boglarka Kapas (2:11.96) who’ll be roared on by the home crowd in the finals.

World junior champion Lana Pudar clocked 2:12.42 to progress third.

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Men’s 100m Butterfly

Olympic bronze medallist Noe Ponti booked lane four in 51.34 ahead of Jesse Coleman (51.88) and Matt Sates (51.99).

Chad Le Clos – a two-time Olympic silver medallist in this event – claimed the eighth and last spot in 52.51, Michael Andrew locked out by 0.19 in ninth.

The American had won the 100 fly at the World Cup opener in Berlin and was joint second last weekend.

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Women’s 200m Breaststroke

Tes Schouten – who won bronze at the Fukuoka worlds – is seeking the triple crown in this event.

The Netherlands swimmer booked lane four in 2:24.66 with Jenna Strauch alongside her in 2:25.83.

Lydia Jacoby – the Tokyo Olympic champion over 100m – was 10th in 2:30.29.

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Men’s 100m Breaststroke

Qin Haiyang has been unstoppable across all the breaststroke events in 2023 with clean sweeps at the World Championships, World University Games and Asian Games.

The Chinese swimmer is seeking the triple crown across all three distances and started his quest on Friday in the final heat alongside Shymanovich.

Qin booked lane four in 59.19 with 0.74 separating the first seven home as Andrius Sidlauskas of Lithuania took the eighth and final spot in 1:00.14 ahead of Shymanovich.

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Women’s 50m Freestyle

Sarah Sjostrom renewed acquaintance with Cate Campbell once more, the Swede clocking 24.14 as her quest for the triple crown got under way.

Cate Campbell will be in lane five alongside the Swede after posting 24.49 with sister Bronte next through in 24.51.

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Men’s 50m Freestyle

Dylan Carter booked lane four in 21.98 – the only man inside 22 – as 0.30 separated second to eighth.

Michael Andrew will be alongside him, returning after ninth in the 100 fly to go 22.05 with Kenzo Simons next in 22.11.

Also through is Ben Proud (22.22) with Isaac Cooper taking the final spot in 22.35, squeaking in by 0.02 ahead of Abdelrahman Sameh (22.37).

Nandor Nemeth and Alessandro Miressi were also locked out.

2023-10-20 (9)

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