World Cup: Kyle Chalmers Soars to Circuit Sweep in 100 Freestyle; Two WJRs For Bella Sims

kyle chalmers - Swimming Australia

The second night of the FINA World Cup in Indianapolis offered a number of enticing matchups and a glimpse of three of the sport’s premier young talents. In addition to racing from Katie Ledecky, Siobhan Haughey, Kyle Chalmers and Shaine Casas, action at the Indiana University Natatorium featured rising teenage stars Summer McIntosh of Canada and the United States’ Bella Sims and Katie Grimes.

Prior to the start of finals, Grimes set a world junior record in the 1500-meter freestyle, as she clocked a time of 15:42.05 to lower the previous standard by more than three seconds. Grimes’ pursuit of the WJR in the event was part of a special time trial set up by FINA, since the women’s 1500 freestyle is not part of the schedule at this leg of the World Cup. Last week in Toronto, McIntosh set world junior marks in the 400 freestyle and 400 individual medley.

Highlighting the night session, Sims set a pair of world junior records. She opened with a mark in the 200 freestyle and backed that up with a standard in the 100 backstroke.

Here is a look at what unfolded on Friday night in Indy:

Meet Results

Women’s 400 Individual Medley

Canada’s Sydney Pickrem used a strong breaststroke leg to overtake the USA’s Katie Grimes and held on to win the 400 IM to kick off racing on Friday night. Pickrem touched the wall in 4:26.66 to earn the gold medal. Grimes, who set a world junior record in the 1500 during a time trial earlier in the day, still had enough in the tank in the 400 IM to take second in 4:27.11.

Canada’s Bailey Andison finished third in 4:31.40, followed by the USA’s Leah Smith (4:33.24) and Israel’s Anastasia Gorbenko (4:33.71).

Men’s 1500 Freestyle

Reigning Olympic champion Bobby Finke claimed a comfortable decision in the mile, as he produced a time of 14:45.77 to place nearly three seconds ahead of the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Gemov (14:48.72). Finke was three seconds behind Gemov at the 800-meter mark, had too much over the back half of the race. Third place went to Charlie Clark of the United States in 14:50.44.

Men’s 50 Backstroke

As was the case in the 50 freestyle on Night One, Trinidad & Tobago’s Dylan Carter completed a World Cup sweep, this time taking the 50 backstroke in a career-best time of 22.72. Carter and silver medalist Ryan Murphy (22.99) were the only athletes to crack the 23-second barrier, but Carter had plenty of margin en route to a $10,000 bonus for his three-stop sweep. Taking third place was American Justin Ress in 23.07.

Women’s 200 Freestyle

Siobhan Haughey made it two events in a row in which a World Cup sweep was registered, as she was under world-record pace through the first half of the race. Ultimately, Haughey touched the wall in 1:51.19, which was nearly a second clear of the 1:52.10 of Katie Ledecky, who was chasing the American record of 1:51.81. Third place went to Aussie Madison Wilson in 1:52.23, while Bella Sims of the U.S. set a world junior record of 1:52.59.

Men’s 200 Individual Medley

Before becoming one of the world’s best middle-distance freestylers, Kieran Smith regarded the 200 medley as one of his prime events. The American proved he still excels in the event on Friday night, as he prevailed in 1:52.98. Smith took control on the backstroke leg and held the lead through the finish, with Lithuanian Danas Rapsys placing second in 1:53.37.

Women’s 100 Backstroke

A second world junior record on the night from Bella Sims was the highlight of the race, as the Sandpipers of Nevada standout went 55.75 to break the previous mark of 55.99. Sims got to the wall ahead of American Beata Nelson, who was followed by Canada’s Ingrid Wilm in 56.00. Sims was fourth at the midway point in 27.19, but her back-half effort of 28.56 changed the dynamic of the race and carried Sims to another WJR, complementing her standard in the 200 freestyle from earlier in the session.

Men’s 50 Breaststroke

The class of the breaststroke events through the World Cup, the United States’ Nic Fink maintained his dominance of the stroke by winning his third consecutive title in the 50 distance. Fink was the lone swimmer to go sub-26, his 25.83 outing ahead of the 26.02 by Italian Nicolo Martinenghi for second place. Michael Andrew checked in with a 26.32 for third place.

Women’s 50 Butterfly

Sweden’s Louise Hansson got the best of France’s Beryl Gastaldello in the shortest butterfly event, as her 25.16 marker was .02 quicker than Gastaldello. Hansson has enjoyed a strong World Cup circuit and put together a speedy 100 butterfly in a second-place finish to Maggie Mac Neil last week. This time, she got to the wall ahead of the field and will look to repeat that victory in the 100 distance on Saturday.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

On the way to a World Cup sweep, Aussie Kyle Chalmers showed himself to be untouchable. The world-record holder in the event, Chalmers surged to the lead on the opening 50 meters and expanded his margin during the second half of the race. At the wall, Chalmers was timed in 45.55, which was easily ahead of the 46.27 from Italian Thomas Ceccon. Third place was secured by Drew Kibler of the United States in 46.82.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, the 2012 Olympic champion in the 100 breaststroke, made a run at the world record and came away with an impressive victory in 1:02.77. Meilutyte was out in 29.17 and became the fifth World Cup triple-crown winner of the night. Meilutyte was followed by American Lilly King, who registered a swim of 1:03.74.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

Trailing American Trenton Julian through 150 meters, South Africa’s Chad Le Clos closed the gap and pulled ahead over the last two laps to win in 1:49.89, with Julian going 1:50.08 for second place. Le Clos’ closing 50 meters 28.30, compared to the 29.67 of Julian. Canadian Ilya Kharun was third in 1:51.70.

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