2022 FINA WORLD WATER CHAMPIONSHIPS
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Saturday’s opening session of the pool at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships is packed with veteran world record holders and rising stars in Budapest, Hungary. Five of day one’s nine events forgo the semi-finals and go straight into the finals in the evening where medals will be awarded: Men’s 400 Free, Women’s 400 Free, Men’s 400 IM, Men’s 4×100 Free Relay and Women’s 4×100 Free Relay.
Saturday morning’s schedule will also include the preliminary rounds for the women’s 100m fly, men’s 50m fly, men’s 100m breaststroke and women’s 200m. The medal rounds for these events will take place on Sunday evening (Budapest time).
Morning events on Day 1:
- Women 200 IM – preliminary round
- Men 400 Free – Preliminary
- Women 100 Fly – Preliminary
- Men’s 50 Fly – Preliminary Round
- Women 400 Free – Preliminary
- Men’s 100 Breaststroke – Preliminary
- Men’s 400 IM – preliminary round
- Women’s 4×100 Meter Free Relay – Preliminary Round
- Men’s 4×100 Meter Free Relay – Preliminary Round
A world record holder drives in two of the seven individual events – the sixth-placed Hungarian Katinka Hosszu in the women 200 IM and fifth seeded Ukrainian Andriy Govorov in the men’s 50s bow tie.
The relays are also led by an Australian women’s 4×100 free team that broke the world record in Tokyo last summer, but only one swimmer from that squad – meg harris – competes in Budapest.
Key storylines from the morning session of Day 1:
- After dominating the 200 IM in major international competitions from 2013 to 2019, Katinka HosszuHer reign ended last summer in Tokyo, where she finished seventh, well behind her world record pace. The battle for the throne appears to be a two-way battle between two 20-year-old sophomores at the University of Virginia Alex Walsch and Australian phenomenon Kaylee McKeown. Walsh may be the more inexperienced of the pair, but her 2:07.84 from the US Trials in April is believed to be the world’s fastest time this year – more than a second faster than McKeown’s 2:09.15 from the Australian Trials, the one about a second behind her was best in life.
- Leader German Luke Martens appears to be continuing the momentum in the men’s 400m free after an electric jump that gave him a time of 3:41.60 at the Stockholm Open, more than three seconds faster than his previous best. That time makes him the eighth fastest performer of all time and the fastest since 2017. Martens are expected to be the biggest challengers Elijah Winnington – whose 3:43.10 from Australian stages was 0.55 seconds slower than his entry time – and a fellow German Hennig Bennet Mühlleitner. Surprise Olympic Champion Ahmed Hafnaoui was missing from the Psych sheet published on Thursday.
- Even after a few late scratches off Kyle Chalmers and Kristof Milak, the men’s ’50s fly is still star-studded. There are long-distance world record holders Andriy Govorovco-short course world record holders Nicholas Santos and Szebasztian Szabo and the last three long course world champions: Caeleb Dressel (2019), ben proud (2017) and Florent Manaudou (2015). And that is without mention Michael Andrewwho was just 0.03 seconds behind Dressel in US trials.
- Katie Ledecky is the big favorite in the women’s 400 free afterwards Ariarne Titus decided not to go to Budapest. But Titmus’ new world record of 3:56.40 from Australian trials might just serve as motivation for Ledecky to push herself, even as she’s way ahead of a field that includes the rising Canadian star Summer McIntosh.
- 26-year-old Dutchman Arno Kamminga appears poised to claim his first World Championships long distance gold medal in the men’s 100m breaststroke following the retirement of the 27-year-old Briton last month Adam Peaty. Reigning Olympic champion, world champion and world record holder in the event, Peaty is sitting out the World Championships while recovering from a broken bone in his foot. Michael Andrew could be Kamminga’s closest competitor with an entry time of 58.14, just 0.34 seconds off the leader.
- The men’s 400 IM includes the reigning Olympic gold medalist Chase Kalisz and defending champion Daiya Setobut a new champion might be crowned if Carson Foster can pull off a big stroke on his first long course worlds.
- In the men’s 4×100 free relay, the Americans are looking to continue a stretch of dominance that stretches back to the 2016 Olympics. In Tokyo, they clocked a 3:08.97, the fastest time in 13 years, more than a second ahead of second-placed Italy (3:10.11). Even though Caeleb Dressel is the sole member of Tokyo Racing’s gold medal-winning quartet in Budapest (Brooks curry swam in the preliminary relay), the team’s overall time in the best flat starts of the season is more than a second faster than Italy, the next fastest team.