2022 FINA WORLD WATER CHAMPIONSHIPS
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Sunday’s morning session is less tense than Saturday’s with only five preliminary rounds on Day 2 of the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Four of the events – Women’s 100 Back, Men’s 100 Back, Women’s 100 Breast and Men’s 200 Free – will have semi-finals later in the day. Qualifiers from the women’s 1500 free heats will skip the semifinals and go straight into Monday’s finals.
Morning events on Day 2:
- Women’s 100 Back – Preliminary Round
- Men’s 100 back – preliminary round
- Women’s 100 Breaststroke – Preliminary
- Men 200 free – preliminary round
- Women 1500 Free – Preliminary
Day 2 Top Storylines to Follow:
- It’s rare for the three fastest performers in history to be at their best at the same time, but that was the case recently women 100 back. The reigning Olympic champion is at the top of the entry list Kaylee McKeown, who broke the world record with 57.45 at the Australian Trials last year. And then there’s Kylie Massthe two-time defending champion from Canada, along with ReganSmith, who boasts the world’s only sub-58 swim this year with a US Open record 57.76 from the International Team Trials in April. When one of these three juggernauts slips, 17-year-old rising star Claire Curzan could sneak in as the holder of the third fastest time this year (58.39) and snag a podium spot.
- That men 100 back is perhaps the race hardest hit by the current ban on Russian swimmers that prevented the reigning Olympic champion Yevgeny Rylov and reigning Olympic silver medalist Kliment Kolesnikov from the competition. All eyes will be on it Hunter Armstrong, who is making his World Championship debut after his recent world record in his 50’s back at US studies. With American Ryan Murphy will try to avenge his second place at Armstrong in the 100 backstroke at the same meeting as the Italian record holder Thomas Cecon will also try to take advantage of the Russians’ absence here.
- That women 100 breast is led by two swimmers trying to recover after disappointing performances in Tokyo last summer. World record holder and two-time defending champion Lili King took Olympic bronze behind his American compatriot Lydia Jacobi, who did not qualify for the event this year. King’s toughest challenge could come from Japan Reona Aokiwho has the world’s fastest time this year (1:05.19), more than two seconds faster than her 19th place finish at the Tokyo Olympics.
- A stacked men 200 free Field became a little less crowded than Britain Duncan Scott dropped out due to training fights after COVID-19 but it’s still an open race. Kieran Smith‘s 1:45.25 by US Trials is believed to be the world’s fastest time this year. South African teenager Matt States had been in tears after his decision to turn pro and defeated the Olympic gold medalist tom dean at the final stop of the Mare Nostrum Tour in Barcelona with a personal best of 1:45.91. Another young speedster to watch is a Romanian teenager David Popovici, who missed an Olympic medal in Tokyo by just 0.02 seconds. The now 17-year-old Popovici caused a sensation at his first world championships in Budapest despite a season best of 1:46.28.
- Unlike the previous draw, there is little doubt about the final race of Sunday’s morning session women 1500 free. The question is not whether superstar Katie Ledecky wins, but by how much. She has the 12 fastest times in the history of the event, 18.4 seconds faster than any other woman in history. Although she hasn’t been under 15:30 since March 2020, her 15:38.99 from the US Trials in April is still the fastest in the world by a margin of 12 seconds. The fight for the silver figures between aspiring long-distance stars will be exciting Katie Grimes and Lani Pallisterboth of whom achieved personal bests in exams.