2022 FINA WORLD WATER CHAMPIONSHIPS
It’s Day 3 of the Finals at the 2022 FINA World Championships and we have another packed session ahead of us. There are five finals tonight, meaning there are 15 more medals up for grabs. These finals are the Men’s 200 Free, Women’s 1500 Free, Women’s 100 Back, Men’s 100 Back, and Women’s 100 Chest.
In the semifinals we have the men 50 breaststroke, women 200 free and men 200 fly. It should be another great racing session as many of these events (medal round or not) have a tight field filled with veterans and rising stars alike.
Schedule for Day 3 finals
- Men 200 Free – Finals
- Women 1500 Free – Finals
- Men’s 50 Breaststroke – Semifinals
- Women’s 100 Backstroke – Final
- Men’s 100 Backstroke – Final
- Women 200 Free – Semifinals
- Men’s 200 Fly – Semifinals
- Women’s 100 breaststroke final
Men 200 Free
With his junior world record of 1:44.40 from the semifinals David Popovici goes into this final with a slight lead. But this first final has the potential to be the race of the night, as it could be argued that victory comes from almost any track. With teen phenomenon Hwang Sunwoo will be looking to reclaim his junior world record and Tokyo gold medalist tom dean was strong throughout the rounds. Popovici opened his under-24 semiswim, the fastest in the field, so look for him to take the race from the opening lengths to the field.
Specifically #2 seeds Felix Aubock and 400 free world champions Elijah Winnington both scraped out of the 800 free heats in the previous session, signaling that they are both in full swing for this race.
Women 1500 Free
no surprises here Katie Ledecky is the favorite for gold. If she wins, it will be her 17th world title and will extend her lead as the top swimmer at the world championships. She clocked 15:47.02 in the heats, a far cry from the 15:38.99 she posted for the US Trials win. It was a strong heat swim, however, and she still has over nine seconds left Simon Quadarella, the next fastest qualifier. Behind Ledecky there is a close race for silver and bronze. squarerella, Katie Grimes, Lani Pallisterand Moesha Johnson sit within 1.6 seconds of each other.
In the heats, Quadarella, Pallister and Johnson went neck and neck for the first 1,000 yards until Quadarella pulled away. A similar pattern could play out in the finals, but they also need to factor in Grimes, who was just 10-15 yards from Ledecky midway through their heat.
100 women’s backs
ReganSmith set the world record in the semifinals, achieving the sixth-fastest performance in history at 57.65. That’s just 0.08 seconds off her American record of 57.57. With the current world record holder Kaylee McKeownscrapping this event in favor of the 200 IM on Day 2, Smith’s main competition for gold will come from Canada Kylie Mass.
Smith leads Masse and the rest of the field by almost a second, making her the clear favorite for the finals. Masse clocked a 58.57 in the semifinals, a far cry from her personal best of 57.70. However, she seemed to slow down towards the end of her swim, which could mean she was saving something for tonight or was slightly out of shape. We’ll find out soon.
The only other woman was under 59 Claire Curzanand set them firmly in the third seed. To win her first international senior long distance medal (individual), she must make a save Kira Toussaintwho was as fast as 58.65.
men 100 back
Greece Apostolus Christou swam dominantly in the semifinals, setting a new championship record of 52.09 and becoming the #7 fastest player of all time. Behind him Italy Thomas Cecon and Ksawery Masiuk Each set their own national records, qualifying second and fourth, with Ceccon becoming the No. 10 fastest performer in history at 52.12 hours.
The three have to compete with the American duo Hunter Armstrong and Ryan Murphy. Armstrong qualified third with a 52.37, slightly off his personal best of 52.20. World record holder Murphy clocked 52.80 to qualify sixth. That’s the lowest starting number Murphy has brought to the finals in years; He was historically the top seed. He was also slower through the rounds than he was supposed to win at the US Trials. While that doesn’t mean he’s out of the medal fight, his time progression and the momentum that the top end of the field is bringing to the finals mean the possibility is definitely there.
women 100 breast
Anna misery (Germany) and Benedetta Pilato (Italy) are the top two seeds heading into the final and both were just shy of their national records in the semis. Elendt has been steadily improving this season and Pilato was DQed at the Tokyo Games so this is a nice setback for them. Elendt has never won a medal on the senior international stage, and she’s put herself in a great position to capture her first.
Speaking of returning to form, former world record holder Ruta Meluttyte enters the final as fourth seed with a time of 1:06.04. The 2012 Olympic champion hasn’t ridden in a couple of years so this is a big comeback for her.
At the other end of the spectrum, gold medalists from Rio Lili King was pushed into the finals after her teammate Annie Lasors DQ. King didn’t look through the rounds as usual and wasn’t busted as early as she normally does. But she hates losing as much (if not more) as anyone, so look out for her to try to regain her form and pull yourself up to the podium.
Fast goals in the semifinals
- After eight DQs in the men’s 50 breast heats, we finally have our top 16. They’re led by 100 breast gold medalists Nicol Martinenghiwho wants to go two against two. Michael Andrew, Joao Gomes Jr., and 100 breast bronze medalists Nick Fink are close behind.
- Even with Olympic silver medalists Siobhan Haughey from the meeting, We have a great race in the Women’s 200 Free. Junxuan Yang is the top seed, but four women are within a second of her. Both semifinals should be great races and keep an eye on them taylor jerkwho has returned to her form this season and appeared to be on cruise control during the middle 100 of her swim.
- Kristof Milak played and hung out with the men in his preliminary round Trenton Julian for the first 175 yards until absolutely blasting past him in the last 25 for a field lead of 1:54.10. He probably won’t show his cards until the Day 4 final, but watch out for his closing speed. Noé Ponti was also excellent this morning, posting a 1:54.75. 400 IM Champion Leon Marchand is safe in the semifinals with a 1:56.38 but sits 11th so will need to do some work to reach his second final of the meeting.