2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
It’s Day 2 of finals in Budapest at 2022 Worlds, and we’ve got another busy session. We’ll start things off with two finals–the men’s 100 breast and women’s 100 fly–before semifinals of the men’s 100 back and the women’s 100 breast. In the back half of the session, we’ve got finals of the men’s 50 fly and women’s 200 IM sandwiching semifinals of the women’s 100 back and men’s 200 free.
The U.S women will be eager to carry their momentum from night 1, where they put 2 swimmers in the top 3 of every single event, and won bronze in the women’s 4×100 free relay.
On the men’s side, night 1’s individual events were something of a changing of the guard, as Elijah Winnington and Leon Marchand asserted themselves in a big way. Look for that to continue tonight, as we’ll see a new winner in the men’s 100 breast and teen speedsters David Popovici and Hwang Sun-woo lead the way in the 200 free.
Day 2 Finals Schedule
Men’s 100 Breast–Final
Women’s 100 Fly–Final
Men’s 100 Back–Semifinal
Women’s 100 Breast–Semifinal
Men’s 50 Fly–Final
Women’s 100 Back–Semifinal
Men’s 200 Free–Semifinal
Women’s 200 IM–Final
Men’s 100 Breast
For the first time since 2015, we’ll have a new World Champion in the 100 breast. With Adam Peaty out, Dutchman Arno Kamminga is the favorite, as he’s the #2 performer in history and the Tokyo silver medalist. He’s been relatively restrained through the rounds; posting 58.69 in the heats and then 58.89 to qualify into the final fourth. We know Kamminga is capable of breaking 58, it’s just a question of whether he’s on that kind of form in Budapest.
He’ll be pushed by Tokyo bronze medalist Nicolo Martinenghi and American Nic Fink, who are the top two qualifiers. They went head-to-head in last night’s semifinal, and pushed each other the entire way, with Martinenghi getting the better of Fink, 58.46 to 58.55. Those times are within shouting distance of their respective bests, so they could both have a big swim in store tonight. Those three are the only ones in the final who have been sub-59 in Budapest, so they’re the three big medal favorites coming in.
Women’s 100 Fly
Torri Huske turned under world record pace in both the heats and the semifinals, so look for that trend to continue here as well. She held on well, dominating her semifinal in 56.29 and has over a half-second gap between her and the next fastest swimmer, Marie Wattel. After missing out on an Olympic medal by .01, she’s set herself up well to have her first senior individual international medal be gold.
Behind her, there’s a tight battle for silver and bronze shaping up as Wattel, Claire Curzan, Brianna Throssell, and Louise Hansson all got under 57 seconds and are within .17 seconds of each other.
Notably, China’s Zhang Yufei clocked 57.03 to qualify for the final in sixth. She looked a off form in the semifinal, so it seems unlikely that she’ll get close to her lifetime best 55.62, or even contend for a medal. If she finds another gear though, she could put herself in the hunt with the other five women.
Men’s 50 Fly
We’re set for an absolute dogfight here. 2017 World Champion Ben Proud leads the way and looks on excellent form, as he hit 22.76, one hundredth off his best. Behind him is the 2019 World Champion Caeleb Dressel, and the co-world record holders in the short course edition of this race, Szebasztian Szabo and Nicholas Santos, the latter of whom squeaked into the final in eighth place.
But that’s not all, because Thomas Ceccon has tied with Dressel in each round so far, and broken the Italian Record twice. There’s also Michael Andrew, who will be all in for this event after failing to qualify for the 100 breast final. He’ll be eager to bounce back from that disappointment by claiming his first individual long course Worlds medal.
Lurking in the sixth and seventh seed are Dylan Carter and Teong Tzen Wei. Of the two, Carter is more likely to be a medal threat as Teong has yet to break 23 seconds and Carter cracked a Trinidad and Tobago national record of 22.87 in heats.
Women’s 200 IM
American Alex Walsh looks ready to run away with our last final of the session, as she cruised to the top time of 2:08.74 after opening up a big lead on the front half of her semifinal race. She’s a second clear of her teammate Leah Hayes, who’s the next fastest in the field.
Kaylee McKeown could have something big in store though. She scratched the 100 back prelims to manage per program and focus on getting experience in the IM events. That gets her out of a tough 100 back/200 IM double in this session, so she’ll be fresh for the final. The rest of the field is sitting close to her, and Canada’s Mary-Sophie Harvey hit a lifetime best 2:10.22 to qualify just behind McKeown in fourth. Harvey, Kim Seoyeong, and Anastasia Gorbenko all look ready to put up a fight for a medal.
And there’s also Katinka Hosszu, the four-time world champion in this event, who scraped into the final in eighth. It looks unlikely that she’ll repeat for a fifth title, but she won’t go quietly either.
Day 2 Semifinal Quick Hits
Hunter Armstrong was the only man sub-53 in the men’s 100 back prelims, and had the fastest first 50 in 25.48. Expect him to take the race out fast again tonight, but it’s likely that he won’t be the only one under 53. Armstrong was pushed by Ryosuke Irie, who came on strong in the back half. Ryan Murphy is sitting sixth after a conservative 53.42 and also keep an eye on Thomas Ceccon, who has a quick turnaround to the men’s 50 fly after this event.
Qianting Tang posted the only sub 1:06 in the women’s 100 breast, getting close to her lifetime best in 1:05.99. Hitting a best was Australia’s Jenna Straunch, which bodes well for their medley relay later in the meet. Look for the Americans Lilly King and Annie Lazor to move up tonight, as well as Germany’s Anna Elendt. Former world record holder Ruta Meilutyte is sitting ninth, after clocking 1:06.71.
Without McKeown, the women’s 100 back has become a two person battle between Regan Smith and Kylie Masse. They won’t be in the same semi, but expect them to fire warning shots at each other from across the two heats. No one in the field hit their entry time, so this race could get a lot faster tonight. This is the back half of Curzan’s 100 fly/100 back double, so it will be interesting to see what she’s got left in the tank for her semi.
The men’s 200 free could be the race of the night, and it’s only a semi. Popovici and Hwang lead the way, but Felix Auboeck and Tom Dean are just behind them. With 400 free medalists Elijah Winnington and Lukas Märtens also in the field, along with Tokyo bronze medalist Fernando Scheffer, both semis are shaping up to be absolutely electric. Don’t be surprised if there’s at least one big name left on the outside looking in on the final.