2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The penultimate night of finals from the 2022 World Championships promises to be another exciting one with several intriguing storylines to follow with medals on the line in six different events.
Friday’s session will feature finals in the women’s 50 fly, men’s 50 free, men’s 100 fly, women’s 200 back, women’s 800 free, and the mixed 400 free relay to close things out.
In the women’s 800 free, Katie Ledecky has a chance to become the first swimmer to win the same event five straight times at the World Championships, and would win the distance treble (400, 800 and 1500 free) for the fourth time if she manages to claim victory.
We’ve also got a number of doubles to keep an eye on for the session, including half of the women’s 50 fly final having 20 minutes or less between that race and the semis of the 50 free.
Sarah Sjostrom has a chance to win the 50 fly for the fourth straight time at the beginning of the session, and then she’ll have 20 minutes before taking on the second semi in the 50 free. The same will be the case for Marie Wattel and Zhang Yufei, while American Torri Huske will only have 15 minutes, as she’s racing in the first semi of the 50 free.
DAY 6 LINKS
Josh Liendo and Michael Andrew will do the double that Caeleb Dressel has made look easy in the last two championships, swimming the final of the men’s 50 free and the 100 fly. The two will have roughly 35 minutes between swims.
Without Dressel or Bruno Fratus in the final, Great Britain’s Ben Proud immediately becomes the favorite to win the 50 free, while Hungarian Kristof Milak is the clear front-runner in the 100 fly.
In the women’s 200 back it figures to be Americans Phoebe Bacon and Rhyan White with a chance to snag gold away from Australian Kaylee McKeown, who is the reigning Olympic champion but has maybe been at 95 percent in Budapest.
Canadian Kylie Masse is also a threat, having won bronze at the 2019 World Championships and silver to McKeown at the Olympics, but she looked a bit off in the semis and you have to wonder if she has the back-half in her after winning the 50 back earlier.
The mixed 400 free relay projects to be a close battle, with the United States having gone undefeated in the event since it made its World Championships debut in 2015.
The U.S. qualified first this morning in 3:24.48, with Canada (3:25.30) and Australia (3:25.55) close behind.
We’ve also got semis in the women’s 50 breast and men’s 50 back in what will be a very fast session with a total of eight 50-meter heats.
Read a full preview of the session here.
SWIMSWAM WATCH PARTY
Women’s 50 Butterfly – FINAL
- Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 24.95
- Melanie Henique (FRA), 25.31
- Zhang Yufei (CHN), 25.32
- Farida Osman (EGY), 25.38
- Claire Curzan (USA), 25.43
- Torri Huske (USA), 25.45
- Marie Wattel (FRA), 25.79
- Maaike de Waard (NED), 25.85
Sarah Sjostrom‘s reign of dominance continues in the women’s 50 butterfly, winning the event for the fourth straight time at the World Championships.
Sjostrom is the only female swimmer in history under the 25-second barrier and she added another to her list tonight, clocking 24.95 to extinguish the field by more than three-tenths of a second.
The Swede joins an elite club of swimmers who have the same event four straight times at Worlds: Grant Hackett (men’s 1500 free), Katie Ledecky (800 free), Ryan Lochte (200 IM), Katinka Hosszu (200 IM) and Sun Yang (400 free).
In a tight battle for silver, France’s Melanie Henique (25.31) out-touched China’s Zhang Yufei (25.32) by one one-hundredth for the second step on the podium, with Zhang’s time marking a new Chinese Record.
Zhang also completes the bronze sweep, having placed third in all three female butterfly events here in Budapest.
Just missing out on winning a third straight medal in the event was Egypt’s Farida Osman, who placed fourth in a new African Record of 25.38.
American Claire Curzan set a new lifetime best to take fifth in 25.43, having previously been 25.49, while teammate Torri Huske was only .07 off her American Record from last night but fell four spots to sixth in 25.45.
Men’s 50 Freestyle – FINAL
- World Record: 20.91, Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 2009 Brazilian Championships
- Championship Record: 21.04, Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 2019 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 21.07
- 2019 World Champion: Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 21.04
- Ben Proud (GBR), 21.32
- Michael Andrew (USA), 21.41
- Maxime Grousset (FRA), 21.57
- Szebasztian Szabo (HUN), 21.60
- Josh Liendo (CAN), 21.61
- Lorenzo Zazzeri (ITA), 21.81
- Lewis Burras (GBR), 21.83
- Kristian Gkolomeev (GRE), 21.89
Ben Proud used his explosive start to gain an early advantage on the men’s 50 free field as he goes on to win his first LC World Championship title in a time of 21.32, his fastest showing since 2018.
Proud won bronze in 2017 and then placed fifth in Gwangju.
It’s also the first victory for Great Britain ever in this event, and just the fourth time in 15 editions that the men’s 50 free has been won by a European swimmer.
American Michael Andrew closed well from Lane 2 to pick up the silver medal in a time of 21.41, dipping under his previous best time of 21.45 set in late April at the U.S. Trials.
Andrew has now won a medal in three separate 50-meter events here in Budapest, becoming the first swimmer ever to do so.
Frenchman Maxime Grousset, who needed to hit a massive best time in a swim-off last night (21.59) just to earn a lane in the final, pulls off a third-place finish in another PB of 21.57 to claim bronze, out-touching Hungarian Szebasztian Szabo (21.60) and Canadian Josh Liendo (21.61) by mere hundredths.
Liendo’s swim knocks .02 off his Canadian National Record.
Both Andrew and Liendo will race the 100 fly final in about half an hour. Andrew’s better event was clearly this race, so it’s beneficial to have this one under the belt as he goes into the 100 fly where is also a medal hopeful.
Women’s 50 Freestyle – SEMI-FINALS
- World Record: 23.67, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 2017 World Championships
- Championship Record: 23.67, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 2017
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Emma McKeon (AUS), 23.81
- 2019 World Champion: Simone Manuel (USA), 24.05
Top 8 Qualifiers:
- Kasia Wasick (POL), 24.11
- Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), 24.15
- Meg Harris (AUS), 24.39
- Erika Brown (USA), 24.59
- Anna Hopkin (GBR) / Zhang Yufei (CHN), 24.60
- Torri Huske (USA), 24.63
- Julie Kepp Jensen (DEN), 24.86
Kasia Wasick has been on fire this year and clearly her form has carried over into these championships, as she blasted her way to a new Polish Record of 24.11 in the first semi of the women’s 50 freestyle.
Wasick had previously been 24.17 at the European Championships last year, and she now ranks tied for 14th all-time in this event.
Showing no ill effects of having raced (and won) the 50 fly just minutes earlier, Sarah Sjostrom took control of the second semi and touched first in 24.15, advancing into the final second overall.
Sjostrom, the 2017 world champion, has a chance to reclaim her title tomorrow night after earning silver in 2019. Wasick, on the other hand, could become the first Polish swimmer to win a medal in this event.
Australian Meg Harris chopped more than a tenth off her previous best time of 24.51 to qualify third overall in 24.39, while American Erika Brown (24.59) advances in fourth.
Torri Huske, who swam in the first semi and therefore had about five fewer minutes than Sjostrom to recover from the 50 fly, did what she had to do and clocked 24.63 to move through in seventh.
Women’s 50 Breaststroke – SEMI-FINALS
Top 8 Qualifiers:
- Benedetta Pilato (ITA), 29.83
- Ruta Meilutyte (LTU), 29.97
- Lara van Niekerk (RSA), 29.99
- Tang Qianting (CHN), 30.10
- Eneli Jefimova (EST), 30.24
- Jhennifer Conceicao (BRA), 30.28
- Anna Elendt (GER), 30.30
- Lilly King (USA), 30.35
Coming off the high of winning her first world title a few nights ago in the 100 breast, Italian Benedetta Pilato established the fastest time of the semis in the women’s 50 breast, clocking 29.83.
Pilato has been known as a 50-meter specialist over the last number of years, highlighted by her winning silver in the event at the 2019 World Championships at the age of 14. She then broke the world last May in 29.30, taking down Lilly King‘s 29.40 mark from 2017.
Joining her sub-30 from the first semi was Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, who won silver in this event back in 2013. Meilutyte, the former world record holder who is still the third-fastest swimmer of all-time with her 29.48 form 2013, clocked 29.97 for second overall.
19-year-old South African Lara van Niekerk (29.99) out-touched China’s Tang Qianting (30.10) to win the second semi, qualifying them third and fourth overall for tomorrow night.
Tang’s swim was a new Asian Record, erasing the previous mark of 30.27 set by Japanese swimmer Reona Aoki in March of this year. Aoki was in the field tonight but missed out on the final, placing 11th in 30.71.
King, the two-time defending champion, squeaks into the final in 30.35 for eighth, the same position she held in the 100 breast semis before taking fourth in the final. King also won the 200 breast last night.
Men’s 100 Butterfly – FINAL
- Kristof Milak (HUN), 50.14
- Naoki Mizunuma (JPN), 50.94
- Josh Liendo (CAN), 50.97
- Michael Andrew (USA), 51.11
- Matthew Temple (AUS), 51.15
- Simon Bucher (AUT), 51.28
- Jakub Majerski (POL), 51.35
- Noe Ponti (SUI), 51.51
To the delight of the home crowd, Kristof Milak roared to his second gold medal of the championships in the men’s 100 butterfly, matching his semi-final time in 50.14.
The Hungarian noted he’s “not impressed” with the time since it wasn’t sub-50, having gone a European Record of 49.68 to win Olympic silver last summer, but nonetheless, he becomes the first swimmer since Chad Le Clos in 2013 to win the 100/200 fly double at Worlds.
Milak also becomes the first European to win the men’s 100 fly since Sweden’s Lars Frolander in 2001.
Naoki Mizunuma, who broke the Japanese Record in the semis at 50.81, turned eighth at the 50 in 24-flat but closed sub-27 to snag silver in 50.94, Japan’s first-ever medal in this event.
Josh Liendo, fresh off of the 50 free final where he placed fifth and set a new Canadian Record, came back from seventh at the turn to win bronze in 50.97, narrowly inching by American Michael Andrew (51.11), who was also coming off the 50 free (where he won silver).
Women’s 200 Backstroke – FINAL
- World Record: 2:03.35, Regan Smith (USA) – 2019 World Championships
- Championship Record: 2:03.35, Regan Smith (USA) – 2019 World Championships
- 2021 Olympic Champion: Kaylee McKeown (AUS) – 2:04.68
- 2019 World Champion: Regan Smith (USA) – 2:03.35
- Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 2:05.08
- Phoebe Bacon (USA), 2:05.12
- Rhyan White (USA), 2:06.96
- Margherita Panziera (ITA), 2:07.27
- Kylie Masse (CAN), 2:08.00
- Peng Xuwei (CHN), 2:09.13
- Dora Molnar (HUN), 2:10.08
- Katalin Burian (HUN), 2:10.37
In an incredible battle that came down to the last stroke, Kaylee McKeown wins her first World Championship title in the women’s 200 backstroke, out-touching American Phoebe Bacon by four one-hundredths in 2:05.08.
Bacon pulled ahead on the second 50, and then McKeown made up some ground on the third length but still trailed by more than three-tenths at the final turn. McKeown then drew even with Bacon coming home before edging her at the wall in a race that looked like it might’ve been a dead-heat.
|McKeown’s Splits||Bacon’s Splits|
|1:01.51 (31.92)||1:00.87 (31.19)|
|1:33.38 (31.87)||1:33.05 (32.18)|
|2:05.08 (31.70)||2:05.12 (32.07)|
McKeown’s time ties Bacon’s PB for the 12th-fastest swim in history, and for McKeown, it’s her sixth-fastest swim ever. The Australian owns a PB of 2:04.28, set at the 2021 Olympic Trials.
Bacon wins her first World Championship medal by essentially matching her best time in 2:05.12 (PB of 2:05.08), while her American teammate Rhyan White took third in 2:06.96 to mark the first time in history two U.S. swimmers reached the podium in this event.
Italian Margherita Panziera picks up fourth in 2:07.27, the same position she finished in 2019, while Canadian Kylie Masse didn’t have her usual closing ability and takes fifth in 2:08.00.
Masse, who won silver in this race at the Olympics, won the 50 back earlier and took silver in the 100 back.
Men’s 50 Backstroke – SEMI-FINALS
- World Record: 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (USA) – 2022 U.S. Trials
- Championship Record: 24.04, Liam Tancock (GBR) – 2009 World Championships
- 2019 World Champion: Zane Waddell (RSA), 24.43
Top 8 Qualifiers:
- Justin Ress (USA), 24.14
- Hunter Armstrong (USA), 24.16
- Apostolos Christou (GRE), 24.39
- Thomas Ceccon (ITA), 24.46
- Ksawery Masiuk (POL), 24.48
- Robert Glinta (ROU), 24.54
- Isaac Cooper (AUS), 24.60
- Ole Braunschweig (GER), 24.61
After both breaking 24 seconds two months ago, the American duo of Justin Ress and Hunter Armstrong proved once again that they’re the men to beat in tomorrow night’s final of the 50 backstroke, winning their respective semi-finals to qualify first and second overall.
Armstrong, the world record holder with his time of 23.71 in late April, claimed the opening semi in 24.16, over two-tenths clear of Greek veteran Apostolos Christou (24.39).
Christou’s time marks a new Greek Record, improving on his 24.49 from last year. He also set a new National Record in the 100 back semis (52.09), making for an impressive overall for the 25-year-old who has been racing at the highest level for years.
Ress, who is the third-fastest swimmer of all-time with his PB of 23.92, then won the second heat in 24.14 to claim Lane 4 on Saturday, though there was some concern from the international commentary that he was (or at least close to being) fully submerged at the finish (which would result in a disqualification).
Newly-minted 100 back world record holder and world champion Thomas Ceccon re-broke his Italian Record of 24.62 from the prelims, closing well over the final meters in Ress’ heat to clock 24.46 for fourth overall.
Another National Record fell at the hands of Ksawery Masiuk in the semis, as he knocked four one-hundredths off his Polish Record in the prelims (24.68 to 24.64) and brings it down by a wide margin tonight in 24.48 to make the final in fifth.
WOMEN’S 800 FREESTYLE – FINAL
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:08.04
- Kiah Melverton (AUS), 8:18.77
- Simona Quadarella (ITA), 8:19.00
- Leah Smith (USA), 8:20.04
- Li Bingjie (CHN), 8:23.15
- Isabel Gose (GER), 8:23.78
- Eve Thomas (NZL), 8:30.37
- Viviane Jungblut (BRA), 8:37.04
Katie Ledecky becomes the first swimmer in history to win the same event five consecutive times at the World Championships, claiming another dominant victory in the women’s 800 freestyle in a time of 8:08.04.
The performance stacks up as Ledecky’s fifth-fastest ever, and she now owns the 27-fastest swims of all-time.
All-Time Performances, Women’s 800 Freestyle (LCM)
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:04.79 – 2016
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:06.68 – 2018
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:07.27 – 2018
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:07.39 – 2015
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:08.04 – 2022
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:09.13 – 2018
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:09.27 – 2022
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:10.32 – 2016
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:10.70 – 2019
- Katie Ledecky (USA), 8:10.91 – 2016
Ledecky also wins her 19th career gold medal at Worlds, passing Ryan Lochte for second all-time, and 22nd medal overall. Only Michael Phelps (men’s 200 fly) and Katinka Hosszu (women’s 400 IM) have won the same event five times at the championships, but neither did so consecutively.
Ledecky’s time is also four and a half seconds quicker than what she went to win Olympic gold last summer (8:12.57), showing her move to the University of Florida has been paying off.
Racing out in Lane 1, Australian Kiah Melverton established second place early, and after she was overtaken by Simona Quadarella with 100 meters to go, charged home with a 28.91 final 50 to claim silver in a time of 8:18.77.
That time inches past Melverton’s previous best of 8:19.05 set last year.
Quadarella wins her second consecutive medal in this event, touching in 8:19-flat for bronze. The Italian went head-to-head with Ledecky in 2019, earning silver.
American Leah Smith, the bronze medalist in 2017, held fourth for the majority of the race and stayed there through to the finish, while China’s Li Bingjie made up over a second on Germany’s Isabel Gose over the final two lengths to earn fifth in 8:23.15.
Australian Lani Pallister qualified second into this final but was forced to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19.
In her place, Brazilian Viviane Jungblut got bumped up into the final, ultimately placing eighth.
Mixed 4×100 Freestyle Relay – FINAL
World Record: 3:19.40, United States (Dressel, Apple, Comerford, Manuel) – 2019 World Championships Championship Record: 3:19.40, United States (Dressel, Apple, Comerford, Manuel) – 2019
- 2019 World Champion: United States (Dressel, Apple, Comerford, Manuel), 3:19.40
- Relay Lineups
- Australia, 3:19.38 WR
- Canada, 3:20.61
- United States, 3:21.09
- Great Britain, 3:22.44
- Netherlands, 3:24.24
- Brazil, 3:24.78
- Italy, 3:25.83
- China, 3:26.92
The Australians came through to hand the U.S. its first-ever loss in the event and took their world record to boot, as they finished in a time of 3:19.38 in the mixed 400 freestyle relay.
The Aussie quartet of Jack Cartwright (48.12), Kyle Chalmers (46.98), Madi Wilson (52.25) and Mollie O’Callaghan (52.03) combined to down the previous world record by two one-hundredths of a second, winning gold by over a second.
After the race was tight between the top four teams after the lead-off legs, Chalmers gave the Aussies an advantage of over half a second on the Americans at the halfway mark, and from there, it was Australia’s race to lose.
Wilson and O’Callaghan extended the advantage on the back-half for the victory, with O’Callaghan’s 52.03 split marking the fastest in the field.
The Americans held a slight lead on Canada throughout the race, but Penny Oleksiak erased a quarter-second deficit at the final exchange with a 52.11 anchor to earn the Canadians the silver medal in 3:20.61, their second medal in this event after winning bronze in the inaugural race in 2015.
The final time also cracks the Canadian Record by nearly two seconds, as they were 3:22.54 in 2019.
Joining Oleksiak on the team was Josh Liendo (48.02), Javier Acevedo (47.96) and Kayla Sanchez (52.52). This was Liendo’s third final and second medal of the night.
The U.S., which had won this event three straight times dating back to Kazan in 2015, falls to bronze here in 3:21.09, though both men split sub-48 and both women were sub-53.
The team was comprised of Ryan Held (47.93), Brooks Curry (47.72), Torri Huske (52.60) and Claire Curzan (52.84). Like Liendo, this was Huske’s third swim of the session after racing the women’s 50 free final and 50 fly semis.
The British team placed fourth in 3:22.44, just shy of the National Record they set en route to winning the European title last year (3:22.07).
The Dutch sat seventh at the 300 mark, but had a 52.57 anchor from Marrit Steenbergen to move up into fifth at the wall in 3:24.24.
The Brazilians set a new South American Record to take sixth in 3:24.78.
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