2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships: Day 3 Preview Preview

2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

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Day 3 of the World Championships kicks off with five prelims on Monday morning in Budapest, Hungary. The men’s 800 free qualifiers will go directly to Tuesday night’s final while the other three events — the men’s 50 breast, women’s 200 free, and men’s 200 fly — will have semifinals on Monday evening.

Day 3 Morning Events:

  • Men’s 50 breast – Prelims
  • Women’s 200 free – Prelims
  • Men’s 200 fly – Prelims
  • Men’s 800 free – Prelims

Day 3 Top Storylines to Follow:

  • Nicolo Martinenghi was one of the breakout stars of Day 2 with a victory in the men’s 100 breast that lowered his Italian record to 58.26. On Monday, the 22-year-old will go for his second gold in as many days in the 50 breast, where he has the top-seeded entry time of 26.39 — also an Italian record — in a field without top breaststrokers Adam Peaty gold Arno Kamminga. Also in the medal hunt is Joao Gomes Jr.., the only returning 2019 medalist, and a pair of American contenders in Michael-Andrew and Nic Finkboth of whom clocked personal bests at US Trials.
  • The two usual favorites are also absent from the women’s 200 free (Ariarn Titmus and Katie Ledecky), leaving a trio of teenagers to life for the title. The youngest of the batch, 15-year-old Canadian phenom Summer McIntosh, boasts the fourth-best time this season among the Worlds field with a 1:55.39 from Canadian Trials. 18-year-old Canadian Mollie O’Callaghan just went under 1:55 for the first time with a 1:54.94 at Australian Trials. 18-year-old Chinese record holder Tang Muhan arrived in Budapest with the best time in the field at 1:54.26.
  • Men’s 200 fly world record holder Kristof Milak might not own the best time on the planet this year, but there’s reason to suspect a significant improvement at Worlds. Although Milak’s season-best time of 1:53.88 from Hungarian National Championships (which he clocked despite being ill before the meet) is .01 behind Japan’s Tomoru Honda’s world-leading-mark, it’s faster than his lead-up to the 2019 World Championships, where he set the world record in 1:50.73. Honda’s season-best 1:53.87 is just 14 off his personal best that clinched him an Olympic silver medal last summer in Tokyo.
  • Can Lukas Martens deliver in the men’s 800 free on the big stage? The German came into Budapest on the heels of a huge spring that saw him become the top-ranked swimmer in the world in the 400 free, 800 free, and 1500 free at local meets. But under the lights on Day 1, Martens got edged by Aussie Elijah Winnington in the 400 free. It might be a stretch to call his silver medal a disappointment, but his 3:42.85 didn’t exactly live up to the hype, either, more than a second slower than his entry time. Reigning Olympic gold medalist Bobby Finke could be the one to spoil Martens’ gold medal hopes here if he can pull off another rally, but he has some ground to make up entering with the third-seeded entry time.

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