Xu Jiayu Posts CR in 100 Back Semis at World Swimming Championships (Full Semifinals Wrap)
by DAVID RIEDER
22 July 2019, 03:20am
Day two semifinals
Men’s 100 Back
After issues with the backstroke starting ledges in prelims that first ruled out their use in the finals sessions and then meant that they must be used on one setting, the expected favorites rose to the top of the pack in the 100 back. China’s Xu Jiayu took the top spot in 52.17, breaking Aaron Peirsol’s championship record (52.19) set 10 years ago. Xu and world record-holder Ryan Murphy went out right on world record-pace in the second semi-final, only for Murphy to fall back as Xu won the heat.
Murphy ended up tying for second with Russia’s Evgeny Rylov, the defending world champion in the 200 back, in 52.44. The USA’s Matt Grevers, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, was fourth in 52.82, followed closely by 2015 World Champion Mitch Larkin of Australia (52.91).
Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov, who won last year’s European title in 52.53 and holds the world record in the 50 back, missed the final as he finished ninth in 53.44.
Top eight qualifiers:
1. Xu Jiayu (CHN), 52.17
2. Evgeny Rylov (RUS), 52.44
2. Ryan Murphy (USA), 52.44
4. Matt Grevers (USA), 52.82
5. Mitch Larkin (AUS), 52.91
6. Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 53.13
7. Guilherme Guido (BRA), 53.23
8. Robert Glinta (ROU), 53.40
Women’s 100 Breast
Russia’s Yuliya Efimova posted the top time in the first semifinal at 1:05.56, and that held up as the top overall time as the USA’s Lilly King swam a 1:05.66 in heat two. Efimova will again look to dethrone King, the Olympic and world champion and world record-holder, in Tuesday’s final. King’s world record stands at 1:04.13, and Efimova’s lifetime best is 1:04.36, both from the 2017 World Championships in Budapest.
Japan’s Reona Aoki was the best of the rest, qualifying third in 1:06.30, with Italy’s Martina Carraro fourth in 1:06.39.
Belgium’s Fanny Lecluyse and Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni tied for eighth in 1:06.97, setting up a potential swim-off for the last lane in the final. Australia’s Jessica Hansen barely missed out on joining that swim-off, finishing just one hundredth behind in 1:06.98.
Castiglioni won the swim-off at 1:06.39 to get lane eight for the final. Lecluyse was a 1:07.22.
Top seven qualifiers:
Yuliya Efimova (RUS), 1:05.56
Lilly King (USA), 1:05.66
Reona Aoki (JPN), 1:06.30
Martina Carraro (ITA), 1:06.39
Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 1:06.61
Molly Renshaw (GBR), 1:06.73
Yu Jingyao (CHN), 1:06.85
Arianna Castiglioni (ITA), 1:06.97
Women’s 100 Back
Canada’s Kylie Masse, the reigning world champion in the 100 back, will look to reclaim the world record from the USA’s Kathleen Baker in the final after she qualified first in 58.50. Masse won this title in 2017 in 58.10 to set the world record, only for Baker to break that mark with a 58.00 at U.S. Nationals last summer. The first 57-second swim could be on offer Tuesday night.
Young Australian Kaylee McKeown put up an impressive lifetime best, 58.60, to win the first semifinal heat and earn lane five for the final. Canada’s Taylor Ruck also got under 59 to qualify third in 58.83, followed by Baker in 59.03. Australia’s Kaylee McKeown (59.13) and the USA’s Olivia Smoliga (59.36) were the next two qualifiers. Smoliga won the short course world title last December, and she has been as fast as 58.73 this year.
Top eight qualifiers:
Kylie Masse (CAN), 58.50
Minna Atherton (AUS), 58.60
Taylor Ruck (CAN), 58.83
Kathleen Baker (USA), 59.03
Kaylee McKeown (AUS), 59.13
Olivia Smoliga (USA), 59.36
Daria Vaskina (RUS), 59.46
Natsumi Sakai (JPN), 59.71
Men’s 200 Free
Australia’s Clyde Lewis swam in lane one of the first semi-final, and he uncorked a shocking 1:44.90, crushing his previous lifetime best (1:45.88) to record the top seed for Tuesday’s final. Lewis became the first man in two years to break 1:45 in the event.
China’s Sun Yang, the reigning world and Olympic champion, will go for his second gold of the meet after earlier winning the 400 free, qualified second in 1:45.31, and Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys closed strongly to finish third in 1:45.44.
The rest of the final was tightly packed, led by a tie for fourth between Great Britain’s Duncan Scott and Japan’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto at 1:45.56. Italy’s Filippo Megli was the last man in at 1:45.76.
The semifinal was most notable for who didn’t make the final, with four big names left out. Great Britain’s James Guy, the 2015 world champion and the top qualifier out of prelims, took 11th in 1:45.95. Australia’s Kyle Chalmers, the 100 free Olympic champion who was fourth-best in prelims, ended up 13th in 1:46.21.
Chalmers was followed by the two American swimmers, 2017 world silver medalist and 2018 Pan Pacs champion Townley Haas (1:46.37) and 2018 Pan Pacs silver medalist Andrew Seliskar (1:46.83). That meant that of eight U.S. swimmers in Monday’s semifinals, only five advanced to finals.
Top eight qualifiers:
1. Clyde Lewis (AUS), 1:44.90
2. Sun Yang (CHN), 1:45.31
3. Danas Rapsys (LTU), 1:45.44
4. Duncan Scott (GBR), 1:45.56
4. Katsuhiro Matsumoto (JPN), 1:45.56
6. Dominik Kozma (HUN), 1:45.57
7. Martin Malyutin (RUS), 1:45.60
8. Filippo Megli (ITA), 1:45.76