By Jim Rusnak//Director of Media Properties | Saturday, July 29, 2017
BUDAPEST – Here’s a look at the Americans’ prospects in tonight’s finals, and some results from prelims.
Women’s 50m Butterfly
After winning gold in the 400m free relay, mixed 400m medley and bronze in the 100m butterfly, Kelsi Worrell is back in the water tonight as the third seed in the women’s 50m butterfly.
With her swim in last night’s semis, Worrell became the second-fastest American of all time in this event, behind Dara Torres. Worrell’s qualifying time was just seven-hundredths of a second off Torres’ American record of 25.50.
The U.S. has medaled just once in this event at Worlds – Jenny Thompson’s silver in 2003.
Men’s 50m Free
Caeleb Dressel set the American record in this event in last night’s semifinals, turning in a time of 21.29. The former mark was 21.37, set by Nathan Adrian at the 2015 World Championships. Dressel qualified as the top seed in tonight’s finals, and is the lone American swimming this event tonight.
It will be the first of two swims for Dressel Saturday. He is also the top seed in the men’s 100m butterfly. So far this meet, he’s won gold in the 100m free, 400m free relay and the mixed 400m medley relay. He is also likely to swim on the Americans’ 400m medley relay Sunday.
The last American to medal in the 50 free at Worlds was Nathan Adrian, who won silver in 2015. Ben Wildman-Tobriner won gold for the U.S. in 2007.
Women’s 200m Backstroke
Kathleen Baker qualified as the top American with the third seed. Earlier this week, Baker won silver in the 100m backstroke behind Kylie Masse of Canada. This is her first time swimming the 200m back in a major international competition.
Regan Smith, 15, is the youngest swimmer on the American team. She qualified fifth for tonight’s finals, setting the world junior record in last night’s semifinals in 2:07.19.
Missy Franklin won three straight medals of the United States in this event, including gold in 2011 and 2013, and a silver in 2015.
Men’s 100m Butterfly
A short time after he finishes the 50m free, Caeleb Dressel will be back in the water for the finals of the 100m butterfly. He is the top seed in 50.07.
His swim in last night’s semifinals was the fourth-fastest of all time in this event. Only two other swimmers have broken 50 seconds in the 100m fly – the great Michael Phelps, who holds the world record in 49.82, and Michael Cavic of Serbia. Both sub-50 swims were swum at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, in the era of the high-tech, polyurethane full-body suits.
Phelps was the last American to medal in this event at Worlds, winning gold in 2011.
Women’s 800m Free
Katie Ledecky and Leah Smith are seeded 1-2 for tonight’s finals of the 800m free.
Ledecky has already won four gold medals this week, in the 400m free, the 1500m free, the 400m free relay and the 800m free relay. She also won silver in the 200m free.
Ledecky has won the last two World Championship titles in this event, in 2013 and 2015, as well as the last two Olympic titles. She holds the top 14 performances of all time in the 800m free, 18 of the top 20.
Smith finished second behind Ledecky in the 400m free on the first night of competition. She’s also won a gold in the 800m free relay.
Mixed 400m Free Relay
The mixed 400m free relay made its debut at World Championships schedule in 2015. The U.S. won it in a world-record time of 3:23.05.
The team of Blake Peironi (48.23), Townley Haas (48.32), Lia Neal (53.98) and Kelsi Worrell (53.40) qualified second for tonight’s finals in 3:23.93, just four hundredths behind the Netherlands. The final line-up will be released about an hour before finals.
The top 16 swimmers in the shorter events from this morning’s prelims will advance to tonight’s semifinals. The top 8 swimmers in the men’s 1500m freestyle will compete in tomorrow night’s finals.
Here’s how American swimmers fared in this morning’s prelims:
- Simone Manuel, 4th, women’s 50m free, 24.54
- Abbey Weitzeil, 13th, women’s 50m free, 24.92
- Matt Grevers, 3rd, men’s 50m backstroke, 24.78
- Justin Ress, 6th, men’s 50m backstroke, 24.86
- Lilly King, 1st, women’s 50m breaststroke, 29.76
- Katie Meili, 4th, women’s 50m breaststroke, 30.37
- True Sweetser, 16th, men's 1500m free, 15:07.38
- Robert Finke, 21st, 15:15.15