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Home / News / Thoughts on World Champs: Part 1
Thoughts on World Champs: Part 1

Thoughts on World Champs: Part 1

What a fun start to the whirlwind week that is swimming World Championships!

Some Stuff You Saw, Some Stuff You Might Have Seen, and Some Stuff You Def Never Seent

Mack Horton stands up (down actually) for clean sport. His "not amused" face is exactly the same as when he defeated Sun Yang in Rio.

Mack Horton Sun Yang

David (Ariarne Titmus) takes down Goliath (Katie Ledecky) in the 400 Free. Ledecky smashed the 3rd 100 but couldn't put the hammer down on the way home. Uncharacteristically, Ledecky had the slowest 50 Free out of any one in the Final. Titmus, on the other hand, had the fastest. 

Not to be forgotten, Leah Smith grabbed Bronze. Hated to see the commentator ask her questions about Ledecky losing rather than questions about her own race. Sometimes we care about numero uno so much it blinds us.

Project 56 complete! Adam Peaty is from another planet. The fact that no man is remotely close to him is mind boggling. And to top it all off, James Wilby snaps up Silver as the Brits go 1-2 in the 100 Breast. 


Caeleb Dressel is 2 for 2 but, "doesn't count medals". He looks to be back in 100% peak form. Every aspect of his 50 Fly was perfect -- he might be unstoppable this week. All eyes will be on Phelps' 100 Fly World Record falling. Phelps' never had 22.3 kind of speed (not even in Freestyle). FWIW, Phelps was out 23.3 when he went 49.8...his best 50 Fly time.

Michael Andrew went a best time in the 50 Fly and made Top 8 but didn't qualify Top 16 in the 100 Breast. I think he needs to bulk up. He looks skinny as a rail. Look how big Santos is.

Santos 50 Fly

Maggie MacNeil closed on Sarah Sjostrom for another huge upset on the women's side in the 100 Fly. After watching Semi's, it was obvious this was going to be a very close outcome with opposite strategies colliding. Sjostrom has a ton of speed while MacNeil's strength is the last 25 meters. She out split Sjostrom by 1.2 seconds on the 2nd 50.


How cool was it that Maggie MacNeil, Sarah Sjostrom, and Emma McKeon wrote a message to Japanese friend Rikako Ikee on their hands for the podium pictures?! Rikako, if you haven't heard, was diagnosed with leukemia this past year and has been focused on her treatments.

Bruno Fratus on the 4x100 Free Relay was out in 21.8 to his feet. He came back +4.04! OUCH!

Neither Townley Haas nor Andrew Seliskar made it into Finals. Though you can fully expect them to step up for the 4x200 Free Relay because that is what America does.

Clyde Lewis (AUS) is the top qualifier in the 200 Free. We were told last year before he replaced Mitch Larkin in the 400 IM that he would CRUSH everyone, which he promptly did. In Semi's he was out ridiculously quick in 50.3 -- nobody was sniffing 50 point let alone 49. It'll be an interesting race because nobody swims the 200 like that. What will Sun Yang do?

Tomorrow we will get to see the infamous Lily King vs. Yulia Efimova showdown in the 100 Breast. My money is on America. Lily said it best in her interview (I'm paraphrasing): "I thrive on the big races. The bigger the better." 

The Women's 100 Back is ultra competitive. Young Canadians Taylor Ruck and Kylie Masse are both in the mix. Masse looked very crisp in Semi's. Her 2nd 50 is the best in the world. Olivia Smoliga and Kathleen Baker are veterans -- they will be ready for Finals. This race is going to be way too close too call.

Ryan Murphy has looked as good as I've ever seen him. He is in complete control. Used Prelims as a warm up (9th seed going into Semi's). Really worked that 2nd 50 -- he had a differential of +1.1 between them. In Semi's he was out faster than the entire field (25.0) and cruised into his finish. Xu Jiayu from China and Evgeny Rylov from Russia will be right there with him. Kliment Kolisnikov failed to make Finals, which was a real shocker. Something isn't right with him.


FINA awards Kazan and Budapest with World Championship bids for 2025 and 2027, respectively.