July 28th, 2015

2015 FINA World Championships

Start Times Around the World

  • Local Time (UTC+3): Prelims 9:30AM/Finals 5:30PM
  • Sydney, Australia (UTC+10): 4:30PM/12:30AM(next day)
  • Tokyo, Japan (UTC+9): 3:30PM/11:30PM
  • Beijing, China (UTC+8): 2:30PM/10:30PM
  • Kazan, Russia (UTC+3): Prelims 9:30AM/Finals 5:30PM
  • Paris, France (UTC+2): 8:30AM/4:30PM
  • London, England (UTC+1): 7:30AM/3:30PM
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (UTC-3): 3:30AM/11:30AM
  • US Eastern Time (UTC-4): 2:30AM/10:30AM
  • US Pacific Time (UTC-7): 11:30PM(night before)/7:30AM

6 Swimmers to Watch

We’ve been previewing each event individually (links below), so in lieu of rehashing all the major storylines, here is a very non-exhaustive list of 6 swimmers with some added intrigue to keep an eye on:

1. Adam Peaty – Great Britain

The only swimmer to set a world record so far in 2015, Peaty has been the breakout breaststroke star of the world for the past two years. He’s the first man ever under 58 in the 100 breast, and currently the fastest sprint breaststroker in history, and at age 20, he’s still got plenty of room to improve.

One extra twist that makes Peaty extra-notable this summer is his improvement in the 200 breast, which has started to catch up to the high heights of his sprint races. Can Peaty contend for a 200 breast medal, and prove that he’s far from a fly-and-die specialist?

2. Chad le Clos – South Africa

The 23-year-old Le Clos took over the world butterfly crown after the retirement of Michael Phelps, and the two swimmers have been locked in an odd dance of sorts for the entire 15 months since Phelps returned from retirement in the USA. The two have not raced head-to-head yet – Le Clos sat out of Pan Pacs last summer, and Phelps will miss Worlds after a DUI suspension last fall.

Le Clos is often known for taking on very versatile event lineups, especially on the FINA World Cup, but in Kazan, he’ll swim just the 50, 100 and 200 flys. His test will be two-part: Can he beat the impressive stable of butterflyers assembled in Russia this summer? And will his times ultimately top what Phelps does later in the week at U.S. Nationals in Texas?

3. Vladimir Morozov – Russia

It feels like Russia’s young sprinter Vlad Morozov is on the cusp of a major speed surge. Just 23, Morozov has been on a rapid rise, racking up upwards of 30 international medals between 2012 and 2014 alone. The majority of those, though, have come in the short course pool, between Short Course Worlds and Short Course Euros. Still, Morozov was the World Champs silver medalist in 2013 behind Brazil’s Cesar Cielo, and with all due respect to the world record-holder Cielo, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the younger Morozov pass up the Brazilian.

Two reasons Morozov could be extra dangerous in Kazan: First, Morozov didn’t even swim the 50 free at last summer’s European Championships, and could be due for a major drop from his lifetime-best of 21.47 done all the way back in 2013. Second, Morozov will be swimming in front of a raucous home crowd, in the same city where he exploded for four golds at the 2013 World University Games.

4. Katinka Hosszu – Hungary

Here’s a simple trick to determining whether Katinka Hosszu is swimming in a given race or not: (1) Ask yourself if this is a women’s event. (2) If yes, Hosszu is likely swimming it.

The Iron Lady of Hungary is legendary for taking on absurdly aggressive event lineups, and though she wouldn’t tip her hand about her entries back in June, smart money says she’ll be in at least one event a day over the 8-day meet. Most intriguing are probably the 400 IM, where she dropped a huge 4:31.0 in June to lead the world by a full second, and the 200 back, where world record-holder Missy Franklin is still an enigma and Hosszu sits #2 in the world behind Australia’s Emily Seebohm.

5. Sarah Sjostrom – Sweden

Sjostrom very nearly became the second world record-setter of 2015 at the Sette Colli trophy in June, and it seems like only a matter of time before she joins Olympic champ Dana Vollmer as the only women under 56 seconds in the 100 fly. Sjostrom has elite speed, and a special treat of these world champs will be seeing her swim the 50 fly, a race in which she obliterated the world record last year.

Adding intrigue will be the sprint frees, where Sjostrom ranks #3 in the world in both the 50- and 100-meter distances. She’s one of the foremost challengers to Australia’s Campbell sisters, and could have a shot at four gold medals with a breakout meet. One more piece of the puzzle will be Sjostrom’s ongoing love/hate relationship with the 200 free. Sjostrom will not swim the event individually despite being ranked #2 in the world in it for the year. But Sjostrom has a nasty habit of busting gigantic 200 frees, and if she does it again on Sweden’s 4×200 free relay, she’ll have another year to decide whether she wants to contest the race at the 2016 Olympics.

6. Katie Ledecky – USA

It’s been easy to forget about Ledecky, who’s been relatively quiet since breaking short course American records during her high school season in February. Of course, “relatively quiet” for Ledecky just means she’s not smashing world records like pumpkins after Halloween – and it’s safe to wager that this “quiet” period might be coming to a close.

Ledecky has been consistently swimming in the 4:01-4:03 range in the 400 free and 8:13-range in the 800 free this summer at random, in-season meets. Ledecky’s world records make those times look pedestrian, but they’re still head-and-shoulders above anything anyone else in the world can do. Maybe the most intriguing question about Ledecky (besides, what ridiculous new world records can she set in the distance races) is what kind of development she’ll show in the 200 free after winning Pan Pacs gold last summer. It’s a rare swimmer who can specialize as a distance swimmer but still flash enough speed to win a world title in the 200 free – but Ledecky just might be that swimmer.

Daily Finals Schedule & Event Preview Links

Pool swimming officially begins on Day 9 of the FINA World Aquatics Championships.

These are the medal finals in each event. Every individual race 200 meters and shorter (and every relay) swims heats and semifinals the day before the medal final. Every race 400 meters and up swims heats the morning before the medal final.

Day 1, Sun August 2nd (Day 9)

Day 2, Mon August 3rd (Day 10)

Day 3, Tue August 4th (Day 11)

Day 4, Wed August 5th (Day 12)

Day 5, Thur August 6th (Day 13)

Day 6, Fri August 7th (Day 14)

Day 7, Sat August 8th (Day 15)

Day 8, Sun August 9th (Day 16)

 

Source : Swim Swam