Rome 2009, Day 4:
Men's 100m freestyle
David Walters (USA) sped to lane 4 of the fastest semi with a 47.59 blast in heats of the 100m free. Stefan Nystrand (SWE) was next bext in 47.66, then Lydon Ferns (RSA) on 47.79, then Alan Bernard (FRA), Olympic champion, on 47.80, then defending champ Brent Hayden (CAN), on 47.83, then Fred Bousquet (FRA), on 47.89, then Evgeny Lagunov (RUS) on 47.92, then Cesar Cielo (BRA) on 47.98.
So that's five men in heats faster than what was still the world record over 100m freestyle in February 2008, held at 47.84 by Pieter Van den Hoogenband (NED).
The 49.02 that took Jason Lezak (USA) through from heats as fastest qualifier in Melbourne 2007, and the 49.08 that gave Alain Bernard (FRA) fourth slot through to semis, would have placed them just inside and just outside the top 30 in Rome. That's normal, what with all that hard work that goes beyond the hard work of previous generations (just yesterday that is) and all that smartness that is smarter than the smartness on the deck just yesterday.
And a footnote to the race: Bernard was entered in 46.94. Was that not the time FINA disallowed. So how does it make the seeding and official start list of the world championships?