Dubai, world s/c championships, day 4 heats:
Men's 100m freestyle
Fabien Gilot (FRA) woke the place up with 46.62 championship record, off a 22.33 split in the 15th of 16 heats. The mark took him inside the 46.67 established by Nathan Adrian (USA) in 2008. Adrian won the last heat in 46.66 ahead of Nikita Lobintsev in 46.83, matching the effort of Cesar Cielo (VRA) in heat 15. Adrian and Cielo both turned in 22.08. Among those safely through, Olympic champion Alain Bernard (FRA), in 8th on 47.04, Stefan Nystrand (SWE), on 47.19, former world long-course champion Filippo Magnini (ITA), in 13th in 47.34.
The tale of the last men in was one of brothers divided by 0.07sec, one on the right side of the line, the other not. Jason Dunford (KEN) clocked 47.60, 0.01sec ahead of Shaune Frase (CAY), with David Dunford locked out on 47.67. Down in the deep end, 17 men swan slower than the speed of Dawn Fraser 50 years ago, the last of them on 1:12.87. Much legitimate development is taking place and good work is being done but in the mix is too much gravy trainery, with folk from countries who have no pools and no programmes and no swimmers (and supposedly no money either) wandering the shopping malls of Dubai in search not of aquatic excellence so much as last-minute goodies to put under the tree come the Saviour's birthday next week.
Women's 50m backstroke
Rachel Goh (AUS) set the pace through to semis on 26.73, the first and only effort to get past the 26.99 of Zhao Jing, another Chinese heat 1 swimmer with no entry for a seeded place. Mercedes Peris (ESP) matched Zhao in the last of 10 heats after watching Aleksandra Herasimenia (BLR), a swimmer once suspended for doping, clock 27.02 in the penultimate heat. The door to progression was closed by Fabienne Nadarajah (AUT) in 27.73.
Women's 100m butterfly
Inge Dekker (NED) led the way to semis on a swift 56.69 ahead of Dana Vollmer (USA), on 56.72, and Felicity Galvez (AUS) on 56.89, with Christine Magnuson (USA) - Check out her video and blog - and Jeanette Ottsesen (DEN) on 56.90 and Olympic 200m champion Liu Zige (CHN) last through under 57sec, on 56.98. Among those safely into semis was Therese Alshammar (SWE), on 57.15: a medal for the 50m champion of yesterday would draw her level with the all-time best medals tally among women at world s/c championships (multiple years) of 17, held by Jenny Thompson (USA). Jemma Lowe (GBR), on 57.40 (Check out her video.), and Sarah Sjoestrom (SWE), world long-course champion and record holder, on 57.68, are in the mix, the door to the semis closed at 58.33 by Sze Hang Yu of Hong Kong.
Men's 100m medley
A fourth solo gold in the making for Ryan Lochte as the American cruised to a 52.06 poll position in the short medley. In 2008, Lochte became the first man to win all three medley crowns at world s/c titles. In Dubai he looks set to become the first to back-up with another triple. Closest to him, Herique Rodrigues (BRA), in 52.53 and George Bovell (TRI) on 52.60. In the mix, European short-medley king Peter Mankoc (SLO) and Markus Deibler (GER), the door to the semi sealed at 54.02 by Christian Galenda (ITA).
Women's 50m freestyle
Li Zhesi (CHN) set the pace through to semis on a 24.15 in the 11th of 13 heats before being matched by Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), the 100m champion yesterday. Her teammate Hinkelien Schreuder was next through just 0.03sce away, with Jessica Hardy (USA) - (read her blog) - Amanda Weir (USA) and Marieke Guehrer (AUS among those making it through, the semis sealed at by Drakou Theodora (GRE) in 24.78. In 20th and out of the action was Tang Yi (CHN), on 24.95. That time compared to a 24.84 opening 50m from a flying start in the medley relay in which Tang delivered gold for China last night.
Women's 200m medley
World l/c champion and winner of the 100m medley here last night, Ariana Kukors (USA) was back look cool at the coal face with a 2:07.67 effort that booked lane 4 for the final tonight. Either side of her will be European s/c champion Evelyn Verraszto (HUN), on 2:08.19, and teenage talent from China Ye Shiwen, on 2:08.83. In the mix, Katinka Hosszu, European long-course champion 0.01sec ahead of Verraszto back in Budapest in the summer, towering American teen Melissa Franklin, double golden girl of day one in Dubai, Mireia Belmonte (ESP), whose 2:10.09 locked out Hannah Miley (GBR) by 0.02sec.
Men's 50m breaststroke
Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA) set about adding the dash crown to the 100m title already in the bag in Dubai with a championship record of 26.14, inside the 26.39 that had stood to Igor Lisogor (UKR) since Shanghai 2006. The South Africa's world mark from a time before non-textile suits were banned on January 1 this year - 25.25 - is some way off but Van Der Burgh towers above the pack. Closest to him were Fabio Scozzoli (ITA), on 26.46, and Aleksandr Triznov (RUS) on 26.59. In the mix for semis, Felipe Silva (BRA), Roland Schoeman (RSA), Americans Mike Alexandrov and Mark Gangloff, the deal sealed by Robin Van Aggele (NED), on 27.12 for 16th 0.01sec ahead of teammate Lennart Stekelenburg. Also out, Brenton Rickard (AUS), on 27.31 and Hugues Duboscq (FRA), 0.01sec further away.
Women's 4x100m freestyle
The USA led the way to the final on 3:31.90, Australia, on 3:34.16, Canada on 3:34.44, the Netherlands on 3:34.57 and China on 3:35.09. Much switching of names to come before battle this evening. Sweden, Brazil and Russia also made it through.