Day 5 semi-finals, Oriental Sports Center, Shanghai
Women's 100m freestyle
Francesca Halsall hinted at firepower brewing in the Brit when she took the first semi in 53.48 off a 25.63 split, her performance smooth all the way to the wall, no hint that she was struggling into the wall as the rest of the field tried to get back on terms. Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (BAH) was closest at the turn on 25.89 but was overhauled buy Jeanette Ottesen on the way home, the Dane on 53.88 by the close, with Dana Vollmer (USA), 100m butterfly champion next in on 54.05.
In the second semi, a 25.80 outbound split got Dutch sprinter Femke Heemskerk's feet to the wall first ahead of Natalie Coughlin (USA), on 25.90. Heemskerk maintained pace on the way back for a 53.67 conclusion as Commonwealth champion Alicia Coutts (AUS) came through to take second in 53.78 ahead of the second Dutch challenger, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, on 53.94, with Coughlin on 54.05 to match her teammate Vollmer and Alieksandra Heerasimenia (BLR) last into the final on 54.26.
Qualifiers: 1 Francesca Halsall (GBR) 53.48secs, 2 Femke Heemskerk (NED) 53.67, 3 Alicia Coutts (AUS) 53.78, 4 Jeanette Ottesen (DEN) 53.88, 5 Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) 53.94, 6 Dana Vollmer (USA) 54.05, 7 Natalie Coughlin (USA) 54.05, 8 Aliaksandra Herasimenia (BLR) 54.26.
Women's 200m breaststroke
Rebecca Soni cracked out a 2:21.03 that said all she needed to rivals before racing for what will surely be gold barring a Rome-style error of other catastrophic event. All big guns went through, the door to the final closed at defending champion Nadja Higl, on 2:25.56.
Qualifiers: 1 Rebecca Soni (USA) 2mins 21.03secs, 2 Yuliya Efimova (RUS) 2:23.66, 3 Ye Sun (CHN) 2:24.59, 4 Annamay Pierse (CAN) 2:24.73, 5 Rikke Pedersen (DEN) 2:24.80, 6 Martha Mccabe (CAN) 2:24.86, 7 Rie Kaneto (JPN) 2:25.41, 8 Nadja Higl (SRB) 2:25.56.
Men's 200m medley
Aaron Peirsol (USA) is in town but no longer racing, leaving the door open for Olympic champion Ryan Lochte, with two gold medals under his belt, to take on Ryosuke Irie (JPN), with US teammate Tyler Clary the third man clear of the rest. Lochte told Michael Phelps after their medley showdown and a world record that he would be "super tired" for the backstroke semi. He didn't look it.
Qualifiers: 1 Ryan Lochte (USA) 1min 55.65secs, 2 Ryosuke Irie (Jpn) 1:55.96, 3 Tyler Clary (USA) 1:56.00, 4 Fenglin Zhang (Chn) 1:56.70, 5 Radoslaw Kawecki (Pol) 1:57.15, 6 Sebastiano Ranfagni (Ita) 1:57.96, 7 Kazuki Watanabe (Jpn) 1:57.97, 8 Stanislav Donets (Rus) 1:58.00
Men's 200m breaststroke
Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima (JPN) was out of action last time round, the crown going to Daniel Gyurta (HUN). Both looked smooth this evening on their way to a showdown, with young Christian Vom Lehn (GER) threatening to crash the party and Eric Shanteau (USA) ever the danger.
Qualifiers: 1 Kosuke Kitajima (Jpn) 2mins 08.81secs, 2 Daniel Gyurta (Hun) 2:08.92, 3 Christian Vom Lehn (Ger) 2:09.44, 4 Eric Shanteau (USA) 2:10.03, 5 Andrew Willis (Gbr) 2:10.49, 6 Michael Jamieson (Gbr) 2:10.54, 7 Kyu Woong Choi (Kor) 2:11.27, 8 Giedrius Titenis (Lit) 2:11.43