Dubai, world s/c championships, day 2 semi-finals:
Men's 50m freestyle
Cesar Cielo (BRA) showed just why he waves the standard of sprint emperor: in 20.61sec of boiling athletic poetry in motion, not only did the Brazilian establish a championship record inside the 20.81 set by Duje Draganja (CRO) on his way to the 2008 crown, but he also looked as though he was racing a generation ahead of those around him.
Just 0.31sec outide shiny best, Cielo will race for the crown tomorrow in between Marco Orsi (ITA), on 21.10, and Fred Bousquet (FRA), on 21.17. In the mix: Luca Dotto (ITA), Steffen Deibler (GER), Alain Bernard (FRA), Sergey fesikov (RUS). Kyle Richardson (AUS) and Josh Schneider (USA) must race off at the end of the session for the last place in the final, both on 21.29 in separate semis. That curtain-closer went Schneider's way in 21.19 to 21.28.
Women's 100m freestyle:
In the first heat, Dutch teammates Femke Heemskerk, now based in Marseilles, and Ranomi Kromowidjojo, set the respective pace on 52.27 and 52.34, Victoria Poon (CAN) followed on 52.76, Camille Muffat (FRA) on 52.90. Second heat and enter Natalie Coughlin (USA), who won in 52.52 not because she was swimming faster but because no-one could match her skill set in and out of turns. Next home, her teammate Dana Vollmer in 52.67, the final sealed at 53.03 by Australian Emma McKeon, daughter of the 1980 Olympic swimmer Ron McKeon.
Women's 50m breaststroke
After Felicity Galvez (AUS) set a championship record of 25.20 in the first semi, the world record holder Therese Alshammar rose to the challenge to shave 0.01sec off the mark in the second semi. Next through was Lu Ying (CHN) on 25.41, the final closed by world l/c champion Marieke Guehrer (AUS) in 25.76.
Women's 100m medley
Having set a championship record of 59.14 in morning heats, world 200m champion Ariana Kukors (USA) took the standard on to 58.65 to claim lane 4 for the final tomorrow. Either side of her will be Kotuku Ngawati (AUS), on 59.18, and Liu Jing (CHN), on 59.36. All eight finalists raced inside the minute, the door shut by Germany's Theresa Michalak in 59.87.