Day 4 semi-finals, Oriental Sports Centre, Shanghai
Men's 100m freestyle
The first semi-final was a true dress rehearsal for the final tomorrow, defending champion Cesar Cielo (BRA) ranged against Aussie young gun and the swiftest man in textile ever, James Magnussen, 20. In the 4x100m free last Sunday he led Australia to victory in a blistering 47.49.
Cielo was out in 22.77, just shy of Nathan Adrian (USA), on 22.58, with Magnussen still on a slow-burner 23.08. Off the wall, the Australian made instant gains and by 15m to go had inched into the lead. From there he rolled on to a 47.90 gauntlet to those who followed him into the wall, Nathan on 48.05, Cielo on 48.34 and the leader's Aussie team James Roberts on 48.49, ahead of Andrey Grechin (RUS), 48.67, and Park Tae-hwan (KOR), 400m champion, on 48.86.
Next up, a semi featuring both the 2007 joint world champions Filippo Magnini (ITA) and Brent Hayden (CAN). Fabien Gilot (FRA) was out first in 22.77, with Graeme Moore (RSA) closest on 22.92, Hayden and William Meynard (FRA) in the middle of the two clubs of sprinters - faster out or faster home - biding their time. The return lap produced a blanket tussle in the hunt for the wall: Meynard got his hand there first, on 48.25, Hayden on 48.30, Sebastiaan Verschuren (NED) on 48.41 and Luca Dotto (ITA) on 48.44. That left Gilot, on 48.46, as seventh overall and last man in, Magnini among those locked out.
How they stack up for battle tomorrow evening:
Cielo, in 2009, and Hayden, in 2007, both know what it is to win, the rest are hungry to taste the same meat.
Women's 50m backstroke
The first semi saw Mercedes Peris (ESP) set the pace on 27.98, with Julia Wilkinson (CAN), 28.10, and Melissa Franklin (USA) following on in 28.14, Aya Terakawa (JPN) 0.02sec away and Emily Seebohm on 28.19. Knowing what the had to do the second line-up was led by Anastasia Zueva (RUS), on 27.88, followed by Aliaksandra Herasimenia (BLR), a swimmer who has served a doping ban, on 27.93, Gao Chang (CHN) on 28.05. Seebohm's effort drew the line for the rest.