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Phelps Poised; Missy's Big Moment

Jul 29, 2011  - Craig Lord

Day 6 semi-finals, Oriental Sports Center, Shanghai:

Women's 200m backstroke

Missy Franklin (USA) is 16 and tonight claimed lane 4 in a 2:05.90 that placed her a class apart over all others heading for the 200m backstroke final. Those do not include Olympic and defending world champion Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), on 2:09.33 in 12th. 

Behind Franklin - now the fastest woman ever in a textile suit and the first to break 2:06 - in the second semi came teammate Elizabeth Beisel, on 2:07.82, Alexianne Castel (FRA) on 2:08.41 and Sharon Van Rouwendaal (NED) 0.01sec away, with Commonwealth champion Meagen Nay (AUS) on 2:08.53. The first semi was won by Belinda Hocking (AUS), 2:07.76, with Daryna Zevina (RUS) on 2:08.22 and   Elizabeth Simmonds (GBR) on 2:08.79, a time that would close the door to the final.

Men's 100m butterfly

Michael Phelps (USA) won the 100m and 200m butterfly double at the 2007 and 2009 championships, and having won the 200m here already is poised to make it an historic straight triple double, if you get the drift. In 51.47 ahead of the 4x200m free relay, the Olympic champion  booked into lane 4 ahead of Konrad Czerniak (POL), on 51.54, 0.02sec up on the second American in line for medals, Tyler McGill. Next through came Kakuro Fujii (JPN), 51.69, Evgeny Korotyshkin (RUS), 51.77,  Geoff Huegill (AUS), 51.85, Jason Dunford (KEN) on 51.92 to give coach Andrea di Nino a second charge (Korotyshkin) in a final that will go without his squad's other 'fly ace, Milorad Cavic (SRB), out in heats. The last man through, and last inside 52sec, was Joeri Verlinden (NED), on 51.97.

Women's 50m butterfly

World record holder Therese Alshammar (SWE) claimed lane four for the final in 25.52 ahead of Inge Dekker (NED), on 25.78 and Swedish teammate Sarah Sjoestrom, on 25.90 at the helm of the second semi. They had gone in knowing that Lu Ying had set the pace at 25.87 on the first semi. All others came home over the 26sec mark, among qualifiers Dana Vollmer, the American who had just swum the 100m free final, while those missing out included Tao Li (SIN), and winner of the 100m free crown, Jeanette Ottesen (DEN).

Qualifiers: Alshammar, Dekker, Lu, Sjoestrom, Kato, Guehrer, Henique, Vollmer.

Men's 50m freestyle

Bruno Fratus and defending champion Cesar Cielo gave Brazil lanes 4 and 5 for the dash final tomorrow, their respective efforts of 21.76 and 21.79 a step up from three others under 22sec, Nathan Adrian (USA) on 21.94 and Luca Dotto (ITA) and Krisztian Takacs (HUN) both on 21.97. on a night when shared times seemed to be in greater abundance than usual, Gideon Louw (RSA) and George Bovell (TRI) clocked 22.02, with Olympic 100m champion Alain Bernard (FRA) last in, his 22.07 locking out shared 22.09 efforts from Matt Targett (AUS) and Sergey Fesikov (RUS).