The World Aquatic Championships has already gone underway with Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Open Water Swimming and the Water Polo events. With less than a week to the start of the showcase event of swimming, we continue with our list of swimmers to watch out for.
It is almost impossible to believe that the decorated English swimmer had an acute fear of water as a kid. The breaststroke specialist is a double world record holder in the long course in the 50m and 100m events with times of 26.42 and 57.13 seconds respectively. The 22-year old is an 8 times European champion along with a 3 times World Champion from Kazan. He also has won the 100m breaststroke gold at Rio 2016 with his world record timing. It is safe to say that without a shade of doubt the Briton will be the favourite to again stand at the top of the podium at the Danube Arena.
Emily Seebohm is another addition to the long list of the decorated Australian swimmers in the history. The 25-year old has brought glory to her country in the backstroke events in a host of global events. Winning her first gold on the big stage in the 2007 World Aquatic Championships in front of her home crowd at Melbourne, she has since won two Olympic golds in Beijing and London before picking up 3 golds at Kazan in 2015. After failing to clinch gold at Rio, the former world record holder in the 50m backstroke will definitely look to reclaim her crown this year.
Chad le Clos:
The South African is probably the most decorated swimming champion in the short course with 9 gold medals and 2 world records to his name. Even though his achievements are not as adorning in the longer course, he is still a 3-times world and 1-time Olympic champion. His moment of fame came when the butterfly specialist from Durban, pipped the legendary Michael Phelps by 0.05 seconds to win gold in the 200m at London 2012. The 4-times Commonwealth and 9-times African champion will surely be a firm favourite to take home multiple golds at the championships, now that Phelps has hung up his boots.
The 17-year old Canadian is the most exciting teenage prospects in the world of swimming. The former world junior champion and 2-times short course world champion won the gold at Rio 2016 in the women’s 100m freestyle jointly with American Simone Manuel. Canada’s top athlete of the year 2016 will be the one to watch out for in the coming weeks when she takes a plunge in the pool for the very first time in the long course world championships.
The man from Zhangzou obliterated Grant Hackett’s 10 year old world record in the 1500m freestyle back in Shanghai 2011, while still a 19 year old. He went on to better it the next year at the Olympics with a 14:31:02 in the final. He is a triple Olympic and 7-times world champion in the different freestyle events ranging from 200m to the 1500m. Although he failed to replicate his record breaking performance from 4-years back at Rio 2016 or even the year before at Kazan, “Dabai” still remains a firm favourite for multiple golds at Budapest.
Simone Manuel became the first ever African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold in swimming, when she took home gold(jointly with Oleksiak) in the 100m freestyle at Rio. She is the co holder of the world records in three relay events in both women’s and mixed relay over both the long and short course. It is guessable that the 20-year old Olympic record holder will definitely set the pool on fire at the big stage.
The 23-year old Japanese took to the swimming pool at an early age of 5. The individual medley specialist has successfully defended his 400m world championship title from Barcelona at Kazan. He also has 3 consecutive golds in the discipline in the shorter course. After having missed out on gold at the Rio Olympics to team mate Kosuke Hagino, it is safe to say that the 23-year old from Moroyama, Japan will be overly keen to regain his glory in the coming week.