With defending champ Natalie Coughlin (USA) out it left the race wide open for world record holder, Sandra Volker (GER). But Volker, who clocked a 29.02 will be challenged by Jennifer Carroll (CAN) who won her heat in 29.00 and the particularly fast Ilona Hlavackkova (CZE) who won her heat in 28.67.
21 heats later, the men's 100 free had 16 semi-finals. Leading the pack is Pieter van den Hoogenband (NED) with a 48.86. In the first seeded heat, Jason Lezak (USA), became one of a very small number of swimmers who have beaten Ian Thorpe (AUS). True, it's only heats, but it was still a decisive win over Thorpedo. Their times were 49.68 and 49.17. In the other seeded heat, swimming legend Alexander Popov (RUS) handily won in 48.94. Canadian Brent Hayden qualified for the semis in 6th place with a solid 49.54.
With defending champ, Petria Thomas (AUS) missing due to shoulder surgery earlier this year, it seems world record holder Otylia Jedrejczak (POL) will have no problem securing a win. But to do it, she will have to beat out Mary Descenza (USA) and Eva Risztov (HUN) who posted the only sub 2:10 swims this morning with a 2:09.08 and 2:09.32. Jedrejczak won the final heat in 2:10.30 to Yana Klochkova's 2:10.52.
100 breast champ Kosuke Kitajima broke the meet record this morning with a 2:10.66. He was on pace for the world record until the final 25. Ian Edmond (GBR) had the next fastest time with a 2:12.07 followed by Dmitry Komornikov (RUS) and Mike Brown (CAN). Also qualifying for tonight's semi-final was Morgan Knabe (CAN).