DOHA: Qatari swimmers Yacob Al Khulaifi (4:18.59), Mohammed Fawad Hasan (4:26.79), Ahmad Samara (4:40.79) and Ali Abdulla Al Nuami (4:51.11) performed well in the heats of seventh and last meet of FINA World Cup 2019 series at Hamad Aquatic Centre on Thursday.
Mohamed Mahmoud (58.14), Tameea Elhamayda (1:01.42) and M Al Khanji (1:08.78) of the host nation were also impressive alongside the elite swimmers.
Bradley Woodward (AUS) led the men’s 200m backstroke heat, clocking 2:00.02, while Qatar’s 14-year-old Youssef Abouelela finished the race with a great time of 2:23.23.
Dutchwoman Kira Toussaint also excelled in the opening session, winning the women’s 50m backstroke heats in 27.86 while Vitalina Simonova (RUS) was the fastest in the women’s 200m breaststroke, clocking 2:32.66.
Vladimir Morozov and Cate Campbell got off to great starts in the heats on the opening day.
Morozov, the leader in men’s rankings, clocked 22.27 as the top three finishers in the 50m freestyle heats including Maxim Lobanovskij (HUN) and Jesse Puts (NED) recorded the same time.
Australia’s Cate Campbell, who is aiming to seal the women’s overall title in the Qatari capital, was also fastest in the 50m freestyle heat, recording a time of 25.00.
Sweden’s Michelle Coleman (25.07) and Campbell’s sister Bronte (25.26) secured second and third positions.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu – placed second in the women’s overall rankings – will appear in the 200m butterfly final after she got third place in the heats with a time of 2:11.17.
Hosszu’s team-mate Zsuzsanna Jakabos won the heat, clocking 2:10.63, while Australia’s Meg Bailey (2:10.93) was second.
Danas Rapsys (LTU), placed second in the men’s overall rankings, qualified for the final of the 400m freestyle in 3:53.62. The heat was dominated by Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) with a time of 3:51.93.
A thrilling men’s 100m butterfly final is also on the cards as South Africa’s multi-Olympic medalist Chad Le Clos and American star Michael Andrew entered the title-race comfortably.
Jakub Majerski (POL) and Szebasztian Szabo (HUN) took the first two spots with times of 52.67 and 53.16 respectively. Andrew (53.22) and Le Clos (53.27) got the next two positions.