This morning saw the 9 heats that kicked off the Men's 100m Breaststroke at the World Championships in Kazan, and it is already looking like we will be having a furious final. With a total of 11 swimmers out of 16 semi-final qualifiers already breaking the 1 minute barrier, there will be few in the field that can afford to hold anything back to guarantee their spot in the final 8 lanes tomorrow.
The fastest qualifier was Adam Peaty in 58.52, which was a new World Championships record, and the third fastest time ever recorded. After a strong season in which he broke the 100m World Record, many are holding Peaty as favourite for the World title.
Second fastest qualifier, and most likely Peaty's main competition for the World title, was Cameron Van der Burgh in a time of 58.56. Previously talking to SuperSport, Van der Burgh has discussed his views on the World Record and Adam Peaty's performances:
"But the reality is that you just 'borrow' a record. What is special about breaking a record is that your name will appear in the history books because you were the best swimmer in the world at a specific time. This is quite impressive, so for me records are important. I like the challenge of constantly pushing the boundaries."
"A performance like Peaty's is what keeps me motivated. I see it as a challenge he set for me to up my own game. He is now the 'Top Dog' who everybody will be striving to beat and that suits me."
"The ultimate would be to set a time that no one else can improve on."
With such a strong performance by the South African in the heats, it is doubtless that Van der Burgh was letting Peaty know that he has every intention to 'borrow' his World Record back. However, as the two remain separated until the final there will be little clue as to who will emerge victor from the final.
Ross had a strong morning as well taking first in the 7th heat in a time of 59.48, making him the 4th fastest qualifier going into the semi-finals.
"Felt nice and easy down the front end and pushed the back end a bit more. Looking good for tonight...", Ross on his morning 100m Breaststroke heat.
Ross will be in Lane 5 of the first semi-final, lined up against Cameron Van der Burgh in lane 4. The full draw is:
1. FUNK Richard CAN 1992 - 1:00.26
2. KOSEKI Yasuhiro JPN 1992 - 59.93
3. FELDWEHR Hendrik GER 1986 - 59.67
4. VAN DER BURGH Cameron RSA 1988 - 58.59
5. MURDOCH Ross GBR 1994 - 59.48
6. TITENIS Giedrius LTU 1989 - 59.84
7. VOM LEHN Christian GER 1992 - 1:00.01
8. SILADI Caba SRB 1990 - 1:00.35
This evening's semi finals will be taking place at 18:35 and will be available to watch across a combination of BBC TWO Red Button and EuroSport TV.
There is also a live stream covering a mixture of events on YouTube
A full listing of this morning's results are available here on Omega Timing.
The line up for this evening's semi-finals is available here.
To track the results of all swimming events at the World Championships in Kazan, head here.