Florida-based Corey Main could not repeat his earlier heroics to earn a second final at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Budapest.
Main, from the Howick Pakuranga club, had hoped his outstanding swim in the 100m backstroke that saw him make his first World Championship final, would be a catalyst for his favoured 200m backstroke on day five today.
He snuck into the final with the 16th fastest times, but hoped a semifinals swim under his best of 1:57.51 might be enough to reach a second final to seal an excellent world championship. That did not prove the case, matching his 16th world ranking from two years ago, when he could only manage 2:01.00 in his semifinal.
New Zealand coach Jerry Olszewski said Main was disappointed with his swim but that the swimmer still produced excellent performances at Budapest with a top-eight world ranking in the 100m backstroke and top-16 in the 200m backstroke.
“It just didn’t happen for him today. He has trained better this campaign and was better prepared and was quite excited about his chances. But sometimes it just does not happen for you and today was one of them. Corey has been outstanding this week and still achieved world class performances. He will be a firm medal chance for the Commonwealth Games in both swims.”
Earlier Main qualified in the 16th and final place for the semifinal. He was reasonably placed at the halfway mark in his heat, but faded over the final 100m, which has usually been the strength of the young Kiwi.
In other swims Gabrielle Fa’amausili clocked 56.60 in the heats of the 100m freestyle, 0.7 outside her best, to be 35th fastest from 79 starters. Natasha Lloyd was 35th fastest in the 200m breaststroke in 2:33.93, outside of her own New Zealand record.
There are six New Zealanders in action on day six with Sam Perry and Daniel Hunter in heats of the 50m freestyle, Helena Gasson in the 50m butterfly, Bobbi Gichard in the 200m backstroke, Perry returns for heats of the 100m butterfly and Emma Robinson in the 800m freestyle.
Results, Day 5 Heats:
Women 100m freestyle: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) 53.01, 1; Pernille Blume (DEN) 53.13, 2; Simone Manuel (USA) 53.17, 3. Also: Gabrielle Fa’amausili (NZL) 56.60, 35.
Men 200m backstroke: Ryan Murphy (USA) 1:56,11, 1; Petr Bernek (HUN) 1:56.53, 2; Danas Rapsys (LTU) 1:56.67, 3. Also Corey Main (NZL) 1:58.34, 16.
Women 200m breaststroke: Molly Renshaw (GBR) 2:24.03, 1; Lilly King (USA) 2:24.28, 2; Taylor McKeown (AUS) 2:24.31, 3. Also: Natasha Lloyd (NZL) 2:33.93, 25.
Semifinal, men 200m backstroke: Jiayu Xu (CHN) 1:54.79, 1; Ryan Murphy (USA) 1:54.93, 2; Evgeny Rylov (RUS) 1:54.96, 3. Also Corey Main (NZL) 2:01.00, 16.