July 23, 2017
Columbus, Ohio— Swimming events are underway in Budapest for the 2017 FINA World Championships, and five Buckeyes are competing for their countries: Tim Phillips (USA), Aliena Schmidtke (Germany), Michelle Toro (née Williams, Canada) joined future Buckeyes Matthew Abeysinghe (Sri Lanka) and Genevieve Angerame (Diver, Lithuania) as Scarlet and Gray qualifiers.
Sunday featured the first batch of swimming events and Phillips, Schmidtke, and Toro all turned in great performances in the pool by advancing to the evening session in their respective events.
Phillips, swimming in the 50 butterfly, finished the morning session with the seventh-fastest time (23.38), which earned him a spot in one of the semifinals heats. In his second swim of the day he put up a time of 23.25, which punched his ticket to the finals of the 50 fly that will take place on Monday.
Also competing in a butterfly event was Schmidtke, who swam in the 100m fly. Her time of 58.24 qualified her for the semifinals, where she turned in a career-best time of 57.87, a great showing for her first time as a member of the German national team. Her first 50 meters clocked in at 26.68, fourth-fastest in the field.
Lastly, Toro was a member of Canada’s 4×100 freestyle relay team, helping the foursome to a time of 3:35.84 that qualified for the evening session. Canada jumped up one spot to fourth place in the 4×100 finals, though Toro did not swim in that race.
Two Buckeyes will swim on Monday: Phillips will vie for a title in the 50 fly while Abeysinghe will be swimming in the 200 freestyle.
The lone Ohio State competitor on Monday was former Buckeye Tim Phillips, who took part in the finals of the 50 butterfly for which he qualified the day before.
Phillips put up a time of 23.38 in the finals, matching his time from prelims the day before and finishing in eighth place.
Competing in the 4×100 mixed medley relay, Schmidtke helped Germany post a time of 3:46.03 in the finals on Wednesday evening.
The Germans qualified for the evening session after putting up a time of 3:47.66 in prelims, during which Schmidtke’s 100 fly split clocked in a 57.70. The former Buckeye really turned it on during the finals though, with her time of 57.29 giving her a new personal best.
Friday’s competition saw a pair of former Buckeyes advance through to the finals in their respective events.
Schmidtke, swimming in the 50 butterfly, put up a monster time of 25.73 in prelims this morning, faster than her 26.00 time back in June that won her a German national championship and set a national record. It was the fourth fastest time in the field and put her in a great position for semifinals in the evening.
Sure enough, posted an even faster time in the semis; her mark of 25.68 qualifies her for the 50 butterfly finals that will take place tomorrow, Saturday, during the evening.
Phillips also qualified for the semifinals in his event on Friday. In the 100 butterfly prelims this morning he touched the wall at 51.96; his first 25 meters clocked in at 23.72, tied for second-fastest in the entire field. Later in the day during the 100 fly semis, he turned in a time of 51.41, good for ninth place and just one spot away from qualifying for the finals.
In addition to Schmidtke contending for a title in the 50 fly, Michelle Toro is currently slated to swim in the 50 freestyle during the morning prelim session.
After a huge day in prelims and semifinals, Schmidtke swam for a world championship in the 50 fly, putting up a time of 26.08. It was another great performance for her, coming just a day after besting her own Germany national record (twice). On Friday she was the first German to break 26.00 in the 50 fly, doing it during prelims and again during semis.
Also swimming on Saturday was Michelle Toro, who put up a very strong time of 24.64 in prelims of the 50 free. The Olympic medalist had the sixth-fastest time among the field of 87 swimmers, easily earning a spot in the semifinals later in the day. She clocked in at 24.66 during the semis, good for a Top 10 finish but just short of a berth in the 50 free finals to take place on Sunday.
Phillips was the only Buckeye to swim on the final day of World Championships, and he helped the U.S. in a big way.
Joined by three American teammates, Phillips swam in the 4×100 medley relay, helping the United States to a first place finish in prelims with a time of 3:29.66. As the butterfly swimmer in the relay, he topped the rest of the field with a time of 50.74; no other swimmer had a faster 100 fly time than he did. Later in the day, the United States would win a world title in that event, thanks in part to Phillips and his teammates’ efforts during prelims.