James Guy flies to qualify fastest for semi-finals at World Championships

James Guy made an early statement as he looks to regain his Men’s 200m Freestyle title at the FINA World Championships.

The 2015 world champion finished fifth in this event in Budapest and looks determined to climb back onto the podium.

He won the seventh heat to qualify fastest for the semi-finals with a time of 1:46.18, only 0.04 seconds ahead of China’s 400m Freestyle champion Sun Yang.

Guy looked comfortable as he cruised home, saving plenty of energy for the evening’s semi-final.

Guy said: “Coming into this meet, I’ve got no pressure at all. I haven’t swum 1.45 for two years, but I’ve been pretty stable for a while now and that was a season’s best, so hopefully I can go faster tonight.

“I’m here to focus on myself and just enjoy racing as I’ve realised over the last few months it’s only swimming!”

He’ll face tough competition from Yang, Australia’s 100m Freestyle Olympic champion, Kyle Chalmers, and British team-mate Duncan Scott for gold.

Renshaw better than ever

Molly Renshaw swam a personal best time of 1:07.43 to qualify for the semi-finals of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke.

The Loughborough NC swimmer finished second in her heat, ranked 13th fastest overall, just over a second behind American leader Lilly King.

Renshaw, 23,  was the 2016 short course world champion in her pet event – the 200m Breaststroke – but is yet to win a long course medal at the World Championships.

She said: “I’m really happy with that. It felt quite smooth so I was really surprised when I saw it was a PB, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do later on.

“I don’t want to put any limits on myself – I’ll try and stick with everyone down the first 50 and use my back end to come back strong.”

Greenbank cashes in

British champion Luke Greenbank is through to the semis of the Men’s 100m Backstroke, sealing his place despite finishing fifth in his heat.

The Loughborough NC swimmer touched the wall in 53.95s, only 0.03 shy of his personal best time.

Greenback, 21, will have work to do if he is to reach a maiden World Championships final, but still has the 200m Backstroke to come later in the week.

He said: “I’m really pleased to make it through and get another swim and hopefully I can go a bit faster tonight.

“I wanted to lay down a good time in the heats and make it back and I’ve done that. I’ll go back, look at the video and talk with [coach] Mel [Marshall] now and we’ll see if there are any areas I can improve on ahead of tonight.”

Fullalove falls short

Jessica Fullalove was 0.74 seconds away from making the semi-finals of the Women’s 100m Backstroke, finishing ninth in a competitive heat.

The Bath swimmer is making her World Championships debut in Gwangju and will have another chance to prove herself in the 200m Backstroke.

Fullalove’s British teammate Georgia Davies is comfortably through, qualifying seventh fastest in 59.84 seconds.