On the third day of the World Championships in Doha, Li Bingjie led the 200 free preliminary race for women. Despite the absence of Mollie O’Callaghan, Ariarne Titmus, and Summer McIntosh, who are competing at other meets with their eyes set on bigger things in Paris in July. Li was joined by Erika Fairweather in the third preliminary heat.
Fairweather had won the world championships for the 400 free ahead of Li on the opening evening. In the final heat, Fairweather took an early lead and was just one second ahead of Li at the final turn. However, Li managed to pass her on the last lap to win in 1:57.16 to Fairweather’s 1:57.40.
Siobhan Haughey, who won a silver medal at the Olympics and will compete in tonight’s 100m breaststroke final, came close to breaking a world record with a time of 56.07 seconds in his fifth and final heat of the event. However, he slowed down in the second half of the race and Nikolett Padar from Hungary passed him on the last 50 meters to touch first in 1:57.42 to Haughey’s 1:57.62.
Janna van Kooten from Netherlands finished fourth with a time of 1:59.41, securing her spot into semifinals while Lucy Hope from Britain missed out on qualifying for semis by just one hundredth of a second behind her teammate Kirsten Simpson who finished fifth with time of 2:03.38