The third day of prelims at the World Championships in Doha was marked by intense competition in the 50m breaststroke. Nic Fink, who had won gold in the 100 breaststroke, led the first seeded heat with a time of 26.75. He was closely followed by Adam Peaty and Nicolo Martinenghi, who were side by side in lanes four and five.
Fink had a fantastic start and soon had a half-bodylength lead over Peaty. However, as they approached the end of the race, Peaty managed to catch up to Fink and finished just behind him with a time of 26.75. Martinenghi finished third with a time of 27.11, which was slower than his first 50 in the 100 final. Ilya Shymanovich, competing as a Neutral Individual Athlete, matched Fink’s time in the final prelim to lead the way into the semis.
Sam Williamson (26.69), Martinenghi (26.79), and Peter Stevens (26.81) were next swiftest through with Peaty qualifying 12th. This event marked an unpredictable and unique competition in Doha as athletes from different backgrounds came together to showcase their skills on the world stage.