The third day of prelims at the World Championships in Doha began with Nicolo Martinenghi leading the first seeded heat in the 50m breaststroke with a time of 26.75. Martinenghi was closely followed by Adam Peaty and Nic Fink, who were side by side in lanes four and five of the fifth prelim.
Fink had a fantastic start and soon had a half bodylength lead, with clear water between him and Peaty. However, Fink finished first in 26.66 ahead of Caspar Corbeau (27.11) and Peaty (27.23), 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, and Peter Stevens (26.79) were next swiftest through with Peaty qualifying 12th.
The competition marked an unpredictable and unique event at the World Championships in Doha, with several swimmers performing well during the preliminary heats. The race for gold was wide open as these top-performing athletes advanced to the semifinals, eager to showcase their skills once again on this international stage.