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Australia’s hopeful road to swimming redemption continues tonight in Barcelona with three medal chances in the finals, including fastest qualifier Christian Sprenger in the men’s 100m breaststroke.

Olympic silver medallist Sprenger starts in lane four after a strong semi-final swim saw him pip Cameron Ven Der Burgh, the South African who beat him to gold at London 2012.

Alicia Coutts has the first of her two finals swims tonight in the 100m butterfly, an event she took bronze in at the London Games.

She’ll be keen to put the disappointment of last night behind her, after her anchor leg in the 4x100m freestyle relay ended in tears as her team handed the world’s best mantle back to the US by 0.12 seconds.

The Aussie women were Australia’s only winners in the pool during their disastrous London campaign.

Coutts has qualified faster than Olympic gold medallist Dana Vollmer, but they’ll both be chasing championship record holder, Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Dane Jeanette Ottesen Gray.

Last up in tonight’s program, to be aired on BBC, Coutts returns to lane three for the 200m individual medley final in which she won silver at the Olympics. London gold medallist Shiwen Ye from China is qualified second in lane five.

In semis action tonight is Aussie Ashley Delaney and Kiwi Gareth Kean  in the men’s 100m backstroke.

Other Aussies in the pool tonight include Sally Foster and Samantha Marshall  in the 100m breaststroke semis and Emily Seebohm in the 100m backstroke semi .

Thomas Fraser Holmes  and Cameron McEvoy will race for a spot in the final in each of the men’s 200m freestyle semis.

Australia’s only medal from the first night came with the 4x100 free silver to Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Bronte Campbell and Emma McKeon, while New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle won bronze in the women’s 400m freestyle.

The Australian men’s 4x100m team finished fourth in a thriller which saw them out of the medals despite being just 0.40 seconds behind the winners France. 

Images via Getty


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World Swimming Champs: Sprenger and Coutts lead Aussie hopes for first gold after disappointing opening night
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