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Adam Chillingworth (left) will renew acquaintance with Arno Kamminga (centre) in their heat. Photo: Handout

World Aquatics Championships: Adam Chillingworth set for favoured 200m breaststroke after Hong Kong’s winning feeling in relay

  • City’s mixed medley relay quartet win their heat, although still do not qualify, as Chillingworth looks forward to his best event
  • Coach insists morale is high despite loss of Siobhan Haughey through injury

Adam Chillingworth will compete in his main event, the 200 metres breaststroke, at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest on Wednesday, buoyed by experiencing a winning feeling on Tuesday.

Hong Kong won their heat in the mixed 4x100m medley preliminaries, as Chillingworth, Stephanie Au Hoi-shun, Camille Lily-mei Cheng and Nicholas Lim came home first in three minutes and 54.28 seconds.

Sadly for them, their winning time in one of the slower heats left them only 13th overall and out of contention.

But Chillingworth, who also did not progress beyond the 100m heats on Saturday, will approach his preferred 200m aiming to improve his Hong Kong record.

His coaches believe those previous races will stand him in good stead, and that he could threaten his city best of 2:12.17, set at the British trials in April. The 24-year-old has since gone close to that mark when he won silver at the Mare Nostrum Tour in Monaco last month.

Adam Chillingworth has his favoured 200m breaststroke on Wednesday. Photo: Hong Kong Swimming Association

“I believe Adam will perform better [on Wednesday] after the 100m breaststroke and the relay,” head coach Chen Jianhong said.

Chillingworth was born in Hong Kong before moving to the United Kingdom with his parents when he was 15 years old. He returned to the city in 2019 and expressed interest in representing Hong Kong in future competitions.

On paper, Chillingworth’s entry time ranks him 26th on the start list, but the presence in his heat of Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands, whose best time is 2:06.85, could help up the pace. It was the Dutchman who finished first when Chillingworth earned his second place in Monaco.

Australian Zac Stubblety-Cook, the world record-holder with 2:05.95, set only last month at the Australian trials, is also competing in Budapest.

Ian Ho Yentou skipped the 100m freestyle on Tuesday, with coach Chen saying that he was conserving energy for his best event, the 50m freestyle, on Thursday.

Au finished eighth in her 50m backstroke heat in 28.70 seconds, which placed her 22nd overall.

Chen said that the squad were in good spirits even after Siobhan Haughey’s withdrawal with an ankle injury. Haughey announced on Instagram on Monday that she would be absent from the heats for the 200m freestyle.

Britain’s Freya Anderson was fastest in Monday night’s semi-finals in 1:56.05, followed by the Australian duo of Madison Wilson and Mollie O’Callaghan, in 1:56.31 and 1:56.34 respectively.

Thomas Ceccon of Italy made a splash by breaking the world record in the 100m backstroke. The 21-year-old finished in 51.60 to beat the previous best set by American Ryan Murphy in 2016.

American freestyler Katie Ledecky, who already had one gold medal under her belt in the 400m, collected her second, in the 1,500m, in a time of 15:30.15.