Everything you need to know about swimming at the 2022 FINA World Championships: Preview, schedule, and athletes to watch

Tokyo 2020 Olympic champions Caeleb Dressel, Katie Ledecky, and Kaylee McKeown headline the star-studded event in Budapest, Hungary from 18th June.

By Andrew Binner

Can anyone stop Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky at the 2022 FINA World Championships?

All eyes will be on the USA swimming duo, who won seven gold medals combined at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021, and are heavy favourites to take home multiple medals once more.

Also keep an eye out for Australia's backstroke queen Kaylee McKeown, who won three gold medals in Japan as a 19-year-old, and has added another event to her gruelling competition schedule this year.

The swimming action will take place 18-25 June in Budapest’s Duna Arena, a venue that is renowned for producing fast times. With so many records having been broken heading into the event, expect more to fall.

Check out our one-stop guide to the event below, which includes a schedule, athletes to look out for and how to watch the competition.

We will also be offering a daily live blog of the event on Olympics.com.

Caeleb Dressel won three individual gold medals at Tokyo 2020
Picture by GETTY IMAGES

Katie Ledecky going for three individual golds

The absence of Australia’s Ariarne Titmus, who is skipping Worlds to focus on the 2022 Commonwealth Games, means that Katie Ledecky is the heavy favourite to take home gold in all four of her individual events.

The seven-time Olympic champion will compete in the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle - the trio of events she won at the 2017 World Championships, also in Budapest.

In the backstroke, expect fireworks from 100m world record holder Kaylee McKeown.

The Australian is the reigning Olympic champion over 100 and 200 metres, but will have to be at her best to hold off the likes of American Regan Smith and Canada’s Kylie Masse - the only other two female swimmers in history to break the 58-second barrier in the 100.

To make versatile McKeown’s task even harder, she will also likely compete in the 200 individual medley, having swum a time this year that would have been good enough to land her another gold at Tokyo 2020.

READ: Five things to know about swimming sensation Kaylee McKeown

The absence of breaststroke Olympic champions Lydia Jacoby and Tatjana Schoenmaker - failing to qualify and focussing on the Commonwealth Games respectively - mean that USA’s Lilly King has a great chance of adding to her impressive medal cabinet in Hungary in both events.

With 100 butterfly Olympic champion Maggie MacNeil taking a break from individual swimming to focus on the relays and Emma McKeon another that chose to sit out the Worlds, Swedish veteran Sarah Sjostrom could retake her freestyle and butterfly world titles.

Caeleb Dressel going for eight golds in Budapest

Caeleb Dressel won 15 World Championship medals between 2017 and 2019, including 13 golds.

He is the strong favourite to retain his four individual titles in 2022 in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and the 50 and 100 butterfly.

The Florida native will face strong competition in the 50 free from resurgent Brazilian Bruno Fratus, who told Olympics.com that he believes he can break the world record, while Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers will provide a stern test in both strokes.

Men's medley looking competitive

One of the most anticipated events will be the men’s medley races.

Japan’s reigning world champion over both 200 and 400 Seto Daiya looks back to his best after a disappointing Olympics. Unfortunately Great Britain’s Duncan Scott, who became his nation’s most successful Olympic swimmer ever in Tokyo, was a late withdrawal after contracting COVID.

Elsewhere, the USA triple threat of 400 IM Olympic champion Chase Kalisz, 200 specialist Michael Andrew and breakthrough star Carson Foster will all be confident of winning.

A new 100 breaststroke king will be crowned with Adam Peaty missing the event through injury, and flying Dutchman Arno Kamminga, who won two silver medals at Tokyo 2020, is considered by many to be his heir.

In the 200 breaststroke, Australia’s world record holder and Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook is the man to watch.

The loudest cheer of the event will undoubtedly be reserved for home hero Kristof Milak, the 200 butterfly Olympic champion and world record holder who will be swimming in his favourite pool.

READ: Five things to know about Netherlands swimming star Arno Kamminga

2022 FINA World Championships schedule - Swimming

The swimming event finals below will take place each evening from 18:00 CET (16:00 GMT/UTC). Click here to see the full schedule, including heats and semi-finals.

18 June

Women’s 400 freestyle

Women’s 4x100 freestyle relay
Men’s 400 freestyle

Men’s 400 medley

Men’s 4x100 freestyle medley

19 June

Women’s 100 butterfly

Women’s 200 medley

Men’s 100 breaststroke

Men’s 50 butterfly

20 June

Women’s 1500 freestyle

Women’s 100 backstroke

Women’s 100 breaststroke

Men’s 200 freestyle

Men’s 100 backstroke

21 June

Women’s 200 freestyle

Men’s 800 freestyle

Men’s 50 breaststroke

Men’s 200 butterfly

Mixed 4x100 medley relay

22 June

Women’s 50 backstroke

Women’s 200 butterfly

Women’s 4x200 freestyle relay

Men’s 100 freestyle

Men’s 200 medley

23 June

Women’s 100 freestyle

Women’s 200 breaststroke

Men’s 200 backstroke

Men’s 200 breaststroke
Men’s 4x200 freestyle relay

24 June

Women’s 800 freestyle

Women’s 200 backstroke

Women’s 50 butterfly

Men’s 50 freestyle

Men’s 100 butterfly

Mixed 4x100 freestyle relay

25 June

Women’s 50 freestyle

Women’s 50 breaststroke

Women’s 400 medley

Women’s 4x100 medley relay

Men’s 1500 freestyle

Men’s 50 backstroke
Men’s 4x100 medley relay

Where to watch the 2022 FINA World Championships

The FINA World Aquatics Championships take place 17 June-3 July, but the swimming events take place in the first week only: From 18-25 June.

Click here for details on where to watch the action online and on TV in your region.

Some of the events will be also available for pay-per-view on the FINA Official Facebook Page.

Finally, Olympics.com will be on the ground in Budapest, so make sure to check out our daily live blog.

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