Cameron McEvoy expects a “very fast” men’s 100m freestyle final at the world championships on Thursday with a “dog-fight” on the cards and the blue riband event wide open.
France’s Mehdy Metella clocked the fastest time from Wednesday’s semi- finals of 47.65 seconds, but all of the top five swam under 48 secs.
With both Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers and China’s world champion Ning Zetao missing in Budapest, the 100m title is up for grabs.
Australia’s McEvoy, 23, the world silver medallist two years ago in Kazan, was fourth fastest at just 0.30 secs behind the Frenchman.
United States sprinters Nathan Adrian and Caeleb Dressel, plus McEvoy and 18-year-old Jack Cartwright of Australia, joined Metella in going under the 48-seconds mark in the semis.
“The top five guys have all sneaked under 48 — usually you’re lucky to get that in a final. Relative to 2015 only me and the winner went under that,” said McEvoy.