Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA) set a new African record (2:20.17) in the 200m Breaststroke back in April which keeps her atop at the ranks but it’s going to be tight as Molly Renshaw (GBR) clocked a handful of fine times during the spring (she also broke the 2:21 barrier) and King’s training partner and US Trial-winner Annie Lazor may also have the last laugh.

Though the world expects another showdown between title-holder and world champion Lilly King (USA) and Yuliya Efimova (RUS) in the 100m for many reasons but it would require the Russian star to offer something from the old stuff – so far, in 2021, she has been far from her best. King, at the same time, is already in great shape, posted four of the five best times, only fellow 17 year-old American Lydia Jacoby was in ‘visible’ distance as finished 0.4sec behind her at the Trials. In fact, only King could swim under 1:05 this year (did it twice) and that make her one of the safest bets in the women’s meet.


In the 100m Backstroke event Kaylee Mckeown broke the world record at the trials (57.45) – more than enough to consider her the outstanding favourite here but in the 200m she has been just as overwhelming, posted the four of the five best efforts so far in 2021. 

While Regan Smith’s (USA) breakthrough performances at the 2019 Worlds – gold, silver, two WRs – predicted a start of a new era, 2020 seems to have altered her development curve. Smith even missed the cut in the 200m at the US trials, so she had to go all-in in the 100m where the rivalry is even sharper as world champion Kylie Masse (CAN) and the new European record-holder Kathleen Dawson (GBR) are also set for something bigger.