Nathan Adrian, defending Olympic champion, squeaked into the 100m freestyle semifinals after finishing in 16th place in Tuesday’s preliminary heats. The top 16 from the field advance to the semifinals.
He raced to 48.58 seconds, which he said he was pleased with in a poolside interview with Michele Tafoya.
“It was alright,” he said. “Feeling a little rusty this morning, trying to get back into the meet after a late night. You’re swimming for a lane. I’m pretty happy to get an outside lane.”
Fellow American Caeleb Dressel, who joined Adrian on the podium on Sunday in the 4x100m freestyle relay that won gold, will advance to the semifinals in second place with his time of 47.91.
2015 World champ Ning Zetao of China also made the final, stopping the clock at 48.57.
Australian teenager Kyle Chalmers touched Dressel out by 0.01 second for the fastest time of the morning. Chalmers’ teammate Cam McEvoy, the 2015 World silver medalist in the event, advanced in fourth place.
Also Tuesday, Team Refugee swimmer finished sixth in his heat with a time of 54.25. His entry time was 55.59.