With less than 10 days to go to the big show in Budapest, FINA correspondent Andy Ross picks the people that he sees will most prominently figure into who is wearing gold, silver and bronze around their necks from the 42 swimming medal events taking place in the Duna Arena pool, starting on 18 June and running through to 20 June. It you want to check out the schedule click here.

Men’s 50 Free

  • Caeleb Dressel
    • The last time someone beat Dressel over one lap of the pool freestyle in a major meet was in 2018, and that was coming off an injury. Don’t expect that streak to snap in 2022 - Dressel wins in Budapest with a 21.1, with Brazil’s Bruno Fratus behind him in second place. 

Men’s 100 Free

  • Caeleb Dressel
    • Don’t be mistaken - even with no Kyle Chalmers or Kliment Kolesnikov, this isn’t a cakewalk for Caeleb Dressel, who, when healthy, has been the top sprinter in the world for five years. Dressel wins the gold in a thrilling finish over Italy’s Alessandro Miressi.

Men’s 200 Free

Image Source: Francois Nel - Getty Images Europe


  • Duncan Scott
    • The winner will need the perfect mix of speed and endurance, which no one in the world can mix better than Duncan Scott. The Brit will lead a fast final with a 1:44 low to win the gold medal, as Hwang Sunwoo, Tom Dean, and Kieran Smith fight tooth and nail for the remaining podium spots.

Men’s 400 Free

  • Lukas Martens
    • What does newcomer Lukas Martens bring to the table? Does he follow up his 3:41 in April with a gold medal? He does, but it’s not a cake walk for him - Australia’s Elijah Winnington gives him everything he can handle for 400 meters before falling short. Martens takes gold in a 3:42.

Men’s 800 Free

  • Gregorio Paltrinieri
    • No one has been faster than Gregorio Paltrinieri over 800 meters in 11 years, and when healthy, Paltrinieri is virtually unstoppable. That continues in 2022 as the Italian wins over Bobby Finke, Florian Wellbrock, and Lukas Martens.

Men’s 1500 Free

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  • Gregorio Paltrinieri
    • Again, no one in the field has been faster than Paltrinieri over 1500 meters in the long course pool. The only thing that could trip up Paltrinieri is if he can’t take it out fast enough and gets stuck in a slow pace. Paltrinieri wins in Budapest in a nailbiter over the German duo of Florian Wellbrock and Lukas Martens, with Mykhailo Romanchuk also in the mix.

Men’s 50 Back

  • Hunter Armstrong
    • Armstrong’s hand speed is unprecedented and the only thing that could trip him up is if he can’t nail his first 15 meters, which he hit nearly perfectly en route to his world record in April. Armstrong and fellow American Justin Ress sweep the top two spots, and both get under 24 seconds but just miss Armstrong’s world record.

Men’s 100 Back

  • Ryan Murphy
    • Hunter Armstrong may be leading at the 50, but Ryan Murphy has the turn speed and the experience over his American compatriot. It’s a close race, as the world record line makes an appearance. But Murphy gets his hand on the wall first over Armstrong as both break 52, check out his 

Men’s 200 Back

  • Ryan Murphy
    • Ryan Murphy holds the most experience amongst the gold medal favorites, and he uses that to his advantage as he and fellow American Shaine Casas will each break 1:55 in a 1-2 finish.

Men’s 50 Breast

  • Nicolo Martinenghi
    • Martinenghi uses his hand speed to slice through the water and claim gold with Michael Andrew right behind in second place as they each move to second and third all-time.

Men’s 100 Breast

Image Source: Clive Rose - Getty Images Europe
  • Arno Kamminga
    • Adam Peaty is out, which means a new world champ will be crowned for the first time since 2013. The crown doesn’t leave Europe though, as Arno Kamminga, Mr. Consistent, takes the gold medal at the final stroke over Nicolo Martinenghi and Michael Andrew.

Men’s 200 Breast

  • Zac Stubblety-Cook
    • Stubblety-Cook is in a league of his own in this event, being the only swimmer to break 2:06 in the 200 breast. He currently leads the world rankings by two seconds, but the winning margin will be much tighter. Stubblety-Cook wins the gold, but he has to fight with Arno Kamminga to get there, and it will take a world record to win.

Men’s 50 Fly

  • Nicholas Santos
    • Nicholas Santos comes to Budapest with one mission - three fast 50 butterflies. His last one is his best one, as he breaks the world record over Caeleb Dressel and Michael Andrew.

Men’s 100 Fly

  • Caeleb Dressel
    • Expect this to be one of the most hyped matches of the entire week as world record holder Caeleb Dressel comes in to try and dethrone his crown against Hungarian superstar Kristof Milak. Dressel has won the last two world titles and last year’s Olympic crown, as Milak was right behind him in 2017 and in 2021. Dressel continues with the upper hand over Milak but they will only be separated by a few hundredths of a second.

Men’s 200 Fly

  • Kristof Milak
    • The decibel levels reach a maximum as Kristof Milak puts on a 200 butterfly clinic for the Budapest crowd as the Hungarian has been the top man in the world for the last four years. He wins in Budapest with Americans Luca Urlando and Trenton Julian in second and third. Check out his world record breaking swim at the previous world championships. 

Men’s 200 IM

  • Duncan Scott
    • There is still the unknown over what kind of shape China’s Wang Shun is in, but Britain’s Duncan Scott looks even better than he did in the lead-up to Tokyo last year. Scott gets the gold medal over Wang while American Chase Kalisz repeats his bronze from Gwangju.

Men’s 400 IM

  • Daiya Seto
    • This is perhaps the best men’s race of the entire meet, with any of five names capable of winning the final. Daiya Seto redeems himself from a poor Tokyo performance though, winning over upstarts Carson Foster and Leon Marchand, who are just getting started with their international success.

Men’s 4x100 Free

  • United States
    • It’s hard to see any team taking down a relay with Caeleb Dressel on it, as the Americans win gold for the third straight Worlds, going another 3:09 in the process with the Italians in second and the Canadians in third.

Men’s 4x200 Free

Image Source: Hiroyuki Nakamura - Fina Archive
  • Great Britain
    • The Brits return everybody from its team that won gold last year by over three seconds, so it is hard to envision a scenario with them losing. The Americans are stronger and much more experienced this year, but will not be able to catch the Brits as they break the Americans’ world record, with the USA earning silver.

Men’s 4x100 Medley

  • United States
    • The biggest threat to the USA last year was Great Britain, who will be without breaststroke prowess of Adam Peaty. The Brits are still stacked with James Wilby taking his place, but without Peaty the task of taking down the Americans is that much harder. The Americans return three of its four legs from its world record, only replacing Zach Apple with a multitude of options including Brooks Curry, Hunter Armstrong, and Drew Kibler, who each raced in Tokyo last year. The USA wins with a 3:28 with Great Britain in second.

Mixed 4x100 Free

  • Do the Americans remain undefeated?
    • Each of the three times this event has been contested at the World Championships, the US has won each time in a world record. But the US is missing key pieces from its 2019 team in Zach Apple and Simone Manuel. The team does have the depth to overcome this, with the likes of Caeleb Dressel and Torri Huske leading the charge. The Australians are without Kyle Chalmers, and even with the only two women to have broken 53 seconds in 2022 on its team, the gap doesn’t seem slim enough for them to catch. That leaves Canada, who won the shorter version at the World Short Course Champs a possible spoiler. The USA wins, with Australia in second and Canada in third.

Mixed 4x100 medley

  • Can Great Britain back up its gold medal from Tokyo or is it a new champion?
    • Including the Olympics and the World Championships, the mixed medley relay has changed hands every year since 2017, with the US and Australia winning the two world titles, while Great Britain won the inaugural Olympic title ahead of China and Australia. Heading into 2022, GB is without Peaty, while Australia is without McKeon. China hasn’t raced much this year, but looks to be the co-favorites with the Australians and the Americans. China wins the gold medal on the strength of its two women, with the Americans getting second and the Brits finishing third.