Perhaps even more impressive is that these 13 athletes could take home a combined 23 "triple crowns" titles - with each crown won earning the swimmer a USD 10,000 payday bonus. 

While the likelihood that every one of these crowns will be earned this weekend in Budapest remains to be seen, based on the performances thus far, it will be tough for any of their rivals to take them down.

Friday's Final 13 | Breaking Down the Swimmer's Triple Crown Chances

Kaylee McKeown | 50m/100m/200m Backstroke

Image Source: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Breaking Down Kaylee's Chances

Kaylee’s the top seed in all three events. Challengers in the 50m back include two Canadians - Kylie Masse and Ingrid Wilm - and perhaps also Maaike de Waard (NED) and Hungary’s Lora Fanni Komoroczy.  Each of these athletes will race the 100 as well. 

In the 100m backstroke, expect to also see a third Canadian attempting to get her hand on the wall first, Taylor Ruck. 

Anastasiya Shkurdai (NIA), Masse (CAN) and Hungarian Eszter Szabo-Feltothy are expected to challenge McKeown in the 200 back.

Budapest Programme  

Kaylee is entered in the 50/100/200m backstroke and the 200 IM events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin 50m Back:  27.24  World Cup Record
  • Athens 50m Back:  27.02  World Cup Record


  • Berlin 100 Back:  57.95  World Cup Record
  • Athens 100 Back:  57.63  World Cup Record


  • Berlin 200 Back:  2:06.47  World Cup Record
  • Athens 200 Back:  2:06.02  World Cup Record

Why Kaylee Can Do It  

She won these three events in Berlin and Athens and each was in a World Cup Record time.  She has improved on each of her successive swims and she may be able to break a world record in Budapest in two of these events.

What Has the World Aquatics Swimming Pundity Penned on Kaylee's Chances? 

"Does McKeown have enough left in her to break her own world record? She is still early in her Olympic preparation, but if she were to go faster than 57.4 in Budapest, it would certainly send a message to the rest of the world that there is a lot of work to be done to take her down. McKeown will also take aim at the 50m world record, getting within 0.02 of Liu Xiang’s 26.98 from 2018."

Qin Haiyang | 50m/100m/200m Breaststroke

Image Source: Hiroyuki Nakamura/World Aquatics

Breaking Down Qin's Chances

As the fastest-seeded swimmer in all three events, Qin's challengers are familiar to him and likely to be racing in two, if not all three, events. Adam Peaty (GBR) and Michael Andrew (USA) are sprinters in the one-lap race.

Many others will test Qin in the 50m and 100m distances, including Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA), Nic Fink (USA), Arno Kamminga (NED) and Ilya Shymanovich (NIA).

In the 200m breaststroke, World Record-holder Qin has beaten his Chinese teammate Dong Zhihao and Nic Fink (USA) and the Dutch duo of Arno Kamminga (NED) and Caspar Corbeau, but each has hopes to reach the medals podium.

Budapest Programme

Qin’s entered in the 50/100/200m breaststroke events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin 50m Breaststroke:  26.29  World Cup Record
  • Athens 50m Breaststroke:  26.52


  • Berlin 100 Breast:  57.69  World Cup Record
  • Athens 100 Breast:  58.44


  • Berlin 200 Breast:  2:07.45  World Cup Record
  • Athens 200 Breast:  2:08.06

Why Qin Can Do It

He swept these same events in Fukuoka, the first swimmer to win all three events at a single World Championships. He set a new world record in the 200.breast at this summer’s World Championships in Japan.

What the World Aquatics Swimming Pundit Has Penned on Qin

"Qin has been on fire since April of this year, holding eight of the ten fastest times in the world this year. It seems every time Qin dives in, he is under 58.5."

Danas Rapsys | 200m & 400m Freestyle

Image Source: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Breaking Down Danas' Chances

Danas can expect spirited racing from Americans Kieran Smith and Trenton Julian, Italian swimmers Maximilian Guiliani and Thomas Ceddon and Hungary’s Nandor Nemeth in the 200.

In the 400m free,  it is possible that Fukuoka’s World Champion Sam Short (AUS), 3:40.68 ends any chance for a Lithuanian crown. It’s also possible that Short pushes Rapsys and that one or both betters the Lithuanian’s World Cup Record time from 2019 of 3:43.91. 

Expect USA's Kieran Smith and a trio of Hungarians including Kristof Rsovszky, Balazs Hollo and David Betlehem will be campaigning for their first World Cup medal before a supportive home audience.

Budapest Programme 

Danas’s entered in the 200/400m freestyle and the 200 IM events

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin 200m Freestyle:  1:45.75 
  • Athens 200 Freestyle:  1:45.72


  • Berlin 400 Freestyle:  3:44.86
  • Athens 400 Freestyle:  3:48.64

Why Danas Can Do It

He’s a two-time Olympian (2016-2020) who finished 8th in the 200 in Tokyo. He holds 40 World Cup medals including three silvers from Indianapolis in the 200m and 400m free and also in the 200m IM, as well as bronze in the 400 last year in Toronto.

Australia's Sam Short will be making his Swimming World Cup debut this weekend in Budapest as he emerged from 2023 as one of the best distance swimmers in the world, winning the 400m freestyle World titleShort got closer than anyone has in 11 years to Paul Biedermann's 3:40.07 world record in the 400m, winning the World title in Fukuoka at 3:40.68.

If Short is on this weekend, he will challenge for the World Cup Record, which Rapsys set in 3:43.91 in 2019.

Matthew Sates | 200m Butterfly & 200m Individual Medley

Image Source: Michael P. Hall/ Aquatics

Breaking Down Sates' Chances

In the 200 butterfly, he will face strong challenges from Hungary’s Richard Maron, USA’s Trenton Julian and perhaps his South African teammate Chad le Clos,  The top seed in the 200 IM is held by Julian, but his teammate Kieran Smith, Australia’s Brendon Smith and Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches are strong challengers to Sates in the 200 IM.

Budapest Programme  

He’s entered in the 200/400 freestyle, the 100/200 butterfly and 200/400 IM events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin 200 Butterfly:  1:55.87
  • Athens 200 Butterfly:  1:55.44


  • Berlin 200 IM:  1:58.01
  • Athens 200 IM:  1:58.86


Why Matt Can Do It

He swam his personal best time in the 200m fly in Athens, the same can be said for his 100 fly.  Matt won the short course World Championship title in the 200 IM in December 2022. He also owns 34 World Cup medals, 25 of which are gold.

Thomas Ceccon | 100m Freestyle & 100m Backstroke

Image Source: Mike Lewis/World Aquatics

Breaking Down Ceccon's Chances

The 100m freestyle will include significant challengers including Italian teammates Alessandro Miressi and Lorenzo Zazeri who will be aiming for a podium finish. The field will also include Hungary’s sprint freestyler Nandor Nemeth, Diogo Matos Ribeiro (POR) and Trinidad’s Dylan Carter. 

Ceccon comes in as the top-seeded swimmer in the 100 backstroke, though he can expect intense competition from Apostolos Christou (GRE), Olier Morgan (GBR), Roman Mituukov (SUI) and Isaac Cooper (AUS). 

Budapest Programme 

Thomas is entered in the 50/100/200m backstroke and the 100/ 200m freestyle events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin 100 Free:  47.97
  • Athens 100 Free:  48.36


  • Berlin 100 Back:  52.27
  • Athens 100 Back:  52.73

Why Thomas Can Do It

He won the 50m free in the 2018 Youth Olympics, and earned silver medals in the 50 and 200 IM, and a bronze in the 100 back, but only 12th in the 100 free.  He refers to the Duna Arena in Budapest as his home pool as it is the pool where he set the 100 back world record,  51.60.  He is only one of two swimmers faster than 53 seconds this year, but something he has done five times this year in the 100 back.

What the World Aquatics Swimming Pundit Has Penned on Ceccon's Chances

World Record-holder Thomas Ceccon is returning to the facility where he set the global mark in 2022 as he is also going for a triple crown in the 100m backstroke, swimming as fast as 52.27 in Berlin, matching the time he did to win silver at Worlds in 2023. Ceccon will be racing against last year’s European silver medallist Apostolos Christou of Greece, and rising star Oliver Morgan of Great Britain.

Ceccon is the heavy fan favourite and is one of only two swimmers faster than 53 seconds this year in the field, an achievement he has done five times in 2023, but he hasn’t been under 52 since last year. Ceccon is one of the top sprinters in the world and will be looking to put up a good time this weekend to close out his campaign at the World Cup in Europe.

Sarah Sjostrom | 50m Freestyle & 50m Butterfly

Image Source: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Breaking Down Sarah's Chances

She’s seeded first in both of these events. Cate Campbell (AUS), Marrit Steenbergen (NED) and Swedish teammate Michelle Coleman are her main rivals in the 50 free.  In the 50 fly she will likely face Zhang (CHN) and Maaike de Waard (NED) in the finals.  

Budapest Programme  

Sjostrom’s entered in the 50/100 freestyle and 50/100 butterfly events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin 50 Free:  23.95
  • Athens 50 Free:  24.10


  • Berlin 50 Butterfly:  25.06 World Cup Record
  • Athens 50 Butterfly:  54.97 World Cup Record 

Why Sarah Can Do It

She set the World Record in the 50m freestyle at the 2023 Worlds in Fukuoka.  

Siobhan Haughey | 100m & 200m Freestyle

Image Source: Siobhan Haughey reacts after victory and a World Record in the Women's 200m Free in Abu Dhabi. (Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Breaking Down Siobhan's Chances

She is the second seed in the 100m freestyle behind Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom and is expected to face a test from Marrit Steenbergen (NED), and a second sprinter from Sweden.

Olympic bronze medallist Cate Campbell (AUS) and Olympic bronze medalist (4x100 free relay) Taylor Ruck (CAN) could also spoil Haughey’s pursuit of the crown in this event. Haughey is the top seed in the 200 free ahead of Erika Fairweather (NZL) and Steenbergen (NED) in this event.  Australia’s Lani Pallister is best known for her distance pedigree but was a heats swimmer in the Australian 4x200 relay in Fukuoka.

Budapest Programme

Siobhan's entered in all 50/100/200/400m freestyle events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin 100 Free:  52.02 World Cup Record
  • Athens 100 Free:  52.55


  • Berlin 200 Free:  1:55.10 World Cup Record
  • Athens 200 Free:  1:5503  World Cup Record

Why Siobhan Can Do It

She set World Cup Records in the 100 in both Berlin and Athens and also set the World Cup Record in the 200 in Athens.  The two-time Olympian was second in the 100 and 200 free at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

What the World Aquatics Swimming Pundit Has Penned on Siobhan's Chances

Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong, China rocketed to number one in the world in Berlin two weeks ago when she swam a 52.02 in the 100m freestyle, swimming faster than Mollie O’Callaghan’s winning time from the World Championships.

Haughey is not far off of Sjostrom’s World Record of 51.71 which the Swede set in Budapest six years ago, and Sjostrom will be in the race this weekend to try to end Haughey’s bid for a triple crown.

Zhang Yufei | 100m & 200m Butterfly

Image Source: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Breaking Down Zhang's Chances

The Chinese Olympian is the top seed in the 100m butterfly ahead of rivals Louise Hansson (SWE) and Lana Pudar (BIH).

In the 200m butterfly, Pudar is the top seed and a likely challenger to Zhang. Two standout swimmers from Hungary - Boglarka Kapas and Dalma Sebestyen - will enjoy significant support from the home spectators in the 200m fly event.

Budapest Programme 

Zhang’s entered in all 50/100/200m butterfly events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin 100 Fly: 56.74
  • Athens 100 Fly:  56.06  World Cup Record


  • Berlin 200 Fly:  2:07.11
  • Athens 200 Fly:  2:06.73

Why Zhang Can Do It

The reigning champion of the 50m free and all three butterfly events at the recent Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, also secured victory in the 100 fly at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, clocking in at 56.12 for the two laps. This accomplished World Champion and Olympic gold medallist in butterfly from China stands poised to vie for both titles.

During the 2020 Olympics, she demonstrated her prowess by clinching the 200m fly in a time of 2:03.86, while earning a silver medal in the 100 fly with a timing of 55.64. Her 4x200m free relay team emerged victorious, and she added another silver to her accolades in the 4x100m mixed medley relay.

In Athens, she dominated the 200m fly, surpassing the second-place finisher Katie Grimes (USA) by a staggering margin of nearly 2 seconds. Her triumph in the 100m fly also marked a new World Cup Record, besting Sjostrom by .88 seconds on her way to the podium in both events.

Notably, she secured the second position in the 50m fly in Athens, and in Berlin, she claimed victory in both the 100 fly and 200 fly, falling short by a mere 0.08 seconds to Sjöström in the 50 fly.

What the World Aquatics Swimming Pundit Has Penned on Zhang's Chances

China’s Zhang Yufei has won six butterfly finals at the World Cup, most recently swimming a 56.06 in the 100m in Athens, which was faster than her gold medal-winning time at the World Aquatics Championships in July. Zhang holds six of the top ten performances in the world this year. Zhang will take aim at, not only her own Asian Record of 55.62 from 2020 but Sjostrom’s World Record of 55.48 from 2016.

Tes Schouten | 200m Breaststroke

Image Source: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Breaking Down Schouten's Chances

The Dutch Olympian must outswim European rivals Lisa Mamie (SUI) and Jenna Strauch (AUS) and fend off a challenge from Lydia Jacoby (USA), the Olympic gold medallist in the 100m breast to claim the crown of three consecutive wins in the 200m breaststroke.

Budapest Programme 

Tes is entered in all 50/100/200m breaststroke events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin:  2:22.13 World Cup Record
  • Athens: 2:23:23

Why Tes Can Do It

Tes is coming off a strong performance in Fukuoka this past summer swimming 2:21.63 for her first World Championship long-course bronze medal and a new national record. 

She won the Berlin Swimming World Cup event setting a new World Cup Record of 2:21.14 and placed fourth in the 100m breast event.

She won the 200m event and earned a silver medal in the 100m breast, but only managed a 6th place in the 50m event. The 2020 Tokyo Olympian swam on the 10th place Dutch 4x100m medley relay and finished 25th in the 100m breaststroke.

Erika Fairweather | 400m Freestyle

Image Source: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Breaking Down Erika's Chances

If the New Zealand swimmer is to claim three consecutive titles and the coveted crown she will have to beat her Oceania rival Lani Pallister (AUS), and fend off challenges from Siobahn Haughey (HKG) and Hungarian swimmers Ajna Kesely and Nikolett Padar racing before enthusiastic home audiences

Budapest Programme

 Erika’s entered in all 200/400/800m freestyle events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin:  4:01.09 World Cup Record 
  • Athens: 4:01.90

Why Erika Can Do It

She set the 400m freestyle World Cup record in Berlin and swam two silver medal performances in the 200m and 800m freestyle events.  In Athens she swam her 400m slightly slower than in Berlin to win. She placed second in the 200m freestyle and finished 5th in the 100m freestyle.

In Fukuoka, she swam 3:59.59 for a bronze medal and a national record in the 400m.  She finished 8th in the 400m  at the 2020 Summer Olympics.  She swam in the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2019 she won the 200m freestyle event at the World Junior Championships in Budapest.

Lani Pallister | 800m and 1500m Freestyle

Image Source: Jo Kleindl/World Aquatics

Breaking Down Erika's Chances

The Australian swimmer will face a strong challenge from top-seeded Erika Fairweather (NZL), with Hungary’s trio of Ajna Kesely, Viktoria Mihalyvari-Farkas and Vivien Jackl entertaining the home crowd in the women's freestyle distance events. 

Budapest Programme 

Lani is entered in all 100/200/400/800 freestyle events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin: 8:16.82 World Cup Record in the 800m freestyle 
  • Athens15:55.73 World Cup Record in the 1500m freestyle

Why Lani Can Do It 

Pallister beat Fairweather by 4.41 seconds in Berlin and set a new world cup record in the 800m freestyle which is the event they will race in Budapest.  She finished behind Fairweather in Berlin earning a silver in the 400 and behind Haughey and Fairweather in the 200m for a bronze medal.

She won the 1500m in Athens setting a new world cup record and beating the runner-up, Katie Grimes (USA) by more than 12 seconds. and finished second to Fairweather in the 400m free in Athens. She earned a bronze medal in the 1500m free behind world record holder Katie Ledecky (USA) and Grimes (USA).

In December 2022 at the short course Worlds in Melbourne, Pallister won the 400, 800 and 1500m races and earned a fourth gold medal in Australia’s 4x200m free relay. At the 2019 World Junior Championships she won the 400, 800 and freestyle events.

Michael Andrew | 50m Backstroke

Image Source: Look who's back in Budapest: Andrew in his element in the Duna Arena (Mike Lewis/World Aquatics)

Breaking Down Michael's Chances

The American will need to repel challenges from top seed Apostolos Christou (GRE), Isaac Cooper (AUS) and Thomas Ceccon (ITA) in order to capture the crown in Budapest. 

Budapest Programme  

Andrew is entered in all 50m stroke events and the 200m individual medley

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin:  24.47
  • Athens:  24.79

Why Michael Can Do It

Andrew swam breaststroke in the USA’s world record and Olympic Gold medal swim in the 4x100m medley relay at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

The versatile swimmer finaled in three individual events, placing 4th in the 50m free and 4th in the 100m breast and 5th in the 200m individual medley event. 

In Berlin, he won the 50m back and the 100m fly events and finished second in the 50m free and tied for second in the  50m butterfly event.

In Athens, he won the 50 back and also the 50m free, was tied for second in the 100m fly and finished third in the 50m fly. He claimed 5th in the 50m breast in Berlin and 7th in the event in Athens.

He owns five long course World Championship medals from Budapest 2022 including gold in the 4x100m mixed medley relay. He still holds the World Junior Record in the 50m free (21.75) set in 2017.

Ruta Meilutyte | 50m Breaststroke

Image Source: Jo Kleindl/World Aquatics

Breaking Down Ruta's Chances

Ruta will face strong challenges from Benedetta Pilato (ITA) and Lydia Jacoby (USA), the only two swimmers with seed times faster than 30 seconds.  

Budapest Programme 

She’s entered in all 50 free and the 50 breaststroke events.

Swimming World Cup 2023 | Winner’s Results Progression

  • Berlin: 29.56 World Cup Record
  • Athens: 30.23

Why Ruta Can Do It

She’s the event’s World Record-holder. She’s also the two-time World Aquatics Champion (Budapest 2022 and Fukuoka 2023) in the event. She won the 50m Breaststroke Crown last year.  In Berlin, she set the World Cup event record. 

All signals seem to point to ... prediction time.

Budapest Prediction

When Ruta is going right – and she looks that way right now for the 50m distance – she’s at another level. Look for Estonia’s Eneli Jefimova, who had set a then-World Cup Record in the morning prelims in Berlin, to push Ruta as both will go sub-30 seconds.

Can the Lithuanian defend her 2022 Crown in this event? In short, don't bet against it.   

At a Glance | Where We Are in the Triple Crowns


Contributing: Torin Koos and Andy Ross