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Kregor Zirk storms into semi-finals with new Estonian record in Doha

Kregor Zirk.
Kregor Zirk. Source: SCANPIX/AP

Estonian swimmer Kregor Zirk has reached the semi-finals of the men's 200m butterfly at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar. Zirk was fastest overall in the heats, with his time also meeting the qualification standard for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Zirk won his heat with a swim of 1 minute 55.58 seconds. The Estonian was more than half a second quicker than the next fastest competitor, Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand.

Zirk's result on Tuesday was also a new Estonian record for the event, beating the 1 minute 55.62 seconds he set himself at the World Championships in Budapest in 2022.

Zirk's time also met the "A" standard for the Paris Olympics, which is 1 minute 55.78 seconds.

The semi-finals of the men's 200m butterfly are set to take place on Tuesday evening, with the first getting underway at 7.33 p.m. Estonian time.

"I'm quite speechless," said Zirk after the heats. "During the swim I didn't expected I was going that fast –that time was really surprising. Now it's important to start the recovery process as the 200m butterfly is no mean feat and I will have to be even sharper in the evening," he added.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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