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American Men Post Scorching Times at Swimming Trials

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Josh Prenot was timed in 2:07.17 in the 200-meter breaststroke final, missing the world record by 16-hundredths of a second.

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Doug Mills/The New York Times

OMAHA — Through the first four days, the United States Olympic trials had not produced the anticipated surge of times that would knock the rest of the world off its feet. In the first 13 events contested, only Katie Ledecky, in the women’s 400-meter freestyle, and Lilly King, in the 100 breaststroke, had produced world-best times.

The men’s 200 breaststroke final led off the fifth day of competition at CenturyLink Center, and it might have seemed an unlikely event to buck the trend. The 11 top performances in history included only one American, Eric Shanteau, who is retired.

The favorite, Kevin Cordes, had won the 100 breaststroke on Tuesday with the second-fastest clocking in the world and had swum a good portion of his 200 semifinal faster than world-record pace. His semifinal time of 2 minutes 7.81 seconds was just off the world best this year, established by Marco Koch of Germany at 2:07.69. So hopes…

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