FIVE ASIANS TO LOOK OUT FOR
SUN YANG (CHN)
The bad boy of Chinese swimming will be looking to add the world title to his Olympic gold in the 400m freestyle. While still struggling for his best form, he will be hot favourite to emulate his performance in the 1,500m at the 2012 London Olympics, where he set a world record of 14min 31.02sec. Sun will carry the flag for Asia in the absence of Japan's Kosuke Hagino (injury) and South Korean Park Tae Hwan (suspension) in Kazan.
YE SHIWEN (CHN)
Having sent shockwaves through women's swimming at the London Olympics, she bounced back from a spell in the doldrums by completing the 200m and 400m individual medley (IM) double at last year's Asian Games. Her world-record swim in the London Olympic's 400m IM final set tongues wagging after she stormed through her final lap quicker than men's champion Ryan Lochte, triggering accusations of doping even as she added the 200m IM gold. However, she flopped at the last world championships in Barcelona in 2013. Despite winning the Chinese nationals earlier this year, Ye has yet to hit peak form and China could struggle to match their haul of five gold medals in Spain.
YASUHIRO KOSEKI (JPN)
Shooting to fame after beating Japan's golden boy Kosuke Kitajima at last year's Japan Open, Koseki has the physical attributes to become a world-beater in the breaststroke. Having pushed multiple Olympic champion Kitajima to the brink of retirement and inflicting further psychological damage on Japan's 200m world-record holder Akihiro Yamaguchi, Koseki's glass jaw was subsequently revealed at the Asian Games, where he failed to win a gold medal. A gold medal double at last year's Pan Pacific championships on the Gold Coast gave a truer reflection of his undoubted ability. And with Kosuke Hagino sidelined, much of the expectation will fall on the 23-year-old's shoulders.
JOSEPH SCHOOLING (SIN)
He won the 100m butterfly at the 2014 Asian Games and nine golds at the SEA Games this year. While his winning time of 51.76sec at the Asiad will hardly strike terror into his rivals in Kazan, the 20-year-old looks to continue a hot streak after becoming the first swimmer from Singapore to win a Commonwealth Games medal last year.
DMITRIY BALANDIN (KAZ)
He made history at the Asian Games by completing a breaststroke treble, winning the 50m, 100m and 200m races. His performances suggest he could be a dark horse looking to get among the medals at the world championships closer to home.