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SWC 2014: Beijing Day 1: Sun claims 400m gold at World Cup debut

Swimming World Cup

Sun YangWith a full-house audience, Chinese Olympic champion Sun Yang snatched the title in his favorite event, the men's 400m freestyle, while two-time women overall World Cup champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary grabbed four golds and front-runner Chad Le Clos of South Africa claimed three victories at the fifth stop of the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup 2014, taking place in Beijing, China on October 24-25.

Sun, who brought home three golds and one silver from the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in late September, and three national titles last week, made his World Cup debut, clocking 3:37.70 to edge South Africa's Myles Brown (3:39.26) and teammate Wang Kecheng (3:42.55) for the 400m gold. Germany's Paul Biedermann, winner of the event at the Rome Worlds in 2009, finished fourth in 3:42.72.

"My turns are very weak comparing to other top swimmers. I felt tired and my thumb injury is not fully recovered," said 2012 double Olympic champion Sun (in the men's 400m and 1500m freestyle).

Hosszu started her winning streak in the women's 800m freestyle, touching home in 8:08.41, then swept the 200m freestyle (1:54.04), 200m IM and 200m backstroke (2:02.71) as well. Hosszu took bronze in the 100m butterfly in 56.68, as China's Lu Ying lifted the crown in 55.95.

Katinka Hosszu (HUN) - photo credit: Wang Xin

Hosszu finished fourth in the women's 50m backstroke, clocking 26.80, and placed eighth in the 50m freestyle in 25.59, while Inge Dekker of the Netherlands won the event in 23.97.

"I take part in 14 events in Beijing. After seven events today, I am a little bit tired, but it's funny that I like this feeling. I do think I am getting better and stronger. In fact, it hurts, especially my legs because of the underwater kicks," said Hosszu.

"I am very happy with my 200m backstroke race because it came out after all theses races. It is a good sign for me," Hosszu added.

Le Clos took gold in the men's 100m freestyle (46.81), 50m butterfly (22:03) and 200m butterfly (1:49.73). 

Post-event, Le Clos said: "I am really happy about the three golds. I have 20 golds altogether overall. I am happy I can keep fit and continue to win. I hope I can get more golds tomorrow but it is really hard in sprint freestyle. I hope I can break the 100m butterfly world record. I will try."

Chinese swimmers enjoyed the hoe crowd support as Fu Yuanhui dominated the women's 50m backstroke (26.43); London Olympic runner-up Lu Ying claimed the women's 100m butterfly gold in 55.95 and backstroker Xu Jiayu took the men's 100m backstroke title in a personal best of 50.14. China also won the mixed 4x50m medley relay in 1:40.10.

Alia Atkinson (JAM) - photo credit: Wang Xin

In other events, Alia Atkinson of Jamaica stormed to win the women's 100m breaststroke in 1:04.11; Daiya Seto of Japan won the men's 400m individual medley in 4:04.84; Roland Schoeman of South Africa was the fastest in the 50m breaststroke 26.87; Daniel Gyurta of Hungary led the men's 200m breaststroke in 2:03.40;  Sergel Fesikov of Russia captured the gold in the men's 100m IM in 52.30.