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SWC 2015, Hong Kong, Day 2: Aussie World Championship swimmers rule the pool

Swimming World Cup

A team effort by Australian swimmers at Day 2 of the Hong Kong leg of the 2015 FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup saw five members of the national squad claim five gold medals in competition tonight.

The Japanese team finished their meet with another three gold medals to go with the four they claimed on Day 1, and among the individual performers, Katinka Hosszu (HUN) turned in another stellar performance, claiming a trio of gold medals to go with the five she won on Day 1.

There was some real class on display in the opening event of Day 2 of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2015 in Hong Kong with the women's 100m free featuring Hosszu, Madison Kennedy (USA) and Missy Franklin (USA). But it was Aussie phenomenon Cate Campbell (AUS) who led them out and back to touch in 53.60.

The men's 200m free saw a second gold to Australia and a second at this meet for Dan Smith (AUS) in a time of 1:48.81.

Alia Atkinson (JAM) - Photo credit: OC SWC 2015 Hong Kong

Alia Atkinson (JAM) comfortably covered the sprinters in the women's 50m breaststroke in a time of 30.90. She had a productive meet, claiming a pair of breaststroke gold medals.

Event 20 saw Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA) put in a dominant display in the men's 100m breaststroke, touching in 1:00.23, ahead of Akihiro Yamaguchi (JPN) and Tommy Sucipto (AUS).

Van Der Burgh’s performance earned him 914 FINA Points – the top performance in the men’s competition tonight. He has been in sensational form heading into Hong Kong. His 939-point swim in the 50m breaststroke on Friday evening was the best performance by any male at the meet.

The men's 100m butterfly saw a dead heat, with Viacheslav Prudnikov (RUS) and Nic Brown (AUS) sharing the dais. The pair were a touch in front of Yiyong Hu (CHN) and popular Hong Kong sprinter Geoffrey Cheah.

With three gold medals from the first five events of the night, everything seemed to be going right for the Australians. The swimmers in green and gold at this meet were returning from the FINA World Championships in Kazan, where the nation finished second overall.

In the women's 100m backstroke, Emily Seebohm (AUS) backed up her Day 1 performance with a very fast first 50 metres, turning in 28.69 – just two one-hundredths off the World Record set by Gemma Spofforth (GBR) in 2009. Seebohm would slow on the return leg, but her 58.88 claimed 961 FINA points. It was a swim that would earn her the most FINA Points of the meet.

The 23-year-old has capped a top season, claiming twin backstroke gold and relay gold at the FINA World Championships in Kazan. She was genuinely surprised to be performing as strongly as she did at Hong Kong.

Ash Delaney (AUS) continued the Aussie domination on Day 2 in the men's 50m backstroke in a time of 25.55. Josh Beaver (AUS) completed the Aussie one-two by touching in 25.74.

Cameron Van der Burgh (RSA) - Photo credit: OC SWC 2015 Hong Kong

Katinka Hosszu (HUN) has shown that she’s never far from the action in Hong Kong and the Iron Lady claimed her sixth gold for the meet in the women's 200m butterfly. Teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos (HUN) went stroke for stroke with the champ, before touching in second place.

Hosszu would later claim the women's 400m freestyle and women's 400m individual medley. It was another heroic meet for this swimming superstar who claimed 10 gold medals last year.

The fastest qualifiers from the morning’s heats, Tomas Elliot (AUS) and Kazmir Boscovic (AUS) completed a second Aussie one-two in the men's 200m individual medley. David Verraszto (HUN) finished third.

Katsumi Nakamura (JPN) doubled down in the freestyle sprints here in Hong Kong, claiming the men's 50m freestyle in 22.15 tonight to match his 100m freestyle gold on Day 1. Hong Kong hero Geoffrey Cheah (HKG) finished second but claimed a national record that helped the crowd raise the roof of the Victoria Park pool.

Compatriot Masato Sakai took out the 1,500m freestyle in 15:28.04 and the men's 200m backstroke went to Yuki Shirai (JPN) to round out a strong meet for the team.


Emily Seebohm (AUS, 2 gold, 1 silver): “I’m up here without a coach or support and I’m just trying to get the best experience possible. I’m looking forward to taking that back home with me and into my training. It’s been great preparation. Obviously it’s all about next year for me. Hong Kong has been a great preparation for next year and that’s what this trip has been all about.”

Dan Smith (AUS, 2 gold, 1 bronze): “It’s been a good result, but I always want to go faster. I’ve got to focus on my speed in the first 100 metres, work on my turns, my starts, eat right and stay healthy. You’ve got to be hungry.”

Geoffrey Cheah (HKG, 1 gold, 1 silver): “I’ve had a really great start to the season. I’ve been working hard, lifting weights in the gym. I’m glad to have finally got the Hong Kong record. It’s been something I’ve wanted for a long time. It’s been a different start to the year and something that I never thought I would be saying.”