SWC 2014, Dubai Day 1: Magyar Hosszu and Gyurta on top of their game

Swimming World Cup

The second leg of the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup 2014 was marked by the historic World records of the Magyar duo, Katinka Hosszu and Daniel Gyurta. Moreover, several swimmers confirmed their mark on the international swimming stage, whom we will certainly hear from again at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in three months' time: Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS), Christian Diener (GER), Marco Koch (GER) and Velimir Stjepanovic (SRB).

Dubai's Hamdan Sports complex served as the backdrop to its first individual record-breaking performances at the World Cup since 2011. Comparing with the first leg in Doha, 16 out of the 17 winners of Day 1, which are the same than in Qatar, bettered their performances, except in the men's 200m butterfly.




Hosszu's determination and form at the end of the summer season are impressive. Today, Hosszu emerged victorious in four events, setting a new World record in the women's 200m IM in 2:02.13 (1026 points). She thus claims her 82nd win at the Swimming World Cup. Yet in Dubai, Hosszu's swimming schedule include "only" ten events (she swam 13 events in Doha). In doing so, Hosszu downed her own World record in the 200m IM from Doha by 48 hundredths of a second, breaking her tenth World record and becoming the swimmer that has smashed the most World records in 25-metre pool among women, besting Jenny Thomson (USA) and Therese Alshammar (SWE), with each nine World records. With 10 World records, Hosszu also joins Ryan Lochte (USA) in the world rankings of record men and women (1991-2014).



Alia Atkinson (JAM) - credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia


Hosszu powered home in the heats of the women's 200m freestyle to set a new World record, without success (1:51.50 in the heats and 1:52.25 in the final); in the women's 200m backstroke (2:00.85 in the heats and 2:01.17 in the final) and the women's 200m IM heats (2:03.07, 1003 points). She obtained her fourth victory in the women's 50m backstroke in 26.10.

Post race, Hosszu said: "I’m really happy, I’m so exited I finally got one World record after my efforts in the morning and afternoon sessions."


Guyrta-Koch duel in the men's 200m breaststroke

The much-anticipated duel between the current Olympic and world champion Daniel Guyrta (HUN) and European champion Marco Koch (GER) featured a thrilling final, with Guyrta breaking the World record of 2:00.67 from 2009 to set a new world mark of 2:00.48 (1004 points). The Hungarian has a nice challenge in sight for the upcoming FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Doha in December: to become the world's first breaststroker to go under 2:00. Koch's performance was remarkable, clocking 2:01.28 and remains one to watch.

Post event, Gyurta said: "That was my aim to swim under 2:01.00. I broke my own World record held until December 2009 in Istanbul during the European Championships. The pool is amazing, it's good to be back in Dubai."

Australia's Thomas Fraser-Holmes, outstanding champion in the men's 200m freestyle at the latest Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, was among the top favourites for a double victory in the men's 400m IM (3:58.68) and 400m freestyle (3:38.22). In the first event, he set a new meet and continental record, edging European champion David Verraszto (HUN) and Oussama Mellouli (TUN), who obtained his 46th podium finish at the Swimming World Cup. In the 400m freestyle, Fraser-Holmes dominated by only 10 hundredths of a second ahead of European champion Velimir Stjepanovic (SRB) and another Tunisian, Ahmed Mathlouthi (3:41.43), who celebrated his first international appearance in the Doha leg.

South African Chad Le Clos repeated his shorter distance successes from Doha in the men's 100m freestyle (46.24) and men's 50m butterfly (22.02). With this performance, Le Clos is among the favourite on Day 2 to break the World record in the men's 100m butterfly, owned by the Russian Korotyshkin (48.48) since 2009.



Eugene Godsoe (USA) - credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia


At 34, Roland Schoeman (RSA) remains a threat, not in the men's 50m freestyle in which he still holds the World record, but in the men's 50m breaststroke (26.16). This is his 61st victory at the Swimming World Cup, the best result among men.

Spain's Mireia Belmonte, World record holder in the 400m and 800m freestyle, lowered her own mark set in Doha by more than ten seconds, winning in 8:04.88.

2012 World runner-up (25m) in the women's 50m and 100m breaststroke, Alia Atkinson (JAM) dominated the field in the women's 100m breaststroke, touching first in 1:03.26, a 0.5 second faster than in Doha.

German Christian Diener, Europe's rising backstroker at 21 (silver medallist in the men's 200m backstroke at the European championships 2014 in Berlin), confirmed his progression by taking out the men's 100m backstroke in 50.10.

Dutch Inge Dekker finished first in the women's 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle in 56.03 and 23.95, respectively, both times ahead of returning Marieke D’Cruz Guehrer of Australia. Thomas Shields (USA) claimed the gold in the men's 200m butterfly in 1:50.19, not far from the American record (1:49.11) held by Kaio Almeida (BRA) while Goerge Bovell (TRI) finished first in the men's 100m IM in 51.79.