SWC 2014, Singapore Day 1: Hosszu and Le Clos towards the final act

Swimming World Cup

Katinka HosszuFor the first time, Singapore is hosting the final leg of the FINA World Cup Series, the seventh this year, in the brand new OCBC Aquatics Centre, inaugurated in June. The magnificent indoor venue with a capacity of 3,000 spectators is the perfect stage for the final act of the recital from the World Cup’s leaders Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and Chad Le Clos of South Africa, as well as of the others world elite swimmers whose presence was pregnant in the circuit, such as Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, Germany’s Steffen Deibler, Dutch Inge Dekker, Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes, and more.

Hosszu was going into this meet with 59 medals: 46 gold, 5 silver, 8 bronze - and 5 world records, all of them in the medley events (twice in the 100m and 200m and one in the 400m) - from the previous six legs. At the end of the first day Hosszu’s medal count was of 64 overall: 49 gold, 7 silver and 8 bronze.

After necking her last medal today she said: “I feel excited to race here in Singapore, even after a hectic calendar this year. I’m not aiming for the overall prize money but more of looking to improving myself”.

Among the men there was one world record set by Daniel Gyurta in the 200m breaststroke. All of the world records were set during the first two meets.

In addition, so far there were two World Cup records, both in the men’s medley events: in the 400m from Thomas Fraser-Holmes in Dubai, in the 200m from Kosuke Hagino in Tokyo.

Le Clos went into the meet with 24 gold medals. On day 1 here in Singapore he added two more; before the last session of finals he has 26 gold medals.
The head of the Organising Committee is Ang Peng Wee. His brother, Ang Peng Siong, was one of the world’s best sprinter in the early eighties: in 1982 he won the 100m freestyle at the Asian Games and the 50m freestyle (in 22.69 seconds) at the American Nationals, a world best time for that year; he was also presented with the 'World's Fastest Swimmer' award for 1982. Now he is a prominent coach in Singapore, managing his own swimming club and coaching some swimmers who are competing in this meet.

Day 1 - Event by Event Report

Women's 800m Freestyle. The same actors as in Tokyo, with the addition of British star Jazmin Carlin. American Elizabeth Beisel, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte and Carlin advance practically on the same line for about 600m. With 200 metres to go Belmonte and Hosszu started to pull forward, with Carlin narrowly behind and Beisel losing ground. Hosszu took the lead just before the 700m turn with only Belmonte still challenging her. The Spaniard emerged ahead from the last turn and progressed to collect her fifth gold medal in this race in 8:10.61. Hosszu, who had won twice the event in previous meet, was second in 8:11.26, while Carlin and Beisel were a distant third and fourth, respectively in 8:16.92 and 8:20.63.

Men's 400m IM. Japan’s Daiya Seto followed up his home win in Tokyo with a comfortable victory in 4:04.07. It was the third victory for the talented Japanese in this event. The only minor threat was brought to him by compatriot Takeharu Fujimori who touched home in 4:04.62. As in Tokyo, Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta was third in 4:06.23.

Daiya Seto (JPN) - photo credit: Singapore Swimming Association

Men's 100m Freestyle. With a time of 47.02 Russia’s Sergey Fesikov managed to keep Steffen Deibler at bay. The German touched in 47.13. UK’s Adam Barrett completed an all-European podium in 48.09.

Women's 200m Freestyle. Katinka Hosszu necked her 47th gold medal in 1:53.63, a clear-cut win over USA’s Katherine Drabot, who was second in 1:54.23. Australian Emma McKeon was third in 1:55.06. Same podium as in Tokyo, with Drabot and McKeon trading places.
Men's 50m Breaststroke. Stainless South African Roland Schoeman clinched his fifth win in this event, once more setting the best winning time of the series. He touched in 25.86, clearly ahead of Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta, 26.59, and Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell, 26.81.
Women's 100m Breaststroke. Alia Atkinson won again in 1:02.54. As in Tokyo the Jamaican went swiftly in the lead and won in 1:02.54 (1:02.86 in Tokyo), a great time, just 18 hundredth of a second shy of Ruta Meilutyte's world record (1:02.36), the fastest in this series. The Lithuanian suffered her second consecutive defeat from the Jamaican, in 1:03.05. USA’s Catherine Meili was once more third, in 1:05.47 (1:05.01). Russia’s Maria Astashkina, 15, was fourth in 1:06.22, while 14-year-old Japanese Imai Runa tied for fifth with USA’s Lillia King, 17, in 1:06.32. Remarkable times for these emerging teenagers.

Atkinson commented the outcome of the race with these words: “I have extra motivation to beat Ruta [Meilutyte], even if we are good friends. I feel that as I grow older I get faster. I hope to beat the world record soon."

Women's 100m Butterfly. Dutch Inge Dekker won for the sixth time this event, this time in 56.08, with Katinka Hosszu in second in 56.63 and USA’s Felicia Lee third in 56.88. For Dekker, this was the 21th gold medal in this circuit.

Men's 100m Backstroke. American Eugene Godsoe confirmed his first place from Tokyo and won in 50.59.  Australia’s Robert Hurley was second in 50.69, with Germany’s Christian Diener third in 50.96.
Women's 50m Backstroke. UK’s Francesca Halsall and USA’s Felicia Lee traded their medals of Tokyo: this time the American was the winner, clocking 26.48, while the British was second in 26.55. Georgia Davies, also of the United Kingdom, was third in 26.57, with Hosszu fourth in 26.84.

Chad Le Clos (RSA) - photo credit: Singapore Swimming Association

Men's 200m Butterfly. Chad Le Clos won this event for the seventh time, unopposed, in 1:48.88, just 0.32 seconds shy of his own world record of 1:48.56 he had set in Singapore a year ago. The South African was clearly determined to improve on his best time and almost managed it. In fact he was on course until the beginning of the last lap, but unfortunately he barely missed it.
Split times compared:
- Singapore 5 Nov. 2013: 24.68 – 52.96 – 1:20.81 – 1:48.56
- Singapore 01 Nov. 2014: 24.08 – 51.63 – 1:19.94 – 1:48.88

Japan’s Daiya Seto was second in 1:51.81 with Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic in third place with 1:55.85.

Women's 200m IM. Katinka Hosszu clinched her seventh consecutive win in this race and the 48th gold medal in the series in 2:06.01. UK’s Sjobhan-Marie O’Connor was second in 2:07.69, with Alia Atkinson third in 2:08.17. USA’s Caitlin Leverenz was fourth in 2:08.71.

Men's 400m Freestyle. Australia David McKeon was the winner in 3:38.54 while South Africa’s Myles Brown - who his coached by Le Clos’ coach Graham Hill and dominated the race in Tokyo with 3:37.96 - was second in 3:39.11. Germany’s Paul Biedermann came in third place in 3:40.43.
Women's 50m Freestyle. Second consecutive win for Francesca Halsall (GBR), in 23.80, exactly the same winning time of Tokyo. Inge Dekker, who had won the event in the first five meets, was second in 24.09. Australia’s Marieke D’Cruz (AUS) was third in 24.68. Hosszu raced also this final placing herself fifth in 24.88, behind Russia’s Elisaveta Bazarova, 24.85.

Mariana Chan (SIN) - photo credit: Singapore Swimming Association

Men's 200m Breaststroke. Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta completed his seventh meet winning streak in 2:02.30. UK’s Andrew Willis 2:05.97.

Men's 100m IM. Russia’s Sergei Fesikov got his gold medal in this day when he touched first, in 52.20, ahead of Spain’s Miguel Ortiz, 52.87, and UK’s Liam Tanckok, 53.74. For the Russian it was the second victory in this event he had won also in Beijing.

Women's 200m Backstroke. Katinka Hosszu completed her third seven-meet winning streak and necked her 49th gold medal in 2:03.07, USA’s Kathleen Baker and Elizabeth Beisel were second and third respectively, in 2:04.25 and 2:05.00.

Men's 50m Butterfly. Chad Le Clos claimed his second gold of the session to complete his second seven-meet winning streak in this event, with an excellent time of 21.98, just 0.18 seconds shy of the world record held by Germany’s Steffen Deibler, who was second in 22.56. Roland Schoeman was third in 22.62. For Le Clos this was the second gold medal today, and 26th in the series.

Mixed 4x50m Medley. The Russian quartet – Sergei Fesikov, Maria Astashkina, Aleksandr Krasnykh, Elizaveta Bazarova - was the easy winner in 1:43.26. The United States were second in 1:46.03, with Singapore in third place, with 1:46.17.