2018 FINA WORLD CUP – DOHA
With only 5 prelims races having taken place this morning in Doha due to low competitor turnouts, spectators were treated to the entire schedule this evening. That meant stars such as Mitch Larkin of Australia, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and Michael Andrew of America would be taking to the Hamad Aquatic Centre (HAC) pool, hoping to add more cash to their pockets and points to their World Cup standings.
Hungary’s ‘Iron Lady’ Hosszu raced just once this morning, taking the 7th seed in the women’s 50m free. Tonight, however, she kicked off her Doha campaign with a win in the 400m freestyle. Clocking 4:10.02, Hosszu beat out runner-up Femke Heemskerk of Netherlands, who notched 4:12.56 for silver, while China’s Zhou Chanzhen rounded out the top 3 with a mark of 4:13.62.
Hosszu had taken his race on at the first stop in Kazan, where the multiple Olympic champion produced a slower 4:12.09 while still topping the podium. As for Heemskerk, the 200m freestyle ace rarely races this 400m distance, with a personal best of 4:09.13 logged way back in 2011, although she did swim the event twice in 2017.
Heemskerk’s countrymate Kira Toussaint continued to display her prowess in the women’s 50m backstroke, following up her Kazan victory with another win in the event here tonight. The 24-year-old won the race in Kazan in 28.18 and shaved .17 off of that result to collect a winning effort of 28.01 here.
Somewhat surprisingly behind Toussaint was freestyle and butterfly sprinter Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who has been racing this ‘off’ event with more frequency as of late. Kromo busted out a mark of 28.49 to establish a new personal best in the event and smash her time of 28.83 from Kazan by .34. That left Hosszu, racing in her 2nd swim of the night, to settle for bronze in 28.57.
The Iron Lady was barely out of the pool when she re-entered to take on the women’s 200m butterfly field, although she only had to beat 1 other swimmer to land on the podium. Amid a field of just 4 competitors, with 1 disqualified in tonight’s final, Hosszu cruised to first place in a solid 2:09.26. Hungarian teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos made it a 1-2 punch with a time of 2:10.34 for silver.
Andrew continued his 100m fly winning streak, taking tonight’s race in a mark of 51.83. Splitting 23.92/27.90, Andrew was a tad faster than the 51.96 he registered last week in Kazan to beat South African talent Chad Le Clos. For his part, Le Clos was slated to swim this race, but pulled out of this morning’s prelims due to illness. Andrew’s time this evening checks-in as the 19-year-old’s 3rd fastest of his career, coming only behind his 51.53 from Pan Pacs and 51.68 from U.S. Nationals.
Despite Le Clos’ absence, a South African still landed on the podium, as Ryan Coetzee clinched the runner-up position in a mark of 52.20, just .10 off of the 52.10 personal best he notched in Kazan. Dutchman Matthys Goosen was also under the 53-second threshold with a time of 52.99.
Lone Brazilian competitor Felipe Lima took tonight’s 100m breaststroke in a race that saw the top 3 finishers dip under the minute barrier. Touching in 59.61, Lima upgraded his silver result from Kazan and cranked out the 2nd fastest time of his career. The 33-year-old was only faster in Budapest at last year’s World Championships, where his semi-final effort of 59.48 rendered Lima in 10th place overall.
Finishing behind the Brazilian this evening were Arno Kamminga of Netherlands and Russia’s Anton Chupkov, who produced efforts of 59.74 and 59.89, respectively.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom cracked a new World Cup Record in the women’s 50m freestyle last week in Kazan, clocking a monster effort of 23.83. She wasn’t too far off that mark this evening, crushing a 23.99 to take the gold in the 21st fastest performance of all-time.
Heemskerk racked up her 2nd medal of the evening with a 24.54 worthy of silver, while Kromo also collected another piece of hardware with a bronze medal garnering-effort of 24.62. Hosszu was back in the pool for her 4th race, but fell to 8th in 26.41.
To finish up the evening, Russia’s Vladimir Morozov topped the men’s 50m freestyle field, finishing in 21.80 for the win. Andrew hit the wall narrowly behind in 21.95, just .03 slower than his morning prelim effort of 21.92. Bronze tonight went to teammate Pieroni of the U.S. who stopped the clock in 22.17, that fastest time of his career by .05.
- Pieroni of the United States clocked 3:53.98 to win the men’s 400m freestyle tonight. He was the 200m freestyle winner 100m freestyle runner-up at the first stop in Kazan.
- The men’s 200m back saw Larkin easily take the gold in a time of 1:57.45 to make this his 4th World Cup medal through Kazan and Day 1 Doha. He was the only swimmer tonight to clock a time under 2:02.
- Russia’s breaststroking machine Yuliya Efimova would not be denied tonight, as the triple winner from the 1st stop in Kazan won tonight’s 200m distance in a time of 2:23.55.
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