PHOENIX, Arizona, October 17. KATINKA Hosszu had an off day today in Moscow at the FINA World Cup, falling victim to American teenagers who are racing for the first time on the circuit.
Hosszu managed to only collect $3,500 today, as opposed to her usual $5,500. Members of the USA national junior team were partly responsible for Hosszu's reduced cash haul, as they beat down on the Hungarian in the 800 free and 200 backstroke.
Leah Smith and Becca Mann won the first event of the meet, the women's 800 freestyle, with times that were five seconds slower than Hosszu has done so far on the World Cup tour. As a comparison, the 8:19s that Smith and Mann swam would have just missed the top 10 globally from the 2011 short course meters season, and are now the fastest 800 freestyles swum this year. Hosszu didn't appear to be in the race after 200 meters, likely saving herself for the 200 freestyle about 10 minutes later.
Hosszu also found herself in third place in the 200 backstroke, which is not unfamiliar territory for her in that event. Kylie Stewart, an Olympic finalist in this event, almost took down New Zealand Olympian Melissa Ingram, a sure sign of good things to come later this week in Berlin.
Hosszu will be looking to return to her winning form later today, as she lines up for the 400 IM, 200 fly, 200 free and 100 IM. She'll face more young American challengers in each event, as well as a strong Russian contingent that is likely buoyed by the home crowd.
Look for Jessica Hardy to take out her anger today in the 100 free, 50 breast and 100 IM. Hardy was disqualified in the 100 breast prelims for not separating her hands before executing her dolphin kick on an underwater pull, though she denies making the infraction. The DQ likely cost her at least $500 in winnings, so she'll try to make it up today.
Allie Szekely will race the 200 breaststroke on day two, the event in which she became a fan and media darling at the Olympic Trials after winning a swimoff for 17th place. Szekely is not known for her starts and turns, so she will find it difficult to stay with Rie Kaneto or other experienced short course swimmers.
Also, look for Kylie Stewart to race multiple events and possibly collect multiple medals today, as could Becca Mann in the 200 fly and 400 free.
Take a look at today's prelim heat sheets below. SwimmingWorld.com will bring you a live recap of day two finals, beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern time!
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