BEIJING, China, November 12. THE end of the 2013 FINA World Cup is finally upon us with the last stop beginning today in Beijing. Brazil's Nicholas Santos sent the night out on a bang with a South American record, while four other swimmers managed to finish off World Cup event sweeps over the eight-city tour.
Courtesy of: Li Yong
Courtesy of: Li Yong
Women's 800 free
World record holder Mireia Belmonte, who downed the global standard with a smoking 7:59.34 during the Berlin stop earlier this summer, blasted the field in the distance freestyle finale tonight with an 8:07.59. She won the race by nearly three seconds after having been second routinely the past several stops on the FINA World Cup circuit. Her consistency, however, has put her in position to finish the tour with a big payday.
New Zealand's Lauren Boyle, who has been turning in some fabulous swims lately, wound up with a second-place time of 8:10.47. That's certainly slower than her second-ranked 8:01.22 from Eindhoven, but good enough for a second-place paycheck this evening.
Spain's Melani Costa, the other usual podium finisher, wound up third in 8:18.03 as she held off a game U.S. Junior National Teamer as Becca Mann raced to fourth in 8:18.54. Costa already stands seventh in the world with her 8:16.55 from Dubai, while Mann just missed bettering her eighth-ranked 8:18.47 from the Tokyo stop.
China's Xu Danlu (8:22.19), Great Britain's Hannah Miley (8:25.83), Germany's Sarah Kohley (8:33.14) and China's Hou Yawen (8:33.81) rounded out the top eight in the timed final event.
Men's 400 IM
Australia's Thomas Fraser-Holmes crushed the field in the men's distance medley this evening, capturing the title by more than three seconds. He clocked a 4:04.05, which was plenty fast enough here in Beijing to win the top paycheck. He fell of his top speed from just a few days ago in Tokyo, where he scorched a fourth-ranked 3:59.92 to break 4:00.
Japan's Takeharu Fujimori wound up second in 4:07.29, while Australia's Travis Mahoney rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 4:08.15. Great Britain's Roberto Pavoni nearly made the podium from the early heats this morning with a fourth-place 4:08.35, while Hungary's Gergely Gyurta took fifth in 4:08.50.
Hungary's David Foldhazi placed sixth in 4:09.99 with a pair of U.S. Junior National Teamers making up the rest of the top eight. Georgia-bound Jay Litherland clocked a 4:11.23 for seventh, while Corey Okubo, who just announced on Swimming World that he's headed for Princeton, took eighth in 4:13.74.
Men's 100 free
The Sizzling Siberian Vlad Morozov finished with seven of the eight tour wins in the event with a sterling 45.88 (21.69 -- 24.19) for the victory. It wasn't as fast as his second-ranked time of 45.64 from Eindhoven, where he finished behind James Magnussen's top-ranked 45.60, but it was the only 45 of the night as Morozov continued to pile up the podium points and cash.
South Africa's Chad Le Clos demonstrated some serious speed as the butterfly specialist went off with a 46.60 for second-place honors against a deep finale field. That shot Le Clos to sixth in the world rankings this year.
Australia's Tommaso D'Orsogna comprised the rest of the podium with a third-place time of 46.85. That bettered his seventh-ranked 47.05 from the Tokyo stop, but did not advance his ranking positioning.
Poland's Konrad Czerniak (47.19), Brazil's Nicholas Santos (47.40), USA's Anthony Ervin (47.48), The Netherlands' Sebastiaan Verschuren (47.96) and Brazil's Fernando Silva (48.23) also vied for the title this evening.
Women's 200 free
For the fourth time on the tour, Hungarian Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu walked away with the 200 freestyle title. Tonight, she raced her way to a 1:53.82 for the wire-to-wire win. It's not her third-ranked season best of 1:52.32 from Berlin, but it was enough to continue her inevitable march to the overall FINA World Cup title as well as more than $300,000 in earnings this year.
Just off her third-place finish in the 800 free, Spain's Melani Costa picked up another podium paycheck with a second-place 1:54.57. Her best this year was a fifth-ranked 1:52.52. Meanwhile, New Zealand's Lauren Boyle, who took second in the 800 free earlier this evening, earned third in 1:55.20.
Great Britain's Siobhan-Marie O'Connor (1:55.26), USA's Quinn Carrozza (1:55.88), Great Britain's Hannah Miley (1:57.00), China's Han Tingru (1:57.13) and USA's Ella Eastin (1:58.19) completed the rest of the finale. Eastin, a U.S. Junior National Teamer, has a busy night ahead with a handful of finals events to rival the activity of Hosszu.
Men's 50 breast
The Evergreen Sprinter, Roland Schoeman of South Africa finished off a tour sweep of the 50 breaststroke event as he surged to a 25.95. He went much faster with a top-ranked 25.65 in Berlin, but didn't need that type of speed tonight in the finale. Australia's Christian Sprenger placed second in 26.59, while Brazil's Joao Gomes Jr., took third in 26.65.
Brazil's Felipe Lima (26.70), Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr (26.86), Brazil's Raphael Rodrigues (27.13), China's Wang Shuai (27.37) and China's Shi Weijia (27.66) finished fourth through eighth in the finale.
Women's 100 breast
So far, the finale in Beijing is proving to be much slower than the rest of the circuit, but the swimmers are really just focused on the final Asian cluster and overall points jockeying. This proved out with Jamaica's Alia Atkinson winning the 100 breaststroke by nearly two seconds in 1:03.81, a full second behind her second-ranked 1:02.91 from the Dubai stop.
Great Britain's Sophie Allen touched second in 1:05.74 to move to ninth in the world rankings, while China's Liu Xiaoyu earned third in 1:06.24.
Japan's Mio Motegi (1:06.27), China's He Yun (1:06.48), Germany's Theresa Michalak (1:07.16), Japan's Miho Teramura (1:07.26) and China's Zhang Jiaying (1:08.60) concluded the rest of the finale finishes.
Women's 100 fly
Australia's Alicia Coutts, who dropped a sterling top-ranked 55.30 to win in Tokyo, eased through the 100 fly victory tonight in 56.00. Coutts has been on fire in the last two stops, posting Commonwealth records with regularity.
Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom raced her way to second in 56.17, touching just behind Coutts and Sjostrom's fourth-ranked 56.14 from the Tokyo stop as well. Hungary's Katinka Hosszu collected her second podium of the night with a 57.40, well off her fifth-ranked 56.24 from earlier this year, but good enough for podium points.
Canada's Katerine Savard (57.68), The Netherlands' Inge Dekker (57.97), Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia (58.10), USA's Ella Eastin (59.35) and China's Zhou Yilin (1:00.10) also competed in the finale.
Men's 100 back
USA's Eugene Godsoe has certainly had himself a few strong stops on the World Cup. Although he did not compete at every stop, he is making the Asian cluster count with more than $10,000 in winnings when all is said and done for just a week-and-a-half of work. Godsoe topped the 100 back this evening in 50.15, off his top-ranked 49.87 from Tokyo.
Australia's Bobby Hurley pocketed second-place honors with a 50.24, while USA's Tom Shields earned third-place money with a 50.52. Both have been faster this year as the podium reflected the world rankings. Godsoe first, with Hurley (49.92) and Shields (50.15) second and third in the world.
Australia's Ashley Delaney (51.43), Brazil's Guilherme Guido (51.56), Japan's Yuki Shirai (52.84), Brazil's Nelson Silva Jr. (53.46) and Australia's Travis Mahoney (53.58) finished fourth through eighth in the finale.
Women's 50 back
Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds threw down a 26.83 to walk away with the sprint backstroke victory. That time came up just a bit short of her fifth-ranked 26.62 from Tokyo, but was enough to clip China's Fu Yuanhui (26.95) in front of her home crowd. Fu's time, however, placed her eighth in the world rankings.
Ukraine's Daryna Zevina tied China's Cheng Haihua for third with matching 27.07s, while Hungary's Katinka Hosszu managed a fifth-place time of 27.11.
Australia's Emily Seebohm (27.21), USA's Hannah Weiss (27.40) and China's Li Shuyi (27.48) also battled for the sprint backstroke title during the final session this evening.
Men's 200 fly
The top butterflier on the planet right now, South Africa's Chad Le Clos toyed with the field as he cruised through 150 meters of work before dropping the hammer with a sizzling 27.97 final split en route to a win in 1:51.70.
He broke the world record, and the 1:49 barrier just a week or so ago with a 1:48.56 at the Singapore stop, but must have wanted to give the fans something exciting to watch as he turned third at the 150, then chased down China's Wang Shun in the process. Wang touched a close second in 1:51.94 to move to eighth in the world rankings. Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski, who is second in the world with a 1:50.43, took third in 1:53.11.
That's the second South African event sweep of the tour as Le Clos won every 200 fly on the circuit, matching Roland Schoeman's 50 breast dominance.
Japan's Ko Fukaya (1:54.84), Japan's Yuki Kobora (1:54.93), Brazil's Lucas Salatta (1:54.99), Great Britain's Robert Pavoni (1:55.69) and USA's Corey Okubo (1:58.00) finished fourth through eighth in the championship heat.
Women's 200 IM
The Iron Lady swept the 200 IM on the tour this year when she won the finale tonight by nearly a second in 2:05.34. The time was well off her stunning world record of 2:03.20 from the Eindhoven stop, but was good enough for her second win of the night and eighth win in the event on the circuit.
Australia's Alicia Coutts raced her way to a 2:06.23 for second, off her second-ranked 2:05.63 from Tokyo, while Great Britain's Sophie Allen picked up bronze in 2:06.71. Allen also has been faster with a fifth-ranked season best of 2:06.36 to her credit this year.
Spain's Mireia Belmonte (2:06.79), Great Britain's Siobhan-Marie O'Connor (2:07.28), USA's Ella Eastin (2:10.57) and USA's Brooke Zeiger (2:13.46) took fourth through seventh, while Chia's Zhang Jiaqi scratched the finale.
Men's 400 free
Australia's Thomas Fraser-Holmes collected his second gold medal of the night with a 3:39.86 to 3:39.98 touchout triumph ahead of South Africa's Myles Brown in the middle distance event. Fraser-Holmes finished a second back of his fourth-ranked 3:38.39 from Tokyo, while Brown was much after in Eindhoven with a third-place 3:37.91. But, the two put on a show with a back-and-forth battle this evening.
Australia's Bobby Hurley piled up more podium points and cash with a third-place 3:42.99, while China's Zhang Jie took fourth in 3:46.12.
Hungary's Gergely Gyurta (3:46.95), China's Shang Keyuan (3:47.57), China's Liu Zhaochen (3:49.80) and China's Chen Ren (3:49.84) also competed for the title tonight.
Women's 50 free
Australia's Cate Campbell continued her run through the sprint freestyle events during her short time on the circuit. She blasted the field with a 23.65 for the win, a bit off her second-ranked 23.47 from the Tokyo stop of the tour.
Great Britain's Fran Halsall hit the wall in 24.04 for second-place honors, nearly clipping her eighth-place time of 23.97 from the Tokyo stop as well. Australia's Bronte Campbell rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 24.13.
Germany's Dorothea Brandt (24.16), China's Qiu Yuhan (24.16), Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom (24.16) all tied for fourth, while Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia (24.48) and Brazil's Larissa Oliveira (24.94) placed seventh and eighth in the finale.
Men's 200 breast
Hungary's Daniel Gyurta put away his fifth win in the event on the circuit with a 2:03.09 as the world-record holder eased through the swim. He powered to the world record in the event with a 2:00.67 in 2009, and has been atop the short course 200 ever since. Earlier this year, he broke the World Cup record with a 2:01.30 at the Tokyo stop.
Great Britain's Michael Jamieson placed second in 2:04.15, well back of his third-ranked 2:03.04 from Berlin, while China's Mao Feilian earned third tonight in 2:05.34 to vault to seventh in the world rankings.
Japan's Kazuki Kohinata (2:05.82), Brazil's Raphael Rodrigues (2:10.70), Japan's Takeharu Fujimori (2:11.76), Brazil's Henrique Barbosa (2:11.87) and Brazil's Matheus Louro Neto (2:12.81) also swam in the finale.
Men's 100 IM
Vlad Morozov just missed the Russian record and World Cup mark in the sprint medley with a scorching fast 50.97 for the win. That performance came up just short of Sergey Fesikova's sterling 50.95 from the 2009 Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, that also stands as the Russian record. The swim is the first sub-51 this year, blasting Morozov's top-ranked 51.13 from Berlin earlier this year. Morozov became just the fourth person to ever break 51 seconds in the event.
Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell finished a distant second with a 51.72, good enough for second-place money, but not close to his second-ranked season best of 51.15 from the Eindhoven stop of the circuit. South Africa's Chad Le Clos kept raking in podium points and cash with a third-place 52.14.
Brazil's Henrique Rodrigues (53.89), China's Hao Yun (54.08), Japan's Yuki Shirai (55.02), Hungary's David Foldhazi (55.33) and China's Mao Feilian (56.28) placed fourth through eighth tonight.
Women's 200 back
Ukraine's Daryna Zevina became the fourth swimmer on the circuit to sweep an event as she rocketed her way to a 2:01.47 to win the 200 backstroke tonight. It wasn't her top-end speed as evidenced by her 2:00.81 from the Berlin stop, but it was close enough as she captured her eighth win in the event.
Australia's Emily Seebohm earned second with a 2:03.95, off her third-ranked season best of 2:02.13 from Eindhoven, while Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds touched third in 2:04.14.
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu (2:06.14), USA's Kylie Stewart (2:06.46), Canada's Hilary Caldwell (2:07.14), China's Yao Yige (2:07.54) and USA's Quinn Carrozza (2:09.25) made up the rest of the championship heat.
Men's 50 fly
Brazil's Nicholas Santos downed his own South American record in the sprint fly with a 22.13 tonight. That effort bettered his 22.16 from the 2009 Singapore stop of the FINA World Cup, and moved him to second in the world rankings this year behind Roland Schoeman's 22.05 from Berlin.
Schoeman, meanwhile, snared second-place honors in 22.37, while USA's Tom Shields beat compatriot Eugene Godsoe for third, 22.78 to 22.95.
Australia's Tommaso D'Orsogna (23.06), Poland's Konrad Czerniak (23.38), Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski (23.78) and Japan's Ko Fukaya (24.14) finished fifth through eighth to conclude individual races for the evening.
Mixed 200 medley relay
Team Australia, made up of Bobby Hurley (23.49), Christian Sprenger (25.94), Alicia Coutts (25.51) and Cate Campbell (23.29), took down the mixed gender 200 medley relay title this evening with a time of 1:38.23. With Australia having unified the world record and world best in this event with a 1:37.84 in Tokyo, it's definitely going to be a bit of time before it starts being broken again.
China's Fu Yuanhui (26.85), Mao Feilian (26.83), Lu Ying (25.28) and Ning Zetao (20.59) put together a 1:39.55 with Ning supplying his remarkable anchor leg for second. Brazil's Guilherme Guido (23.94), Felipe Lima (26.12), Larissa Oliveira (27.57) and Graciele Herrmann (24.44) placed third in 1:42.07.
The U.S. Junior National Team of Hannah Weiss (27.67), Curtis Ogren (28.32), Kylie Stewart (26.48) and Paul Powers (22.08) finished fourth in 1:44.55. That's good enough for an American record, downing the 1:45.63 posted by the Junior team in Tokyo. The foursome of Kaitlin Harty (28.22), Gunnar Bentz (28.52), Katie McLaughlin (26.95) and Paul Powers (21.94) raced its way to 15th-place in the event in Tokyo with the American mark.
USA B (1:46.96), Japan (1:47.15), Singapore (1:54.31) and China Clubs (2:01.06) took care of the rest of the finishes in the finale.
Results: FINA World Cup, Beijing: Day One